Lori, well known as plus size model Loralyee on Instagram, tells her birth story. She shares the role her doula, Denise Bolds, played in helping her feel supported and empowered!
Loralyee Shares Her Birth Story
Around the age of fifteen, Lori was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Her care provider said she would never have a baby.
Throughout her adult life, Lori assumed it would be difficult or impossible to become a mother.
For seven years, Lori and her husband tried to start a family.
Following two devastating miscarriages, they sought fertility support.
Each time she tried to connect with a care provider for fertility treatments as a plus size woman, the response was to lose weight.
After seeing four doctors, Lori decided to focus on her health and stopped stressing herself out.
As she shares, “The last six, seven years before getting pregnant, I had a really hard relationship with my body. I was always mad at it. I was always putting all these different [fertility] drugs in it. And so I thought of it like I was going to cleanse my body, I was going to cleanse my spirit. And I wanted to make my body prepared to become a home for my baby for the next nine months.”
Over on her Loralyee Instagram account, she was transparent about the changes she was making.
As she focused on herself, 2020 hit, and the world shut down.
Lori and her husband spent more time together than usual, and to her great surprise – she got pregnant!
Very early on in her pregnancy Lori went to the OB-GYN because of her miscarriage history.
They couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat and asked her to come back in a few days.
At the follow-up appointment, they couldn’t find the heartbeat again and told Lori that she would have a miscarriage.
Her care provider prescribed a pill.
“I was like, NO, something feels different this time. Like I had really bad nausea, and I felt pregnant. So she made me sign a form saying that I was leaving, although she told me to take the pill.”
The following week was devastating, and Lori returned to her provider once more, thinking she would take the pill.
To her wonderful surprise, the ultrasound picked up the heartbeat!
Lori’s plus size friend was also pregnant, so Lori switched to her friend’s care provider, hoping they’d be size-friendly.
While Lori felt more supported, this new care provider’s office had her jump through extra hoops because of her size.
She experienced great anxiety as they made her feel like she would develop complications because of her size.
“Like I had a perfect pregnancy besides being nauseous, but every time they were surprised, and the way they acted, they were surprised that everything was going so well.”
Overall she liked the practice and stayed; Lori just wished she felt more supported.
Due to hospital visitor restrictions, she was so sad to learn that she couldn’t have her mother attend the birth. So, Lori felt it was essential to hire a doula to support her and her husband.
Thanks to a close friend’s recommendation, Lori researched different doulas and felt that Denise Bolds was the perfect match.
“The first conversation speaking to her, I was like speaking like a family member. She was very caring and would listen to my story. She had like the right questions, but she was also very thorough. And that’s what I needed.”
Lori had no complications during her pregnancy, but her care provider wanted to induce her because of her weight. They feared her developing preeclampsia.
The last few weeks of her pregnancy, Lori’s anxiety was through the roof because she feared something would go wrong. She thought she was going to die during birth because of how everyone made her feel.
Being induced helped reduce her fears, and she felt more in control of what was happening to her body.
On a Thursday at 2:00 pm, she went in for her induction.
Lori was 39 weeks and two days along with a soft cervix, but she wasn’t dilated.
She didn’t want her doula right away because she knew this was a long process.
Lori’s induction began with a foley bulb to help her cervix to diolate. She dilated much quicker than anyone expected!
“The cramps weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be. But also I feel like having PCOS prepared me for that because my PCOS cramps during my period are so bad. So it felt like that.”
Soon after, they started the Pitocin, and her cramps became far more intense.
After many hours of laboring, Lori wanted an epidural.
They brought in three anesthesiologists who poked her twice before Lori said she wanted her doula there!
Denise was supporting her over the phone the entire time, and Lori was ready to have her in-person.
About an hour or two after receiving the epidural, Lori went into active labor.
The nurses and doctor kept saying she couldn’t be progressing so quickly.
Lior knew her body!
Denise arrived right as Lori’s body was telling her to push.
Immediately Denise went into action and made all the difference!
“She put her hand on my chest, and that feeling, I honestly put chills through my whole body because I felt like it just like released me from the tense feeling that I was feeling before she got there, and it just helps my body relax. And so she put her hand on my chest. She helped me breathe. She like put me in different positions to help me.”
Even the nursing staff was in awe of how Denise was supporting Lori.
Everyone who came into her labor room was amazed by how quickly everything progressed.
Lori gave birth to her son in three pushes!
“I just amazed at myself. I was amazed at my body, right? Because my relationship, my body was so complicated over the years, and I felt so mad at it thinking that it wasn’t going to do what it needed. And then it did. It amazed me, you know, the first my whole pregnancy and then it makes me even more, you know, giving birth. And so I’m just so proud of the way that I was able to do that.”
Listen below as Lori shares her full plus size pregnancy and birth story. She also goes into detail about what postpartum has been like for her and her family.
Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 140
Resources Mentioned On The Show:
- Follow Loralyee on Instagram.
- Connect with Denise Bolds via her website and Instagram.
- Learn more about taking baby aspirin during pregnancy.
Thank You To Our Sponsor:
Use coupon code PlusMommy to receive 20% off the My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide that covers everything you could want to know about having a plus size pregnancy.