“This new life is different and challenging in a way I could never have imagined. At the same time, there really aren’t adequate words for this type of love—it’s kind of just a phenomenon.

“I spent so much time over the last two years doing self-work to reset my mindset, but when this little one came, she reset me completely; my values shifted.

“I did a lot of physical, mental-emotional and spiritual preparation to prepare to bring her Earth-side naturally & harmoniously—and I achieved that. Access, education and support resources make all the difference, and I wish this for every mother. I am nearly seven months postpartum, but really, I’m just learning the extent and the depth of the support I need within this phase.

“Every day reveals more ways in which I am challenged and rewarded by being a first-time mother.

“These little humans we call babies are so powerful and influential; amazing teachers of grace, patience and time management.

“I’m currently working to launch a coaching business to guide people toward uncovering their identity, purpose and direction in life.

“You can find me on Instagram @7UltraMarie talking about motherhood and purpose.”

— Dorothy Bowser, 27, East Garfield Park

Read all stories in our special Maternal Health Issue here.