The radiant Rose Doxtater, Cael (5), and Owen (3).
Rose has always been athletic, played Division 1 volleyball in college, played over seas with the USA National training team, and has always had a positive body image. Having babies changed that. "In one light I saw how powerful and capable my body is because of my birthing experience, and in another light how physically transformed I was. I don't care about my few stretch marks, or how my butt looks now. What changed was how I looked at my breasts. I went from having small breasts to having absolutely nothing after I was done nursing. When we had decided that we were "done" having children I decided to look into augmentation. My surgeon considered my case "reconstructive" because I had absolutely no breast tissue. Getting this augmentation seemed really out of character and extreme for me. There were days I would cry looking in the mirror, and even more days where I wouldn't let my husband see my bare chest. I didn't want to plan my sons birthday party at the pool...it started affecting me every day. I went through with the surgery last year, and there isn't a day that goes by that I regret it. I feel physically whole again. I am so inspired by all the women's stories in this project and am so thankful to be apart of it! What an amazing and empowering opportunity."
Rose gave birth to both of her boys at home. With her first son, his birth itself went "as planned," but the after birth did not. She had to transfer to the hospital with a retained placenta, and lost over half of her blood volume. "I experienced so many emotions in the days after, while I processed what had happened. Fear, guilt, anger... Home birth is so normal in my family, and I've seen it go right so many times that I didn't ever consider that transferring to the hospital might be a possibility for me. We didn't even have the car seat installed in the car, because I KNEW that I would have a peaceful recovery snuggling with my new baby in the comfort of my own home, and it would be bliss.
The hospital was the last place I wanted to be. Everyone always says "well you have a healthy baby, and that's what matters." That's completely true, but what also matters is that the most amazing, transformative experience of my life, took a very scary turn. I felt like I was grieving the loss of what I thought my birth experience should have been. I use the analogy "what if on your wedding day, right before you walked down the isle, someone striped you of your white dress and make you wear a purple one? Sure, what matters at the end of the day is that you are married and in love, but it wasn't what you thought it would be or had envisioned." My birth was like that...times ten".
On top of that, and because she had lost so much blood, it took a long time for her milk to come in. As she tried desperately to figure out nursing, her son was screaming what they called the "pterodactyl" screech. She was fortunate enough to receive donor milk from a friend which allowed her to relax until her milk came in.
A year later, Rose was pregnant again and was so confident that what happened before would not happen again. "I'm happy to say Owen was born in the tub at the foot of our bed, and soon after, so was the placenta. The relief on my husbands face is something I will never forget".
"I know that my purpose in life is to be a mom, I just don't know what that looked like in regards to the size of my family".