Episode 031 - Mellisa's Story: Stillbirth at 42 Weeks

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Many of you have been asking to hear Mellisa's story, and in this episode we finally share the devastating tale of her second son's stillbirth.  An intimate conversation between just the two of them, Laura and Mellisa re-live her calm and peaceful pregnancy, the day Rowan was born, and the aftermath of trauma and grief.

Mellisa doesn't shy away from baring all in this moment-by-moment recounting of the worst day of her life and how it changed everything for her.  She shares about going into labor, the unexpected midnight hospital transfer and how they hoped it was just "due diligence", and the redemptive experience of giving birth despite facing devastation.

We're so excited to share this emotional and personal story with each of you.  Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of Mellisa's story - including the details of her 56 hour labor with her first son and experiencing severe postpartum anxiety!


In This Episode:

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  • Having a miscarriage during her first pregnancy but not really grieving at that time; feeling like it was just the "token" loss
     
  • Getting pregnant again when her son was 3 and experiencing a very calm, content pregnancy
     
  • Going into labor just before 42 weeks
     
  • Feeling like she "knew what she was doing" in labor in comparison to labor with her first son
     
  • Getting to the birth center and her midwife not being able to find the babies heartbeat
     
  • The irony of equipment failure after equipment failure after arriving at the hospital and how they felt like it was all just a cruel joke that would soon be over and everything would be alright
     
  • The moment when the doctor finally confirmed there was no heartbeat
     
  • Having to decide between having a c-section or attempting to deliver vaginally
     
  • Finding out she was only 3 centimeters and being terrified labor would take days since it had taken so long with her first to get from that point to complete
     
  • Going back and forth between grief and being overcome by the power of labor
     
  • Holding Rowan for the first time
     
  • How the feeling of loss, of what you're missing, only grows over time, even though the pain lessens
     
  • The agonizing over whether to try to have another baby afterwards and how they made the decision


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About Our Guest:

Mellisa Reeves is a mother, doula, writer and co-host of the Motherbirth podcast.  Through her work, Mellisa's goal is to provide connection and support for women and their experiences of motherhood, creating space for issues such as birth choices, loss, anxiety & career balance.  She believes in the innate intuition that all women possess, and in helping mothers truly own and tell their stories.

Raised on a farm in Canada with 9 younger siblings, Mellisa was brought up with an innate love for simple, natural, rhythmic living.  Her perspective on life & motherhood comes from a slow re-awakening to the depth of feminine wisdom through her experiences of stillbirth, multiple miscarriages, postpartum anxiety and finding meaningful work.   Mellisa lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two kids, where she enjoys yoga, getting outdoors, the incredible food scene and a vibrant community of friends.

You can find Mellisa at Motherbirth exploring the transformation of motherhood, on Medium where she writes about her own journey as a mother, or on Instagram connecting with women.