Kayla DeGhetto (29) and Hugh (16.5 months)
Photographed in Richmond, Va
Kayla shares -
"I have not personally experienced loss, however two very close friends have. Although these were not personal loses, they weighed heavy on my mind throughout my pregnancy. I felt very anxious and wanted to educate myself on these 'taboo' topics. People thought I was crazy for reading up on loss and exposing myself to it but I just felt like I needed to know more, I didn't want to be in the dark about this side of pregnancy.
I wanted to be pregnant and become a mother but I was admittedly worried about what would happen to my body post-pregnancy. I felt ashamed to be self-conscious about it, especially because I wanted to be pregnant but found that many women shared similar feelings. I did love my pregnant belly but was concerned about 'returning to normal'. What I have found is that my 'normal' isn't the same but I love it even more. I have days of doubt but in those times I try to remind myself that my body sustained life and continues to do so while breastfeeding. I want my son, and any future children to be raised in a house of body-positivity. There is something so empowering to know that I was able to grow and sustain life, and I think breastfeeding has helped that positive impact significantly.
Honestly, I love being a parent. My husband is in the Navy and the stars aligned the month our son was born so he was able to be home with us for almost an entire month. I feel like this was crucial in developing us as parents. We learned about our son together, he was so incredibly helpful in those first few weeks and it made me love and appreciate him so much more. As Hugh gets a little older, I try to enjoy these days, knowing good and well that they won't be forever. The late nights, occasional temper tantrums and all the other nitty-gritty aspects of parenthood make it interesting (and exhausting) and wonderful but I think I have become a better version of myself. I've learned to slow down and smile more. I want to capture these times and freeze them forever but also speed them up to see how my son develops and grows into his little personality. Parenthood is compromise and sleep-deprivation and crying but it is so beautiful in all of its monumental little moments.
Before parenthood anything that I swore I would NEVER do-I've done (for instance, no baby of mine would ever sleep in my bed, we bed shared and room shared until my son was one, he still occasionally sneaks in our bed) and anything I knew I would definitely do, I most likely haven't done. Absolutes have no room in the game of parenthood. You learn to adjust to your baby and your family and what works looks different for everyone, and that is perfectly acceptable.
I love the beauty and rawness that this project brings to my social media pages. I want to learn more about the stories that bring people into parenthood and I love the way this project does it."