Rachel Groux (32), mother to Isis (12 - not pictured) , Ella (23 months), and Jude (6 months)
Rachel shares -
"While pregnant, all three times, I loved my body. I don’t think I’ve ever felt better about my growing body than I have while pregnant. For as long as I am remember, even throughout my teen years I’ve been trying some kind of diet in efforts to shrink my body. So it was a surprise to me when I embraced my round pregnant body.
But, to my dismay, even at 20 with my first baby, the weight I gained from pregnancy didn’t come off easily and I have held on to more weight with each consecutive pregnancy after that. Especially with my youngest who came just 17 months after my second daughter was born. I have dimples in places I didn’t think possible, stretch marks from having three 8.5-9lb babies, and more weight than my teenage self ever thought possible. It’s a daily struggle to love the body I have. I’m grateful for its ability to grow three healthy, full term babies, but I struggle with the after effects those pregnancies had on my shape.
At 20, with my first daughter the feelings of anxiety I had postpartum came as a shock to me. My worries became debilitating to the point of almost no sleep. I would watch her sleep every night to make sure she was breathing. It took months and lots of family support from my grandparents to return to some sense of normal thought pattern.
Ten years later, with my second daughter, I anticipated the same, but it manifested differently. I became almost a hermit and had great anxiety about leaving the house. I rarely left home that first year with her. With both girls, I wished their newborn and early infant-hood away in hopes that with age I’d stress less. With my youngest, my anxiety has come in waves. Some weeks are good, others are spent at home, only leaving the house out of necessity.
Things that I thought should be effortless, like breastfeeding, we’re a huge struggle with my girls. Both struggled with latching and we ended our breastfeeding journey earlier than I had hoped. My son, came out ready to eat. We’ve had our struggles too though with tongue ties, but have been lucky enough to make it six months so far!
Motherhood has been, by far, the most rewarding and difficult experience of my life.
I want to love this body that created these three beautiful humans. I want to love my current self and not always look toward a future goal, because who knows if I’ll ever get there. I hope to capture and appreciate this moment in time that I’ll never get back.