Why 1 Mom Wants You to Look at Her Body After 10 Pregnancies & 6 Miscarriages

Mom's postpartum body
wisewildwell/Instagram

Every woman's postpartum body tells a different story. Each stretch mark or "flaw" represents a life born, or, in many cases, a life lost. Although some women feel betrayed by their bodies for changing after birth or for not carrying their beloved child to term, one mom isn't going to hide her body. Instead, she wants the world to see what a woman's body looks like after a total of ten pregnancies with six miscarriages and four live deliveries. 

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"In my womb, I’ve grown ten babies. Only four were born alive, but how fucking miraculous nonetheless. And I've never loved myself more," Emily Frigo wrote on Instagram. "I've never felt more feminine. Shaved head. Stretch mark stomach. Deflated breasts. Thighs that touch. Society does not [define] me. My inner self does."

Mom's postpartum body
wisewildwell/Instagram

However, Emily didn't always feel this way about her body and severely struggled with not resenting it after the devastating loss of her first child at 27 weeks. "I became severally depressed. I just could not make peace with my body. I blamed myself. Where did my body go wrong? Why my child? Why us?" Emily tells CafeMom.

Three years later, this doula and birth photographer from Ohio gave birth to her first live baby and it was the most healing experience for her and her body. "Maybe my body can do some good after all," she says. Newly optimistic and always wanting a big family, she and her partner began trying to conceive again around her son's first birthday. "Miscarriage, second trimester. Another miscarriage, second trimester. Another miscarriage, second trimester. Another miscarriage, second trimester. And another miscarriage, second trimester," she says. "Secondary infertility is a monster that not very many people seem to be empathetic about."

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Despite others not understanding her pain after each loss since she "already" had one baby to go home to, she still suffered greatly. "Those comments really hurt; I couldn't describe how soul crushing it was to hear people say those things," she says. "You can be so grateful for the child(ren) you already have, but still want more. And still try for more. And still hope and wish and dream for more."

Emily eventually welcomed three more healthy babies, but that didn't resolve the resentment she felt toward her body for all that it had put her through. "Infertility and loss drags you through shadows of unimaginable pain and sorrow. Of course I blamed my body. I couldn't find anything else to blame," she says. "But now, I see my body as a vessel of life."

Siblings
wisewildwell/Instagram

No, Emily's body isn't the standard definition of "perfect," but she now realizes that nothing in life is, and she's grateful for all that it was able to give her. "Grief and joy can coexist. I love my body because for six of my children, this was the only place on earth they ever knew. The warmth and love of my womb," she says. "And for four of my children, these stretch marks show me that I carried them to term. And these are the arms that hold them, the lips that kiss them."

Now that Emily has learned to not only embrace her body but also respect it for all that it has given her, she hopes that others are inspired by her post to celebrate their bodies too. "At the same time, it makes me really see and feel how society has manipulated what it means to be feminine and beautiful. We should be exposed to real mothers' bodies all the time. Pictures like mine should be normal ... common," she says.

It took other strong women to teach Emily this important lesson, and now she hopes to be that source of strength to others -- whether they're dealing with joy or loss during their postpartum recovery. "Due to my career as a birth-worker, I see pregnant and postpartum bodies often. I see these phenomenal women and I can just feel how beautiful they are," she says. "They're raw, open, honest. They're soft, fragile. But also tough and resilient. Our bodies are life. They grow life. They give life ... What in this world could be more feminine and beautiful than that?" 

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