Brooke shares more about her story in her own words below.
My story begins in June 2020 when I went in for a Pap smear and they discovered a large mass in my uterus. They thought I was pregnant but after a quick pregnancy test they realized it wasn’t that. Fast forward and I was diagnosed with having a large fibroid on my uterus. I was told if we were done having kids it would have been an automatic hysterectomy. I was devastated – they had me meet with a fertility doctor to make sure the surgical plan was appropriate considering we still wanted to have children. Surgery went really well and they said to wait 6 months and then start trying to conceive. We hadn’t planned on starting our family until my husband finished law school but my doctor felt like the fibroids would return and that we should try and get pregnant before that happened.
We started TTC in June 2021 and got pregnant our first cycle, unfortunately it was a blighted ovum and I miscarried at 10 weeks. I jumped right back into tracking my cycle and I ovulated again a couple weeks later and we decided to go for it. We conceived easily again, something I never imagined would happen so quickly after everything we had been through. I found I was pregnant in September and was due in May 2022.
Pregnancy was fairly uneventful, super healthy. First 16 weeks were hell lol. Because of my previous surgery, called a myomectomy, I had to have a C-section according to my doctors and the second opinions I asked for from the MFMs. I have been holding out hope that I would still be able to deliver vaginally, it’s an experience I always really wanted. I’ve been a birth nerd all my life and the idea that it’s something I would never get to experience was really hard for me. I put a lot of energy and effort into dealing with the loss of that experience before giving birth, I really had to grieve it.
Because I had to have a scheduled cesarean, they wanted to do it between 37 weeks and 38+9 to prevent me from going to active labor. We picked the day after classes finished for my husband but before finals began. It was very stressful time. My C-section went wonderfully, no complications. I was able to really prepare for the procedure before hand so I felt like I really knew what to expect and I would highly recommend that for anyone else. I was able to have a gentle cesarean, as far as my arms were not strapped down they were able to do delayed cord clamping and placed my baby on my chest afterwards. I quickly learned that I do not like being hooked up to things and I was up walking around just a few hours after he was born. They gave me an abdominal binder in the hospital and that thing was my best friend for a few weeks. We weren’t allowed to have visitors in the hospital due to Covid and our friends and family live a few hours away (we moved for law school) so we had a houseful waiting when we came home.
Immediately postpartum, my biggest challenge was breast-feeding. Something that I really didn’t expect was to have any issues with that I thought it would be fairly easy for me. My milk supply was low right off the bat, I could tell because my tiny baby who has a tiny stomach was just not getting enough. We had trouble latching at first. He was born at 37+6 and he was so sleepy. He didn’t latch for 12 hours. I think that was the first thing that went wrong. I didn’t know how important it was to hand express or pump if your baby doesn’t latch. Then once we finally got that I could tell my baby was frustrated and hungry and losing weight. I can go into more detail on this and what we did to help with the IBCLCs we saw. We ended up supplementing with formula which was really difficult for me emotionally. I remember staring at that first little bottle of formula they gave me and bawling. It was so hard and I felt like my body was failing my baby. They had me triple feeding and I was so exhausted. Trying to do all that with company coming to see the baby and trying to host while also trying to navigate this new life with all the postpartum emotions.
- The Birth Hour podcast & Facebook group
- Informed Pregnancy podcast with Dr. Berlin
- The Prenatal Nutritionist on Instagram
- Labor Nurse Mama on Instagram
Brooke McKeever Bio
Brooke is 33 years old and she and her husband live in the California Bay Area with their 4 month old son Theodore “Teddy” and cat Piper. Her husband is in his last year of law school and she’s currently staying home with their son. She previously worked as a one on one aide for special needs students at an Elementary school.
This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!