Pregnancy Week 16: Body Image & What I’m Missing

Written week of Feb 16th

Four months down!  I know everyone says pregnancy will go by so fast, but I don’t feel that way yet.  It’s creeping a little, and this week had some lows, followed by a big high.  I keep trying to remind myself of my mom’s advice to enjoy pregnancy because it is a short period of time that will be gone before I know it.  But it doesn’t always seem that way.  So this week I wanted to be completely honest and talk about some ups and downs of pregnancy:

The Great Pregnancy Weight Gain Debate: I’ve seen a lot of women that don’t gain any weight in their 1st trimester or even lost weight and don’t look nearly as preggers as I’m looking right now.  For me, I gained 5-6 lbs right away in my 1st trimester.  I wasn’t eating crap or being lazy, but I ate when my body told me it was hungry, which even included waking up hungry for a bowl of cereal some nights.  Now I’m a little less than 10 lbs gained, and I can’t help but be a little negative about it sometimes. I’m at an in between stage where people that know me can tell I’m pregnant, but strangers wouldn’t dare ask.  I’ve had some mothers tell me how they ‘loved being pregnant and having that special bond with baby’, but honestly, for the most part I don’t feel pregnant and since I haven’t felt any movement yet, so I keep forgetting I’m pregnant and just feel fat.   Earlier this week I was just not loving my extra love handles and thinking how HUGE I will be by 3rd trimester.  I had been so good last year about reminding myself to love my body, but I was a little frustrated with it now.  I have no plans to limit my food or change my diet (I’m making sure I have healthy & adequate calories for baby), but also felt I had less control than I want over the matter.  Control freak? Yes.  Even with pregnancy, body issues are sometimes still there.

What helped me?  I talked to my doctor and she said I was right on track and doing great (probably around a 30lb weight gain total which is great for my size & normal BMI).  I also talked to my mom, who ended up gaining 50lbs with me back in the ‘80’s (admittedly “eating whatever she wanted” during pregnancy), and she told me that she thought it was easy to lose the baby weight when she exercised.  And like any good mom, she told me I was adorable. Lastly, I’ve been following pro-triathlete Beth Gerdes for some time, and I re-read her blog on her baby weight gain.  She gave full disclosure on her weight gain (32lbs total) and that “YOUR PREGNANT BODY IS GOING TO DO WHAT IT WANTS AND GOOD LUCK STOPPING IT.”  And she had a healthy, cute baby then went on to kick butt at an ironman 4 months later, which is pretty amazing and insane!  No plans for an ironman post-baby for me, but I love the inspiration, thank you Beth!  So now I’m feeling good and starting to relish in the bump.  I went running this morning, and it got hot, so I took off my tee so I was just running in my sports bra and proudly showing my bump.  Those few extra pounds are just making more room & nutrition for my growing baby.  {Quit being so vain, Brittany!}

What do I miss?:  I miss being able to push in workouts.  There’s a lot of advice out there, but you have to do what feels right and comfortable to you in pregnancy.  For me, that was eliminating hard efforts and intervals, keeping running at a conversational pace and not getting out of breath or sweating buckets (overheating).  Some might find it conservative and others gasp that I’m still working out 7-8 hours per week.   I also haven’t been out on the road cycling much and miss my longer bike rides.  It was a cold winter for us, so my rear wheel got replaced with a trainer tire and the bike’s been on the trainer mainly.

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#TBT from Easter Hill Country Tour 2013 + Pregnancy easy ride at George Bush Park

What helped me?  I’m trying to focus on what I can do, not the cant’s.  I’m having an extremely healthy, active pregnancy which is awesome.  I’m still doing most of the things I love and even signed up for a 10k next weekend.  My body has very few aches and pains (for now), and definitely no niggles or sports injuries.  I also talked to my doc about cycling now that it’s warmer and she was fine with it.  She thinks I can do it up until early 3rd trimester, when I will just be too big.  I’m also keeping in mind all the fun I’ll get to have post-pregnancy.  It won’t be easy to juggle, but I definitely have triathlon plans post-baby and David is very supportive, as he knows what makes me happy.  I think each workout will be that much more fulfilling.

And for full disclosure, yes, I do miss sushi (craving some salmon SASHIMI!) and the occasional glass of wine or a cold beer after a good workout.  It’s going to taste that much better when I have one later this year.

The emotional department: I can get a little up and down in the emotional department here and there.  I was crying earlier this week for silly things – where is my job & life going? What are we going to do about buying a house?  Will I be a good parent?  I suppose all normal pre-baby jitters according to my baby books.

But then later this week I cried some joyful tears on my way home from the grocery store thinking of how amazing our little BOY will be as he grows up.  Yes, we got our 16 week ultrasound which very clearly confirmed there is a little boy in there!  Not only was it so cool to see his growth, but it reminded me of how much this all will be worth it.  Looking back at the things (above) I was worried about earlier just seemed petty in the grand scheme.

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Sharing the news with my in-laws with gender reveal cupcakes

I’ll admit I’m a little scared (knowing my hubby’s boyish, mischievous personality), but it also makes me really excited!  We would have been happy either way, and I was pretty indifferent before finding out, but now I get excited thinking about how much David will enjoy father-son activities (kiteboarding and camping he hopes).  Finding out the gender made it more “real” about the little guy that’s hanging out with me for nine months.  We are so excited to meet you someday little one!

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2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Week 16: Body Image & What I’m Missing

  1. Love the cupcakes! Congrats on the little boy 🙂 Love your honesty, too, on the pregnancy weight gain debate… I know when it happens for me, I’ll definitely struggle with that, too. But, growing a little human is worth every pound 🙂

    1. Thanks – it was a fun excuse to eat cake 🙂 It is weird, I know the weight gain is for good reason, but after years of being an athlete and taking care of your body carefully it is a bit hard to see the change. It will be worth it though!

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