Amanda Cox (37), Caliana (7), and Vincent (5)
Des Moines, IA
Amanda is a previous project participant. You can view her original photo and story from 2016 here.
Amanda shares -
“Since beginning this parenthood journey I have gained 100 lbs and lost 75lbs, had two cesareans and three laparoscopic surgeries. My body looks nothing like it did seven years ago. My abdomen is covered with stretch marks and small surgical scars, but I’m proud of how far I have come. My body image has definitely struggled with all of these changes and I don’t feel perfect in the eyes of society. However, I try not to dwell on my imperfections especially since I have a little girl that looks up to me. It’s important for me to embrace my story and the changes to my body.
As I shared in my previous session, my postpartum journey has been an ongoing struggle for my health after complications with my son’s cesarean. Five years postpartum and I’m still dealing with chronic pain. I recently had my third surgery since my son’s birth. I had my right ovary and both Fallopian tubes removed due to a large benign mucinous cystadenoma. The surgery went so much better than I expected and I am hopeful that this will help with my pain!
My postpartum journey was definitely unexpected and pretty different from the norm, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without everything I have gone through. I learned how to be a better advocate for my kids and for myself throughout this ongoing journey. In the end, I’m so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. Not just with my health, but as a single mom. I keep pushing forward with whatever life throws at us.
I felt so empowered sharing my story two years ago and I wanted to update my story as things have changed. I continued to fight for answers and went through another surgery in the process. My body is never going to be the same as it was before my pregnancies, childbirths and surgeries, but it’s mine and I have two amazing children as a result.
You know yourself and your children better than anyone else. If something doesn’t feel right, keep searching for answers.”