Anne Florez (32), Dexter and Charlie (4.5 month)
Jersey Shore | Photographed in Detroit, MI
Anne shares -
"I love my body, before pregnancy and after pregnancy. I feel different now, because I have stretch marks and excess skin. I always thought I would not like having those things. However, being a mother has brought me so much joy - a heart full of love. My stretch marks are my battle wounds. They remind me how fortunate I am to have carried twins to 38 weeks. My excess skin reminds me how lucky we were to have large boys 7 lbs 4 oz, 7 lbs 6 oz. I find that the imperfections I would have disliked before pregnancy about my body tell a story I feel so grateful to be a part of. I feel humbled by the experience.
For the first several weeks, being a mom of twins was hard. I came home feeling exhausted, worried about producing enough milk for two babies, trying to be perfect. I came off a lot of pregnancy hormones, which caused me to break out into an all body, itchy (PUPS) rash. I was emotional. I wanted to do anything to keep the babies safe. I was on the edge of sanity, with very little sleep. I thought for a long time that I would have this magical hospital moment when I felt like a mom. It just didn’t happen for me that way. I never had that click, and that was far from my expectation that I would instantly know motherhood. Through the process of breastfeeding and bottle feeding and pumping, I wondered if the boys even knew I was Mom or just some person who showed up with the food. I felt the challenge of who to attend to first. It was so hard to adjust.
I was incredibly fortunate to have the support system of excellent husband and my mom. It helped a lot. I know I wouldn’t have made it through without them. What I felt was my best achievement was keeping with the breastfeeding. I believed strongly that it would work out for me, and I was lucky that it eventually did. I got the babies to 100% breastmilk after the first month for about a day. I realized that my sleep and sanity was worth one formula feed a night, so I eventually gave in. I felt relieved. I was so lucky to have a husband who took over the entire feeding so I could sleep. My experience was hard, but I feel so lucky to have such an involved and committed partner. I really don’t know what I would have done postpartum without him. My mom was also highly committed to helping us.
I have some family members who want to get pregnant but are afraid of what will happen to their bodies. I am doing this because I want them to see that postpartum is beautiful - just as you are, stretch marks and all!"