It started with a positive test. The conflict of those blue lines was immediate, I felt at the same time overjoyed and panicked. I was frightened. A loss of control over my body was imminent and something I’ve been afraid of for so long. The further this pregnancy went on, the more uncomfortable I felt. The baby’s growth scans felt like measurements of me. I didn’t recognise myself or my body. The conflict was constant. Torn between two voices, one for a healthy baby and one for my anorexia.
I’d never turned the camera on myself, but the more discomfort I was in, the more compelled I was to document this reality. To take images, sporadically, experimentally, make notes, try to keep a record so authentic I could see it with clarity later. It was an outlet I needed.
Then my daughter was born and I was ready to regain the control I’d lost. But three days in, I suffered a severe prolapse. Back in hospital and back on the labour ward. A new trauma had begun, one I hadn’t expected. My compulsion to document grew stronger. The postpartum period is a blur. Sleepless nights and hormones raging. I don’t think we ever talk enough about the turmoil that comes after birth. I captured what I felt.
A few months on I slowly regain control over my body. I feel a bit more me again. The eating disorder is still there. But it’s quieter than when I was pregnant. I questioned sharing the pictures. But maybe this is release, showing a kind of reality that goes unspoken one of shame, guilt and one which is too hard to explain to even the closest people in my life.