The lovely Leslie Erb, mother to Jadyn (15), Taryn (13), Brennan (10), Karis (8), Ryanne (6) and Greyson (3). Leslie has had healthy, vaginal births with all of her children. She was in a roll over car accident at 38 weeks pregnant with her first daughter. Thankfully they were both okay and her daughter ended up arriving 11 days late. Leslie jokes that after the scare of the accident her daughter just wanted to hold on and stay inside. Her second pregnancy was relatively easy and resulted in her smallest baby at 7lbs, 7 oz. Her third pregnancy, her first son, was very easy. She had hyperthyroidism and had to be very vigilant with medication and frequent ultrasounds to make sure that he was developing appropriately. With her third daughter she developed Bell's Palsy at 39 weeks that lasted for about 4 months, but her pregnancy was otherwise uneventful. Leslie experienced gestational diabetes with her fifth pregnancy and had to give herself daily insulin shots. She says she wouldn't wish it on anyone but was able to stick with her insulin schedule and diet with ease because she was doing it for her daughter. Her sixth pregnancy was also healthy but took every bit of energy out of her. She jokes that it was in preparation for how much energy her son would take at one, two and three. Leslie says that she absolutely loved being pregnant and almost dreaded giving birth because it meant that she'd then have to share her babies with the rest of the world. She loves every bit of motherhood even though there are days she wants to pull out her hair, she wouldn't trade it for anything. Leslie wanted to participate in the project to embrace her newfound confidence she's developed over the past few years.
The stunning Amy Studden with her daughter Arielle (24), Bradey (21) and twins Amara and Raya (10). Amy had a high-risk pregnancy with her first daughter due to hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. She ended up having her thyroid removed while 3 months pregnant. Her health improved, and she still needed to be closely monitored, but she was able to have a vaginal birth. Her pregnancy with Bradey was complication-free, and she was able to have another vaginal delivery. Amy became pregnant with her twins several years later and enjoyed another healthy pregnancy even though she was higher risk. There was some concern toward the end of her pregnancy, so she delivered via cesarean at 37 weeks. Amy hadn't been able to breastfeed Arielle or Bradey successfully but was committed with her twins and nursed and pumped for them until they were 18 months old.
Amy's greatest motivations for shooting us had a lot to do with celebrating the accomplishment of creating 4 amazing children, but she also wanted to speak out about a life long struggle with disordered eating. At age 9, Amy started to experiment with anorexia by purging and it continued with increasing severity throughout her life. She also learned to excessively exercise as a way of keeping her weight down. While she sought treatment on and off, it wasn't until 2011 that she entered inpatient treatment for the first time. She completed that program, as well as, a follow up partial hospitalization program and has been working on recovery ever since. While she has continued to struggle with her eating disorder, Amy said that the weeks leading up to her shoot are the longest she's gone without relapse since she was in treatment. While she thought her impending session may have been a trigger, she found it to be motivation to do better.