The tremendous Megan Tran, Nico (2), and Hana (3 weeks).
Megan had a wonderful pregnancy but a complicated birth with her first daughter. Her water broke three days prior to labor and she developed a chorio infection due to prolonged rupture and multiple vaginal examinations. Megan was transferred to the hospital from the birth center she intended to deliver at after spiking a fever. She progressed to 10 cm at the hospital, and was told while pushing that she had 45 minutes to get Nico out. 15 minutes later, an OB who had taken over care came in to tell her Nico's heart rate was now over 200 bpm, and she needed an emergency cesarean. During the surgery, Megan's bladder was cut, and improperly repaired.
Nico was born very small for a full term baby, with a collapsed lung as well as the chorio infection. She saw her for a minute before she was rushed off to the NICU, where she spent the next 6 days. Megan couldn't hold her baby for 48 hours while she recovered under an oxygen hood. She never heard her cry, and they both needed IV antibiotics. After Nico was discharged, they were able to spend one night together before Megan had to be taken to the emergency room and admitted to a closer hospital. Her bladder, had reopened and she now had a blood clot the size of a tennis ball in it. Megan spent 3 very painful nights away from her new baby while they cleared the clot. She had two procedures and a blood transfusion.
When she returned home, Megan says her baby felt like a stranger, like she'd been replaced with someone else. Her relationship with her husband crumbled and it took four months for her to realize she had postpartum depression. She struggled to feel anything for anyone and says she was too embarrassed to seek help. She instead told herself she could just work through it on her own but she couldn't.
With Megan's second child, Hana, she had an uncomfortable pregnancy. The last 2 weeks were full of prodromal labor and she had morning sickness for the first time which lasted until she was 36 weeks. Megan planned a healing home birth and everything went accordingly. Although labor was long, she came out of it with a huge sense of accomplishment, a feeling of complete joy, and absolute relief. Hana was born 100% on Megan's terms, in a birth pool in her bedroom. Megan says she was surrounded by love and an incredible birth team, who she's so grateful to have found.
Her joy didn't last long, however. It was replaced by guilt over how she'd failed her first daughter so terribly. Megan was able to push Hana out in 30 minutes, and it made her feel like she just hadn't tried hard enough with Nico. Thankfully, Megan recognized right away that her postpartum depression was back in full effect, or had never really left her. She's having trouble in her relationship with her husband and new baby but this time, she's not trying to get over it on her own. She's seeing a counselor who comes to her home, and says she will not let this destroy her. "My family and my mental health are too important to me".
"I wanted to share my story with other mother's battling postpartum depression. I wanted to let them know that it's ok to seek help, and that it can return if they don't. It can come back, and it doesn't care what type of birth you had with your next baby. It doesn't care how much you think you can handle it on your own. And it's ok to admit that you can't."