Jenn Osorio (29), Jason (11), Adrian (5), and Silas (4)
Hessisch Oldendorf, Germany | Photographed in Tampa, FL
Jenn shares -
"I've had two miscarriages that completely broke my heart and an abortion that saved me some serious heartache.
When I was 17 and had my first it took me a minute to be okay with the changes to my body. I really thought I'd never be okay in my body again but after my initial recovery stopped worrying about my stretches and felt great in my skin. I can say the same about my second. I was never bothered by my "mom bod" until after my 3rd when PPD and PTSD got the best of me and the changes weren't "normal" they were unhealthy weight gain. I'm still struggling to get back to my normal after that.
Mothering came very naturally to me the first two times. I delivered Jason sunny side up in a hospital with an awesome doctor who really respected me and my choices, at 17 I knew that having a doctor who listened to me and spoke to me directly rather than to my mother was not something I took for granted. I thank this doctor for this confidence in me to make choices for myself. I believe strongly that because of how I was treated I became a very confidant young mother.
Adrian was born 5 1/2 years later into the hands of a midwife after 30 hours of labor and 20 minutes of pushing. I was so amazed at how strong my body was. I was even remember saying "I could do this 1000 times". He was my biggest baby 8lbs and 3oz and he was just so easy to take care of. I breastfed without major issues and I eventually fell into a rhythm with my both my boys. I hit some road bumps after each but I got through them. I for sure had some weepiness and felt crazy overwhelmed at times (I forgot to eat often, cried because Ludacris wasn't the credited artist of a song though he was the superior artist, and at times felt like I had lost myself) those feelings were temporary and usually didn't last for more than a day or two at a time. I got pregnant again when my second son was 10 months old...oops? (yes we do know how that happens).
This pregnancy was the most difficult I was achey and sick the entire pregnancy. Silas was born 12 weeks early, due to a placental abruption. I was in the care of a midwife and was planning to be birthing out of hospital again. I began to bleed at home after a day of bedrest and felt my son flip to breech. I kept my calm and dropped my children off with a friend and my husband drove me to the hospital. When I got there I was instructed by ER staff to just walk down the hall and get myself a wheel chair and then take the elevator up to L&D. I was ignored for an hour by the L&D staff. When they finally came to access me and realized what was happening they sprung to action which is what needed to happen but I wasn't given proper informed consent, when I asked why I couldn't deliver my son vaginally with a 10cm dilated cervix I was only told "your baby will die if you don't do what we say"
I was crying while I was forced to sign consent forms left handed as they were already starting an IV. How could I even ask another question after a response like that? I was taken to the OR and they drew an incision line on me while I was still awake and restrained. I screamed at them that I was awake. I was convinced they were starting the surgery without anesthesia it was the most terrified I had ever been. After some choice words from me someone began the anesthesia and the next thing I remember is my husband at my bedside he found me in recovery "beeping back" at my IV pump. I barely remembered having come to the hospital it wouldn't be until the next day before I saw Silas for the first time. I was able to touch him for the first time. It was over a week before I could hold him. I felt so vulnerable and in so much pain, but worst is that I felt my choices had been taken from me. I would have 1000 times chosen a cesarean, I needed someone there that night to take 30 seconds to tell me what my son's risks were. I would have agreed without hesitation.
We speak about it positively now - if you ask him how he was born he will giggle and tell you "the doctor pulled me out by my feet". The following months of NICU stay were some of the most difficult for me as a mother. The nurses and Neonatologists are the real MVPs in the story because they taught me not to be afraid to hold him, or to be afraid to hurt his tiny self when I'd wipe him or how to handle all his CPAP. The Neonatologists respected our choices and heard our concerns and they were there to guide us through. The nurses made Silas's need for chest tubes and transfusions less terrifying through respectful and empathetic communication. They guided our family and respected our choices. Three months later Silas had doubled his birth weight and some. He came home just a few days after his due date weighing 6 pounds 4oz.
I've done a lot of healing over the last few years and one of the most stubborn remnants of the hardest and most frightening times of my life is the weight I gained. It makes me sad sometimes, I've worked hard lost about 20 pounds, but even if I never lose another I want to stop being so hard on myself. I want he boys to see the me I'm still fighting to see myself, but like look at this body for s second. It's been through some shit and right here next to me are these three healthy boys who I grew with my body and fed with my body I want to appreciate that magic."