Wende Reed (40), Benjamin Storm (5), Lilac Anne (3), and Miles Aspen (3 months). Miscarriages in 2010 and 2014.
San Antonio, TX | Photographed in Austin, TX
Wende shares -
"Parenthood has had a negative impact on my body image. Before kids even though I didn’t necessarily think I was attractive, I was certain of my sex appeal. After kids I feel neither attractive nor sexy. At the same time, I have never before been as confident in my body’s physical capabilities.
Everything about parenting threw me for a loop. I didn’t expect to get pregnant when I did the first time. I didn’t expect to miscarry. I didn’t expect the miscarriage to be so devastating. I never thought I would get pregnant immediately when we were only deciding if we were going to have kids. I didn’t expect to have hypermesis gravidarum with my pregnancies. A cesarean was never on my radar. Losing myself and my identity in the abyss of first time motherhood was unexpected. Getting pregnant again right before my son’s first birthday was unplanned. Moving at 34 weeks pregnant. Suffering through postpartum depression after a triumphant VBAC was anticlimactic. Another unplanned pregnancy coupled with a miscarriage in the midst of moving really strained my marriage. The relative ease of my last pregnancy and the giddiness following a precipitous under 2 hour labor and delivery were like nothing else. I was t prepared for my life to be like an internet meme where I spend my days arguing with smaller versions of myself. The most shocking thing has definitely been overwhelming love I have for my kids. It surpasses anything I could have imagined.
I have followed this movement from the beginning. At first I wanted to participate because I loved the way the moms in the photos looked and wanted to see myself through that lens. Now, it’s one step in the process of reclaiming my identity as in individual in addition to a mother.
The one thing I wish I knew was that I have nothing to prove to anyone else. I am a perfectly ok parent, wife, teacher, friend, daughter, and sister even when I am not at my best."