Power of the Bikini 

Can we just be real for a moment. It’s the end of summer. Did you feel the pressure–to have that body ready, to look great with a solid ass and stomach “beach ready”? I’ve felt it. The ideal body, by a deadline. And if that deadline arrives, without the body having achieved that exact look, the fear of criticism clouds confidence to wear that bikini proudly.

Moms, heck women in general, why do we do this to ourselves! We hate on our bodies. Let’s be real, that’s what it is: hate.

The body I live in became something I felt wasn’t good enough. Yet it was strong enough to carry a tiny human, house it, and nurture it. Moms, we have so much to be proud of our body for! Yet, I’m guilty of picking out the flaws of my new mom body to focus on. I allowed those thoughts to consume me. But no longer.

10 months ago I made the choice to love my body. To see it through a new lens, a lens that many others saw it through already, yet I was not.. I was seeing it through lenses that had expectations that didn’t need to be there. 


So here’s my journey into loving my skin, my new body! Setting aside high expectations, extending grace, wearing proudly what I used to label as flaws.

Setting aside high expectations, extending grace, wearing proudly what I used to label as flaws.

Three years ago I gave birth to my son. I wanted to be a mom, I desired to bring life into this world. I never desired my body to change permanently, I didn’t give it permission. The “new baby” high wears off and I realized my body was nothing like I had wanted. But regardless of how we exercise, eat, etc during pregnancy, our bodies in many ways change in ways we have LITTLE control over. 


Even after baby is born, we can experience frustrations as women in our new post baby body. Our bodies are re figuring how to work, how to metabolize, our bodies have changed. In ways we couldn’t of prepared for or predicted.

This is something that has been so humbling to me. Prior to baby, I was fit, toned and had a flat stomach without that classic mama pouch. I lived at the beach weekly in a bikini. I never thought about finding a suit to camouflage the fact that, oh you know, I grew a human. Until I did grow and birth my precious son.


When I went shopping for a bikini I just wanted to wear whatever style I thought cute on the hanger, like I used to. But, I found myself trying on more than 14 different bikini bottoms simply discouraged of this new stomach that even once baby weight was gone, was still there. Most likely, this new belly isn’t going anywhere. I was hopeless, discouraged, and even angry at my body for not bouncing back.

“Cover it up, hide it. It’s time, I hit the moment that’s talked about… The moment I needed to accept the reality I’ll wear one piece suits from now on….” is what went through my mind. That was when I realized how damaging my mind set was. I felt I’d never look good enough again. My life dream of having a baby happened and now I felt inadequate in my appearance. I wanted hide the very evidence that I carried that child.

I am living my life dream, I’m a mom. My body is strong, capable, and beautiful. I worked my ass off to get back into shape and finally after 2 years post baby, I was at pre birth weight. Who cares if my stomach isn’t to an old ideal of “perfect”.

It’s perfect for this chapter in my life. It’s perfect to remind me of Life. The life that my body grew and nurtured for 9 months. My new body is perfectly imperfect, by my OLD expectations. But my new expectations are to love myself, be proud, and confident in this body for what it’s done and how it keeps up with an ever active toddler.

It’s perfect for this chapter in my life. It’s perfect to remind me of Life.


Perfectly beautiful is: confidently stepping on the beach, not just accepting my new body, but embracing it. Loving it because beauty isn’t defined by 6 pack abs, beauty is defined by the beholder. Proudly wearing my bikini to empower other women that YES, you too are anything but flawed from growing a human.


I want to say to those of you who feels less then perfect, like you’ll never obtain the prior pregnancy self: You are beautiful, your body ran the marathon of pregnancy. The last thing your body deserves is to be hidden, out of shame and self criticism. Instead, it should be worn victoriously. Carrying and birthing a baby is an extremely strenuous thing on a woman’s body. You mama, crossed the finish line in that extensive race.

You are beautiful, your body ran the marathon of pregnancy. The last thing your body deserves is to be hidden, out of shame and self criticism. Instead, it should be worn victoriously.


