Pregnancy Love: My Story of Love, Loss, and Hope in Eugene OR
Pregnancy Love: My story of Love, Loss, and Hope in Eugene OR
By: Ashley Rose Salvitti
(trigger warning: loss, home birth)
My pregnancy journey in Eugene OR and how it inspired my job at Pure Life Chiropractic, my passion for supporting other women during pregnancy and the creation of our Baby Love Workshop (February 23rd at the Oregon Birth & Wellness Center).
MY PREGNANCY JOURNEY in Eugene OR
Some of you may recognize this belly! Last November I got hired as the front desk receptionist and worked all the way up until the week before my baby boy Westyn was born in May of 2021. What you might not know is why that pregnancy was so significant for me, why Chiropractic Care was such an essential part of my prenatal care and why I created the Baby Love Workshop.
BABY LOVE WORKSHOP
First of all, what is the Baby Love workshop you ask? We’ve collaborated with Crystal Massey of Eden Midwifery and the Oregon Birth & Wellness Center to create a workshop on Prenatal and Postpartum Care. Dr. Jenn Nyberg, our clinic director, and Pure Life Chiropractic and Crystal (both Moms of 3) will share their knowledge and experience on prenatal and post-partum care and provide resources and tips on a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and recovery care. All ages are welcome, seating is limited and advanced registration is required. $10 suggested donation to the Oregon Birth & Wellness Center or free for community members.
Now, here's my story.
JADYN ROSE WAS BORN, I BECAME A MOM!
I’ve always wanted to be a Mom. My Mom was my hero growing up and I wanted to be that too for my kids. I was 31yrs old when I got pregnant. It was unexpected, but was the catalyst for all the good in my life and ended up being the perfect timing. I had a wonderfully healthy pregnancy, full of joy, optimism, and eagerness to meet my firstborn. On March 10th, 2015, Jadyn Rose was born at home. She likes to tell people that she was born in a hot tub in our living room, and she’s not wrong! The delivery was as expected (hard as hell), but what I didn't expect was such a traumatic recovery. It's something that many women don't talk about (the truth about postpartum)! I found that my body (which was in shape during pregnancy) took a beating during delivery and it took a long time to heal. At the time, I owned my own business. Initially, I was able to juggle being a Mom and business owner but as she grew, it became more challenging. I struggled with how to care for both of the things that I was ultimately responsible for, but I made it happen. As Moms always do.
Three years later, my best friend got pregnant and I knew it was time to start trying again for a sibling for Jadyn. A few months later, I was pregnant and the timing was perfect again! This time, things didn’t go as planned.
AN UNIMAGINABLE LOSS
I was 29 weeks pregnant, chillin on my couch after dinner, when I realized it had been a long time since I had felt my baby move. I ate a Snickers ice cream bar, drank a big glass of OJ, and lay on my left side waiting for my baby to show me that she was ok. No movement. My midwife came to the house and used the doppler to hear the heartbeat. When she couldn’t find it, we went to the emergency room to hear the worst news a parent could ever hear, “I’m so sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in disbelief. We were smooth sailing in the 3rd trimester - how could anything go wrong now? I went home and lost it. I had to tell my daughter that her sister was dead in my belly and I had to go to the hospital to deliver her. The next few days were extremely emotional for us but we were surrounded by wonderful family and friends in the care of our midwife team and the L&D staff at Providence. My sister took the first flight out of NC to be with me and was in the hospital that evening. They induced me slowly so I spent 2 days walking around the hospital with a big baby bump that I used to be proud of and love for people to talk to me about, but now I was so so scared someone would ask me when I was due and I would have to tell them that my baby was dead and I was there to deliver a stillborn.
I got all the drugs, I didn’t want to feel any more pain. Lena was born at 5:14 am on September 29th, 2018. I got to hold her lifeless body and kiss her wrinkled face. Her hands and feet were so small I fit my wedding ring around them. We held her and cried. We were supposed to love her, care for her, keep her safe and watch her grow. She was the 4th member of our family, she was the missing link, the baby we had dreamed of and now all we had was the next 10 hours with her. Just those moments in the hospital. We lost a lifetime.
The doula took pictures of the birth. I cherish those pictures with her and I'm thankful for the time we got to spend with her in the hospital. Her Daddy played his guitar to her as she lay lifeless, I know her soul was probably dancing around his head as he played. Saying hello and goodbye to your baby on the same day is never something a parent should have to do. Our lives have been forever changed.
