Angel Kulczyk (35 - she/her), mother to Milo blu (10 - not pictured), Ada grey (8), Wolf drei (4), and Henry Hywel (1.5)
“I have had 4 abortions. When I say that out loud I immediately feel insecure, I would be socially shamed, I must be ungrateful or lacking a heart... If anyone truly knew how many times I’ve been pregnant. They would pass some type of judgment of me being careless or lacking in morals for not taking control of my fertility. For not using preventative measures. Three out-of-four of my terminations Happened while I was on some form of birth control. One was a careless mistake with a high school boyfriend. I confided in one of my closest friends at the time then went on to feel like everyone in my social group knew of my abortion. The calls & texts started coming in, followed by shaming and ultimately feeling as an outcast, this all happening at the age of 17. This was my first real dose of “sisterhood”, a term I’ve truly grown to despise. It seems as if we’ve forgotten the true meaning of what support and standing by each other really looks like.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
I’m more confident in my body now than ever. I’m in awe of my true inner strength & power.
What was your postpartum experience?
10 years ago my postpartum experience with my son was extremely lonely. I was the first of any of my friends to have children. I decided I would breastfeed. Up until that point in my life, I’d never actually seen a woman breastfeed a baby but I was determined. I went on establishing four breast-feeding relationships, all so different with some complications. It’s definitely a commitment.
I remember after that birth my tail bone being in such excruciating pain for months and months after the birth of my son. For some reason I never reached out to my midwife or my doctors to say “hey is this normal!?” All the pain and putting on a fake smile as if everything is alright. it was like I was convincing myself as much as those around me. I had a torn labia, sounds like a one in a million injury, doctors/midwife’s say it’s actually fairly common. I’m a birth doula now and the birthing community always talks about the perineum tear, while i was left in the dark about it. I remember my postpartum just being trapped in a brain fog, just performing the basic motions of life but not truly being present. I would come to find out I was pregnant again when my son was six months old. A lot of egos insert themselves into women’s uteruses especially when they’re pregnant. I would be asked things like: “Was this baby planned? Can’t you take some time to enjoy your first baby before getting pregnant again, wow! Another baby!?”
I would go on to have a precipitous labor with my daughter. It took me weeks to really except the fact that my daughter was actually here on the earth side. Such a strange feeling. I was constantly told by others how lucky I was to have my labour over with so quickly, but I found the experience traumatic—like a Sunday mall walker suddenly thrust into an Ironman triathlon. You don’t have a chance to get used to being in labour. Trying to maintain a sense of calm is very difficult. I was in shock for weeks and the weeks definitely turned into years. Looking back on it all now its clear to me I was battling some postpartum depression during the first few years with my oldest kids.
Eventually I found myself pregnant once again, with my third child. My wild one. The pregnancy that would change the trajectory of my life. Such a empowering labor. I was 42+1 weeks and labor pains had been coming and going for weeks. I was in a unsupportive emotionally abusive marriage. I intuitively knew once this baby was born he was going to change everything. My now ex-husband at the time would move out two weeks after the birth of Wolf drei. Dragging me in & out of lawyers offices to hash out some kind of divorce agreement under the watchful eye of a mediator. That didn’t go too well. I was determined not to let this break me. This was my time to show myself what I’m truly capable of. All the Generational strength and wisdom would guide me through this terrible storm. It took us 3 years to come to an agreement. I’m happy with it. I gained sole custody of my three older kids and made the decision to support my children 100% - I didn’t and don’t want his child support. I left everything behind, my car, my house everything I set up for my family. To relinquish any and all emotional control. Looking back on it now, I have to say that was one of my most easiest postpartum experiences. Everything just fell into place. Walking was my form of meditation, I recall my third was strapped on me at all times for at least the first two years of his life.
I would go on to meet my current partner, someone who’s so supportive and I am truly thankful for this person. He’s helped me stay true to myself helping redefine healthy boundaries and what that looks like. We would go on to have a beautiful birth, my fourth, baby Hywel. Another very fast labor. So fast the midwife did not arrive in time and our sweet baby boy was born into the hands of his father. Four kids can be a bit much at times but I wouldn’t change a thing. it’s not perfect but I love this wild wolf pack. The name I referred to when speaking of my family. The power of the wolf the one who intuitively knows to always follow your intuition.
What is your truth?
Don’t ever stop speaking your truth. Don’t let Society tell you that you’re too much! Be you, you’re beautiful, your voice & story is worthy of being heard. Shit... scream it from the roof tops If you have too. Always remember no one knows your inner-self or can speak for you. You have to ask for what you need and then you shall receive. Accountability is Always key! If you fuck up in life, just apologize and move on, don’t dwell or self hate. Enjoy the simple and small things, those moments are what life is really all about.