I have been wanting to share a little bit of my story on this website for awhile. I visit a few times a week and am so grateful for the stories and the amazing women that shared them. Thank you!
My name is Stephanie (aka www.stepherz.com) and I am mother to 3 of the most beautiful babies in the world. My oldest, Austin, is already nearly 13 and I had him when I was 19. I popped right back into shape after having him, with only a few stretch marks. I met my husband when Austin was almost 2 years old and within a year, we were trying to start a family together. After 5 miscarriages and about 6+ years of infertility treatments, Clomid, surgeries to open my twisted tubes, and a lot of heartache, we were blessed with our first baby together– Bella. When Bella was 10 months old, I got pregnant again with Noah. Bella was 10 pounds and 7.5 ounces, Noah was 2 months premature and was a whopping 4 pounds and 4 ounces. My pregnancies with Bella and Noah did a number to my figure, I gained some 60 pounds with each pregnancy. Noah is 15 months old now, and I’m still trying to get those last 10 pounds off. I’m content with my body, have worked really hard to get into shape again, and am at peace with being 10 pounds heavier. My struggles with my self esteem are mostly with the seperation of muscle in my stomach, my umbilical hernia that just won’t heal and causes discomfort, and the loose skin that just is there for good. I have a little paunch, no matter how many crunches I do. I am entertaining a tummy tuck in the Spring, have started the financial program to save for that, but so wish I didn’t want one as I want to just be happy with my changes.
I am 5’10″ and spent years in the fashion/modeling industry. It really was an unhealthy experience for me and I’ve struggled with eating disorders in the past, low self-esteem, and having too high expectations for myself physically. It’s amazing that, even after 4 years away from this industry, I am and probably always will be strongly influenced by the vanity that surrounds the modeling world. I have learned valuable things from this though. I want always to be loving to myself as my daughter will learn how to love herself, and her body, through me and the examples I set for her. I will always encourage her, compliment her, and also nurture the beauty in her, outside of the physical… Because that, my friends, is what lasts, isn’t it?
Thank you for letting me share my story, and thank you for this wonderful website!