Sarah Winward (30 - she/her) and Henry (19 months)
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
To be honest, my body doesn't look that much different now than it did before I had my son. I didn't get stretch marks, really. Sometimes, I kind of wish that I had, because that would be proof that my son lived in me.
The biggest change, randomly, has been my hair. It used to be super straight. Then all of a sudden about 6 months postpartum I noticed this wave to it. I don't really know what to do with it and I feel like I'm perpetually having bad hair days.
What was your postpartum experience?
The first few months postpartum were the easiest for me. I was prepared for it to be complete chaos and to not have any body autonomy. My son basically lived on my chest or in a carrier for the first 3 months. I resumed my lactation consultant training with him when he was 8 weeks old, so I was still able to hold on to a sense of self. Although, nursing in front of a room full of LC's was often stressful.
I have been struggling more the more I return to my adult life. I went back to work part time when my son was 6 months old. My husband has flexible hours, so for almost a year we were scheduling down to the minute so that each of us could get our work done and have someone looking after our kid.
I was a student when I got pregnant, and now that my son is a bit older and in daycare, I'm trying to figure out how I want to walk in the world as a working mom. Trying to develop my professional life, maintain friendships, get necessary rest and still be home for bedtime is a lot to juggle.
Being a parent has impacted every relationship in my life and I'm continually navigating those changes. Fortunately, it has also brought my priorities into sharp focus, so I'm much better at saying no now that I have ever been.
What is your truth?
Your baby is wise. They know what they need, and they will tell you. It's your job as a parent to figure out how to speak their language. You already know how to be a good parent, trust your instincts- always.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I have been following your IG account for a number of years. I loved reading the stories while I was pregnant. Your art is so beautiful and truthful.