The lovely Laura MacDonald and Graham (23 months)
Laura says that she had a healthy and typical pregnancy, which she feels fortunate about. Conception was easy and birth went well with just the outcome she'd hoped for and all the support she needed along the way.
Her own 4th trimester, however, was VERY challenging. Graham was "colicky," which is the only explanation anyone could give them to account for the hours upon endless hours he spent in screaming, purple-faced hysteria. He was a terrible sleeper, sleeping only 3-4 hours at night. During the day, he would only nap/stop screaming if someone was continuously bouncing him on an exercise ball. They also struggled with breastfeeding (including a latching strike when he was 1 week old), which was incredibly painful until he was 10 weeks old. "I was exhausted, stressed, in constant breastfeeding pain, feeling very un-bonded with my baby, and felt generally hopeless. It was a very dark place, which at the time I thought was just a product of my circumstances. I reasoned that anyone in my situation would feel hopeless. Looking back, I can also see that I was experiencing PPD". Amazingly, Laura was able to push through and establish a positive nursing experience with Graham until he self-weaned at 18 months old.
Fortunately, she had amazing and frequent support from her family and husband. Their incredible and unwavering support sustained and supported her through the roughest parts. She was also fortunate to have two of her best friends have babies around the same time, and they leaned on each other for day-to-day (and night-to-night) support.
"These fortunate experiences really brought the phrase "it takes a village" to life for me, and underscored the need and importance of a community to support parents and their children. I also saw that same sentiment echoed in 4th Trimester Bodies: support of women and mothers and families and their incredible babies, a sense of community and shared experiences; an extended "village."