The beautiful Brandice Paschke with her daughter Karuna Sindhu (11) and son Cillian Thomas (2.5).
Bradice developed preeclampsia during both of her pregnancies. She was planning a home birth with Karuna but she decided to arrive at 25 weeks gestation weighing 1 pound 2 ounces. Brandice says she feels like she missed out on a lot with Karuna during her childhood. She was in the NICU for 4 months and even after she was home, the first 2-3 years of her life were consumed with doctor visits, surgeries, and therapies. Brandice pumped breast milk for four months but was never able to nurse her directly. She says that stayed with her for many, many years.
Wonderfully, she was able to carry Cillian to 37 weeks gestation! He is still breastfeeding and she is so proud of herself for this. Brandice says after years of losing sight of herself, she is finally taking care of herself again. She says that she has a long way to go before she can truly love her body, but knowing it was home to her kids makes her appreciate it in a new light. Brandice says, "Looking at women in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project brings me one more step closer to thinking I'm as beautiful as I think those women are. I'd love the chance to look at myself as a mama model and be a part of this revolutionary movement of self-love and recognition for what our bodies are capable of."