I am strong because I experienced things as a child and teenager than no one should ever go through. It took many years for me to be able to forgive those that hurt me.
I am strong because I left for the Peace Corps right after college where I met the most amazing man that completes me. Ironically we were both from the same state and had to go overseas to meet each other!
I am strong because even though my husband and I wanted a family we were unable to conceive. We tried for 8 years with no success. It was difficult watching friends and family become pregnant knowing that I might never be able to.
I am strong because both of us endured countless blood tests, medications, and even surgery throughout these 8 years. We were not comfortable with doing artificial insemination or IVF due to our religious beliefs and decided to pursue alternative fertility treatments to see if that would help. This was a very long process that required lots of time and energy. We didn’t know if anything that we were doing was going to work.
I am strong because after 8 years of trying and coming to terms with the fact that we may never have our own biological children I found out I was pregnant! I stopped charting my cycles for that month because of complacency and we were planning to pay off the house early and go on a trip. What we didn’t know was that the Lord had other plans for us.
I am strong because I exercised every day through my entire pregnancy up until the day I delivered and ate nourishing foods to help my baby grow. I was one of the blessed pregnant mamas that didn’t have any morning sickness or any complications during my pregnancy. I completed several triathlons until I was 5 ½ months pregnant!
I am strong because both of us knew we wanted the least amount of intervention during our prenatal care, labor and birth. We decided to use a CNM and plan a home birth despite resistance from family and friends. We decided to educate them along the way to help them feel more at ease with our choice.
I am strong because my labor started at 9:15 p.m. and continued with no progression for 35 hours. The contractions were so intense that I labored standing up for the entire time because every other position was uncomfortable. One of the lowest points is when my midwife told me the baby was posterior and I was only 2 cm dilated after all that work. We tried everything from the rebozo, position changes, chiropractic adjustments, and taking a bath. Nothing seemed to work.
I am strong because despite not having slept for almost 2 days I continued laboring at home determined to have a home birth. The baby’s heart rate was being monitored and she stayed relaxed and seemed pretty content being inside mama. Together, the midwives and I decided that I needed something to take the edge off so I could rest and gain some strength. We took a short trip to the hospital to get a morphine shot and come home so I could sleep. The shot was my saving grace. I slept for 2 hours (that’s how long the meds lasted before they wore off) and ate a big lunch and was ready to continue on with the labor.
I am strong because everyone prayed that the baby would turn and my labor would progress as normal. One of the midwives used a different rebozo technique that helped to turn her into the right position. After almost 40 hours the baby was anterior and I was dilated to a 5!
I am strong because I continued to labor for several hours and finally felt “effective contractions” for the first time. When I was ready to push I got into the birthing tub and the water seemed to relax me too much. By now it was going on 49 hours and I had no strength left to relax and wait. I got out and pushed in several positions until finally I was able to find the perfect position to bring our baby into the world.
I am strong because I was leaning and squatting against my husband while the doulas supported my knees and pushed the baby out in less than an hour and a half. There were many times that I doubted my ability to go on but the amazing support that I was surrounded by gave me the strength that I needed.
I am strong because 50 hours later Nora was placed in my arms. I couldn’t believe this miracle that I was holding. My pregnancy journey was finally complete and I was staring right into her beautiful face. Our dream of having a child and a home birth came true.
I am strong because despite the many challenges that I have encountered through my life I chose to accept them and move on. I would never change anything that I have experienced because they have made me who I am today.
I am strong.