From stretch marks, weight gain, to softening of the skin’s elasticity, having a child can be the ultimate sacrifice of a woman’s body.
For 27-year-old Kanisha Anthony, carrying a child comes with another level of pain. After suffering extensive burns throughout most of her body, including her stomach, Anthony was told she could never have children. Now a stay-at-home mother currently pregnant with her third child, she defied the odds and chose to endure the extra pain anyway.
We spoke to Anthony about her bare belly pregnancy photo that recently went viral on Instagram, how she’s coping with the pain of her skin stretching, and why she chose to have children despite her circumstances.
No one said this would be easy that’s for sure. Most nights I want to complain and cry myself to sleep because of the pain. * But then I remember I was once told my body couldn’t handle carrying a child, that my skin wasn’t capable of stretching because of my burns. But God! * people think I’m crazy for putting myself through this for a third time. But my children are my world and i came to realize when you really want something in life no matter what it is you take a chance. * You take the hard and painful days. It’s going to hurt you’re going to cry and you’re going to feel like no one understands. But in the end after all your hard work you receive your beautiful gift. Whatever you’re going through today keep pushing it will all be worth it in the end! . . . #pregnancy #motherhood #scars #burnsurvivor #faith #worthit #hardwork #blessing #motivation #babybump #loveallofme
How did you get your burn scars?
I was in a house fire when I was 4-years-old. I survived along with my mother and one brother and lost two brothers. After making it to the hospital my heart had completely stopped for a long 3 to 4 minutes. In the fire I lost 4 fingers, an ear, all of my hair and had burns on over 60% of my body.
You mentioned on your photo that went viral that it’s a painful process for you to have children because of issues with your burn scars stretching during pregnancy. Describe the feeling and why you decided to have children anyway.
Because of the way my scars are on my sides, back and belly, the doctors never thought I would be able to carry a child. I took the risk. A family was something I thought I would never have. So to me it was worth it.
The pain is something that is hard to describe. Imagine pulling a piece of stocking it will only stretch for so long and then when it reaches a point it will start to tear. That’s what I feel happens to my skin. It’s most of all uncomfortable. I have to make sure I’m standing, sitting, or laying in a way where there won’t be much pulling. But as the baby continues to grow and move there isn’t much I can do but bare the pain and remember the outcome.
What’s been the hardest part about being a burn survivor?
I think the hardest part about being a burn survivor was caring so much of what others thought of me. It was hard growing up being stared at and teased. I once believed everything that was said to me: ‘you are ugly, you look gross, no one will ever want to marry you.’ It wasn’t until recently I found my true self and stopped caring what other people thought.
How do people react to your burns?
People still stare. Some come ask about what happened and some look in disgust. I actually appreciate the ones that nicely ask my story. They always leave smiling and in awe. I do realize it is something you don’t see everyday so people will look and that’s okay.
What do you want people to know about burn survivors?
I want people to know that burn survivors are people just like them. That we all suffer from scars in our life, ours just happen to be on the outside. If you happen to see a burn survivor one day, don’t feel sorry for them. Be happy for them. The fact that they are even courageous enough to come out of the house is so brave. It’s not easy being stared at because your appearance is different that’s for sure.
Clearly you’re a strong and resilient woman. Where do you draw your strength?
The moment I found out how good it felt to stop caring what others thought of me was the moment I felt true strength. There’s a saying that goes, “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people will think.” Let’s just say I broke the shackles and freed myself and started to live my life. I want my kids to grow up loving and caring for themselves and others. Now I can be that example!