Love is a beautiful thing. It’s amazing to find the person who is always there for you, helps you grow and become better, loves you with all your flaws and imperfections. However, many people say that you only feel true love when you have a baby. That only then will you realize how much love you are capable of feeling.

That’s why it’s so amazing to see the journey and experiences of illustrator Amanda Oleander. She became pregnant in 2020 and she and her husband could not have been happier! Amanda decided that she would illustrate her experiences and still continues today after her beautiful baby boy was born. Amanda has been featured on Bored Panda before: click here, here, and here to see her previous articles.

More info: Instagram | amandaoleander.com | twitter.com | Facebook

Pregnancy Reveal

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“I’m pregnant! Ahhh, there’s so much to say I don’t know where to begin. Joey and I are so excited to be welcoming a little baby into our lives”

We Love You So Much Already

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“It’s still surreal to me that there is another human growing inside of me. Another heartbeat, a little human sucking its thumb and moving around in my belly. My stomach just looks like it usually does when I eat a big meal and I still don’t feel anything going on in there. I’m so excited to feel the baby moving inside one day and to see my body grow with the baby. I feel like it’s all happening so fast but I’m really soaking in every stage. This illustration is inspired by Joey checking in on the baby and talking to it.”

Shower Nausea

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“This is inspired by throwing up in the shower last month. I threw up all of the popcorn I ate. I would always feel nauseous after the shower and especially during/after brushing my teeth. They say it’s morning sickness but for me, it was an all-day thing. Now that I just entered the second trimester I have been feeling SO much better like many said I would (I still throw up sometimes but not as bad). Eating saltines as soon as I woke up in bed helped me along with just making sure I was snacking every couple of hours. Oh, and if I was feeling nauseous, smelling and tasting a lemon slice helped.”

Thankful For This Life

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“This was us this morning. It was the best. So thankful for this life, for this love, and for our son.”

Pregnancy Poop

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“I just had my first experience with pregnancy constipation and let me just say I was not worried about giving birth and the pain that comes along with it, maybe because I never had anything to relate it to, but wow, no one really talks about this part of pregnancy. Thankfully I was at home. I called my mom and she brought me a cup of water with soluble fiber. Then Joey kept checking up on me, bringing me more water whenever I needed it.”

Maternity Sleep

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“Now that I passed the 20 weeks mark I’m not supposed to sleep on my back. Sleeping on my left side is best for the baby so every night I sleep with this gigantic maternity pillow plus another pillow behind my back. I always say I miss you to Joey before bed now because I feel so far away from him now in comparison to how we used to sleep intertwined. Last night we fell asleep just like this. Joey had his hand on my belly and felt the baby kick the hardest he has felt him so far. We both laughed, got really excited, and fell asleep so happy.”

Pregnant Together

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“This is inspired by Joey pushing his belly out to mimic mine when we brush our teeth together.”

Do you feel it?

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“This is inspired by the other night when Joey and I held each other and said what we say at least once a day to each other ‘Do you feel it? Do you feel how much I love you?!'”

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“I’ve been thinking a lot about the cycle of life, about souls and the after-life/before-life journey. There is an idea @amandakloots shared I wanted to pass along because it really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here but it goes like this: ‘When a baby is in the mother’s womb, the world the baby knows is what they see and feel and touch and hear, but a couple of inches separate the baby from the world, from the sights, the sounds, the feels, the touches, the people that love them. Just a few inches, but to the baby, they don’t know that it could be an infinite amount of space. What if the people that we’ve lost are as far away to us as a baby in a womb, maybe they are actually so close to us and we just don’t know because we can’t see, because we are in the womb and we won’t know until we die how actually they’ve been so close to us this whole time. Loving and caring for us.'”

I Felt A Kick

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“It’s always so exciting when @joeyrudman gets to feel a movement. This is inspired by our nightly routine of feeling him move and talking to him. I have about 3 weeks left of this magical second trimester before I start my third. Where is the time going?!”

Back Relief

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“About a month ago I started to get back pain. Leaning over in the shower with the water hitting my back was a nice temporary relief. Shortly about a week after the pain started I started walking/hiking every single day. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’ve been trying to incorporate daily walks for years, but something always comes up that throws me off track, to put it in better terms – I used to let something come up to throw me off track. I was ‘too tired’ or ‘the weather wasn’t ideal’ or ‘I got too busy.’ Now for a month straight I have been walking/hiking a couple of miles a day. No days off. In just two weeks of consistently doing it, I realized my back pain completely disappeared. I had a weak back that couldn’t take on this new growing baby. Now I’m feeling better than ever, I have more energy than I did before I was pregnant. Instead of fitting the daily hikes/walks into my day, now my days revolve around them and it has made a world of a difference. I usually get on a call with my little brother and we go on walks ‘together.’ Or I catch up on the current audiobook I’m listening to. I wanted to share this because I tried creams, back stretches, massages, etc. But nothing worked as magical as just taking a long walk/hike every day. I aim for 10,000 steps a day/ about 3.5 miles.”

Bump Love

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“I’m really enjoying the pregnancy journey and having it alongside Joey has been so much fun.”

Belly Cuddle

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“This drawing is inspired by two nights ago when Joey fell asleep cuddled up to me and my belly while I was reading before bed.”

Pregnancy bliss

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“Second trimester vs. the first trimester.
I know every journey is different but for me, they were night and day of a difference. The second has been soooo amazing!!! I can’t believe I only have one week left of it. I will be entering the third in a week. Then this whole journey is supposed to take a turn. Let’s see what happens! All I know is that I’m looking forward to it all, the hard, the fun, the magical, and the beautiful times ahead.”

