Julia Millar (32) and Jasper (10 months)
Louisville, KY | Asheville, NC
Julia shares -
“I had three abortions when I was 18 and 19 years old. The first one I got pregnant right before graduating high school with the boy I loved with my whole heart, and who loved me the same. The second and third came out of the tumult of being 18/19 and trying to learn about sexuality and boundaries and relationships and love and betrayal and self-worth. I have since developed a relationship with all three beings, who I call my kids- they are my guardian angels and I couldn't really move through life without them on the other side holding me.
I had many images in my mind before I became pregnant of how I would look physically as a mom. My experience in life has not lived up to the images of feeling sexy or feeling strong and capable, albeit tired. No, instead I feel like my baby is the good looking one and being next to him I hope people think I am too. It’s severely troubling how much shit I've given myself and my body for looking like it does now in the postpartum year. I used to cherish, honor, love and adore my body. And only now have I realized thats because it used to look how I liked. Loving it now is going to be much harder, but I have a feeling it will take me places I haven't yet dreamed I could go. I'm grateful for the opportunity to Love it now. I hope I can.
I have been most surprised at how blissfully easy and natural it has been to become a mama to my baby and to care for him, he is such a breeze and I feel like I know him really well already. The hardest most continually difficult part that I worry is making me a worst person- is how little support I have received. Friends dropping away, women and other moms pledging support but only a couple people really ever think of us and call me up maybe once every two months. I am isolated and home alone with a baby and I absolutely know that a woman, a mother, a parent should not have to be. It is a public health crisis. It is a maternal health issue, it is an issue of children and women and we need to do better. We NEED TO. The psychic pain it has caused worries me, about how I will recover and the impact on myself as a mama- but I know others have done this too and never had support. I'm sure I'm in good company I just wish I could see them.
I am thrilled to get the opportunity to take a break from our chaotic life and intentionally face the fears my postpartum body and life have brought. I'm afraid to see the portraits of myself and thats just exactly why I want to see them. Thank you for this opportunity to look myself in the eye and because of it, become a better mother and more of myself.”