The marvelous Samantha Love and her son Huck (14 months). Samantha has been living with multiple sclerosis for many years and had some struggles conceiving. She had to go off of her MS medications to try getting pregnant, take Clomid, constant ovulation tests and when things weren't happening quickly they suggested she consider adoption or move forward with IVF so she minimized her time off of medication. The day before they were scheduled for their IVF she found out she was pregnant. Samantha was able to have a generally healthy pregnancy and says that her only goal was to push a baby out of her vagina and she was able to do that! Due to her MS she had only thought she'd be able to breastfeed until Huck was 3 months old when she'd need to resume her medications. She pumped as much as possible to build a freezer stash to get him through as much as first year as possible. As fate would have it, Samantha had applied for a clinical trial which if accepted, requires her to remain medication free in preparation for a stem cell transplant. They accepted her and she has been amazingly able to continue nursing because of it. Samantha says they have no idea what 2015 will hold for them. The chances of this treatment proving effective are very likely and she will find out in just four days if it's a go! It wasn't until Samantha was pregnant with Huck that she saw someone openly breastfeeding uncovered for the first time and realized that she needed to do her part in normalizing breastfeeding by feeding her son where ever and whenever he needed without feeling like she needed to cover up.
The amazing Alissa Douglas with her daughter Katherine (5) and Braden (2). Alissa had tried to get pregnant for about 3 years before seeking the help of a fertility specialist. They decided to start with Clomid and thankfully, on the first round were able to conceive Katherine. Alissa loved being pregnant and had a relatively smooth pregnancy. She began leaking fluid a week before her estimated due date and was told to go straight to the hospital. She was not contracting or dilating yet and was put on Pitocin overnight. She still wasn't progressing, so they cranked the Pitocin up and maxed out; with her own reserves, she chose to get an epidural. They epidural only took part way so she could still feel half her body but she was now fully dilated and able to push. After a couple of hours of pushing and Katie coming down and then moving back up the doctor threatened a cesarean if she didn't get her out within 30 minutes. After over 24 hours of labor, Alissa says, there was no way she was going to let that happen and was able to push Katie out with a bit of tearing. They enjoyed a breastfeeding relationship for 11 months until her daughter decided she was done. Alissa was able to conceive Braden without any assistance and had another wonderful pregnancy. She was able to work with a doula this time and went into labor naturally. She labored home as long as possible and barely made it as she delivered Braden within minutes of arriving at the hospital. She's had another great breastfeeding relationship and at 2 years, her son is still a nursing champ.
The stunning Diana Ramon with her son Gilberto (2.5 years). Diana and her husband had a lot of pressure when they got married to have a baby right away. She is originally from Colombia and her family expected that is how things would go. After many attempts, she ended up going to the doctor and took Clomid in order to conceive. Her pregnancy itself was healthy and uneventful and while she had a long labor she was able to deliver vaginally without complication. Diana's mother moved from Colombia to Chicago to help her care for her son and she was able to breastfeed him for 25 months.
The amazing Amber Garza with Emma (4.5), Mason (3), Jaxx (20 mo), Scarlett (3 mo). Amber struggled with infertility before getting pregnant with Emma. It took several years and ultimately Clomid before she was able to conceive. She always wanted a large family and was disappointed that she may not have an surprise pregnancies. Her waters broke at 24 weeks and she ended up delivering her baby girl. Emma stayed in NICU for 104 days but is healthy and happy today. Much to Amber's surprise she got pregnant spontaneously very soon after Emma came home. She saw an OB and was very closely monitored with her second pregnancy with weekly ultrasounds and near the end started getting pushed for an induction. She was worried that if we didn't start labor soon they would force her hand so she drank castor oil at 39 weeks 5 days and ended up going into labor. She was able to deliver naturally but determined future births would be different. She got spontaneously pregnant again while both breastfeeding and on the mini-pill. This time she chose to see a midwife and have her baby at home. She was bleeding at 14 weeks and was determined subchorionic hemorrhage. She bled from 14-20 weeks while being monitored. Her midwife suggested that perhaps stopping breastfeeding would help her uterus heal. She wasn't certain she wanted to stop but took the chance and it worked. The rest of her pregnancy was healthy and she made it post dates. Jaxx was born in the water at home but he wasn't crying or responsive. Her midwife had to give him a couple of breaths and it was determined that her cord had tore and he was loosing blood. Thankfully he was okay and didn't need to transfer. Amber's most recent pregnancy and birth were her most healing. She had another spontaneous pregnancy, healthy throughout and delivered her daughter at home 18 days post dates.