Eileen Warbington (39), Christopher (8), Michael (deceased - would be 4), and Jacob (2)
Have you experienced any loses?
I had two miscarriages (both required D&C, at 10 and 6 weeks), 1 cornual ectopic pregnancy (treated with methotrexate - thankfully I did not require partial uterine resection! A calcified mass remains where a baby once was), and I had one premature birth at 20 weeks (PPROM). I had planned on having a water birth at home with my first, but was unable due to pregnancy induced hypertension so I was induced at 38 weeks (my midwife still got to deliver me, though!) but it was not the birth I had wanted, so that was kind of a loss. Jacob was my unplanned rainbow with a perfect pregnancy and amazing delivery. It was approximately a 10 year journey from the time of our first pregnancy to my last delivery.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
My breasts are definitely smaller and less dense, although I am still nursing my youngest so this may even get worse when I am done. (Sigh). At least my nipples still point forward! My belly is a bit saggy, particularly noticeable upon planking, and I cannot get my flat stomach back no matter how hard I work out, but this is not dramatic. I do not have any visible scars except for a prior belly button ring which I got after my first pregnancy which was a miscarriage (all 3 of my children were vaginal births) or stretch marks (amazingly!). I will occasionally catch a glimpse of my naked form in low light at times and think, "well, that's beautiful." But I have always hated, hated, hated my freckles and moles, even before having children, and routinely photoshop them out of pictures.
What was your postpartum experience?
I did not have any postpartum depression with my living children. I fortunately have a wonderful support network! Jacob was harder because I could not sleep as much as I wanted to, like I did with Christopher. And let's face it, it is harder when we are older! Obviously, grieving Michael's birth/death was a bit different. The hardest thing I can remember was when my milk came in for a baby I didn't have. I did not want to go out in public because I would let down when I heard other children and babies. It was horrible. I was not prepared for that and wish that someone had talked me through the options. I would've donated if I had thought about it. I was/am part of a bereavement group at the hospital where Michael was born which has been paramount to my ongoing healing. He would've turned 4 on 3/28, so that is pretty fresh. In fact, we are having his birthday party after my session with you. It is tradition and we release butterflies.
What is your truth?
The only thing your baby needs is you. You don't need all the latest and greatest gadgets. You don't need to decorate a separate room in a trendy style. They just need you! Also, trust your instincts. Your bond with your baby is like no other and you know what is best. Listen to that soft heartsong, not what some stupid book tells you or a well meaning friend who thinks she is helping. You know your baby best. YOU!
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
The human form is beautiful, motherhood is precious, and loss is not discussed enough.