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CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
ABF Trainer Extraordinaire + New Mumma Bear Miranda Fox
This week it was my pleasure to get one of our very own, Miranda Fox, on the blog to chat about her transition into parenthood. I know when I had my baby it was a massive transition for me. My own birth was pretty intense, I was in labour for 48 hours and I definitely wish I didn’t have pre-existing ideas about epidurals as it would have made my life so much easier earlier on. As parents we face so many narratives surrounding pregnancy, giving birth + being a parent and it never ends. We all have our own stories and they are all valid and important. Instead of advice giving we should ask that one important question “how are you” more often.
Miranda Fox congratulations on the birth of your beautiful little boy Woody, he is adorable. How have you found the whole experience and your transition into this next chapter?
Thank you! It’s not been without it’s challenges but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I didn’t expect it to feel so natural, I thought I’d be one of those mums who’s frantically googling in the middle of the night “what does it mean when my baby does X Y Z” but I’ve found I’ve actually relaxed and I’m loving seeing this little thing develop into a person, it’s wild.
What were some of the narratives you heard a lot before giving birth?
I filled my newsfeed with what I wanted to hear so it was mostly positive. It made birth sound like the most natural thing you can do, to just trust your body and everything will follow, it put a lot of the onus on the woman to have a positive birth experience and gave me complete faith in my own skills.
What about after – and how did they make you feel?
Well my birth didn’t exactly go to plan, like so many others. So for a little while after I felt some sort of guilt or shame. What did I do wrong? Did I not practice my breathing enough? Did I not study hypnobirthing enough? What I didn’t realise until after, was how these narratives can make you feel when things inevitably don’t go to plan. Giving birth is natural but wild and complicated at the same tine and before we had modern medicine lots could go wrong and still does. It’s there to keep you safe and help you. But the story I created around this was that “If I used modern medicine, then I had failed as a woman”, that I wasn’t strong enough in myself. So silly, but it really effected me.
I hear you babe, mine didn’t go to plan at all. At one point I was lying on my back, legs in stirrups, about 10 doctors looking at my fanny making notes and I couldn’t feel a thing.
What has been one narrative for you personally that you have had to keep an eye on and what is one you feel has kept you going?
One narrative I found kept cropping up was this idea of bouncing back, either losing the weight or getting back to work. It was almost as if I wasn’t allowed to enjoy the chill newborn bubble because women are expected to do it all; be a mother, breastfeed, earn a living all while looking 10/10. No one asks you if you’re enjoying the chill time, they just ask you if you’ve thought about coming back to work. Like, no – let me be a mum for a bit please. One thing that’s kept me going is knowing that everything I need to know to keep this baby alive is hard wired in me through evolution. Before you have a baby it’s impossible to know but everything just comes naturally to you, otherwise we wouldn’t have survived. Anytime I doubt myself I remind myself of this fact and know everything will be fine.
That is very true. How has your journey back into working out been?
Slow. Ha. I tore all the way to my arse. It was awesome. So that made my recovery way slower than I had anticipated. It got me really down. I had to keep reminding myself that everyday I don’t work out and practise patience is a day closer to doing what I love. I waited 7 weeks before doing a gym class and even then I was very humbled.
People don’t realise what the body goes through. It takes time and that’s ok.
What exercises have you started with?
I started doing really basic things at home to build my glutes and core strength back. Some Pilates, glute bridge work and dead bugs. Then I braved my first boxing class a few weeks ago, avoided all the skipping obviously ha! Was great to hit a bag again even if I did wet myself every time I threw a hook.
I have a 5 year old and I still wet myself anytime I take her trampolining, oh the joys. Tips for any new parents?
Sleep when the baby sleeps? JOKING. Ha. Take time for yourself. Tag team with your partner or someone who is in your support network if you don’t have a partner. Lean on people, it’s ok. You may feel guilty but it’s important- don’t over look that and don’t overlook putting you first.
This blog is all about building a community of people who want to Change The Narrative for the better. If you want to share your story on our blog please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We celebrate stories because stories and the narratives we tell ourselves dictate our lives.
Love Amy + The ABF Team