I nearly died after child birth. March 2010, a nurse held her hands on my abdomen for 30 minutes while we waited for the Doctor to take me back into surgery. I don’t think the clock has ever moved more slowly for me.
I was getting cleaned up to go hold my son in the NICU for first time! I was so excited. Weak but excited to finally have that bonding moment with my son that many of my mom friends had told me about. During pregnancy we envision what our delivery day is going to look like, knowing that we are not In control but hoping for the best. Let me tell you, bleeding internally, back to back surgeries, and a blood transfusion never entered my mind.
As you can see I did survive! God gave me a second chance at life. I faced some struggles. I couldn’t wash myself for the first 2 weeks home, my husband had to wipe my backside, and I was only allowed to use the stairs once a day. My world looked nothing like the picture perfect scenarios we see in popular baby product commercials. I was a hot mess! I couldn’t care for myself let alone my husband and new born. At my first postnatal appointment my doctor suggested that I may have postpartum depression! What? I’m not depressed. I am an just inadequate mother because due to the stress my body went through I am unable to produce milk and my commercialized standards of motherhood have been shattered! In no way does that make me depressed! How dare he suggest such a thing! Well doc was right! It took me until my sons first birthday to accept that I was struggling with depression.
Over that year I also began binge eating. I felt so poorly about my body that I began to fuel it poorly. I was so focused on everything that my body couldn’t do. It couldn’t give birth vaginally. It couldn’t properly feed my infant son. And it certainly wasn’t shedding those baby pounds that everyone claimed I would while breast feeding. Could I be a bigger failure? How much more of a disgrace to women could I be? The negative thoughts and self talk got worse. And the worse I spoke to myself the more I ate. I started this circle of self destruction.
I’m sharing my story today to empathize with women who are depressed and who struggle with binge eating. I am still healing. I have learned to love my body for all that is IS capable of. I began exercising and eating properly! I started to recognize the negative self talk and quickly turn it around to something positive. I found my passion as a Fitness and Motivation Coach to help others who are ready to take control of their health and well being. I’ve learned that being a good mother and women is about how I treat and care for others and less about my own personal pity parties. I am currently training to compete in my first powerlifting competition! Can you believe it? Some days I hardly can. The same body that I decided was frail and weak just years earlier is lifting and doing squats with weights that are heavier than I am. It’s time to stop believing the lies that we, society, and others tell us and recognize the full strength and power that we truly possess.
-Rachel McCormack is a regional photographer for A Beautiful Body Project and you can book a shoot with her at www.milyphoto.com