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Jelynda Vanover

Founder, Baby Led Enlightenment

10 years ago, I began a journey that transformed my life…

I got pregnant with my oldest daughter. My husband and I had been trying for 5 years after losing our first accidental pregnancy, and had just given up. I had thought I knew all I needed to know about having a baby and being a parent, since I had spent years researching and forming my opinions on what I thought was best. I quickly realized I knew NOTHING.

I found the OB group I wanted to go to, and they didn’t even want to see me until I was 12 weeks pregnant. I thought surely there were things I needed to be doing before then to have a healthy baby. I got all of the tests they offered, except for amniocentesis because I had heard there was a risk of miscarriage, and I knew I wanted to avoid anything and everything with the slightest risk of that. But that was the only risk I knew about beyond birth defects from vitamin A and “don’t clean the litterbox!”

I ended up so sick that I lost 12 pounds in a week and became severely dehydrated. I spent a few days in the hospital, then 2 weeks on an IV at home, and then nearly the rest of my pregnancy with a nausea medicine pump attached to my stomach. I had a terribly miserable pregnancy and couldn’t wait for it to be over. When I got to 36 weeks, I started trying all the “natural induction” methods I could find. I took all the supplements, both orally and vaginally, and tried all the essential oils. I tried nipple stimulation and wore my husband out with sex that wasn’t enjoyable for either of us. I allowed my doctor to do FIVE sweeps! I wanted her to come out, but didn’t want to do a “medical induction” because I had heard all the scary things. I thought natural methods were fine. I thought there were no risks.

My pregnancy ended in an emergency C-section. I felt like a failure. I struggled to breastfeed my newborn, and struggled to bond with her for months. I became severely depressed. I had such anxiety, I could never relax. I blamed myself for all of it. If only I had researched more. If only I had tried harder to be a good mom. If only I was smarter. If only I had done this or that or the other thing…

I reached out to moms’ forums. I joined facebook (yes, I was a late joiner). I joined a lot of groups. I had to stumble across all the different factors I needed to take into consideration to become the mom I wanted to be, and have an enjoyable pregnancy and the birth I wanted with my second daughter.

I knew I needed to pay it forward and help other women the way she and others helped me along the way. I wanted to catch them before they went through the heartache I did. I spent years trying to help women on facebook, throwing out advice when I saw someone who needed it, and then having my heart broken when they disregarded my advice and went through struggles and tragedies that could have been avoided. I exhausted myself, and burnt out, pouring my heart into trying to help others who didn’t want to be helped.

3 years later, I found the one person that directed me to what I needed to know and how to learn it. She connected me to exactly where I needed to be, in my local birth network and a few online ones. Where had she been all my life? Why couldn’t I have found her sooner? Why doesn’t everyone have someone like this in their life?

I knew I needed to pay it forward and help other women the way she and others helped me along the way. I wanted to catch them before they went through the heartache I did. I spent years trying to help women on facebook, throwing out advice when I saw someone who needed it, and then having my heart broken when they disregarded my advice and went through struggles and tragedies that could have been avoided. I exhausted myself, and burnt out, pouring my heart into trying to help others who didn’t want to be helped.

That’s why I’m here today. I went through so much and had so many complications that no one warned me about. I had no idea where to start. I had to go through all the things I DIDN’T want before I found someone who helped me achieve what I DID want. But I want to help you find a starting place first. I want to teach you HOW to start. You don’t know what you don’t know. I want to help you discover what you don’t know and how to learn it.

You are reading this because you WANT help. You know that there’s so much out there that you can’t possibly learn on your own without guidance. You know that building a healthy human being begins before conception, and that pregnancy and infancy is the most critical time to lay the foundation. You know that children are the future of our world, and it’s our job to help shape them into the people they will become.

So if you’re ready to get started on your journey, come and join my free facebook group to find your supportive village full of women who have been there and those who are just beginning their journey as well.

After all, it takes a village!