Pregnancy is an exciting time! But in the throes of morning sickness, insatiable hunger and feeling like a beluga whale, all of those “Yay! Pregnancy is so great!” posts on social media can be more than a little annoying.
Meet Maya Vorderstrasse, Instagram celebrity, Brazilian mom of Irish twins and optimistic realist of all things motherhood.
After a series of gorgeous but otherwise typical pregnancy update photos while she was carrying her first daughter, Maya decided to do something a little more creative to record the progress of her second child.
In an interview with HuffingtonPost, Maya explained that she wanted to depict motherhood in a more relatable, realistic way since her first pregnancy wasn’t nearly the dreamlike fairytale social media normally depicts.
Armed with only a camera, a letterboard and a good sense of humor, Maya put together a viral Instagram series so relatable that it’s garnered more than 51,449 likes — and that’s just counting the data on Instagram alone.
“[Finding humor in the struggles] is completely intentional,” she says. “I hate complaining, but being pregnant or having to deal with Irish twins is not easy at all!”
Especially during the early days, it takes practice and self-control to focus on the joy amid the chaos. “I [push] myself to be happy most of the time and [be] thankful for my children, who are a blessing in my life!” Surely having a celebrity Instagram account with 68,000 followers encourages her to keep the level head and light heart that her audience loves.
Now that the pregnancy is over, Maya is taking the same humorous approach to parenting Irish twins. She continues to use the letterboard to document postpartum as a mom of two — a continuing series which starts here — and she offers new moms some advice to help them keep the same big-picture attitude during a trying time.
“Be patient, and try to find something — even one single thing in your day — to make you laugh,” she says. “Even though this is such a rough phase, looking at two screaming kids and smiling at the thought of them growing up together will calm your heart, I promise!”
As a devout Christian and daughter-in-law of a preacher, she credits most of her patience and perseverance to her faith.
“If it wasn’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t have my family. When I look at them, I see God’s grace and love for me and my husband. I also run to Jesus every time I need relief. Even if all I say is the word ‘Jesus’ repeatedly for 10 min, that’s all I need to find strength and go back to what I have to do.”
That abiding joy allows Maya to enjoy such precious moments and two little hearts while they’re still around and eager for cuddles. “I sincerely laugh when [both girls are] crying at the same time. They both want me, need me and love me, how can I not smile at that?”
Maya’s husband, Tim, wasn’t available to chat so she spoke up on his behalf with some advice for dads with pregnant wives: “He would probably say: Be very patient, try to see things through your spouse’s perspective, keep her well fed and go to sleep when the kids go to sleep!” It looks like he may have learned that the hard way.
Every mom has dealt with the not-so-glamorous parts of pregnancy, from the exhaustion to the swollen ankles, and know that real-life pregnancy doesn’t always feel as romantic as photoshoots make it out to be. I found Maya’s pregnancy series to be a wonderful illustration of what it looks like to respond honestly yet joyfully to the discomfort and challenges.
— Forest Hempen
Marketing and Communications Associate