Lindsay Ingalls, Neil Fairweather, Edith (5), Alder (3), and Ingrid (9 months)
Burlington, VT | Portland, OR
Lindsay shares -
"My first pregnancy was a surprise and one that my husband and I didn't even know we wanted. At this point in our relationship we didn’t see children in our future but then we found ourselves with a surprise pregnancy. Unfortunately at 11.5 weeks I miscarried and we were both left feeling heartbroken and our view on parenthood was forever changed. Nine months later, we experienced our 2nd pregnancy loss at 8 weeks. I then went on to have two healthy, full-term pregnancies. When we decided to have a third baby I experienced another loss at 6.5 weeks before having our last baby who was born June of 2017.
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with body image, with feeling fat and attributing the way I look or the size of my pants to my self-worth. I grew up in a household where negative body talk was common place and now as a parent I am determined to break that cycle. Parenthood has encouraged me to look deeper and work on how I talk to myself about my body.
I entered motherhood with my husband by my side but without a strong group of mothers around me. I was the first of my close friends to get married and have children and while becoming a mother was incredible and I was thrilled It was incredibly challenging. I felt so lonely and isolated all the time. I struggled with breastfeeding and felt like my body was failing me; not only was I struggling with feeding my baby but the myth that breastfeeding melts off the baby weight was a lie.
When Edith was 6 months old we picked up and moved across the country. For me moving to Portland came at the perfect time. It forced me to change my perspective on life and motherhood. Not knowing anyone meant I had to seek out opportunities to meet new people and with a 6 month old that meant mom groups. I met other women just like me, new to motherhood and just trying to make our way through. I became more confident as a mother and as person.
When Alder came into our lives 18 months later I felt more confident as a mother. I didn’t struggle with breastfeeding but my postpartum body was still a struggle for me. This is one thing that hasn’t changed even after three children. While birthing my babies was incredibly empowering for me the months that followed each birth have each been filled with a constant struggle to remind myself that even when I don’t feel strong that my body has done amazing things and that there really is no getting your old body back but that you can work to appreciate your new one.
I decided to participate because sharing our stories of parenthood, loss, and postpartum are important. I felt alone and isolated and a lack of connection after my pregnancy losses and my first daughter was born and I wish that there had been a resource like this out there for me to see and read these honest stories. It is important for me to make connections and for me to share the good, the bad and the ugly because I want other parents to know that they aren't alone.