As I enter into my third trimester, I’ve been talking with Flourish Fund Founder Melissa Bowley about what have been some of the most valuable components to the success of my second pregnancy. I joke about having a love-hate relationship and feeling “happy-miserable” in pregnancy. This is because I have had nausea all day, every day, throughout the entirety of both pregnancies. Luckily, this has been a very healthy pregnancy for our baby and me, which is a gift.
A huge part of why I have had a good experience in pregnancy, despite daily nausea, is because of my strong relationship with my healthcare providers. This is especially true with OB-GYN Lori Kelley and the staff at South County Hospital in Rhode Island, where I plan to deliver. Here is a little bit about my journey with Lori.
I met Lori on one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. Our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. At the time, I was supposed to see a different on-call doctor to talk about the ultrasound results. I had never met Lori, and her presence was calming from the moment she entered the room. I was doing my best to hold back tears as she explained my options to terminate our pregnancy. As I broke down right in front of her, she gave me a huge hug, then looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m going to see you back here soon with a healthy baby.”
There was a tiny moment of relief even though we both knew she had no control over how long it would take my husband and me to conceive again. Those moments, while short, were filled with fear but having Lori as part of our journey felt like a really bright light. She was a stranger at the time but soon became a wonderful part of our first baby’s start in this world. The power of positive thinking and one foot in front of the other led to a healthy pregnancy two months later.
After the day I met Lori, I scheduled all my future appointments with her. She was there the day I gave birth to our first daughter, Sky. There are not enough words or space to describe how grateful my husband and I feel that we have this connection with my OB. I feel supported in a way I didn’t know possible. She makes me feel so well taken care of in a world where healthcare can feel so impersonal.
Especially now into my second pregnancy during a pandemic, I go to her for honest and loving feedback to questions that I know only she will be able to provide. It’s a powerful experience when you find a healthcare provider, or anyone in your life, to partner with. Especially when you know you want to have a collaborative, hands-on experience through challenging times. Anyone who meets Lori is extremely lucky because she doesn’t just love what she does—she makes you truly feel that you matter, and that is a gift in itself.
I also want to give a shoutout to physical therapists and pelvic floor specialists Michelle Clark and Melissa Nassaney. I am so lucky to be working with them again in my third trimester. I am not seeing them to manage intense pain during pregnancy. I wholeheartedly believe in preventative medicine and taking steps to make sure I feel my absolute best. Caring for myself and my body allows me to show up for my daughter, husband, and business. I preach this to my clients and practice it daily.
Having a baby at home, who just turned two years old, being in my third trimester of pregnancy, and with my husband and I both juggling work, it’s easy for self-care to fall to the wayside. I have to actively prioritize myself, making sure I am not just taking care of everyone and everything around me. This is one of the hardest struggles I encountered postpartum, and I find this to be the case for many new and seasoned mothers. As a nurturer, it’s easy to put everyone’s needs before your own. But ultimately, it’s in the best interest of everyone to make sure your own foundation is supported too.
If you are struggling to find help right now, please do not be afraid to ask for help. We are meant to lean on each other. Flourish Fund Founder Melissa Bowley and her team have created a village of providers, resources and education to help moms-to-be find support. Flourish Fund providers can also help you postpartum.
As we continue to prepare for our second baby, I feel grateful for the lessons I learned the first time, and I can’t wait to put them into practice with my growing family.
It is possible for you to get the excellent support you deserve. The gift of healthcare providers you love could make a huge impact on your pre-and-postnatal journey.
Is there a provider playing a huge role in your pregnancy who you love? Let us know in the comments; your recommendation might help a pregnant woman who is reading this!
“When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
Check out Tessa’s earlier blog post Breakdown to Breakthrough.