Brittany Wheeler (22 - 5 weeks 5 days pregnant at time of photograph) and Carson Thomas (3)
Brittany shares -
“I have had two miscarriages, both early first trimester in 2012 and then as recent as September 2017. I was 15 years old when I conceived with an IUD in place and miscarried a couple weeks after finding out. It was my first of two IUD pregnancies, the second led to my healthy 3 year old, about 3 years later. My second loss was last September for no known reason.
My body image since becoming a parent has been confusing and turbulent. The latter less so in the past 6 months. I gave birth to my beautiful boy after my dream homebirth, I was so incredibly proud of everything my body had done and was doing. I birthed him powerfully, I breastfed him with ease and I gave myself gentle time to adjust and heal. With that though came the disappointment and frustration from the loss I never processed when I was 15. I was so angry because he wasn't the first babe of mine I was supposed to be holding and breastfeeding. How could my body be so beautiful and powerful when it failed to protect and grow his sibling?
These feelings spiraled into severe PPD and I attempted to end my life in October of 2016. It took a lot of work to really honor and respect my body, mind included from there on out. On social media I immersed myself in stories of loss and miscarriage, stories of people that didn’t have a perfect postpartum either despite a great pregnancy and birth. It helped. When last September rolled around and I wasn’t sure if I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t and then suddenly I knew that I was and was losing our baby anyways it was really hard but I could handle it. I had spent so much time growing spiritually and emotionally that I knew that there was more at work than just my body and if this babe couldn’t come Earthside, it and the Universe knew better than I did. I think that was a huge turning point in my relationship with my body and I trust its wisdom more than ever, especially in my current pregnancy.
This movement opened my eyes to a much larger vision of postpartum, there are so many different ways to journey as a parent and individual. I admire so many of the stories shared, I relate to some and I'm grateful for that. I'm hoping that sharing my story might give another parent what they're looking for and that they can relate too.
Pain isn't linear. I wish I had known that at the start of my journey. That just because I'm putting in the work to heal, function and be better doesn't mean that I won't have those soul crushing days where I don't know how to be alive or how to be Carson's mom without being Wren and Nolan's mom too.”