Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time? What about the second, or third? This week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty. We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.
She and Kevin got married, later decided Kevin would attend seminary in the Netherlands. They moved there, planning to wait to have children until finished with school.
Leslie experienced culture shock depression, and surprisingly became pregnant 6 months into their move.
Kevin had a feeling this was happening— He had been reading Psalms and felt the Lord conveying to him that Leslie might be pregnant. At the very least, that children were a reward, which is not how he’d been viewing the idea.
The labor was exhausting, and she ended up at the hospital with an episiotomy.
After such an exhausting, grueling labor, Leslie didn’t feel like she bonded with her baby for weeks. She felt maternal instinct, but didn’t feel a bond until at least 4 weeks. She thinks that’s related to the vast amount of trauma involved with the birth.
Leslie broke her tailbone during the birth, which took 7-8 months to recover to where she could even sit comfortably.
Looking back, Kevin realizes he wasn’t well prepared, even though he thought that he was. The sight of her being in pain was very upsetting to him, and at one point he remembers strongly telling they doctors they needed to do something about it.
Leslie wanted to have a fully medical birth with her next child after the trauma of her first attempted natural birth.
She had a silent miscarriage at 9 weeks during her second pregnancy, which was heartbreaking.
Moved back to the US and used midwives in a hospital. They planned to have an early epidural, so when she got into the hospital, she got an epidural and a bit of pitocin.
They went to sleep, and Leslie woke up and said, “Hey, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.”
Grey was born quickly and was healthy, as was everyone. It was a much more comfortable birth for her.
The frustrating part of the birth was simply the postpartum aspect, both in the hospital at the interventions, and then the early months.
The baby had many food allergies, was unable to sleep at night and Leslie struggled with postpartum psychosis.
Because the postpartum experience was so difficult, Leslie and Kevin decided they were done with babies. They got rid of all of their things.
When Grey was around 3, suddenly Leslie and Kevin began feeling individually that they had another child.
Leslie went into this birth knowing much more about the birth community in Greenville. She reached out to myself (Katelyn), her midwife friend, and a wonderful local doula before she was even pregnant letting them know she wanted them as her team.
Once Leslie told her friend she was pregnant, her friend told her she’d be praying Psalm 65 over her.
Leslie has struggled with prenatal depression during all of her pregnancies.
This birth was incredibly spiritual for her. She felt completely ready to have her baby, but it kept… not happening. On the night of the blood moon, Leslie woke up with contractions. She woke up in the middle of the night and walked around her street. She decided at that point that if she had her baby tonight she’d be thankful, and if her baby waited 2 more weeks, she’d be thankful for that, too.
Once she went into labor, things happened quickly. Before she knew it, she was in Captain Morgan trying to help maneuver her baby out. About 4 minutes later, his head was born, and then her midwife needed to help a little bit with his very large shoulders.
He ended up being 10lbs, 13 oz.
From start to finish, her labor was about 2.5 hours.
Leslie has not experienced the severe ups and downs this postpartum as she did before.
Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time? What about the second, or third?
Hey there Happy Homebirthers episode 145. And this week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty. We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.
(use code HOMEBIRTH for 10% off)