Tuesday, October 13, 2020

October (almost) wrap-up

It is really crazy to think October is already half way done. I have done so many things in the last month it was kind of overwhelming to go through it all. I didn't even include all of it here, I'll save that for another day!

Way back in June 2018, I did a boudoir shoot and it was definitely a learning experiences for me. I had a lot of feelings immediately after but also the more time that went by, the more I seemed to have. In 2019 I took part in a little mini group for the session about body positivity and started digging into some of the reasons why I feel the way I do about my body and self. Certainly, lots of it requires more work than something this group could cover and I get that. I've since spent some more time really thinking about it. 

One thing though that I really have a hard time getting past is my abdomen. Never mind that it is totally not functioning the way that it should be and that's frustrating. Everyday though, when I wake up and I get dressed, I see my floppy tummy and I see my c-section scar. It isn't the fact I have a scar that bothers me, instead, it is a visual representation of trauma. I have something on my body that everyday reminds me of the trauma I have been through and it's panic inducing for sure, but it is also really scary. It reminds me that I have no control. 

And control is a big thing for me, I really don't do well if I don't have it in my personal life. 

So when I saw an opportunity to participate in a RAW session for the same studio, I figured what the hell? Why not? You had to apply and worst case scenario, I won't get picked. 

Turns out I was picked. I had a short session with Emily and honestly? I got so much more from that one and I felt beautiful. Sure, all of my lumps and bumps are visible. I've got no makeup, my hair isn't done, I'm wearing a stretched out bra, a tank I wear to bed normally, but also my most comfortable underwear, and I felt more like me. I know my boudoir photos are beautiful... but that isn't me. I don't even own lingerie... or matching bra/panties even. I don't wear much makeup and I never wear heels. But these? These photos were me and I loved it. I'll share more another day, maybe when my photos are live on their end... maybe. I'll share this one though, easily my favorite. 

Let's see.. we went to see alpacas! If you are friends with me on Facebook these aren't new, but I love them anyways. 
I am so glad we finally made the trek to Frosty Ridge Alpacas in Duluth, Minnesota! Easily the nicest husband/wife duo, a very cool little farm, and a pretty nice gift shop area too (I bought a magnet and a little alpaca for my desk). 
I learned a lot about these super furry (and soft) creatures and the baby loved me. As did the white one behind it. Penelope and Lucy LOVED them and would have stood there petting and feeding them all day. We didn't stay long because it was close to the end of their day, so we did leave after about 45 minutes or so. Olivia didn't come because she went with a friend to go apple picking, so we were a group of five that day. After leaving the alpacas, we decided to go to Enger Tower in Duluth because Penelope asks to go see the "castle on the mountain" so we went. 
It was ridiculously busy and I hate traffic, I hate looking for parking, I hate people who just skateboard through parking lots like morons, and I hate when people panic when parking or getting out of their spot so they freak out and stop.... half way out of a spot so now nobody can do anything. If you panic when parking, parallel parking maybe isn't for you. I'm just saying. 
Penelope and Lucy both made it up all five stories of steps and Penelope would have gone more if there was anywhere else to go. I barely made it and I stood up there for maybe a solid minute before I wanted to come down because there were SO MANY people up there and germs. Hard pass. I hustled down a lot faster than I went up. 
I wasn't feeling well that day, physically or mentally, so Jackson kind of hung back with me because he's a good kid like that. 
We decorated the house for Halloween! It is a terrible picture but the upper windows have eyes and the porch have (handmade) teeth. The little girls love it! I also have a spider and a spider web to put up but it has been so windy and I'm afraid it would blow away. I'm also not 100% sure where it is going to go or how I will get it there so... eventually. 
What else? Oh! I participated in a two day virtual conference, the Champions for Change Summit for MoMMA's Voices. I went as a representative for the AFE Foundation and it was great because I got to "meet" other AFE survivors and hear more about their stories and just different things they've done, or would like to do, since their AFE. 
I had a lot of anxiety going into it and I don't really know why? It isn't like I had to talk or anything but maybe it was just the not knowing what to expect? 
I will say that I learned SO MUCH about other post-partum issues and I learned that there is such a thing as bereavement doulas- did you know that was a thing? 
I really had a good time and I'll say by the end of the second day my little brain was feeling fried, I think I went to bed not long after! I hope I can participate in things like that again and I hope I can do more as a maternal mortality and morbidity advocate. 
There's our little AFE group! 

I'll leave you with some statistics and information that has really stuck with me: 
  • Each year, 700 women die from pregnancy related causes and 2/3 of those are completely preventable. 
  • The CDC has a new Hear Her Campaign (I highly suggest you watch that video) and not going to lie, it really triggered me because I could be in any of those videos. 
  • In the Merck for Mothers session we learned that the United States is 1 of only 8 countries where maternal deaths are INCREASING. The United States is also 55th in gender equality. 
So just think about that. We all know someone who is pregnant, trying to be pregnant, or just had a baby, and how many of those women know any of this? We say having a baby is pretty safe but is pretty safe good enough? I feel like the United States could, and should, be doing better than we currently are. I hope someday we do. 

What have you been doing the last few weeks? 


Why Girls Are Weird said...

I honestly never knew about this until you went through it. I was discussing what happened to you with one of my coworkers, who just had her 3rd baby, and it was eye opening for her. I think despite all the hardship that you have becoming such a strong person, although I wish you wouldn't have had to endure it.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I didn't know about AFE until you, but I do know that the U.S. isn't great for maternal mortality rates and it's so crazy. Everyone thinks the U.S. is on top of everything and we're the best in all aspects, but we're really not. People should know these things. I'm so glad the conference was informative and inspiring!

LOVE that photo of you. I'm so glad you were chosen for the photo shoot and you had a really positive time!!

Love the alpaca farm. So cute. A year or so ago, my library brought some farm animals for the kids to check out and they had a few goats. One in particular loved my oldest niece! lol It was great.