How I survived the first year of motherhood.

The last year, was tough.


Becoming a mother

Navigating being a mom

Running a business

Being in partnership

A global pandemic

Healing trauma

It’s been such a profound and gut wrenching experience full of blissful moments, endless grieving, constant questioning and deep humility.

Fact is, I NEVER wanted to be a parent.

In complete honesty, I pitied parents and the nagging role it takes on to have this tiny human always needing your attention.

I wanted nothing to do with it.

And then…

I got pregnant.

But before we go into this journey of the first year of motherhood, it’s important we preface with a bit more history to give you the full context of the unraveling that’s followed

(don’t worry, there is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel, i promise, if you stick with me, we’ll get to it.)

I found out I was pregnant for the first time when I was 14 years old. Being 26 today as I write this, is TERRIFYING to reflect back and imagine that….

It’s funny how age gives you perspective.

3 weeks before I celebrated my 15th birthday, I had an abortion.

I’m holding my younger self so close in this moment for never really having the space to properly grieve or heal through that process.

At first, it felt like relief.

Until the nagging guilt, shame, and culture of swipe it under the rug, pretend it didn’t happen, don’t let anyone know kicked in.

I was 15 years old, navigating such a deep grief, loss, confusion and I didn’t have a safe space to process it, I was meant to just forget it.

A few weeks after, I was immediately put on birth control.

I don’t blame my parents, I have more compassion today being a parent for them not knowing any better and recognizing how much of their wounding and cultural conditioning was passed onto me

I was playing out their unresolved trauma

But i didn’t know that then.

In hindsight, it’s likely a huge contributing factor to what later led to living a bit of a double life.

Each year, going to a new school, doing what I needed to do to get by, graduate, excel

And behind closed doors getting black out drunk, smoking weed, trying to cope with the array of insecurities I was feeling.

Around 20,  I found my way into cocaine and began to party hard.

Until discovering LSD and other psychedelics which quickly made me want to stop using cocaine and quit drinking all together.

The pain and darkness I experienced on a few bad trips was enough to make my entire body almost allergic to the smell of alcohol and never want to touch cocaine even to this day.

It’s like my nervous system has such a deep association to anxiety ridden fear and pain with either of those substances, the numbing feeling they ensued was like death to my soul, so it was easy to just stop it all together and let it go

I went deep into the world of psychedelics, consciousness, festivals and community, it was the first time and the first place I truly felt free, like i belonged, like all of me was welcome there.

I truly felt like psychedelics had saved and transformed my life

Instead of numbing me, it brought me to life, made me feel, see, hear, in ways i never had before. The intensity, beauty, and nuance of it all was in a way addicting.

From there, It was like it only always got better, I fell in love with who I was in those moments, feeling invincible, unstoppable, sooo deeply connected to some other higher power, on top of the world, always trying to grasp onto it for just a little bit longer.

When I wasn’t at festivals, planning for a festival, or recovering from a festival I spent my time immersed in the personal development world, studying psychology at university and spending all my money to go to the next seminar or training on human optimization and healing.

Externally, I was thriving.

It felt like complete freedom, building businesses, traveling the world, going from festival to festival, connecting with amazing humans, being intimate with beautiful men.

Why would I ever want to give that up?

That freedom, that depth, that community.

I lived and loved so hard for the next 3 years, going to every event I could get a ticket for, taking every trip I possibly could, flying to Costa Rica with a man I was dating, meeting and having incredible intimate nights with other men in Cancun, discovering consciousness, meditation, and deepening into myself

Reaching all time highs in business, working with people I had no idea where such sought after leaders, being put in incredible positions of influence, of power, having so many people looking up to me, connected to so many other big names, being responsible for so many other small businesses and the livelihoods of all of the clients.

It felt like it was the peak of my career and my life, ringing in 24 years old feeling like THIS was it.

What I didn’t recognize until much later down the road was how much I was coping than actually truly healing.

So at 24, when I found out I was pregnant again, I felt incredibly torn.

But the pain, hurt, and wounding from the previous pregnancy that turned into an abortion haunted me, I didn’t know if I could handle that level of grief again.

So my partner and I decided to go through with the pregnancy, naive enough to believe it was going to be easy.

Pregnancy is different for everyone.

For me, it was absolute HELL.

I hated every fucking minute of it.

Aside from perhaps a few moments of awe that were quickly disrupted by the frustration of my body not being my own.

I had to share my body with this creature that was literally living inside of me, sharing my life force energy to give this little being life.

I counted down the days with eagerness to get my body back, get my life back, get back to business as usual.

I was never really fully connected to the pregnancy, it felt more like a job I was doing than this miracle i was being.

And when Cassius was born, it broke me.

NOTHING went the way I so perfectly planned all the months in my mind about this beautiful birthing experience in an all natural approach

It was quite the opposite requiring an emergency C-section after 26 hours of grueling labor all alone aside from my partner, not able to have family or community there to support me as we were amidst the peak of the pandemic

I felt so alone.

