The stunning Shea Gardner with her son Leo (11 months). Shea says that she was in the best shape of her life going into pregnancy and made an effort to maintain a healthy diet of nutritious food and exercise for her growing little one. Late in her pregnancy she and her husband were introduced to "The Business of Being Born" which made them reevaluate their birth plans and advocate for themselves even more. She hoped to switch to midwives within the same hospital system but it was too late for them to take her on. So she hired a doula who helped her formulate a birth plan and supported her husband and herself through labor and deliver. Shea says it was also really important to have a safe and med free delivery. With the help of her doula and the hospital staff, they were able to stick to her birth plan and she had an empowering 50 hour med free labor and vaginal birth! Breastfeeding has also been a wonderful experience for the pair and though Shea is working full time, they are still going strong.
Still, Shea says that she struggles with her body today and has yet to find a way to access the endorphin surges in the same ways that exercise once did. By participating in this movement she hopes to not only meet other Mothers just like her but other Mothers NOT like her. She has never felt so empowered in her life. "Giving birth was liberating! Motherhood is exhaustingly beautiful and everyone should know that!" She continues, "last but definitely not least, I want to gain my confidence back so I can be the best Mother I can to my little guy. I know when I am feeling down on myself it reflects in my face and body language. I know it is ambitious to try and be 110% all of the time but hey I can try!"