photo+interviews

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 Mothers of August Session 2 { Motherhood Photo+Interviews }

A preview of the wonderful images captured on the Divine-Mothering Photo_Interviews August session 2.

This session only includes two amazing women but as luck should have it, one of my participants insisted I should jump in as well. I must admit, I am no where near as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. But it was a good reminder of the courage and confidence all my participate have exhibited by participating in these intimate sessions. So how could I say no?

Thank you ladies for coming out to this session and for finding the strength to share yourselves in this way. Can’t wait to blog the individual stories, amazing stuff, I promise.

Divine Mother { Eva }

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Divine Mother { Iliana }

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#GoddessesInTheStudio

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And… here I am taking part in the festivities!

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And you know what? Now, no matter where you are, you can share your story on Divine-Mothering. I am very pleased to announce that I am launching a Submissions Section to the blog where women everywhere can share their photos and voices. Check out the Submissions Section HERE and share your story Today!

If you are interested in the photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, please visit her website here.

If you are interested in participating in one of the Motherhood Photo+Interview Events, check out our FB Page and click Events.

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Divine Mother Ashley { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Don’t be Scared

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of August Session 1 }

{ Ashley }

Don’t be Scared

“He’s the first one I breastfed. With the first two I tried but we didn’t make it past a handful of days or weeks… We had so much support in this community and the support of my husband and that made it much easier.”

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“We made it to 3 months, that’s been a really high point for us.

Mom2mom has helped. The FB group and all the consultants, they have some great consultants here. My problem was not having enough support and not having enough knowledge. I was pretty determined to make it. My first goal was 3 months and we’ve got it. Now I’m pushing it back to a year.

When you know so many other people who do it, it helps. Like before I would go to the car to try and breastfeed, but now I just throw my blanket on and we’re good to go.”

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“They’re my biggest helpers and they adore him. They’re all ‘Oh my turn to change the diaper!’

I’m much more confident now than I ever was before. Three years ago I would have never done a picture like this. I’ve gained confidence. Looking at them, that’s what makes me grow. Having  two girls ,I want them to know how the be confident and strong and be comfortable in your own skin.”

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“Before I didn’t go swimming or do stuff like that. I don’t want to miss out on those things. Stretch marks were a big issue and fluctuating weight. I just didn’t feel comfortable, but this body made three kids. This body is pretty awesome.”

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“Have confidence in your body and breastfeeding and anything you want to do. If you’re determined, don’t give up and don’t miss out on going to the pool. Don’t be scared.”

Ashley, thank you so much for participating in this project and sharing part of your story with us. I hope your words reach many ears and inspire confidence.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Ashley participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of August Session 1, 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 some articles written about DM in our PRESS section.

 

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Divine Mother Leah { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Let’s be Honest

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of August Session 1 }

{ Leah }

Let’s be Honest

“It’s been a whole new adventure. You go in thinking you know what you’re going to do and realize you’re just making it up as you go along. And then you wonder if your parents know what you were doing. They had no idea. I thought, ‘Oh, my mom knows everything…’

I wouldn’t trade this adventure for the world. It’s been wonderful.”

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“It’s hard. People say it’s hard, but you don’t realize how difficult those hard moments are. I think the hardest part for me has been coming to grips with all the changes. The changes in my life. The changes in my marriage. The changes in my body. It’s been hard for me. That’s why I wanted to do this. You have to love your body.

I feel hypocritical. I tell everyone how postpartum bodies are so magical and they did something amazing, but when it comes to my own… I hate it. But I tell myself, you can’t love everyone else’s bodies and hate your own. That’s crazy. We’re so self critical.”

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“Being a mother is a new aspect of my personality I didn’t know anything about. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have children because I worried I would be a horrible mother. It took meeting my husband, he loves children so much and watching him made me want to be like that too. I wanted to have a family with him. I’m very glad I did because it came easier than I thought it would. Not that it’s been easy.

It changes who you think you are and I think that’s a good thing. I’ve learned things about myself that I love.

I drive safer, think more long term. It just changes how I think and operate because I want to be around when he grows up.

It changes the way you look at the world. When I read the newspaper articles, I go, oh my god, we have to change that because if that’s around when my kid grows up… It just changes the way you view the world.”

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“I think I like the person I’m becoming. I think it’s made me a better person in the end. At the beginning I was a little sad. A mourning for a part of yourself that is lost in some ways. You have moments of ‘who is this?’. But I definitely wouldn’t change anything. I much prefer the person I’ve become.

I feel like when you become a mom there’s this expectation of needing to be perfect and if you’re not mom’s beat themselves up. And I do it as well. I know that I mess up all the time and that’s ok.”

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“I saw my mother struggle for years trying to achieve this image of the perfect working mother that she could never quite achieve. Until one day she realized what she was doing to  herself  and she became very happy. It took her three children… three children and one marriage later, to figure that out.

I like to see people be more honest with themselves.”

Leah, thank you so much for participating in this project and sharing part of your story with us.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Leah participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of August Session 1, 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 some articles written about DM in our PRESS section.

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Divine Mother Sandra { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Mothers Need their Mothers, Too

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of August Session 1 }

{ Sandra }

Mothers Need their Mothers, Too

“I started being a mother at the age of 18 and now she’s 18 years old. It was very difficult and  I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They were the biggest inspiration.”

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“My mom she was the one who said we’re definitely going to breast feed and cloth diaper. It was really fun, except not really. In 1997 cloth diapers were horrible. Little rubber pants and Gerber refolds. You know how low quality they are now? They haven’t changed. My mom was the first to go out and buy disposables and say we’re not doing this any more. She had thought it would have been like when I was cloth diapered , but things had changed.”

