Labor & Delivery RN, Founder of A Life in Labor, Co-Creator of Loving Your Labor Academy
I became a labor and delivery nurse fresh out of college with almost no experience in childbearing or motherhood. But as I encouraged and assisted new persons to bring their babies into the world, my passion for pregnancy and birth grew more and more every day. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first baby, two years into my career, that I realized how much more there was to childbirth. What I saw in the labor room was just the beginning.
Laboring with mothers as a full-time career, I thought I knew it all. I thought that I understood what it meant to give birth. I thought that I knew what I needed to do in order to have the unmedicated birth that I wanted. After my water broke at home at 1.5 cm dilated and getting an epidural at 4cm, I realized I was wrong.
Bringing my baby home for the first time was a shock. Again, I had experience with newborn babies, and I felt like I was born to be a mother. In my heart of hearts, I knew that I could be an incredible mother. The problem? Having a newborn baby was so much harder and mentally taxing than I could have ever imagined. Even with all the education and advice others had given me.
My baby seemed to never sleep. He had terrible infant acid reflux, throwing up what seemed like his entire feed every time I nursed him. He always seemed to be fussy and uncomfortable. As a result, I found myself suffering from postpartum anxiety feeling like I was unable to do the right thing for him. The anxiety was confusing and terrifying. Each night when I should have been asleep, I was google-searching “Is this normal” for every little thing my baby or I was experiencing throughout our fourth trimester.
As I tried to overcome the struggles of new motherhood, I constantly found myself on blogs and mommy groups online. I was searching desperately for someone to say, “me too”, “I went through that too”, “yes, your story sounds like mine and this is how I got through it”. Unfortunately, I never found those responses I desperately needed to hear. Everything I was finding were sugar-coated stories of newborn heaven or advice that sounded like eventually, it gets easier. There was no real advice about what to do in the meantime, during the struggle.
It was about nine months after delivery when I had overcome my postpartum anxiety and finally found my groove as a new mom. One day, my husband and I were walking down the street at our local outdoor mall when my eyes met with another mother. She was pushing a stroller that carried a newborn baby. When we were looking at each other, I felt like I could feel her struggle. She didn’t look upset or have tears in her eyes. She simply looked like a tired new mom… exactly as I did. Totally put together on the outside but struggling on the inside. I just wanted to reach out and say “I know what you’re going through. How can I help?”.
My husband noticed me smile at her and said something that changed me forever. He said “It’s like moms have an unspoken connection where they know what each other is going through with just a quick glance. It’s like they have to say ‘Hello’. Moms are just…connected”. In that moment I made a decision that I had never even thought about prior. I said to my husband, “I think I’m going to start a blog”.
After that day, I started recalling the things that I needed when I was pregnant, preparing for labor, and trying to make it through a stormy new motherhood experience. I started writing blog posts from my heart. They were always monster blog posts that seemed to never end. I had so much on my mind and in my heart that I wanted to share. I told myself that if even one new mom came across this blog in search of help and guidance, I felt like I had accomplished something meaningful.
Let’s fast forward to when I got pregnant with my second son. This pregnancy came after two consecutive miscarriages. My heart changed in this period of time because of my losses. I made the decision that I would dedicate time to becoming empowered and embrace my ability as a woman to carry and birth my baby in a way that I knew I was meant to.
I did my research. I submerged myself into as many resources as I could to prepare my body and mind for a successful unmedicated birth…and I did it. I had the birth that I wanted, and I felt like a superwoman. I felt so fortunate that everything flowed the way that I wanted it to, because of what I experienced with my first labor and seen so many times in my work.
The confidence that I had in this pregnancy overflowed into my birth and then continued to grow in the newborn stage with my new baby. I had confidence in myself, my body, and my baby. My outcome this time around inspired me to reach out to moms in a whole new way. I had already been sharing my experience with pregnancy, birth, and the fourth trimester but I felt like there was an even greater need in empowerment around these things.
After the birth of my second baby, I made it my mission to empower as many women in their ability to carry, birth, and feed their babies with confidence and allowing their bodies to lead the way.
As fate would have it, as I created a labor and birth course called Loving Your Labor Academy, COVID-19 hit the world forcing everyone to find resources online. In this time, I connected with so many new moms who were searching online for someone to help them in their time of need. I could not have ever imagined how many lives I would impact when my goal a short time ago was to simply help one new mom. I’ve helped thousands of new moms-to-be achieve a birth that they felt good about and look back on with love.
I have been amazed how a moment in my life, that I interpreted as one of the hardest experiences I have ever gone through, can end up being the catalyst that has connected and positively impacted so many lives around the world.
I am so thankful for being a birth worker. I have a driving passion for helping and empowering women just as I needed when I was in their shoes.
Do you love birth? Heck yeah you do!
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