Mira Lyonblum (32) and Sadie (2.5)
Mira shares -
“During pregnancy, even if I was feeling tired and achy, I actually felt really sexy and powerful. I loved that. Since giving birth my body has changed - I struggle with being upset at my body for not being able to give birth vaginally after 26 hours of active labour, and I had a surprise caesarean birth which I had not prepared for. My husband and doula were both incredible, and supported me in still making some choices - I asked everyone in the room (about 12 people as it was a teaching hospital) to introduce themselves (they lovingly teased me for facilitating my birth, as I’m a youth social justice facilitator), and asked the curtain to come down as my daughter was being born. That helped me connect to it, and I encourage others to always know that any way they give birth is the ‘right’ way, but I have trouble remembering that myself sometimes. My recovery was really rough which I was also upset by - I don’t like not being in control of what my body can do. My very low scar still hurts sometimes and has changed my shape which means I’ve adjusted my clothing choices, but I’m feeling more love for my body now. I love the softness and I love how much my daughter loves my body.
I felt elated and excited and terrified and exhausted and wanted people but wanted to be alone and wanted my baby to never be out of my sight and wanted to put her down and serene and frantic and, and, and ... I had read books and articles and spoken to parents and all, but ‘knowing’ that I’m going to be exhausted and scared and ecstatic and that the baby is going to cry but I’m not going to know why and that breastfeeding is not nearly as easy and ‘natural’ as it’s usually depicted - but it’s a different world to be experiencing it. In an instant my brain was filled with only baby things and most other thoughts were pushed to the back.
I’ve been following this project for a long time, and I’m enthralled by the strength and vulnerability and beauty in the photos, and the very relatable truths in what they say. I love that you’re bringing people together to speak about something that isn’t usually, and I’m so excited to participate. Perhaps something I say or something in my photo will speak to one person who needs it in that moment.
You absolutely can do this. It may not seem like it, but you can. People have been parenting since the beginning of humankind, and with likely more struggles than you’re experiencing. Also, the internet can be a convenient and supportive place, or even a lifeline, but choose your spaces carefully as the judgement is often subtle which makes it easier to become ingrained.”