Tegann McNiven (34), Juno (3), and Sia (19 months)
Montréal, Quebec | Toronto, Ontario
Tegann shares -
“I miscarried at 9 weeks gestation, 4 months before I fell pregnant with Juno. I was absolutely heartbroken and thought that my biggest fear (infertility) was coming true. I knew that miscarriage was common, but when it happened to me, I felt like my world as I knew it was ending. I did feel like I had done something wrong, or something terrible to deserve it. My next two pregnancies were nerve wracking, even though I didn’t always show it. I had been suffering for years with undiagnosed anxiety and it caused me a lot of anguish during my viable pregnancies.
I have always hated my body. I tried to make it smaller or hide it or distract the eye from my flaws. I gained and lost weight through dangerous methods many times through my 20s and became so exhausted constantly battling myself. I found reprieve for my body in pregnancy. I was extremely fortunate to have easy pregnancies and had never felt more at peace with my body. I had energy and was growing a human - I had never felt so powerful. I shed my extra weight easily after my first baby but gained after my second and got to a very dark place - finally having my anxiety diagnosed and treated. I started doing Crossfit 9 months ago and it has changed my life, my mindset and my body. I finally feel free to take up whatever space that my body needs.
I wish I could go back and tell myself that if something feels off, it probably is. There is such stigma surrounding mental health and despite having excellent healthcare in Canada, it isn’t easy to seek out help for PPA. I was so scared to tell someone how I was really feeling until it almost became unbearable. I was waiting around for my partner to notice and was dropping hints but it wasn’t enough. I had a lot of anger. Our relationship hit a massive road bump and almost came to an end because he figured walking on eggshells around me was a solution.
I love this project and see a part of myself in every bio that gets posted. We are all so connected - even if it is a connection through struggle. Just the fact of knowing that we aren’t alone in that struggle brings comfort. I wanted to participate because I can now say that I am proud of my body for bringing me to this point and that it deserves to be loved and celebrated.”