Tracy Anderson, aka Gwyneth Paltrow’s pint-sized miracle, has made it her mission to empower women through her unique brand of health and fitness. Beloved by women around the world for her shape-shifting techniques, this mother of two truly practices what she preaches. Case in point: her wildly popular The Pregnancy Project DVD set, which follows her during each of the nine months leading up to her daughter’s birth. While she’s the picture of perfect wellness, Anderson is not immune to health obstacles and encountered her fair share of unexpected issues throughout her pregnancy, including undergoing a C-section. Despite some bumps in the road, Anderson believes everything worked out the way it was supposed to in the end, and she credits her fourteen-year-old son with helping her through. From that experience, she realized that her little boy was turning into an impressive young man. Job well done.
"I loved everything about being pregnant—I was born to be a mom. The best part is that it's the most whole, complete feeling of love, and it’s the easiest thing to sacrifice for. You know, anything can happen in the world, but if I can just be with my kids, I’m absolutely in pure joy."
On Tracy: Isabel Marant top, Rebecca Taylor jeans
"When I was younger, everyone was pushing formula, saying it was the best thing for babies. My mom was a very natural mom and didn’t use it, but not everyone can breastfeed, so it's not about being judgemental towards people who cannot do it, but when you’re getting a miseducation from experts, it actually confuses a mother's instincts. So I think you have to be really weary of people who confuse your instincts. There needs to be a time when you really think for yourself because no one knows what a baby needs more than a mother. And that’s the kind of confidence women need to have as new moms."
"The hardest part is the worry and need to protect them. I love and respect them as individuals from the moment they come into the world, but I want to make sure that I give them the safety that can help them develop into people who can take care of themselves."
On Tracy: Isabel Marant top, Rebecca Taylor jeans
"The nanny thing is also really tough. I did not have a nanny with Sam, but I have had one with Penny, which has been really difficult. As mothers, we need to really, really listen to our guts, and never ever be convinced otherwise."
"I have a fourteen year old and a one year old. Because there’s such a large gap between my two kids, I was shocked the second time around to realize how much we have in us as women and how strong our instincts are."
"I was 38 years old when I had Penny, and I’d lived a long life in between my two pregnancies, yet it was the same kind of powerful instinct and feeling and intuition. From the second you become pregnant, you’re responsible for this other person, and I’m so connected to that responsibility."
"I delivered naturally with my son, but I had to have a C-section with my daughter. When you go through the process of getting ready to have the baby, your body is gearing up and you’re so focused on bringing the baby into the world, and you almost feel like delivering naturally is the last effort of earning your part in bringing this beautiful life into the world. So when I heard that I was going to have to have a C-section, I was really taken aback. Trust is a big issue for me, so I had to find the doctor I trusted most, first and foremost. I am a very natural mother, and a natural parent, but this is one of the times when I do trust the medical community. There are so many options and so many ways to bring a baby into the world, but for me the main thing is feeling 100% comfortable—that’s the only thing that makes me feel natural about it. The doctor I ended up choosing to bring Penny into the world is an amazing woman—she was cool, calm, collected and understood every single one of my needs."
"A C-section just seemed like a procedure, which felt so weird to me. Since it’s major surgery, my main concerns were about breastfeeding. But I ask a lot of questions, because I have to make sure I get to the point where I feel comfortable. And sometimes I ask the same questions over and over so the doctors understand the seriousness of it."
"I’m the picture of health, but got gestational diabetes during my pregnancy with my daughter. Stress can cause it, and I had a lot of stress during that time. I worked so hard before giving birth with her—I had to prick my finger five times a day, and follow a diabetic diet. It was horrible, and I had a heightened worry for Penny before she was even born."
"My son actually helped me through my pregnancy the most. Because I was diagnosed as high risk while I was in California, I was told I wasn’t able to fly anymore and couldn’t return to New York. So Sam left his school (and all of his friends), to come be with me and get tutored for the rest of the year. He truly helped me so much with the gestational diabetes. He was amazing. It made me so happy to I was so happy to realize what an amazing man he’ll be when he grows up."
"The C-section was such a weird experience—they set up that big screen, and you’re numb from the waist down, and, even though you’re awake, you feel far away from what’s happening. I will never forget my son’s face as he left the operating room right before I went into surgery to have Penny. He said, “Ok mommy, I love you”, and, as the door was closing, he looked at me every second until it was completely closed. After the birth, my main concern, because of the C-section, was about being able to breastfeed right away. Even before the birth, I asked a lot of questions, because I have to make sure I get to the point where I feel comfortable. Sometimes, I ask the same questions over and over so the doctors understand the seriousness of it. Luckily, I was able to breastfeed right away with no problem. But I was very determined, and told every nurse, every attendant, every single person around me that breastfeeding was the top priority for me, so please make sure that the baby and I stay together and that I get to nurse her right away. They really listened, and Penny never had to leave my side. When you are going through the emotions of pregnancy and then having the baby, you have to make sure that you have the right support around you. It’s such an emotional time, and it’s the most protective feeling anyone can ever experience."
"I follow attachment parenting completely. I plan to nurse Penn as long as she wants. I let my son wean himself, and he nursed for 3 years (but by the third year was only nursing at night). It’s the best thing for me and my kids."
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