Desiree Fortin’s journey to becoming a mother wasn’t an easy one, but she wears her “battle scars” with pride and wants other mums to do the same.
The mother of triplets Charlize, Sawyer, and Jax, recently shared a powerful post online about her stretch marks and how much her body changed postpartum.
“‘For every woman unhappy with her postpartum marks, there is one wishing she had them,’ I love this quote,” Fortin captioned an Instagram photo she posted on Tuesday where she’s showing off her belly. “I once was her, the ‘one’ waiting, wishing, hoping to be a mother.”
The 32-year-old from San Diego, California, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). She and husband Ryan struggled to conceive naturally, so they turned to fertility treatment.
“My journey to become a mom was harder than I thought I would be,” Desiree tells Yahoo. “After about a year at our clinic we fell pregnant through IVF. We used two eggs, both took, and one egg split, giving us our triplets. We have two boys (identical) and a girl.”
Because her story is one of hope, Fortin calls her stretch marks “hope wounds” and says that learning to appreciate them has given her a greater appreciation of her body and what it’s been through.
“After delivering my triplets, my body changed a lot,” Desiree says. “There are more wrinkles, lots of skin that just sags, and not much I can do about it. But I wanted to change my perspective and see the beauty in everything left behind after my c-section. And doing so, has really allowed me to embrace my body for what it is now.”
Fortin says that when she looks at her stretch marks now, she sees her three hope babies, her “hard journey to become a mom, and the miracle of carrying children. And there is so much beauty in that.”
When Fortin and her husband first found out they were expecting triplets they were shocked, as they were told there was a five percent chance of their eggs splitting.
“Initially our doctor told us we were having twins, which felt doable because my husband and I are both twins. Then she paused and said ‘there is a 3rd heartbeat!’ It was dead silent,” Desiree remembers.
After carrying the babies to 34 weeks and one day, the triplets arrived by c-section in August 2015, and were taken straight to the NICU.
But during recovery things took a turn for the worse, when Fortin says she started hemorrhaging.
“Blood clots the size of golf balls were coming out of me. My uterus was not contracting back,” she wrote on a Sept. 13 Instagram post about her birth story. “‘We need to get in the OR now,’ my doctor said. Then she turned to my mom and said ‘You need to find Ryan. And pray. She has lost a lot of blood.’
“My birth story had some hiccups. I’m thankful for my life, for my doctors and nurses who saw me through my delivery that day,” Fortin writes.
The mother has been sharing inspirational and super-relatable posts with her 55,000 Instagram followers and hopes people will be encouraged to love themselves more.
“I think a postpartum body journey requires a lot of a grace and a new perspective,” Fortin says. “We need to appreciate our bodies and embrace them and I think that also births a new confidence within.”
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