The amazing Brittney Austin with her children Scarlett (5), Myla (4) and Wyatt (18 mo). Brittney had her first pregnancy when she was just 16. She wasn't supposed to get pregnant and wasn't prepared for everything to be swept under the rug when she miscarried the baby at 8 weeks. She wasn't allowed to talk about it and everyone acted as if it had never happened. Three years later she was pregnant with Scarlett and things went very well. She had planned a medicated hospital birth and that's what she had. She was able to breastfeed Scarlett for her first year of life. Her pregnancy with Myla was healthy as well and she had a fast labor with epidural again and another successful breastfeeding experience. They waited a while before conceiving Wyatt and she had a healthy pregnancy again up until about 25 weeks. She had been having some pain but her doctor said it was likely just round ligament. She was sitting on her porch and went to move but was suddenly paralyzed with pain. She couldn't move and had to call the paramedics. The hospital told her it was just a sprain and sent her home. Afterwards she went home to research and realized she likely had pubic symphysis dysfunction. She fired her doctor and hired a midwife instead. She studied hypnobirthing and hoped to have a natural delivery this time. Wyatt was transverse near term but they were able to turn him with spinning babies and when he was ready to arrive he came very quickly. Brittney actually delivered him in triage without any interventions and says she felt she could do absolutely anything afterward. She and Wyatt are continuing to enjoy a breastfeeding relationship today. She chose to participate so she could hopefully learn to embrace her body that she has had a hard time being happy with and also to talk about the loss of her first pregnancy and shed some light on what young mothers can go through.
The lovely Grace Soraparu with her boys Thomas (9 months) and identical twins Morgan and James (2.5 years). Grace was very sick with her first pregnancy and lost a bit of weight but otherwise felt pretty good and said it was easy. She was induced at 38 weeks and had a scheduled cesarean birth since both of her boys were transverse. She breastfed directly for 3 months and pumped until they were 13 months. Her second pregnancy was great as well and while she went back and forth on whether to attempt a VBAC she ended up scheduling a repeat cesarean, in part because she didn't feel supported. She has had a successful nursing relationship with Thomas and she says he doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The stunning Ryan Heath with her boys Paxton (4) and Asher (2). Ryan had a blighted ovum early on in her first pregnancy and she wasn't happy with how her current doctor was treating her. She eventually found a new doctor she was more comfortable with who provided treatment. When she got pregnant with Paxton she trusted her doctor and followed her lead. Her pregnancy was healthy but with her induction she ended up with interventions and ultimately delivered her son via cesarean. Ryan's pregnancy with Asher also culminated with a cesarean birth due to him going between transverse and breech. Despite having to grieve for the vaginal births she had hoped to have and unsupportive hospital staff Ryan was able to breastfeed both of her boys, Paxton until he was 2 and Asher is still nursing today.