The beautiful Sarah Sampson with her boys Jesse (6) and Beckett (2). Sarah had two very healthy pregnancies and easy vaginal deliveries, she had to be induced but was able to labor med free. She said she feels more comfortable in her body when she's pregnant than when she's not and wanted to be part of this project because she wants to celebrate the changes motherhood brings.
The amazing Jane Hope with her youngest, Cameron (17 months). Jane is also mama to Maxwell (7) and Hope who was stillborn in 2010. Jane's first pregnancy was textbook and healthy but her mother passed away while pregnant and she carried some of that pain into the delivery room and had some difficulty. After a 29 hour labor, Max was born healthy. Jane's second pregnancy was a surprise but went very well until she stopped feeling the baby move at 31 weeks. She went to her midwife and learned her heart was no longer beating. She was induced and about 24 hours later delivered a perfect baby girl. It was determined she had become wrapped in her cord and suffered from Intrauterine hypoxia. Her third pregnancy was more difficult physically and emotionally but was everything she had hoped for. Cameron was caught by the triage nurse almost as soon as they arrived at the hospital. She shared with us that this birth was a very healing experience after her loss.
The phenomenal Michelle Rose with her youngest of 4, Dani (8) and Johnny (9 months) came from Pensecola, FL to share her birthday with us. Her oldest two boys are 20 and 16. Michelle had difficult pregnancies in that she faced issues with high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting the full 9 months, as well as issues with swelling and edema. Her first two pregnancies were vaginal deliveries, Dani became stuck during deliver and had to be born via cesarean. Johnny was a welcome surprise and a repeat cesarean. Michelle had to have a laproscopic surgery just last week to remove a wayward IUD that had punctured through her uterus but doesn't appear to have any lasting damage.
The amazing Abigail Jacobs-Lei with her daughter Eliana (3). She is also 29 weeks pregnant with her baby boy. Abigail had a great pregnancy and birth with Eliana. She's an emergency physician and credits her daughters birth for finally giving her a reason to slow down and take time for herself. Abigail suffered through 4 losses in two years before her current pregnancy. While it's allowed her to be more empathetic as a physician and a person it has left her far more guarded and distant from her current pregnancy. She says now that she's further along she's finally allowing herself to buy new baby things and acknowledge that this pregnancy is resulting in a baby.
The beautiful Brooke Nelson with 8 month old Tyler. Brooke had a pretty healthy pregnancy other than some swelling throughout her third trimester and developing PUPPS. She had to be induced at 39 weeks but was already dilated and effaced so had a quick progression to her vaginal delivery. Brooke lives in Birmingham, AL and even though she's accustomed to 100+ degree summers she wasn't comfortable in shorts because she was self conscious of her thighs. One day her mother took her to finally buy a pair of shorts and after Brooke tried on several pairs and broke down in tears she told her, "Brooke, sometimes you just have to put on a pair of shorts and go live your live". Brooke has taken this phrase and applied to not only her body image but her pregnancy and so many areas of her life.
The wonderful Jaclyn Williams and baby Holden. Jaclyn was never really a baby person but has settled into motherhood beautifully. She had a healthy pregnancy and planned homebirth. She labored at home for quite some time but was leaking fluid her midwife assumed was meconium so she transferred to hospital. She was fully dilated on arrival and able to deliver vaginally without intervention or medication. Jaclyn was able to take a 4 month maternity leave and is getting ready to go back next week but her husband has just resigned from his career to become a stay at home dad.
The gorgeous Holly Larson and her youngest son Rowen (19 mo). Holly is also mom to Ian (7.5) and Benjamin (5.5). Holly has had three wonderful pregnancies and healthy home births. She had a miscarriage between her second and third which caused some depression and made her most recent pregnancy more emotionally challenging than the others. Holly joined us a week after her 30th birthday and spoke a lot about coming into womanhood in her 20's through becoming a mother and working with her midwives.
The adorable Arely Stephens and her daughter Elise (20 months). She is also the mama to Ian (7). Arely moved from Mexico to the US when she was just 16. She met her future husband just a few months after and got pregnant with her son when she was just 21. Arely had an awesome healthy pregnancy and assumed she'd have a great natural childbirth but in retrospect doesn't feel she was as educated as she could have been. She went into labor and went to the hospital and after stalling out and having Ian disengage she had to have an emergency cesarean. She was given lots of pain medicine as she didn't have an epidural and spent the next day knocked out. When she finally came to she refused any further pain medicine and demanded her baby. He had been given so much formula that he had difficulty nursing. She tried over the next couple months but ultimately could not nurse him. They tried for some time before getting pregnant and again and Arely had hoped for a VBAC. She pushed her doctor, but living in a very small town they would not let her try so she scheduled a repeat cesarean. Things went much better this time and Arely was able to initiate breastfeeding immediately and after setting small goals for herself is still nursing Elise today.
The stunning Cindy Blake with her daughter Brittany Alexander and grand daughter Charlotte (Charlie - 5 months). Cindy is mother of three, Brittany and two sons (30 and 24). Charlie is her first grand child. Cindy says she was fortunately blessed with easy, healthy pregnancies.
Brittany also had a beautiful pregnancy with Charlie. She went into labor on the weekend and Charlie wasn't born until Wednesday with the help of pitocin but she was able to have a natural, vaginal birth with the help of her midwife and doula. After delivery, Brittany developed a postpartum thyroid issue that affected her weight and caused her milk supply to dip. She's had to see an endocrinologist and take a medication that she will likely be on for the rest of her life. Thankfully, it hasn't affected her ability to breastfeed and Charlie is obviously quite healthy and happy!
The amazing Lauren Forsyth and 6 month old Gracie. Lauren and her struggled to get pregnant due to genetic compatibility issues for some time before conceiving and Lauren lost two pregnancies before getting pregnant with Gracie. Her pregnancy was wrought with difficulty. Lauren had to take progesterone and several other medications throughout her pregnancy, suffered a gall bladder issue and was ultimately diagnosed with polyhydramnios. She had to have a scheduled cesarean at 39 weeks but baby Gracie was born perfectly healthy. Lauren wanted badly to breastfeed and tried both in hospital and for weeks at home. In the hospital, Gracie's blood levels were off so they had Lauren supplement with formula. Lauren started pumping and realized she was only pumping 1 oz over the course of the day and Gracie was colicky and losing weight. Ultimately Lauren had to switch to formula but wanted to pursue her breast issue. She had previously had a biopsy and scheduled another ultrasound. She was told they found something concerning but when she finally got in to look three doctors couldn't find anything. After all she has been through, Lauren considers Gracie and her breast issue resolving on its on her little miracles.