she has 
been through
hell.
so believe me when
i say,
fear her when she looks
into a fire and smiles.
  ~ e.corona

This mama. This birth. They will be imprinted on my soul for always.  She is a survivor, she is as strong as I’ve seen and she is inspiration.

When I was asked to be present for the birth of Sylvia and Bob’s second baby I was over the moon excited.  I knew what this woman was made of, I knew her story and all that she was fighting for and all that she was fighting against and I knew that I was going to touched deeply when in their birth space.

I have asked if Sylvia would bravely talk about her story, she graciously and without hesitation said yes. Below are her words.

“What should have been the happiest moment of my life tuned into the biggest battle I have ever faced. On Dec.4, 2014 My husband and I welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world after 30 hours of a long and somewhat traumatic labour. I was instantly in love, overjoyed and in awe of this little person we had created. That love and joy was soon to taken from me. 

After a few days of  being home from the hospital I fell into a darkness I had never experienced. Racing thoughts of my daughter being harmed swept continuously through my brain causing huge anxiety and panic attacks. They would not stop and I could not find a way to control them. What saved me was my ability to recognize that this wasn’t normal and that I needed to tell someone. I was terrified of how my husband would react, but I finally broke down and told him everything that I was experiencing. Being the amazing, supportive man that he is he stood by my side and promised me that we would find a way to get through this together. It was one hell of a fight and there were many days I wanted to quit, but I knew I had to keep going for this precious little life depending on me. I was lucky and found amazing support from my Doctor, a councillor, my husband, my family and by reaching out to local support groups in the community. I had to learn all about self care and reassure myself over and over again that I was a good mother and that it wasn’t my fault. 

I am happy to say that I recovered and even went on to have another beautiful baby girl. Being armed with knowledge, understanding and support is what I believe helped me to bypass Postpartum Depression this time around. My birth experience was beautiful and I truly felt fully supported and in control at all times.  Had it not been for my amazing midwifes (I had gone with an OB previously), a doula (Sara Spada of Birth Kelowna, who is my heart and soul) my loving husband and an incredible birth photographer named Krista Evans I don’t think my birth and postpartum recovery would have gone so smoothly. I choose birth photography because I knew it would come to play a very important role in my mental well being after the birth. I can now look back on these incredible images of strength and beauty and be reminded of how healing the birth of my second daughter was. 

Even though going through postpartum depression was the most horrific thing I have ever experienced I have learnt an incredible amount from it. I am so much stronger and resilient than I ever thought I could be and I now go on to tell my story openly and honestly. It is my hope that by doing this other women will be less afraid to get help and find the support they need. You are not alone, it’s not your fault, you are not a bad mother and yes, you will be ok, this I promise!”

After reading this, I’m sure you all must agree that ensuring that Sylvia felt safe, supported and heard throughout her delivery and postpartum was SO deeply important to her husband, midwives, doula and myself and we all worked as a team to envelope her in love.

She was a warrior.  She laboured without faltering at the Midwifery, all the while going inward and surrendering to her birth.  It was beautiful.

After a long and intense journey through labour, the decision was made to transfer to the hospital.  Sylvia took this in stride and was calm as we transferred.  Although a cesarean was not the way she had envisioned delivering, she accepted with grace and peace that this was her story and off she went to welcome her baby girl!

Baby Braelyn was born 10 pounds of sweet perfection.

If any of you are suffering or know someone who is suffering with Postpartum Depression, please seek help.  Talk to someone, you are not alone in this, you will not be judged, you will be supported and loved.

 

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January 31, 2017
What a gorgeous birth story. Her belly is incredible... you can see her contractions and the strength of her belly in those photos. Beautiful captures as always Krista.
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February 1, 2017
These photos tell the story of a warrior mama! She did everything she could for her and her baby and her birth was beautiful. I don't know her and I'm so proud of her.
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February 1, 2017
What an incredible momma! And beautiful story! My favorite is her looking in her husband's eyes...sooo many words being said with that look!
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