Pregnancy is wild.
Our female bodies are able to create another whole human being during pregnancy, within the span of nine months, which may seem like a long time when you’re pregnant, but it really isn’t. Our bodies can house little beings, make them feel safe and warm, from inside us, so close to our hearts.
And the fact that I am fortunate enough to take part in this miracle? It’s an incredible feeling.
Don’t get me wrong, as amazing as it is, it’s hard.
I’ve had it pretty good compared to other women. I never really got sick, maybe a few nauseous days in the first trimester that didn’t bother me much. But I was exhausted. I was sleeping as much as I could, and I felt so weak all the time.
Then the second trimester hit.
I started getting my energy back, but I started having leg cramps at night and those suck. A lot. It’s one of those things they never tell you about pregnancy, because every pregnancy is different and not every woman gets them.
Fortunately, they didn’t happen too often, and if I drank water and stretched often, they happened less.
For a few weeks I had so much energy I was trying to get as much as I could done and get as many hours as I could in at work while I could, because I knew it couldn’t last long. At the same time, I was trying my best to continue resting, to exercise, to eat well, and to start preparing for baby. It all piles up and it’s hard not to get stressed.
Then you start questioning yourself.
You start asking yourself questions like, did I eat enough today? Did I eat the right things? Am I pushing myself too much? Could I be doing more?
Because the things you do don’t start affecting your baby when he’s here. They start affecting your baby when you get pregnant. For me, for us, this baby was the biggest blessing, and I became a mom the moment I realized I was pregnant.
The leg cramps went away for those few weeks and then they came back as I started nearing the end of the second trimester. This time they happened in the mornings, and they were worse and more often. I woke up crying in so much pain a few times.
They don’t last long, but they last long enough.
Now that I’m starting my third trimester, I can feel the exhaustion coming back as well. I’m always hungry but trying not to eat too much, and baby is getting bigger, making it harder for me to breath. I’m trying my best to slow down and take it all in, because as much as the difficult parts aren’t fun, the end is nearing fast and I know I’ll miss it.
And then there’s the physical body changes.
Women are expected to have perfect bodies, even during pregnancy, and the thing is every women’s body responds differently to pregnancy. Even every pregnancy will look different for the same woman. So, how can we really say who has the best pregnancy body and who does not?
When a woman’s body is going through something so drastic, how can we make her feel like she needs to be anything other than healthy?
As someone who’s body has been commented on and scrutinized since teenage-hood, not only by complete strangers but by family members, it took me a while to treat my body the way it needs to be treated – with love and respect.
I’m sure many if not all women can relate to having some sort of body issues, either now or growing up, that they have had to work on and continue to work on, thanks to societal expectations. I have had to work through these alone, and it’s something not many if any of my family or friends really know about, or something I talk about often.
I can say today that I’ve been proud of my body for a while now and I work hard to stay healthy and fit.
So, I can admit that, although I am more than honoured to be giving up my body to house and care for my child, I have my days where I think about getting back to pre-baby me. It can be easy to feel like your body isn’t your own anymore.
All that being said, most days I love my body and my baby bump. I love how when I let it, it empowers me to think about everything I can do, and I choose to think this way rather than to feel betrayed by my body.
Even thinking about labour empowers me.
My plan (I don’t really like calling it this because we all know plans never really go as… planned) is to do everything all natural. Some people think I’m a little crazy because, why wouldn’t I want pain relief from child birth when it’s there?
My thinking is that my body is perfectly able to go through all this without any interventions, and I want to go through that experience. Anything else scares me even more than just letting it happen naturally.
That’s not to say I won’t do anything and everything I have to do for mine and my child’s safety if it comes down to it of course, and I may or may not change my mind during labour. I’m not completely closed off to everything else, and any way a woman brings her child into this world is amazing. But right now, I feel completely prepared to let my body completely take over and do its work. Hopefully it works out that way.
So, some tips I’ve learned through my pregnancy experience that might help you mamas as well:
LEG CRAMPS AND OTHER PREGNANCY FUN
Leg cramps been happening practically every morning for me, so I have tried so many different things to at least lessen them. Some things that have worked (sometimes) are drinking insane amounts of water, stretching every chance I get (especially before bed), getting my husband to massage my calves/legs before bed, and putting a pillow between my legs while I sleep. Putting a pillow between your legs relieves some pressure off your lower back as well.
When you get them, it also helps to try and straighten your leg and flex your foot up. I’m not sure why that works, but it goes away faster when I do it. You can also talk to your doctor about supplements you can take like magnesium, but I’ve been able to just get through them. Sometimes, no matter what you do, they’ll just happen.
It’s hard to think this way but try and remember that everything you go through is for your baby. Your body is creating a whole human being, of course there are going to be some not so great symptoms! It won’t last forever (even if it feels that way)!
That sickness you’re feeling, that aching back, those sleepless nights… all bring you closer to seeing your little one.
APPRECIATE YOUR BODY
Appreciate your body and all its hard work. Maybe this is easier for some women than others, but your body is doing crazy things right now, and it feels like every time you get used to something, your body does something completely different.
But I’m here to tell you it won’t last forever! Enjoy the little things, like cute maternity clothes, baby gifts, and especially all his or her little kicks and rolls. I can’t tell you how many mothers have told me that’s the thing they miss the most.
You may or may not remember all the not so fun things about pregnancy, but you’ll never forget what it feels like to have a little human inside you. Embrace it!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Exercise when and if you can. Sleep and rest as much as possible. Eat well but treat yourself here and there. Don’t beat yourself up over a few pieces of chocolate here, or a cookie or two there (or even a whole box…)! Pamper yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. And never forget, no one knows your body like you do.
Despite all the exhaustion, leg cramps, and body changes, I love being pregnant. I know it’s not always like that for women, but I’m going to miss feeling his jabs in my ribs, seeing my tummy rise and fall with his kicks and pushes.
It’s an amazing feeling knowing I’m creating a little boy that will one day walk the earth and have his own thoughts and feelings – that my husband and I will raise the best we can, and that will one day be his own man. The gift I have been given is not lost on me, and I pray I never take it for granted.
We can’t wait to meet you little man but keep cooking as long as you need to. Mama’s happy loving you from the inside for now.
If you liked this post you may also like this one about how I managed to stay healthy and fit throughout my pregnancy!