Friday, February 13, 2015

The Brave Moment When I Became a Model!!!

Did I ever tell you about the time I was a model?  I know, I know.  Me?  A model?  Well a few months ago back when Zoe was only 4 months old I slyly shared this AWESOME photo of me as a model for The 4th Trimester Bodies Project on my Facebook page.

The project is "dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding" as Ashlee Wells Jackson loss mom, amazing photographer, and founder of 4th Trimester Bodies Project says on her site.

This mantra and motto is why I was brave, embraced the little moments of life and decided I could be a model for a day if it meant helping others and society realize that motherhood, ALL motherhood is beautiful and transformative not only to our bodies but also to our souls.

You see my motherhood, ALL OF IT in this photo.  My role as mom to a dead child and a living one is visible.  The scar from one and the stretch marks from the other are all present in this photo.!  Yes in one arm I hold my living child and in another I hold the elephant stuffed animal, the first gift Nora ever received from her Aunt Kristi represents my dead child.  This is why I participated in this project!  Because I wanted my motherhood to be SEEN!  Not JUST my motherhood to Zoe but my motherhood to NORA too!

Lately I have been on a kick to raise awareness about the invisible motherhood of the bereaved parent.  I think at first when Nora died people recognized me as a mother although a bereaved one.  But after Zoe arrived my motherhood to Nora seemed to fade, not in my eyes but in the eyes of others.


That is why I am re-sharing my modeling picture here with you today, because this project helps bring to light ALL aspects of motherhood and embraces every part of this messy but beautiful thing called being a mom.  Every shape and size is embraced, every last mark and pound, every kind of mother from the bereaved to the adopted, every kind of birth from at home to hospital c-section, every kind of feeding from breast to bottle, and every kind of postpartum experience including everything from 'I feel like everything is coming up roses after birth' to postpartum depression is included in this project.


We need more projects like 4th Trimester Bodies.  Because ALL MOTHERHOOD no matter how sad, complicated, challenging, and beautiful is recognized! The project embraces and CELEBRATES the journey, warts and all.  We need more of this if we are going to end the mommy wars.

Oh and the other reason I participated, the one that makes me the most brave is because of what I wrote to Ashlee after my session.  I didn't have the words at the time but here is the other reason I needed to participate in order to HEAL not only my grief but also my relationship with my physical body.

”I believe there is a tremendous amount of shame and feelings of failure that manifest as anger towards our bodies when we experience a loss during pregnancy. It has taken me many months and another pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a living baby for me to come to find a loving relationship with my body again. I’m at a point now where I can forgive her (my body) for what I thought was betraying me and I have come to the realization that my body did not fail me but was attacked just like my daughter was by the infection that stole my eldest child’s life. It has taken a lot of work, but by carrying my rainbow baby and bringing her into this world safe and sound I feel a deep sense of love for my body again and I just wanted to capture that love and gratitude for my daughters and my body in some way. Participating in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project was a way of doing that. A celebration of sorts for my healed relationship I now have with my body.”

Maybe if we can all embrace EVERY type of body, our own and others as well as embracing our own motherhood and that of others we would heal as a society too.

To see my full modeling career (Ha! It was one picture) and my story as highlighted on The 4th Trimester Bodies Project click here.

Now please go out into the world and love your body, others bodies and your motherhood and others motherhood without judgement or shame!  You deserve that kind of mommy love this Valentine's Day.

1 comment:

  1. I can completely relate to this. Since loosing Poppy I have been obsessed with loosing baby weight - to the point of depriving myself treats I know would actually help with my grief. I didn't want to "look post natal" as I didnt want to have to tell people the story when I wasn't ready


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