The marvelous Maria Ewers with her son Sterk (5.5 months). Maria had a very healthy pregnancy and says that she felt on top of the world while she was pregnant. She was strong and active and continued to cycle until she was 41 weeks along. She had planned to have birth at home which is the norm in Dutch culture, and planned accordingly throughout her pregnancy. At 42 weeks however, Sterk had still not arrived and after seeing a few women close to her lose their babies they decided to head to hospital. Maria labored over 4 days and says that it became quite comical to see all of the things she'd hoped to avoid ticked off as options. She had an epidural, then another, then a spinal - they tried everything but he wasn't interested in coming out. She and her husband were able to remain friendly and in good spirits throughout but after four days and nearly 50 people in and out she had finally had enough. Sterk was ultimately born via emergency cesarean and everything went well. He was very healthy and Maria says that she has no regrets at all. After 4 days of intense labor and then surgery, Maria says that it took about 3 months for her to feel fully healed. She admits to not feeling the same strength and resolve she had during her pregnancy during this time but that has come around. Her mother was a huge help in the beginning and being able to be mothered, through becoming a mother was so wonderful. Maria says that even though she had hoped to have a different experience at this point in time she's able to look back and feel very comfortable with everything. Breastfeeding has gone very well from the start also, for which she is extremely grateful.
Maria says that we live in a world that has come to a point of materializing everything including our bodies - particularly women and their bodies. Women are told that they have to look a way and they have to be sexy as if they have to exist for some form of consumption. She wishes instead that we could realize that we are all just people existing in bodies we are meant to have and we should be able to respect that and see that as it is.