Amelia Kirby (32), Pearl Eden (9), Opal (6), and Louis (2.5)
Amelia shares -
“Being a mama has had a huge impact on how I see myself. I have never felt comfortable in my skin. Growing, feeding and nurturing my children gave me a sense of power & accomplishment. We got pregnant with Pearl Eden when I was still in college and it instantly made me feel different than my peers, but for the first time in a good way. I wanted to be a good role model for my daughter and started being kinder to myself in how I thought about my body. I worked really hard and graduated college with Pearl Eden on my hip. My kids have been my main focus for the last 10 years and I think I lost some of who I am outside of being their Mama.
All of my pregnancies were very physically challenging. Each one ended with preeclampsia. Pearl Eden was born at 32 weeks weighing 3lb 1oz by emergency cesarean after a very difficult 60 hour labor. I wasn't informed about what was happening to my body and what my choices were. It was very scary and I felt very lost. Pearl Eden spent 4 weeks in the NICU and I never quite felt like I knew what was going on or how to fully advocate for my family.
After Pearl Eden I was determined to have a different experience the next time around. Opal's pregnancy was by far the most empowering & easy for me. I was more informed, older & I felt more respected. I had a successful v-bac & I felt like a super hero. Breastfeeding my girls gave me the most confidence in my body. I felt strong & capable. It is by far by favorite. While I felt my body failed me & my babies during pregnancy I was able to feed them until toddlerhood.
Louis was an entirely different experience. Like Pearl Eden he was also born at 32 weeks weighing 3lb. He had a lot of health problems, setbacks, and scares. My postpartum time with him was difficult and I got postpartum depression and anxiety, something I am still dealing with. My children make me proud of them, and myself. They are good, kind people & I'm learning to allow myself some of the admiration I give to them.
I've followed 4TBP for awhile and am constantly moved by the images and stories people are brave enough to share. Some feelings and experiences are so similar to how I feel and have felt. It's an honor to be a part of something I respect so much. “