The beautiful Hazel Truelove-Banning. Mother to Altair Jasper Michael "AJ" (3.5), Sherlock Connor Riddick "Sherly" (2), Alys Kate Rennezme "Ezme" (2 months).
Hazel knew that she wanted to be a young mother and also that that she wanted to have a large family so when she conceived her first baby it was easy to discern that it was just time to go for it. Pregnancy with AJ went well, but his birth didn't quite meet her expectations and it wasn't until she'd given birth to her subsequent children that she realized how traumatic it truly had been. She delivered in hospital and felt that many things were done to her but the mentality implied that she should just gloss over it all because she "had a healthy baby" at the end.
With Sherly's birth, Hazel followed her previous midwife to a new practice and was able to deliver in a birthing center without any complication and had a wonderful experience. Ezme arrived very smoothly after just 2.5 hours of labor, leading Hazel to believe that her future babies will likely need to be born at home so they don't have any surprises.
Hazel absolutely loves being a mother and is looking forward to growing her family. She is also enthralled with birth in general and hopes to begin studies to become a midwife herself when her last baby is about 18 months old, whenever that day may be.
While our mothers and grandmothers may have escaped some of the societal effects the media has had on our relationships with our bodies and ourselves, our generation has not. Hazel remembers her youth being filled with messages that she and her friends should strive to emulate pop-stars and that your baby body could be wished away in just 6 weeks or less. She wants to rewrite that message not only for herself but for her children in hopes that her they not only learn to love and appreciate themselves for who they are but learn to extend the same grace to their future partners. Hazel loves the way in which her body has changed throughout motherhood, she adores her softer parts and embraces her stretch marks, and hopes that through sharing herself and her story alongside other strong women, we can begin to create that change.