Erica Boland (31), Terryn (11), Canon (8), Laken (6), and Maclin (2)
West Salem, WI
Erica shares -
“I experienced a miscarriage shortly before I become pregnant with our third son, Laken. It rocked our world. It wasn't something that had ever even crossed my mind for us and the next weeks, even months were a whirlwind. I wanted to hide and I wanted to blame but mostly I just wanted to know why.
There are valleys and peaks; days when I look in the mirror with awe and pure love and days when I feel my body no longer belongs to me. This pull between what I know and what society tells us all to think. It is a continuous journey of going within to listen to what my soul needs in order to step into and embody who I am; fully.
My birth and postpartum journey with my first son has brought me to where I am and is the fire lit within me to help empower others. At 19 years old I did exactly what "they" told me to do. I was unconsciously incompetent. After cutting an episiotomy and assuring me she would "add a few more stitches for my boyfriend" with just a few minutes of skin to skin my son was whisked away to the NICU for "precautionary purposes."
In reflection, it felt like I had no choice in any of our care. No one told me what to expect for myself, for my relationship, for our new family. No one told me how to heal my body and nourish my soul or suggested that I become intimately comfortable with myself before doing so with another. The 6 week "all clear" standard was and still is bull shit. We deserve more. We deserve to be educated and empowered to the amazing power of our bodies from a young age and break down barriers of shame. Now, as a mother of four I am beginning to see the isolation that can occur in the double standard of being a career driven, passionate mother. There is much work to be done to break down these barriers.
In 2013 I was introduced to BIRTHFIT. What started as a small group of us on a mission to provide women with better information and support has become a way of life. A global movement to change the way we care for women and families. A movement of empowerment. It is in all that I do personally and professionally and near and far, I am humbled by the humans I have the opportunity to learn from, support, and share experiences with as intimate as birth and death. BIRTHFIT has held space for me and hundreds of women and men to change at the soul level.
I am unapologetically a passion driven woman here to cultivate deep connections and experience as much as I can. I would love to tell any new parent or my former self that within you, is the knowing you are searching for. Sometimes the darkness is where the most beautiful transformation takes place. Trust yourself.
I love the connection that occurs near and far when a group of humans on a similar mission come together to create change. Change is created in the way we connect with the world.”