Lisa Montani Garcia (32) and Lorenzo (15 months)
Long Island, NY
Lisa shares -
“I have lost three pregnancies. Only one of those I was able to conceive on my own when I was 25. When I suffered the miscarriage I was not really too upset as it was an unplanned pregnancy with my long term boyfriend. Fast forward to 29, I am married to my husband who I had been with since I was 17. I was so excited to start a family! After 6 months of trying nothing was happening but we kept trying. By 10 months I knew something was wrong and the endless doctors appointments began. December 2016 we started IUI (intrauterine insemination) with a fertility doctor even though our work up was all "normal". Second IUI I was pregnant but sadly miscarried at 5 weeks. The third IUI I was pregnant again and I was so happy and thankful the fertility treatments were working. At 6 weeks I got severe cramping and heavy bleeding and was loosing yet another baby. I laid in bed for 2 days straight as the doctor ordered more tests.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
I have always been a big girl and did not mind it but after having a baby I was not prepared for how much I would suddenly hate my body. I felt so disgusting as everything was out of place and felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. I actually gained a lot of weight with breastfeeding and that did not help with my body image.
What was your postpartum experience?
Within days of giving birth I was at home with my miracle baby that I prayed and prayed for and instead of being happy I was SO ANXIOUS my head was spinning. I lost my cousin to a heroin overdose almost 3 years prior and on the day I got the phone call he was dead is the day my world spun for the first time in my life. For the next 2-3 weeks I continued to have my entire world spin and the loss on control was overpowering. My midwife immediately sent me to a psychotherapist and it was then I learned I was suffering from PTSD. I started weekly talk therapy and went to every local support group I could find. With a lot of therapy and hard work I finally was able to slowly get into a good head space.
When my son was around 4-5 months old I suddenly started to feel irritable and tired all the time. I did not want to leave my couch let alone my house and everything, including caring for my young baby was exhausting. I found myself crying all the time and really wondering why I even had a baby. I was so miserable and felt guilty I wasn't a happy new mom with my miracle baby I worked so hard to get. I thank god everyday for my amazing therapist who over the course of about 2-3 weeks saw this change in me and was able to help me realize I was suffering from PPD. I immediately got on medications and went back to weekly talk therapy! I connected with other moms in my local community who also suffered with PPD and with the love and support of my husband and family it slowly got better. I remember the clouds slowly lifting and I started to feel happiness again. I was able to find ME again!
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I have followed this project since before I had kid and just absolutely loved everything it was about. I learned a whole new appreciation for this project once I became a mother myself and said I am going to do this photoshoot one day and here I am!