The lovely Lauren Griffin, Trey (5), Logan (4) and Lillee (1).
Pregnancies were always quite easy for Lauren and her first birth experience led her to where she is now in life as a doula. Her doula left a lasting impression on her that changed her destiny. Her birth experience with her eldest didn't go as planned, she had wanted an unmedicated birth but ended up with an induction at 41 weeks, which led to medications and an emergency cesarean which was heartbreaking for her and led to postpartum depression. Her doula remained professional and supported her thorough every decision she made which has really stuck with her.
Lauren says her second birth story was somewhat written for her. It hadn't been two years since her previous birth and her husband at the time received orders when she was six months pregnant. Giving birth in a military hospital is a very different experience and she knew she was in for a repeat cesarean, no questions asked. She was given the option for a trial of labor with Lillee but the stack of paperwork full of what-ifs, led her to feeling bullied away from trying. Even though Lauren has had three cesareans, she loves knowing she is equipped to support women through whatever birthing choices they make because she's been there. She knows what it's like to have a plan and have it not work out, as well as, help one achieve their goals with non-judgment. Birth, however it happens, is important and provides a pivotal moment in our lives as women.
Lauren dealt with oversupply issues while breastfeeding Trey and she realized the experience of nursing him and pumping was contributing to her postpartum depression. She knew that her mental health mattered more than how she was feeding her son. Lauren opted out a nursing relationship with Logan, in part because of her first experience with postpartum depression and also because the breastfeeding support, especially for woman of color where she lived, was so dismal. While she avoided postpartum depression she still deals with some guilt. Lauren had attempted to nurse Lillee but struggled with feeling the support needed from her partner at the time to continue. While her life has taken one path, she loves knowing that she is agan, equipped to support mothers in whatever they choose. If they want to bottle feed, she'll help them pick out formula, if they want to breastfeed, she'll work them in finding the resources to get there.
Seeing women, baring it all has been so important for Lauren. Seeing herself in other women's stories and having her eyes opened to new realities has been so empowering. Lauren feels as if her life, especially as it relates to her body and self, have been a climb uphill from the very beginning. She was molested by her father from the ages of 1-3 which led to a path of feeling confused and left her more open and vulnerable to future abuse and predatory people. She had also been brought up very religious and was a virgin until she went to college. She was taught that her worth was tied to her vagina and even though she knows better now it affected her. She lived the party life for some time and worked as a promotional model in night clubs where she got paid to show up scantily clad. She was taken advantage of by one of the record execs she used to work for and was in a position on a yacht with him on top of her where she said no but there wasn't much she could do. She was in the middle of the water, on his boat, and couldn't even imagine what would happen had she fought back. She worried that the comments would reign in that "she was asking for it", "did you see what she had on". This situation shut down this part of her life but she felt broken from there. She jumped from relationships looking for a sense of whole that she couldn't get from anyone but herself. Just now, at almost 30, she's finding a confidence in herself she's never felt before. She's coming into her own and says maybe her story will reach someone else who sees similarities. Most importantly, she says she's reclaiming her sense of self-respect.