Aryana Mazzola (25), Preston (3), and Mina (14 months)
San Jose, California | Reno, NV
Aryana shares -
“Parenthood has impacted my view on my body in a few ways. Before my son I was focused on losing as much weight as possible and getting tone and fit, and I accomplished it. With my son I gained 80 pounds, and with extra 80 pounds on me I gained stretch marks on my thighs and stomach. With that weight on my body it made me self conscious, but I also owned it. I owned it because my body made a perfect healthy little boy. With my daughter, I gained 40 pounds as well as more stretch marks. To this day I am still self conscious of my stretch marks but I look at them as a souvenir from my pregnancies.
Birth was amazing in both pregnancies, with my son I had a birthing center birth and had a wonderful birth team, with my daughter I trusted myself and my pregnancy and had an unassisted birth with just my boyfriend and I. Both turned out to be beautiful experiences, my unassisted birth was by far my favorite.
With my son I had PPD. It was hard adjusting. Our son was not planned and being a young mom it took a toll on my feelings. I wasn't ready to be a mom, I wasn't ready for most of my young friends to desert me, I wasn't ready to feel alone like I did being a stay at home mom. I felt I expected a lot from my boyfriend at the time, but it was needed and he was great support. I never expected it to be that way when I had kids, I expected it to be a happy transition turning into a mom but it was far from happy. With my daughter it was hard adjusting as well but that was only hard because going from one to two was definitely a change, but PPD luckily didn’t affect me again.
What brought me to attend the 4th Trimester Bodies Project was to help women appreciate their bodies and know that birth and postpartum bodies are normal. We're not flawless after our pregnancies; we gain weight, we gain stretch marks, our bodies change, our boobs become pancakes or 1 size bigger than the other, whatever happens its all normal. We all need to embrace our bodies and appreciate what they have made and gifted us.”