This week on The Mommy Labor Nurse Podcast I had Maya Vorderstrasse, aka that one letterboard mom, come on the show to share her THREE unique and amazing birth stories.
Maya is a mom of three, her first two babies are what are known as Irish twins (born just shy of 12 months apart!) and then she had a third baby boy. You all know I have heard a lot of birth stories, but this one is a real treat. Even I got chills a couple of times throughout our conversation.
It was such a pleasure to have Maya come on the show – she is a fabulous storyteller, and I just love the way she is always spreading happiness and joy.
So, without spoiling too much more, let’s get right into a bit of what we talked about!
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Maya’s first pregnancy and inspiration for blogging
We started off the episode right at the beginning of Maya’s journey into motherhood with her first positive pregnancy test! Maya got pregnant her first month trying and in her words, she said she felt totally unprepared and clueless. She says there was a lot of fainting because she has a condition where her body kind of shuts down when she’s anxious or under stress.
It was NOT a picture-perfect pregnancy, and that is actually what drew Maya to blogging and sharing her journey on Instagram. She said at this time in 2016, most of what you saw on social media were the perfect pregnancies.
People weren’t being open about struggles and mental health (fortunately there is so much more of it now!), so she set out to bring awareness and reality through her blogging and sharing so other women didn’t feel so alone.
If there is one thing anyone who has been pregnant can agree on, it’s that it usually isn’t picture-perfect, but at the end of the day it is SO worth it!
“My first birth was my nightmare birth”
Maya’s first birth was a scheduled induction at 40 weeks and 1 day. Her doctor ordered the induction because he needed to fit her into his schedule. Maya says that because of lack of education she didn’t know any better and just went along with his suggestions, despite the fact that her body was showing no signs of labor readiness. “What did I know?” were her words.
She shares about what her induction was like and how those contractions were so much more painful than any of her other births because they weren’t her body’s natural contractions. Her epidural didn’t work and overall it was a very painful and difficult birth.
But then Maya opened up and shared a part of her story that she had never shared before from her birth. She endured some intense trauma from a resident doctor surrounding a cervical check that can only be described as assault.
Her birth progressed with a very painful labor and a long pushing time close to two hours. Once her baby finally arrived, she shared that she cried and it was totally amazing. But she endured a 4th degree tear and a hemorrhage after the placenta came out.
Tune in to hear Maya open up about this traumatic birth with bravery and raw emotion. She is so incredibly strong!
Mental health struggles
Maya has been very open about her mental health struggles on her Instagram page, so I asked her to talk a bit about the onset of these challenges. You’ll hear her talk about how when she got pregnant again at just 8 weeks postpartum her body (and mind) reacted like, “What is going on? Something isn’t right!”. She said that she suffered from postpartum depression and didn’t recognize what was happening until she was almost 15 months postpartum with her second baby!
She struggled with anxiety and postpartum rage as well, but had a hard time admitting that she had a problem. She did finally seek help and was diagnosed.
Here’s a bit about what she shared,
“And to me it was so hard to admit that I had a problem because I punched a hole through the wall in my bedroom one day. I was super, super angry. So that rage I developed was part of depression. I got diagnosed and I went on Zoloft for six months. And it saved my life, saved my marriage, saved me being a mom, and saved everything in my life.
It was a lot of taking care of myself and acknowledging that it wasn’t my fault. Those things just happen. Things change after birth, your brain changes everything changes the pressure, learning how to be a new mom, and I had to learn how to be a mom, and add in a second colicky baby on top of all of that. So my daughters are the same age for eight days. Like that’s how crazy it is.”
How was your second pregnancy and birth?
Maya’s second pregnancy was completely different and totally flawless. She conceived at 8 weeks postpartum, but didn’t even find out she was pregnant until she was 11 weeks pregnant! She had no first trimester symptoms and all around felt really great – it was a beautiful pregnancy. And she was so grateful to have that pregnancy after such a difficult first pregnancy and birth.
She went into labor naturally and headed to the hospital. She got an epidural and it worked! It was flawless and she said she was shaking with joy because she knew that this birth would be so much better.
Maya gave birth in a different hospital and the whole experience was wonderful. She said her doctor was an angel, and her baby came in one push with no tears! It was an absolute dream come true. She felt so heard and respected and overall, it was just so peaceful and amazing.
Maya’s third pregnancy and birth
Maya shared about how she and her husband unexpectedly had baby fever at the same time and decided to try for a third baby. After a few months she found out she was pregnant and for the first time her reaction to the positive pregnancy test was just excitement and joy!
This pregnancy – at first – followed the typical stereotypes. Lots of nausea in the first trimester and her second trimester was wonderful. But then her third trimester threw her for a loop when she had to be on bed rest. It turned out she had a 2cm kidney stone!
Again, this birth was really wonderful. She felt respected, had wonderful nurses, and it was an overall very positive experience.
Tune in to hear more details surrounding this birth!
Wrapping up the episode
The last question I ask Maya was surrounding her breastfeeding journeys with her babies. She talks about how with all of her babies it was not a natural thing in the beginning, and she had to really work to make breastfeeding work.
You’ll hear her share the details of each breastfeeding journey and also the way that breastfeeding impacted her mental health struggles. She opened up about the way postpartum depression felt in comparison to postpartum anxiety and postpartum OCD.
She shared about her decision to start medication and the way that it has changed her life for the better. The episode ended on such a positive note, and you can hear so much genuine joy in her voice. It was an absolute pleasure to have her come on the show.
About Maya Vorderstrasse
Maya is a Brazilian mother of 3 (Irish twin girls and a boy) living in Georgia. Maya has nurtured an accepting, encouraging, and loving community of moms on Instagram. She openly talks about mental health, the ups and downs of motherhood, and always focuses on the positive in life!
Connect with Maya on Instagram @mayavorderstrasse
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