It’s been fun sharing the news the last few weeks with friends and family, but I thought what better topic to announce and discuss on my blog. As most of you know from my past blog posts, my battles with fibroids, periods, fibroid surgery, and then a miscarriage have been a lot to handle. I had started to dislike as well as doubt my menstrual cycle and reproductive anatomy. My uterus had given me so much pain and loss over the course of two years that I just didn’t know if I wanted to be friends with my woman parts ever again. I hated my period, I hated my uterus, I hated my fibroids, and I hated that my body rejected a pregnancy.
Well…now I LOVE my female body and all my parts! It’s truly a miracle to observe my body change and make room for a growing baby in my belly. But this current love has been a battle to arrive to. My husband and I didn’t want to get our hopes up because of the last miscarriage so we didn’t find out I was pregnant until about 7 weeks pregnant. And then we were a little more cautious about our excitement for the next couple weeks. We were still telling close friends and family because I would tell them if we loss the baby again, but this one we kept a little closer to our hearts, as if we were willing the growing cells to take in extra love and good vibes. Finally, the 12 week mark passed in November 2018, and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. We were through the most likely time of miscarriage and onto the the true acceptance of the pregnancy! We are due May 23rd, 2019, so as I write this I am in my 20th week of pregnancy (half-way there!) and we could not be more thrilled to be on this journey. But while overall enjoying the journey, there has certainly been many ups and downs as I learn to appreciate and understand my new body and its needs.
First trimester was hard. Not in the way of vomiting (I was very fortunate to have never experienced morning sickness so badly that I vomited, just occasional waves of nausea) but instead through fatigue and hormonal side-effects. I felt lifeless most of the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Unable to get up in the morning, but also unable to get a full nights sleep because I had to pee so many times during the night. I was absolutely exhausted after walking my pup, Stevie, or teaching a yoga class, so I lost motivation to do my own yoga practice or workouts. It would be lucky if I did one yoga class a week for myself, but most weeks I did nothing other than teach yoga and walk the dog. This made me feel so unhealthy. There has never been a moment in my life that I did not do an athletic activity almost every single day. Moving my body has always made me feel good. And being so stagnant felt so awful, not in the way of my body (my body was actually craving and needing the extra rest) but in my mind. My ego was being so cruel to me, calling me a slug, fat, lazy, and so many other names. I had an expectation of what I would be like pregnant, and my ego was very unhappy that I was not even close to meeting these expectations. On top of the lack of athletics, I also was not wanting to eat healthy. I didn’t want many vegetables (and as a vegetarian this is quite limiting for a diet haha), all I wanted was bread and pasta. So my breakfast would be avocado toast, lunch would be a bagel or cheese and crackers, and dinner would be spaghetti or lasagna. This additionally made me feel crappy about my health decisions, but it was truly what my body wanted: carbs carbs carbs.
Around 16 weeks pregnant (so after first trimester, and when many women start to feel well again), I was still feeling just as fatigued, unmotivated, and unhealthy. And because of another expectation to receive a “second wind” and finally have the energy to workout again didn’t happen either, I had a meltdown. It broke me. All the errands I had been putting off, all the house-cleaning I had been avoiding, all the meals I stopped cooking suddenly seemed too overwhelming to handle. I felt so much guilt for my husband having to put twice the effort in to clean the house, support my extreme emotions, and do the errands I didn’t do. He was doing everything and I was doing nothing. Then on top of all this my car stopped working and was determined to be totalled (unless I wanted to pay a ton of money, about double what the car was actually worth). This cherry on top pushed me into extreme sadness, I’m pretty sure depression. I couldn’t function and I had no idea how to pick myself up. Fortunately I voiced my sudden emotions on Instagram and not only did so many wonderful souls message me to share their tough pregnancy stories or to share their support, but people went the extra mile to get me back on my feet. My mom flew in from Vancouver for 24 hours to clean my house, help me cook a nice meal, walk my pup, and tell me to get to a yoga class and take care of myself. Friends baked me treats, yoga students gave me hugs and gifts, a beautiful soul offered to take my pup for walks when I was busy, and a wonderful friend invited me over for a delicious meal. All of this love and support helped me more than I can ever describe and truly got me back on track to understanding my self and my pregnancy.
I realized after this breakdown that I had been too hard on myself. I had pre-decided high expectations of what my pregnancy should be like, without room for it to be something else. So when my pregnancy was opposite of my expectations, I judged myself, compared myself and disliked myself. Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, but our experience is determined by our own choice of reactions. I choose to listen to my ego instead of my needs. I choose to fill myself with guilt and disappointment instead of love and understanding. I choose to focus on the negatives instead of celebrate the positives. I mean, I am growing a HUMAN inside of me! How crazy is that!? It’s truly a miracle and it takes hard work to grow a baby. I am now taking this pregnancy day by day, and celebrating the little milestones (like doing the laundry! Or making a healthy meal! Or going to a yoga class! Or treating myself to a massage! Or reading a book! Or catching up with a friend!) as well as enjoying each day more slowly with deeper awareness. I understand now that my body is beautiful and strong and has different needs than it did before I was pregnant, and that is totally ok. And I’m sure my needs will continue to change, so instead of expecting, I am listening. Now every day feels special and wonderful and I am grateful for my change in attitude. Thank you everyone that helped me find perspective and trust in the process. I needed each and every one of you to get me to this positive place of enjoying my pregnancy. And I look forward to the ups and downs and teachings ahead!