I’m often put off by articles celebrating the post-partum body. Not that I think it’s something to be ashamed of – in fact, I’m all for mom bellies being rocked and honored – but because they seem, to me, to be a continuation of the ad nauseum belly pictures many moms post during pregnancies. Sometimes, they seem to be just the final round of “look how amazing my body is to have created and produced this miraculous baby!”
To a loss mom, whose body failed her, these are hard to see. I’m turned off by both happy bump pictures (usually; there are exceptions) and moms reveling in all their post-partum, new baby glory.
But then there was this, “A Tale of 10 Tummies.” I wasn’t expecting much – the Fourth Trimester Bodies Project was hard enough, even though I know they accept loss moms – but then…. I started reading. ALL of these women were special in some way. Nearly all had experienced some sort of loss or birth trauma or infertility. The photographer is a mom who lost her first baby at 21 weeks’ gestation. She gets it. She sees pregnant women for the miracle they are and does not take a fourth trimester belly for granted.
“What we assume about bodies doesn’t tell the entire tale,” she says. “Everyone has a story. Our bodies are just a portion of it. When we stop assuming we are able to hear.”