The radiant Rachel Anderson with her son Jonah (18 months). Rachel is also 34 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Caroline, due in early May.
Rachel had two miscarriages prior to Jonah's pregnancy. They had scheduled intrauterine insemination (IUI) but she conceived naturally just before. Her pregnancy went well until about 7.5 months when she woke up itching uncontrollably. She went into the doctor and was diagnosed with gall bladder issues and they ended up placing a port into her gall bladder for the last month of pregnancy. She was induced with full pitocin over two days but nothing was happening so they took her in for a cesarean. She told them the table wasn't level and after they placed the spinal, she could still feel her feet. The anesthesiologist came to put her under completely and she could see her husband in the hallway waiting to come in. They weren't telling her what was going on, and she yelled "I do not consent". She remembers the anesthesiologist placing the tube down her throat and he applied so much pressure to her throat, she has had to have therapy just to be able to touch her neck again. Jonah was born not breathing and had to be given oxygen for a minute. Her husband asked to hold him skin to skin, but the nurse told him no and he was so worried about all that had happened, he didn't question her. It was two hours before Rachel was able to meet Jonah and the experience as a whole was difficult for her to process. Breastfeeding was very difficult at first, she couldn't get Jonah to latch but had some success with a shield. She had told her self she would try everything she could for 1 month and if it didn't work, she would let it go. Two days before Jonah was 1 month old, he latched without the shield and they had a great nursing until he self weaned around 15 months. This pregnancy has so far been a breeze. Rachel has felt great and has a midwife supportive of her desire to attempt a vaginal delivery, bring her daughter up to her chest and have the opportunity to breastfeed right away. She hopes that is the outcome but knows if she has to have another cesarean birth everything will be okay. Rachel wants to teach her son and daughter that regardless of how they look or what size they are, they are worthy, strong and beautiful.