Raw Motherhood - Coping with my Changing Body
Please note: This blog contains sensitive/nude images and is NSFW. Images courtesy of Emily Marie of Between the Canyons Photography.
One of the most common things I hear from women is that they haven't gotten back to their pre-pregnancy bodies... they don't recognize themselves or don't like what they see in the mirror. But learning to love and embrace your body for the incredible things it has done is a part of the journey. I personally am struggling with the changes brought about from both having my beautiful boy AND the Lovenox (blood thinner shots) that I am receiving twice daily. Seeing new bruises upon my body that has been swollen and stressed has taken my mental health through a whole new level hell. I know the bruising isn't permanent, I am on a six week regimen, but it feels like it when new bruises appear every day.
I reached out to my dear friend, Emily a couple days after Eigil was born when I saw the first bruises rising under my swollen skin. I was mortified, worried what my two older children would think when they saw them and horrified at the knowledge that this was going to be my life for the next six weeks... But I decided to combat those feelings and told her that I wanted to document them. This being our last baby, the hours and hours spent in the hospital every week, the complications that just seemed to be unending needed to be marked and remembered. I didn't want to miss out on what could be seen as an awful experience when in reality this is just another new experience in our lives and I wanted to find the beauty in these weeks that will continue to fly on by.
How did we get to this point? I have a rare genetic blood clotting disorder, Protein S deficiency (Factor IV). This has caused some strange things to happen in my life- including almost dying from a simple blood draw and internal hemorrhaging following the birth of my second , because my body just clots too quickly where most people don't clot at all. I found out I had this while pregnant with my first child, but at the time there was not much known about my particular disorder and even the Hematologist on call with my hospital had never dealt with it himself. As a result of the hemorrhaging following the birth of my second child, this time around I was sent to a Perinatologist who told me point blank that we would be doing these shots for six weeks after birth no matter what. The one thing I can be very grateful for is that because we've known before all of my children were born, we were able to test them right away and none of them have it!
I know that my story is NOT unique by any means. I know that thousands of women every year go through having these shots during/after pregnancy, which is why I wanted to share this. We deserve to see the beauty of ourselves even when we are jealous of other's unbruised bodies or unhappy with how our body is recovering from pregnancy. Hopefully by sharing these images and my story, other women will feel more comfortable in their bodies. Hopefully this can bring someone peace in the comradery of knowing they aren't the only one. This session definitely brought me some peace about what I see when I look in the mirror and I can only hope that others will find that tranquility as well.
Motherhood is never easy. We all face challenges as mothers that we never thought we would face and mothering during a pandemic is something that hasn't been done since our great or great-great grandmothers... We are fierce, we are powerful, we are wise and most importantly we are transcendent.
HUGE thanks to Emily for capturing these images for me that I could only imagine! Your understanding of what I was envisioning brought me so much peace!
You can book a session with Emily here: