Mattea Otten (26) Emmett 3 years Abigail 7 months
Des Moines, IA
Mattea is a previous project participant. You can view her original photo and story from 2016 here.
Mattea shares -
“Now no matter how I feel, I want to always use positive words to describe myself, my kids, and others. I want them to have a realistic image of women, childbirth, and life. I really don’t feel much different honestly, I always heard I can’t believe you just had a baby, you don’t even look like it. But it isn’t quite the same. It’s hard having to share your body with your kids, being their sole source of life and nourishment. But it feels pretty bad ass too to know that I grew them and I fed them. I’m pretty amazing and so is my body.
I thought it would be just as easy as it was the first time around. Labor and delivery was so perfect and so easy, but then going home was so hard. I felt so alone, I was so stressed being a mom of two, a newborn and a toddler. I was stressed with finishing up my finals for my first semester of nurse midwifery school and planning clinical hours less than a month after my new baby was born. Their father, who I thought I’d be with forever, decided life with two kids was too boring and got himself a new girlfriend and while I told him to leave, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. So now I’m adjusting to being a single mom of two, full time nurse, full time student. I found amazing friends and family I can lean on that help me through it.
I love seeing women proud of themselves and celebrating being a woman and being a mother. It’s why I love working as a nurse with new moms and babies, and why I’m so excited to become a midwife. I want to document this time when my babies are little and depend on me for so much. It’s a lot of responsibility to be someone’s whole world. And they’re mine and I’m their’s.
All your babies want and need is you. My babies are my family forever and I’ll always put them first, and that’s okay. Just be sure to take care of yourself and ask for help when you need. I realized a little too late I couldn’t pour from an empty cup. Thankfully I had an amazing midwife to help me out of my postpartum depression.”