Miscarriage

Divine Mother Eva { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Surprise

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of August Session 2 }

{ Eva }

Surprise

I am a mother. I have been for 10 years. I have a step son and he grew in my heart, not my belly. We didn’t think we could have children and we were OK with that. I’m in my 30’s and my husband is about ready to retire and… Surprise! You’re pregnant. I cried first actually. I cried and I was upset. My husband came home and he found me in the bath tub. He asked what was wrong and I told him “I’m pregnant!?!”

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And then I thought, you know, so many things could go wrong. I got nervous. Maybe it’s not going to happen. But everything has been good. I feel very fortunate. I haven’t had morning sickness or anything like that. But now I’m 30 weeks pregnant and everything is becoming a pain in the butt. Everything hurts, but I have a feeling it’s all going to hurt a lot more soon.

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I had gone to two doctors. We have been married for 13 years and for about 8 of that we tried to have children. After 2 years we went the first doctor. That doctor said I have PCOS, but I went to get a second opinion. I don’t feel like I fit the profile for PCOS. People tend to be heavier and hairier. I do have a cyst though… So we went to the second doctor and he agreed. “No, you don’t have PCOS, but something is wrong with you.” And he recommended that I try in vitro. And… I was not digging the whole hormone shots, the process of disappointment… I have a beautiful step son and a pug.

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And they were right. Nothing happened for another 2 years. Then I had a miscarriage. But it was… The development only went up to 6 weeks. So I don’t really consider that a loss. I just saw it as affirmation that my body can’t hold a pregnancy.

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I have a big cyst right here [ lower abdomen ], it’s the size of a chicken egg, but it doesn’t seem to be interfering with the pregnancy… And that’s that!

Eva, thank you so much for participating in this project and sharing part of your story with us. Your words deeply touched me, your strength and self acceptance is amazing. I wish you a beautiful healthy pregnancy, birth, and child. You’re amazing.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Eva participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of August Session 2, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

The images from this photography project are now being transformed into Children’s Books. Please visit the Books section for more information.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

Eva is also an incredibly talented photographer, please check out her work here.

The Divine Mothering Series is already making waves on the internet. Check out some articles written about DM in our PRESS section.

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Divine Mother Erin { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } The Pot of Gold

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of July Session 2 }

{ Stacey }

The Pot of Gold

When Erin introduced herself and her children, her son looked up from her arms and just said “I love you mom.” His face completely light up with adoration. What a beautiful child.

“I call him my pot of gold. He’s my absolute lover, everything about mother is perfect.”

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“We lost two babies before my son. The losses were 5 years apart and they were both partial molar pregnancies which is really unheard of to have multiple polar molars. It’s a rare genetic thing. So to have it a second time was really unexpected.

Right around that time my sister got pregnant and had my nephew. I really had it in my mind that if I don’t have any kid she would be my everything. He was the first nephew born and he was just really special.”

Some tears happened, and that’s ok.

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“So after loosing those two and then getting pregnant with my son. It was perfect.

He’s a really celebrated child… And then to have her and have perfectly healthy pregnancies and perfectly healthy children… I can’t ask for more.”

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“I was thinking about the reason why I wanted to participate in this project and all I can think of is that right around the time I became 30 I decided that it was time I stopped worrying about the things I wasn’t and start loving the things that I was.

Everything feels ok now. I don’t think I ever had days where I feel ugly anymore.

I fully accepted that my husband thinks I’m hot, my son tells me I’m beautiful all the time.”

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“I want my daughter to grow up to know that she’s beautiful, that when she has kids she might change, but she has the right to feel beautiful and sexy no matter how big, hot little, how stretched.”

Erin, you are an amazing inspiration. I love your confidence and energy and the love you have for your children is just bursting out of you; beautiful. Thank you so much for participating in this project and sharing yourself with us.
Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Erin participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of July Session 2, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

The Divine Mothering Series is already making waves on the internet. Check out these recent articles featuring the project!

