The lovely Lindsey Wilkey and Miles (20 months).
Lindsey recalls her pregnancy fondly but says that when she really examines it there were a lot of difficult moments. She was very sick in the beginning, had pelvic girdle pain in her second trimester and ultimately delivered at 33 weeks. Things had been going well but after a busy day, Lindsey was cooking dinner when her water broke. She felt confident that she was strong and so was Miles, but Lindsey had been hoping to birth with midwives without interventions or medications and worried how things would now happen delivering preterm.
She arrived in hospital on Friday and though she had been contracting things stopped through the weekend. Lindsey tried to formulate which choices she had now within the confines of her new experience and was able to advocate for herself. Labor picked back up on Monday and Lindsey was able to labor with her husband in the shower. She felt very in control of her experience until a nurse realized she was unintentionally pushing in the shower and pulled her out to the bed. From there, Lindsey very much felt like her birth was happening to her and says that all of the stereotypical birth scenario's you see on television became part of her experience. Miles arrived without complication and she was able to hold him on her chest for about 5 minutes before he was taken to NICU. Lindsey's husband went with their baby and she was grateful her midwife had been able to come act as her doula and stay with her.
Lindsey retained some of her placenta and needed to be taken to the OR for a D&C. The rest of the day from there on, was a bit of a blur, she has photos of her holding Miles in the NICU later that day but doesn't have any recollection of those moment. Miles remained healthy and primarily needed to be in NICU to learn to feed and grow. Lindsey had hoped to breastfeed but found a lot of the messages she was hearing from staff seemed to suggest that she wouldn't be successful. She had a pump and lactation support, but was frequently told that premature babies needed bottles and most went home on formula. Ultimately, just wanted to bring her baby home, Lindsey began feeding Miles pumped milk in bottles. After 28 days they were discharged and she was able to transition to breast very soon after.
Lindsey returned to work when Miles was about 9 weeks old and found pumping to be difficult. She loved her breastfeeding relationship but the pumping aspect to be quite stressful and was grateful when she was able to stop.
Lindsey felt great about her body throughout and after pregnancy. She was able to appreciate her strength, accomplishment and celebrate all of it. The farther away she gets from that moment, however, the more the self doubt creeps back in. She considered not participating after all, before realizing that she has never seen a women in this movement who she didn't find beautiful and inspiring.