To moms. All moms.
I did this session before Christmas 2020, and I was so excited about it! I felt like I was finally, truly, following my calling with using boudoir and photography to really work on healing.
Being a boudoir photographer, I sometimes feel like I am drowning in thousands of other photographers and we are all trying to support each other, while at the same time in competition to get clients.
I know I am different, I know my approach is different, and I know that I am valued by my clients.
Sometimes it can be hard to feel like I can really make this point come through through social media, through my website, through text.
I want women to find me, somehow, and be able to feel that I care about their journey and their healing. Their struggles and joys. Their shame and successes. I really care about it all, and think it is such an important part of this boudoir journey, this healing journey, this self-love journey so many of us are on.
So, back to moms.
When doing this session, we talked about her pregnancy, traumatic birth, feeling alone and isolated and how to accept help from others.
We both shared pieces of our stories.
We talked about communication.
We talked about body image struggles.
We talked about feeling betrayed by our bodies......Now, this one hit me.
At one point I said something along the lines of feeling like a 'poser' since I am not a mom, but I love working with moms. I love working with women who are mothers and have or are struggling with their identity, bodies and their relationship. This overwhelming sense of "I am a great mom, but is that all I am?"
She told me that I am a mom. Just because my babies are in heaven does not mean I am not a mom, and I am not a poser.
I cried over this for weeks. I am crying as I am writing this now.
Moms come in all forms, and for some of us, our babies were not able to stay here with us.
For some of us, we desperately want to be a mother but it does not feel like it is in the cards for us.
For some of us, our kids are not biological but we love them to all the bits and pieces.
Us as a collective group of women all have such deep stories, and yet so many do not get shared. So many of us feel alone, and I hate that.
For Black Friday - I asked women to write essays to get their Black Friday deal. I got so many essays, and each "why a boudoir session will positive impact me" brought me to tears.
Here is one that hit hard for me.
"I got pregnant last January and was prepared to grow the little one, but I wasn't prepared for the body changes - they were constant and it felt like I was in someone else's body! Top on COVID and the lack of maternity wear support... nothing fit and I felt confusing awful about my entire body growth.
The labor of my daughter was the most painful and traumatic experiences- after 20 hours, she was stuck in my pelvis a c-section was done. Unexpected, major surgery sent me home feeling like I was cut up alive and given my child- this beautiful wonderful being that I now live for, but on little sleep and constant demand. 8 weeks later the pain continues, and I realize the long recovery.
I now stare at my body with... wonder, confusion, and curiosity. I feel like jelly, more weak than I've ever been. My wrinkly extra-skin stomach is darker toned, and still has the line down the middle from being stretched.
My self-love why is what my body has done in the last short 11 months and embracing the being I am now after- inside and out.
I have never thought of the experience not resulting with a child, but you are so right how that puts the trauma into perspective! I often go into a daze thinking about that night. It's almost like a nightmare.
I have always wanted to be a mother, badly. It's just in my being- what I was looking forward to the most in life! I loved my prenatal classes, and was mentally prepared for the "unknown" that my particular labor would be. But they don't talk about after! That your placenta needs to be delivered, your stomach is pushed on with force to pass blood clots, you bleed and bleed, you feel like you were hit by a bus, you can't sit up on your own, you don't recognize yourself... it is all a taboo that truly needs to be given attention!
Every mother i know and meet now I see in a completely different light - I appreciate the strength they had to have, and the sacrifice that was made. "
There are so many blessings with motherhood, and I do not want to dismiss that at all! But I know that there are so many struggles and I want to create a safe space for these conversations.
I always seem to write these blogs without much of a plan, and just let it pour out of me. I always wonder at the end, "did I even have a point?" and this one right now feels no different!
But it feels right.
I would love if you would share your response to this, and help break this silence a little at a time. And if this hit home, please share with the mamas in your life.
And if you want, I will be hosting a mothers boudoir event this Spring to keep this conversation going. 🖤
I have a facebook group, that I am working on trying to shift to support moms and women in a different way - I want it to be a community that is all of ours, not mine. Please feel free to join this as well!
Thank you for supporting me, and all us women working through this life journey.