Samantha Kumar (41), Linus (3), and Lakshmi (7 weeks)
Samantha is a previous project participant, you can view her original photo and story from 2017 here.
Greenwich, CT | Brooklyn, NY
Samantha shares -
“I've been pregnant six times. As stated in the first shoot, the first two losses were attributed to clotting. It was assumed the second two were due to poor egg quality and we pursued IVF. After three rounds of stimulation, we had one genetically perfect embryo. We implanted the embryo on August 19 and Lakshmi was born 37 weeks later. I had little to know anxiety the entire pregnancy--it was so different than when I was pregnant with Linus. My doctor said I was the highest risk patient in his entire practice, but I just knew she would be fine and that I would be fine. She is more than fine, she is perfection. I feel attune to her in a way I am still not with Linus and I think it is largely in part because I refused to doubt her or my ability to carry her.
How has parenthood impacted your body image?
For what may be the first time in my life, I don't have any negative feelings about my body. I found a gym and trainer that I love and was in great shape prior to this pregnancy. I worked out aggressively until the week before I gave birth and even though I was, one again, bruised from daily Lovenox injections, I liked my body and enjoyed my growing belly. Lakshmi latched immediately after delivery and breastfeeding is going really well, so I do not mind my sore breasts, soft belly or extra padding on my back and arms. I know it has a purpose and that I can turn the soft into strength when I am ready.
What is your truth?
Be honest. Parenting is not easy. I refuse to sugar coat it when I talk to people, especially other parents of young children. Yes, I adore my children. Yes, I love them and derive immense joy and am glad they are here, healthy and mine. But they don't sleep enough and neither do I. Three year olds can be mean little terrors. I wore pants with pee on them out of the house the other day. I love my husband but I barely acknowledge him some days. I tell you these things for sympathy but also for solidarity. I will never pretend to have some perfect instagram worthy-life and neither should you. Celebrate the joys, but be honest about the challenges because we all need sympathy and more empathy.
Why did you choose to participate in this movement and share your story?
I chose to participate again because my journey with Lakshmi was so very different than with Linus. After Linus, I wanted a place to pour my heart out and heal and being part of the movement did exactly that. I was finally able to let go some of the anxiety, sadness and fear and just enjoy Linus, which in turn allowed me to relax into and enjoy my journey with Lakshmi.
Additionally, being a part of the 4th Tri community has taught me more about motherhood than I could imagine and made me realize how absolutely privileged I am. I would like to use my privilege for the greater good and hope to become a postpartum doula or some form of pregnancy support person once things settle down with Lakshmi and Linus.