The amazing Amanda Burns, Chloe Faith Marie (3) and Conor James Patrick (1).
Amanda says that she has always been "what I would consider an average size person". Prior to getting pregnant with her first she always felt like she had control over how her body looked. "If I wanted to lose a pound, two or more here and there I could make that happen". However, during her second trimester with her first, she began to really realize that her body was changing in a way that she had no control over. "This scared me. Although I was very excited to be a mother, I was very scared about what was happening to my physical body. I didn’t like not having control". This is when Amanda found the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. "I became overwhelmingly inspired by the many stories that were shared. The ones that talked about overcoming miscarriages, losses, difficulties conceiving, etc. were especially powerful to me".
Amanda's first pregnancy was not planned, and while it was very "easy" overall, she realized that while she was obsessing over her physical body changing, there were so many others out there that weren’t even able to conceive or have great difficulty doing so. "Through reading so many personal stories on the 4th Trimester Instagram page I began to appreciate my pregnant body, and by the time I was pregnant with my second, I was able to fall in love with my pregnant body. I was so inspired by the many beautiful and brave women that I read about. I wanted to be one of them".
Although she learned how to love her pregnant body, learning how to be happy with and accepting of her postpartum body has been a little more of a challenge but she's happy to have found comfort and self love again. Amanda was able to give birth to both of her children completely natural with no complications. After the labor and delivery of her first, she became completely amazed with how powerful a woman’s body is. "Although I have my moments where I wish I had a little less skin here or there, I have to remind myself that this body has been incredible! My body was once home to our two babies. It has naturally labored and delivered our two babies. It has breastfed our two babies for over 3 years now. I am so grateful for all that my body has done and continues to do. My body has made me a mother, and motherhood is one of the best yet most challenging experiences that I have ever had".
"I am here today to finally get to be apart of this wonderful movement of powerful, beautiful, and courageous woman. When I first found this project it was a distant dream that I could be a part of it. Now, here I am- a mother of two babies that I couldn’t be more in love with. I remember thinking that I would never have enough of a “story” to share in order to be a part of this movement. And then I realized that every woman has a story to share. Every woman got to where they are today through a story. Some have bumpier and windier roads then other, but at the end of the day, we are all strong, courageous and wonderful woman."