The lovely Lynnette Taylor with her daughter's Mollie (13), Abbie (11), Zoie (8). Lynnette also lost a baby, Zion, to miscarriage in 2005. Lynnette was 19 when she got pregnant with Mollie unexpectedly. She looked for abortion clinics in the phone book but came across abortion alternative's first and says that she never looked back. She was hesitant to get prenatal care because she had been sexually abused in childhood and entrusting a doctor in such a personal way was difficult. Her mom was really supportive and excited, however, which helped Lynnette through. She dealt with morning sickness and developed preeclampsia during her pregnancy and ultimately went into labor at term. Lynnette opted for an epidural which caused temporary paralysis. She was able to have a vaginal delivery but Mollie was taken away from her because she was cold and Lynnette was running a fever. She says it made sense to her that her body had heated up to keep her daughter warm and she had to fight to have her brought back to her. Lynnette had to go back to work 3 days after her daughter was born, and because of this she was hemorrhaging severely, wasn't able to nurse and developed postpartum depression. With her second pregnancy, Lynnette had really bad back pain as well as severe morning sickness. She was induced at term and says that the epidural only numbed half of her body and she was screamed at for screaming during labor. Abbie was born healthy after a vaginal delivery and able to come home without issue. Lynnette's next pregnancy ended in miscarriage which was very difficult especially after hearing her babies heartbeat. She blamed herself a lot for this loss. A year later, she conceived Zoie which means full of life. During pregnancy she was told that Zoie had a heart valve that wasn't working and may need surgery after birth. Lynnette had decided that she wanted to have a more natural experience after things not going as she'd hoped with Mollie and Abbie, so she sought the care of midwives. She went into labor on her own 8 days post dates and didn't need any pain medication or an episiotomy this time. She felt so strong and thankful her body was capable. Her birth was peaceful and calm this time. There was a NICU team waiting outside of her room to check on Zoie due to present meconium and her potential heart condition but thankfully her daughter was perfectly healthy. Lynnette also started to hemorrhage after birth and remembers them telling her not to fall asleep. They massaged her uterus and injected pitocin and she was able to recover without issue.
Lynnette was very fit and active for most of her life. She was a ballerina and owned a dance studio but has also struggled with anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the sexual abuse she endured. She takes medicine to help her mental health but it also makes her gain weight. As a result, she has struggled with her weight and body image and has even considered having cosmetic surgery. It was while scouring the internet in researching tummy tucks and liposuction that she came across this project and realize that she couldn't teach her daughters to love and accept their bodies if she was unhappy with her own. She says that she feels stronger now and realizes the importance of knowing ourselves and our stories. She reminded us of one of our favorite quotes by Naomi Wolf, "A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem."