The phenomenal Sydney Stoik and Oliver Keys (5 months)
"My journey into wombanhood and motherhood has been an interesting one, that's for sure".
Sydney's journey started a little sooner than most. As a little girl, getting ready to turn six, she was entirely unprepared for the complete 180 her body was about to take. She started getting horrific pains that would bring her to her knees and on top of it began showing signs of puberty. She developed pubic hair and breast tissue. Her uterus was lined and ready, and she had a testosterone level as high as her father's. Her parent's had no idea what was going on, and she clearly didn't either. Between her age and the fact that her pituitary glands were completely normal, the doctors were stumped and decided to perform exploratory surgery.
One of her ovary's looked okay but the other was covered with rupturing cysts. Not only were there far too many to try and remove individually, the amount of rupturing that had occurred had nearly shredded the ovary. At this point the only logical option was to remove the ovary entirely. They took it out and the signs of precocious puberty receded, though she struggled to feel herself again.
Fast forward 17 years and Sydney has found the love of her life. They had discussed having children years down the line, and wondered if her history would give me issues when it came time to conceive. She has had a hiatal hernia for some time due to years of vomiting with migraines. She's no stranger to early morning nausea but had a period of daily, intense sickness. She decided to go to the ER thinking she'd need emergency hernia surgery and after the preliminary paperwork and tests, the nurse came in and told them she was pregnant and moved on to the next thing. "We didn't hear a single word she said after that. We looked at each other, and immediately burst out laughing. "I guess we're going to be parents!" We both stated. There was not a second of doubt only pure love, happiness and a whole hell of a lot of good fear."
"The second I found your movement online, I felt the pull. I have struggled with severe depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. A lot of it stems from the surgeries and experience in my youth. Body image was always a particularly tough subject for me - It didn't matter if I was in the peak of my swimming career and in the best shape of my life. It didn't matter if I was in my post shoulder surgery weight gain phase, and completely out of shape. I always saw the same person in the mirror, and always hated her. To finally be okay with the who I am inside and out, took years. Years of being in and out of therapy, being on and off medication, working through unhealthy coping habits, and eventually finding myself through my passion, some serious soul searching, and with the help of my soul mate. When we found out we were pregnant, and all throughout my pregnancy, I LOVED my body. Sure, I had my insecure moments, but I was so amazed at what my body was doing. I figured this appreciation and love I was feeling would translate well to my postpartum body and mindset. Unfortunately, it has not been that smooth of a transition. The struggle consisted of slow postpartum weight loss, milk supply issues causing us to stop breastfeeding, and my hormones going insane, not to mention a raging comeback from my anxiety and migraines. It's taken awhile for me to stop comparing myself to other moms, and truly accept the shape of my beautiful and powerful body. Being a part of this movement is as much for my confidence and growth as it is for my son. I don't want him to every feel ashamed of who he is. We should love ourselves, in every form."