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Exploring the Journey to Motherhood with Amanda Nelson

From starting a business to starting a family, Austin influencer Amanda Nelson brings mindfulness to every endeavor

Amanda Nelson shares her journey to motherhood (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)
Amanda Nelson shares her journey to motherhood (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)

Infertility has been on the rise in recent decades, now with approximately one in six people of reproductive age experiencing infertility worldwide. We all know someone affected, but talking about it can still be taboo, a shame for those who might feel alone in their struggle. However, that’s changing, in part due to celebrities and influencers sharing their experiences publicly. 

One local influencer doing just that is Amanda Nelson. Her journey, along with countless others, took a turn during the COVID pandemic. She had been working as an event producer, but was furloughed when large events were paused indefinitely. Knowing she wanted to own her own company, she decided to use that time to slow down and consider what she wanted her own entrepreneurial venture to be. 

Before being widely known on social media as “Exploring Amanda,” Amanda and her husband spent the entire month of April 2020 on South Padre Island. This is when she started feeling called to share her life unapologetically online — she now has over half a million followers on TikTok. After allowing herself space to clear her head and contemplate her values, she came away with the idea for her wellness company, 60 Days Away, which provides tools like guided journals and mindfulness cards to help people on their journey towards the best versions of themselves. 

Soon after, she and her husband of more than a decade decided they were both ready to start a family. They had gone back and forth over the years on whether or not kids were in their future, and this time, it was Amanda’s husband leading the charge on making it happen. 

“It took many conversations before we were both in agreement,” says Amanda. “I was a little bit more hesitant because I wanted to make sure that I still had the integrity of who I was. I really value independence in everything that I do, and so my fear was becoming one of those moms who loses themselves when their kids move out because that’s all they’ve ever known.”

Amanda Nelson shares her journey to motherhood (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)
Amanda Nelson shares her journey to motherhood (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)

From the start, Amanda was clear about what she needed to maintain her sense of self. When they were both on the same page, they were excited to start trying to conceive. Six months went by, and nothing happened, so they started getting more serious about tracking ovulation. Another year went by with no positive results, so the couple went to a fertility specialist, who deemed them to be in the “infertile category.” 

The specialist left them with little hope outside of in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination, so Amanda, then 32, decided to take things into her own hands. 

“We realized we needed to crack down on making some lifestyle changes,” she explains. “We went really hard on figuring out what we could do on our own to take back a little bit of power and try to be in control of something that we really aren’t in control of.”

Over the next three months, Amanda and her husband examined everything they put in and on their bodies, removing any toxic culprits. They installed a reverse osmosis water filtration system, removed all plastic and Teflon in the kitchen, and prioritized protein in their diets. They also cut out processed food and minimized alcohol. 

At this time, she had only shared their troubles with a few close friends. “Infertility is such an emotional thing to go through,” says Amanda. It’s very lonely.” 

However, they stuck to the new habits and tried to stay optimistic, and two weeks before their scheduled IUI, Amanda got pregnant without medical intervention, which she doesn’t think would have been possible without the lifestyle changes she and her husband implemented. The news of their healthy baby boy in utero felt like a lost dream come true.  

Amanda Nelson awaiting the birth of her first son (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)
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Amanda Nelson awaiting the birth of her first son (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)

Amanda Nelson (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)
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Amanda Nelson in her son’s nursery (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)

Amanda Nelson (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)
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Amanda Nelson (photo by Brittany Dawn Short)

Since getting pregnant, she has opened up on social media about the difficulties she has faced. At the end of her first trimester, she was diagnosed with an extreme case of symphysis pubis dysfunction, a painful condition that has made the rest of her pregnancy difficult, especially when it comes to staying active. The pain has been so debilitating that they’ve already decided that if they have more children, it will be through surrogacy or adoption. 

Amanda gave birth to August Fox Nelson in early May. “It was all worth it,” says Amanda. “Words can’t describe how happy I am to have gone through all the hard times that got me here, with my baby in my arms and my heart so, so full. I didn’t know how much being his mom would mean to me.”

Amanda and baby August (photo courtesy of Amanda Nelson)
Amanda and baby August (photo courtesy of Amanda Nelson)

Amanda and her husband are looking forward to living life and traveling with August, all while setting a good example for a healthy marriage. Her story of getting pregnant after being placed in the infertile category and then the subsequent struggles she dealt with during pregnancy have resonated with many women dealing with similar issues. 

When it comes to conception, pregnancy, and motherhood, everyone’s experiences are different. Oftentimes, social media fails to  effectively portray the full spectrum of what these experiences can entail. Amanda hopes that by sharing the raw highs and lows of her own experience, others might feel less alone in their own journeys to motherhood.