Nothing To Fear

by HEAB on January 19, 2011

For the longest time, pregnancy scared me. The thought of becoming a parent seemed so overwhelming. I mean, all of a sudden, you have this new person in your life that requires your attention and care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an enormous change, one you can never truly be prepared for. Another thing that scared me about having a baby was the changes that would occur in my body. Would I gain too much weight? Would I be able to lose the weight post-baby? Would I get varicose veins? Would I get more stretch marks?, etc. When CD and I got married, we knew we wanted kids, but I was definitely not ready. However, last year, something clicked, and I was no longer scared. So, after receiving numerous emails and comments from some of you with the exact same fears I had, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences regarding having a baby. I want all of you to know that yes, pregnancy is not always easy, but it so so SO worth it in the end because you get one of these…

So precious. I want another one. :)

Being a mom is challenging in many ways. My entire day (as well as night) revolves around Summer. It’s definitely been a huge adjustment, but CD and I waited until we felt completely ready…although I don’t think you can ever be 100% ready for all the changes a baby brings. It now takes a lot longer to get anything done, and my to-do list is never ending. Leaving the house is challenging, and those spur of the moment trips to the grocery store or Target never happen anymore. There are no more mid-morning yoga classes at my favorite studio and no more sleeping in, but that’s all okay. Target can wait, and thank goodness for YogaDownload! Yes, my life has been totally turned upside down, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

As far as my body goes, there have definitely been some changes in that department as well. During my pregnancy, I gained about 20 pounds. The first semester was horrible. Not only did I feel awful, but I ate pretty awful as well. None of my usual foods sounded good. I could hardly eat anything and lost about 10 pounds. Then around week 17, my appetite returned, and I ended up gaining a healthy amount of weight. I did my best to eat well but also tried to listen to my body and ate what I was truly craving…read there was a lot of ice-cream consumed. I stayed active. I walked almost everyday and took yoga classes throughout my pregnancy. Just because you have a big belly doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. I felt great during both my 2nd and 3rd trimesters and usually had a lot of energy. Again, there is nothing to fear about pregnancy. It is an amazing and wonderful thing, and if you lead a healthy lifestyle now, then you have all the tools to stay healthy and active while pregnant.

Some of you have asked how my body is feeling post-pregnancy. Well, to be honest, it’s feeling a little flabby. Most of the weight I gained came right off after Summer was born, but there is still some work to do. I wore a Baboosh Belly Wrap for about a month. Post-partum belly binding has been around for centuries, and it really gave my stomach the support it needed following delivery.

This photo of me and my mom was taken the morning we left for the hospital..


And this photo was taken three weeks later…


Photo courtesy of Emily Smallcomb Family Photography

I fit into my old clothes, and my stomach is fine. However, I’m not happy with other parts of my body like my legs and arms. I miss my yoga shoulders and biceps. My thighs aren’t my favorite things in the world right now…and don’t even get me started on my boobs. That being said, I know that as time goes on, I’ll tone up, but for now, it’s not a top priority. I’m currently working out 5 days a week (Go Team HEAB!), and I know that staying active during my pregnancy allowed me to bounce back fairly quickly. Of course, my beloved tabata intervals are more challenging, and it’s been months since I’ve done a Chaturanga, but I’ll get back to where I was. It’s just going to take a little time.

So, all this to say that I was frightened to death of having a baby, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Again, if you’re eating well and exercising pre-pregnancy, then you’ll be fine when the time comes to have a baby. Some women gain more weight than others, and some may have a harder time staying active due to energy levels or complications, but the female body was made to do this. You can so do this. Don’t be scared, and trust me, it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

OK, just wanted to share that. Thanks for reading, and I hope that this post encourages some of you out there.

For more on my experience with yoga during pregnancy, please click here to read my interview at Front Porch Yoga.