Brankica Harvey (40 - she/her) and Katja Violet (4 months)
Bosnia and Herzegovina | Brooklyn, NY
“I had a hard time deciding to start a family. My husband had been ready to take the plunge for many years but for me this particular step felt very daunting. I was afraid to alter my current relationship to my self, my husband and my life as I knew it. I had so many what if's that kept coming up and it took me many years to finally embrace the idea. The thought that finally freed me up was that I didn't want fear to be the deciding factor. In the end I didn't experience a miscarriage while trying to conceive, but I did grapple with the loss of my old self and all that came before we became parents.”
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
I was very active before I became pregnant and remained so through almost my entire pregnancy. I was impressed by what my body could do and how it was transforming to allow a new life into the world. Despite all the aches and pains of my postpartum body, I am embracing this new phase and curiously observe what my body is capable of.
What was your postpartum experience?
I was prepared for a challenging labor, everyone talks about that and you spend a lot of time learning about it during pregnancy. It was postpartum that I felt both overjoyed but also completely overwhelmed. In the days after birth, it's trial by fire, you have to learn to cope both with your own body's transformation and healing as well as taking care of a baby. I mourned the loss of my former self and had to come to terms with this new part of me -- a mother. What does it mean to become one and how to come to terms with remnants of my old self?
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
Each story is unique yet we are bound by the experiences of bringing a child into the world, nurturing them and watching them grown, as well as watching our own bodies and lives transform. By participating I wanted to take part in the collective stories of motherhood and parenthood.