Kyle Orlando (28) and Michael (15 months)
Kyle shares -
“I felt prepared going into parenthood. My husband and I were overjoyed and we made a great team. The sleepless nights were a part of caring for our newborn baby. As months went on, the sleepless nights began to wear on us. I did not think we would get to a point where my son was waking up more often then he did before. After months and months without a complete night of rest, I started having really hard days. I had a lot of guilt. I felt like I should be handling it better. I felt like these hard days wouldn’t end. But the reality is those difficult days do not last. I learned to be more patient, to take it day by day and know that this difficult time is just a phase. My husband and I continue to make a great team and enjoy every moment with our little guy, because the time just goes by too darn fast.
Parenthood has shown me the beauty of the human body. Carrying my son, Michael, taught me to take good care of my body, to nourish it. To not focus on any imperfections. When I was 9 months pregnant, I looked at my very large belly and my distorted belly button, and thought, wow, this is the most extraordinary thing. I embraced my body, my bump, I knew I was going to miss being pregnant. After giving birth, it did take some time to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy. But my postpartum body only reminded me of my strength and power. It reminded me to be grateful for the adventure that I just endured because so many women are unable to.
My sister introduced me to the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. When I found out you were coming to Buffalo, I really wanted to participate and celebrate the beauty of the postpartum body. We all have different stories and experiences-beautiful and heartbreaking and life altering. it is important to share them and take them in. Women are unbelievably strong and resilient and I am grateful to be a part of a project that documents that in such a stunning way.”