Hannah Stackawitz (31) and Asa Jett (11 weeks). Hannah also has two step children.
Bucks County, PA | Asheville, NC
Hannah shares -
“Motherhood has given me an intense appreciation for my body, and also some dis-ease with my new shape. I’m realizing firsthand just how exclusive the pop culture definition of “sexy” is of so many bodies. I want to feel confident and beautiful for myself and my partner and, right now, it takes a conscious effort to get there.
Having Asa was both the most natural and the most intense experience of my life. I could never be the same. He is so beautiful, and that beauty came from my body, from our love. They say your journey into motherhood begins long before you get pregnant, and that was certainly true for me. Pregnancy didn’t come easily and we eventually sought a little help. After I was diagnosed with PCOS we got pregnant relatively quickly, but that whole process was daunting and wore me down. I’m a positive person, but I found myself feeling inadequate, broken, helpless, sad, and like my body was letting me—and my partner—down.
Once we got pregnant, my pregnancy was mostly smooth and labor and delivery was intense but uncomplicated. I came out of the hospital with a new baby and newfound appreciation for every mother on Earth (and that appreciation has only grown in my 11 weeks of motherhood!).
Above all, my whole journey to that point required a fair amount of… surrender. Surrender to the unknown, to the present moment, to trusting my body, my instincts, my love, in the will and eventuality of this child. Little did I know this practice of surrendering would carry into motherhood. Now that Asa is here I’ve found myself surrendering sleep, resources, control and more for his wellbeing. Looking in the mirror also requires surrender. I’m nursing and I’ve been through pregnancy and childbirth and now my body is unfamiliar. AMAZING, but unfamiliar. My belly is soft, my legs have a new shape toward their tops, and my breasts no longer feel like they’re my own. I’m learning to accept all of these and to practice appreciation for everything that my body has done for us. But I do have a new shape and it may take time to adjust. Every morning I wake up to my healthy and beautiful son, so all of this is exactly as it should be.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how intrinsically focused on my own physical and mental health I’ve become after being reminded how amazing my body is; it made Asa and has solely sustained him until this day, how could I not want to treat it well?! I’ve never wanted to treat myself better, and that includes approaching my new shape with kindness and appreciation. That’s why I wanted to participate in this project: to document my experience from a place of gratitude for my body, to share the story and image of a mama warrior, and to attempt to capture how much love I feel for my son at this very moment.
Trust your instincts. You were made for exactly this moment.”