The fabulous Kirsten Finger with her children Liam (4), Zoe (2) and Joshua (16 months). Kirsten's pregnancies and births have been quite different. Her first was planned, and she was thrilled. Very quickly on she developed pelvic pain. She found it quite difficult to manage and was worried that it would only get worse in future pregnancies. It got so bad that she couldn't roll over in bed without assistance. She thought the pain would go away right after birth, but it persisted for a bit. Kirsten was rather scared by childbirth. She became frustrated at the end of her pregnancy as she went overdue and felt very disconnected from her body as she often starts to dilate without being aware of what's happening in her body. She had a hind water link and went into the hospital for induction. She got permission to get her water broke and give her body a chance to go into labor. She was given permission but felt very much that she didn't have control over much of her labor. She had labored for 4 hours before the night shift midwife came on and she told Kirsten she wasn't doing well and needed to push an induction. Kirsten lost all control she'd had and decided that if she wanted to have that she also wanted an epidural which she'd hoped to avoid. The anesthesiologist asked if she was in transition and she thought she may have been as well but the midwife insisted she was only dilating to 5 cms. Once the epidural was in she was fully dilated and told to push. During pushing, she felt disconnected and felt nothing. She was very sad with how things went. They decided to have another baby very soon after but wanted things to be different this time. She had midwife-led care and planned a waterbirth this time. She was able to have a beautiful waterbirth following an induction postdates. Her mum caught the baby; her husband was there, and she was able to have exactly the birth she'd desired. It wasn't until after her daughter was born that they learned she had a velamentous cord insertion and the membranes had toughened up making them difficult to rupture and putting her daughter at risk. When Zoe was about 6 months old, Kirsten had a bit of a breakdown and began to acknowledge she'd been dealing with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. It wasn't until after she had her son Joshua that she realized she very much wasn't doing well, and she pulled herself together and got treatment, ultimately choosing to take medication to help her. She calls Josh her healing baby and even though she faced another induction she was able to do it without an epidural, just gas this time, which made her very proud. She's changed her parenting methods a lot as well, keeping her son closer, wearing him and co-sleeping. She's found that catering to his needs naturally has made her more relaxed and a better parent to all of her children. Kirsten feels that she has her reserve back and can cope better when things go well. She's very proud of herself and has succeeded in taking the first step down off of her medication. She's worked through a lot of other things during this time as well related to her triggers and growth in her faith and feels that she's made a lot of positive change.
The wonderful Christine Walanka with her son Nolan (14 months). Christine had a wonderful pregnancy with Nolan, though she gained a lot of weight very quickly and had people always asking if she was having multiples. She was bothered by the comments, but hoped that after her son was born and she was able to breastfeed, her body would be able to "bounce back". Christine has a lot of fear and anxiety about medical situations and didn't want to have a very medicalized birth, but she was also nervous about the pain. She went post-dates, and when an ultrasound revealed her fluid was low, her doctor sent her for an immediate induction. They tried to open her cervix with a catheter and then started Pitocin. Nolan wasn't coming out, so they gave her the option of then trying a forceps assisted delivery. The forceps didn't help either, and she was taken in for a cesarean. While Nolan was born within in minutes in perfect health, the procedure took over two hours. Christine's anesthesia wore off completely, and she was screaming in pain. They were able to numb her again, and it turned out that the forceps had caused her insides to tear, and they were having a difficult time locating and repairing all of the injuries. Christine initiated breastfeeding in the hospital without complication but once home, Nolan was losing a lot of weight. She started supplementing with formula and by three months he was fully formula fed. Christine's body has not "bounced back" as she initially expected, but she is learning to appreciate it for all that it's done and said the project came into her life at just the time she needed it.