Let’s celebrate that victory with saying “bye-bye” to shame and buying a cute bikini to display this body who won that race! And when I see you, a fellow mama at the beach, I’ll smile a big smile as we pass. Because I honor you, and I join with you in loving our new bodies! I join you in displaying to our kids what beauty is all about.

And when I see you, a fellow mama at the beach, I’ll smile a big smile as we pass. Because I honor you, and I join with you in loving our new bodies! I join you in displaying to our kids what beauty is all about.


I had a great bikini body before, but now it’s a new kind of great bikini body. Our kids think we are the most beautiful women. Why can’t we see that and live that?


Don’t work out at the gym for that beach bikini body. Work out at the gym to be strong enough to run around for hours on the sand with your babies and kids. Most importantly, your worth isn’t in your body, or it’s strength. 


(Photo credits: Steven Brandt and Wilhelmi Studios) 

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Birth Story By Gods Plan, Not My Own

Here is the birth story of my precious baby. He’s now 7 1/2 months old and I’m finally getting around to writing it down 🙂 

My due date was June 12th. Baby was measuring big at 10 ½ lbs. On the 12th I was 2 cm dilated. Dr stripped my membranes and we waited. My due date had come and gone. I did EVERYTHING to start labor. Walked about a trillion miles, or so it seemed with my painful hips and pubic bone, drank raspberry leaf tea like it was going out of style, rolled back and forth on the yoga ball, got a pedi and foot massage, thought about taking black and blue cohosh herbs, but ended up not, ate pineapples, tried the pressure points on the ear, hand and little toe, I mean I tried just about everything. This is where I realized that all though I’m sure some of those techniques work for some people ultimately baby comes when baby is ready.

Me trying to walk that baby out

On the 16th, fathers day, I started having some contractions around 6pm. I was the happiest soon to be mama on the planet! They were 8-11 minutes apart, all where I could walk through them. I was pretty

sure I was going into labor (can you tell I’m a 1st time mama haha). Contacted my doula and we waited for them to get stronger, however they did not. I went to bed that night. Woke up the next morning on the 17th and the contractions were about 5-8 minutes apart. Some took my breath away but still were not strong enough to go to the hospital. This continued all day long and night. Next morning was the 18th and I had an appointment. I was positive I was going to be dilated more I mean after all I had been in early stages of labor for almost 2 days now. No such luck. Instead my blood pressure was high and so they said they were going to have to admit me. Before they did the Dr. stripped my membranes a 2nd time.

41 weeks pregnant arriving at the hospital

We arrived to the hospital, my mom, Kevin and I. My amazing doula also joined us. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart. They checked me in, this seemed to take forever even though I was pre registered, I remember hating having to sit or stand still while I filled out some papers. I got all settled in a room and they hooked me up to monitor baby and my blood pressure. At this point my blood pressure was normal. I asked to go home to continue laboring and of course they said no. Now as many of you know, my birth plan was to do an all-natural birth. To me this meant no medicine, no epidural, no IV’s.  As I sat rolling back and forth on my birthing ball the doctor came in and approached me with the idea of C-section for the purpose of how big my baby was measuring. I think the look on my face said everything. I was NOT going to have a C-section unless it was medically needed for my baby’s safety. I told the Dr “God gave me this baby so I’m going to birth this baby”. The Dr explained to me their concern of my baby “turtle-ing”, where the head comes through but the shoulders get stuck and then the baby slides back in. She expressed how this is a very serious thing they try to avoid because with in a minute baby’s oxygen is cut off when this happens so it results in breaking baby’s shoulders to get baby out. Still hesitant on this C-section mumbojumbo, I said I would like to talk to Kevin and my doula alone and then make my decision. The time was about 11:30am. We decided at this time to thank God for modern medicine and go with the scheduled C-section for later that night at 6pm. Genetics were working against me, there is a history with my mother and grandma both having C-sections because their labor stopped progressing,  I came to terms with maybe God’s plan for my baby was not what I had in mind. We waited and waited and my contractions seemed to stay around 5 minutes apart slowly getting more intense. I still kept praying I would just go into hard-core labor before the C-section time. I was pretty stuck on that natural birth still… part of that lead by so much fear I think. I was terrified of a big freaking long needle being stuck into my back. Worried about not having the skin on skin time with my baby during that “golden hour” after birth since I would be in the OR. Worried about the effect it would have on breast-feeding if I didn’t deliver vaginally. Then the peace came, the peace that passes all understanding. I worked with the nursery nurse to still plan to do skin to skin in the OR…. I was shocked they supported me in that, but so grateful they pulled strings to still help the birth plan I wanted to happy even though it was going to be a C-section.

