All of my pregnancies started out the same. I vowed to myself I would stay active and exercise throughout. With each pregnancy I started out really well. I would continue my exercises just as I had been doing prior to conceiving. Then, over time, as my iron levels dropped, my nausea got worse instead of better, and I felt the urge to just sleep all the time, exercise took a back seat.A lot of people talk about that pregnancy glow, how they love to be pregnant, and how after the first three months, all of those feeling of nausea, and the need to eat soda crackers all day subside. Ha. Ha. Ha. Those people really do exist and kudos to them all. But that was never me. Pregnancy for me was, from day one, un-enjoyable, uncomfortable, and hard. I looked great on the outside. People would never know unless I told them, but I really struggled physically to get through the nine months each time. And don’t get me wrong. Every moment, all four times, was completely worth it. I guess I just want to share this story to let other people out there know, there is no “by the book”, “normal” experience for pregnancy. It’s okay if you struggle and don’t fully love the process you have to go through to deliver your bundle of true love. I was always pretty good about eventually letting myself ease into the acceptance of “okay, this is how it’s going to be for the rest of these nine months. Eat, sleep, uphold basic necessary chores and errands, care for my kids, and sleep some more.” Once I shifted into that mental mode, it always became a little bit easier to get through to my delivery. As for eating, I had slightly different cravings for each of my pregnancies but two things were consistent. My body craved sugary sweet and iron. (Also known as Sara Lee Apple pie with the crumb crust, and bacon cheese burgers) With the severe nausea that I had for most of each pregnancy it was difficult for me to always eat the types of foods that I knew I should. My taste buds were so off to many of the foods you would think my body would want when eating and nourishing for two. It was a real effort for me many days to actually eat the foods I knew were going to be the healthiest choices for my growing baby. I did eat them, but it wasn’t enjoyable. As for weight gain, I tended to put on more weight in the beginning of my pregnancies and taper off as I went along. My starting weight was often on the lower end when conceiving so I think that was my body’s way of padding up for the baby. (that and the apple pie and burgers, of course) At the end of nine months my weight gain always averaged around 35 – 40 pounds. Taking it off was also a challenge and we will discuss that topic next week. So, if you are pregnant now, thinking about getting pregnant, or maybe you already have been through a pregnancy, and you relate to this story. Share your thoughts, your stories, with others when deemed fit. I always felt a little isolated and alone in my experiences because everyone around me seemed to have such a different perception or personal view on pregnancy and what it is supposed to be like. I rarely related to any of them. The only way your pregnancy is “supposed” to be is the way it actually is. Opening up to that reality and being okay with it can make things easier to get through. Suddenly a somewhat difficult pregnancy can be more enjoyable, and even very sweet. It’s okay to be waddling down the street at eight or nine months pregnant and to think to yourself “well, this sucks!” Then you can laugh a little too. Just be careful with the laughing. You may “leak” a little.
Read more from our contributing fitness author Jeannine Trimboli on her blog Real [Fit] Life here!