Body Positive Shoot With Creations Behind The Lens Photography
What Our Bodies Signify To Us After Pregnancy
Last year Sarah from Creations Behind The Lens Photography, collaborated with some amazing Local Ottawa Mom Bloggers on pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones in regards to being body positive. We spent the days before with butterflies in our tummies and dreading not only the fact that we would be practically naked in front of each other for hours but then those images being plastered online for the whole cyber universe to see. During that day we found a whole lot of confidence in ourselves, and rocked our post partum bodies in the most fierce way possible! Click below to read that blog post.
Sarah and I were on a high to come up with another concept for raising awareness with our powerful mama influence! We narrowed it down to making this shoot about what is one positive word that would describe our post partum bodies and why.
So in true Mom Blogger fashion we got personalized T-shirts made with those words plastered on them and went to the beach with our Starbucks, took some awesome photos, but most importantly we felt the INSANELY positive and supportive energy that comes from getting a bunch of wonderful women together.
Tammy from https://www.craftswellwithwine.com/ was up for the challenge and came through with the most GOREGOUS and SOFTEST shirts ever! She is an Ottawa based mama who created this business for herself and family once she became a mom in order to spend more time with her children. Check out her story, there wont be a dry eye in sight I promise!
So here’s our shoot, a day filled of love and laughter between moms, strutting our stuff and showing off those positive words we believe about our bodies with pride!
However competition makes us faster; but collaboration makes us better. Now cue the Female, Mom Blogger pyrimd and we decided would be a good idea even though half of the group has literal broken vaginas…. BUT WE DID IT and no vaginas were harmed in the making.
What was the reasoning behind the word you chose for your shirt?
It felt amazing to stand beside these incredible women and celebrate our postpartum bodies. Huge shoutout to @mylittlelambblog @ottawaphotographercreations for driving this initiative and @craftswellwithwine for the gorgeous (and insanely soft) shirts!
When I was asked to pick a word that described how I felt about my postpartum body, I instantly thought of words like “resilient”, “powerful”, “strong”. But then that would only be telling half my story.
To me, the word “journey” represents the highs and lows, the successes and failures, the weaknesses and strengths that I’ve experienced in the last year and a half.
In the beginning, there was so much frustration, anxiety, and disappointment. My story began with losing a pregnancy at 7 weeks and I have never felt more like a stranger in my own skin and betrayed by my own body. Fast forward through a very anxious pregnancy, a 50lb+ weight gain, all sorts of weird pains and discomforts, and I was left with a body I didn’t recognize.
Slowly but surely, with a lot of patience (and some hiccups!) I was able to return to working out and doing things that made me feel stronger and more like myself every day.
And now over a year later I’m more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever been in my whole life. And not because I’m more “fit” or “toned” or “lean” than ever, but because I’m starting to own my body and appreciate it in ways I never did before.
I’ve always been super self conscious. I remember being 9 years old and feeling the disapproving looks of my ballet teachers as they analyzed my short, curvy frame next to the tall, slim girls in my class. When I was 11 a girl threw out my lunches because she said my legs were too fat. Cue a couple decades of negative self image.
In a weird way, having a baby challenged all of that. I stopped seeing my body as a commodity and started seeing it as a gift. It created life, nursed that life, and it continues to be a safe haven for that life. That’s pretty powerful stuff. I feel like pregnancy gave me the permission I needed to be able to appreciate and own my body in a way I never did before. It’s unfortunate it took me this long to get there but I’m happy I did.
Do yourself a favour and embrace your body’s journey no matter what phase of life you’re in. Remember that nothing is ever linear or perfect but it all adds up to make you uniquely you! How boring would the world be if we all looked the same! Give yourself a little love and grace today 😉
I chose the word fierce because to me, it sums up what moms are… juggling ALL the things and being boss.
I want to live this persona, I want to be believe I am fierce and I am working on it on the daily ❤️
Choosing one word was overwhelming. In the end I chose Badass. Only a few weeks after having my second baby and learning that I’d be spending a lot of time solo parenting I felt like a total badass. Not only was I handling the recovery much better than after my first delivery, but I had a new I don’t give a f*ck attitude about busting my ass to ‘bounce back.’ With zero free time, my focus is on being healthy and showing my girls that the number on the scale isn’t what’s important.
It’s taken two pregnancies and two little girls to learn that the bounce back doesn’t exist. You can be in the best shape of your life after having kids, but your body is never the same, and that’s ok. I want to teach my girls to be smart, funny, ambitious and not to get hung up by a number on a scale. And doing that starts with giving myself credit for being a badass and being their mom.
