I could write pages and pages about my pregnancies. Though what I would like to communicate is how individual pregnancy is. And how each pregnancy is individual from one to the next. Through my personal journeys of pregnancy, it's been highlighted and underlined, that we are ever changing beings. Just like how it's true that the same diet and exercise routine you followed in college, is probably not what works best for you today. Whether or not you want to accept that. In my experience, the same idea is true for pregnancy.
When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I made the common mistake of assuming everything would be the same. Right off the bat I started eating the same foods and doing the same types of workouts that I did the first time around. I also assumed that my energy levels would be the same. It didn't take long for my body to tell me otherwise. This time I've wanted more protein dense foods. Last time I had more carb cravings. Last time I ran until I was about 35 weeks pregnant. This time I stopped at 16 weeks. Last time I practically had no physical "pregnancy symptoms", other than my belly. This time varicose veins appeared on the backs of my legs early in my second trimester. Last time I was childless. This time I've been a stay-at-mom chasing a toddler around. My energy and need of it, has been way different. Still, luckily, one thing has been the same... I have felt generally great through both pregnancies and feel very fortunate to be able to say that.
The huge lesson I've learned is the importance of listening to my body. Listening to my body's communication and responding accordingly is something that I've struggled with my whole life. Pregnancy has helped me get better at developing that skill.
So what kind of information have I been responding to the last few months leading up to the big day? Eating intuitively and eating what I really want. I can easily get caught up in strict routine (related to anything) and feeling as though I should be eating a certain type of food at a certain time. I've been better at taking a moment to ask myself if I am hungry and more importantly, what I'm really hungry for. Generally speaking I've wanted foods more dense in protein. Things like eggs, nuts, salmon, tuna salad from Whole Foods - I have been picking it up weekly since the first trimester. I used to somewhat pride myself on being vegan, but I've realized if I'm not listening to my body (especially while pregnant), there's not a whole lot to be proud of. I'm proud to be fueling myself and my growing baby with high quality foods packed with nutrients that I want to eat. I also take rest when I'm tired, when I can. I'm not a napper. But if Leila Mae is napping and I'm tired, I let myself lay down for a few minutes to reset before taking on the rest of the day with her. As I mentioned, I stopped running at 16 weeks. I love morning runs. And was incredibly sad to give them up. But at about 16 weeks, it felt like my body literally said, "NO". So I stopped. Given no running, Covid, and winter weather not great for stroller walks - I've been mostly working out at home. I get my cardio fill through the System of Strength Digital Studio and toning through Openfit. Modo Yoga is my happy place. I go there for the heated room to stretch and strengthen. I also go there because it's my second home, a place I feel such a strong connection of community. I do everything I can to make it to a class once a week, twice if I'm lucky. Other than running, I've felt really good working out. Of course I have implemented a lot of modifications to reduce impact and make space for my growing belly. Working out almost every morning has been something consistent through both pregnancies. It makes me feel better and more energized throughout my day. For me personally, I feel strongly that if I take care of my body through diet and exercise during pregnancy, my body will be better equipped to rebound and take care of itself afterwards. That was a successful strategy after Leila Mae, I can report back on that after #2 arrives shortly.
The message here is that whether you're male or female, pregnant or not - we are always changing. In order to be the best daily versions of ourselves we need to be available to listen to what our bodies are communicating. Part two is responding to that information accordingly. Achieving overall health requires us to constantly be open to the fact that we are evolving everyday. And how incredible it is that we're never stuck in one place?