Christian Hodge (37). Mother to Josephine (5) and Elijah (3)
Christian shares -
“I’m still struggling with my body image. I like how parts of my body look fuller and not others. I am still learning to accept my skin and stretch marks on my stomach, as well as smaller boobs. I am however more confident than I have ever been and I attribute it to pregnancy and breastfeeding. It was so powerful to know that my body could create life and then sustain it for as long as needed.
With my first it was very difficult postpartum. I had PPD but didn’t really know what it was. I just knew that I didn’t feel right. I went to my OB/GYN and she told me as long as I didn’t resent my baby that I was ok. I remember crying every single morning while listening to Marvin Gaye “I’m so in love”. I was terrified to be alone with my baby. I had intrusive thoughts while I breastfed some nights. It was terrible. It took a year for me to feel better. Two other moms, now friends, recognized the symptoms and would check on me regularly making sure I was ok on a day to day basis. My mom stepped in and stayed with us when my husband had to travel. She allowed me to rest when I needed to. She sacrificed a whole year to make sure we were ok.
The second time was different. I had a different provider who supported my desire to have a VBAC. We talked ahead of time and made a plan about how to handle possible PPD. When the time came the plan was executed flawlessly and it made a huge difference. I started taking Zoloft while in the hospital after birth. It was 100% my choice. My provider checked in with my on a daily, then weekly basis to make sure I felt okay. I was able to enjoy and remember the moment that were so fleeting after the birth of my daughter.
I think it’s important for women, especially Black women to share our stores about birth and parenthood. There are so many myths and falsehoods/misconceptions about what it’s like to have a baby. Talking about them allows other to know what they are experiencing is normal.”