Exactly one year ago today, I took a photo of my baby and myself while my daughter napped. I opened up a new blog and passed the link around to some friends. I hoped beyond hope that a few moms might see it, I waited tensely for a day or so, hoping someone would join in and begging my own friends to participate. And then it happened. Word spread faster than I could have dreamed – like wildfire! Moms sent in their pictures, thoughts, stories to share with all of us. It was clear that mothers were desperate for this kind of relief – to know they were normal. I was brought to tears by the response and the relief I felt worldwide from all the women who responded.
I’ve been touched by this site in ways I never dreamed. I knew I would feel relief and I imagined I might redefine my definition of “beauty”, but I never expected to be changed this much. I never dreamed the lessons I would learn from all my sisters in motherhood here.
While I knew not all babies survived, never have I been intimately aware of the story of a mother who has lost her child. There have been many such stories shared here, some where mothers were left with no marks (and thus no physical memory) of their journey through nine months, others were left with bitter reminders. A couple of mothers have continued to share their updates here as their families grow again.
I have been rather starstruck by a few of the moms who have posted here, the creator of Hathor, for instance. I remember one day, many months ago now, the whole internet was in a tizzy over one mother who was birthing her triplets at home – we were all following her story at the mothering.com forums. I didn’t know her at the time, but she posted here a few months later and shared her story with us.
A great diversity of moms have shared their stories, and I am ever-grateful to have so many different kinds of women represented here. Women of all sizes, women whose bodies were forever changed because of health complications they had no control over – and were lucky to survive, women whose physical changes are not possible to hide from the world. Women whose bodies have been changed drastically, and those who have virtually no physical reminders.
I’ve been witness to some pretty cool links on the internet like this one, showing the growth of a belly in just 20 seconds. I’ve seen some amazing photography from our Flickr group. I’ve read some touching thoughts on the subject. I’ve seen the effects of complications.
On a few occasions, this site has been featured in the media. I’m still in shock that less than a month after it’s birth, The Guardian, in London, did a story. And, more recently (and our first US recognition), our story on CBS3.com.
All in all, it’s been an amazing year. Stunning, inspiring, touching, tearful, lovely,magical. I feel like a difference has been made in the world – even if just a tiny one. But even a tiny difference can snowball into a revolution if we work hard enough at it. In this upcoming year and the years to come, I fully intend to feed that snowball. I’ve got some really amazing ideas for where to go with this website and plan to start work on them ASAP.
So thank you all, each and every one of you. I may be here putting the stories up daily (OK, almost daily), but without YOU there would be no stories. And without YOU, there would be no one to read the stories or to pass on the link. Without YOU, there would be no one to grow this revolution in favor of real bodies. Bless you all, and pass it on!