The glowing Jessica Gonzalez, mama to Ethan (2 years, 8 months). Jessica and her husband tried for a really long time to conceive. They spent years waiting for even an "oops" moment to happen. After about 3 years they decided to go get blood work done and everything came back okay except for an elevated prolactin level in Jessica. It was determined she had a pituitary gland tumor that was causing her body to produce more prolactin which is the breastfeeding hormone that provides a degree of natural birth control. While she was having a menstrual cycle she wasn't ovulating. Clomid didn't work and after a year and a half Jessica was feeling really hopeless about the situation everyone around her was having a baby, she stared to feel bitter, their relationship was suffering and she decided to stop trying. She decided to focus on her career, left her husband behind for 6 months to move to DC and work and then watched a friend give birth. Seeing her welcome her baby made her realize how important it was to her to become a mother. She went back to the fertility specialist the next month and conceived the month after. She had a very easy pregnancy, everything was perfect and she studied Birthing From Within. She was set on having a natural birth and despite comments otherwise went into labor after stripping her membranes. She labored at home for several hours, ate and delivered Ethan naturally after 16 hours of labor. She had an episiotomy due to his sunny side up positioning but he was out on the next push. She says holding her son for the first time almost felt like a joke. She finally had a baby. Jessica says she was hell bent on breastfeeding and did so for 27 months so they could try to have another baby just a few months ago. She says the process this time has been another downward spiral. In the back of her mind she thought it would just happen or would be easier but she's had cysts and concerning spots on ultrasound and something unknown in her uterus. Insurance doesn't pay for anything and she says she's considering what her uterus is worth to her. While she's happy for those around her who are able to conceive without issue there is an element of grief and upset at seeing it happen so easily for others while struggling so greatly herself. She says she's trying to remember her son is enough and he's worth it and will always be enough for her but still she wants more children. The loss and grief and comments are often so much to deal with. She's gone to therapy, adopted a puppy, she knows she and her husband are good people, her son is amazing and knows it will pass, they will be okay, their baby will come or it won't. Ultimately, she wants to find that happy place where she just knows everything is okay.
Birthing From Within
The phenomenal Christine Torres with her son Rocco (23 months). Christine had an easy pregnancy with Rocco with no issues or complications. She always knew that she wanted to have an out of hospital birth so she saw a midwife from the start and planned to delivery at a birthing center. She ended up going post dates and was warned that if she didn't deliver by 42 weeks she would have to transfer care to the hospital. She tried everything she could to induce naturally but nothing was helping. Her 42nd week marker was a Monday so they made a plan for her to go into hospital that Sunday morning for a balloon induction. She would then check herself out and go to the birth center so she'd be able to labor and have the baby there. Thankfully, her labor started and she lost her mucous plug on Saturday night so she didn't have to worry about it. Sunday morning she went to the birth center and labored there all day. Her water broke around 4pm but contractions stalled. She was having a hard time and her mother wasn't supportive at the time. She was worried about the babies health and kept urging Christine to go to the hospital. Christine was very stressed and uncertain and ended up having to ask her mother to leave her birth. Her team suggested they take a break and try to sleep. Everyone rested but Christine, and at 6am on Monday morning she requested that they go to the hospital. She was still hoping for a natural labor and birth but opted for an epidural and pitocin so she could get some rest and hopefully push labor along. She was dilated to 5cms but not going any further. It had been 12 hours since her water had broke, she was past 42 weeks, there was no change in dilation after 5-6 hours and Rocco's heart rate had started to drop. She was told they would be scheduling a cesarean and Christine was very upset. As soon as he was delivered they took Rocco away for 5 hours for observations. Christine struggled with breastfeeding at first, working through pain due to the initial adjustment and getting the hang of things but Rocco also had a posterior tongue tie. She was eventually able to get that revised only to find out that she had thrush. She struggled the first 4 weeks to determine whether breastfeeding was for her or just not meant to be. She was pumping and nursing and trying to make everything fall into place. She was urged to join an in person breastfeeding support group and found it hugely beneficial. She had never been around or even seen anyone else breastfeed and was able to hear stories and identify with new mothers just like herself. She was able to work through the hurdles and is enjoying a breastfeeding relationship with Rocco today. Christine is also still an active part of her local breastfeeding support groups and hosts her own group to help educate new mothers. She has also found hope in healing in connecting with other mothers online who had planned home births and ended up with cesarean birth through resources such as Birthing From Within and Homebirth Cesarean International.