Nicole Drewry (29), Sage (5), Psalm (4), London (2), Arkin (due 11/20/17)
Fayetteville, North Carolina | Photographed in Seattle, Washington
Nicole shares -
"My husband and I always knew we wanted a big family. We got pregnant within a month of being married and lost the baby in the first trimester. It was devastating for me, but has helped me to relate to many woman in my life and now in my career (student midwife- soon to be Licensed Midwife, CPM)
Its amazing that my body has gained and lost over 100# in 5 years through pregnancy and breastfeeding. That being said and despite the awe and wonder, I have been critical of myself and my image. It is my thighs. Thunder thighs. I swear I get pregnant in my thighs. It wasn't until my first year of midwifery school when we all formed a circle and all took off our shirts, standing only in bras, to practice with our stethoscopes, that I realized how beautiful every single one of our bodies were. Uniquely different. It was a very special moment. One classmate wore her religious garments. That was a cultural lesson. Our instructor was in her 60s and her skin was silk smooth, aged like fine wine. There were all kinds of bodies in that circle. I was very pregnant with London and 30# heavier. I thought of myself as beautiful JUST THE WAY I WAS for the first time. I honored what my body had done for me, even the ways that it had failed me, specifically in regards to breastfeeding. I'm am grateful for this body, its the only one I'm given and it has grown and nourished these 4 little ones.
I struggled with immense postpartum depression with Psalm. It was difficult. I pleaded for help. I remember Sage sitting at my feet crying so many times. 17 months apart was really a challenge for me. I felt lonely, even though I had loving support. I felt sad. Breastfeeding was rough. I nursed her for 21 months using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). In the end, I felt that I achieved something- a goal. But at the cost of many things in my life. I didn't want to feel that way about breastfeeding. Its suppose to be beautiful. It is suppose to be work, but not impossible. It felt impossible. The routine of nurse, pump, repeat- every 2 hours- for a whole year, kept me from many joys of life. I realized that the promises of breastfeeding weren't worth the lack of joy I experienced. With London, I took a different approach and found myself much more joyful. She is still a "mommas girl". We are very bonded. For Arkin, I plan to breastfeed with the SNS as I please, and not to be hard of myself if things don't go as I hope.
The greatest gift in my life has been being a mom to these children. They are worth all the weird skin changes, all the extra weight, and all the sleepless nights.
This is a gift for my husband, Jeremy. We celebrate 7 years of marriage in just a few short weeks. Being a mom and a midwife has been my dream for the last 8 years. I have been blessed for both of those things to come into fruition. I'm thankful for his support and dedication through many challenges in our life and also the journey of parenthood we are on together."