Cara Redmond (37 - she/her), Rigel (21 months) and Meissa (2 weeks)
Ann Arbor, MI
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
I have always had a pretty positive body image. Parenthood and breastfeeding specifically have made me feel more comfortable baring it all. I have never been a modest person, but any inhibitions that I had in the past disappeared after childbirth. I bounced right back after my first child, but the second one left me softer. I ended up with more stretch marks. I have diastasis recti so my stomach now sags a little. Instead of feeling negatively about it, I try to view it as a badge of pride.
What was your postpartum experience?
Physically, postpartum was fairly easy with both children. I delivered vaginally with no tearing. After my second child, I had severe pelvic girdle pain and could barely walk for the first couple of weeks. I had it throughout my pregnancy and thought that it would go away right after childbirth, but it lasted for about three weeks. My partner works out of town, so it made chasing a toddler around very difficult. Having two children under the age of two is exhausting, but worth it. Sometimes just taking a shower is a task. I am tandem nursing and it often feels like my body is not my own. Personal space is a thing of the past. I know that it won't last forever though so I try to enjoy the closeness.
What is your truth?
Trust yourself. Even when things seem chaotic and frazzled, know that you are doing great. I have had moments when it feels like I am failing, but there are so many more moments that are a success.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I have followed this project for a few years. I love the inclusivity of different body types, races, gender identities, etc. I believe that people should be proud of their bodies and should try to protect the rights that we have as humans. Participating in this project is a way for me to embrace my imperfections while also being a part of a community that shares the same ideals as I do.