The radiant Jennifer Ramage with her daughter Lennox Sage (3.5 months). Jennifer had an enjoyable pregnancy, and was healthy throughout with the exception of gestational diabetes, controlled with diet. She says it wasn't difficult just something new to manage and adjust to. Jennifer was looking forward to a hospital water birth with midwife assistance and was feeling very prepared. She carried to 41 weeks and didn't realize she was in labor when it began. She was having some cramping but it didn't feel like what she'd imagined contractions would. A friend suggested she start timing her "cramps" and she quickly realized they went from 10 minutes apart to 5 minutes to 1 minute apart. She woke her husband up and headed to the hospital without a bag, still convinced they would send her home.
Once at the hospital, Jennifer was admitted right away and when the nurse checked her, found she was already 4.5 cms. The nurse stretched her to 5 cms and then her water broke. Up until this point, she was coping well but things quickly became more difficult. The nurses kept asking if she wanted an epidural and she was made to stay in her bed which was so different from the movement and freedom of laboring in the water she had planned for. Jennifer says that in hindsight, she should have prepared for anything but didn't understand why they weren't supporting her wishes. Her husband was an amazing support in the time that they waited for her midwife to arrive and once her midwife got there, she filled up the tub and had Jennifer get in. From there, Jennifer finally felt in control and Lennox was born without complication.
While Lennox latched right away, the first few weeks of breastfeeding were difficult and painful. She had a tongue tie that had to be corrected and they needed to see a lactation consultant to work on latch. Jennifer says that she was in tears most of the time but they've found their groove and things are now going very well with their nursing relationship.
Having had a life long struggle with body image, hasn't made the transition to her postpartum body easy for Jennifer either. She says that people tell her she should feel lucky she's still skinny but it's been difficult to recognize herself in the mirror. Her hips and butt are bigger, her waist is wider, her breasts are larger. She feels grateful her daughter is here and healthy, however, that doesn't minimize the transition. Still, looking at Lennox, has allowed Jennifer to reframe things for herself a bit. She wants her daughter to grow up knowing that she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is, just as everyone is perfect in their own special way. Jennifer is hoping that over time, she's able to apply that sentiment to herself as well.