Daily Mail

Baby Centre

A Beautiful Body Project

Bored Panda (Give us a vote!)

 

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Divine Mother Kathryn { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Healing Through Love & Motherhood

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of July Session 2 }

{ Kathryn }

Healing Through Love & Motherhood

Kathryn emailed me her journey after our session. So I will leave you here with her words, a beautiful story of healing.

“There are two parts of my life that drew me to this project—growing up, and marriage. The first formed my ideologies about life and being a woman, and had a significantly negative impact on my body image and my sexuality; the second RE-formed and and reshaped those values and brought me to where I am today. I used to be an uptight girl who felt she was ugly, and that her body was useless and something to be ashamed of. Now I am an empowered mother, unafraid of intimacy with my husband, and much more confident in my body’s beauty.”

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“I was raised down South in a Conservative Christian home. My father divorced my mother when I was a little girl, and I barely saw him. When I did, I felt unwanted and unloved; a burden. I longed for the families other children I knew had. I wanted to be the “Daddy’s Princess” that I saw on t.v. I wanted to know I was beautiful and cherished. Instead, I was jealous of the relationship my little sister had with our father. He got it right with her, and it was painful to watch.

Everywhere I looked in my family, I felt unloved…or at least not loved in the way I was longing for. I felt unseen too. My mother did the best she could to raise me and my big sister, but she was always working and didn’t have time to “play” with me. Because of my mother’s hurt from the divorce, she often acted in ways that were harmful to my developing self-esteem; although she had no idea how her actions would affect me. I always heard her cry and say she’s “fat and ugly.” She would never go outside with me because she didn’t have the energy, and didn’t want anyone to see her. She NEVER went swimming with us, even though she owned a swimsuit. Whenever we would go shopping, I would pick her out clothes that brought out her features—instead of buying and wearing them, she continued to wear her scrubs from the hospital. She covered her body and was ashamed of her stretch marks and C-Section scar. On top of that, I constantly heard how a man would “never love her”; especially because of the way she looked. My mother did not mean to hurt me with how negatively she viewed herself…but she did—GREATLY. I felt as though I were the cause of her “ugliness”. If I would not have been born, my mom and dad would still be together. Those thoughts continued to haunt me into adulthood.

I was just a little girl longing for affection. I wanted my mom to be happy and just be my mother. I didn’t care what she looked like…I wanted her time. I didn’t want to constantly hear about my father and how he hurt her, and how ugly and unloved she was—I loved her! Why couldn’t she see that? I was too young then to understand the impact my mother’s negative self-esteem would have on my own. Outside influences growing up also had a significant impact on my negative body image. I was bullied constantly from a very young age…an outcast. I did not “fit in,” and everyone made that known. I had no friends in school. Those I held on to for a while took advantage of my loyalty. Every day in high school I was told how ugly and worthless I was. Told that nobody would care if i died. On Valentine’s Day, I was the girl receiving fake love letters so they could watch me cry. But the worst was being told that NOBODY would ever want to marry me. I was considered unworthy of love, so I had trouble loving myself.”

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“I wanted to die. I never physically hurt myself, but I wished that God would let me fall asleep and never wake up, or get in to a car crash. I just wanted my sorrows to end, and to be in Heaven with Him. I knew I was God’s child, and that HE loved me; that’s the only thing that kept me going. Not only was I bullied at school, but I also endured physical and emotional abuse from my grandmother whom I lived with. Everyone had left me but her. Due to this, I was involved in friendships that were unhealthy as well. I kept getting hurt, and allowing myself to be hurt because it was what I was used to—it was my comfort zone. I saw myself as ugly and worthless. Despite the destructive view of myself, I did not run to “men” to fulfill my attention needs. I still had one thing that I was proud of, and hadn’t been taken from me—my virginity.

