The lovely Lauren Swan with her daughter Coralie (2) and Merrick (6 months).
Lauren had healthy pregnancies with each of her babies. Coralie's pregnancy was a surprise, all went well and Lauren labored at home for a long time before going to hospital at about 8 cms dilated. She had an epidural which completely stopped her labor and she had to be given Pitocin. Labor picked back up and she was able to push her out vaginally without complication. Lauren says that while Coralie's birth was unremarkable in hindsight she realized it really just wasn't what she'd wanted. They initiated breastfeeding but Coralie wasn't gaining weight like she should, by her 1 month check up she still wasn't back to her birth weight and Lauren had to start supplementing with formula. She tried pumping around the clock, supplements and ultimately Domperidone. The Dom caused her to gain weight which, in the postpartum period was difficult to accept. She worked with lactation specialist and joined a lactation group where she met another mom who began donating breast milk to her. Lauren had a difficult time navigating her breastfeeding challenges but was grateful that she was able to nurse her daughter and have supplementation support. Lauren's second pregnancy was planned and she chose to give birth at home. Her labor and delivery when very well and once Merrick was earthside, she pumped her fists in the birthing pool and shouted, "I'm a F#*%ing Rockstar!" Merrick's cord had knotted and he had some breathing issues upon arrival but they were able to get him going without oxygen. She felt amazing his birth and while she has still struggled with breastfeeding she's felt much better equipped this time. She was diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue but through pumping and nursing she's been able to fully sustain Merrick this far without introducing formula and hopes to use donor milk if she needs to supplement in the future. Lauren says that she comes from a long line of female body haters and while she herself has struggled with body positivity and self image she hopes to break the pattern and protect her children from growing up with the same issues.