Heather Griffin (38 - she/her). Mother to Kinsey June (stillborn) photographed in the third trimester with her second baby.
“I had an abortion when I was 20 years old on Sept 11th, 2001. It was understandably a very hard day, but the hardest part has been the fact that there’s been so many reminders of that day over the years. Not that I would ever forget the day it happened, but because it was such a significant day to so many others, it’s brought up in a lot of situations where I don’t even expect it. I don’t doubt that I made the right decision for me, but that doesn’t make it any easier to think about it so often
I also had a daughter (Kinsey June) who was stillborn at 26 weeks in November, 2017. My wife and I had been wanting a child for a very long time (we’d been together 9 years at that point) and it was a devastating loss. To be perfectly honest, it almost broke us. Luckily, with a lot of therapy, we were able to reconnect and eventually start trying again for another child. It took almost a year of trying and a lot of IUIs for me to finally get pregnant again.”
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
Despite being thin most of my life, I’ve struggled with body image issues most of my adulthood. After suffering a loss and being so far along in that pregnancy, I found it hard to lose the weight that I had gained during that time. I was understandably depressed and it’s hard to be motivated to do much when you’re depressed, let alone lose weight. So when I started this pregnancy, I was at a higher weight than I normally was used to. I’ve also gained more than is “recommended” during pregnancy and that’s something that I’ve been struggling with as well. But I know I don’t want to pass on the same issues with body image that my mom passed onto me, so I’m trying to retrain my brain on how I think about my body and myself and focus more on how I feel rather than a number on a scale.
What was your postpartum experience?
Because my postpartum journey was after a loss, it’s hard to know if I had PPD or just general depression. It was hard for me to do much of anything for the first month after we lost her. After that, I decided to go back to work. I’m a nanny, and I honestly missed the kiddos I nannied for. The families I worked with were great and were able to give me limited hours at the beginning to kind of ease me back into it. But I still was struggling and had a lot of self destructive habits that I slid back into. Therapy helped me so much and I’m thankful that I had the means to go to therapy to help me.
What is your truth?
Nothing is a given. Be grateful for every moment you have with your child.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
My friend (and fellow loss mom) participated in this a few years ago and found it to be very therapeutic and empowering. I’ve been wanting to participate since then, but also wanted to wait until I was in a better head space to participate.