In this second installment of Mellisa's story, we get into the birth of her first son, Aiden. A researcher at heart, she had done so much preparing for birth and knew exactly "how she wanted things to go".... only to be disappointed when at every turn complications arose that made her birth plan impossible.
Mellisa shares how her expectations of how naturally motherhood would come to her set her up for a really rough transition and so much heartache. Not realizing that she was experiencing severe postpartum anxiety, she suffered for a long time before getting help.
We also get into how important finding a care provider that you feel comfortable with is, and how it's NEVER too late to change! Your birth experience cannot be predicted, but you can have care and a birth team that makes you feel supported, informed and respected.
And yes, you read that right - 56 hours of labor! Her experience of labor and postpartum transition is a huge part of what brought Mellisa to her passion for supporting women and sharing their stories - knowing that disconnection from community and our intuition is a huge part of what can make motherhood so isolating.
You can also check out the first part of Mellisa's story where she shares about the stillbirth of her second son, and stay tuned for the story of her recent homebirth in the coming weeks!
In This Episode:
- Being the oldest of 10 and feeling like pregnancy, birth and mothering would come naturally to her
• Getting pregnant right away and then having a miscarriage followed by immediately getting pregnant again
• Struggling with her care provider but not feeling like she could switch after establishing care
• Easy pregnancy until kidney stones at 40 weeks, being admitted to the hospital and treated and then sent home to wait for labor
• Laboring at home for 8 hours and being so disappointed upon checking in to hospital to find out she was only 3 cm dilated
• Prolonged labor and very little cervical change in 20+ hours
• Facing the decision to get Pitocin since she was not progressing - which was one of the things she had been so determined not to do
• Finally getting an epidural so she could rest for a few hours
• After resting and letting the epidural wear off - she wasfinally complete at 50+ hours of contractions - ready to PUSH!
• Pushing out a posterior baby, with multiple manual attempts to rotate and vacuum extraction
• Going home, letting her Mom take care of her and being terrified when it was time for her to leave
• Dealing with her partner checking out, burying himself in work and friends and leaving her alone
• Delayed postpartum healing due to gauze being left inside of her from delivery!
• Facing severe postpartum anxiety and not having any clue what was going on at the time
• Obsessing over trying to control her baby: his eating, sleeping, reflux and playing out doomsday scenarios constantly
• Finally being able to see this period as a difficult and traumatic time that needed to be addressed, but not until a year later, and the real work of healing trauma taking over 4 years
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.