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Reconciling Myself to Pregnancy's Changes

Friday, June 08, 2012

Pregnancy is hard. Those of you who have been here know this truth firsthand, the rest of you probably secondhand from friends and loved ones. But I need to process a little bit, so I'm blogging - pretty standard operating procedure for me. :)

Pregnancy is hard for everyone. The hormones and their effects - fatigue, forgetfulness, nausea, sensitive stomach, etc - are no joke. Your sense of "normal" simply no longer exists and this is the hardest part for me. I spent over two years learning about and implementing fitness and nutrition changes and now some of that stuff is impossible and others aren't good ideas. For example, getting 5 servings of freggies a day is really tough when the slightest hint of acid makes my stomach ache and gives me dry heaves. This makes me particularly sad because my beloved strawberries are in season and will be gone by the time I can eat them again. I had to cut back my workouts because of my plantar fasciitis and now that I'm healing up I can't increase the intensity because I'm pregnant. I plan to address the workout issue with my doctor on Monday; he might have some good ideas. But honestly, most days I am so sick and tired that I can't cook dinner let alone work out.

And then there's my...expansion. I've put on 2-3 pounds, which is about where I should be now or maybe just a bit more. (Again, I'll talk to the doc on Monday.) But based on how much bigger I've gotten and the fact that I'm growing a womb, I don't think it's that much. Yes, I've gone up a pants size (thank goodness I saved all my old clothes!) but my big problem is my boobs. Plainly I'm a busty lady but right now they're RIDICULOUS - I feel like they precede me into a room by a good 10 seconds, lol. I have to sleep in a bra for my own comfort. And I got professionally fitted because I just couldn't cope with them anymore, rofl. They're also heavier - I think at least half of the weight I've gained has gone straight to my boobs. The rest is in the womb that has just barely started to pouch out a bit. But it seems like my body has gotten bigger than the amount of weight I've gained would require. Just another funny thing pregnancy does to you. :)

My point here is that this is a lot of change to take in all at once and adjust to - especially because I'm generally not feeling great. Now, I shouldn't really complain because I am having an easier time of it than a lot of women. My morning sickness is just enough to reassure me that this is a normal, healthy pregnancy and my wonderful husband picks up the slack around the house and lets me rest as much as I need to. And I'm truly grateful for both of these things. That said, some days it's hard to get it through my admittedly thick skull that it's okay to only work out once or twice a week and if my nutrition is far from perfect. And after working so hard to shrink it's sometimes hard to remember that I NEED to expand and gain weight now. The key thing is to take good care of myself and thusly the baby. Overdoing it - which takes a heck of a lot less these days than ever before - punishes me the next day with horrible acid stomach and two days of fatigue. The more sleep I get and the blander my food the better I feel. These are very, very strong inducements to skip workouts, sleep a lot, and eat whatever the heck seems like it'll go down and stay down. Chocolate milk first thing in the morning? Soda crackers at 2 a.m.? Yes, please!

And, although it's taken some mental wrangling, I'm okay with it. My first obligation right now is to my belly - both my literal stomach and the bean that utterly relies on me. Life should get easier in another six weeks and I can start getting back to pre-pregnancy normal, doctor's advice permitting. In the meantime, I'm learning important lessons in flexibility and taking it one moment at a time. Stress isn't good for me or baby and I truly believe I'm doing the right thing by letting myself off the hook and doing whatever feels best at a given moment. Besides, that's usually all I have the energy for, lol.

As you all know, I'm a worrier and a planner. That has gone into suspension for now. So very many things can go wrong with pregnancy that I'm choosing not to think about any of them - because the other alternative, given my analytical and semi-paranoid nature, is to think about all of them and launch into a panic. That doesn't do anybody any good. So I've decided that everything will be fine and I'm behaving accordingly. I have learned a lot about pregnancy and fetal development and make my decisions based on that. For example, most books advise you to avoid hot tubs and baths at all costs. The fact is that you shouldn't get your body temperature above 102 degrees. Given that we keep our hot tub at 100 degrees and I can't stand being in it for longer than 15 minutes, I'm not worried about an occasional dip.

