Joanna Accola (29), Casper & Lloie, (Fraternal Twins - 15 months)
Wisconsin | Minneapolis, MN
Joanna shares -
“The process of becoming a mother has given me a newfound respect for and awareness of my body. Before becoming pregnant, I had no idea the metamorphosis my body was capable of. Being pregnant with twins, I often felt so comically large. I didn’t really feel embarrassed or ashamed of my gigantic belly, though. I was actually impressed at how it seemed to defy gravity and provide everything my babies needed to thrive. Since giving birth, I’ve realized that my body is capable of amazing strength, but that it’s not invincible. I have been able-bodied and relatively healthy my entire life. Before having kids, I pretty much took my health for granted. I realize now that my body is a gift and a privilege and as such, I should treat it with the respect and care it deserves.
What I’ve been most surprised about is how much joy I’ve experienced being a parent. I expected having kids to be a big life adjustment, but I didn’t expect it to profoundly change me the way that it has. Everyone tells you about the sleepless nights, the strain on your relationships, the lack of having a life outside of your kids. What I didn’t hear from parents -- or maybe, what I couldn’t have fully comprehended until I became a parent -- was how incredibly amazing it is to witness tiny, helpless beings change and learn and become dynamic people with of their own thoughts and emotions and abilities. I’ve loved helping my kids discover the world and themselves.
I chose to participate in this project because I know this phase of my life is fleeting. I don’t want to forget how I felt when I was in my fourth trimester.