The #52WeeksofMotherhood Project: Week 22

Nova doula & lactation Cleveland

As long as I’ve known Shelly¬†she has been Mama Bear, protecting those she cares about with ferocity and love. I always told her that if I ever ended up homeless I would find my way to her, because I know that she would renew my strength and motivate me and flood me with kindness. It was wonderful¬†to read what she wrote here, because this time, finally, she turns the love back on herself.

Here is Shelly’s week 22:

Nova doula & lactation Cleveland

“Throughout my pregnancy I kept a journal. I didn’t write in it everyday, but days that I felt especially excited, scared, connected, or just full of love for our sweet growing baby.

November 15: Today, I fell in love with the large baby bump that is ever growing and I am thankful. For most of my life, weight has been a lingering burden. I watch what I eat and workout to stay healthy, but let’s be honest other than a doc saying I’m in tip top shape, I base my success and I’m ashamed to say my health, on the size in my jeans or the number on the scale. This precious baby has sent my programmed mind that a certain number determines my worth spinning. Rationally I know better, but the extra dose of hormones might not help my rational thinking.

So today, standing in the shower, completely exposed to the changes, a wave of joy came over me and I got it…he/she is the most wonderful gift my body will ever produce. I’m thankful that I have created a home for our little one to grow strong and healthy. Every pound or inch I gain is evidence of strength. How could I not love that?”

Take a look at past stories, and if you’d like to contribute a written or visual snapshot from your pregnancy or fourth trimester, email