 

Right before being taken back to the OR

Kevin and I got all suited up. I said good buy to my mom and Kevin as I was rolled back to get that massive needle put in my back. They took me back to that freezing cold operating room and I sat on the table as they prepped the area for the needle to go in. All the sudden my water breaks. I say to the nurse and anesthesiologist “I did not just pee on your table. That was my water that broke” totally wanted to reassure them it wasn’t pee. They continued the cleaning of the area and I turned my head to look at the needle and the nurse grabs my head “honey your not going to want to look back there” wow, that’s sure calming I thought. The needle went in perfectly and I’m now lying down on the table. Kevin walks in and stands up by my head. It’s around 6:15pm now. They had my baby praise and worship music playing softly just like I had wanted in my birth plan. The feeling of the surgeon tugging was so strange. I started to have a reaction to the medicine and got very itchy on my face, a fairly normal reaction. However since I’m highly allergic to antihistamines they couldn’t give me medicine in the IV to counter act the reaction. I heard the one of the Doctors say “We have meconium in here. We need to get this baby out now!” my heart just about jumped out of my chest, I knew exactly what that meant and the impact that could have on my precious baby. I knew at that moment one of the reasons WHY God’s plan was for this baby to be born via C-section instead of waiting hours longer for my labor to progress and possibly loosing him to the toxic maconium. The doctor then said to Kevin “Mr Steinberg your baby’s about to be born stand up” as Kevin processed to try to walk around to the other side of the curtain. Oh he was so ready to see his baby all right! Nurse stops him and says he can’t come on that side and to just stand up. In seconds I hear the sweetest most pure cry my ears have ever heard. I start crying. “Here is your baby boy” the Doctor says, “6:25 is the time” as they held him up for Kevin to see. They checked him out real quick because of the meconium. With in minutes they brought him to me and placed that perfect baby boy, our Luke Evan, on my chest. I continue crying tears of joy, overwhelmed, as my whole world feels so complete now! He was so perfect. He just lay there; he instantly stopped crying the moment he was on my chest. He was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. That moment will forever be in my mind. Perfection!! Luke’s nurse said “He is one of the most chill babies” I just beamed! After about 10 minutes they had to take Luke away while they finished stitching me up. He weighed in at 8lbs 13oz. and 22 ½ inches long. No 10lb baby. But 8lbs 13oz of pure cuteness! His name we chose for a few reasons; Luke because we loved it, and the meaning “bringer of light” and oh is he such a light of joy. Evan we chose because my maiden name is Evans. I loved the meaning of it too “God is Good”.  I praise the Lord for the life of Luke, for how He really protected him. I learned that no matter what our plan in life is, even with a birthing plan, God sometimes has a better plan, for reasons at the time we can’t even understand. As far as my fear about breast-feeding after a C-section, my little Luke had such a wonderful latch and latched on right away. Recovery was the normal length for a C-section about 8 weeks, and went very smoothly. So there it is, the birth story. Here are some photos! Enjoy

Skin to skin time in the OR. Grateful for that special moment as tears streamed down my face of pure joy.

 

Meeting sweet baby after coming out of the OR. pure love! My Heart!

 

He looks just like mama did when she was born!