My Post Partum Party
Here I am in the 4th trimester with all sorts of mixed emotions about being a new mom again after 14 years. I am getting quite use to intermittent sleep and most things not going as planned! I am however not getting use to carrying this extra weight without the baby inside. So like most things that I am uncomfortable with I run face first into and expose them… here we are!
I am 15 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and I have lost just about all of my muscle mass. While I completely understand how this works it has been very challenging to accept. My clothes don’t fit, I am having a hard time finding angles that work and I feel awkward and heavy. I am not sure if I would feel this way if I had avoided the public eye a little longer or not gone back to work only 4 weeks after giving birth. I just don’t know.
I was given the opportunity to shoot with photographer, Grey Johnson, for his collection of art, The Nude Project. I had wanted to shoot with Grey for a long time before I became pregnant and during, but our schedules did not line up until after the baby. As I was discussing the terms of the shoot and dates, I felt extremely anxious and daring at the same time. What if I could just take photos in this new body and show what Postpartum looks like when you’re a thirty-eight year old mother of three without a “snap back” team and or plastic surgery plan. A woman that worked more during her pregnancy than she exercised and ate back all she threw up in the first trimester of pregnancy. A woman that continues to struggle with her sugar relapse! ME! What if I showed me in this condition? Seemed fair— I took my friends/fans on every step of the way; from getting pregnant to giving birth. It just seems unlike me to stop sharing the journey while I am still on it! I took the booking.
I began to think of other patterns in my life where I hid and how much longer it took me to improve because I wasn’t open with what was happening. Now this doesn’t work for everyone — I am clearly an exhibitionist and get energy from those around me. I did not want to fall into the same thing that led to Jet Setting Jasmine in the first place, hiding behind being someone’s mom! I saw it happening. In these first few weeks, I wanted to just show the baby and mom-ing and not really connect with what was happening with me as a woman in a new stage of life. This is what has connected me with so many of you; not the kids but the things we do/don’t do once we have them.
Leading up to the photoshoot, I was practicing ways to pose for the pictures and testing how much belly strength I had to be able to suck it all in! Reminding myself time and time again that this was a Let It All Hang Out shoot and find comfort in being in the stage I am in now. I decided to wear no make up, no extra “landscaping” and no heels to make me look longer! I packed nothing but the diaper bag. Once I got there the anxiety came right back. I even felt like I wanted to say sorry, sorry for not being my old body! But through a lot of positive self talk and the support of both Grey and King Noire; I began to feel very beautiful on set. I kept reminding myself that I am still healing and while Baby Majesty is out here in world; I am still the keeper of everything that made it possible. I reminded myself that I am older and my body is not what it was at 20 and 24 when I had the girls, and neither is my mind! At some point, my Bad Ass attitude returned to me — here I am at 145 pounds, standing nude in this naturally lit DC studio feeling wanted by my love, feeling admired by this photographer and ultimately loved by myself! It took being very vulnerable and realistic to all that is happening in my 4th trimester to accept this stage of brining life in the world. To remind myself that I am not compare because it is not healthy for me and it is pretty stupid to do! To remind myself that being open about my feelings and even sharing physically through these images is what will bring me through this trimester as successfully as I made it through the past three! Thanks for reading, looking at my body and cheering me on!