My current mottoes are:

"Just use common sense and don't pickle your baby." - my OB (seriously!)

"Everything is 'risky' right now. But I figure that the most dangerous thing I can do is drive to work on the Beltway every day. So I'm just not that worried about it." - me to the receptionist at my massage therapy clinic upon being told that getting a massage in the first trimester is "risky." (Standard massage by a certified prenatal masseuse is about as statistically likely to cause a miscarriage as, say, crossing the street and only slightly more likely than getting hit by lightning.)

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end." - a new British film out whose name escapes me right now
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Add my vote to the others. You ARE doing it right. You should keep doing what you think/feel is right. And when you start feeling babies (!!) move--all that morning sickness and uncomfortableness WILL be worth it! I so don't miss the ill feelings but I totally miss feeling babies moving inside me. Such a blessing to be part of the miracle of creation.

    And now because I seem to be into advice giving... walking is considered exercise. You don't have to go "all out" but when you feel up to it, walking can be the best thing for you to relieve stress AND for "cardio".

    Congratulations, again and again!! emoticon
    2141 days ago
    SO, Missus!

    You been waiting a li'l bit to announce the joyous news here and to explore the not-so-joyous adjustment time with your usual candour!?

    Awesome, all of it except the acid, fatigue and iron boobs -- yup, the first trimester or thereabouts is less than lovely for some of us. As Pickie98 says, soda crackers may be your close companion till the acid lets you be.

    That serene attitude will work wonders for every atom of every member of your growing family, too: beautiful stuff. Hugs to you, and the softest, deepest serene-most 'vibes' imaginable.

    If you've hinted when you are 'due', I missed it.

    KEEP us posted, if y'can at all?

    Thanks, Love!

    2143 days ago
    Jenn, how in the heck did I miss the good news?? I knew you were trying but didn't know you guys were expecting! Congrats!!! And so many changes with being pregnant, that acid one, ouch, I remember that all too well. I think you are doing fabulous and my only advice is try not to worry too much. With my first daughter I did that and tried to plan everything (including her birth story before the fact lol) and it doesn't go according to plan, I think the very definition of a baby is to not follow plans, so just enjoy this time and have fun. You will miss it once you're not pregnant anymore, strange as it sounds. Feel free to bounce any thoughts, concerns, etc. off of me! Congrats again, how exciting!
    2145 days ago
    My cousin had an enviable pregnancy with her first baby. She didn't read a single book. Went to the doctor when she should, but took everything with a grain of salt. And just decided to eat what felt/tasted good and do activities as she was able/felt like it. Her baby was perfect, her labour relaxed and everything was great because she remained so "unaffected" by everything. Women have been doing this since the beginning of time. Trust that evolution will guide the way and that your INSTINCTS are correct. Because in this case, they have to be.
    2145 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911

    I think writing out your thoughts is a fantastic way to process everything that is going on. Hope the nausea goes away soon!
    2145 days ago
  • DIXIED88
    Awwww! I know this sounds silly but I loved all this blog. I AM sorry you don't feel great and are exhausted. But I have these warm and fuzzy memories of napping after work and waking up with my hands cupping my barley there baby bump. The crazy changes in your body make me think of the miracle that you have growing inside you. It's really insane that we as women can make such a perfect little person without giving it any thought.

    I loved being pregnant (as you can probably guess!). It's the only time that my son was completely mine. I didn't have to share him. I mean my husband was there and involved of course, but only I knew when he moved or hiccuped. I felt a connection with him that I can't even describe before I ever saw his face. I created this wonderful little guy that makes me so happy everyday inside of ME! It's my proudest moment.

    Anyway enough about me, enjoy this time. Take time to rest when you need to, eat what you crave (in reasonable amounts), and let all the other stuff roll off your back. You're going to be such a great Mommy!! emoticon
    2145 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Relax, enjoy soda crackers and the whole process. This time in your life i s only for you.. hubby can share, but you will understand later..
    2145 days ago
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