AmyGrace by Nicole Payzant Photography

It was in January of 2014 that I began preparing for motherhood.  I decided I wasn't going to put my body in the position of child bearing until I had conditioned it in strength, endurance, health and wellness.    As the months passed by, I began to see how strengthening my body to support a life was paying off.  I felt the most alive I had ever felt.  

It was in June 2014 that I felt my body, mind and soul was ready for the carrying of a new life.

It was August 2014 that a pregnancy test came back positive.  I was pregnant.

It was September 2014 that we picked her name and I knew she was a Zoë.  Sometimes a mother just knows.

It was January 2015 that I knew I wanted to deliver as natural as possible and was needing a support system for the journey.  Adrienne Kelher joined my husband and I on the preparation for this girl.

It was May 3rd 2015, when Zoë Wing Zhe Lai was born.  A petite but healthy six pounds and twelve ounces, this little girl was all muscle tone and wild lungs.  

Now, it is June 11 2015, just under ten pounds away from my pre-birth weight and working hard to recover and help my body back into that place of strength and endurance again.  Zoë is over ten pounds, sleeping from 7pm - 10pm & 11pm - 4:30am, smiling and finding her voice.  We girls are strong women and both of us, with strong voices have been bonding.

Now I believe strongly in the importance of prenatal wellness preparation and postnatal wellness strategies.  Baby blues and Postpartum depression is very real and the societal knowledge of it is still spotty,  

Now I believe that the desires of mom and baby come first before any expectations.  We should be encouraging the mother and baby bonding before rushing to take over and 'hold'.  Babies are tiny humans with very small and still developing nervous systems with research now showing that their abilities to withstand being passed around and being over stimulated is low.  Moms are pressured to be sharing the one thing they worked hard to maintain and keep safe for almost a solid year.  The repreccusions of rushing the bonding process has detrimental health affects on both mom and baby.  

Now I believe in everyones individual birth story being a miracle and an amazing journey.

Now I believe that the journey to motherhood is holy, spiritual and a very individual process.  No one woman's journey is the same.  

Zoë and Mama

Now I understand my own mother just a bit more.

And now,

I work hard to be the balanced and well mother that this girl deserves.

I dedicate my life to live by example and encourage her to seek her identity in the One who made her.  

She is Zoë, and I, am Amy.