She sang the national anthem for the NFL at 8 months pregnant.

Motherhood

May 19, 2020

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Ever since Amanda was a little girl, she had a dream. She loved to sing, and hoped that she could someday combine her passion for singing with her love for her favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. It seemed like a long shot, but Amanda was determined to find a way. 

Amanda started her music career in highschool, when she was just 15 years old. Her church was the original “kickstarter” for her first album, and she paid them back as she sold CD’s.

From there, she started to sing for local concerts, which then led to national and international events, like singing for World Youth Days in Sydney, Australia and in Madrid, Spain. By the time she was 25 years old, Amanda was married with two babies, and still singing successfully — her husband had even left his job to manage her music career.

Eventually, the opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream arose. “We were in the midst of a full-time tour as a family of four when we first connected with the entertainment coordinator for the Green Bay Packers,” Amanda recalled. She was invited to sing at a pre-season game at Lambeau Field, the Packer’s home field.

The performance was booked a year in advance. But that year also involved a lot of changes for Amanda and her family.

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photo courtesy of Amanda Vernon

“Within that year, I realized the blessings were multiplying,” Amanda wrote. “See that bump? Can’t miss it, right? I was going to be 8 months pregnant by the time game day arrived!”

Amanda and her husband were excited to have their third baby, Mercedes, but she was nervous about how her pregnancy might affect her voice, and she worried how the Packers would react. 

Going into the pre-season game, she decided not to tell them about her pregnancy.

“I prayed that if I rehearsed the song every single day that summer—even under less than optimal lung capacity—I could do my best,” Amanda wrote. 

And she did. She did so well that her performance landed her a second opportunity to sing for the team.

“If singing the national anthem while 8 months pregnant at an NFL pre-season game could be considered an ‘audition,’ it must’ve worked,” she said. “The Packers invited me back the very next year to sing again, this time for the live TV broadcast of Monday Night Football.”

She’d pushed past her fears and was now more willing to tackle challenges than ever before.

“Far from killing my dream, having a baby definitely enhanced it. Mercedes toured with me for her first eight months after birth. She stayed close to my chest when I gave concerts, often falling asleep in the baby carrier while I sang.” 

Amanda used her performance at Lambeau Field as a launchpad, moving forward with new opportunities and continuing to pursue her passion with her little ones in tow. 

However, Amanda admits that the journey has not always been easy. One of the hurdles she’s had to face was were multiple instances of intense postpartum depression (PPD), each time lasting 12 months or longer.

Singing was one of the outlets that helped her through her PPD symptoms. “Thankfully, when I was on stage, I felt immune to the PPD symptoms,” Amanda explained. “According to my therapist, the alleviation had to do with the adrenaline, plus the breathing patterns required for singing.”

In addition to singing, she also enlisted the help of a myriad of other strategies, including seeking spiritual direction with her mentor, talk therapy, neurofeedback therapy, cardiovascular exercise, and writing. 

“It’s been quite the journey,” Amanda shared. 

While it might seem that she would resent these struggles—Amanda says it’s quite the opposite, “Through PPD, I found a deeper healing than I knew I needed.”

She also says that going through PPD made her more compassionate, especially for those who suffer from depression as a life-long condition. 

“Previously, it was really hard for me to picture just feeling ‘sad’ or unenthused for seemingly no reason. I used to think: ‘Just sing a happy song!’ But now, after experiencing such severe symptoms (like not being able to get out of bed, incessant thoughts of self-harm, or unshakable emotional numbness), wow—I appreciate the struggle for what it truly is.” 

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photo courtesy of Amanda Vernon

Today Amanda continues to share her vocal talent giving concerts all over the country, often accompanied by her husband and children—and she recently co-authored her first book in 2018. 

While some say that having babies gets in the way of pursuing your dreams, Amanda credits her children for motivating her to accomplish everything she sets out to do in life. They are her inspiration. 

Even though the journey to accomplish those dreams with babies in hand was not always easy, she says it was always worth it. In fact, she says that motherhood has made her “stronger, healthier and more full of energy” than ever before. 

Editor’s Note: Due to Covid-19, many of Amanda’s live events have been cancelled for the year. If you would like to help support her and her family during this difficult time, please consider signing up to become a Patron here!

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