The amazing Renee Forred with her sons Anderson (3) and Elliot (1). Renee says that while motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding changed her physically, it has also been an incredibly, emotionally healing experience as well.
On March 7th, 2004, Renee was raped by someone she knew and trusted. She was just 17 and here entire world fell apart. She says that she hated her body and felt that it had somehow failed her, and she lost trust in herself and her instincts. She lived with extreme guilt, depression and anxiety. She was so scared; she never reported the rape.
Then she became a mother and everything changed. She loved being pregnant and watching her body change. She said "I rose out of my own ashes as an empowered woman. I now thank God for my body, what it is capable of, and all that it stands for". She had had two totally natural births, breastfed both of her babies (she's still nursing Elliot) and has donated milk to AIDS affected infants and micro-preemies.
Renee has learned to love herself again and to find her own identity. In addition to motherhood allowing her to love her body again, she has started running and completed her first half-marathon in May. Renee wanted to share her story and encourage other women who survived rape, especially those who never reported it and are dealing with that guilt.
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