I’m currently approaching my 41st week of pregnancy and have a TON of emotions (as a pregnant Scorpio would).
Anxiety. Excitement. Indigestion. You know, a little bit of everything.
Most of all, I feel so grateful to have had such a smooth experience. Still, that doesn’t mean everything has unfolded as I thought it would. As I near the end (ANY FAHKING MINUTE NOW), I couldn’t help but take a moment to laugh at myself and all the expectations I had upon reading that POSITIVE test.
Join me, and feel free to roll your eyes once or twice along the way!
Left: Pre-pregnancy, Center: 25-weeks, Right: Full-term at 38-weeks.
Expectation: I’m Going to Eat Super Clean
Reality: Ha, I’m Going to Eat Whatever the Fuck I want…or at least whatever I can keep down
My first trimester was overtaken by morning sickness in the morning and the early evening. I spent close to 12-weeks eating nothing but white foods; bagels, Chex cereal, buttered noodles, and saltines. I was beside myself thinking that I wasn’t giving myself OR my baby the proper nutrients, but I was in survival mode.
Luckily, my nausea subsided around weeks 15 and 16, and I regained my healthy appetite. I tried to eat as clean as possible but consistently wanted to treat my pregnant self. If I’m honest, after YEARS of scrutinizing everything that went into my body I was looking for a bit of a hall pass. It was a struggle of what I SHOULD do to prioritize my health to give my baby the best nutrients and thinking, “Fuck it, I deserve this!” In summary, some days were cleaner than others.
Pregnancy is a hard enough journey as it is. I found that a sweet treat now and then was the least of my worries. If it made me feel good, I considered it to be a worthy treat.
Thin Mint caddy. The best use of the bump, ever. Also, does anyone have a lint roller I could borrow? Good God.
Remember, for every pre-cut fruit bowl; there was a cheesy breakfast sandwich right behind it. Real talk.
Expectation: I’ll Workout EVERY Day
Reality: Meh, I’ll Workout 3-4 Times Per Week…and that’s okay
Before we found out we were pregnant; I firmly believed I was going to continue my training program without missing a beat. Not only was I going to make sure I was maintaining the best pre-natal environment for my baby, but I wanted to make sure I was minimizing the work I’d have to do in post-partum recovery. If I maintained my level of fitness throughout these ten months, I’d have less work to do on the backend. Right?
But first, let’s take a moment to PAUSE for one moment to discuss one thing that I have asked about MANY times.
The “bump only pregnancy.” Unsure what I’m referring to? Check out one of the many bullshit pins there are on Pinterest on this very topic. The emails and DM’s I have received from women who are consumed with weight gain during pregnancy was somewhat alarming at times. I’m not saying I wasn’t concerned with weight gain – I have had my share of freak out moments, but a pregnant woman has to accept some truths as black and white…
- You cannot control where your body accumulates fat during pregnancy (come to think of it, when you’re not pregnant either)
- MOST female pregnant bodies will accumulate fat in the butt, thighs, breasts, and triceps to sustain a healthy pregnancy and prepare your body for breastfeeding
- Pregnancy is not the time to lose weight an excessive exercise regimen or restriction of calories can be harmful to both mom and the baby
The entire concept of a bump/belly only pregnancy puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way, and it’s BEYOND ridiculous.
I expected that my workouts would be just as important and exciting to me as they were before pregnancy. Some days, I couldn’t wait to start my workout. Others, I had no energy and couldn’t even wrap my head around dragging myself to the gym. At least once a week I would forgo exercise because I just straight up wanted to use my time differently. The concept of time started to seem more precious than ever. I didn’t want to workout; I wanted to sleep, watch a movie, lay in bed with my husband, get a pedicure, or just take time for myself to relish in a bit of quiet.
Throughout the entirety of my pregnancy, I averaged 3-4 workouts per week (with proper first and second trimester modifications), and I didn’t give my off-days a second thought. Which was a nice departure from my neurotic self!
