Lindsay Bonnar (36), Charlie (4) and Linken (16mo)
Wyoming | West Salem, WI
Lindsay shares -
“Pregnancy was a bit hard for me from a body image standpoint, but I think it is mostly because I am a fitness trainer. I don't just gain a belly, I gain ALL over. It wasn't until my third trimester with both babies that I felt like I look pregnant versus just fat.
Postpartum with Charlie I was in such bliss that I barely noticed that I wasn't losing weight quickly. I had better things to do but I am not a mama who loses weight breastfeeding. I gain. I was back up to almost birth weight with both of my kids in the few early months after they were born. My second postpartum was a different story all together. It was summer this time and NONE of my clothes fit and I struggled in many ways. I am still working and learning to embrace the changes that have been made.
There are many things I have leaned on over the past year and these two things standout as something helped me a lot mentally. One is what Birthfit teaches about how motherhood leaves behind the Princess and you become a Queen.
The other was a podcast I got hooked on when pregnant with Linken called The Birthful Podcast. The host on there says all the time that "The topography changes" and I love this. Birth is so amazing and I marvel at the wonders of the female body and the fact that we were created for this! It seems silly now to try to think about chasing the body that was before this crazy and life-altering experience. But I had to do A LOT of head-word to arrive in this place. And it is ongoing.
I have learned and worked very hard in my life to release all expectations, which frees you from disappointment and allows me to experience things as they are. I really didn't have any set expectations for either of my babies journey. But it is something I marvel at, how different both pregnancies were and how different both postpartum experiences were. I felt like my journey into motherhood with my oldest was almost easy. Something I felt like I could do well.
When my second baby called me, what I was nervous about how was in the world I was ever going split the love I felt for my daughter. After a bit of a crazy and intense birth, I can remember vividly looking at my little man laying on the bed next to me and literally feeling my heart grow. Like he grew his own personal space there. I am so beyond grateful for this experience!
I was never diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, but looking back I almost certainly had it. I woke each morning consumed with overwhelm about how to handle both kids, even if it were only for a couple of hours at the end of the day. I cried almost daily, I barely remember the first 6 months of my little mans life. I hardly have any photos of him, let alone of us together. And they weight didn't even start to come off until he was around 6 months old. I ended up with a not just core and pelvic floor dysfunction, but also a prolapsed uterus and bladder. Which as someone who loves to lift weights and exercise, meant I could not use the same outlet I would normally turn to when I felt anxious or depressed. Which further depressed me. I can remember sitting outside in the dirt and just surrendering to God, the amazing power He has and the power from the great earth He created. Begging to help me heal. And while the physical healing has been slow, my heart and my head changed entirely that day. I have slid backwards a few times, but ultimately I realized how much pride and self worth I had wrapped up in my physical strength and abilities. I have since learned that as a woman there is SO MUCH MORE. We are powerful, beautiful and wonderfully made.
I work in health and fitness and have learned that while people come to me to work on their bodies, what most of them really need (and the successful ones end up learning) is that it is more about your HEAD. There is this billboard for plastic surgery that I drive by at least once a week depicting everything wrong with our society and advertising a way to change your "body." This project is the complete and wonderfully REAL antithesis to this. I wanted to be part of this because I try to be a voice of honesty and reality in my field, as a mom and for anyone who will listen to me.”