I’m Here

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“It has been so fun being able to share the baby’s movements with Joey and watching him experience them too.”

Late Night Food

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“Sometimes it feels like I’m growing a teenager and not a baby with the number of times I need snacks throughout the day. Sometimes 10 pm comes around and my stomach starts grumbling. Bananas and nuts have been an easy, quick go-to for those late-night hunger pangs.”

Baby Songs

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“The baby starts kicking every time @joeyrudman plays a song for him on the guitar. It’s so sweet to feel him moving every time he hears live music.”

Magical Body

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“One thing my pregnancy journey has instilled in me is how magical our bodies are. I am filled with gratitude for this body and what it is capable of creating and how it can accommodate two souls and humans at the very same time. How it stretches and evolves. It has inspired me to take care of it more than I have ever taken care of it before. I’ve mentioned before, I’ve felt in the past that my mind and body and soul were all working separately at times. During pregnancy, I feel them all very aligned working in unison to give our baby the healthiest and happiest environment to grow in. This is something I hope to continue to always be very conscious of and strive for.”

Nesting

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“I’ve been a little quiet on here because I have been hardcore nesting. This baby will be here SO soon! Tomorrow I’ll be #30weeks. We have been organizing our home and getting projects done we’ve been meaning to for a while. All I want to do is organize and clean and it feels so good. This pregnancy also inspired a baby book that has been working on this past week. I hope to finish illustrating it as soon as possible.”

Growing

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Morning Kickstart

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“He has been moving like a wild man lately. It’s my new way of waking up in the morning.”

Actions Speak the Loudest

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“It’s not the daily fruit salads you make fresh for me every morning but the way you make them. The excitement you get from seeing me happy and enjoying them. Each and every bowl is made with so much love and that’s what makes them the best. It’s the time you take to cut each grape open to take the seeds out.

It’s how you sleepily ask with love and concern if I’m okay every time I wake up in the middle of the night to pee. It’s the way you hold me and kiss me and let me know how much you love me consistently every day even though your actions tell me louder than words ever will. It’s the goofiness you sprinkle onto random moments and the light you bring with you into every room. It’s the way you make any mundane moment fun. The way you cherish family, honor your creativity, play with your inner child, make up silly songs and dances, it’s your moral compass. That’s what I can’t wait for our child to experience, this baby gets to have you as a dad and I can’t wait to see him bloom because of who you are.”

Babymoon

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“Joey and I planned this pregnancy before the pandemic happened. We have been extra safe and didn’t have a baby shower or go on a babymoon. Now that the due date is approaching I’m really craving a vacation before our life drastically changes. Thankfully the beach is just a short drive from our home so we will be soaking up the sun and the time we have left of just the two of us.”

Packing

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“Joey and I finally finished packing our hospital bags for the big day. It’s such a relief to know when that day comes we are as prepared as can be. One item that gives us the biggest peace of mind is our @cordbloodregistry newborn stem cell collection kit. I’m so thankful we learned about newborn stem cell preservation with CBR before our baby was born. Joey has a family history of a BRCA gene mutation and mine has a history of Alzheimer’s so we felt it was important to possibly get ahead of the potential risks in addition to perhaps treating other cancers and immune system disorders. We don’t know what the future will hold or what new advancements in science will be available with regenerative medicine, but it gives us comfort knowing that we have this precious resource should we ever need it. Cord blood and cord tissue preservation is essentially the collection and storage of the baby’s newborn stem cells from the blood from the umbilical cord collected right at birth. The stem cells in cord blood can be used to treat many conditions involving the blood and immune system. Having these cells preserved for our baby just in case makes us so happy to be living in a time where this is even possible. I’m so grateful to be collaborating with #CBR and happy to be able to spread the word about this amazing advancement in science.”

Finally here

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“After 30 hours of labor. A couple of complications with the multiple epidurals and finding out he was too big of a baby for me to give birth to without surgery (9lb 8oz), I had a c-section and on Monday night our Benny was born into this world very healthy and we are so in love. I am doing much better but still recuperating at the hospital. It looks like we can go home tomorrow.”

Nursing Dessert

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“Being fed while feeding has become a thing around here.
This was inspired by last night, I fed Benny after dinner and was just going to eat the dessert after nursing him.
Joey so kindly wanted to make sure I got to eat the strawberry oats crumble still warm from the oven so he fed it to me while I fed Benny.”

Postpartum Days

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“What helped you ease into parenthood easier? Leave your tip in the comments, your experience might help someone else.
Having my mother and Joey’s mother at our house postpartum really helped us ease into parenthood.
Sharing our feelings with each other.
Taking online @tinyhood parenting classes with Joey before our baby’s arrival really helped too.”

Sleeping baby

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“I wake up early and excited to tackle my beautifully curated long to-do list.
I nurse Benny and after his burp session, he nestles on my chest and gives me a warm koala hug as he falls asleep on me. All of a sudden the list disappears, everything else doesn’t matter. I look down at my son’s sleepy face and it brings me so much joy I feel like I’m going to burst with happiness. It’s a feeling that has been described to me many times but until I became a mother myself I didn’t understand the magnitude of it.

I close my eyes, hold on to this little koala and fall asleep to his sleepy baby noises.”

Baby Fever

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“We have a baby fever over here.
It is surreal to think I started this drawing challenge when Joey and I were just dating. I have illustrated our lives from falling in love, getting engaged, married, moving into our house, becoming pregnant, my pregnancy, and now illustrating our son.
How can I ever stop this challenge now?!”

Ear to Heart

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“This is Benny’s favorite way to be held.”

Benny And The Jets

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“I had no idea until I started producing milk that milk would squirt out with such force and distance.”