Missy Quest (36), Keith, Ryley (4), Currently 29 weeks pregnant with twins.
Missy shares -
“I am a repeat participant and wrote about our miscarriage before being blessed with Ryley at last year's event. (You can view Missy’s previous photo and story here) In light of the recent abortion bans and the state of reproductive healthcare for anyone with a uterus, I feel it is important for me to open up about my abortion.
My family had recently gone through some traumatic events when I found out we were pregnant. The 6 months prior were the hardest, most stressful, time in my life. A constant flow of fight or flight hormones coursed through my body. My health deteriorated and I felt like I was on the brink of losing my sanity. Although we were out of the situation, I was still not quite myself. At 5 weeks gestation, I was already having extreme morning sickness that was affecting my ability to take care of our son and provide for our family.
After much angst and contemplation, I told Keith I wasn't in any condition to have or take care of a baby. Keith was very supportive with however I wanted to proceed. He listened and never once tried to persuade me either way. Looking back, that was one of the most loving things he has ever done for me and I am forever grateful. He had my back and that meant everything. Coming out of anesthesia, I had this profound sense of knowing I had made the right decision. I am lucky to live in a city where care is accessible, because that is what it is. Abortion is healthcare. We must continue to support the rights of those who conceive and allow them to make decisions that are right for them and their families.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
Parenthood has had a positive effect on my body image. Growing up I was a tomboy and never really felt connected to my feminine side. I resented my growing breasts and hated having to wear a bra. Pregnancy gave me the opportunity to work with my feminine energies and I finally began feeling sensual and womanly. After having my son, my body became more curvy which I really like. Right now, I feel good about my body but I am interested to see how I will receive myself once the twins are born. My body is stretching beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I wonder how it will go back together. Luckily, experience is on my side and I know that as I have gotten older I have become more accepting of my so called flaws.
What was your postpartum experience?
Right now, I am 29 weeks pregnant with twins and I am curious to see how my postpartum journey continues from here. My body amazes me with how it continues to change and support these growing babes. The most important lesson I learned after having my son was to be patient and gentle with myself. Postpartum hormonal fluctuations sometimes makes it hard to remember this.
I have always been an athlete. Training and competing brings me great satisfaction and joy. One of my biggest worries after having my son was if I would be able to train with the intensity and achieve results like I did before having a baby. Through fitness and nutrition I was able to mold my body into a form that I was proud of. I think it is amazing that the best version of myself was my postpartum self. Even better was the fact that I came back stronger than ever and could perform skills I could never do before.
This time around, I think I am even more concerned about returning to functionality rather than aesthetics. I plan to take it slowly and really rehab my body mind and soul. I was ambivalent about having kids and becoming a mother before my son. Even during those infant days, I wasn't quite connected to my role. But with time I have settled comfortably into the role of mother and am honestly really enjoying the experience. The love for my son grows with each passing day and it is such an honor that he chose me. I can't wait to share this love with the twins.
What is your truth?
Trust your instincts. You have an innate knowing within you. Don't let outsider opinions or your own head get in the way. You know what is best for you and your family.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
Like the tee shirt says "I came for the pretty pictures, I stay for the movement."