Growing up in the church, I was not exposed to healthy and proper sexuality. I was just told that sex is dirty and wrong until marriage. Unfortunately, the Church does not realize that this teaching negatively affects young Christian women. Many married Christian women have issues being intimate with their husbands because they’re ashamed of their bodies, and afraid of its sexuality. We’ve been told to cover up, so as not to make a brother stumble. We’re told that it’s OUR fault if a male lusts after us. We carry this shame, while Christian boys often bear little to no responsibility for their own actions…Yet then we women are supposed to instantly release a lifetime of conditioning when we get married and suddenly believe sex is now a beautiful, NOT shameful act; AND be confident in letting our husband take joy in our bodies? Yeah, it’s hard! Modesty is an ATTITUDE, NOT a style of clothing. Which brings me to the second part of my story—MARRIAGE.

Having been told I was worthless for years, and that I would NEVER find a man who met my standards, (which by the way, that man would have to significantly lower his standards to want to marry me) I was beginning to feel hopeless. I doubted that Mr. Right would ever come for me…And I was only 20.

My deepest desire was to be married. To become a wife and mother. I met my husband, (who met EVERY one of my standards) and we were married 6 moths later. I knew he was the man God had saved for me, and I the woman for him. He accepted me and all my emotional past. He understood me, but most of all, he made me confident, and brought out the beauty that had been so deeply hidden within me. He made me realize that I was lied to my whole life. I DO matter. I AM loved. I AM beautiful. And I am worthy of respect. I thank God constantly for my incredible husband. He was so patient with my intimacy issues. It was hard not to feel shameful when we were together; it was embedded in my subconscious. It took 2.5 years, counseling, and the spiritually healing birth of our son, for me to finally enjoy and believe that making love to my husband was a beautiful and glorifying act…NOT shameful. I could finally rejoice in my body also being his; and let him love me. I no longer feel ugly, or worthless, or unloved. I do not wish I was never born—I love myself and I love life!”

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“Motherhood has healed my spirit and body. Physically I sometimes struggle with my body image because I do not look like the “typical mom”, I don’t have the normal “mom bod.” I was unable to get beautiful maternity pictures because I barely showed. My breasts did not increase in size (not even during breastfeeding!) I gained a total of 15 pounds, all of which I lost during the birth. I have no “tiger stripes” or stretch marks on my belly…and yes I do in a way feel left out of motherhood for not having them.

Although I do not have any outward scars related to childbirth; I carry around inward scars invisible to those around me. My motherhood journey did not begin with a life, it began with a loss. Three moths after my husband and I were married, we suffered an abnormal pregnancy. We were eager to start a family together, and that dream came crashing down. It was my very first time at an OB office and we were expecting to hear our baby’s heartbeat. Instead, we were told there was no baby growing inside me, but rather a hyatidaform mole, or rapidly growing non viable tissue (tumor) in my uterus. I had a complete molar pregnancy and was scheduled for an emergency D&C two days after. I was fortunate that the doctor caught it immediately. He told me it was very nearly cancer. I was 21.

We hadn’t told our families we were expecting, and now had to deliver devastating news. My family was understanding…my husband’s was hurt that we didn’t tell them we were pregnant. The surgery went well, but I believe my body was psychologically traumatized. Under doctors orders, we were not to conceive again for a year—at the very least 6 months. Preventative measures had to be implemented, which left me emotionally scarred as it went against our personal beliefs. I was blamed by some for what occurred, which left me damaged as well. We did not have time to properly grieve, as several weeks later the military gave us orders for overseas. Our focus shifted. We put the loss in the back of our minds. I know now that I was a mother then. The moment I saw the double lines, I became a mother. And that matters. When we arrived in Germany, I had my birth control removed. The next cycle our son was conceived.

