Dani MacIntosh (31), currently 8 weeks pregnant, and Logan (22.5 months)
Ann Arbor, MI | Photographed in Detroit
Dani shares -
"I have not experienced any losses, but my first pregnancy was full of "near losses". I was diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus at 10 weeks and at 11 weeks experienced a large amount of vaginal bleeding. The bleeding continued until I hemorrhaged again at 13 weeks. Both times baby was fine and during the second episode my doctor noticed that I had a large subchorionic hematoma. The remainder of my pregnancy was extremely terrifying as I was told I had a 50/50 chance of miscarrying. I gave birth to my son at 34 weeks and am so blessed to be his mama. Now that I am pregnant again, I have no idea what to expect.
Before pregnancy I loved my body. I was fit, petite, and self-confident. This confidence did not carry through into pregnancy. I found pregnancy awkward and I was extremely uncomfortable in my skin. Getting dressed was the worst part of my day and I felt like nothing fit me properly. After giving birth I struggled with my large milk-filled breasts and hated them. Things got better after my son decided he was done nursing, around 18 months, and my body started to look more like my own again. I have to love my body because it grew my amazing son and kept him safe despite all my pregnancy complications.
Postpartum life was such a blur. My son was born at 34-weeks and required a week of NICU time. The hospital was amazing and I was allowed to stay there and visit him whenever I desired. I spent every waking hour caring for him and woke up at 2am every night to bring him breastmilk and feed him. He was a preemie and I have flat nipples, so breastfeeding was difficult for us. We were able to succeed with the nipple shield, but he soon “outgrew” it, which caused extreme pain. I was determined to nurse him and paid for a lactation consultant to help us figure it out. It was the best money I ever spent! I had no real expectations for postpartum life. I started grad school full-time for my family nurse practitioner degree a few months after my son was born. Every part of this journey has been so hard and riddled with guilt and stress. I will graduate in April and I still cannot believe I accomplished being a full-time mom and full-time student."