The lovely Laurel Sandbeck with her children Aiden (13), Avery (10) and Finn (13 months). Laura became a single mom to Aiden at just 21. Her pregnancy was easy but her birth was very difficult. Her water broke at home and she went to the hospital not in active labor and they started to induce her after about 12 hours. Her mom and stepdad, the people there to support her, were out to lunch when Aiden's heart rate started dropping and they decided to deliver via cesarean. At the last minute they tried one last attempt to pull him out, but her mom was off changing, so she had to deliver him alone. Aiden had to be rresuscitated and she was unable to see him for hours. She was able to initiate breastfeeding without an issue and nursed him until he was three, all the while going to school and working full time.
She had another healthy pregnancy with Avery and she was born two weeks late. She was scheduled for induction the night she ended up going into labor naturally. She woke up in the morning with contractions but didn't think much of it and continued about her morning. Things amped up quickly and she called her dad to take her to the hospital where Avery was born just 6 minutes after they arrived. Laurel found this birth to be so different from her first but also incredibly scary. She didn't have the support she though she would, had an inexperienced doctor who broke her waters in the middle of a contraction causing it to spray everywhere, she delivered in the fetal heart rate monitoring room with the door open and 10 people packed in. Breastfeeding went well again and Avery self-weaned at 12 months.
Laurel has suffered from Postpartum Depression after each of her births and when her daughter was three suffered a nervous breakdown. She struggled with connecting with her kids and whether she was good mom, whether it was wrong that they didn't have both parents there supporting them. Laurel met her current husband just after this time and says he has been such a different influence on her. From telling her children they deserved a father and being the being the father they needed, to telling her she is beautiful, and a good mom.
Seven years later they decided they wanted one more child and she very much wanted a different experience. They sought out a free standing birth center, found an attentive, supportive midwife who listened to her fears and was able to put her mind at ease and facilitate the beautiful water birth she had desired with her husband by her side. Breastfeeding has once again gone seamlessly and Finn is still nursing happily today. Laurel is struggling with her mood again and feels somedays like it's looming around the corner. She's utilized medication and therapy but is still challenged by it and is constantly working through. Laurel hopes that her children are able to see that all the changes they'll go through in their lives are beautiful and bring progress and she hopes that someday they embody the love and acceptance her husband has shown her.