Grateful – I chose this word because becoming a mother has truly
made me understand the meaning of being grateful. I am grateful that my body allowed me to bring a beautiful little human into this world. I am grateful for my new body and my new outlook on life that came along with it, loose skin and all! I am also very grateful to be surrounded by all of these amazing women that lift each other up and make this mom thing a little bit easier and a lot more fun! 💕
Becoming a mother there was more that changed than I was prepared for.
Society is so obsessed with getting rid of the pregnancy weight and the mom pooch.
Celebrities everywhere are looking like they never gave birth even though they did only few weeks prior. There are so many products and fitness programs feeding off of this insecurity society is telling us we must have.
Becoming a mother changes you. Physical and mentally. Let’s celebrate the journey and accept it instead of stress about how we looked before kids. Our bodies grew human life, that is amazing.
I’m not 100% there yet but I try to give myself grace and tell myself this everyday
-I will not be ashamed of my postpartum body. I will celebrate how much it has done and overcome
-I will accept my postpartum body. It may never be the same as it was before, just as my heart will never be the same. Both are amazing.
We were asked to choose our word for our empowerment T-shirts and I stumbled over a few options. I wanted a word that encompasses this stage of my life right now, without shaming the stages of my past. Every step, or perceived missteps, that I took have brought me here. Every choice, change and growth I’ve gone through have made it possible to live my life at this moment. And so I chose the word: metamorphosis. Because that is what brought me here.
And while I generally fear change with a passion, I also understand it’s necessary to move forward. It’s something I’m afraid of but have learnt to embrace. It’s not always comfortable, or easy but it’s exactly what’s needed.
So as I hit week 36 and my dreams start to become filled with toddler resentment and ever looming change – I will take a deep breath and face my metamorphosis head on. 🦋
The road to motherhood can be a tough one. Trying to conceive. Pregnancy. Birth. The changes our bodies go through as we become mothers aren’t for the faint of heart. All three of my deliveries were different; a c-section, VBAC with an epidural, and finally a natural birth. But regardless of how you bring your child into this world, one thing remains the same; you have to be tough. Both mentally and physically; it’s not easy.
Now, almost 8 years since becoming a mom, I realize this is the same word I would use to describe my postpartum body. It’s tough; strong for what is has been through and still getting stronger as I continue to push and challenge myself physically. I’m proud of what my body has accomplished in bringing three boys into this world and equally as proud of where I am now; this is one tough body and I love it.
There are parts of me who have always been unstoppable. There’s a part of me who’s always been driven despite being a superb procrastinator. There’s a part of me who’s always been loud and proud even though I’m also an introvert. I strive to fight for what I want while also being very lazy.
Becoming a mother has made it very easy to just settle. It’s easy to get sucked into the tiredness, the loneliness, the stress. To wake up and live the same day each day, live the same routine of dishes and laundry and diaper changes.
But I’m choosing not to let it become this.
I’m choosing to be unstoppable.
The word I chose is Strong. Strong means more to me than meets the eye. It’s not always about appearance, but about how I feel inside. I’ve been through hell & back many, many times. The struggles & horrible things in my life started when I was only 4 years old, and it’s been an uphill battle since then. There were many times throughout my life that I didn’t think I would make it this far, that I didn’t think I would over come everything. But here I am, feeling like I’ve conquered it all. And still sometimes I feel like “really? more? I haven’t been through enough?” But because I am strong, I will keep fighting for my family and most importantly, myself. Because I AM STRONG!
Resilient is a word that means so much to me. I’m about to get real here guys, I have had pretty terrible health issues my whole life that tested my strength a lot. From severe asthma, weigh gains & weight loss, anxiety, kidney stones etc but all that has created the human here now and I keep growing everyday! .
Another massive test to my body was having a child. I am so thankful for what my body did growing my incredible amazing little human and it truly shows how resilient we all really are.
All these mother’s are so kickass we all have a story & have been through some big challenges but we are resilient and fucking beautiful.
Vanessa (me) @mylittlelambblog
As you can see by the amount and variety of poses and shots that Sarah captured of me, there were many others (lol) I’m there. I’m not only at a place where I’m comfortable with my stomach postpartum but I’m confident in it, in my new skin.
Its not always easy for a million and one reasons but I will continue to push myself when I feel uncomfortable because that’s the space where you grow the most, that’s the space where you reap the most benefits inside and out.
I will keep pushing through my comfort zones and I wish the same for all you Mamas out there, trrrrust me when I say you deserve this happiness, you deserve to love yourself whole heartily and it feels so empowering when you get there!
Thank you to all the Mom Bloggers and my friends for joining in on this awesome shoot and day.
Thank you Tammy for supplying our custom shirts, they are TO DIE FOR!
Last but not least, Thank you Sarah for always taking the best photos , your work always speaks for its self!