In today’s episode, I interview Paralympian, Diversity and Disability Activist, author and mother of two Jessica Smith. Jessica shares her births with both Ayla and Reza. She takes us through the struggles with suffering severe morning sickness, (hyperemesis gravidarum) low iron and anxiety surrounding labour. Jessica also touches on how she felt about her changing body and body image after suffering from eating disorders for many years.
Jessica was living in Perth when she fell pregnant with Ayla. Expecting to be met with fertility challenges due to battling eating disorders in her past, Jessica was thrilled to conceive easily in her first month of trying. Unfortunately, she immediately began to suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum. Jessica wasn't able to keep anything down including water. Under the careful watch of her obstetrician, Jessica later needed an iron transfusion. Thankfully by 17 weeks the morning sickness passed.
Jessica felt very fearful about the delivery of Ayla and was quite sure she would like an epidural on the day. During the lead up she was also quite concerned about logistically how she would manage the baby with one hand. For example, she was concerned about day to day managing of tasks where she would be holding the baby and wouldn’t have a free hand to pick up car keys if she dropped them or if she was breastfeeding in public and wanted to cover herself with a wrap, she wouldn't have a free hand to assist herself.
To hear Ayla's birth story, Jessica’s devastating miscarriage after Ayla, and her pregnancy journey and birth with Reza listen now.
Topics included: hyperemesis gravidarum, bulimia, low iron, Epworth Freemason’s Hospital, miscarriage, epidural, anxiety, natural birth.
Little Miss Jessica Goes to School by Jessica Smith