When I found out I was pregnant in February of 2017, I cried tears of joy. I immediately knew that my husband and I were about to become parents and our lives were going to change. Within the change that was happening suddenly in our lives already, so was my secondary lymphedema in my ankles and primarily in my left foot. 

I had started becoming scared about my swelling in my feet by my third month into my pregnancy. I was due in October and that meant I had to endure the Louisiana summer heat. 

My friend, I wasn't prepared for the swelling nor the heat at all. From the spring months all the way up until the fall I wore yoga pants in the hottest of heat that the sun had to serve. 

Lord knows I had to back away from the pants wearing for just one day. My back was so sweaty, thighs were rubbing together even more than before, and I was hella uncomfortable.

But, a week after I wore a dress to take my maternity photos I decided to wear a dress out in public. I know that I was pregnant and swollen, plus I shouldn't have cared about people seeing my swollen legs and feet, but I did. 

I freakin’ cared! 

I cared about how I appeared to others no matter how pregnant I looked or didn't look to strangers. I was insecure about my lymphedema even though I was pregnant.

In this photo below, this was the day I wore my first dress out while being pregnant. In this photo, I was around 32 weeks pregnant. It was difficult to slip my feet into any pair of shoes, so mostly I sported a pair of potato slippers.

As I reminisce on my pregnancy with lymphedema I wish I could have embraced it more. I wish I wasn't so insecure about how much my swelling impacted my overall self-esteem. I can not change the past and I would not ever want to. 

This summer, I have to challenge myself to embrace my legs and feet. There will be no more pity parties that I will host for myself. I will not compare my lymphedema journey to the next woman's.

I will shoe shop this year with no fear in my heart. I'm even going to try on the shoes out in public while I'm doing my shopping. I'm no longer going to feel embarrassed about my lymphedema. 

There's some woman whose lymphedema is worse than mines and she's somewhere out in this world not letting it hold her back from living her best life! I'm determined to be that woman who lives with happiness and fulfillment in her heart and soul.

Essence will be happening this year again in New Orleans and I am ready for all the entertainment and fashions this year, honey! I'm stepping out of my compression garments and I'm going to get my vitamin D! 

If you’re going through any anxieties about your lymphedema or your body this summer I would love to encourage you to not allow the way that you may view your insecurities to hold you back from feeling beautiful. You deserve to live with confidence and a radiant smile! 

Discover your inner strength every step of the way with

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