Hi All! I will no longer be updating things here. To keep up with me, my photography, and my art please visit http://www.dayswiththegrays.com. Thanks so much for your continued support!!! -Megan
First, if you have nothing nice to say then keep it to yourself. If photos of real people bother you, click the button to close out of this page.
Second, if you do not know about A Beautiful Body Project click and go check it out, right now! It’s an amazing project celebrating the BEAUTIFUL un-photoshopped images of women, especially mothers.
Finally, a little story on why I needed these photos.
Me with Ellie, our youngest.
My body has not always been my best friend, and like many, I have my insecurities about how my body looks. How I look isn’t even my main concern, I’m pretty ok with it, except when clothing shopping. It has more to do with how my body works and feels. Please know I’m not complaining. I know and always try to remember that I could be in worse situations. Needless to say, my body and I have not always gotten along. I was born premature with a heart defect (VSD) that does not cause me any problems now, but did when I was a newborn. After a year or so I guess (don’t really remember that far back), my heart defect really wasn’t an issue and I lived life from then on as a pretty normal child. I went for check ups every year and was doing great! Then, at age 15 I became really sick. At first, we did not know what was wrong. I couldn’t hold any food or water down, had a pounding migraine from the dehydration, and could barely sleep. This went on for almost a week before the doctors finally realized I was a Type 1 Diabetic. I felt defeated. My body wasn’t as healthy as I thought it was. After a while I balanced my blood sugar, but it took a while for the whole thing to become normal. I thought about my heart, that still to this day has a tiny hole in it, and now I had Diabetes. What else is going to go wrong?
Well…next, I was in a major car accident at the age of 17. I broke my pelvis, fractured ribs, and was in the hospital for a while. I couldn’t go back to school for almost three months. I made it through, but it was tough. I was determined not to let it affect me too much, though it was definitely a low point emotionally. And even though I had, in my ripe old age of 17, decided that I would not be having children, or getting married, I was worried that with my heart, Diabetes, and now a broken pelvis I would not be able to even make the decision of having children or not. The doctors did assure me that they saw no problem, but that a c-section might be necessary when the time comes.
I still didn’t like that answer. I don’t think any woman is less than another, or that c-sections aren’t necessary at times. I just wanted my body to do what it was supposed to for once. To just be as close to normal as possible. I was tired of doctors. A few years later I was married (yeah what now 17 year old me?!) and pregnant with what was to be our first child. However, my first pregnancy turned out to be a false pregnancy. This was harder than anything. The doctor was again very reassuring, but in the back of my head I thought my body is just saying no to kids! Heart defect, check! Diabetes, check! Messed up pelvis, check! Babies, NO!
At that moment I finally realized how much I wanted kids. How I really, really just wanted my body to do the NORMAL thing!!! I was depressed for about a year. The feeling that your body is failing you is devastating. You are in limbo because you were so close to being a mother, and now you don’t know how far, or close, you are to that point. It’s a loss that no one talks about. No one (other than your partner) grieves outwardly with you. It’s almost as if it’s pushed under the rug, and you just want to scream because your heart hurts so much. Even though it’s common. Even though it didn’t mean I couldn’t have kids. From my past experience this was just one more cruel thing my body was doing to me. It wasn’t like I had been tip top my whole life and then this happened. I felt defeated and numb and completely heart broken.
It took us almost two years to finally get pregnant with our oldest. I was determined to have the baby as close to how humans have babies as possible. Though, I did worry that it wouldn’t. That my sugars would be crazy, that my pelvis would not let a baby come out, or hold one in. That it wouldn’t produce enough milk to feed the baby. That my body once again would crap out on me,… but it didn’t. For once I felt like it finally showed me all it could really do. It showed me that I wasn’t broken. It proved my ass wrong!
I have had three babies and have nursed all three of them without a problem. I had great pregnancies that all resulted in healthy children. My body is amazing! I no longer worry so much because it knows what to do. I see all the previous obstacles as lessons. I see the stretch marks and loose skin as proof that my body works. I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the worst parts. It all brought me here today, and no matter what my body looks like it is stronger than I have ever given it credit for, until now.
Thank you to my husband Brian for taking these photos for me, and thank you for reading.
This family was absolutely stunning on the inside and out. Everyone’s personality came out, all in good ways. Some shy. Some full of laughter. Always with love. I’m not great at writing posts, so I will post this amazing compliment from the matriarch of this clan:
“I am still processing the depth of the photos taken by you — The pix have become private and personal and emotional — i have wanted to share them with my friends and create Christmas cards etc but instead I find myself wanting to hold them closely in my heart and protect the experience — to bury the digital disc in the sand — the windswept hair – the joy in the faces that evening by the ocean will never again be repeated — Perhaps we are all realizing that time if measured and life is fleeting and that we sometimes forget to pause …for photographs ….the photo session was to be “tolerated” at best and instead the family experience became “blessed” by a spiritual power and that evening became a high point in our time spent together. All good Megan — all good – you have captured the essence of the raw connected energy In a family united for two short weeks in summertime by the ocean. Gratitude – Jan”
For me, this session has begun to restore my faith in myself as a photographer. Thank you Derstine Family for being exactly what I needed at this time.