Lilach Dekel (48) Mother to Ella (16), Sahar (13), Shai (12), and Eden (8). Photographed with friend Andrea Leoncavallo (37), Everett (4), and Leigh (1)
Israel | Photographed in Portland, OR
Lilach shares -
"I've had two miscarriages. The first one when I was 30, before the 8th week, and before I was mentally and emotionally ready to have kids, so I felt a kind of relief (and guilt for feeling like that) when it didn't happen. The second one happened on the 15th week of pregnancy when I was 39 and it caught me on surprise and shock since I felt good and everything felt so great.
I just happened to look at a video in which I participated 20 years ago before the pregnancies and realized "Wow, that's what I looked like before having 6 pregnancies and four births. But the truth is, I like my body and when I look at the mirror I remind myself that this body nurtured 4 beautiful and healthy kids and so if my belly is not tight anymore and my breast make it almost to my belly button - then its all because of a really good reason.
With my first child, Ella - my postpartum journey was difficult in the first couple of months. I found myself alone. My husband was working, all my friends were not yet even in a steady relationship, it was the middle of the winter in New York and we just moved to a new neighborhood in Brooklyn where I didn't know anyone and didn't have even one caffe or place to hang out in. Ella was born tiny and demanding, my mom was ten thousand miles away and I turned from a super busy, (workaholic) person into a stay home mom within 12 hours. I was tired from the around the clock nursing and I didn't feel the strong bonding to this tiny creature which every book I read (and I read a lot, too many) was describing. It took another 3 months for this feeling to kick in. With the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pregnancies it was a totally different story. I was prepared and I knew how to enjoy and succumb to the journey"