Coleen Amber (33) and Desmond (5 Months)
Photographed in Seattle, Washington
Coleen shares -
"Last June when we first started trying, I had an early miscarriage. I didn't know what was happening and really didn't process it until later.
I had to take medications that caused me to gain a lot of weight in my mid 20s, over time I lost that weight but postpartum I am back up to my heaviest weight again. It is very difficult and I have a hard time looking in the mirror. At the same time I am so happy to be a mom I try to remember that my body looks this way because I carried my son for 9 months. I try to believe that someday I will lose the weight, and that even if I don't I am good enough the way I am.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Going in to pregnancy was difficult and I worried so much about postpartum depression. I knew that I was at high risk. My doctors and I planned for it and knew what we were going to do with my medications postpartum. Initially I was okay but about a month postpartum I suffered from severe anxiety and OCD. I hadn't planned or learned about it at all so it all came so sudden and dramatically. It was hard to medicate for the conditions because it interfered with the treatment of my Bipolar Disorder. I tried taking classes for postpartum issues and became suicidal. I had to do intensive therapy and just let time pass before the symptoms started to pass. I still have severe anxiety from time to time but I have learned to cope with it better. Some days are good and some are bad. I just try to survive and remember why I did this. I love my son.
No matter how much planning you do, it will never be enough. Sometimes you just have to live experiences - you can't always prepare for them.
I've had so many body issues in the past, I wanted to have the opportunity to regain my sense of body and reframe how I see it. I am a mother, I have this body because I did something amazing that I never knew I would be able to do. This body should remind me I am amazing not deficient. I hope that by participating in the movement I can remember to feel that way."