A funny thing happened
A funny thing happened this fall sometime between Labor Day and the first week in October.
I almost couldn’t believe it. After a difficult journey to conceive it seemed I’d gotten pregnant without really trying. In fact, it was so unexpected that I almost didn’t think to take a test at all. When I finally did I starred at it, confused, calling my husband over to help me make sense of the two lines. It had to be wrong, right? Fast forward four weeks and there we were at the doctor’s office looking at a little blip on a fuzzy ultrasound.
“Looks like you’re about six and a half weeks,” the nurse said.
Now, I don’t want to throw any shade on the medical profession or seem ungrateful to the doctors I worked with to treat my infertility, but I firmly believe this pregnancy can be attributed to the very real power of prayer and food. I wrote about this a little bit in a post a few weeks ago (Lessons learned in 2015) and have recently reaffirmed my belief that when it comes to being healthy and happy there’s nothing like the substance of your FAITH and your FRIDGE. More than a year of prescription drugs and expensive medical treatments didn’t get the same results as prayerful surrender and a natural holistic approach to my health.
Finding out I was expecting was surprising, exciting, a little scary, but mostly pretty amazing. I immediately started reading articles and medical websites about “what to expect” and “how to have a healthy pregnancy” and started envisioning what the next nine months would be like. I had imagined I would be a workout warrior mamma-to-be. You know, like…
So…yeah, lemmie tell you how it’s mostly worked out so far. It’s kinda been more like…
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON (2004) RENEE ZELLWEGER
I know, I know…. You’re thinking “Wait a second? Isn’t this a fitness blog? Aren’t you supposed to be inspiring people to work out and be fit???”
Well, allow me to explain, especially for those of you who have never been pregnant or known the joys of the the first 13 weeks of growing a human child.
The first 11-12 weeks were characterized by unimaginable tiredness; a tired I had practically never known. Not that delirious “I’ve-been-up-all-night-studying tired” or that “I’m-feeling-a-bit-under-the-weather tired” and not that “I-just-ran-a-marathon tired.” The only tired I could compare this too would perhaps be an extreme form of jet lag where your body is so tired and confused that you don’t know what time it is because it’s 3 o’ clock in the afternoon but you’re ready to put on your pajamas. In this state of tired, suggesting that I go to the gym to get in a leg workout was like suggesting that I throw myself down the escalator stairs at the Dupont Circle Metro Station.
Um. No thanks. I’m just going to try to force myself to eat something, put on my sweatpants, and collapse in front of the television to watch an episode of Real Housewives of…. oops, never mind, I fell asleep and my husband is waking me up to drag me upstairs to bed. Is it 7 am or 7 pm?
Throw in a little morning sickness and a lot of food aversions and yeah….that’s pretty much what first trimester pregnancy was like. And you know what, so what? So what if I didn’t go to the gym more than a handful of times in the better part of 3 months.
I’m sure there are plenty of moms out there who Zumba’ed, Crossfitted, and Body Pumped their way through first trimester pregnancy never missing a beat. More power to ’em. But if you’re a mama-to-be that celebrated success when you peeled yourself off the couch to take a 20-minute walk during those first few weeks cut yourself some slack.
It’s not that I didn’t care about my body. Quite the opposite. I was extremely protective over my body and the teeny tiny one forming inside of it. I didn’t want to do burpees. I didn’t want to run. I didn’t want to do core work. I didn’t want to hang out at the gym for people to wonder why I was “just waking” on the treadmill or moving slower or starting to look a little “puffy” in my midsection. I didn’t crave hard body status. I craved only three things: privacy, peace of mind, and rest. (Oh, and guacamole. Lots of guacamole.)
I’m not saying I’m never going back to the gym. I’m totally going back. I even bought a new sports bra (my pregnancy boobs looked at my old sports bras and laughed like, “You don’t seriously think you’re fitting us in there do you?”) So, yes, gym at some point for sure. Lately though, I’ve just been relishing in the first few weeks of marveling at my body’s ability to do something that is not weighted squats or a two-minute-long forearm plank and giving myself permission to put on pajamas at 3 in the afternoon and take a nap. It’s a beautiful feeling.