Leann Olsen (27), Felix (3), and Eloisa (6.5 months)
Leann shares -
“We found out that we were pregnant very late with Felix, which was terrifying. We didn't know if either of us were healthy and on track, so we went through a traumatic period where we considered abortion. My partner and I had always wanted to be parents, but we were completely overwhelmed. After meeting with many different providers, who were not all supportive, we ultimately decided that Felix wanted to be here and we were ready for him. It wasn't easy going through the abortion scenario, but I am so thankful to live in a state where I had a choice and felt supported.
I've always been a thin and active person, but my body has been a source of stress for me lately. Pregnancy and birth put our bodies through the ringer, so I try to always find the positive in the changes, but it's trying at times. I'm still learning what this new body wants and needs. I never want my children to see me denigrating my body, even when I'm not happy with it. My body gave me these beautiful beings who look at least somewhat like me and have bits of my personality. If that's not worth cherishing, than I don't know what is. I am a birth doula, so I preach self-love and confidence on the daily. I'm just working on practicing what I preach with my new body. I'll get there, it just takes time.
I had a traumatic birth and postpartum period with Felix, which led to postpartum anxiety. It took me almost two years to begin therapy for the perinatal PTSD. I didn't realize I'd had postpartum anxiety until after Eloisa was born. My births and postpartum periods were truly night and day between Felix and Eloisa. Eloisa's birth was so healing in many ways, but I'm still coming to terms with my postpartum mental health. It's hard making peace with the shadows of trauma and anxiety, but I'm working on it.
As a birth doula, I have the utmost respect for the birthing person and the birth narrative. Our patriarchal society hates it when women, especially pregnant women or new moms, claim their own stories and bodies. I strive to teach both of my children that their bodies belong to them alone and that every body is precious. I also want to teach them to smash the patriarchy, and this seems like a pretty badass way to do that.”