Let's just start out by saying that it's been ROUGH WATERS over here....
This pregnancy was a bit of a surprise for us. We were planning to start "trying" at the end of summer as we had a vacation planned along with my Empowered Method Retreat. I will say from the moment I found out I was pregnant, although pretty shocked, I had an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that this must be very "meant to be" for our family and our lives.
Lots of tests for good measure!!
One of the things that really helped me during the rough early months of pregnancy was connecting with other women that had gone through or were going through the same thing I was. As I round third base on my first trimester I wanted to share my experience as it has been vastly different than I was expecting.
Given that this is my second pregnancy, and I got pregnant while in the best shape of my life this time I was certain things would be smooth sailing. HASHTAG FITPREGNANCY!!! HA!
My pregnancy with Beckham was relatively easy physically speaking, but very difficult mentally. I experienced severe depression and anxiety WHILE I was pregnant with him. I can remember being tired during the first trimester and having a few evenings where I felt sick to my stomach, but NOTHING like I've experienced this time around. Life clearly loves to throw us curve balls, right?!
I essentially spent weeks 6-11 feeling constantly hungover and exhausted beyond anything I have ever experienced. No food sounded good, especially anything that would be considered healthy. However if I didn't eat I would get SO SICK to my stomach so I found myself constantly eating empty carbs to keep the sickness at bay as much as I could. This led to me gaining more weight right off the bat than I was hoping. Couple that with the fact that working out was basically a pipe dream due to extreme levels of fatigue....let's just say that pregnancy bliss was out of the question. Even the smallest tasks felt like climbing a mountain.
I have candidly shared with close family and friends that I'm not sure how I would have handled things if I had a "traditional job" this time around. I spent many days working from my laptop or phone in bed. It was nearly impossible for me to do the bare minimum around the house. Cooking and cleaning were non-existent for the most part. I had to lean on my mom and husband to help keep my head above water with those things. There were days that I woke up so physically exhausted that I couldn't get Beckham to school because the idea of packing his lunch, getting him dressed and to his school was just too much. <insert wide eye emoji>! I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. It has been HARD. I am an on-the-go type of gal and this as totally knocked me on my ass.
I also thought I had the mindset game in the bag. Find the positive, use all the tools for productivity, self-care. I've got this shit. Or not....I have continued to feel extremely uncomfortable and insecure in my own skin as my weight gain has settled into my hips/upper thighs/butt. My tummy just looks like I've over eaten on vacation. It's not my favorite feeling. I was hoping to feel strong and empowered going into my second pregnancy experience, and I have felt everything BUT that thus far.
I should probably add that until about week 11 I had been a complete monster to be around. My mood was a holy hot mess. To the point where my husband started to avoid me -- and rightfully so. I honestly didn't really realize I was doing it. I was just trying not to die. There were a few times that I told him I was going to need to be put into a medically induced coma if things didn't take a turn.
To add insult to injury I have been flooded with Facebook and Instagram ads of "fitness influencers" saying that women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat poorly and not exercise which left me feeling very "less than" especially considering that I run a fitness and nutrition business for a living.
I am officially calling BULLSHIT on this! While I think that every single woman will experience pregnancy differently, a vast majority of women really struggle especially during the first trimester. So go ahead and get your Facebook ads saying I'm lazy and full of excuses out of my face....please and thanks! This is exactly why I will be dedicating the next 6 months to creating a realistic pregnancy fitness and nutrition plan! This was never really in "my plan", but I have found it is a necessity. My inbox has been flooded with messages from women have sharing how awful they felt, and how seeing fitness peeps breezing through pregnancy made them feel awful about themselves, and now having experienced it first-hand I can totally relate. I am determined to turn my experience into something that can help others.
If you are reading this and you love being pregnant and all those things -- I envy you. Truly. I am just not that gal. I wish I was, but I must have been skipped over when it came to that gene.
This blog post will be part of a 3 post series. Up next I will share my First Trimester Survival Guide followed by my First Trimester Must-haves. In the meantime I will be practicing gratitude for the ability to experience pregnancy for a second time, and trying not to grow a double chin at only 12 weeks. I am going to remain focused on the future as I am feeling better day by day. I am holding on to hope that my pregnancy honeymoon is around the corner.
If you are struggling -- know that you are not alone and it is OKAY not to be filled with pregnancy bliss.