Marlow King (25) and Theo Daniel Pierce (9 months)
Arizona | Photographed in Richmond, VA
Marlow shares -
"Becoming a mother has helped me feel more comfortable in my body than ever before.
I had a difficult adjustment to motherhood with no sleep and sore nipples. I felt like shit because I had an emergency cesarean that was and still is really hard to process. My expectations were that I would have some magical birthing experience and recover so well because I was so active while pregnant and that just wasn't the case. I was a week over due and after a sonogram that the doctor claimed someone saw a shadow around my sons neck, induction came up. I denied the initial try of it and then the doctor scheduled me on a Sunday evening two days later. By induction day my body had already started the labor process.. I shouldn't have gone in, I should've stayed home and listened to my instincts, but because of the shadow the doctor told me about it was important that I come in.
When I arrived I told the staff I didn't want Pitocin because I had read lots of horror stories about Pitocin leading to more intervention. After four hours my body wasn't moving fast enough so the drip of Pitocin was started and from there it went down hill. I lasted 6 hours on Pitocin before I begged for the epidural so I could handle the pain. It was too much and didn't feel natural. Of course my body was progressing slowly and I knew this was because I was a first time mom and my body was still figuring out labor. The doctor was very negative, she was convinced I wouldn't make it to 10 cm and when I did and was fully effaced she seemed sort of shocked. I was determined to have my child vaginally. I pushed for 3 hours, begging the doctors to let me push longer but from what I can recall that wasn't an option. I was told his head was "stuck" and if I didn't get a cesarean than he could die. I gave in. It was the scariest moment of my life and I vividly recall flipping the doctor off.
I was exhausted my body was exhausted and I just wanted to see my baby. Theo was born at 10:54 pm not breathing because his lungs hadn't cleared properly. He was taken away to the NICU to get his breathing under control and monitored. I didn't get to meet him until 2:30am. I remember begging my husband to not let anyone in our family see him because I hadn't met him yet. When he was brought to us though I remember he latched right on and it was amazing.
Healing was a different story, there's nothing like recovering from major surgery while caring for a newborn. Thank god for all the help my partner provided because I couldn't have gotten through those first weeks without him.
I want to be a part of such an amazing movement empowering people in their natural forms unfiltered and full of emotion. I spent my entire life taking out the anger I had inside my heart on my body. I struggled with an eating disorder and depression from a very young age. I was in and out of horrible relationships some which ended in abuse. I had an abortion at 18 after leaving one of those abusive situations. I went into treatment for my eating disorder at 21 because I knew my life was in danger and I couldn't bare the thought of giving up.
I met my husband a few years ago and we became pregnant not too long after. I was afraid of relapse during pregnancy so I made a conscious effort to be proactive in my recovery even if it was just affirmations. I think I built up some idea of how I thought my sons birth would go and that really made the cesarean hard. I was afraid I'd come out and not love my self because of a scar I now have thats crooked or the stretch marks I have on my boobs. That hasn't happened though, I'm really comfortable in my body and sometimes I wish I had been this comfortable before. I wonder why I wasted so much time before hating myself. I think how I don't want my children to ever endure that. I want to raise my small humans to have a childhood they don't need to recover from."