When Being a When Being a Mom Doesn’t Look the Way You Expected

I am thrilled to have our very own Amy Keslinke on the blog today. Amy is a yoga instructor at the studio and a health + fitness coach. Amy is leading our Healthy Mama's Motivation Group (which has it's first meeting - free! - on Friday October 14th) and will start offering her own nutrition workshops for our community! 

I had a chance to chat with Amy about all things motherhood and nutrition, so be on the look out for that on the podcast next week! For now here is a sneak peak into Amy's journey becoming a mom and how it wasn't quite what she expected. I think we all can relate to that. XO - Liz


I think the first lesson I learned as a mom is that all my expectations should go out the window.  I probably should have learned this one long before pregnancy, as I think life has a way of teaching us this one time and time again, but becoming a mom taught me this lesson like a slap in the face...or maybe the giant pregnant belly.

I was a personal trainer and yoga instructor before I got pregnant.  So, naturally, I expected to be able to do a lot of my “normal” exercise while pregnant (keeping my heart rate under 140, of course!).

Wrong.

I tried running when I was about 7 weeks along.  My lungs felt half their usual size.  Yoga videos failed to fill the hole in my heart that was left behind by my “old” yoga practice, which made me feel like my pelvis would split in two.  

Being a personal trainer, I was convinced this issue was something I could figure out myself.  So, I spent many a morning on the stationary bike wishing I could do some sort of exercise that made me feel strong again.

I spent months of my pregnancy researching and preparing for the natural birth that I had my heart set on.  At 30 weeks, we discovered that my baby girl was breech.  I did some research before deciding to leave it up to the little lady to decide which way she came into the world.

My expectation for a natural birth went out the window when I had a scheduled c-section with a breech baby (who is pretty darn amazing, I might add).

I expected to get right back to working out once I got my six-week clearance from my doctor.  Wrong again.

I knew that I would be extra hungry from nursing, but I was relatively certain I would be able to stick mainly to whole, unprocessed foods.  What I didn’t expect was that the affinity for cereal that I had during my pregnancy would stick with me well past the fourth trimester.

It never occurred to me that I should turn to someone, or somewhere, for help until the difficulty I had was my daughter’s.

She was born with a whole lot of baby acne, which the doctors said would go away.  It did, but she seemed to get a lot of patches of dry skin.  We figured her skin was just sensitive.

Then, the diaper trouble started.  We reached a point where every car ride would result in a blow out--usually a pretty significant one, and many time more than once a day.

Her dry patches of skin turned to super crusty cradle cap all along her eyebrows and areas of her forehead.  At her two month check-up, the pediatrician felt that these things would go away on their own.

When I saw blood in her diaper, I had had enough.

The pediatrician decided that I should give up dairy, since my daughter may have a sensitivity to it from my breastmilk.  This elimination helped a bit, but the issues were not resolved.  So, I gave up soy as well.  Again, it helped some, but not as much as I had hoped.

We are lucky, because, in the grand scheme of things, my daughter’s struggle is very minor.  I know there are many, many moms who deal with much more daunting and scary health issues.  But, we can all agree, as a mom, all I wanted to do was make it go away.

The best solution my pediatrician could give me was to switch to hypoallergenic formula.  This solution was far from my expectations for motherhood.  Formula is a wonderful thing, and is literally a life-saver for many babies.  This solution, however, did not feel right for my family.  At least not yet.

I knew there was someone out there who could help us with this struggle. The most frustrating thing, though, was--is--that I didn’t (and still don’t) know where to turn for help.

As moms, we do the best we can with the information we have.  I decided to become a health coach so I could use the information that I have to help moms who may feel as helpless as I did.

We will never have all the answers, and life will never always go the way we expect it to go.  But if we stop to look around us, there is more support than we realize.  Had I only known about ohmMother during my pregnancy, for example, I can’t imagine how much better I would have felt in my struggle to move my body in a way that made me feel good again.

So, the next time you face a struggle as a mom, or as a person, take a step back and utilize your resources.  They are all around you, even when you don’t expect them to be.  Every attempt may not bring the answer you were expecting, but, when we change our perspective and connect with those who make us feel heard and accepted, that alone can make all the difference.