The amazing Amber Harris with her partner Tobi and daughters…

The amazing Amber Harris with her partner Tobi and daughters Shawna (5) and Amya (3). Amber became pregnant with her first daughter when she was just 20. She was in school and she and her husband had just got engaged. During her pregnancy she was living at home with her parents and struggled with constant depression. She had a very difficult time with all the weight she was gaining, coupled with the stress of planning a wedding and focusing on school. Amber says that Shawna was supposed to be her Christmas gift. She was due on December 28th but at exactly 35 weeks she started having contractions. She went to the hospital but was sent home as she was only 3 centimeters and they didn’t want to induce. She labored for another week at home before she finally delivered. She says that her daughter absolutely changed her life but her happiness was short lived. Amber had a difficult time breastfeeding and Shawna didn’t take to formula. She became jaundiced, Amber’s depression peaked, and her daughter had to spend a week in NICU. Amber cried every day and says “I couldn’t figure out how I could be a good mother if I couldn’t even produce naturally what was necessary to keep her alive. I thought I had already failed as a mother.” She started to produce milk after about a week and was able to finish her semester of school with wonderful grades and her beautiful girl. Still, Amber struggled to accept her body and worked very hard through diet and exercise to lose weight. She says she finally started to see a change and found out she was pregnant again. This pregnancy was very different, in that she was incredibly sick and nauseated and lost weight rather than put it on. She started having contractions at 35 weeks, during finals once again and labored for a full week before delivering Amya. This time her milk came in right away and she was able to feed her but Amya also became jaundiced which led to Amber feeling like she had failed again. Amber was able to continue to breastfeed her but says it wasn’t something she ever felt fully confident in. When Amya was two Amber and her husband split in part due to Amber’s sexuality. {continued} #4thtriarchives (at Salt Lake City, Utah)



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