My pregnancy was very easy (except me worrying in the beginning about another loss). I felt the most beautiful I ever have during my pregnancy. I started researching, and from that we began to live a more “natural” and healthy lifestyle. I wanted the best life for our child. I bonded with our son throughout pregnancy. I was determined to have an all-natural childbirth…and I DID! My son’s birth was healing in multiple ways. The joy was indescribable. DIVINE. I now had a son who was solely dependent upon me for nourishment. My body grew life, and now I would sustain that life. It’s absolutely incredible. Our journey definitely hasn’t been easy, but we have just reached a breastfeeding milestone of one year!!! I could not have done it without the support of our local mothering community, and especially my husband. His unwavering support encourages me to take part in projects like this. He appreciates and recognizes the beauty and power within a woman and her body. He is there by my side every step of the way.”

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“Every woman’s background shapes who she is today. No matter where you came from, you have the power within to change and transform your views. I still hold on to my Christian values, and am modest even when I’m not fully clothed. The Church needs to appreciate women’s bodies and the power given to them by God. Don’t shame a woman for breastfeeding her child without a cover, by saying she’s “immodest”, or by making her feed elsewhere. Encourage and uplift her as a mother. We are part of the body of Christ too. And our bodies are a beautiful temple of the Lord, to be appreciated—not torn down. No matter if Christian or not, we as women are part of a community. Please always remember: I DO matter. I AM loved. I AM beautiful. She matters. She is lovable. She is beautiful. YOU matter. YOU are loved. YOU are beautiful. Together we can change the world!”

Kathryn, I hope you realize that you have one truly amazing “mom bod”! Thanks so much for sharing this story with us and participating in this project. You are amazing!

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Kathryn participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of July Session 2, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

The Divine Mothering Series is already making waves on the internet. Check out these recent articles featuring the project!

A Beautiful Body Project

Baby Center UK

Bored Panda

Please follow and like us:
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A Healing Pregnancy & Birth { Motherhood Stories / Miscarriage }

Women’s bodies are incredible. Each and every one of us, you and me, grew inside the womb of a woman. Our bodies are vessels of life. Not only designed to sustain life within for the 9 months of pregnancy, but also to nourish young nurslings until they are able to feed themselves. And even for those women who have trouble conceiving or breast feeding, that intense desire to nurture, to raise, to help heal, is unmistakably female. We are the mothers of the human race. An incredible honor, duty and responsibility has been bestowed on us. It should be celebrated. It should be praised. It should be our glory. Whether you have given birth, or not. Mothered, or not. Assisted in rearing, or not. Our bodies are a symbol of life, nourishing, and healing.

Unfortunately, we are living in a world where being a woman is of little value. Our bodies have been distorted by the media, stripped of their dignity and used to sell material things. Sexualized and villainized to the point that the mere sight of a child at her mother’s breast causes scandal. So much distortion of our self image has been spread into our consciousness that most women have come to fear pregnancy and birth, the very moment our bodies perform the most incredible miracle we could witness.

My heart had been full of fear and hurt, too.

Despite my second pregnancy producing the most amazing and beautiful healthy child. My heart was still mourning my first pregnancy, which ended in miscarriage. Not an uncommon occurrence, but somehow it cut deep into my soul. My heart was still trembling with flashbacks of being in a cold room feeling helpless, naked, and completely heart broken, as nurses inspected my emptying womb.

A healthy daughter came into our lives soon after, as I became pregnant again within a few months. And every single day of that pregnancy was a struggle with fear and uncertainty… but after her birth, all was forgotten. The joy she brought me was enough for me to put aside my past experiences and enjoy being a mother. It would only be about a year after her birth, when the desire to grow our family started to take hold, that I realized how broken I truly felt.

The thought of being pregnant again brought me to tears. I was terrified. Despite dreaming of a larger family, I felt incapable of surpassing my hurt.

I begged my husband to consider adoption. I didn’t know what else to do. And for a while, this was my plan. To push for adoption as the only means to grow our family… Out of fear.

But as destiny should have it, I soon found myself pregnant again, and absolutely scared out of my mind. I could barely fake a happy face. Because despite my wholehearted desire for another child, I was petrified in fear. But there wasn’t much I could do about it now. I was pregnant and sentenced to 9 months of being a human incubator (as I liked to call it… as I felt).

