By: People, Julie Mazziotta
A year and a half after the birth of her triplets, Desiree Fortin‘s stomach has a “postpartum pooch” that led two people to congratulate her on another — nonexistent — pregnancy. But after struggling with infertility, she couldn’t be prouder of her “baby bump.”
“I was challenged to really think about my body,” Fortin writes of being congratulated on her ‘pregnancy.’ “Was I really proud of the wounds left behind on my stomach after carrying and delivering my triplets? Was I really beautiful?”
“Despite my ‘baby bump,’ when I look into the mirror, I see so much more beauty than I ever seen before because my hope wounds, which are with me forever, have far greater meaning to me than I ever knew they would.”
Fortin explains that even after she became pregnant with her twins with a successful round of IVF, doctors were unsure if, because of her short height and low weight, she could carry them all to term. But she did, with babies Charlize, Sawyer and Jax all weighing just under 5 lbs. stretch marks and scars also tell the story of overcoming postpartum depression.
“My hope wounds also represent some pretty dark days as a new mommy. For me, the sleep deprivation set in overnight … My exhaustion eventually turned into anxiety and depression and I found myself multiple times sitting on the bathroom floor while my husband held me in his arms doing everything he could to just help me breathe normal,” she says. “I was terrified and sad. I felt ashamed of myself and incredibly lonely. I see that when I look at my scars.”appreciate what it can do.
“As I was challenged and inspired to really relish and embrace my hope wounds, I learned that I absolutely love who I am,” she says. I love my wounds, and I love the life that I have been given. I am so proud of my body and the representation it has of my journey.”