I got knocked up…. Its ok though I meant to so that makes it less scary right? Ummm not so much as it turns out. Don’t get me wrong, pregnancy is an amazing experience and a complete and total miracle when you sit back and really think about all the things that have to happen to bring this little person from a ball of cells to living breathing tiny human. Its baffling, but its also completely terrifying some days especially your first time around when you have NOTHING to compare it to.
A little about me
I would consider myself to be a well informed and level headed yet a bit of a neurotic control freak. I don’t rush into big things like having a baby. I knew what I was getting myself into and I would classify it as having the right amount of information, being slightly terrified, yet choosing to leap anyway. After 5 months of marriage my husband and I decided to start “trying” to have a baby. We had known many friends who it had taken months or years to get pregnant so we thought we ought to get the ball rolling. That night, my husband gazed longingly at me from across the room, gave me one of those hey baby how you doing looks, a quick wink and BOOM, I was pregnant. Happened just like that, swear. And before I had a chance to pee on one of those stick things (which is awkward by the way) my body started changing in ways I hadn’t expected and believe me I noticed.
I was super active before I got pregnant. Between Crossfit 3-4 times a week, hot yoga, and barre classes, I kept myself busy. Plus I was a healthy eater. Organic food, not a lot processed junk, daily green smoothies, and sure I still ate pizza once a week and had the occasional cookie, but for the most part I was one of “those healthy people.”
BecauseI wasn’t going into this pregnancy thing blind, I expected some things to change, but honestly I didn’t expect much to change when it came to my fitness and eating routine. I was going to be the fittest pregnant woman ever, a poster child for pregnancy if you will. It wasn’t going to change me if I had anything to say about it.
Well turns out I didn’t get to have much say in it… Damn it! From the moment that sperm met up with my fine egg my baby was the new boss of me and I didn’t so much like it at first. My body disowned me, it started behaving in ways I didn’t realize were possible. I was kind of shocked. So what was it you ask that caught me so off guard. It was a lot of things, but I can easily sum it up to 6 big shockers that had me all out of whack.
1. The most important stuff happens in the first 12 weeks, this is going to slow you down
I suppose these seems like common sense, but I hadn’t really thought about all the stuff that starts happening inside of your body from the moment of conception. Cells dividing, things like a brain, heart, and kidneys forming, arms and legs sprouting out. It ALL happens in those first 12 weeks. Your body goes from just managing keeping you alive on a daily basis to doing that AND creating a baby from scratch. Baby now gets first dibs at energy which means you’re stuck with the leftovers and in my experience there isn’t a whole lot of energy to be left over for you. My first clue that I was pregnant came during the middle of a crossfit workout. All of a sudden a workout that shouldn’t be too difficult left me completely out of breath. Like the kind of out of breath you experience during your first workout EVER and you’re 400 pounds.
This being extremely winded and exerting easily lasted well into week 12 or 14 for me. I honestly thought it would never ever go away and this was my new reality, that was depressing. Running 200 Meters had me sucking air like you wouldn’t believe. Luckily though, it did pass and when it did I felt like i had the endurance of my pre-pregnancy self. I will say though that the worst part about this is that generally you aren’t telling people at this point that you’re pregnant and its quite honestly a time that you need a lot of support. I highly recommend having someone you trust know what’s going so they can support you during this and encourage you to slow down and breath more because I guarantee you’re going to need to breath more.
2. Your boobs are probably going to get bigger. Time for a new sports bra
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happened to me and I was not prepared for it. I had heard that your boobs hurt at the beginning of pregnancy. That was the understatement of the CENTURY for me. My boobs were hard and painful, and growing like they were on steroids. All of a sudden I was sleeping in a sports bra and begging my husband to not touch them (good luck with that one by the way). I had recently become obsessed with lululemon and purchased what seemed like an entire store of it. Then all of a sudden my boobs are falling out the top and sides of my no limits tank top. Believe me, those suckers had limits and I was pushing them. At 8 weeks pregnant I was an entire cup size bigger than I was before, by 15 or 16 weeks, 2 cup sizes. Awesome. See I was a 32C to begin with so 32 DD was not my idea of fun. My husband on the other hand was not complaining.
Along with my new big boobies I had another problem. I couldn’t put my chest on the floor and things like running and jumping were torturous. I one day had a trainer yelling at me to touch my chest to the ground during each push up and I finally stopped and screamed at him to leave me alone because my boobs hurt and I didn’t want to touch them to the ground today. Guess what, thats a pretty damn good way to get a male trainer out of your face. So in short, get prepared to suit up with bigger more supportive sports bras, heck you might even need 2 of them for running days. And if you’re keeping the pregnancy under wraps still be prepared to hide in the back of the gym for things like burpees and pushups because I assure you that you won’t want to be putting your chest on the ground. And of course if all else fails just tell everyone you’re on your period and boobs hurt. Nobody questions you about that, trust me.
3. Everyone has an opinion about your pregnancy and they aren’t shy about sharing it.
People annoy me. Probably because I’m a cranky pregnant person but seriously people’s opinions have driven me insane. Many people expected that I would quit doing crossfit when I got pregnant because it was “too intense.” I had a lot of people in my ear making me feel like there was a good chance I was abusing my baby by keeping with it. That pissed me off. I was listening to my body, I was slowing things down, I was getting advice from professionals, I had this under control. But that isn’t always enough to shut people up. You really have to let a lot of the “advice” go in one ear and out the other and not get too worked up by what people suggest you should or shouldn’t be doing.