I remember vividly shaking on the table uncontrollably as they numbed me and cut me open to bring him out.

He didn’t cry.

He was calm, quiet and there.

I fell asleep shortly after.

Recovery was hard.

I was terrified of this tiny little human to stop breathing.

Yet completely helpless as I couldn’t even sit up with out excruciating pain from my c-section.

Part of me perhaps resented him, yet simultaneously felt such guilt and shame for even the thought of how I could be so selfish.

But I was.

I was angry. Hurt. grieving.

For those that read the full blog of my birth story, (you can click here to catch up if you haven’t yet) you’ll know the same night Cash was born, my dog (my first fur child) was put down by his new owners.

Trying to keep it all together and pretend like everything was fine.

Breastfeeding was also hard.

I did not enjoy it.

It only took 3 short months before I said no more and quickly reverted to using a bottle and formula.

I was soooooo far off from being this idea of the mom I was supposed to be, that society, culture, media told me silently that I needed to be.

And I just wasn’t. 

Nor did I want to be.

We were months into lockdown still in complete Isolation, the only people we saw was my mom and my aunt.

Occasionally we’d have some help from a nanny but mostly, it was just the three of us, Cash, his dad and I, struggling to put the pieces back together from the life that we knew before that had just been completely shattered.

Each of us trying to find our way in the world, trying to figure out where we fit in relationship, in business, in work, in parenting, in community, in the world.

The postpartum depression kicked in.

I didn’t understand how I could go from feeling so on top of the world, so indestructible, so alive, so free to feeling so stuck, miserable, alone and isolated. It was like I had been completely cut off from the rest of the world, like I didn’t fit in or belong anywhere. I didn’t know who I was.

I didn’t recognize my own body for all the weight I had gained that just wouldn’t come off.

I wanted nothing more than to just get out of it all and go back to my life before.

There were plenty of days and moments when I didn’t know if I could get out of bed, but I had to, because this tiny human needed me to.

I read a post recently, from a past client and dear friend, sharing how she once wished for more adversity in her life, saying how much she admired women like myself who went through such hell and came out of it so gracefully.

I laugh at that now

Because I cannot even begin to express how many hours, days and months I laid there in utter hopelessness just wishing it would all end.

I did not feel graceful. I did not feel admirable. I did not feel worthy.

Wishing I had never become a parent

Contemplating the alluring idea of adoption

Of somehow reclaiming that freedom I had lost.

There was no grace in that.

It was absolute chaos

A complete mess

Constantly battling with myself trying to find a way to get out of all of it

Now I look at moms and parents with complete awe, dumbstruck as to how in the fudge they did it all and made it looks so damn effortless.

For a while, I secretly resented them.

Wondering what was wrong with me

Was I just crazy?

Maybe I wasn’t meant for this.

I mean, I love my son, don’t get me wrong. I’d never do anything to hurt him or jeopardize his health or safety. I just seriously HATED being a mom.

It took me about 8-9 months to finally start to really see the light, as far off as it was, i was starting to get glimmers of hope again

That perhaps this wasn’t going to be this bad forever.

That maybe, just maybe i could do this and perhaps it could even be… dara I say…. fun.

I will also note that I was doing a lot of deep trauma healing work with trained somatic experts and licensed practitioners, and as anyone who has been TRAINED to work with trauma knows… it often gets a lot darker before it gets better.

Well, that was probably one of the darkest fucking years of my life.

But something happened, something shifted when Cash turned 1.

I’m not sure if it was just a slow build or an all at once realization but what I do know is that I’ve felt this shift inside of me, this felt sense experience of competence and knowingness that I’m going to be okay, that I’ve got this be re-inspired and reignited from within.

Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s starting to walk, able to express himself ask for what he wants or needs

Or maybe it’s that i’m able to feel more free to take him out and do more things in the world

Or perhaps it’s all of the deep healing work I’ve been consistently doing that’s finally brought me back to a space of regulation

Or maybe… it’s that I’m at that final stage of grieving, where I’m learning to embrace acceptance and adaptation again…

I don’t doubt there won’t be more moments of sadness and self doubt

But I feel a deep sense of peace, hope and relief that I am so much more than what I ever was before.

Motherhood broke me, it cracked me open to such deep humility that brought me to my knees, rekindling my relationship to God, to faith, to something so much more miraculous in the universe.

It’s forced me to look at the ugliest parts of myself, the most selfish, angry, wounded, and torn pieces and face them head on

To meet myself and the world with more grace and compassion

God I wish I would have read more stories like this when I was going through hell, I WISH I would have had more people in my life expressing to me the reality of how fucking hard this parenting thing can be

How much of an ego death you REALLY go through, and not the cute sage and palo santo with crystals up your vag type of ego death

But the kind that sucks you up and swallows you whole, tearing apart everything you’ve ever thought, known or believed then spits you out feeling so vulnerable, naked and fragile for the world to see.

