I'm so excited! And through this pregnancy, as well as my last, I have been on a journey of healing and self discovery, that has lead me to realize my own strength and power. It's such a long story, I hope that I will write it all down someday. Right now, I will leave you with this essay on why I am attempting to teach and learn and trust my body to birth the way God intended. I won a birth package at the Empowering Fearless Birth event that was held a couple weeks ago. It included full midwife services, doula services, birth video, newborn photos, a photo keepsake box, and a breast pump. A $4,500 value, and I won! And it just so happens, that the same doula I already had decided on is the one that I won the free services! Fate? I think so!! Here is what I wrote down of why I wanted those services:
My name is Latissa Graham, and I am currently pregnant with my 3rd child. My first was delivered in a hospital with the use of pitocin and an epidural. If you would have talked to me then, I would have said that this is the only way a sane person would give birth. But after being so numb all the way up to my neck and not even being able to feel pressure when I was delivering, and then being unable to hold my baby because I was so drugged, and experiencing the epidural not wearing off for 2 days, I re-thought this method. I missed the opportunity to have my baby placed right on my chest after delivery, and instead have him whisked away with my husband and the entire staff right after I delivered. I felt so empty and alone, for a good hour. Breastfeeding never worked out, even though I tried for months. I ended up pumping my milk and bottle feeding for 8 months, because I was determined to give my baby the best I could. Postpartum depression also hit hard, and this was a hard time for me, with not many resources or info for support. I ended up on Zoloft, but knew this wasn't fixing the problem, it was only a band aid.
My second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage after trying for 5 months. This was exceptionally hard on me, and I didn't have much time to recover. I got pregnant again a month later, and bought a house and moved all at the same time. My hormone levels went crazy. I found myself getting very depressed, but was terrified of taking any medication for fear of hurting my baby. I scoured the internet, searching for anything on depression during pregnancy, and found very little. Many studies done on medications used during pregnancy were inconclusive, and vague, and unreliable. I was so frustrated, and felt like I was the only one. There was much information about postpartum depression, but not during pregnancy. Was I the only one? I tried and tried everything, including therapy, but by the end of my 1st trimester, I was suicidal. The only thing keeping me alive was the baby growing inside of me. I knew if I hurt myself, I'd hurt the baby, and I would never do that. But that's when I knew I had no other option but to get medication.
After being on Zoloft for awhile, it helped immensely, but I was still so concerned about the effects of medication. I started learning and researching birth, and came across The Business of Being Born. I watched, and knew that this is what I wanted. But with another major complication, that would be impossible for this baby. I had to have a scheduled C section at 35 weeks because of a very rare condition called Vasa Previa. Basically, my placenta was split in two parts, and was connected by blood vessels that crossed over my cervix. These blood vessels were in direct supply to the baby, and if ruptured (due to labor, waters breaking, too much pressure) the baby would bleed out in a matter of minutes. I was terrified of a c section, but I was beyond grateful that my ultrasound showed this condition, because undiagnosed, the mortality rate for this condition in 90%. Thank God in Heaven for modern technology. But through this whole experience, I longed for a natural birth. I delved in to the world of midwives and doulas and water births and how our bodies know how to give birth. My whole life, I thought that the doctors knew everything, that I need not question them, because they had it all figured out. All I had to do was show up to my appointments and show up to the hospital and they'll give me my baby. I didn't KNOW that I needed to KNOW. That my body knows what it needs, and I need to trust it, above anyone else.
After giving birth, and my baby being born alive and only needing 8 days in the NICU, I was so happy he was here, but I knew that next time I wanted to do things differently. Next time, I will empower myself with all the knowledge I can about birth and my body, and I will trust it, and give it a chance to do what it was made to do.
I am a massage therapist, and received this flyer in the mail for this certification done by Claire Marie Miller on Prenatal, Labor, and Postpartum massage. I immediately knew I needed to take this class. This class was beyond healing for me. Not only did I learn how to help pregnant women, but I experienced an emotional healing. A healing from all the heartaches I experienced in my pregnancies, the miscarriage, the severe depression, the fear of losing my baby, the guilt of not being able to breastfeed either of my children, feeling rejected, like something was wrong with me, and the knowledge that I am a powerful woman, that my body is a blessed creation, and that I am and have always been enough for my children. I forgave myself, and felt peace, for the first time in a very long time. Little did I know, that I was already pregnant again during that seminar! Only four months after having my last baby, I was pregnant again, and expecting the baby only 13 months after having my last! Hears the kicker- I was taking the mini pill perfectly on time every day, and fully breastfeeding (pumping) and I still got pregnant!! It was obviously meant to happen. At first I was terrified. Terrified of being so depressed again. But then I felt a very strong feeling of peace, that this would be different, that this was part of the plan, and that I can do this. Now at 18 weeks, I have experienced no depression, and very minimal nausea. I want with all my heart to do this differently, to have a dream birth, where my body is in charge, where my spirit is ready, and I have lots of love and support from an awesome birth team. I know I can do this, and I need to do this! I can't wait to go to Empowering Fearless birth event, and soak up all the info I possibly can to help empower me with all the knowledge and training and support I can to allow my body to birth the way it was made to. This money would help me immensely, since the C section and NICU stay dug a huge hole of debt for us, and with my husband's new job, our insurance is not great. Please consider me, and help me have my dream birth!
I am currently taking Hypnobirthing classes that have helped me so much, to deal with my anxiety and sleep issues. It's basically just mind over matter, and it really works! I will post more on this later, but there is a taste of what I am currently experiencing!