Kumiko Nixon (24), Rocket (3), and Luna (10 months)
Kumiko is a previous project participant. You can view her original image and story here.
Reno, NV | Mesa, AZ
Kumiko shares -
“I’ve experienced both abortion and miscarriage, both due to my history with cancer. Having a pregnancy taken from you unwillingly through miscarriage is a painful loss. Terminating a pregnancy you wanted was tremendously worse. With both, You lose the future you start dreaming up for them, you lose faith in your body, you lose so much more than just your baby.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
With my first child, I went from viewing my body as a failure to viewing it as an incredible and beautiful miracle of nature. I was 6 months post chemo with Rocket and had gained a painful amount of weight. My hair was short, I looked waterlogged, nothing felt right. When I found out I was pregnant my whole viewpoint shifted. This body, the very body that carried me through illness, now carried life. A welcomed opportunity I was told by doctors I would never get, I basked in the glow of my first pregnancy and embraced each change it brought before and after.
With my second pregnancy, my outlook was entirely different. I had just lost 70 lbs when I conceived Luna and was discouraged at the thought of gaining it all back. I didn’t love my body as much this time around and it’s something I still continue to work on today.
What was your postpartum experience?
Postpartum is an experience so unique to each person. Some women find they return to their pre-pregnancy Jean size and look within weeks, others will struggle with the difference in the shape of their hips and the sagging of their stomach for months to even years after their last child. I identify with the latter. My body will never “snap back” and I’m starting to think that maybe that’s okay. Maybe, just maybe, this is my new normal and that it’s beautiful in its own right.
What is your truth?
Cut yourself some slack. Motherhood is already hard enough, and this ideal that we need to have it all together is honestly just stupid. No one has it all together. Go into this pregnancy and the beginning of parenthood with standards and expectations but if they don’t align perfectly, just go with the flow. Sometimes as long as the kids are fed and alive at the end of the day, you did more than enough.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I’m a previous participant whose life has been forever changed by participating. The images from my first session changed the way I looked at my body in such a tremendous way that I needed to do it again. Seeing the comments from women who could relate to how my body looked and how I felt really showed me the importance of representation of real life people and what most of ours bodies actually look like after babies, not what marketing and media have convinced us we need to be.