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Stephanie #holdbabieslovebodies

March 15 2020 – Gianna Shawley

Stephanie #holdbabieslovebodies

Stephanie #holdbabieslovebodies

We are all in a different part of our journey to #holdbabieslovebodies.  Because for most of us, loving or bodies is a bit more complicated than making a decision to. Stephanie tells us about how her childhood, motherhood journey, and hopes for her mother and children lead her to #holdbabieslovebodies here:

Mother holding child in a ring sling.

“I absolutely struggled with my body growing up.”

 

I was one of the lucky ones who got boobs at a young age. I was made fun of and teased. People used to ask if I stuffed my bra... . I longed to not have boobs all I wanted was to be small and skinny like the popular girls. Then we grow up and all of the girls want to be bigger and I still wanted nothing to do with what I had. It’s the same thing with hair. Girls who have curly hair straighten it and girls with straight hair curl it. 

I definitely think in college and after before having children I had learned to like my body for what it was. I will never be the skinny girl but I was more comfortable in my own skin and was happy with myself. 



“Unfortunately now after children I do struggle.”


My journey with having children hasn’t been easy. It took a long time to get pregnant the first time with our son, and I had a hard pregnancy. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum... I lost over 20 pounds and was honestly maybe the skinniest I had ever been. You couldn’t tell by looking at me I was pregnant and I hated it. All I had ever wanted was to be pregnant and be a mom and I hated the whole growing a child experience.

 Then after having our son Allen we got pregnant for the second time. Allen was 7-8 months old (honestly that whole pregnancy was a blur) pregnancy wasn’t quite as dreadful this time. Then at my regular 20 week anatomy scan we got devastating news about some very rare birth defects... this played a role in me becoming part of a statistic. On March 11, 2019 we met our beautiful sleeping baby girl for the very first time at 31 weeks. I am now pregnant with our rainbow baby. We are so excited for both our son and daughter to be getting a baby brother come Sept 2020. But seriously, in the last 3 years my body has been through the wringer and nothing about it feels familiar. 

Mother holding baby in ring sling

“Baby wearing has been my literal saving grace...”

...after losing our daughter, my son was maybe the only thing keeping me going. Keeping him close really helped, and these slings allowed me to do that. He is definitely a rambunctious 2 year old now, and we don’t get much snuggle time in our house these days, but when I can convince him to go in the sling that is my favorite time! My husband and I are also Foster parents and I have had the privilege of snuggling other babies in need while chasing my 2 year old, and literally could not have done it without baby wearing. 

I chose to participate in this shoot for my mom. She has always throughout my whole life hated her body. I don’t ever remember her being comfortable in her own skin. To this day she still doesn’t understand and couldn’t even imagine participating in something like this. I want her to see she can be proud of the body she has and love herself for who she is!

Mother holding baby in ring sling. Baby is kissing his mother.

I want my children to grow up loving their bodies while also learning to like others for who they are. I currently have a house full of boys and I want them to learn to like girls no matter what shape they are. Especially as women our bodies go through so much change and I want them to always make others feel good about themselves! 

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