Lauren Paull (34), Nason (3), and Georgia (6 months)
Lauren shares -
"Pregnancy and motherhood have made me both so deeply proud of my body and also terribly ashamed of it. I’m proud of how it grew and nurtured my babies, but I still have days where I am when I am ashamed of the extra sag and jiggle. But I’m learning to think positivity and that I can control how I feel and think about myself. It’s a process.
My postpartum journey after Nason’s birth was riddled with anxiety and guilt. I felt guilty that my body betrayed me and failed to have the natural birth I’d imagined and prepared for. I felt anxiety that I wasn’t a good mother, wife, friend and person in general. I imagined a flashing “failure” sign over my head. I didn’t lose all my baby weight. Fail. I supplemented with formula. Fail. My milk dried up after a serious illness. Fail. My child cries too much and so on and so forth. There were days I felt I could not go on. Slowly, I crawled out of my depression and shed my anxiety. Slowly, I learned to forgive my mistakes and move forward as the strong, compassionate mother I want to be. When I learned I was pregnant with Georgia I committed to positivity and health. When my guilt and anxiety returned, I greeted them as old acquaintances. I managed to keep them at bay with the help of my amazing partner, Nate, fellow mothers and constant positive self talk. Today I feel happier and healthier even though I’m more tired and squishier than I have ever been in my life. My children are my greatest joys, and I’m thankful everyday to be their mother.
I found this project when I needed it most. I cried and learned to love myself again by reading the words of the women and mothers in this project. I’m thankful everyday for the support it gave me and for the opportunity participate myself.
We all need to give ourselves (and others) a little more grace and forgiveness. Parenting is hard. It’s infinitely rewarding. But so hard! Love yourself. Forgive yourself. You’re doing a great job!"