The self-proclaimed "original letterboard mom," Maya Vorderstrasse was tired of seeing the Pinterest-perfect depiction of pregnancy and motherhood all over social media, so when she was pregnant, she decided to show what it was really like.
Now a mom to twin girls and a younger son, Maya and her husband still pick up the letterboard to share everything about their life on social, but they're always honest about what's really going on in their house.
Flying Through The First Trimester
If you're lucky, that first trimester will fly by in a haze of morning sickness, excitement over your growing baby bump, and the struggle to keep it a secret until you can tell everyone that you're expecting.
19 Weeks Can Be A Little Painful
Throughout her three pregnancies, Maya shared milestone photos at various stages, highlighting not only the babies progress, but also how her own health was going—which wasn't always rainbows and sunshine.
23 Weeks & No Butts About It
There's a lot of things that they don't tell you about pregnancy, but one thing you know is that your body is going to change. How it changes is different for everyone, like for Maya who slowly lost her butt over the course of three pregnancies.
27 Weeks, And 27 Daily Bathroom Breaks
Despite the inability to go more than a couple of hours without having to go to the bathroom, and despite having back pain from carrying a human being inside of you, it'll all be worth it when the little one arrives.
29 Weeks Of Pregnancy Cravings
Pregnancy cravings are no joke and should always be taken seriously, regardless of how weird they are or the fact that you're forcing your husband to find you donuts at midnight in a blizzard.
I Can't Feel My Feet At 31 Weeks
Who needs to see their feet, anyway? You know that they're still there, and at 31 weeks pregnant, you're hopefully not spending too much time standing up anyway. Sit back and relax while you still can!
33 Weeks & 33 Sleeves Of Oreos
If your wife is pregnant, you should know that she gets first dibs on pretty much any food you bring into the house, and if you finish something, you have to be ready to replace it.
35 Weeks, Reality Is Setting In
While Maya is not the first mom-to-be to use a letter board as a pregnancy announcement, nor will she be the last, she made sure to keep them as realistic as possible.
Say Goodbye To Pants At 37 Weeks
You've been carrying a human being around in your body, growing a literal person, for 37 weeks of your life; if you don't feel like wearing pants, you shouldn't have to.
38 Weeks, The Energy Is Gone
Women often report feeling refreshed and reenergized once the first trimester is over, but by the time that you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, that baby is going to be sucking up all your energy again.
Lessons Learned At 39 Weeks
It's been ingrained in just about everyone from the time they're children that you should never refer to a pregnant woman as hormonal or irrational, but he made the mistake anyway. He definitely won't make it again.
Questions Looming At 40 Weeks
Some women like to read up on everything there is to know about giving birth, whereas others like to leave a little to the imagination. Stay far away from any birthing videos if you don't want to have your world shattered.
For weeks, you read those pregnancy books and checked your app that tells you your baby is the size of a walnut, the size of a peach, the size of a watermelon, but she doesn't look anything like a fruit.
Making The Jump From One To Two
Just as you were getting the hang of one baby in the household, adding a second one means a whole new life to experience on top of all the new experiences and stages you're going through with your firstborn.
And Continuing The Chaos With Three
Despite the chaos that came into the house when they added their second daughter within nine months of their first being born, Maya and her husband decided to add one more to the family to round out the household.
The Beauty Of Breastfeeding
You tell yourself as you're doing it that breastfeeding is the best way to go, it's going to be great for your child, you're bonding with your baby, yadda yadda yadda, but all you're really thinking about is how uncomfortable you are.
When it comes to being a mom with two children under the age of two, just about anything you want could be deemed as an "essential." As long as everyone is making it through the day, everything is fair game.
Showering Suddenly Becomes Stressful
Say goodbye to those long, relaxing showers you used to take before you had children. Now, it's about washing the buildup of dry shampoo and baby puke out of your hair as quickly as possible while listening for screams.
Oh, How Things Change
There are going to be a lot of things that you tell yourself you're never going to do as a parent before you have children, but after your kids are born, you'll learn that you shouldn't ever speak in absolutes.
The Realities Of A Toddler
How do toddlers manage to make literally everything sticky, even when you know for a fact that they haven't touched any honey or glue at any point in their life?
It Doesn't Matter That It Doesn't Make Sense
You know that it's physically impossible for your husband to breastfeed, and that's not his fault, but that doesn't stop you from being annoyed at 3 a.m. while he's sound asleep in the next room.
The Co-Sleeping Saga
This is what happens what you speak in absolutes as a parent before you're faced with the actual situation. It's a lot easier to just keep the baby with you so everyone can get maximum sleeping time.
Just Give Into It The Third Time Around
"I promised myself after baby #1. I promised myself after #2. 'This time baby will sleep in his crib, and I am NOT CHANGING MY MIND.' Well... here we are again"
Well, That Backfired
You finally gave in and decided to just accept the fate of the situation, thinking that acceptance would mean there would be no more problems. Unfortunately, you thought wrong. Every part of parenting comes with its own challenges.
They Don't Really Need To Remember Their First Word
You meticulously documented every first noise, cry, word, outfit, and pretty much every other moment of your firstborn child's life, but you probably didn't even get around to buying a baby book for the second-born yet.
It's One Way Or The Other
When it comes to parenting, you quickly have to learn to prioritize. If you want the house to be clean, you have to use the kids' naptime to tidy up and skip your own shower, or vice versa
Potty Training Is No Joke
How do kids always manage to need to go to the bathroom at the worst possible time? It's always right as you're beginning to do something else, and it's never an easy process.
Addressing The Haters
"A fellow mother said to me: 'The fact that you have time to stage pictures, tells me that you have no idea what a tired mother really is. I have 8 kids, you have 2, get over it.' Why is her tiredness real and mine isn't?"
Quarantine Reality Check
While in quarantine, Maya's husband got a taste for just what Maya goes through in a day, trying to wrangle their three children, and he now has a new appreciation for what she accomplishes!
It's Not All Perfect
While her Instagram may present the perfect family that other moms can only dream of being, the point of Maya's honest posts is to remind every mom that they're doing their best, and that's all that matters.