Despite my fears, I was stubborn. I wanted a different experience for this pregnancy. I didn’t want to relive the cold offices, the intrusive tools, the constant invasions of privacy… So I searched out a home birth midwife. And I am so incredibly thankful I did.

My midwife would always assure me that my body and my baby would know what to do. She would, very seriously, explain how “the nature” would know what is needed. She made me trust my body to do what it was meant to do. I felt safe in her care, and that was important… To trust my care giver.

Of course, after a miscarriage, it is difficult to trust. I felt like my body had betrayed me and my unborn child, discarding it unfairly. And I felt like my care providers, at the time, did little if anything to help heal me, after assisting my body in finishing such an unforgivable betrayal. As if they had been in it together, to destroy my child and break my spirit.

Through my pregnancy, I started to look for female idols, goddesses, and sacred mothers. My favorite figure, by far, was that of Mother Nature, a metaphor I had grown familiar and comfortable with. A force that drives this planet, this earth. The creates life, creates beauty, that nurtures, and provides… But Mother Nature can also be a violent mother. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami are all part of the incredible and deadly forces of nature… Part of the life cycle…

I pondered on this image for a long time. If I was to see myself as part of the divine, as having a strong spiritual identity, as having my spirit and my body coexists harmoniously. I had to learn to accept, and embrace, that just like Mother Nature, a mythical and spiritual portrayal of our earthly home, my body, my temple, my very human self was also both capable of creating life, nourishment, and beauty, as well as great hurt and destruction. One aspect does not need to overshadow the other.

Does the horror of an unforgiving tsunami deny the vast beauty of the ocean?

Does the destruction of hurricane change our perception of the soothing summer showers?

And I suddenly felt the realization that my body was an extension of Mother Nature. Part of it’s creation, but also part It. With the power to create, to nurture, to provide… and to destroy. I may not fully understand the reasons why nature can be so violent and seemingly unjust at times… But I cannot deny that the same earth that shakes and brings down buildings also provides us the land to build anew.

It took me 3 years and two successful pregnancies to make peace with my body and amend my view of pregnancy after my miscarriage.

It took a loving supportive husband and family. It took an incredible, understanding and receptive care provider. It took falling in love with two beautiful children.

I had my second daughter in our home. It was a wonderful experience to be able to stay home, together as a family, to experience the incredible, magical, and powerful experience that is childbirth.

And somehow, after it was all said and done, after the nausea, after the ergy burts and energy drains, after the emotional roller coaster that is pregnancy, after all the check ups, after the labor, after holding my baby, after re-learning to nurse, after managing the first few days of being a mother of two… I can finally say, I am no longer afraid.

I can finally see the beauty in pregnancy again. The magic. The reason why women glow.

We are such incredible creatures, so amazing and strong and powerful. Don’t let them lie to you. Don’t let them make you think you are weak, or sick, or delicate, while pregnant. Don’t let them make you think labor is scary, or painful, or routine. Don’t let them tame you during labor. Don’t let them tell you what you need or don’t need, what can or can’t do. You know what you need, you know what you want. You make them respect your body. It is sacred. Labor is sacred. Don’t let them strip it of it’s beauty and dignity.

This pregnancy saved me from not understanding this. It guided me towards the truth. The incredible truth that we women are being denied every single day. That our bodies are incredible and POWERFUL. That we grow new lives within our wombs, nurse children with our breasts, and give birth through with our vaginas. And our bodies are not dirty. They are not weak. Our bodies are sacred. Our bodies are AMAZING. Our bodies deserve respect and honor.

Whether you are a mother or not, remember this truth. Your body is an incredible symbol of life on this earth, an extension of Mother Nature, and a force to be reckond with.

And THAT is the lesson I needed to learn… That I was not broken. That having had a negative experience does not need to cancel out how truly amazing, beautiful and magical pregnancy, labor, and mothering is.

{S}Hero Liliana

Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com
Photo by LilianaBeatriz.com

 

If you are interested in Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, visit the website here.

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