Lynnea Aponte (36) and Kalila (2)
Matawan, New Jersey | Portland, OR
Lynnea shares -
"The mind-body transformation of becoming a mother is complex. On one hand, I came to enjoy my pregnancy and embraced the beauty of it. On the other hand, my body didn't or couldn't do the things I felt like it was designed to do. I carried my child until 43 weeks, and had to be induced after planning for a home birth. The inductions did not go well, and many, many hours, I agreed to a Cesarean birth. This was the first times I felt like my body failed me.
Following that, I struggled to produce enough milk for her, leading to more feelings of failure. But I survived it all, and I am so much stronger for it. I certainly struggled with my shape, have narrowed in on my flaws too many times, have looked outside of myself for approval, but through this process, I did a lot of the work to learn how to let it go. And I'm still learning. I'm learning because I don't want to pass it on to my daughter. I want it to die with my generation. Becoming a parent has taught me how to better parent myself, how to nurture myself, and how to hold myself more lovingly.
The aftermath of labor and birth left me in an intense darkness. I remember feeling as though I had been hit by a truck. Every part of my body ached with incredible pain. When the nurses stood me up after surgery, my right leg and foot were not working. It would be two months before I could move my toes again. This was not at all the way I wanted to begin this journey.
Then my baby began to lose weight. I couldn't produce what she needed to survive. I sourced over ten thousand ounces of donor milk from all over the state to feed her that year. So in that delicate three months after her arrival, I was facing post traumatic stress surrounding her birth, I had partial paralysis in my leg, and I was learning about every way to feed a baby. I was a mess on a mission.
Although I couldn't see it at the time, I had postpartum depression and anxiety. It wasn't until a year later, when the clouds began to clear, that I could really understand what had been going on with me. I just felt broken and alone, even with all of the support I had surrounding me. I found incredible healing in helping others, especially families, through bodywork. I dove deep into my somatic senses and felt everything. It was a dark and difficult time, but it brought me to my calling and has truly taught me how to hold space. And for this, I am grateful. I'm just so glad I stayed on this side of that ledge. There were times that I wasn't sure that I could.
I first came across 4TBP in early 2016, during my 4th trimester. I read all of the stories and they helped me feel seen. They helped me get through. I wanted to participate right away, but it was sold out for my region. I am glad that I waited though. Now I can see the big picture. Now it is the right time.
Make time for Sacred Self Care. Call on your community so that you can rest and connect with yourself, however that looks for you. Look for the Helpers. They are there and happy to support you.