The dashing Christine DiPiazza with her daughters Amelia (3) and Madeline (6 mo). Christine has a blood clotting disorder (Factor V Leiden) and had to be very diligent throughout her pregnancy to prevent blood clots. She found out she was expecting with each of them very early on and confirmed her pregnancies via ultrasound at around 4 weeks. Christine had to inject herself with medication in her stomach twice a day and was very sick during the first 20 weeks with each of her girls. She had a grace period of about 8 weeks where she felt okay but then at around 28 weeks developed gestational diabetes. She had hoped to have a natural delivery with Amelia but ended up being induced and after a relaxing day in the hospital with family and friends her contractions ramped up very fast and furiously and she opted for an epidural. Amelia was born vaginally without complication and though Christine had hoped to attempt breastfeeding she was never able to get her to latch and had a lot of anxiety around pumping so she transitioned to formula. Madeline's birth was a planned induction at 39 weeks but she went into labor 2 weeks prior and she came very quickly. Christine had an epidural placed but was ready to push before they were able to deliver any medication so she had the natural birth she had wanted, just not when she wanted it. She breastfed Madeline for about 4 weeks before she transitioned to formula again due to anxiety and baby blues. Christine has felt uncomfortable in her body since her first pregnancy and while she doesn't currently like the skin she's in she wants to show her daughters that this is what happens when you have a baby and ultimately you have the very best thing to show for the changes you go through.
The lovely Lindsey Marcum, her mother Linnae Grabner-Hegg and her boys Landon (3) and Gunnar (11 mo). Lindsey developed anorexia when she was 15 years old and struggled with it through her first pregnancy which ended in miscarriage. She says she had her "aha moment" and now considers herself fully recovered. Lindsey also has Von Willebrand disease, which is a blood disorder. Thankfully, she was able to have healthy pregnancies. However, her delivery with Landon was very traumatic. She was laboring without fully progressing and was pushed to have a cesarean. She did everything she could to avoid it but ultimately had to consent. Because of her disorder, she had to be put under general anesthesia and due to unforeseen complications that she still isn't fully aware of, she was under for 5 hours. When she was out of recovery and able to meet her son she didn't feel a connection to him. It took a few weeks before feelings of love really started to set in. Lindsey was determined to have a much different experience with her second delivery. She switched providers several times throughout her pregnancy because she was continually pushed to have a repeat cesarean due to estimates that Gunnar would be over 10lbs. Just a week before she delivered, she switched hospitals entirely and drove 2 hours away to have a delivery with a provider who agreed to allow her to attempt a VBAC with the understanding she'd consent to a cesarean if anything went wrong. She went into labor just 5 days later and was able to have her natural VBAC without issue!
Linnae has two daughters, Lindsey (28), Lauren (27) and a son Eric (25). Her pregnancies were very healthy and easy, so much so that she joked she should have been a surrogate for other women. She had very quick deliveries as well. Lindsey was born in just 4 hours, Lauren's labor and delivery was 5 hours, and Eric's labor and delivery was a bit longer, but only because he was discovered to be breech during delivery. The OB at the hospital told Linnae that she had to have a cesarean and that if she attempted a vaginal birth, she would kill her baby. But her family doctor supported her choice to have a vaginal delivery and called a retired OB who was willing to supervise the delivery to come to the hospital. A resident who had never before attended a birth was the one who assisted delivery and because a many of the residents and doctors had never witnessed a vaginal breech birth they asked if they could watch. Linnae said that she had a circle of people around her as she pushed Eric out without complication. His Apgar scores were a little low, so they put him in an oxygen tent briefly but he perked up very quickly and was a very healthy baby. Like so many of the grandmothers we've worked with, Linnea has loved the transition from mother to grandmother and gets to spend a lot of time with her grandchildren.
Maureen Gulczynski and 9 month old Quinn. Quinn was born at home in the water. Maureen's husband was born at home so she had a wonderful amount of support from him and her mother in law. Maureen developed a rare blood disorder just a couple weeks before delivery that almost led to a hospital induction but things normalized and she was happily able to deliver at home.