When I found out I was pregnant I was excited and terrified at the same time. I had no idea what I was in for. I knew weight gain was inevitable, nausea possible, and I was going to need a lot of new ‘stuff’. I wasn’t looking forward to blowing up like a balloon from water retention, gaining 100 pounds, stretch marks, or having swollen feet and ankles (oh, the things you hear). But Luckily, gaining weight slowly and steadily turned out to be the easy part and it was all based on the choices I made. In fact by the last couple of weeks with my big belly, I was indulging in whatever my heart desired. When else in your life are you encouraged to gain weight?
After my first doctor’s visit, I made it my goal to only gain the necessary amount, which according to my doctor was 25 pounds. I told him I was intending on continuing with ‘Insanity’ as long as possible. I’m not sure he was a huge fan of the idea but I think he knew that eventually jumping around like a nut for 40 minutes wouldn’t sound so appealing. He was totally right.
10 weeks preggo. I laugh at that photo now, this was nothing in comparison to what I looked like post partum. haha… just can’t help it.
I couldn’t keep food down the first 14 weeks and consequently I lost weight. I remember thinking, ‘I look good pregnant. I should be pregnant more often!’ and at the same time thinking I never wanted to be pregnant again. Of course, I couldn’t express those feelings without being judged by them. Which is another thing I learned, you are judged for everything during pregnancy, from all sides of the spectrum. Don’t be offended by them or take it personally. Listen to whose opinion’s you value and smile and nod at the rest.
When it came to what to eat and not eat, I heard a lot of ‘opinions’. I had to remind myself that I cared more about my baby than anyone else and therefore I knew what was best for her (while respecting whatever my doctor told me). She needed to be fed GOOD food with lots of vitamins, minerals, good carbs/fats, and protein. Eating fast food just to gain weight wasn’t going to give my baby everything she needed just because it increased a number on a scale.
I learned a lot during those months and here’s the short list!
1. Don’t treat your body like a garbage can. I remember reading this in a magazine before I was pregnant and it stuck with me. Yes, you are supposed to eat 300 calories more (not dine for two -contrary to popular belief) a day but not just ‘calories’, GOOD calories! Don’t spend your extra calories by eating Kraft Dinner on a daily basis (okay, I admit, i did eat kraft dinner once… and it was good… really good… but then it wasn’t). Give yourself a pass every once in a while but don’t go nuts with it. I didn’t count calories, instead I had one extra small meal a day (smoothie, parfait, sandwich, etc).
2. Craving’s don’t exist. At least, not the way I thought they did. I think the number one thing people asked me while I was pregnant was, are you having any crazy cravings? My answer was always no. Mostly because I didn’t really believe that my cravings were anymore different than before. The only difference was that I gave myself the ‘okay’ to eat the ice cream, popcorn, macaroni and cheese, or quesadillas, that I would talk myself out of eating before. I will say that in the first couple of weeks I really enjoyed my fair share of kids chipotle quesadillas and bites of my husbands steak. I blame my baby for that one… I have never been one to eat copious amounts of cheese, let alone steak. It’s safe to say she is her dad.
3. You’ll end up loving your body. It’s strange, you think you’re going to hate your massive belly… and some morning when you have to rock yourself out of bed and you constantly bump into things with it, you do. But it really grows on you and you can’t even imagine not having it. The only part that stinks is when you don’t have clothes that work for that beautiful belly. Which brings me to my next point.
4. Buy maternity clothes... Your old clothes won’t bounce back from the stretching… I know. Buy the long camisoles in from Ingrid and Isabelle. You will use them and they’re meant to be stretched! No matter what size you are they will fit! I tried to avoid buying maternity pants by using the ‘hair tie trick’ and walked around my pants undone, super classy. I love Tart Collections and I LIVED in their dresses. They’re naturally long and cover up your belly and nothing is confining or uncomortable.
They also have a wonderful maternity line which (hip hip) you can use post baby too. Every photo above was taken in a Tart Dress… I can’t say enough good things.
5. Embrace being pregnant. You are already preggo… so why not enjoy it. Indulge in some of your ‘cravings’ but choose the healthier options. If you’re craving ice cream, have fro-yo or make your own Coconut Milk Ice Cream or ‘Nice Cream‘ (made out of frozen banana’s and blended with different fruits like blueberries if you’re in the mood!). If you’re craving a chocolate molten cake (me, all day), make the Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake from Oh She Glows.
6. Get Ready for the day: wash your hair, give yourself a facial, pick the cutest outfit in your closet and get out of the house. It will save you mentally.
7. Move: I can’t stress this one enough… you don’t have to go nuts with it. Walk, do yoga, do the Tracey Anderson Pregnancy Project (my choice). Do whatever you can even just once a day.
8. Eat Healthy: I drank 2 green smoothies a day. Yes, two. My mom thought I was crazy but it really helped me to increase my fiber intake and keep any cravings at bay. I was usually too full to eat anything after dinner and being full pregnant is more uncomfortable than being full without a baby! There’s not enough room in there!
9. You will be exhausted post partum. I thought I would be walking the baby weight of asap once I got home from the hospital. I couldn’t have been more wrong, besides the anxiety I felt just trying to cross the street with the stroller, I was exhausted. There is a serious resting period after you give birth and you can’t push it.
10. No lifting post partum: I thought the days of having other people carry things for me would be long gone once the baby was out safely but that wasn’t the case. I carried my bag out of the hospital and when my nurse saw she frantically yanked it away from me and told me not to lift anything heavier than my baby for a couple of weeks. I didn’t understand why until I was home alone and trying to pour myself a glass of water while carrying C in my other arm. My body did something it’s never done, It was scary and it wasn’t pretty. Don’t do it.
10. Sleep!!! Everyone tells you to sleep while you can. i never understood this until it happened to me. My advice is to get as much rest as possible leading up to your due date. If you think there is any chance you’re going to go into labor, lay on the couch, take a nap, and go to bed early.
Other mama’s out there, do you have anything else to add to the list?