Terri Eccles (34) and Katerina (2)
South Africa | Photographed in Seattle, WA
Terri shares -
"I had a miscarriage before we became pregnant with my daughter. It was so isolating. No one besides my husband and two close friends of mine knew. Long after it was over, my body was still grieving long after my brain had processed it. I don’t think I felt like I was through it into well into my second trimester with my daughter.
I grew up yo-yo dieting in a family with weight problems. For over a decade, I’ve been really focused on creating a healthy life and relationship with food. I was worried about getting pregnant because I knew I would gain weight and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to lose it. I lost the baby weight with no work, but I put on 15 pounds after my miscarriage and that weight has just stuck around. I would love to get rid of it, but I don’t know how to do that in a loving way and I don’t want to return to the bad habits of my youth. For my daughter, I want her to grow up loving her body and that means I have to focus not just on healthy living but also on loving my own body just as it is.
As a woman who is ambitious and career focused, I hated so much when everyone told me that my priorities would change and that everything would be different after having a baby. And I still hate it, because people use that as weapon against woman. But the truth is, it is different. I am still me and I still love the same things, but my family is the most important thing in the world and my life has only changed for the better since she was born.
I’m committed to loving all aspects of myself and to taking life-giving action. In certain aspects of my life, I’ve played it very safe, never wanting to offend, never wanting to regret.
Trust your body – it is your wisdom. We are taught that we can analyze our way through our lives, but our bodies are so smart. Trust what you feel rather than pushing it away. Grow the capacity to be with your lived experience - that will include anger, anxiety, regret, but you also love, hope, and joy.