The single best advice I received from a stranger was to pick 1 book you really like and 1 friend that you really trust and consult them with your fears/concerns/questions. You’re going to need “people” but you don’t need everyone and the sooner I stopped listening to what everyone thought was best for me and started listening to my own body, that happier I was.
4. Your regimented healthy eating might go bye bye, at least for a bit
Ohhh this one was so hard for me. You see before I was pregnant I was kind of a judgy bitch. I would look at pregnant people and think to myself jeez if they would just eat healthier and put down the ice cream and bread they probably wouldn’t gain so much weight and they’d be back in shape much quicker after the baby. Seriously, I wasn’t very nice about it. And then I got pregnant.
It started out all fine and good, green smoothies in the morning, regular eating rest of the day. New cravings consisted of clementines, not bad I thought. And then one day I ate an avocado (one of my favorites) and it disgusted me. Soon after the thought of an avocado almost pushed me over the edge. Then the sight, smell, or thought of meat made me gag. Next I’d eat a banana and violently throw it up and the worst came when I couldn’t stomach the green smoothies anymore. While I was hating all the healthy things I started craving what I had previously thought was one of the worst things ever, dairy. I wanted macaroni and cheese, ice cream, cheese slices, yogurt, you name it. Breads, pastas, and pizza sounded so yummy and things like vegetables and actual healthy grains like quinoa disgusted me. Shit, I had become what I hated. I’ll be honest I fought it for awhile. I wasn’t going to eat like that, but then I just wasn’t hardly eating at all and I realized that something was better than nothing. And those foods like dairy, they curbed my nausea and at that point I’d do just about anything to get rid of the nausea.
As time went on and I hit the 2nd trimester I started feeling a lot better and I was able to get back to healthier eating, but its still not like it was pre-pregnancy. Hindsight is always 20/20 and looking back at those first weeks of pregnancy I wish I would have relaxed more and been less hard on myself. I was still eating tons of fruit and I wasn’t binge eating on Applebees Samplers, it really could have been worse. Being so hard on myself about wanting to eat crappy food made me sad, really really sad. My own judgement actually sent me to therapy because I became depressed. The thing is though that eating healthy is who I am as a person, and being pregnant isn’t going to change that forever. Sure it might have altered it for 6-8 weeks but I found my way back and anyone who wants to be a healthy eater (like really wants to be) will be one, even if they fall off the wagon for a bit. Its just important to remember that you’re nourishing another person both with what you put in your mouth AND the thoughts that run through your brain. Don’t pollute them or yourself with negative self talk, that’s not the way to go about making things better. That little nugget inside of you might get to dictate if you puke up spinach, but they don’t make you feel like shit about your choices, only we do that to ourselves. So choose not to, I really wish I had it would have made a world of difference on my mental health during that first trimester.
5. Your muscles start to stretch, which means its much easier to hurt yourself
Uhhh what? So apparently the minute you become pregnant your body starts to produce this fun little hormone called relaxin. This is something I had no idea about. Well this relaxin loosens things up. See your uterus is going to go from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a beach ball, things are going to need to move around to accommodate. So the relaxin hormone comes along and relaxes your ligaments allowing your uterus and pelvis to expand. Have I blown your mind yet?
It all sounds fine and good but the problem is that with your body being so relaxed its a lot easier to pull a muscle or sprain an ankle so you’ve got to be more careful (not to mention your balance gets all jacked up so you might just fall over for no reason). This doesn’t mean you should avoid the gym or being active it just means you have to slow down some and be aware of what you’re doing. Just because you could do it easily before doesn’t mean that its going to be as easy now so slow it down.
6. Your core muscles get um, different
My core muscles were totally fine my first 18 weeks of pregnancy or so. I was still doing sit-ups and didn’t really notice any issues standing up or sitting down. The only thing I really noticed during the beginning of pregnancy was that my lower abs felt different and I didn’t want to do certain low abdominal exercises like GHD sit-ups , but as far as daily life no changes. And then I woke up one day around week 23 and I was like holy hell why is it so hard to get out of bed. Soft cushy couches were no longer my friend and honestly I just needed more of hand from someone to help me to move from A to B.
Your core muscles are still there when you’re pregnant but as your belly grows it just becomes different. Shouldn’t be too shocking considering they are holding a person inside of you, but hey still caught me off guard. I actually pulled a muscle in my belly as I started to pop out more. How I did it, I don’t even know but it was incredibly painful and losing some of that core strength makes you realize that you use your core for everything! Sitting, standing, walking, bending over, pull ups, push ups, you name it. Like the saying goes, you don’t know what you got til its gone. Enjoy that perfectly functioning core while you can because the more pregnant you get, the tougher its going to be.
So yeah, being pregnant has dealt me some shockers. And while I’ve definitely complained about them along the way, its been worth it and from what I hear getting to be a mom to a tiny human makes every ache and pain totally worth it. While I personally can’t say that for certain yet, my gut says that its true and I can’t wait to find out in November. 3 months left, but who’s counting….