Schaulis Fike-Romero (32), Darrell Romero (35), Adalynn (8), Kenneth (4), and Leland (8.5 months)
Nebraska | Denver, CO
Schaulis shares -
“After my first, I had feelings of inadequacy, I didn't feel beautiful and harshly judged myself. After my second, I was less harsh, but still unsatisfied and uncomfortable with how I looked, but thanks to 4TBP and wonderful friends and family, I began to see the beauty of my body as it was, not how I thought it should be. My children kneading my squishy belly, using my floppy breasts as pillows while they nursed, hugging and hiding behind my thunder thighs when they felt shy, all these things forged a new level of confidence that I had never had before. My 3rd baby had fully cemented body positivity for me. Even though I had dietary restrictions throughout my pregnancy and ate an extremely healthy diet, my body put on the amount of weight it needed to grow my baby. If my body did not change after pregnancy, I would have been ok with that. But it is constantly changing due to my new eating style, so each season of my body brings a new opportunity to accept and love myself how I look. Easier said than done. I will forever be a work in progress, but life is the most beautiful work, so I have learned to live and love it the best that I can.
When I first had my daughter, I was very hard on myself and my body. I was desperate to loose the baby weight because I thought that's what I was required to do. 9 months on, 9 months off as they say. I tried and did not succeed like I had hoped. Life went on, and while I was pregnant with my middle son, I gained quite a bit of weight, and already being overweight did not help. I was comfortable in my pregnancy for the first two trimesters because my amazing midwife helped me to see how beautiful my body was growing this baby. But not everyone was so kind. I spent everyday at work being berated by my supervisor for my weight gain along with other things. If I wasn't the only income at that time, I would have quit, but with a baby on the way it didn't feel like an option. The negativity wore me down and my confidence floundered. The amount of stress that work environment brought on ultimately caused health issues - spiking my blood pressure, ripping my dream homebirth away, and ending in a cesarean for the best possible outcome.
About a year later, I was able to leave that job. Some time after his birth, I found 4TBP and began to see all the different families, read their stories, and see the real beauty. All of this helped me to find comfort in my life. My 3rd pregnancy was by far my healthiest both mentally and physically. Even though I gained a lot of weight again, it was not concerning. My blood pressure was normal the entire time, and most importantly, I kept all negativity away from me. I was able to have a beautiful, healing home water birth surrounded by love and those closest to me.
4TBP helped me to see the beauty of myself and others, and I want nothing more than to help continue that so other's can find that same truth. Research and fight for what you believe and need.
Darrell shares -
“I have come to accept my body in parenthood. At first it was somewhat frustrating knowing that my body was changing and there was little I could do about it. I can't say that I'm really ashamed of how my body has turned out. It's just a part of life's journey and I'm here to experience it.
With my first son, Kenny, it has been an interesting postpartum journey. Because of complications he had to be delivered via cesarean there was disappointment that we were not able to experience the home birth we had been planning. It really felt like everything was stacked against us. Since we had to deliver prematurely there was also much concern for his well being as he was in NICU for a little over a week. Overall it was a difficult experience.
My second son, Leland was a completely different experience. We weren't under the stresses that plagued us during Kenny's birth. That led to a healthy full term home birth that we were wanting. We didn't have the complications with Leland, that we had with Kenny. Overall it was the experience that we were wanting. This is the last child we plan on having so it was very rewarding to get the result we were wanting with Kenny's birth.
I wanted to support my wife and family and be a part of something that helps make a positive impact. Just try and be as positive as possible with the process. Try to have a little more patience as well. Things are going to happen that you will have to live with and accept that they are things you can't change.”