Kiona Nessenbaum (24) and Kavina Love (4) Years old. Kiona is 36 weeks pregnant with Kairo Legend
Photographed in Seattle, Washington
Kiona shares -
"I feel that my body is proof of the amazing human species - stretch marks and all. I do get self conscious now and again about the lack of tone I have in my muscles but always tell myself I am too busy taking care of my kids to worry about going to the gym.
Becoming a parent at the young age of 19 made me worry that I wouldn't be able to accomplish my own dreams and goals - including finishing college. But with the support from my and my husbands family we are doing great. The birth of my daughter has empowered me in ways that I couldn't imagine.
After I had an unmedicated birth with her I felt so powerful. I also had an amazing support team which made me realize that all birthing people need to be supported during the very vulnerable, special life changing moments of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The birth of my daughter is what made me decide that I wanted to become a midwife, thus leading me to take a birth doula training one year after my daughter was born in 2014. I ended up graduating from UW Bothell in March of 2016 and now I am currently apply to midwifery school. If my husband and I did not have our beautiful daughter Kavina, I truly have no idea where I would be.
Motherhood has changed my life in such a positive way and guided me to choose a career to support other childbearing families in making educated and informed decisions during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
One of the main reason I chose to participate in this movement was to show other young families that children can bring great joy and guidance in addition to the realization that you are now forever a parent. I want to share my story with others so they know that are not alone in having children at a young age and that life can and will go on! If you put your mind to it you can accomplish all and everything. Alongside this, your body doesn't only create and/or support life, it takes you through YOUR life as well. So be kind to yourself. Love yourself in all ways possible."