With 1 in 7 women in the United States experiencing postpartum depression after giving birth, we thought that it could be helpful to share the experience of someone who has endured that hardship. Our client Janee graciously agreed to share her postpartum journey to help any moms out there struggling with feeling overwhelmed and isolated.
We know that part of the struggle in dealing with any mental illness is being able to talk about it, so we want to thank Janee for her bravery and openness in her responses to our questions.
What was the reason for you booking your boudoir session?
“To empower myself into being comfortable with my new body size postpartum. Oh! It also was a gift to myself for my 32nd birthday :)”
“Prior to booking and going forward with my Amorous Boudoir session, I struggled with body dysmorphia postpartum. I had always been the same “size” up until my pregnancy where I struggles with changes in my hormones. The additional 40-50 lbs of “baby weight” seemed to be going nowhere. So I began to shift my mind into accepting my new size and body postpartum.”
When did you realize you had postpartum depression?
“3 months after my child was born. I ended up checking myself into the hospital because my framework of thinking was not healthy nor was I able to think clearly. That is when I learned that I had postpartum psychosis, imbalanced hormones, and sleep deprivation.”
How did it affect your life?
“I had to rely on my ex-partner and family and trust they were able to take care of my son. It challenge my then marriage because my ex-partner did not know how to support me. He shared afterward that he really did not want to visit me in the hospital. After discussing the disappointment I had in that action we talked about how he was not prepared on how to support me. 6 months postpartum I still was not on the right medication because I was still experiencing heightened anxiety and depression so, I ended up continuing outpatient treatment for a month which was more bearable than being isolated in a mental health unit.”
What made you decide to take action?
“It was hard to take the first step into accepting that I needed help, but I also knew that something wasn’t right. I began to feel disassociated with what was going on with my life. As I reflect back, there were times where I was driving my son to daycare sleep-deprived. I had thoughts of running off the highway because I was numb inside. I had overwhelming feelings of balancing my new life with a child. I felt like my role as a new mom, wife, and professional woman was being challenged. My identify shifted in additional to the physicality of my body.”
What were some of the major things that helped cope and heal?
“THERAPY! Having a safe space to talk about what I was feeling without judgment was very important to me. As my son got older and things began to shift in my life I began to turn to crystals and stones to assist with meditating and journaling. I also would get Reiki done on myself to assist with balancing my chakras and provide spiritual guidance. I recently got attuned to Reiki because it has been such an asset to my mental health and postpartum journey. Last but not least, I relied on essential oils to ground me.”
When did you realize boudoir would be a healing experience?
“I was scrolling through Instagram and saw how confident people were with themselves as they partook in boudoir. So I googled boudoir photographers in ATX.”
Was there anything specific that made you feel hesitant in having your own boudoir experience?
“When it got closer to my session I got a bit anxious and asked myself “what the heck did I do?!” LOL but it was in a good way because I knew then there was no turning back and that I had to hold myself accountable. I did have a goal to get “FIT” as a motivation to my session but that did not seem to go as planned. Which is okay because I am happy and content that I did everything for the right and authentic reason.”
How did your boudoir session help you?
“Boudoir session has helped with my self-confidence. I used to dread going to stores and trying on clothes because it would remind me of how my body has changed. I no longer was a small/medium gal. But through boudoir, I learned that I can still be confident, beautiful, and pretty regardless of what size the clothing tag said.”
What would you say to anyone dealing with postpartum depression who is considering a boudoir session?
“Do it for yourself! Unfortunately, I do not have a “partner” that I can share my photos with. However, I have shared them with women who have been supportive throughout my whole postpartum journey. I built my own support system by reminding other women that we need to accept and embrace our true selves.”
What were a few of your favorite images from your session and why?
“My favorite photos are the ones that highlight my stretch marks because I feel like they empower and remind me how much strength (mind body and spirit) my body had to birth my son. The flirty ones remind me that I can still be sexy despite the changes in my body.”
How did you feel after your boudoir session?
“Empowered and confident that no matter what size my body is, I am still beautiful. Our outside looks should match what we feel inside.”
Thank you Janee for sharing your story and journey with us! Here are a few more favorites from her boudoir session.