The most wonderful Michelle Gay with her daughter Ainslie (4.5 months). Michelle's pregnancy with Ainslie was a bit of a surprise but things went very well from the onset. She is a nurse who works at a private hospital so she just imagined she'd stick with that health system but after a friend had encouraged her to hire a doula, she decided that the public system might be a better fit for her. She chose midwifery care and ultimately hoped and planned for a homebirth. All of her prenatal visits were done at home, but as she got closer to term, she began to have issues with her blood pressure. It was determined that she'd need to deliver in the hospital. She fought an induction and was able to get things going with two rounds of acupuncture. She'd planned to stay away from medications but ended up having gas and ultimately a light epidural after 22 hours of labor and exhaustion setting in. Her waters were broken, and her daughter had meconium in her fluid, which meant she'd have to be confined to bed with constant monitoring rather than laboring in the water and shower. She had counseled that she may need vacuum assistance but was able to push her daughter out on her own in just 15 minutes fully supported by midwifery care and she got an hour of uninterrupted skin to skin with her daughter right away. Michelle says that she grieved not being able to deliver at home, then not delivering without medication, then not being able to have freedom of movement during her labor. However, what she's had the hardest time with is not being able to breastfeed her daughter. She nursed and nursed her daughter's first few days, but she wasn't gaining weight. A midwife told her she needed to gain 5oz in two days or she'd have no choice but to give her formula. It was then that Michelle learned she had insufficient glandular tissue. She scrambled to get donor milk after having tried everything from pumping after nursing round the clock, domperidone, fenugreek, water and lactation biscuits to build supply. Within hours, she had liters of donations coming in. Michelle grieved not being able to nurse and at around 10 weeks had a bit of a breakdown and wanted to relactate. She went through the realm of domperidone and fenugreek and building supply again and in 5 days time was able to get Ainslie to latch with an SNS. She was thrilled and felt that she had finally figured it out but after a short period, Ainslie began to refuse. Michelle has been able to continue feeding her daughter donated breastmilk and hopes to carry on as long as possible. Michelle chose to participate in part, to share the story of her daughter's arrival and her struggles with breastfeeding but also to promote positive body image. She's struggled with her own image especially after struggling through a troublesome relationship in which she was body shamed and told to lose weight. She dieted and lost weight and once she got out of it got stuck in a cycle of binge eating. Now that she has a daughter she finds it more important than ever to embrace her body as it is and love it for all it has accomplished.