The amazing Allison Mosqueda and Luca (22 months). Allison is a nurse who has worked in pediatrics, NICU and more recently with at risk women through their pregnancies and first two years of their babies life. Because of her experience, walking other women through their pregnancies and postpartum periods, Allison thought she was an expert. She went into her pregnancy with full confidence thinking that pregnancy, birth and motherhood went this one way. That it was a bit of a fairy tale where you blissed through each phase and lived happily ever after.
Allison's pregnancy was a dream and she went through it feeling great. At 36 weeks, she had a full day meeting at work and found herself having contractions throughout the day. She thought that she was just having false labor and continued on, surrounded by 50 other nurses. Other than getting her a yoga ball to sit on so she was more comfortable, no one else seemed alarmed either. At the end of the day someone commented that her belly had really dropped and she too felt like she was lower and having some pressure but still didn't think it was time. She decided to stop at the store on the way home to get some things just in case and told herself that if she walked around and they stopped, it wasn't true labor - which is exactly what happened. She went home thinking she'd just had a long day of practice contractions only to have them ramp up again just a few minutes apart.
They went to the hospital and before she knew it her contractions were right on top of each other and it was clear she was having her baby. Luca was doing well and she and her husband were give space to labor together without the distraction of others. When Luca was born, Allison was able to hold him immediately but quickly, the nurse in her realized that he wasn't breathing very well. She kicked into full nurse mode and just wanted them to take care of her baby, get him breathing and stable and well. Luca needed a short stay in the NICU before coming home on oxygen for a month.
Allison had expected this seamless transition to motherhood where you have this perfect little baby and everything was blissful - but then it wasn't. She struggled to feel connected, she struggled to meet his needs, she struggled with feeling like her baby even liked her. All of this was compounded by Allison's assumptions going into motherhood that she already had so much practice, she had been working with mothers for years, but it was so different when it was all her own experience. Luca's full first year was a struggle trying to figure out his needs and their new family dynamic but things are now beginning to solidify and she's finally found that ease and confidence in mothering she's been longing for. Allison says she always thought that she really loved babies and would do well with that stage but babies are really hard and perhaps it's this toddler stage that she's so good at.
Honest representations of all women's stories and all women's bodies are so important to Allison. There is a gap between pregnancy and birth care and life postpartum for women that is far too blind to the support and care that women really need. All of our stories are valid, and needed, and Allison was excited to share hers in hopes of further healing for herself and hope for other mothers.