Margaret "Meg" Laufman Saselu (32), Elizabeth (2.5), and twins Nico and Christopher (6 months)
Margaret is a previous project participant. You can view her original photo and story here.
Pittsburgh | Brooklyn, NY
Meg shares -
"Parenthood completely transformed by body image. I cannot believe how strong I am! The way I see it, I have no choice but to celebrate my body (perceived flaws and all) because I have three little humans who are now looking to me to see how to have a relationship with their own body. It is up to me to make sure that relationship is healthy.
I think the initial postpartum period is very hard, and it is a dirty little secret of pregnancy and parenthood that no one talks about. My mom was the only one who warned me about how hard it is - and even hearing that did not prepare me for the postpartum period after the birth of my first child. The birth of Elizabeth shocked me and turned my world upside down. I was processing a traumatic birth, plus the transition to parenthood, and dealing with the very real and palpable anxiety triggered by the fact that YOU are now solely responsible for this tiny baby. The flood of hormones in the days after birth also hits very hard. It was extremely overwhelming. But at the same time I was overcome with immense feelings of love and happiness that this little creature brought to my life. It is very confusing to describe to people.
After the birth of my twins, I was better prepared. I didn't get that shock of becoming a parent. The challenge was transitioning from a family of three to a family of five. I was easier on myself. I set expectations accordingly. I took things day by day. I focused on bonding with my babies and bonding as a family. Everything else could (and did) wait. The postpartum period can a be a beautiful time if you are prepared and have support. Having the luxury during that time to focus on just caring for myself and my children was something that I never took for granted. We need to do better in this country to ensure that every woman has the prenatal and postpartum support that she needs to thrive.
Everyone struggles with something, and the beauty of this movement is that it allows people to take ownership of their story and create their own narrative. In processing and telling our stories we grow stronger. I love that this movement celebrates everyone and allows for everyone's truth to be told. Im participating for a second time because I feel the need to document where I am in my journey of becoming a mother. I've been through a traumatic birth and a twin birth - and the twin birth was surprisingly redemptive, despite having both a vaginal and cesarean delivery. My body has been through a lot, but I have never been more comfortable in my own skin."