The tremendous Jessica Turner and Alexander Ian (13 months).
Jessica and her husband married in April 2014 and started trying for a baby right away. They were over the moon when they found out they were pregnant in early June but it was short lived when she started bleeding 2 weeks later at 6.5 weeks along. The bleeding started after office hours so rather than go to her doctor, they went into their local hospital, a teaching hospital, which made continuity of care difficult. The resident on call performed an ultrasound but only saw an empty sac and her beta HCG came back lower than it should have been. She was sent home and told to go back to the lab in two days for another blood draw, if her levels continued to decrease then it was confirmation she was miscarrying. Two days later her worst fears were confirmed. She asked the doctor if she could have something to help move things along but he refused saying early losses usually resolved themselves without intervention. Three days later she started bleeding heavily and thought she had passed everything but the bleeding kept up. Two weeks passed and she reached out to the doctor again and was told that this was common and she didn't need to come in.
Exhausted and drained emotionally and physically she listened and continued to wait but two weeks later, a full month after she began to miscarry, she was still bleeding. She'd finally had enough and made an appointment with a new provider who had just gone through a similar experience with his wife and acknowledged that this was definitely outside of the realm of normal. He sent her for an ultrasound which showed "retained products of conception." She immediately wanted a D&C but it was a Friday afternoon and they didn't have any room in the surgical suite until the following Tuesday. She begged the doctor to do something and an attending finally offered a different procedure that didn't scrape but rather suctioned and could be done without anesthesia, meaning it would hurt. She didn't care, she wanted it done so they headed off to labor and delivery. Even with pain meds, it was intense but at least she could finally move on and hopefully get pregnant again soon.
Jessica tried for 3 months after the miscarriage to conceive with no luck. They eventually decided to take an impromptu trip to Grand Cayman to try to wash away the stress of the previous few months. The trip was beautiful and they came home pregnant! Jessica changed providers mid pregnancy and says it was the best decision she could have made and felt very supported in her goal of having an unmedicated vaginal birth. At 28 weeks she found out she had gestational diabetes but doctors reassured her that as long she controlled her diet she could still try to follow her birth plan. Jessica carried to 40 weeks, 4 days when she passed a blood clot and started cramping badly so she transitioned to the hospital where she was able to labor in the bathtub with the support of her doula and husband. That evening, Jessica give birth to her little boy, all 10 lbs, 14 oz of him, and says it was the most empowering thing she's ever done.
"My husband likes to say I'm a walking contradiction because I'm incredibly self conscious. I sometimes struggling just letting him see me stripped down but I love this project and have been wanting to participate since I first heard about it while I was pregnant. I'm hoping this project will help me realize that I am beautiful in my own way. I also like to read positive birth stories and now having had one, I want to share mine."