Kaitlin Clark (30) and Vera (3 months)
Kaitlin shares -
“I used to have trouble loving my body. My boobs were size DD in middle school, and I was always receiving attention I really didn’t want. As a girl, and well into women hood I was constantly comparing myself to others, never feeling satisfied with myself. Pregnancy changed my views of my body. I took really good care of myself and felt strong and nourished and I loved myself. I cared more about the content than the image. Now postpartum I continue to have those feelings and am thankful for what my body has done, and continues to do for me and my babe.
I worried about how I would feel mentally and emotionally after I gave birth. I worried about bonding. I tried to bond with her when she was inside of me. I would sing to her and read books. I felt silly and disconnected. Vera came to me as a surprise. Although she was very much wanted, the emotional rollercoaster I was riding throughout my pregnancy was a lot. I was not in a relationship, nor was I going to force myself to be for the sake of the pregnancy. I knew it was going to be hard but I also knew it was going to be beautiful. When she arrived and I was home, people were always around- something I wasn’t used to. The surge of adrenaline and hormones mixed with my exhaustion made me blue. It was truly a different world. Once I was able to heal, get some needed rest, and spend some time alone with her, I was able to adjust and open my heart to my baby.
Take it one day at a time. I know it is something that is told to every expecting mother. But it is so true. Overwhelming is a great word to describe motherhood. It can sometimes feel like too much and for me that is when I would start to feel anxious. I would remind myself to get through this day. Don’t fret about what the night would bring. Take it as it came because every day is different and sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes it’s a disaster. I think thats useful advice for mothers and non-mothers, what ever it is they may be dealing with. Life is fucking hard sometimes! Also, prioritize yourself if you can you will be a better momma for it.
I was brought into this community when I became pregnant. This community of support for other women. I found it so beautiful and powerful. I found my “village” through friends and family. People who cared deeply for me and showed it! My sister, who has been my rock- she was the first I told that I was pregnant. She was there for me no matter my decision and listened when I just needed to talk about baby daddy or when I was feeling insecure about what the rest of the world thought of me. She was my birth partner and was by my side throughout my labor and the birth of my daughter. I feel the first hand effects of female support and empowerment and I am so grateful to have experienced it. I am thankful for projects like this and feel hopeful for my daughter and the world she can grow up in. The kind of place where instead of comparing ourselves to each other, we support each other and raise each other up!”