The lovely Orva-Lee Herrera, Oarionna (10), Isabella (5), Elevi (3) and Ruben III "RJ" (9 months).
Orva-Lee met her husband and fell in love when she was just 13 and they had their first daughter when she was 15. Oarionna's birth was wonderful and Orva-Lee was able get her GED, go on to nursing school and get an amazing job, as one of the youngest nurses at her hospital when she still a new young mother.
Isabella was born five years later and things were hard, she had aspirated, spent several months in the hospital and required oxygen for 18 months. Things were tough from the beginning with Elevi. Orva had placenta previa and went into labor at 18 weeks. She was on home bed rest until her water broke at 26 weeks and at 28 weeks she delivered her 2 pound miracle baby via cesarean. Elevi has some delays as a result and requires a G tube for nutrition.
Orva-Lee and her husband were over the moon when they learned they were pregnant with their son but the excitement faded fast. At 9 weeks she was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and by 12 weeks she had her first of three PICC lines placed. Still, she was losing weight rapidly. She suffered until 32 weeks when she woke up in a puddle of blood. She went straight to the hospital where she labored for 22 hours before they realized her placenta had ruptured. She had been hoping to VBAC but was taken to the OR where she delivered a beautiful baby boy weighing 4.5 pounds via cesarean. She later learned had they not taken him when they did, neither of them would have made it. Ruben has some residual brain damage from being without oxygen but is otherwise doing well.
Orva-Lee has been able to breastfeed all four of her children - Oarionna for 9 months, Isabella for 2.5 years, she pumped exclusively for 18 months for Elevi and was able to also have 6 donor moms provide milk for her and RJ is still going strong.
The empowerment behind every mother's story works to break the stigma that a mother should look a certain way or do certain things. Orva-Lee was excited to join the movement of amazing women working towards that goal.