In the weeks leading up to the arrival of my first son, I had a birth plan. Although I never actually wrote it down, it was in my head. I would have a natural delivery. I would make every attempt to avoid an epidural. I would breastfeed. I was a strong woman who would do what we are made to do. However, within a few hours of my arrival at the hospital, I realized that my plan was falling part piece by piece.
Excruciating back labor had me practically begging for an epidural and the anesthesiologist quickly became my new best friend. Not long after the needle was successfully injected in my spine, I was prepped for surgery and in an OR. And although I was able to successfully breastfeed, an unexpected trip to the ER with symptoms of what the on-call nurse believed to be a pulmonary embolism forced me to supplement with formula for several months. A dwindling milk supply left me wondering if I was going to be able to continue breastfeeding at all.