Missy Quest (35) and Ryley (3)
Staten Island, NY | Buffalo, NY
Missy shares -
"Before Ryley we had a miscarriage. It was a surprise we found ourselves pregnant. I think it was a blessing in disguise because deep down I know I wasn't ready to bring a life into this world. Keith and I weren't stable financially and more important, mentally stable at the time. There was no heartbeat but my body didn't recognize that and I had to have a D&C. I did have a caring doctor and felt supported by her and Keith throughout that time. I am fascinated by science and opted to have genetic testing to see what went wrong. There was an extra chromosome. No one really talks about how hard the hormonal flux can be afterward. I felt, to put it bluntly, batshit crazy at times. Though, things like this help you slow down and take stock of your life. Shortly before that pregnancy I had overcome a metabolic syndrome and Stage 1 colon cancer. I knew I had to work on me and I found solace in fitness.
I must admit that I feel more sexy than I have ever felt since becoming a mom. I was always a tomboy growing up and felt more in touch with my masculine side (total Capricorn here!) Of course there were times postpartum when you think wow am I ever going to look like myself again. And you know what, I am so happy I don't. Thanks to Ryley, my new body has a more curvier, feminine shape. Yes I do have a few more stretch marks and some extra skin but I like to think of them as war wounds to be proud of. I am not afraid to rock a bikini at the beach or a crop top at the gym. I'm me. Take me as I am. It also helps to have a partner who reminds me of how beautiful and sexy I am to him all the time.
As a RN I am familiar with how hospital births work and I knew pretty early on that was not the route I wanted to take. I wanted to be proactive in our birth and didn't want medical policies and procedures to dictate how we were going to deliver and care for our baby. Fortunately, we found the only stand alone birthing center in NYC run by Certified Midwives. We were able to birth vaginally and almost unmedicated (I had a few breaths of nitrous oxide during the last stages of labor). You could just tell that the midwives truly loved what they did and cared about my birthing wishes. I had some difficulty at first figuring out how to push and once I did, I may have done so too forcefully resulting in a 2nd degree tear.
Because we delivered in the center, we were able to go home in 6 hours with Ryley, something I really wanted. I just felt more comfortable being able to recover at home with my baby. Breastfeeding was a little hard at first but within a few days and with help from one of the nurses we figured out how to get the right latch. He was a good eater which I think made the whole process that much easier. Breastfeeding and pumping is a tiresome, grueling experience but looking back I am so happy I could give my boy that gift. We breastfed up until just shy of 19 months and it was bittersweet when it ended. He self weaned when he was ready which makes me happy.
I had CrossFit and strength trained regularly up until 6 days before he was born. Working out had become such a huge part of me and I found it difficult to not have that in my life right away. At that time there wasn't much info on postpartum training and looking back now I would have been more patient with myself.
I believe that in order to grow as a person you have to step out of your comfort zone. You have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Doing things like this helps to keep me evolving.
Those first few months of bonding with your baby are extremely important. It's a shame our society doesn't value the postpartum period. Society wants us to birth babies and then go right back to who we were and what we were doing before. Fuck that! Slow down. Take in the experience and feel. You are not that same person you were before. You have evolved, been born anew. It is a sacred and amazing time. Be present.