Andrea Imes (32 - 34 weeks pregnant) and Magna “Maggie” (26 months)
Des Moines, IA
Andrea shares -
“I’ve struggled with being overweight most of my life. This led to obsessing over exercise and disordered eating in my early twenties. Being pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding has made me appreciate and focus on what my body can do rather than compare it to others and be negative about my size or appearance.
Maggie was born at 41.6 weeks, that morning I was scheduled to meet my midwife at the hospital for her to open my bag of waters. I was happy I was able to continue my planned home birth. I felt empowered by birth overall. I had some struggles with my identity as I transitioned to parenthood. My body felt heavy and strangely empty afterward. I fell in love with her immediately but also missed her being inside me. I struggled with some anxiety in the first few weeks and has intrusive thoughts about my baby being hurt by things or people I couldn’t control. Riding in the car was scary, being home alone was scary. Eventually that subsided but I was surprised by it.
Parenthood brings on a lot of emotions that aren’t always talked about like guilt and anxiety. Give yourself grace and know that you are enough and you are doing your best.
I love everything about 4TBP. I haven’t experienced anything particularly traumatizing related to fertility, pregnancy, birth or postpartum. But I love the normalization of all the varied bodies and stories! We need more of it in all media!”
UPDATE: “August “Auggie” Lee was born via cesarean at 39 weeks. The day before he was born he wasn’t moving much so I had a Non Stress Test which was not reassuring. His heart rate was good but he did not have variables in rate like he should have. He looked good on ultrasound the following morning after being admitted for observation, but still was barely moving. I had polyhydramnios for most of the second half of pregnancy and then a sudden decrease in fluid. My Midwives were concerned that my placenta was simply fatigued from the large fluid shift. We trialed a Pitocin induction since he was not reassuring us. He did not tolerate contractions, as his heart rate would go down with each one, which is why he was born by cesarean. I feel like I have experienced opposite ends of the birth experience spectrum. Both were beautiful and had vastly different recoveries. We still aren’t sure what he was trying to tell us, but I am thankful for modern medicine and the ability for him to be born healthy.”