The joyful Carolyn Jackson with her daughter Eden (2.5). Carolyn and her husband decided to have children and made an effort to conceive one time before she got pregnant. She says that almost immediately she knew it was happening and she found her body craving things before she even missed her period. Carolyn has struggled with body image issues, self hate and disordered eating over the years but that all changed during her pregnancy. When she was about 6 months pregnant she went shopping and decided to try on regular clothing rather than maternity clothes and she says it was a hilarious disaster. Still, in this moment, she saw herself as beautiful and that feeling has remained with her. She reminds herself to love herself and remember what her body is capable of. She gained self worth and pride that she was previously lacking. Carolyn says that she falls in love with her daughter more every day and she is so grateful for her and these lessons.
All day sickness was a struggle during Carolyn's during her first trimester of pregnancy and she eventually required Zofran to treat her nausea. Her second trimester was mellow and happy and she found herself struggling in her third trimester when she carried 10 days post dates. She drove herself to the hospital for induction only to learn she was already in labor and didn't need any help. Her daughter was born the following morning and Carolyn says it was a wonderful experience. She was listened to, respected, and she finally got to meet her daughter.
Carolyn didn't want to breastfeed and didn't plan on trying. However, Eden wouldn't eat anything her first day of life and was admitted to the NICU for observation. There was a lapse in communication and the NICU doctors thought she was planning to breastfeed, which they said was best for her, so they had her pump to encourage her milk to come in for Eden. She finally ate 3 days after birth and spent a couple more days in NICU before coming home. A cause for Eden's lack of desire or ability to eat was never found but she's very healthy today and Carolyn chose to stop pumping and switch back to formula when they got home.
At 8 or 9 months old, Carolyn realized she was loosing her patience with her daughter faster than she would have liked to. She sought the help of a counselor and realized that she was actually having more difficulty with the grown up people surrounding her than her daughter and needed to sort out those issues so that she could be a better person and in turn a better mother. Carolyn now believes even more strongly in the need to need to celebrate herself and all mothers.