Soriah Prokopich (26) and Niciah Grace (7weeks 4 days)
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
“I have always been a little self conscious and hard on myself about my body image and battled depression and anxiety. After learning I was pregnant that started to turn a new leaf. My anxiety and depression seemed to just melt away. I was the happiest I had ever been. I could not believe my body was strong and smart enough to complete this beautiful task with what seemed like such little effort. (That was of course until third trimester when I became a sleepy hibernating mama bear)
Since Niciah Grace was early I didn't get to experience the most uncomfortable and beautiful part of our pregnancy which did sadden me. I wanted to participate in the trend of magical maternity shoots. After birthing her though I felt like the most powerful woman in the world. It was almost too easy since she was so little. I still cannot believe I created life within me.”
What was your postpartum experience?
Niciah Grace was born February 5th 2019, 6 weeks before her due date. Overall her health was great. Learning internally to balance her sugars, 3 days of blue phototherapy for jaundice and learning her breathe suck swallow coordination were her only hurdles. Niciah's first 5 days of her life were spent in NICU and 7 days following in the special care nursery. I was discharged two days after Niciah was born which as a first time parent was a tear jerking experience leaving my fresh babe to go home an hour away. On day 13 we were able to bring our 4lb 9oz babe home which was her birth weight.
Through all this my strong babe gave me the courage and patience I have been searching for. She caused me to love myself and my life. Due to her being away from us I have been exclusively pumping. Which is a job in itself. We did try to breastfeed several times and she would refuse or become frustrated. Which would cause me to cry and feel terrible that I couldn't feed my babe the way I was intended to. I decided to give us both an emotional break from actual breastfeeding until this past week. I offered her the boob while taking a bath and out of no where Niciah decided she was addicted to the boob. She latched like a champ and got milk drunk to celebrate. Again teaching me patience and to allow my self the space to improve. I love my postpartum self. I'm much more accepting.
What is your truth?
Staying open to experience will lessen the anxiety inside. Dishes in the sink? Who cares continue to snuggle that fussy babe. Feeling like you’re drowning? Call someone. I'm sure you know one person who would love to snuggle your baby while you nap, take a walk, bathe or practice some self care. Take advantage of all resources presented to you. The 4th trimester is not only about taking care of your babe but taking care of yourself. Ensuring your needs are met will help your transition on this new journey.”
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
“I have followed 4th Trimester Bodies for a few years now. The support and positivity of the project is what I love. I so badly wanted to be apart of the project when finding out I was pregnant but even more so when my Niciah Grace decided to make her grand entrances 6 weeks early. I was unable to participate in a maternity shoot or the mother blessing I wanted to have instead of a baby shower. Sad that I was unable to create these memories, this project coming through our state is the most perfect timing and being able to participate means the world to me.”