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Bianca was not yet a doula when she was pregnant, it was actually what sent her into this line of work immediately after the birth of her daughter, Gray.
She went into early labor in the morning of August 7, and she knew that she would have time with her early labor as a primip. She also thought it would be a good idea to ‘help labor along’ because her doctor had told her that he would not let her go passed 40 weeks. She also did not know how to advocate for going to 41 – 42 weeks. Now she knows.
The summer Gray was due, there was a bacterial breakout in the NICUs at 2 major hospitals in Toronto and it was: (a) impossible to get midwifery care, hence Bianca’s home birth dream went out the window; and, (b) people were being rerouted out of the city to have their babies.
Bianca was more than a little nervous about the climate in her city with hospitals either closed or overflowing. She was worried she would be rushed along by the hospital staff and under NO circumstances was she to have interventions… that was about the extent of her birth plan.
She labored at home for 24 hours and then went to a breakfast buffet the next morning with her partner at the time and mother-in-law because she felt like she wanted ALL the food that morning. It was there that labor picked up and she knew she needed to get to a care facility.
After hospital hopping to find one that had room for her, she spent the next 45 hours in active labor and transition. She advocated hard, and with the help of her doula (who was really green), Bianca got her unmedicated vaginal delivery. She ended up needing the vacuum for Gray’s birth and struggled with the repair to her perineum. She felt so exhausted at the end after a 72 hour labor that her bonding with Gray was impacted. It shows so much in the birth photo that was taken an hour after Gray was born. It makes Bianca so sad to look at that moment captured.
There are parts that feel really traumatic, like the vaginal repair that was done without any anesthesia, and parts that make her feel really proud, like the unmedicated labor part.
Bianca suffered in silence with her PPD and her difficulties bonding with Gray as she had no family, partner, or community support. There was a lot of grief around this and it was magnified after her hysterectomy 5 months ago, officially removing the ability to carry another baby. She is planning for her wife to carry their next baby in the next year or two.
Bianca Sprague Bio
Bianca Sprague (CEO of bebo mia inc and Baby & Me Fitness) is a badass queer entrepreneur and mom to Graydon. She lives in Toronto and co-parents with her partner, Alana. Bianca feels especially passionate about creating access to quality pre & postnatal care for marginalized communities. She is an advocate for mental wellness for the entire family, and especially for the birthing parent, after suffering from PPD in silence and losing her father to suicide in 2012. Most recently, Bianca elected to undergo a hysterectomy and has a lot of insight to share on her experiences navigating the health care system. Connect with her on Instagram @BiancaSprague, Facebook @bebomiainc or at www.BiancaSprague.com & www.bebomia.com.
- Because I struggled SO much with my postpartum period I made a tool to support others to ensure they make a plan in pregnancy.
- I firmly believe that birth plans make a difference! Here is why in a video as well as a free cheat sheet to make one:
- Support mental wellness! It is SO important. Olivia Scobie does this SO well and she had made a free guide around mood in pregnancy and the postpartum period.
- This awesome link of TED talks for expecting and new parents is fab!
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