The amazing Angie Keefner and Gloria (6 weeks).
Angie had always planned on being a teacher but realized that the teaching she hoped to do, couldn't necessarily be accomplished standing in the front of a classroom. She wanted to have her hand in the raising of children, so she became a nanny instead. She always wanted to be a mother and wondered how loving her own child would be different from the love she had for her nanny charges. Angie and her husband wanted to start trying for a family but never felt that the time or finances were right. Once they realized they would never feel ready enough if they kept waiting, they started trying and were able to conceive on her fifth cycle.
Angie's pregnancy went very well and she found herself to be incredibly comfortable throughout. While she hadn't necessarily struggled with her body previously she laughs that she was a bit overweight due to her love for craft beer. During pregnancy, she loved her body more than she ever had before and found herself documenting the changes. Much to her surprise, Angie's doctor was concerned that she wasn't gaining enough weight and it created some disconnect between them. While Angie focused more on how her daughter was measuring as her litmus for them doing well, her doctor was focused on Angie's numbers and began to suggest that she wasn't eating enough or taking care of herself properly. Angie ended up writing her doctor a letter to address the way in which she'd been treated and was surprised that she was receptive and apologized.
Angie went into labor 10 days prior to her due date and labored at home for quite some time before arriving to the hospital 5cms dilated. As she tried to check in, they asked if she was ready to get an epidural or have her water broke. While she knew she wanted an epidural at some point, she wasn't there yet and they said that they would be able to admit her if she wasn't going to have any interventions. Knowing that she wasn't willing to leave and that it would take them some time to get everything together, she went ahead and requested they admit her to break her water.
She continued to labor through her admission and about 40 minutes later she was ready for both her epidural and waters to be broken. From there, Angie says she just hung out as her body did it's thing. At her next check, they realized she was complete and ready to push. Angie pushed through 5 of her next 8 contractions over about 20 minutes and Gloria was born without complication and brought right to her chest. Angie learned to latch her and spent that first hour of life with her daughter in her arms. Now that she had gotten through all the new things of having her own baby (pregnancy, birth, their first latch) she began to wonder again when this baby would feel different than the other infants she had cared for. And then, her milk came in and it hit her. This baby was hers and her body knew what to do to continue to provide for her. She says the love and joy and connection was suddenly overwhelming.
Angie has a vivid memory of showering with her mother as a small child, squishing her belly and asking her why it was like that. Her mother explained to her that her body was that way because it had grown her and she loved every wrinkle left behind. That moment has left an impact on Angie and she wanted to capture this moment in time with Gloria so that they will be able to look back on the ways that her body changed in creating her forever.