Mama of two and co-host of the Be Love Podcast, Sarah Engelhart, shares about her quest to motherhood, her pregnancy journey, and her first forty days. For the women out there that haven’t given much thought about being a mother, this Q+A is a must-read!
Q: Firstly, can you share with us a little bit about your family? How many members in your tribe? What are their ages and names?
A: My husband, Ryland, and I have two amazing boys. Rumi is five years old, and Phoenix is seven months old.
Q: Did you know you always wanted to be a mother?
A: Interestingly, I didn’t always know I wanted to be a mother. As the oldest of five girls, I was always helping my mother out. However, as a young woman, I never thought much about motherhood. My husband and I were married for almost eight years before we had our first child. We were happy pursuing our interests, traveling worldwide, and spending time with friends and family.
Q: Did you consciously conceive or was it an unexpected blessing?
A: One day, a year before our first child was born, I was struck with this deep inner sense that I wanted to start a family. Suddenly, I was ready — in a very profound way.
It was an incredible feeling. I started saying prayers for the life of our child to be brought to us, and after a few months of trying, I got pregnant. I assumed we would get pregnant on the first try, but it took some time and patience. I was surprised by what a rollercoaster it can be to try and conceive. We got pregnant at the perfect time for both of our kids.
Q: We’d love to learn about your pregnancy. How was your experience carrying? What were some of the exciting moments and some of the challenges?
A: I loved being pregnant, especially when I started feeling my son move inside my body. I would laugh out loud with delight when it first started happening. I had some gut issues arise during pregnancy and had to remove grains and sugar from my diet before the symptoms subsided. I also had some weird hip pain with both pregnancies that I worked on with a chiropractor. It was challenging, but overall I had a very positive experience. I did all the things to prepare for my home birth, and it was truly healing to take care of myself in a new way.
Q: Did you feel any major shifts during this period of your life — whether they were physical, social or spiritual?
A: The most significant shift for me during pregnancy has been learning to listen to and trust my intuition — in a new and refreshing way. Giving birth and taking care of children is such an instinctual process. The more I connect and trust myself, the easier things are.
Q: What supportive practices and tools did you use to nourish yourself and your growing baby during pregnancy?
A: I got acupuncture regularly, did yoga, ate well, and practiced meditation and prayer. I was fortunate to be highly supported by those around me.
Q: Birth is incredibly individual. Each mother’s journey will be unique. However, sharing our stories can provide universal insights for other mothers to be. What is one thing you loved about your experience and one thing you’d do differently?
A: I had a surprisingly blissful experience giving birth the first time (and the second was pretty awesome as well). I loved that I was able to create the birth team and experience that I really wanted. I had water births with both of my kids. The playlist of my favorite sacred music became one of my favorite parts of labor. The music helped open me up to enjoy the process, find trust in a force greater than myself (God), and feel carried by spirit.
One thing I would do differently is learn more about protecting my body from tearing. I learned that I will care the most about whether that happens or not, and it’s my responsibility to try everything I can to have the birth I want.
Q: Over the first 40 days of your little one being earthside, how did you feel? Did you have a supportive network around you or did you remain fairly private?
A: One of the best experiences of my life happened after giving birth for the first time. I was on an oxytocin high for weeks following the birth, and although there were challenging moments, I was really supported.
Having a postpartum doula (Morgan Lynn, founder of Cottage Inside) was THE BEST investment I have ever made. I would highly recommend it to every new mother!
I now try to make it a point to bring the things I experienced and learned with my postpartum doula to other new moms I am surrounded by. They are so deeply healing and helpful in starting motherhood off in a good way. There are ways of caring for mothers that have been somewhat lost in our modern culture, and it’s time for their revival!
Q: Since becoming a mother how has your self-care changed?
A: Self-care for me has had to become more intentional due to less free time now that I am a mother of two little ones. Self-care for me now is in the rhythms I set up for myself on a daily basis. I try to wake early before everyone else (which I tend to do naturally now) and take time to stretch, meditate, or have a cup of tea. I try to make it to bed by 10 pm every night. Eating a protein-rich breakfast while keeping the sugar and carbs to the afternoons has helped balance my blood sugar and gives me greater resilience throughout the day.
Q: What are some of the resources — be they books, nutrition, practitioners or rituals that you’d recommend to other expecting moms or mothers in the parenting years.
A: The book, The First Forty Days by Heng Ou is a game changer. I have also gotten so much out of limiting (or entirely removing) refined sugars and flours during pregnancy and nursing. It’s incredible how much more sustained my energy is if I’m not spiking my blood sugar all day — it also helps my mood. I also loved using Every Mother during pregnancy to help strengthen my pelvic floor.
Q: What rituals or routines do you implement to foster a deeper connection with your little ones? If you are a mom of multiples, do you set time aside to be with each of them individually?
A: Before each meal, we always try to sing a song, give thanks, or share what we are grateful for. It feels so grounding and connecting.
Q: Motherhood often means finding peace within the chaos. We are big believers in managing our mood in order to show up consistently as the mother we know we are and want to be. What are your favorite products from THE FULLEST Shop that support your mood and help you stay centered?
A: I love the Warm Feelings® saffron latte for both myself and my new mom friends. It’s nourishing, comforting, and gives me an instant mood boost!
Sarah Engelhart is a wife, mother of two, and co-host of the Be Love Podcast with her husband, Ryland Engelhart. She is also a singer/songwriter living on Sow a Heart Farm, a regenerative farm in Southern California. She is currently embarking on a new family endeavor to build a community around regenerative agriculture and local food systems in beautiful Hill Country, Texas, at Sovereignty Ranch (currently accepting investors).