Congratulations! Your pee stick shows that you're pregnant. That's awesome, now what? Throughout the beginning of my pregnancy there were a lot of things that I didn't think of, things that I didn't WANT to think of, and things that terrified me if I did. As I know I am not alone, this post is directed towards those who may be having a hard time changing their mindsets to accept and prepare for their changing bodies.
First Trimester - Weeks 1-12 (3 months) During the early weeks and months of pregnancy I was still wearing my regular clothes, eating no different and doing all of my fitness the exact same way. I was living my life as I had been for the past few years. Routine. Throughout these months I struggled with not only acceptance of the thought our lives were changing, but realizing I needed to slowly get the gears turning and modify my way of doing things. I slowed down and ended up putting a hold on running distances as I became uncomfortable closer to the 3 month mark and I started doing my research on the journey I was now on. I tracked my days through the Flo app and gained insights on things I never would have thought of.
Although there are many things to be more aware of during the early stages of pregnancy, I was still pretty much in shock when I realized I was 3 months. I may not have been showing yet, and in my mind I was still bouncing around the idea that this was really happening. Terrified thought #1.
Our bodies are changing in more ways than just physically. Our hormones, and emotions are embarking on a journey of their own and let me tell you sometimes they wander to places that we have no control over. Don't forget to breathe Mama.
If you were like me during the first trimester, I (LUCKILY!) did not experience morning sickness. If you did, I hope you find a way to cope with it and that it passes soon!
Second Trimester - Weeks 13-27
The second trimester... dun dun duuunnn. This is where everything changed for me. I was already in a slump from slowing down to eventually stop running and modifying my workouts to not be as intense. I even changed my eating to incorporate a variety of foods that I didn't normally eat, I gave in to the odd craving of "wow hamburgers do sound amazing". You're pregnant.. your goal right now is not fat loss. EAT THE HAMBURGER. But be mindful of cravings and still remain in control of how often you treat yourself and portion sizes. I do not believe in "eating for two"., but eating enough variety of foods and yes adding treats is ideal.
Now, the not so fun realization. That awkward "I look like maybe I had too many hamburgers" belly is now peaking through and people may be thinking that you just gained some weight. AWKWARD. Those cute shorts you were able to get away with wearing all summer are now on the brink of unbuttonable. Enter minor freak out here. Luckily for me, the time I started showing was end September and lets face it, leggings, oversized sweaters and those comfy blanket type coverups are the ruler of this season anyways. My now growing belly, breasts and booty would be snug all winter because I refused to buy any maternity clothing and that was what I was sticking with.
This now growing belly was a hard thing for me to get used to. Once it actually begins to look like a rounded pregnant belly and not a hamburger belly is the day you finally get some relief. After years of being fit and having balanced nutrition it was almost like slowly reversing and going against everything I was working so hard to never be.. "fat". I know I know, I wasn't getting fat, I was growing a human. But try telling that to a mind that has been conditioned a certain way for yeaaars. Was I belly shaming myself? Again, I know i'm not the only one out there who has struggled with this and I promise you, we wont be the last. For now, all's I can tell you is to remind yourself that you are not giving up on your fitness and nutrition.. you are a strong mama building a strong babe. Don't give up on the things that you enjoy, like going to the gym, but do modify your routine intensity and duration to take account for the changes happening. Our bodies are tired more often and it doesn't take much to get fatigued, I think we can all agree on that. Allow yourself to throw out the "having to look your pretty polished self" all the time and accept that hey, I don't feel my A game today or I barely slept last night or simply I don't give a shit what I look like right now because yes I am growing a human and no I didn't care to put on make up or do my hair. Take this time to relax and just breathe, things are only getting more uncomfortable from here.
Now get excited because during the second trimester you are (or not) finding out the gender of your babe! If you choose either wait or know before hand, it's a choice that is your own. The suspense killed me and I had to know.
Third Trimester - Weeks 28-40 (birth)
Hello third trimester and welcome back energy. But... good bye appetite and good bye anything that falls on the floor - you're dead to me.
Beginning in week 32 I realized that yes, this baby will have to come out eventually and that scares the shit out of me. Although, I've grown to enjoy the process of knowing that babe is inside and even though she is super active now more than ever and I feel it constantly, it is a journey that can't be explained by words. It must be felt. Literally.
Throughout these past months my mindset has drastically changed for the better. Before I was terrified of the changes my body would be making creating this babe, now I'm focusing on what my body will be like once my babe is here and giving myself the time to heal. As anxious as I am to get back into shape I know that the healing process and allowing my body to adjust will be the biggest challenge and it is one that cannot be rushed. During that time I know that I will really be putting patience to the test, but I also realize that it is what is best for babe and that will be all that matters. As this journey has not been easy for me, both body image wise and mindset, I feel like I am now on the positive side of change and have come to terms with both the physical changes and mental. I know my body will never be the way it was pre-baby, but that gives me enough drive to push myself to still be the strongest I can be both physically and mentally for my babe. Plus, knowing that an entire new journey is going to begin in a few short weeks I can't help but feel excited.
