The beautiful Stephany Ortiz-Wilson and her son Julien (10 months). Stephany moved to the States from Nicaragua when she was 14 to live with her father. She didn't speak any English; her step-mother didn't speak any Spanish and she went from being the eldest of 6, taking care of everyone and having a lot of freedom, to living in such a strict environment she could barely leave the house. It was at that point in life that she started turning to food and put on a lot of weight. Stephany and her husband tried for about 3 years to get pregnant by simply not preventing pregnancy before she finally went to the doctor to try to see what was going on. She had been told that she needed to lose weight first and while she had made some progress, she was ready to just have a baby already. She went to the doctor to have some tests run and she said she didn't need to prescribe anything because Stephany was already newly pregnant! She had a healthy pregnancy with no issues but had to be induced post dates. After laboring for quite some time, she had to ultimately deliver Julien via cesarean. When he was born, he was blue and was not breathing and Stephany thought he had died. Thankfully, they were able to revive him and he has no lasting effects from his traumatic delivery. She was able to initiate breastfeeding and says that it helped to shed the pregnancy weight and helped her to continue to make healthier choices for herself.
Stephany has learned to be self-deprecating as a means of protecting herself from judgment regarding her weight. She isn't at all comfortable with her physical self but is trying to be proud of her body for what it did. She said that she doesn't even let her husband see her in her undergarments so it was a giant leap of faith to participate in the project, but she is hoping that doing so will help her to see herself as beautiful as she continues her journey of loving who she is inside and out.
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