I wish, i really do wish there was more literature on THIS part

Because I needed it.

And THAT, that is why as vulnerable and terrifying as it is to write this all out now, to consider the idea of publishing this on the internet for the world to see, the thought of how many keyboard warriors will be behind their screens judging me, questioning my integrity-

As terrifying and frustrating as those thoughts may be-

The thought and knowing that  someone out there, amongst all the women in the world preparing to become mothers, to journey through the abyss who perhaps resonate with any of these feelings of despair, isolation or complete hopelessness

That they can find solace in this

That they can read this story, this memoir and come to closure to know that at some point it does end,

That there IS light on the other end of the tunnel

It might be the longest fucking tunnel you ever go through…. But there is an end.

It does get better

I have learned that I just have to relearn how to live again.

That i can in fact, have all the freedom, depth, community, connection and strength that I had before.

It just looks different.

A lot different.

But it gives me such peace, such relief as I continue to redefine myself and my life INTEGRATING in the role of mother.

I had to let go, I had to let die all the beliefs and ideas of who I was supposed to be, how things needed to be, or what no longer is that i kept so desperately clinging to wishing it all back 

I had to.

And when I did,

And as I do,

I make so much more space

For me to step into the role of who I am becoming, un phased, untainted by the dogmas of the world around me.

I get to create my own little universe with this little human I am so blessed today to call my son.

I am so grateful for his temper, patience and presence with me reminding me of what truly matters in the world.

This journey, this year, as dark and hard and hopeless as it’s felt at times, has also been my deepest healing, my most profound experience

And for that, I say thank you.

I cannot wait to see who I become, the woman I continue to grow into, the mother I will be.

I cannot wait to see how I will get to show up in business, for my clients, for my community after having undergone such a deeply transformational experience.

I AM NOT the woman I was before.


I took nearly 7 months off of marketing or selling completely, popping onto social media in moments when i felt inspired and ready but truly focused on giving myself as much space as possible to NOT identify with that part of my life

So I could have the space to know myself OUTSIDE of my business, OUTSIDE of my relationship, OUTSIDE of fitness, OUTSIDE of festivals, community, psychedelics or any of the other pieces that for so long were WHO I WAS.

I sat with myself in such deep isolation and slowly started rebuilding myself from the ground up, one day at a time. Redefining myself, redefining success, redefining wealth, redefining motherhood, redefining womanhood, redefining.

I am soooooo far from perfect, and you will NEVER hear me claim to be.

I am the most chaotically beautiful human who is in her healing, AND I’ve learned….

That i get to embrace this mess along the way.

I get to dance, celebrate, and be in presence with the land around me with both humility, feeling humble, compassionate and embracing the aspects of myself that are inherently selfish and self centered.

I love those parts of me, they are what’s gotten me through, they are here now, but the me that I center around is greater than just this one moment, this one body-

The self i center around, the self I now find myself identifying with is far greater than just me.

It’s myself, my son, our legacy.

I’m alive.

And I’m so fucking ready to get back to truly living.

Watch me.

Leave a Comment

Table of Contents

I'm Sophie Kessner

First generation Mexican American mama that’s gone from hood to strategic hustle. I’ve spent the last 10+ years inside the personal development space supporting 100’s of coaches in scaling 6 figure businesses online & supported 4 different companies in surpassing the 7 figure mark. Today, I focus on making scaling more sustainable by integrating the lenses of business, systems, automation and CEO Development through an Equity centered and Trauma informed lens.

Ready To Automate Your Online Business?

Learn more about our signature course, Online Business Automator, to start streamlining your business backend and scaling through SEO Marketing today.

Binge Our New Podcast!
Things I Love

Tired of paying for a million different subscriptions? I got you covered! Check the link sis.

Ready to get serious about becoming trauma informed in your business? Get started here!

It’s time to stop relying on sticky notes for project management- Join the ClickUP Gang!

More About Soph

Sophie is the founder of The Sacred CEO™ Agency and has been in the service based coaching industry since 2015. She’s created and scaled 4 different multi 6 figure coaching programs including their latest course, The Online Business Automator.

Soph has also founded her SaaS business called ScaleUP where she work with her clients and building custom backend systems and a high quality template shop with Brand and Web Design expert, Mel Judson.

You can find Soph snuggling up with her son on the couch, spending weekends at Trauma retreats or dancing her heart out at the next EDM Festival.

Stop Relying on Social Media to Grow Your Business!


Ready To Be Business Besties?
Join My Mailing List For The Most Exclusive Content Straight To Your Inbox :)

LIVE 2-hour free Online workshop

Stop relying on social media to grow your online business


April 11th, 2023 FROM 1 pM - 3PM PST