There is a REAL lot about pregnancy, birth and parenthood that no one can prepare you for. It’s bloody hard yakka – the whole lot. One of the things that can often be the hardest to come to terms with is how different your body looks and feels after you give birth. It is so bloody different than what it was and the truth is, it won’t ever be the same. After all, it birthed a real human and your body takes a hit for it.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that my skin is saggier, there are stretch marks and droopy parts EVERYWHERE…yes, my nipples now face my feet. Looking at my body after birth was a bit of shock…I must say. At times it did and still does look like a stranger’s body with my head on top. But that’s okay. And it’s bloody empowering and inspiring when women say and act with love towards their bodies after it’s performed such an incredible task.
Melanie Varney had THREE kids in ONE YEAR. Yes you read write, she had a baby boy on March 11, 2013 and then twin girls on March 10, 2014. After the pregnancies she said she felt like she was looking at a strangers body and her body confidence was shot. In an effort to love her body and accept the changes she answered an ad for a couple to pose for intimate photo session by a lake.
Trina Cary is the photographer who put the ad out there…and she said Melanie and her husband Gabby were the perfect couple. Saying, “Lately I have been inspired by nudity because it’s raw, vulnerable and empowering, I want to teach women and men how to be confident again. You don’t have to be perfect in every way to be beautiful, you just have to own your flaws and embrace your differences.”
Melanie’s story and struggles complimented Trina’s intention entirely. She and Gabby had gone through a hard time trying to create their beautiful family, spending more than a year trying to conceive and dealing with the heartbreak of miscarriage during that time.
Going into the shoot, Melanie said she hoped to learn how to ‘feel happy with ‘Mel,’ not just ‘mum,’ and also to “see myself the way my husband saw me”. The couple agreed to pose everywhere and without clothes and no editing. Her body had earned its marks and they were going to honour it.
“I wasn’t able to choose the angles, suck in my tummy or filter over my bits. I felt vulnerable, but at the same time empowered,” she said.
Trina, the photographer, said “I hope people will see a strong, beautiful mother, who has chosen to love and cherish her body’s flaws, and a husband who is still in awe of her.”
In my opinion, we need more of this. We need to see a woman’s body for how bloody incredible it is. How it can perform what it needs to live a healthy and happy life. Our bodies are more than how they look. They are our vehicle for living. They are our outer layer that just simply protects our insides, which are actually the most important part.
Bravo Trina, Melanie and Gabby for sharing the wonders of the human body with kindness and love. We love this HARD!
Incredible photographs by Trina Cary