I've regained back some energy that was previously MIA. This has allowed me to be active 4 days/week and adjusting my workouts to accommodate a little extra rest time, adjusting the weights from what i'm normally used to, and learning knew ways to conduct exercises without causing any harm or pain to my bump. Again, I am not a doctor and would only advise pursuing being active during pregnancy if your doctor has given you the go ahead - and if you are used to it!
Throughout my pregnancy I was very fortunate not to experience morning sickness on a scale that many others have. I may have had a handful of mornings that I did not feel well, but all in all I can't complain and i'm certainly not bragging either. Other mama's who have had it rough.. I hope you have found ways to help alleviate some of that and just know you are a damn strong machine for getting through it!
That being said, is there anyone else who has felt that their appetite during the third semester has suppressed? I find myself grazing more than eating an actual meal. I have found that because I may not be eating full meals that I am lacking in important nutrients. Enter Similac Mom here. I have began taste testing the product and have found that after drinking one of the shakes a day my energy levels are still good. I feel better and I know i'm getting nutrients that I wouldn't have otherwise. Along with eating more fruits and veggies and 1 shake a day, I find I want to snack less on the more easily accessible snacks from the corner store.
As for cravings, I also haven't experienced the wild side of that either. I've been eating a variety of fruits for the sweetness and vegetables in all colours. Although I haven't really craved anything I also have not been depriving myself any treats. If my husband and I are out and feel like getting a hamburger I will get a hamburger. Or if while browsing the aisles at the grocery store I notice something that maybe we haven't had in awhile or that I think would taste good, I pick it up. Let me remind you though that my number 1 snacking choice is fruits or chopped veggies. Not junk food. No matter how satisfying I think it would be I also know the feeling of wanting it wont last if I eat something healthier and am then no longer hungry.
Week 37/38 - Snug as a bug in a rug. Or something like that. That is how I currently feel. My clothes are now snug, and I feel like I'm on summer vacation on an island even though it's -20 and snowy outside. I feel or the ladies who are in this week and are due in the summer months. I don't know how I would have done it if I was this hot in the summer. Tank top, shorts and a toboggan is the new style. Just kidding.
During week 37/38 I am just DONE. I am over feeling like a turtle on its back when i'm trying to get out of bed. I would like to wear clothes that I like and actually fit me. I am anxious to begin this new chapter. The count down is officially on.
Week 39 - Well this week started with an unexpected surprise. Morning of 21 Jan 19 I woke up with intense pains that I thought were false labour pains. So, I hung out on the couch from 4 am until 430 pm. After timing these cramp like feelings to 5 minutes apart I told my husband to take me to the hospital, even if they tell us to go home I wanted to be safe. Off we went. Shortly after we arrived at the hospital I was admitted. Shit just got real - we were having a baby.
What came next was the most afraid I've ever been. I am so so SO grateful for my husband as he stood by me but sad that he had to watch mine & babies heart rates plummet. The room quickly filled with Dr's and nurses and we were being rushed for an emergency c-section. Not the delivery that I had planned, nor had I spent anytime considering that a c-section may be possible.
For the ladies who have had one, please tell me if you ever got over the feelings of everything that happened? And please feel free to message your experiences! For the ladies that haven't experienced one, you are such rockstars for delivering naturally. I have much respect for you!
After what felt like CPR being performed on my chest, feeling everything that was going on but not actually feeling any pain, and the uncontrollable shaking, our beautiful girl was born. 0030 hrs, 22 Jan 19. 7 lbs 13 Oz, 19 inches long. What a night. We spent three days in the hospital and we're monitored closely. Finally being able to go home we have been getting the hang of things that come with having a baby. As I have ZERO experience with babies, this has been a huuuge learning experience for me. As much as things didn't go the way I had planned, and baby was early, I wouldn't change the last week for anything. She is perfect. Good luck to all future soon-to-be mamas! I hope my experience hasn't terrified you. Enjoy the pregnancy stage, embrace the delivery but most of all submerge yourself in all of the baby love when your little one arrives.
Tips for mama:
- don't forget your vitamins!
- kick your feet up. When you are tired, REST!
- take some YOU time. Eg. get a pedicure, enjoy a bath with Epsom salts and lavender
- get enough sleep - have a nap if you need to
- drink lots of water
- take a prenatal yoga class or go for a walk
- if you feel overwhelmed, just BREATHE
- lastly, listen to your doctor. If they are telling to not do certain things, listen to them. Even if you feel good enough to do certain things, don't if your doctor recommends you not to. Do not push yourself as you would if you weren't pregnant there is much more to consider.