On this episode of Food Freedom and Fertility Sophia and Caitlin have invited their longtime friend Michelle Armstrong to discuss pregnancy and specifically her unique 4 different experiences.
Michelle and her husband have been together for over 12 years but have experienced so much more than they could have ever experienced around pregnancy and childbirth.
Michelle joins the podcast today to walk us through her journey of having to say goodbye to their first child at 24 weeks and the process involved. She carries us through what it was like to get pregnant unintentionally only 2 months later and that home birth that she experienced.
Michelle’s next pregnancy took a completely different path than the others when she learned at 20 weeks that she had placenta previa which is when the baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix. Few weeks later she went to the hospital with severe upper abdomen pain to find out she was going to have to deliver the baby because she now had preeclampsia which is s a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. This was a diagnosis that could have been fatal to her and her baby. Sophia and Caitlin dive in on more information about preeclampsia and placenta previa and the signs and risk factors. After deliver her new baby was in the hospital for over 50 days.
Michelle opens up to describe the feeling of each pregnancy and how she was able to recover and process her trauma. She discusses a wonderful project that came out of her 2nd son’s hospital stay after he was diagnosed with RSV. She was able to turn her guilt, grief and sadness into the idea of a stuffed bear for babies in the NICU. She followed this idea through till the end and was able to create a wonderful stuffed animal that has a removal scent patch that parents can wear and then re-attach to the bear so babies at the hospital have the scent of their parents, it has a recording device so a message can be replayed, and it is a panda because of the black and white colors are the first colors a baby can see and they will look at it 8x longer which is better for brain stimulation. In addition, the bear is anti-microbial to help prevent the spread of germs. It took over a year for her to bring the bear to other families.
Michelle share how she worked on herself to mentally and physically prepare for her 4th pregnancy which was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). She shared that she is humbled by the reality that nothing will fix what she has gone through but she has healed from it and shares all the steps that she took to get a good place. We want to sincerely thank Michelle for sharing her journey and all of her experiences with us and all of you.
If you would like more information on Finn the Bear you can find him at the links below.