Being Mindful of Our Mom Body: How I Learned to Love Mine

First session for a photo project titled “Marked for Motherhood” by Taylor Jane Photography

It’s not always easy to appreciate our mom body and all the changes it goes through, but I’m here to tell you: 

Your “mom bod” is incredible.

My journey to love my mom body started in a surprising way. It was a typical December morning; until I realized I had missed my period. I took a pregnancy test thinking it would be negative just as it always had been. We had been trying to have a baby for almost a year, and I only had a 3% chance of getting pregnant on my own. I was 38 and after decades of fertility issues and dealing with endometriosis, I decided to forgo any fertility treatments. Let go and let God. 

I set the stick on the bathroom counter and waited for the longest three minutes of my life. I had never missed a period. I finally looked down and it said PREGNANT! I was in absolute shock. I called my significant other Jon, who was at his son’s basketball game. I was sobbing happy tears and could barely speak, but got out the words, “I’m pregnant!”

The call ended and happiness immediately turned to worry. The fear of miscarriage took over me and to be honest, I was also worried about what was going to happen to my body; weight gain, stretch marks (I already had enough from being a chubby child), lifeless breasts, and all the wonderful mom body changes you hear about.

Pregnancy: Taking Care of My Mom Body

Morning sickness plagued the first trimester. Previous to getting pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I was at my ideal weight, had recently lost 35 pounds, and was strong and fit. I wanted to continue to work out, but I was high risk so had to settle for cardio, light weights, and yoga. My only real craving was pineapple, and I ate mostly healthy foods. 

I read every article I could on how to have a healthy pregnancy. I prayed every single day, multiple times a day, that I would have a healthy baby. I did everything I could to keep me and baby safe. I didn’t try, or not try, to gain weight, and gained 20 pounds during my pregnancy. I let my body do what it needed to while I focused on making healthy choices, most of the time.

My Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

  1. Stay hydrated: I find that I drink more water when sipping from a straw, so that’s exactly what I did. My favorite option was the Contigo Tumbler as it’s dishwasher safe and fits in the cup holder in my car.
  2. Get moving: I was tired a lot but still made every effort to move my body, so I would hop on the elliptical or go to barre or yoga class.
  3. Plan ahead: I’m a grazer and a snacker. I always had quick, healthy options on hand like flavored almonds, fruit and veggies that were already cut up with dippers like guacamole and hummus, hard-boiled eggs and individual almond butter packets.

Postpartum Changes

In July 2019, Evelyn was born almost a month early via c-section. She had a brief stay in the NICU, but turned around quickly. I, on the other hand, had developed postpartum preeclampsia. I was immediately put on medication and monitored. On my birthday a few days later, I begged my doctor to let me go home. I was convinced being home would help my stress levels and lower my blood pressure. She let me be discharged that evening with strict orders to return to the clinic the next day. 

The next six months were filled with bonding, deep love and stress. Breastfeeding, which I always wanted to do, was terrible. My right breast was my MVP and my left, let’s just say should have sat the bench. Evelyn had digestive issues, which led to sleep deprivation, all the while my blood pressure had a mind of its own.

Needless to say, I wasn’t following all the healthy tips I did during pregnancy. I was in survival mode and often ate my feelings. I got out of the shower one day and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. At first, I felt defeated. Then I remembered what my mom body accomplished. I carried and cared for a human for 36 weeks. I recovered from a c-section, which is not for the faint of heart. I nourished her through breastfeeding and continue to care for her every single day.

All a Mindset

When I bend over and my stomach hangs loose, I remember I have her. When I see my c-section scar and the excess fluff that lives above it, I remember I have her. When I put on my bra and see it is not filled the same way it was before, I remember I have her. When I try to hide my postpartum hair loss with colored spray, I remember I have her.

Today as I write this, I have made it back to my gym a handful of times. I have hopped on our Peloton bike a few times (don’t ask to follow me). I have been to yoga sculpt once. To be honest, these are major wins for me. I have a whole new appreciation for what my mom body can do. 

I am working hard to continue to run my own business, raise Evelyn, help guide my two bonus sons, keep up with crazy schedules and an obscene amount of laundry (for real, it’s never all done), still be a good partner, daughter, sister, auntie, friend and so much more.

So, let’s be mindful of what our mom bods have achieved and give ourselves some grace. And although our bodies may look different now, they are still capable of greatness and hold a strength that is unmatched. 

All photo credit goes to Taylor Jane Photography and their “Marked for Motherhood” Project.

Want to read more inspiration to love your “mom bod”? Check out our post here!

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Amanda is a lifer of the Fargo area, growing up just across the river in Moorhead. She was a creative, chunky, little pistol of girl that got teased a lot, but she’s convinced it also made her the person she is today. She graduated from Moorhead High; then packed up her car and drove an hour away to attend college at the University of North Dakota. After 3.5 years of being a Psychology major, she decided to shake things up and try out the Communications program, which eventually brought her back home to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead, where she received her degree. Amanda worked at ad agencies and internally in marketing roles for 10 years, then decided to start her own business. Since 2012, she has been the Bodacious Brander & CEO of MSPIRE! She threw in a marriage, a divorce, lots of travel and volunteerism throughout those years too. Now, she’s with her other half Jon, who she originally met at UND (wow, life has a way of throwing you curveballs). He has two boys, David (14) and Marcus (11), so she proudly wears the title of bonus mom. Speaking of those curveballs, after battling fertility issues for decades, Amanda found out she was pregnant, with only 3% odds, and welcomed Evelyn just four days before her 39th birthday! Needless to say, life got a lot cuter and more chaotic really quick. Amanda and her significant other are both business owners, so they love spending time away from work chasing the kids to their activities, watching movies, traveling and being foodies.

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