It has been 6 months and 5 days since I've been pregnant. (Not that I'm rejoicing in denim again or anything…liar liar jeans on fire) And it has been during this time I was able to reflect on the pregnancy journey the fourth time around.
Well, technically the fifth. We lost a little one during the first trimester between Avila and Max. Our little "Gabriel" as we call him. Yes it was hard. But it is also beautiful knowing we did our job: to get our child to heaven. 'Cause that's all we're really asked to do. And every time I refer to anything about our family - we have 4 kids, there are 6 of us - Avila always corrects me. NO mom, there are 5 kids. NO mom, there are 7 of us. They love their brother and pray for him every night. They ask what he looks like and can't wait to meet him. And neither can we. I didn't mean to make this a weird side note, but if Avila were reading the blog she would be on my case. Plus, Gabriel needs a shout out every now and then.
And so, I guess the fifth time around you would think I finally have this bun in the oven thing figured out. Maybe I do and maybe I don't but I did learn/try some things this time around that made a world of difference.
Before I go on, you should read this. It's awesome...
Hey American, Pregnancy: You're doing it all wrong.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming: listening to me opine about bellies and babies. Cute, squishy, babies.
And only somewhat cute, very squishy bellies.
If I were to sum up my pregnancy with Lola it would go something like this:
Listen to my body but pretend I'm not pregnant.
#1: Listening to my body: Well, that's a given. If I was hungry, I ate (more on what in a minute). If I was tired (like death tired) I would let go of everything non-important and try to fit a nap in. If I was only kind of tired I sucked it up. I pushed myself pretty far in this pregnancy (running, boarding) but at the end of the day, baby always came first. Hence the reason I was on the cheering squad for the Tacoma City Marathon and not with my peeps.
#2: Pretend I wasn't pregnant: This doesn't mean I wasn't careful but I never let pregnancy be an excuse for giving up. If I have a crappy non-pregnant day it's not like I can blame it on something so pregnancy wasn't a cop out for me to be a blob (most days) or for me to over-indulge in bad habits "just because" I was pregnant. If anything, I took extra care to make sure I was eating clean, working out, staying happy, being normal because well, hello: life inside of me! I also didn't really change a whole lot of my normal routine because (as Kendra writes in the article above) pregnancy isn't a disease: I still drank coffee and ate shrimp. I went on water slides. I drank a glass of wine every week. I still ran marathons (4 to be exact). No, I wasn't careless, but I listened to science and reason and I don't believe that life should be stopped living. Pregnancy is beautiful and wonderful and normal and I don't think God meant for us to throw in the towel for 9 months.
Marathon/Ultra #12 for me. #1 for Lola.
Marathon #2 for Lola. I was 8 weeks. And wanted to die. But I wore a tutu so that helped.
Marathon #3 for Lola. Where she officially became a Marathon Maniac
And now for some details. I honestly believe that staying active and eating as clean as possible were two of the biggest keys to having a great pregnancy.
**A disclaimer: listen to your body (duh like above) and check with your doc. But my doc was weird about the marathons and I ran them anyway (my body said it was OK) so I might not be the best person to ask for advice, bahahaha. PLUS, I was running marathons BEFORE I got pregnant so it's not like I was doing something new. My body was actually going through withdrawals from the LESS RUNNING during the first parts of my pregnancy so in order to not feel EXTRA crappy I had to keep up most of what I was doing before. OK, the end.**
Here's a little breakdown of what I did, trimester by trimester:
TRI 1 (weeks 1-13): Ate lots of protein. Never ever let myself get hungry (makes nausea worse). Tried to eat only whole foods (fruits, veggies, nothing processed) but sometimes cereal was where it was at. Gave myself a little hall pass for not being too stringent but at the same time knowing that the healthier I was the better I would feel. Probably a bonus I have every food allergy in the world and can't eat that Big Mac I really really wanted. I also ran/worked out as much as I could which totally helped the nausea. But I also took this time to "be selfish" and do more of what felt good instead of what I "should have been" doing. Although I did run three marathons in my first trimester. Nothing like nausea at mile 18.....
TRI 2 (weeks 14-38): Yes, I know the second trimester ends at 28 weeks or something like that. But most people hit that third trimester and kick their feet back and then crap sits in and it's WEEKS (WEEKS PEOPLE) of misery. So I always kept the notion that I had a looong way to go. With my other pregnancies I would think "Ooooo, only 6 more weeks!" but with this one I would say "2 more months, gotta step it up a notch!" Totally helped mentally.
My motto for eating was this: not too much, mostly plants. My diet consisted of lean protein, fruit, lots of veggies, eggs, nuts, very little grains. I don't buy into the "eating for two" and I wanted to keep my weight gain within a healthy yet reasonable amount. In total I gained 17 lbs and still had a healthy 7lb 11oz baby girl. (First pregnancy, 25lbs, second pregnancy 20lbs, third 18lbs.) Knowing how my body handles weight during pregnancy I didn't really gain anything the first trimester, the second I kept it at about 1/2 pound a week, and the third trimester is where I usually pack it on - a pound a week the last 5-6 weeks. I never was fixated on the number because all I cared about was a healthy baby but I pretty much just ate (clean) when I was hungry and knew my body would grow this baby nice and fine. I did allow myself treats every now and then but I also knew that it would be easier to keep any extra weight gain at bay NOW vs trying to lose it WHEN TAKING CARE OF A NEWBORN AND 3 OTHER KIDS.
(I'm totally not knocking anyone and their pregnancy journey - I'm just trying to outline what I personally did to try and turn a potentially crappy time into a potentially good-feeling one. I got a lot of "you are so lucky you have easy pregnancy" comments but in actuality I put in the
TRI 3 (Weeks 38-42): Yes, I delivered at 42 weeks. OK, more like 41 weeks and 5 flipping days. I totally thought she would fall out on the treadmill or on my paddle board or something but she had to get kicked out. (Full birth story here, if you're into that thing.) But honestly I felt so good even being overdue that I could've gone another 2 weeks. I did Boot Camp and boarded the day before she came. She must've been all cozy. Or stuck. Waiting for mama to slow down....I had never been induced before and it was a longer-ish labor but my endurance remained (almost) and I was thanking my lucky stars (and the dreadmill) for keeping my spirits high.
This was two days before Lola was born. 2.5 miles like a snail.
And the day before she was kicked out. Glorious sun for a soon-to-be glorious babe.
Post-Partum: OK, this is where I noticed the BIGGEST difference in keeping active/eating clean during pregnancy. But this post has gone on long enough so I shall name it Pregnancy 4.0 1.0...Part 2.0 will come next where I talk about the few key things I did to recover well, stave of Post-Partum Depression (of which I've had), and feel great during the newborn crappy time. OH, and I'll share HOW I HEALED MY DIASTASIS RECTI DURING and POST PREGNANCY. You know, that Ab separation thing that makes non-pregnant ladies look pregnant. Yup had it BAD. Like, "are you pregnant" when your baby was 18 months old bad. But it can be healed! I promise I won't leave you hanging too long on that one. It's just that my fingers are tired. And I have kids to feed or something.
But you're welcome for obligatory baby picture. Buh Bye. For now.