Lacey Lawrence (32). Mother to Jacob (8) and Elijah (7 months)
Lacey shares -
“My body image wasn't impacted with my first child. Body image after having my second is a whole other scenario. For multiple reasons I gained much of my weight back after having Elijah that I had lost within 8 weeks postpartum. My body is the biggest it has been in many years. My body wiggles, and jiggles in a way that feels foreign and un-beautiful. I have a rectocele, prolapse, and my hair is falling out. I am officially graying at 32. I am mourning the body I was and am desperately trying to love the one I'm in now.
I adjusted quite well to parenting postpartum with my first child (Jacob) because he was a saint. He was rushed straight through the NICU for the fight of his life and he still slept well, wasn't a picky eater, and had a wonderful demeanor. I struggled in other areas: I was hospitalized 3 times within the first 3 months postpartum, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, my hips didn't want to go back together, I had a rectocele, I was in an abusive relationship with my son's father, and lacked support as a mother. I was scared a lot of the time. I was told a lot of negative things, and ended up fighting for my child in a court battle starting at 3 months. I loved being a parent, and I loved my son. I fought a year in court, won that nasty court battle, and then took many years to heal from those war wounds. I still deal with PTSD because of many of those experiences. It has pushed me to be a better parent, love harder, not take life for granted, choose to live my healthiest life, and constantly ask "is this best for my family?"
After having my second son (Elijah) my postpartum journey feels opposite. Physically my body has held up much better; I thank prenatal chiropractor care for that. I am in a supportive-healthy relationship with my fiancé and am supported well as a parent. My baby on the other hand is the complete opposite of my first. I've never known what exhaustion was until these last 7 months of little to no sleep. I have postpartum depression that nearly crushed me. I fight with PPD daily like a titan. I have gained an immense amount of weight, nearly every pound I was fully pregnant, back after losing most of it 8 weeks postpartum. What I have gained is a sense of strength I never knew I had. I've understood what dedication looks like when I fight another day of PPD, and lack of sleep. I am not enjoying this section of my life everyday; I am loving everyday a little more though. I am becoming more able to accept where I'm at, and am becoming okay with my battle. I am thanking God for my abundance of baby snuggles, and watching my eldest son becoming a phenomenal big brother.
My postpartum journeys have not been easy. They have been painful. They have left scars that are far more then physical. I am grateful to have even been given the opportunity to parent two children. In the days I've felt like I'm going to fall apart I look at my children love always shows though. The will fight any battle it takes to give my children the healthiest upbringing. I love being a mommy. It’s one of the few things I've ever thrown my everything into, not given up, and can be proud of efforts.
I wanted to embrace my own story, my body, my past, my present, and feel pride in where I am at right now. I do hope to impact other women positively, help them not feel alone, let them know the fight to being heathy is worth it, and not to give up when they are feeling crushed by their obstacles. I want to be a part of the collect voice of women say "WE CAN DO THIS!" Screw fear, shame, and self-loathing; moms don't have time for that nonsense!”