"My husband and I got married in the summer of 2017. After that our wish to start a family and have a child grew bigger and bigger, and I got pregnant soon. Everything seemed to be going fine, but when I went to the ultrasound in week 9 the doctor got silent. After what seemed like a small eternity he said that he couldn't find a heartbeat. Our little heart had stopped.
Somehow we got back on our feet after that shock. We just had to move on. I would have loved to have a professional to talk to, but there is no psychological help available for women who have suffered a miscarriage. I felt like my body wasn't working the way it should, so after a few months, I decided to consult a fertility specialist. My worries turned out to be justified. I was diagnosed with PCOS, my ovaries weren't releasing eggs regularly.
I felt like I had failed as a woman. My body didn't function the way it should. I was young and healthy otherwise, but I wasn't meant to have a child. The once romantic picture of conceiving a child crumbled and was replaced by ovulation tests and countless doctor's appointments.
I didn't really talk to anybody about how terrible this all felt. At the same time, I felt like screaming and shouting. These kind of problems exist, yet nobody talks about them. This wasn't just something older women suffered from. All of the treatments finally helped and I got pregnant. But my gosh, I was so scared the entire time. The first few pregnancy months I spent hoping and praying. Fearing that something could go wrong again. But in the end, everything went well and now we have a wonderful child - the best present we could have ever hoped for.
I had to learn to love my body again. Pregnancy and birth have definitely taken their toll. But I refuse to think badly of my body now - I have seen what it is capable of, and for that, it deserves all the love in the world. I used to be much harsher to myself, the way women usually are. But becoming a mom has taught me to be kinder.
I stepped in front of Pauliina's camera the second time, and I felt the same excitement that I had felt the first time. I was nervous but in a good way. I felt that little bit of insecurity about my appearance, how my body looked just half a year after giving birth. But the feeling of pride was so much stronger. My body had carried our little miracle safely until they were ready to meet us face to face. I reminded myself that after all that, I could never ever be unkind to my body again. I was so proud of it.
The photoshoot was relaxed and infinitely empowering. Pauliina guided me and I could just enjoy this moment to the fullest. I didn't think about anything else at that point. I knew that Pauliina would capture me in the best way possible, seeing beauty in me in that special way only she can. Through this shoot, I once again learned to really see myself. Just the way I am."