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Strong Moms Week Featuring Anna Kerns

Yesterday we had to take a pause in our celebration of strong moms to support one of our own. We are so excited to welcome a new baby to our FMD family and were grateful to stand alongside a strong mom; there really was no better way to celebrate.

We are back today with our Q&A with Anna Kerns.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family. What makes your strong family unique? I'm married to my best friend Matt, and we have two sons, and three doggies. Our youngest Logan is almost 5 months old, and seems to be getting more adventurous, curious, and adorable every day! His older brother Camden would be turning 2 years old this summer, but he passed away a moment after birth at 40 weeks, so he is with our loving Father God. We love our boys so much, and miss Camden every day. Or family is unique because my husband and I have suffered so much heartache through the loss of our child, but we do our best to support one another, choose joy over fear, and trust The Lord through it all.

Tell us about what being a strong mom means to you? When Logan was born, everyone kept telling me how they grow up so fast, and how he was getting bigger every day. I kind of wanted to pause time so I could soak up every bit of each day with him, especially after I had been waiting so long to bring a baby home. "Can he just stay small a little longer?", I thought. But as Logan has been reaching different milestones, and his personality is beginning to shine, I've realized that I can't wait to see what he's like when he's older. The important thing to me is just to enjoy seeing him grow. For me, being a strong mom is about doing my best to love my children well. That will never look perfect, or feel perfect, or be perfect. But it can be marvelous. When I think about the moments where I felt most like a strong mom - they were both messy and marvelous! When have you felt the strongest in motherhood? I felt the strongest in motherhood after giving birth to Logan. Pregnancy after loss is incredibly challenging. It's a mix of excitement and sadness, fullness and emptiness, hope and heartbreak. There was so much anticipation leading up to that moment of Logan's arrival. I knew I would be having a c-section because it was a high-risk pregnancy and I had other health complications, so my doctors and I felt it was the best choice. Preparing for a surgery would make anyone feel uneasy and scared, but for me, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The last time I had a c-section, it was traumatic both physically and emotionally. I successfully gave birth, waited to see and hold my baby Camden, and then found out he died, which was completely unexpected. So when I became pregnant a second time, with baby Logan, I did everything I could to prepare for his arrival - grief counseling, prayer, post-traumatic therapy, and the amazing support of Frederick Moms and Doulas. When the day arrived, and Logan was safely in our arms - I was bursting with joy and relief, and felt like shouting, "I did it!" Giving birth made me feel like I had superhero strength. And it wasn't just the adrenaline and meds - it was truly a great accomplishment! My heart still bursts just thinking of how special Logan's arrival was. And I'm so thankful that Brittany was there to photograph it, in addition to being my doula! Whenever I look through the photographs of Logan's Birth Day, the emotions come flooding back of how incredible it was to give birth, and finally hold my precious boy in my arms, and experience the fullness of motherhood. When have you felt the weakest? Feeling weakness as a mother is something that I'm very familiar with, because I am both a new mother and a grieving mother. I do my best to remember that things come in waves. No matter how rough the seas may get, I know the storm will pass, and the waters will calm again. So what gets me through those hard moments as a mother is hope. And chai tea lattes.

Who is a strong mom in your life and why? I feel very blessed to be surrounded by a bunch of strong moms! These women provided me strength and encouragement through my pregnancies, through grieving, and now through early motherhood. I'm especially thankful for Jenna Shriver, who has walked with me every step of the way of my journey in motherhood. She is such a light, and her heart pours out to encourage and love others. Jenna's two boys are so lucky to have her as their mommy, and I'm super lucky to have her as a best friend. She's helped me with finding strength and peace in the craziness of running a small business and having a newborn. One of the most important things she's taught me is to take time to rest, and just enjoy time with your family - and trust in the Lord that everything else will be accomplished or fall into place. I'm thankful to have an amazing mother and mother-in-law, and so many friends who are strong moms - they have all poured so much into me, and I hope that overflows so I can bless other moms! Wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies!

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