Born This Way {Two of Three Part Series}

{The second of our three part series on Mom-Bod’s features some brave local women who put on a smile and took off their pants, to show us all that motherhood comes in many forms, and it’s all beautiful. Sonoma County Moms Blog was pleased as punch to work with Nicole Jackson Photography for this series. The first of the series can be found here.}

Stephanie’s Mom-Bod

MomBod B&W (96 of 128)

Nicole Jackson Photography

Elijah Martinez, 2.5 years old.

Malachi Martinez, tbd.

I LOVE being a mom! It brings me so much purpose. I also love being pregnant. I feel beautiful when I’m pregnant. I feel like my body is meant for something important, something bigger than me. I actually feel more confident doing this photo shoot now than if I wasn’t pregnant.

I’ve always been on the smaller side, but my weight has definitely fluctuated since my teen years. There was a point in time that I cared about my weight, cared about how I looked, but that seems so far away now. Motherhood has truly allowed me to look outside of myself. Insecurity has no place in my life, because that would mean that I’m focused on myself. And while, yes, I have selfish moments, motherhood is truly a selfless act. All the way to my body no longer being my own. For nearly the last 3.5 years I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding, or both! And I LOVE that I can give of myself in this way.

Mom-bod

Nicole Jackson Photography

Society says that I should be sad about the stretch marks that I’ve gotten, that I should cover them up and do everything I can to prevent them. But, letting go of society’s opinion about my body, I actually kind of like my stretch marks. Particularly my “bunny”. Right above my belly button, I have two stretch marks that kind of look like bunny ears. I think they’re cute! And so symbolic of what my body has been through (and is going through) to bring new life into this world.

Hanna’s Mom-Bod

Mom-Bod B&W (114 of 128)

Nicole Jackson Photography

Johnny-6 Months

I loved being pregnant. I found the perfect midwife and doula team, and a great birth class to educate my husband and myself on how to handle birth naturally. Other than some excruciating sciatic pain (can I get a hallelujah for all the chiropractors out there), and painful diastasis recti, it was perfect. I was on cloud nine. I was nesting, not stressed, eating all the best food…I even went to my first yoga class. I was so lucky that I got to really take care of myself (something I fondly remember – now I’m lucky if I even have time to shave my legs!).

When reality set in, I started to feel very nervous. Aside from the fact that I was going to be responsible for another human being, I had no idea HOW I was going to give birth. I’d always been terrified of the process. Watching my mom labor, when I was a child scared me, and I thought my body wasn’t capable of going through that kind of pain. But, she did it. Four times. In fact, I had the (obvious) realization that every person on earth had been given birth to by a mother – like me. That thought empowered me and prepared me for the natural birth I wanted. When I got scared, I just pictured them, the millions of powerful women who had done this before me.

MomBod B&W (111 of 128)

Nicole Jackson Photography

At 38 weeks, my blood pressure started to rise and I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to give birth at home as planned. I felt betrayed, I thought my body was failing me. Then, right in the midst of a 24 hour urine catch (a lab test for pre-eclampsia), I went into labor. 7 hours later my son was born – at home! Not only is my body strong and powerful, it’s stubborn too. Thank goodness.

I always knew I was meant to be a mother, from the poop and tears to the bond and laughter. Making him was worth every stretched piece of skin, every extra pant size, the donut I had to sit on for weeks, the future saggy boobs, all of it. And giving birth to him was definitely worth my husband calling me a Triumphant Titan Goddess.

Amanda’s Mom-Bod

MomBod B&W (66 of 128)

Nicole Jackson Photography

Lena -1 month

Cara- 13 months

Jayden (not pictured) 14.5 years

For as long as I can remember I have never been happy with my body.  Even before having kids I sported the pooch belly and love handles.  I hated my body and hated myself.  When I would get teased for being fat I would turn to food as a comfort, it was a vicious cycle.

MomBod B&W (68 of 128)

Nicole Jackson Photography

What I realized. recently, is that hating myself reflects on my kids, especially my girls.  I don’t want them growing up having the image and food issues that I’ve had.  I have made a commitment to be happy and healthy no matter what size I am, being healthy is far more important than being skinny.  I’ve made this commitment for not only myself but for Cara and Lena.  I never want them to feel the way that I have felt.  I want to raise strong, smart, brave, healthy and most importantly happy girls.  It starts with me.

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