I am considered advanced maternal age. In fact, I was considered advanced maternal age 2 years ago when I got pregnant with Ethan.
It took me a while to come around on the idea of having a kid. When I first met my husband, for a myriad reasons, I was not interested. But then, my friends started having kids and one in particular formed a very special bond with my husband and it filled my heart with joy to watch them together. So, when we really started discussing having kids of our own, I worried.
Boy, how I worried.
I wasn't super sure I was going to be a good mama, but that wasn't my biggest concern.
My biggest hold up was my body.
My precious body. The body I had put so much energy into. I worried how I was going to look and feel being pregnant and how I'd look afterwards. Stretch marks- ugh. Loose skin- double ugh. I wasn't sure I could handle those changes. And, because I was "advanced maternal age", wouldn't that just amplify it all?
For 35 years I fought opening my mind to the idea of having a baby because I was afraid of “wrecking” my body But, alas, we got married and about 8 months later I was pregnant.
And, because of the whole "advanced maternal age" thing people told me how hard it was going to be to work out after my son’s birth. How it was more tiring as an "older" mom, that my body wouldn’t rebound as quickly, and that things were going to ache more.
So, I worried. I worked out and I worried. I worked out too hard, got hurt and got more worried. I slathered myself in lotion... and worried. I worried I had made the wrong decision.
And then I had E.
I still remember my first encounter with the mirror after giving birth (you can read that here). And in the months that followed I remember thinking: why didn’t anybody tell me?
Because, NOBODY told me.
Nobody told me there were exercises I should be doing postpartum to heal and nurture my body.
Nobody told me that it is still possible to feel great after having a baby even if you ARE older and your workouts are dramatically different.
Nobody told me that exercising after Ethan’s birth would keep me mentally strong and get me back to FEELING like myself quicker.
AND, nobody told me I was going to love this body more than ever because it gave me my son.
We live in a culture where we focus on the myriad ways that pregnancy ruins the body and where we focus on returning that ruined body back to its pre-baby disposition.
But not here. I want you to focus on feeling strong, feeling happy, and feeling like the wonderful mama you are.
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