Boston Moms is thrilled to share this guest post written by Stephanie Rampello, co-founder and CEO of WellNested, a female founded startup on a mission to connect modern families with the support they need through the fourth trimester.

Meghan was proud to share her story with WellNested and believes in the power of sharing the highs and lows of motherhood to ensure no mother ever feels alone in her journey. View Meghan’s full video interview below.

Let’s be real — being a new mom is hard. The fact that it’s not an open conversation makes it even harder. At WellNested, a female-founded, Boston-born startup, we are on a mission to ensure new parents get the same love, attention, and support we give new babies by connecting parents and their newborns with the best in personalized postnatal care providers from the local area — at home and at their fingertips.

Recently, we launched “How I Did This,” a video series to pull back the curtain on new motherhood. In each mini-episode we ask women to share their candid stories — in all their mess and beauty. In this episode, we were thrilled to interview Meghan Block, the owner of Boston Moms, a mom of three, and a former military wife. In our conversation, Meghan shared honest insights into her pregnancy, labor, delivery, and fourth trimester experiences. Meghan detailed the challenge of being a Navy wife while pregnant, the power of community during delivery, and details of trauma and recovery. Here are three key learnings from Meghan’s interview.

1. Building your tribe is key. 

“For my second son, my husband was still in the military. We were trying as best as we could to ensure that he would be home for the birth. Which, if you are familiar with military life, is kind of a crapshoot. He had to leave when I was 35 weeks pregnant. The morning I turned 36 weeks, I knew something was wrong and went to the doctor. 

“My doctor said, ‘Meghan you are going to have the baby today.’ That was terrifying because my husband was under the water somewhere. I didn’t even know where. I sat there in shock. I remember thinking, ‘OK, I have to have a baby today. My son is at preschool. Who is going to take care of him? Who is going to get a message to my husband? Can we even get a message to the boat? He’s on a submarine! Who’s going to take me to the hospital? Who’s going to be there?’

“I called my best friend, who was another Navy wife, and she just brought in the troops. The legitimate troops. Our community of Navy wives just stepped in, and it actually gives me chills when I think about it now.” 

Meghan went onto explain each person who played a role in helping her send an urgent message to her husband and have a successful labor — plus the extreme lengths (including a transfer in the ocean!) her husband took to arrive at the delivery just in time.

2. Recovery is no joke. Remember to celebrate yourself. 

“I think the trauma was most significant after my third pregnancy. I had a very hard pregnancy. I was very sick the entire time. It took me a full year to recover. My daughter is now 15 months old, and I don’t think I woke up all of the way until she was a full year old. Her first birthday was almost more for me.

“The night before she turned one I celebrated myself. I did it. I made it through that entire pregnancy. I made it through that horrible birth and I have this baby who is healthy and thriving and we are meeting milestones even on a preemie schedule. I definitely had postpartum anxiety and depression going through all of that. It wasn’t just a difficult nine months, it was like a difficult six months after that. We had a happy ending, but I think I’ll be unpacking some of that stuff for the rest of my life.”

3. “Just because your ending was a happy one doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a traumatic one.”

“One of my doctors came and visited me in the hospital a couple of days after the birth (of my third). I was very, very sad coming off of the high of the birth. There were so many hormones. She said, ‘Just because your ending was a happy one doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a traumatic one.’

“And I’ve said that now to so many women that I know who have had similar experiences. Maybe their labor and birth, or even just their entry into motherhood wasn’t exactly what they thought it would be, so I always repeat that advice. It has been so important to give myself the OK to feel that way. Even if the ending was a happy one, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t traumatic.”

To learn more about WellNested and hear honest insight from other mothers, visit our website and our Instagram.