My Pregnancy Expectations vs Reality

My husband and I went back and forth about having kids.  We worried about how a child would change our spontaneous lifestyle, but we also had the fear of wanting a family after it was too late.  We had been married for three years, we owned a house and were in our early thirties.  It seemed like a good time to start trying.

What I always thought pregnancy would be like and my reality of it has been pretty different.

1) Everything I have read says expect to try for 6-12 months.

Perfect.  That would give us some time to wrap our minds around everything and get the important details in place.  HA!  One month later, a big bold “pregnant” signal appeared on the pregnancy test and I knew everything was going to change, FAST.

I felt guilty that it did not take us longer to conceive.  I worried about telling people I knew who had been trying or had to go through a lot to have a baby.  We waited a while to spread the news because everything was going so smoothly.  Was this too good to be true?  I was waiting for something to go wrong.


2) I am a personal trainer; therefore, I will maintain my current workout regimen.

Well, someone did not relay that message to the baby growing in my belly.

I had just finished my level-2 kettlebell re-certification in October and was in recovery mode after 6 months of a very heavy, intense training program.  December hit me like a Mack truck and brought with it nausea and a complete drop in energy.  I did not pick up a kettlebell for 3 weeks.  Just looking at a bell made me want to take a nap.  I was tired ALL THE TIME.  I would train at FOR from 6-9am, drive to my job in Annapolis, come home, “think” about working out, and fall asleep.

At first I was confused about what was going on because this was not like me.  I spoke to a pregnant colleague of mine and when she confirmed that the struggle is real, I did not feel so bad.  Hey, maybe this little girl was trying to tell me to slow down, relax, and “enjoy” the ride.

3) Pregnancy nutrition recommends eating only nutrient-dense foods that are healthy for mom and baby.

Sure.  Pregnancy nausea and food aversions are no joke.  Eating while pregnant is a totally different ball game.  I was so hungry, but just the thought of eating something would make me want to throw up.  Pre-pregnancy I ate Paleo/Whole30 85 percent of the time.  Grains make me break out and feel terrible and dairy caused a whole different parade of concerns.  In December I ate ALL the grains and dairy.  Everything that made me feel crappy pre-pregnancy was the miracle drug.  And the real magic pill was a sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin from McDonalds.  No judging.

The hormones that cause the heightened sense of smell were irrational.  One day everything smelled as it was meant to.  The next, my holiday scent reed diffuser was stuffed in two Ziploc bags and crammed in a box in the corner of the basement.  I could still smell it.  Every morning I would complain about the imaginary Eau De Miller scent that consumed our house.


4) You will feel better, and then worse again.

So far, this seems to be true.  I can safely say that things in the food department are back on track, sort of.  By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, I was tired of having consistent acne and healthier eating decisions had to be made.  Energy came back in week 14, things started to smell normal again, and healthy food was actually appetizing.

Week 22 brought on some *amazing* heartburn.  If the old wives tale is true, I’m going to give birth to Bubbles the Chimpanzee.

As I enter my third trimester, a nap still trumps a workout but I do not beat myself up about it.  Hey, trainers are real people, too.  I worry about losing weight post baby.  I fear stretch marks.  I am terrified for the day we bring her home.  But, I trust my natural instincts and think we will be OK.

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