The radiant Kara Ray and Liam Blue (3.5).
Kara was 19 when her son was born and she says that none of it felt real to her until Liam was in her arms. Her pregnancy went well and birth was fairly uneventful. She was scheduled to be induced on her due date but her water broke the day prior and they headed to the hospital within the hour. Liam arrived quite quickly, without complication only three hours later. Kara wasn't certain if she wanted to breast of bottle feed but decided to give it a try and admits she had no idea what she was in for.
While she was never diagnosed, she feels in hindsight that she suffered from postpartum depression. She found herself crying uncontrollably weeks after she came from the hospital without much reason. Kara felt really alone, struggled with breastfeeding and had a difficult time getting herself up and out of the house. "I had heard of anxiety before my son was born but never really understood what it was until after his birth when I had my first panic attack." Kara still struggles with anxiety today but recently started taking medication that has helped keep it somewhat under control.
Kara stayed home the first year of Liam's life after which she went back to school for nursing and started work part time. Staying home helped her establish a good breastfeeding relationship that lasted until he weaned at about 19 months. Kara didn't have close friends or family to gain breastfeeding support from and was grateful to find online support through Facebook groups and local businesses.
"I'd like to bring awareness to postpartum depression and to say that it is okay to reach out for help. Also, breastfeeding is one of the hardest jobs out there, mom's shouldn't feel discouraged if doesn't work out. I'd like to bring light to the suffocating pressure of 'bouncing back' after a baby especially when you give birth at a young age. Trying to juggle staying in touch with yourself and being a good mother. It's all so life changing and I think letting other women know they're not alone is a huge task this project accomplishes. I'm lucky to be a small part of it."