The wonderful Elizabeth Weis and her daughter Vivienne Grace (16 months). Elizabeth has Crohn's disease and after going on steroids several years ago began to gain weight. While her body is much different now because of the medication and steroids she's had to take as well as resection surgeries she says that she has been fortunate to have a family and a husband who are very supportive. She loves her body and is very comfortable with it even though it's changed. Elizabeth's first pregnancy ended in miscarriage and it took about two years to conceive Vivienne. She continued her maintenance medications throughout her pregnancy but went into complete remission and says that it was the most physically enjoyable time of her life. She loved being pregnant and can't wait to do it again. She had previously been told that she would have to deliver via cesarean with any pregnancies but her doctor, during pregnancy said there was no reason she couldn't deliver vaginally and she was excited to try. Unfortunately she developed preeclampsia, had a failed induction, labored for 18 hours on magnesium and never progressed past 5cms. When they broke her water her cervix closed down to 4cms and the decision was made to deliver via cesarean. while Elizabeth got to meet Vivienne right away her blood sugar and body temperature were low so they took her away to NICU. Elizabeth wasn't able to see her daughter again until late the following day and they refused to give Vivienne breastmilk due to her medications. She was finally able to be cleared for breastfeeding and Vivienne was released from NICU after 4 days. Elizabeth was breastfed herself until she was four and always imagined she would have the same relationship with her children. She was heartbroken when Vivienne chose to self-wean around 14 months and while she has still struggled with feeling a bit slighted emotionally she still pumps milk for her daughter to drink.
Elizabeth was referred to the project from a former participant during the time she was struggling with the end of her during relationship and wanted to participant to show her love for herself and her daughter. Sending the message to other women that they can love themselves when their bodies change via pregnancy, or medication or life is so important, she says, your worth is not tied to your weight.