All in Motherhood

Antonella

“I am tired...all the time. I grew up hearing words like floja and flaca vaga, Spanish for ‘lazy’ and ‘skinny slacker.’ I have always tried to work as hard as everyone around me, and that makes me feel extremely tired and, for some strange reason, sad. 
During my pregnancy, the symptoms worsened. I was not only feeling exhausted all the time, but my hair started falling out excessively and I started feeling depressed because I couldn't find the energy to do simple daily tasks. By my second trimester I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I learned that women with thyroid dysfunction had double the risk of miscarriage, so my doctor prescribed me with medication that would help with my pregnancy. Luckily I didn't lose my baby and now have a beautiful baby girl.

Some time after delivering my daughter and some more blood tests, I found out that I have something called Hashimoto thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that I probably had my entire life without knowing. 
After learning about my condition, I don't see myself as lazy anymore; I now like to think that I am a warrior. I'm not taking medications at the moment because I have to wait until next year to get my health insurance back, but I somehow find the energy to care for my daughter and play with her every day. She gives me strength I need.”

Cornelia

"Life is hard. Sometimes no one buys from the store. My dream is for my kids to go to school. There's an elementary and high school nearby but the nearest university is in the city of Baguio four hours away. My eldest child is 18 years old and I hope to be able to afford to send him to college. My youngest is 7 months old."

Kate

"Nine years ago, my gynecologist diagnosed me with PCOS, a hormonal imbalance that wreaks havoc on the reproductive system. Apart from having difficulty conceiving, common symptoms include: weight gain, mood swings, and a higher risk of diabetes. For years I thought myself to be a victim—thinking that there was nothing I could do to change my fate. It took a strong support system, but I fought the doubt monsters inside, and decided to make a change. While sometimes it feels like it, we are more than prisoners in our own bodies. Most times, we just need to fight back."