Elizabeth Hubley (34 - 34 weeks pregnant at time of photograph) and Caroline June Brandt (2.5)
Silver Spring, MD | Washington, DC
Elizabeth shares -
"I haven't experienced pregnancy losses but I almost died from Toxic Shock Syndrome at age 16. It was a very traumatic experience and I wasn't sure I would be able to get pregnant. My pregnancy and Caroline's birth were very healing for me and I am so honored and blessed to have her and be bringing another child into the world.
Parenthood - especially early motherhood - is a time of constant change which has made me realize that EVERYTHING shifts and changes, especially our bodies. There are seasons of abundance, frustration, exhaustion, love, and uncertainty and I think it has made me more open to the body journey of pregnancy and postpartum. I am doing my best to teach my daughter that all bodies are to be celebrated and that we have more strength than we know.
The postpartum period was both harder and easier than I expected. I had a lot of support from family and friends and an amazing acupuncturist whose wisdom and treatments helped me to feel strong and regain balance. I was incredibly lucky to have a very positive breastfeeding experience and quickly connected with other moms of newborns and began to build my village.
Physically, the early recovery from Caroline's birth was harder than I expected - I felt incredibly strong my entire pregnancy, I practiced and taught yoga until a few days before she was born. I was also empowered by my birth experience but healing from perineal tearing definitely made me slow down and realize the need for rest and recovery.
I have been following 4th trimester bodies since the birth of my daughter and was (and am) so inspired by all of the women who participate. My journey to parenthood and resulting healing of the trauma from Toxic Shock Syndrome made me want to share that story with others. In the past 2 years I've also made a huge shift in my own business to work with pregnant people and new parents through yoga, coaching, and mamas circles in the DC area. I am working to create open and inclusive spaces for all, where parents can build community and connect with others in a truly authentic way. There is so much pressure and so many unrealistic expectations during pregnancy and parenthood I hope I am able to help share the reality of it all, just as you are.
I believe we are stronger than we know. It often takes others to help us realize this - after pregnancy loss, or birth, or becoming a parent - but those people will change our lives and help us to find the strength we didn't know we had.
Update: Aiden Felix Brandt was born on July 18, 2018 after a very long pregnancy (41 weeks, 4 days) and relatively short labor. I, unfortunately, suffered a severe postpartum hemorrhage a few hours after his birth but thankfully my midwife and care team were incredible. Recovery has been hard but support from my acupuncturist, midwives, friends and family has helped tremendously - I'm so thankful for my village. We're settling in as a family of 4 and looking forward to this new adventure."