Hello you, and a warm welcome to this new blog of mine, actually this new website. Of course, it still needs some adjustments but now it’s up and running, and hopefully in a few weeks I will open a little online store too. Nothing fancy, just hand-picked books, prints, some of my own stuff and other things I really love and would love to share with you.
Women and their children will also be published on the blog from this point forward, and on the website frontpage you will found all the collected portraits on the Women and their children subpage. I have chosen to do it this way from now on for several reason. First of all, I don’t think the portraits show their full potential on Instagram, because the quality is lower there. Another thing is this. I have so many beautiful and important conversations with the women I meet through this project, and I want to have the opportunity to share these conversations with you, and to share my thoughts about a portrait or the project with you. I’m really so overwhelmed about your reactions to my project, and I hope you will like it this way too.
And that leads me to my meeting with a wonderful woman and her son earlier today. She asked me why I was doing this project, and I gave her several reasons why, but it the end I said “I just kind of felt like a needed to do this”. She asked me why, and I told her about how I all the sudden got really sick with anxiety when I was pregnant with my second child, I felt this anxiety so strongly and I felt so alone feeling this way, and it’s just so important for me to tell the story of motherhood because is so absolutely overwhelming in every way to feel something so deeply – both the love and the fear. She told me she got sick of anxiety during her pregnancy too, and being pregnant was nothing like the sweet wait we most often talk about when we talk about pregnancy. I immediately felt like giving her a hug, and I told her how it was no sweet wait for me either, and how ashamed and alone it made me feel. And I really felt so alone, and I think it’s kind of amazing how this beautiful woman and I met each other today without knowing, to start with, that we have been going through some of the same challenges and feelings and then got the opportunity to share this with each other. In all modesty, this is what I think a project like this can contribute with: A look at how many ways motherhood can look and feel.
This beautiful woman is named Stephanie, and she is a mother to Theo, such a smiling and trusting boy.
Stephanie had been working with handicapped children for years, but when she got pregnant she suddenly got hit by an overwhelming fear to have a handicapped child of her own. She didn’t prepare for being a mother the same way most do by buying cute little bodysuits and making a nursery room, she prepared herself for being a mother to a handicapped child. Maybe some will find it hard to relate to these feelings, but that is the thing about anxiety: it isn’t always rational. So even though doctors have been telling you that your child is okay, this fear just sticks and finds new ways to make sense.
But in the end Stephanie gave birth to a healthy boy, and I feel so very grateful about Stephanie sharing this story of hers with me, and with all of you reading along.