What Surprised Me About Pregnancy
When it comes to being pregnant, I really cannot complain. I would probably rate my overall experience an 9 / 10. And most of the negative experiences were emotional vs. physical for me. Since I am nearing the last few weeks of my pregnancy (3 more to go, to be exact), I thought it would be fun to share the good, bad and unexpected when it came to being pregnant for me.
Please note: every woman's experience with pregnancy is so different. I've heard many stories and while some of the symptoms are similar, we all have a different experience. It's so important to embrace your own pregnancy story and to try to enjoy the journey as much as possible! Comparison is the thief of joy - so don't focus on how others experiences look or sound different than your own. Just remember that you are growing a tiny human and that having a healthy baby is really what matters most!
1. Exhaustion is REAL!
This has been the biggest adjustment for me. I am the type of person that is ALWAYS on-the-go. I can do a million things in a day and it doesn't typically phase me. With pregnancy, my biggest symptom was exhaustion. Suddenly, a daily nap was necessary. And there were times early on I could barely function due to being so tired. I think part of it was because I've been dealing with low iron due to anemia this pregnancy. I think it's also just tiring in general to grow a baby. So, I had to adjust to my new energy levels by being more productive in shorter timeframes and learning to give myself grace when I had to just rest.
2. Two words: Bathroom Problems
This is going to be information overload, but it's important to be aware of. Being pregnant brings lots of fun bathroom problems. From constipation to having to pee every minute, it felt like I always was dreading going to the bathroom for one reason or another. And don't get me started on all the changes that happen down there. Let's just say, invest in underwear that is pregnancy friendly - and don't be ashamed to go up a size to fit your expanding hips!
3. Working out is possible
One thing that positively surprised me has been my ability to continue with my workouts! I did take a week or so off in my first trimester due to feeling dizzy and overly exhausted, but for the most part kept up my regular fitness routine through 37 weeks. Working out is such a stress reliever for me and it also makes me feel better physically. I definitely attribute being active during pregnancy to how I've felt overall. Plus, I think my weekly workouts helped me to gradually gain a healthy amount of pregnancy weight vs. packing on the pounds rapidly or gaining too much for my body. My doctor informed me that it's completely healthy to keep up my workouts, which consist of rowing (cardio) + strength training (weights) during pregnancy, as it was something my body was used to prior to getting pregnant. I definitely had days where I had to listen to my body and either slow down, modify the workout or just skip altogether to rest, but overall it is possible to be active during pregnancy.
4. Giving up alcohol is actually pretty great
I know there will be backlash on this one, but I have to admit that I haven't missed drinking alcohol this pregnancy! I wasn't a 'heavy' drinker pre-pregnancy, but definitely enjoyed a glass of wine or two throughout the week with dinner (or after a stressful day) and always enjoyed cocktails with friends and my husband on the weekends. So, I thought drinking would be something that I would miss, but for the most part - being sober has actually been quite enjoyable! Minus one month of doing a diet that involved no drinking, I can't remember that last time I've been sober for this long. And I have to be honest: I feel much more clear-headed, love waking up without a hangover on the weekends and actually enjoy going to social gatherings without drinking (you remember EVERYTHING). I will definitely indulge in a glass of rose once baby is here, but for the most part, I am looking forward to drinking less now that I've done it for so long.
5. My body is amazing
I am not going to lie, I definitely struggled with all of the physical body changes at the beginning and even end of pregnancy. I had just started to feel good in my own skin after focusing on fitness + health the year prior to getting pregnant, so watching my body change was not always easy. There were times I worried I was gaining too much weight (some weeks I gained more and some I gained nothing). There were weeks when I was anxious about getting stretch marks or feeling uncomfortable in my own skin..or when I realized my clothes no longer fit. But there were also days when I felt totally in awe of how amazing it is that I am able to grow a healthy baby. Leaving my doctor's appointments always gave me a positive mood boost and it helped to have a supportive, loving husband that was patient with me as I grew, and grew some more. I definitely feel thankful that I've had a healthy pregnancy and it's been important to be positive around the body changes because I know it's all worth it.
6. Nesting is normal
I always heard about 'nesting' when pregnant, but never thought it would be a thing for me. As I said, I am a workaholic that likes to do all the things, but am not a homebody or someone that enjoys cleaning. But I definitely experienced a major dose of nesting toward my third trimester and I feel like my priorities from work to home life have shifted. While I always love having a clean home, I suddenly found myself cleaning and keeping our home organized. I also was obsessed with getting the nursery done and making sure each room in our home was clean and clutter-free. Throughout the pregnancy, we repainted every room in our home. De-cluttered every room in our home. And made quite a few home purchases to make sure everything was just as I wanted for baby. Let's just say, my husband has loved this aspect of my pregnancy! I never have been this organized and neat before and I hope that nesting continues once baby is here.
7. Weird things happen and that's okay
There are so many weird things that happen to your body (and mind) during pregnancy...like, I suddenly started snoring (loudly) at night around 36 weeks pregnant, when that's never been an issue before. My tastebuds would change from week to week, making grocery runs and dinner plans interesting. Leaks happened. And so did so many other things that I am sure are normal, but are just too weird/gross to type. My husband watched all of these not-so-fun side effects happen and still managed to look at me loving me and assure everything was as it should be. So, the point of this is...weird things happen, and that is okay. There is nothing wrong with you. You are just no longer in control of your body and that is just fine because you will get a baby out of it, which makes it worth it.