Katie Warner (32), Liam (4), and Skyla (7.5 months old)
West Salem, WI
Katie shares -
“I have not experienced any losses, but bearing witness to my friends enduring devastating miscarriages, stillborn births, & infant losses has impacted me deeply. I endured two years of fertility treatments to conceive Liam, so in a different way, I understand just how much a woman's longing for children is rooted in her soul. It is infinitely magnified once you learn life is developing inside your womb.
Motherhood has heightened my motivation to cultivate & model a healthy body image. This does not always come easily as it is very much a daily practice! The better part of my 20's was riddled with a very tumultuous relationship with food & body image, and it was the hope to be able to have children which served as my reason to do the intentional work to really heal that from the inside out.
It is with redemption & thanks giving that I am soon setting forth to expand this practice by becoming a coach to help other women overcome their struggle with food & body image. I’m more at peace with my body that I have been in over a decade – even having had a baby only almost eight months ago. Childbirth has been the most empowering experiences of my life; both times it changed my view of just how freakin’ powerful my body is.
I work hard to stay connected to my body and marvel at the intricacies of its works. I eat healthy most of the time, exercise regularly, meditate, and pray like it’s going out of style. Do I fall short sometimes & get in my head? Heck yes. But then I take a big breath, dig deeper, & start again.
My first postpartum journey went from 100 to 0 really fast. I had about 3-4 months of riding high in my bubble of baby bliss, but then I went back to work only to quit my job a few weeks later. I felt like a complete depleted-sleep-deprived-waste-of-an-education-sucking-at-motherhood & life failure.
Within weeks I was bedridden & in the depths of the worst depression I’d experienced. I sought help, grasping at any hope to pull through because my husband & baby needed me. Talk about adding more guilt to an already difficult situation.
I sought help, began to feel better, & finally became a functional human again. I became involved in the BIRTHFIT community & a local MOPS group, each outlet bringing support in motherhood in a way that allowed me to be honest and encouraged.
I have had two postpartum seasons now, & each one has been marked with the heartbreaking decline & death of my father-in-law & then my own father, each to cancer. No number of squats or meditations on childbirth can prepare a person for losing your dad. Even as I write this, my throat has become tight because it’s so damn painful to reflect on. It's been four months since my dad died. I’ve wondered why our children have to grow up without a grandpa & have been so angry over the nature of their suffering in their final time on earth.
So, I turn to God & am always, always, always met with peace in knowing that each of them were here with us for the right amount of time. While I didn’t chose those loses for us, it is MY RESPONSIBILITY to find a healthy way to process the grief & honor them with integrity.
It is largely because of losing our dads that I have a fire inside me; one that burns to do great things, especially being the best version of wife & mother for my family. Heavy shackles of shame, self-doubt, & despair have been set free while being held all along by our Creator. Along with the hardships, becoming a mother has shown me deep, unrelenting purpose and renewal.
I want to remember this moment - three days prior to my 33 rd birthday & 7.5 months postpartum - as one that my body or spirit will not be crushed by walking the hills and valleys of this life. While it is messy, I will openly & honestly own my story so others may see light in their darkness, especially my kids.”