I’ve been enamored with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project for years. A coworker’s wife participated with both of her sons, and I loved how open she was with her images. It was a message of beauty and reality and massive acceptance. I planned when I saw it to participate myself after my first child was born. And then he died.
It took me a while to wake up again to life, but when I did, I realized I still wanted to participate. I emailed Ash and signed up for a private session, and this past weekend, I flew to Chicago and did it. It was a beautiful experience.
This is an excerpt from what I shared:
Two years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. As a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), he was both planned and gloriously wanted, and despite the typical complaints of pregnancy, I was happy. At the start of my pregnancy, I was thirty five and slightly overweight, two things which doctors may or may not consider serious. I had no other risk factors. I thought my pregnancy was going well.
On 21 June, 2017, the day before my son was due, I told my providers I wasn’t feeling as much movement. I told them a few other things, things I now know are serious red flags. They told me I was fine. Eight days later, my son died.
I spent the first year after his death in a fog. I went to support groups. I journaled. I crawled inside myself and screamed. I lost good friends who couldn’t watch me in pain. I tried and failed to make sense of the incomprehensible.
The second year was harder. I had moved to a new city where few people knew. Children became a difficult subject. People expected me to be “okay.” I lost track of the number of times I was told to “have another baby,” as if children are interchangeable. Everything finally started to feel real.