The fabulous Christie Fischer, currently 11 weeks pregnant, and Sid Rocco (23 months old).
Christie participated in our Portland, ME tour stop in October 2015. You can view her previous photo and story here: http://www.4thtrimesterbodiesproject.com/gallery-1/2016/2/24/christie-fischer
Christie wanted to participate again to be able to share this experience with both of her children. "I wanted to document my body and their lives in various stages of gestation and postpartum. This pregnancy has been much different for me in that I have been dealing with intense morning sickness and wracked with anxiety similar to what I experienced postpartum." Having struggled with disordered eating and body image issues in the past Christie says that her default is to take out the anxieties with judgements on her changing body. "I have felt very alone in how detached I feel in spite of the joy of becoming a mother again. The more I talk about it, the more I find it is not entirely an uncommon experience, despite how isolating it feels."
Choosing to have another child has also caused Christie to acknowledge the feelings she has about possibly failing Sid by adding to their family. She never realized the fear she was still holding on to regarding her first labor and delivery until presented with experiencing it again and having to make the decision of having a VBAC versus a planned cesarean. She knows there is time and is trying to trust that she'll be able to confidently make the right choice when she needs to.
Breastfeeding is very important to Christie and though she had some difficulties initially with Sid, she's proud to have nursed him until just recently when he weaned seamlessly on his own. She says that she is now able to confidently go into her next breastfeeding relationship with the knowledge that she can handle anything that comes their way.
"Participating a year ago was an awakening of sorts for me. I had spent so much time and energy locking my past experiences away, regarding them with an unhealthy dose of shame. To talk about my story and recovery was attention seeking and not moving forward. What I have learned over the last year is quite the opposite. By opening up and being candid with my story, I can turn a trying experience into one of hope for those still stuck in the cycle of suffering. Too many of us shut down with shame, which denies many of the knowledge that recovery is possible, even if it is not linear."
Christie is an admin for our Stop Censoring Motherhood Instagram account and found herself disheartened by the images she was shown following body positive hashtags. "No wonder it is so hard for us to except our changing bodies and minds when our feeds are flooded with postpartum images of diet plans, wraps and six pack abs. Not to discredit those who work hard and value fitness; it was just not what I know I needed to see in the postpartum vortex. It inspired me to create my own Instagram account focusing on motherhood and recovery. I wanted to make an effort to put more positivity and honesty out there. I wanted to post what I know I needed to see and hear at various points of motherhood and recovery."