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“Low point was having to go back to work. It’s difficult to leave your babies. Soonest I had to go to work was after my second was born. I was in the Navy and she was a week old when September 11 happened. My extension to my baby leave got cut short. I did get my full baby leave, but not the extension. So my parents took care of my daughter. I was working a state away. I tried to pump, but I dried up. She only got about 3 months of breast milk.

With my little ones now, second youngest is 3 1/2, he breastfed for 2 1/2 years. So there’s nothing wrong with the boobs, but there needs to be a baby attached for it to work!

I worked up to about a month before coming here. So it was kind of hard to adjust. But you don’t get these moments back.”

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“I feel like I came into myself more. I feel more confident, more self assured, and it’s brought me happiness. I love it, I love it, I love it. Or I wouldn’t have had so many.

I think because they are so spaced apart it doesn’t feel likes many.

Joking with a friend I had said. I’m going to go pose in my underwear, but I thought, it couldn’t be so bad… my underwear covers more than my bikini!”

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“I’ve seen the normalize breastfeeding movement and I love it. Back then, among my friends, I was the only one to even give it a try. I was the odd man out. It’s good to see the growing numbers.”

Sandra, thank you so much for participating in this project and sharing part of your story with us. It’s so wonderful to talk to a mother who’s had years worth of experiences, knowledge and wisdom.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Sandra participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of August Session 1, 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 some articles written about DM in our PRESS section.

 

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Divine Mothers of August Session 1 { Motherhood Photo+Interviews }

A sneak peek into the images captured on Divine-Mothering’s August Session 1, Aug 4th. I can’t wait to blog the individual stories and share these women’s voices with you!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a media frenzy with several blogs publishing articles about Divine-Mothering and while it’s all exciting to get attention, the very best part is to start receiving messages from people who have been positively impacted by these photos and stories. The blog’s reach is growing, our voices are getting louder, and you ARE getting the point across!

Women everywhere want love themselves!

And you know what? Now, no matter where you are, you can share your story on Divine-Mothering. I am very pleased to announce that I am launching a Submissions Section to the blog where women everywhere can share their photos and voices. Check out the Submissions Section HERE and share your story Today!

An now on to these lovely mothers <3

Divine Mother { Sandra }

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Divine Mother { Leah }

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Divine Mother { Ashley }

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Divine Mother { Rebecca }

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#GoddessesInTheStudio

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Thank you, ladies, for participating! After this session I felt such a humongous sense of peace. I know we are making a difference! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with Divine-Mothering and the world! <3 <3 <3

I will be blogging about each of their mini sessions in the coming week and I absolutely can’t wait to share more.

If you are interested in the photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, please visit her website here.

If you are interested in participating in one of the Motherhood Photo+Interview Events, check out our FB Page and click Events.

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Divine Mother Teresa { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } An Amazing Feeling

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of July Session 2 }

{ Teresa }

An Amazing Feeling

When I talk to the participants, I can see that no words could ever put into context the love that they feel for their children and the joy they experience as mothers. Interviewing Teresa was that type of an experience. She spoke filled with emotion, her words getting lost in the endless space that was radiating with happiness and love. It’s a wonderful thing to witness.

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“My high point is just being her mommy.

I guess nothing ever…

It’s an amazing feeling and I’ve never felt anything like it.”

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“A low point is having no support, but being here has been empowering. Mom2mom and getting together with other moms has helped so much. Being with other moms, feeling like we’re all the same…”

Teresa and her daughter took a break from interviewing to play the “I love you” game. I think we all know that one. Just saying “I love you” back and forth, pronouncing the words are quickly as your breath can spare, until everyone erupts in giggles.

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When I asked her about her identity and how it had grown with motherhood she replied with:

“It’s my reason for being. My husband tells me all the time that I was made to be a mother.”

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“It’s a great feeling. I can’t put it into words. It’s so amazing.”

Teresa, you have such a beautiful loving spirit. I loved capturing your joy for motherhood. 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.

Teresa 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!

Huffington Post

Daily Mail

Baby Centre UK

A Beautiful Body Project

Bored Panda (Give us a vote!)

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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 Stacey { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Learning to Accept the Changes

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of July Session 2 }

{ Stacey }

Learning to Accept the Changes

“I feel like I’m still writing my story as a mom.

He was born a little early, we weren’t planning on him coming yet. We were pretty excited. ”

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“Pregnancy was more difficult that I thought it would be. It was a fairly easy pregnancy overall, but the changes that went through my body I wasn’t prepared for. I had always been very confident in myself but then I started gaining weight, started getting stretchmarks, and my confidence plummeted. I went from someone who was strong and felt like I knew what I was doing to to rather soft and unsure of myself.

It took me a really long time into my pregnancy to gain some confidence back and to realize that while some people may like all of the changes… not everyone does.  He’s very much worth all of the changes I’ve gone through.”

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“Finding out he was a boy was really exciting. Holding him for the first time was amazing.

I went from a very long labor to a very quick C-section. Having my husband there talking me through it was so important. He got to go and cut the umbilical cord and then they brought him back and put him on my chest. That was absolutely amazing.”

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“I’m learning every day how to deal with a tiny human.

I don’t know if I’ve realized any changes in my identity yet. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. It feels kind of natural.”

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“All the changes are worth it. I think I let the pressures of society… Stretchmarks aren’t pretty. Weight gain isn’t fun… I let those things get to me a lot during pregnancy. Now that hes here… They are completely worth it.

I can show him how I build myself back up.”

Stacey, I hope you continue to grow and learn as a mother and maybe we can build ourselves back up together! Enjoy your brand new little miracle. 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.

Stacey 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!

Bored Panda (If you like this project, go give it a vote on Bored Panda!)

A Beautiful Body Project

Baby Center UK

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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!

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