Thank GOD for Barry’s. I continued to workout in the Red Room throughout my ENTIRE pregnancy.
Expectation: I Won’t be Affected by Morning Sickness
Reality: I Have Zero Control How My Body Reacts to Pregnancy
I remember thinking to myself, “I’m a tough chick with high pain tolerance. I won’t get morning sickness, or if I do, it won’t slow me down.”
I had awful morning sickness that even the strongest of willpower couldn’t overcome. My head was in the toilet in the morning and the evening every day for months. As hard as I tried to ignore it the second I sat down; I passed out.
Twelve weeks pregnant praying that I made it off this stage without vomiting or passing out.
I’ve lived my life burning the candle at both ends and couldn’t get it through my skull that I needed to SLOW THE F DOWN.
It’s not a realistic expectation to think you can continue living your life at the same bandwidth with the same energy, while you’re building a human.
I had to lower my level of intensity in the first trimester due to lack of energy.
I needed to decrease my class load from training 9 to 7 classes a week in the second trimester, I was exhausted, and my corporate job was getting busy, something had to give.
And in the third trimester, I accepted the fact my weekends would revolve around errands and the couch. I was CONSTANTLY having FOMO over what I was missing, what my friends were doing, and what I SHOULD be doing. Once I realized I needed to take one day at a time and surrender to the present moment, I was a lot happier.
Expectation: I’ll Love Every Moment of Pregnancy
Reality: I’ll Love Almost Every Moment of Pregnancy. Some Days are Flat Out Hard
Depression or mental struggles throughout pregnancy are still taboo when in fact 1 in 10 women suffer from depression during and after pregnancy. My doctor said, “That statistic is probably even higher, but most women don’t want to admit it.” How crazy is that?
I had so many days where I was lost in my head, doubting every choice I was making and was utterly terrified of being a mom. Not to mention some days were covered in sadness I couldn’t rationalize or drag myself out. Thank God they were few and far between and would only last a few hours, or a day or two tops.
I could feel my “old” life slipping away, and my relationships change with my friends. Not necessarily in a bad way, it was just different.
I tried so hard to accept and love my changing body, but there were days I avoided my reflection at all costs. The cellulite I worked so hard to minimize over the course of YEARS took MONTHS to resurface. My ass expanded faster than my belly. A layer of fat covered my triceps, back, and chin. I’d watch my clients move their perfect bodies and envy their lean, energetic, and determined figures fully knowing my sacrifice and CHOICE to have a baby would be one of the most precious gifts I’d receive. But that didn’t make it any easier.
I tried to put my ego first and keep my head held high, but then quickly decided it would better serve me to acknowledge my feelings and accept them to let them go.
Expectation: I’ll Miss Drinking
Reality: I Miss Drinking…but Not Really
Giving up booze, sushi and soft cheese seemed like an unbearable task, but the struggle isn’t that real. I got a lot of my partying out of my system in my twenties, and had slowed down regarding partying for no other reason than my hangover started to last two or three days – like what? I will say I miss a dirty martini on Friday night or a glass of wine while I’m cooking, but not enough to want a sip.
Some women imbibe when they’re pregnant and have perfectly healthy babies. Personally, I didn’t feel comfortable with it, and neither did my husband. I’ve been floating in sparkling water and mocktails. Do you think that pregnant glow happens on its own? Hell no. That’s called sobriety, bish.
This creation of mixology splendor is best known as a virgin mojito. Cheers, fahkers.
Pregnancy has been such a wild experience, one that I underestimated. They say it takes a village to raise a baby, but I think it takes a village the moment you conceive. I couldn’t have gotten through it without my village of family, friends, co-workers, clients, and even the smiles from strangers on the bus went a long way. The highs were high. The lows were low. And every moment in between is exactly what everyone says it is – so worth it.
Special shout out to this one.