Nicole and her husband, Kyle, were excited to try to start a family in 2019. Nicole had a prior medical history of anxiety and had been taking the same anti-anxiety medication for the past ten years without any issue. Prior to trying to conceive, Nicole made a family planning appointment with her OB in order to check the medication’s safety or to be prescribed an alternative that was safe to conceive on. When told by her OB that nothing was 100% safe and she should consider weaning off her medication, Nicole did so. Ultimately, this sent her into an emotional tailspin.
Upon receiving that positive pregnancy test, Nicole and Kyle were elated. Heightened anxiety after weaning off her medication coupled with first trimester hormones led Nicole to seek out a second opinion in regards to starting medication. To her relief, she found a OB who prescribed her a medication that had been used in pregnancy and had an overall good prognosis. Around 12 weeks, Nicole switched to midwifery care and focused on learning how to cope with labor pain and fulfill her dream of having a natural vaginal birth. Nicole went into labor at 40 weeks and one day and delivered Claire in what she describes as “the perfect natural birth” that she was able to achieve with the help and support of both her husband and her midwife.
Nicole’s postpartum was extremely difficult as she was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder during the height of Covid. She experienced breast-feeding issues with Claire which led her to exclusively pump. She ended up not returning to work after her maternity leave ended as she continued to battle her diagnosis during a time when the world had shut down. It was with the help of a psychiatrist and the proper medication dosage that Nicole started to feel somewhat normal. The overall anxiousness did not completely subside until she had ended breastfeeding when Claire was 11 months old.
After Claire’s first birthday, Kyle and Nicole decided to try to conceive again and to their surprise it happened quite quickly. The couple had reservations considering Nicole’s last pregnancy and postpartum but her psychiatrist assured them that relapse was highly unlikely as long as Nicole remained at her current medication dosage. Nicole’s pregnancy was uneventful until she contracted Covid at 24 weeks pregnant. Thankfully, her symptoms were mild but she contemplates that this may have been the reason she went into preterm labor at 36 weeks 6 days as Covid has been linked to preterm labor. After 7 hours of active labor and dilating to 6 cm, labor ended abruptly after an IV fluid bolus. Charlotte was born two weeks later after a four hour labor which almost ended in a car delivery.
Nicole’s second postpartum was nothing short of redemption. She felt that she was able to enjoy her newborn daughter in ways she never was able to with her first. The only anxiety she felt was what she described as “normal for a new mom of two”. While redeeming and at times blissful, it brought about a sense of guilt for her experience with Claire. Nicole was able to breastfeed Charlotte who was diagnosed with a dairy and soy intolerance two weeks after birth. Nicole was able to eliminate both from her diet and Charlotte is currently thriving.
Nicole hopes that by sharing her story it may provide a glimmer of hope for mamas with similar experiences.
Nicole Turcotte Bio
Nicole and her family reside in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, share daughters Claire (2 yrs.) and Charlotte (4 mo). Nicole is a registered nurse/current stay at home mom and Kyle owns a landscaping/tree removal company. Instagram handle – @nicole.m.turcotte
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