The lovely Laura Murray with Mia (4) and Poppy (2). Laura's first pregnancy was quite easy in the beginning. So much so, she didn't believe she was pregnant even after seeing the scans. Things went really well until her first trimester screen when she learned her daughter was at high risk for having Down Syndrome. She struggled with what to do, and they ended up having an amniocentesis. The testing was done on Christmas Eve, so they had a couple of stressful weeks before they discovered she was okay. The next few weeks went well until Laura was diagnosed with high blood pressure and preeclampsia. She ended up delivering via emergency cesarean at 36 weeks. During her second pregnancy, she also had high blood pressure and preeclampsia and ended up hospitalized from 34 weeks and delivered via cesarean again. When her daughter was about 2 weeks old, she stopped breathing in her sleep. Laura was alerted to it by an Angel Care monitor which she originally thought was malfunctioning but as she watched, her daughter she stopped breathing again. She was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and had to endure lots of painful testing and spend 2 weeks in NICU. It was determined she had apnea due to parainfluenza 3. She credits the device for saving her daughter's life. Laura says the most difficult part of motherhood for her has been balancing the guilt of balancing work, motherhood, being a wife, part of the universe but she feels she's slowly getting the hang of it.
The lovely Kim Harris with her mother Janet Rogers and children Sarah (6) and Thomas (2). Janet has two children of her own, Kim and a son just a few years younger. Janet had two very healthy pregnancies she enjoyed very much. She felt as if her body was in bloom and very much enjoyed how her body changed. Janet's delivery was natural, vaginal and her son was born via an emergency cesarean. Breastfeeding went very well with both nursing until about 18 months, and she has been an active member of both the La Leche League as a leader and the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Kim had a healthy pregnancy with her first. Sarah was quite big at over 10lbs, so they scheduled a cesarean birth. Kim wasn't attached to a vaginal birth; she just wanted a baby, so the experience was just fine for her. Sarah breastfed without issue for her first 2.5 years but was quite demanding and didn't sleep a lot ,so Kim and her husband waited quite a long time to plan for another child. Kim was also diagnosed with sleep apnea after Sarah was born which had definitely contributed to her sleep issues. Once they felt they caught up, they decided to try again and conceived Thomas. She took care of herself physically more during her second pregnancy. She got massages and managed her sleep apnea very well. She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during this pregnancy and suspects she may have had it during her first pregnancy as well. Her gestational diabetes was aggressively managed through diet and exercise. She had a repeat cesarean with Thomas which she found very easy. Breastfeeding has gone very well, but she has plans of weaning quite soon. Kim was recently diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene and is planning to have a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction and full hysterectomy. She's had a tough time coming to grips with all of that and has decided to participate as part of her "farewell to the breasts tour."
The amazing Tara Curly with her daughter Saoirse (14), twins Cillian and Alannah (8) and twins Donnacha and Oisin (10 months). Tara was pregnant with Saoirse in university. She had a normal pregnancy with a long labor, which required much medical intervention. Tara didn't feel like she was not given many choices since she was so young and was determined for her next pregnancy and birth to go differently. She found out she was having fraternal twins but had a healthy twin pregnancy. They arrived at 34 weeks and Cillian was born without issue but Alannah got stuck in her cord and had a bit of trouble. They were born small but healthy until 10 days later when they caught a virus in NICU. Both stopped breathing within 24 hours and were on full life support. Alannah was in a drug induced coma for over 2 weeks. She was finally able to take them home at 12 weeks. They had sleep apnea for their first 12 months and stopped breathing every 4-5 hours. By 2 years old they were totally healthy and had caught up with their peers. She learned she was having a second set of twins when she conceived Donnacha and Oisin and was determined to get it all right this time. She carried until exactly 37 weeks which had been her goal. Donnacha was born vaginally without complication but Oisin stretched out and became footling breech. He wouldn't budge and Tara ended up having an emergency cesarean birth the day after Donnacha was born giving her twins two separate birthdays. The boys were both very healthy and Tara was able to take them home after 48 hours.