Oh hey--still here. It’s crazy how I can enjoy something like writing so much and still make so little time for it. This seems to be the theme of motherhood, I’ve found. As much as I preach putting on your own oxygen mask first, I have to admit that, when time is precious, I tend to choose physical activity and time with my girlfriends before my other hobbies (blogging being one of them, etc.). My guess is because it takes a lot of brain power and I feel like that’s not something I have a surplus of these days! All I know is that I hope a second maternity leave comes with a little extra writing time.
… Did I mention I’m pregnant? Numero dos is on the way and we are pretty stoked to announce it’s a boy! It’s the first grandson for both sides of our family and we couldn’t be more excited about it. That said, excitement isn’t the only emotion I’ve felt throughout this pregnancy. It definitely took me some time to wrap my head around the fact that we will soon be a family of four! I have also dealt with my fair share of mom guilt, especially knowing that Ayla isn’t really old enough to understand that she won’t be the queen of the castle anymore and is going to have to share her parents. As much as we try to explain it to her (and I do think she knows something is up) I know she doesn’t truly get what’s about to happen (and potentially thinks we’ve just changed the name for “bellybutton” to “baby”). And let’s be serious: she is going to be pissed. For a while, anyway. And then I’m hoping that she, ya know, loves her brother. I’ll keep you posted (but for real: do you think I should read at all into the fact that she wouldn't hold the pregnancy test or the sign for the photos above? It's fine, right?). That said, I’ve been working really hard not to dwell on that aspect of this life change. I really try to focus on the fact that we are so lucky to have a growing family and I know everyone’s heart will only grow with this new addition.
If you recall from my last pregnancy, I wrote about being horrendously ill for the first trimester (plus a good chunk of the second). I wish I was here to say that things were different this time, that I was nausea-free and just fed an insatiable, human-growing hunger. But, alas, that was not the case. Around week 8, the full-day nausea and extreme exhaustion kicked in like clockwork. Growing a kid is hard work! However, unlike last pregnancy, when I put a lot of energy into trying to make my sickness go away, I was more accepting of it this time. Experience taught me that there was little I could do to improve the situation except wait it out. So, I slipped into survival mode and buckled down for a rough few months. The first trimester with a toddler was a whole new ballgame. Gone were the days where I could crawl into bed at 4:30pm and stay there for the remainder of the evening. Parenting continued, as it turns out, and my daughter had very little empathy for my situation. Like last round, I was forever thankful for my rockstar of a husband who picked up the slack in so many ways when I was unable to function.
Fortunately, soon after the first trimester was up, I started to feel really great. Energy returned and nausea subsided. Eating can still be tricky at times, but totally doable and I really can’t complain! Having summers off meant that I was able to get back into the gym on a regular basis. Knowing that I am holding onto strength and preparing my body for labour and beyond is a big motivating factor for staying active. It gives me mental clarity and a true sense of fulfillment. As a teacher back at work this fall, I’ve set up a minimal but decent little home gym for myself and work out primarily in my basement in the evenings and try to get to the gym once or twice a week when I want to do some heavier lifting or change up my environment. If you’re able to, I really encourage you to find an activity that you enjoy and makes you feel good throughout your pregnancy. You will be so thankful you did, particularly after baby arrives, as it will support your recovery in a big way.
Many women will agree that food aversions are real during pregnancy. So I chuckled to myself a little bit when my midwife told me, during our last appointment, that now was the time to eat EXTRA healthy and really get my nutrition in. Listen, I get it. Of course you want to be fuelling your body with an optimal diet when growing a person. But it’s not always that simple. Often, the last thing I want is a high protein, high veg dinner (her suggestion. Love her, by the way… but still). So, my goal is to always eat as well as I can manage that day, but not worry if my meals don’t turn out being optimally balanced and include every nutrient I would ideally choose. Overall healthy (or healthy-ish) options are the ticket. Good. Not perfect.
My mantra is self kindness and eat… as healthy as I can stomach. Not bad, right? I will admit that regularly thinking about my diet as a way to fuel my body and baby’s growth, mixed with my own education and habits, supports me in making good, overall choices. So I encourage you to think of food as fuel, as well as something to be enjoyed/stomached.
Many of the strategies I used to survive those first few difficult months still rang true this time around, so if you want to check out my top tips for getting through the first trimester, take a look here.
At 27 weeks, I am entering full nesting mode and am so excited to welcome this little guy into our family! Not knowing if this is my last pregnancy or not, I am soaking up all of the little kicks and flips (even the late-night ones), regular reminders of the life growing inside of me, and appreciating everything my body is doing right now. Pregnancy and birth really are complete miracles and I want to relish in this feeling until the end.