TWO PINK LINES, PREGNANCY AFTER LOSS
I immediately became pregnant again, not trying to but not trying not to. I was not ready emotionally or physically. I was still deep in processing the loss of Lena and not yet healed. I wanted a baby so bad and was excited to be pregnant again but with the tainted lens that loss created on pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck. Like many other loss Moms, I felt robbed of the joy surrounding pregnancy and was constantly worried that I would have another loss. And I did.
I miscarried that baby at 11 weeks. It was painful both emotionally and physically. I didn’t have the support that I had through my stillborn experience, after all, it was "just a miscarriage”, but to me, it was yet another baby I had lost. I felt broken.
My husband was to be deployed later that year and the timing wasn’t right to try again, I couldn’t deliver without him nor did I want him to miss his baby’s birth and first few months out of the womb. I decided to take a break and wait until he got back. In the meantime, I would work on getting healthy physically and emotionally. While he was gone, I sold my business (which caused an unimaginable amount of stress on me) and sold our house, and packed up all our belongings.
My husband returned from deployment in October 2020 and we moved to Eugene and started trying again.
LENA’s GIFT // CHOOSING HOPE
On Lena's 2nd birthday we got a gift that I believe she sent, a 2nd pink line aka BFP! Like any other loss Mom knows - with that joy also comes fear, but I was determined NOT to let that stop me from feeling joy. I shared our pregnancy on social media very early because even though the loss is so common that early, it wasn’t going to stop me from loving that baby, from the very start. I made the decision to choose hope and made that my constant mantra throughout this pregnancy.
I knew that the best thing I could do to support the outcome of the pregnancy was to take care of myself, both physically and emotionally, and so I made that my priority. I was sicker than any other pregnancy in my past so for the first 3 months, I just gave myself grace. I rested as much as possible and tried to do 3 things each day: drink water, take vitamins, and move my body - whether that was a walk, stretch or yoga. I also practiced deep breathing and meditation whenever I was feeling anxious and practiced positive pregnancy mantras.
I got a job at Pure Life Chiropractic because I knew the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and was experiencing lower back pain and headaches, so I wanted to make sure I included it as part of my care plan. My headaches went away within a couple of weeks of care and as my body grew and changed, adjustments and massages supported my growing belly and helped prepare me for delivery.
I hired Melissa Reeves as my coach, who helped me connect with my body through somatic healing. Rachel Basolo was my doula and was so thankful to have someone to count on during pregnancy for support and who would also be there for my delivery. I participated in the Positively Pregnancy Group through Nurturely, to connect with other women who were expecting and gain new knowledge and tools and prepare for life with a baby.
A WELL SUPPORTED HOME BIRTH
Although we had planned a hospital birth with a doula, around 24 weeks, my husband and I decided we wanted to explore the home-birth option for this delivery. We met with Crystal Massey from Eden Midwifery, the only certified nurse-midwife in the area, and immediately felt the difference in the care we received. It was such a personal connection, in the comfort of our own home. It felt right and I’m so glad I trusted my intuition.
Leading up to our due date, I prepared for the delivery by drinking red raspberry leaf tea, continuing my chiropractic care and massage, and a series of acupuncture visits scheduled with Dr. Kali (starting at 32 weeks), and she was amazing. I created a birth altar and was ready to welcome our baby boy. My water broke on Friday, May 28th at 12:20 pm, and Westyn was born less than 7 hours later, safely at home.
There’s no feeling in the world like holding your baby for the first time, it was the biggest relief to have my baby boy safely in my arms. I’m so thankful for the people and resources that helped me through this pregnancy journey.
BABY LOVE: An advanced workshop on prenatal and postpartum care
My passion for supporting women through their pregnancies has grown out of my experience of pregnancy, loss, and hope.
I created the Baby Love workshop to help provide information and resources for pregnant mamas in the area who want to support a healthy pregnancy journey, hosted by my boss, Dr. Jenn Nyberg, and my midwife, Crystal Massey. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to hear them talk, share their knowledge and bring together others in the birthing community.
Please join us Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm, tickets are limited and advanced registration is required, click here to reserve your seat now. $10 suggested donation to Oregon Birth and Wellness Center.
9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 7:00pm
7:00am - 11:00am
1:00pm - 5:00pm
9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 7:00pm
7:00am - 11:00am
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday