The stunning Mel Parsons, mother to Jaya (12), Sasha (8), Phoenix (would be 3), and Nico (2).
Mel has grown so much with each of her children. Jaya made her both a mother and a midwife. After she was born, Mel told her husband they were going to need to be pregnant 20 more times or she needed to become a midwife. When Jaya was 5 months old she entered into an intensive midwifery program and she loved being part of such huge transitions in peoples lives. Jaya also helped her to learn a lot about boundaries and to be healthy in parenting her own children. Jaya's birth was the birth of and entirely new her.
Sasha's birth was such a thrill, having two daughters was the greatest thing ever and she adores how incredibly different they are. Phoenix has changed her world forever. She says that she is her hardest to parent child and the quietness around her is so heavy at times it often makes her the loudest. Nico is her sign of courage, they made a terrifying choice and out of it he's brought them so much joy and taught them that it's okay to laugh again.
Mel is so grateful that she lives in a place (Seattle) where she has choice. There is so much in motherhood and life that you can't control - she couldn't control her daughters lethal gene mutation but she could choose what kind of birth and death she had. With each of her children she has had the beautiful opportunity of choice. While planning to deliver Jaya out of hospital, Mel developed preeclampsia and need to deliver in the hospital but had such a wonderful experience. The nurses apologized she had to be there and helped her to have as close to the birth she had desired. Sasha was born at home and Jaya announced that she was a girl. With Phoenix they chose what they believed to be the most peaceful passing for her. Mel was induced at 22 weeks surrounded by all of the people she wanted to have there. They only had that one day and as Phoenix's mother that was the best way she could have provided her baby. Phoenix peacefully passed away in her arms and that moment was so precious, all they had was each other. Nico again was born at home and she reiterates how grateful she is to live in a place where she gets to choose, a lot.
Phoenix was so much of Mel's desire to participate. She says that most of her story walks with her everyday but Phoenix does not. People feel bad sometimes bringing up your child who has passed as if you've for a second forgotten about that child and every opportunity she gets to talk about her makes her more real. She gets to say that she's real, that she happened, she is her daughter.She also loves that her living daughters are able to look at these images and see beauty in all of us. She wants more of that shame free promotion of woman hood and our bodies. She believes it but doesn't fully buy it sometimes, she struggles with the extra skin while knowing that's it is in fact beautiful.