Lisa Sauvé (33 - she/her) and Amy (13)
Ann Arbor, MI
“I lost the experience of pregnancy. Let me explain, I am a birth parent but told no one about my pregnancy. I mentally blocked it out myself along with not telling anyone else. If I couldn't consider my own thoughts on the situation I definitely didn't want to hear anyone else's. Compartmentalization. I kept it to myself, only her dad knew. Keeping the pregnancy wasn't a pro-life decision, it was a non-decision from I think paralyzing fear to make a decision. We barely talked about it until the inevitable and I went into labor. No prenatal care. The 3 trimester was winter, so oversized sweaters. I was small enough they camouflaged pretty well. Enough that we spent the entire day at my parents house on Christmas and they didn't notice (Amy was born January 18). When I finally went to the hospital in labor, the doctor felt my stomach and suggested the baby might be 4 lbs since I was so small. She was born 8 lbs 7 oz.”
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
As a mother to a daughter, I think before I speak, and tell myself the truths I tell her as much as I can. She's beautiful and healthy, and so am I. The idea of my body now though is much more about fitness than image. I can start to feel aging and want to be able to experience life and the world with Amy for as long as possible, meaning I need to ensure my body can climb and hike and explore for many years to come.
What was your postpartum experience?
Postpartum was the first time I allowed myself to consider motherhood. In the hours after our daughter was born, she was named "Baby A" on adoption papers, before we withdrew them and decided we would take the chance and do this thing. Baby A, with a quick suggestion of "Amy" from her dad, became just that, our Amy. That's when we started to tell people, the afternoon of her birth that we had a baby, not that we were having a baby.
Happy birthday to my dad, who turned 49 the day Amy was born, so when I called my mom to tell her it was definitely a double shock of coincidence and surprise. What a surprise birthday present, to become a grandfather!
Telling my grandma she is a "great grandma", she thought she was being told she was a "great" grandma as a compliment, not fact. She was nothing but delighted when we clarified the miscommunication. (Amy loves this part of the story)
Being 19, my body bounced back quickly. When friends and family came to visit in the coming days they remarked that I couldn't have had the baby because of my trim figure, which was a reflection of my trim pregnancy. I healed quickly and my shape didn't change much.
What is your truth?
From the inevitable and the necessary comes opportunity and inspiration.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
Friends, knowing my story and urging me to share. Capturing a moment with my daughter where her is closer to the age I gave birth than mine and that I'm proud of her and though it was a silent pregnancy, I was never ashamed.