When it comes to pregnancy, giving birth, and becoming a mother, it’s empowering to hear an honest voice. There are so many perspectives in the realm of motherhood and I find it important to honor each experience, to learn something new about ones journey.
My brilliant, loving, and creative friend Stefie just became a mother. She embraced the change of her body, career, and home. This is a small interview that became a love story between a mother and daughter.
What were you thinking and feeling when you found out you were pregnant?
The day I took a pregnancy test at home, I was nervously excited and hopeful. We were trying to get pregnant but my cycles are long and sometimes it was hard to tell in which part of my cycle I was. I had a feeling I was pregnant, I could feel this new energy in me, and my boobies hurt a lot and were getting really big. I had taken a test a week before but it was negative. So, that morning when I saw that it was positive I felt really moved and tears of joy filled up my eyes. I hugged my belly and thanked that little being for her presence. I couldn’t believe there she was growing inside me.
What was your pregnancy journey like?
In general it was blissful, but it had its rough moments. I had a textbook pregnancy, the first trimester I suffered from lots of morning sickness and cravings, French fries in particular. I was also suuuuper tired and felt drained. The second trimester was amazing, I didn’t feel anything except perhaps a little more tired than usual and a little more hungry. We went to Japan and the local food and walks in nature were really healing. I felt more motivated, happier and balanced. The third trimester was also good but it was harder to sleep at night with my growing belly, and the heartburn got really bad! The last week was rough because I got a lot of swelling, water retention and high blood pressure which are symptoms of preeclampsia.
When Stella was born, describe the experience you had when you got to hold her.
It was something I had never experienced or expected. I felt this jolt of energy throughout my body, like a lightning. Then touching her soft sweet skin made my heart melt. I was humbled beyond belief. I had felt love before, first from my parents and family, then with my dear husband, but this… felt a lot different. I read somewhere that you don’t feel love, you become love. I think that describes it perfectly.
Your heart expands infinitely, for me it is a taste of the miraculous.
How has being a new mother changed your perspective on life and your body?
Being a mother is very challenging, the first few days are incredibly hard. No one tells you how much it hurts physically and emotionally. I vocalized a few times – why would someone do this more than one time?- well now I know, you forget the pain because there is a lot of sweetness that comes with raising a baby. I now have a new appreciation for mothers. I feel they are totally underestimated and that motherhood is one of the most important professions, if not the most important.
Interestingly I love my body like never before, I appreciated it more than ever and I am in awe of the miracles it can do. Growing life and generating copious amounts of food for my baby, it is just amazing. Everyday after I showered while I was pregnant I rubbed this amazing apricot oil in my belly and thanked my body for the miracle it was performing.
My body used to look better before, it was more fit, my breasts were smaller and more firm, I had less scars, more hair ( head hair) now it is different, it is not ideal for society standards, however I feel more comfortable in my own skin, I love my body more, I appreciate it more. I would have thought I would feel more insecure but nop, it has been the opposite. I think it is appreciation what made my point of view change about my body.
I would encourage everyone, specially women to love themselves how they are in this moment, because our bodies are miraculous and they will change and continue to evolve. Nothing is permanent. I guess my only regret is not feeling this way before being pregnant and becoming a mother. I am grateful to feel this way now.
Did you feel cultural pressure to put your career on hold to focus on Stella?
Interestingly it was the opposite, I feel like society’s new pressure is when are you going back to work? Are you living or putting your career on hold to be a mom? Are you going to be a stay home mom!?
I am very grateful to my husband and partner who is taking the role of the sole provider so that I can stay home and take care of our baby, I know not everyone can do that and some don’t want to do that and that is fine. It was our personal preference to put my career on hold to raise our family, that is what works for us and what we want. I feel that society puts too much pressure in women to be this or the other. It is ok to be who you want to be, the way you want to. For example, I know my grandmother would have been more than happy to have two kids but she felt pressure by the cultural and society mindset of her time and had eight. Taking to her I know she doesn’t regret any of her children but she feels it was too much for her and she didn’t know how to push back and go against the current mindset of society. Perhaps I am going against the current mindset, it is ok to be a stay home mom, it is fine to put your career on hold. Time goes fast and they are only this little once.
What is your mantra as a mother?
Time is a present, be present.
Love and be love.
Stefies Blog: https://estefaniamondragon.com/
Photos taken by Erin Schedler www.erinschedlerphoto.com