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Have a baby. Four days later endure kidney stones and kidney stone removal surgery. Next up, the flu. Following this, a sinus infection…and Baby Ruby isn’t even two weeks old yet! On her two week birthday, I do my first workout. Two weeks and 2 days post baby, I wear a little blue (not black) dress for family pics. Same day, an exercise photo shoot for Family Circle Magazine (due out this March). Two weeks and 3 days post baby, we jet set to Hawaii for work commitments. Two weeks and 4 days post baby, you see me relaxed on the beach. And with ALL of this going on, I appear utterly and totally at ease with my life…in photos, at least…which seems to make people think I am Wonder Woman.

How do I do it, you ask? I have some major, MAJOR secrets to share with you all.

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Secret #1: I cry…a LOT.

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I am an average post-partum mommy. 😉  Photos only show one bleep in time. They don’t show my ugly “crying face” that comes out to Chris, Kamala, and the kids nearly every day since Ruby was born…whining that life feels overbearingly tough sometimes. Ladies and gentlemen, I am human. When I am pregnant, I am moody as all get out. After I have babies, I am an emotional wreck that feels like life will never feel normal again. I have my good days and my bad days. I have happy moments and I have sad moments. I am a woman. With or without pregnancy and babies, I ride a monthly emotional roller coaster. And I’ll venture to say that my emotions might be more volatile than most…but we can let Chris confirm this. 😉

Secret #2: Spanx, Baby. Yup, you got it. I don’t have the ripped abs back that I had pre pregnancy with Ruby. Not even close. I will admit, the exercise I did during my pregnancy has made “body after baby” bounce back a little quicker than before, but I am a ways from what the photos may suggest. Flattering clothes and Spanx are to thank for keeping my core activated (which is supposed to help abdominal recovery) and my belly minimized. This, my friends, is the only way I was able to appear somewhat back-to-normal in the exercise photos for Family Circle Magazine. Spanx works miracles.

All in the name of vanity? Maybe, but I don’t know a woman out there that wouldn’t take advantage of a modern, manmade miracle (called Spanx) to slim the figure for a national magazine shoot ☺. If you are one of these woman that would let it all hang out, you have my respect!!! I am still working on my own insecurity issues though.

Secret #3: I can be wimpy. I hear so many people giving me a pat on the back for my toughness. While I did have a baby (or two) natural, with no drugs, my “toughness” ego was brought down a few notches when kidney stones set in. Boy, oh boy. For someone that has always prided herself on “no drugs or pain killers for anything”, I sure realized it was okay to make the occasional exception. The doctors and nurses in the hospital with me will tell you…I was anything BUT tough those days. ☺ I was in so much pain that I was willing to take whatever it was that they would give me. I’ve never experienced such desperation for relief before.

Side note: Ever wonder which is more painful, childbirth or kidney stones? Having experienced both within 4 days of each other, I have my opinion. Without a doubt, kidney stones. Just an opinion, though. ☺

Secret #4: Do what you gotta do, no matter what anyone else says.

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Yes, I know flying with a 2 ½ week old is not ideal. I get it. As conflicted as some of my readers were over this, I assure you that I was more conflicted. This sweet baby Ruby is MINE…no one in this world cares more about her than we do. No one. Unfortunately, there are certain situations and circumstances in life (such as contractual obligations to a show that shoots year round) that do force us to make the best decision in a scenario that may not have ANY ideal choices. Without going into too much detail, I assure all of you that on SO many levels, the choices we make for our children are in our entire family’s  best interest. I appreciate the care and concern of so many, but rest assured that we would never make a choice for our children that wasn’t in the best interest of their well being. Just keep in mind though – judgment is tough to make when you are only seeing the cover of the book, and you are unable to dig into the meat of the chapters to see what is really going on in the story.

Accepting that everyone will have their own ideas of how life should be lived, and knowing the truth that there is no “right way” has been a life saver to me. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter” are words I try to remember. ☺

Secret #5: I have help. You see me making life, a clean house, and parenting while traveling and working seem easy. What you don’t see are the little helpers I have behind the scenes. We have the most amazing family and friends there to support us, help us out of binds, watch the kids last minute, sit by my side at the hospital, help Ruby take her first bottle of formula when I couldn’t be there to nurse her, clean my house when I’m in too much pain to get up, and make me smile simply because they love us so much. Without them none of this would be possible. They help our family function and allow us to keep doing the things we know will make this world a better place.

My secrets are out. But the real secret seems to be that there is no secret to Wonder Woman at all. In fact, Wonder Woman doesn’t even exist. I am simply a woman, just like you (or your wife or mother), trying my darndest to make the best life possible for my sweet family.

I am far from perfect.

If there is one thing though that does make so much possible for me, it is that I refuse to give up. No matter what life throws at me, no matter the comments that are made, no matter the fullness of my plate, no matter the pain I am in. I. Will. Not. Quit.

Maybe, just maybe, this creates Wonder Women and Super Men…

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

I Am (Still) Perfect
Loving Who We Are + Affirmation Bangles
Love Who You Are