Looking back, these past 26 weeks have absolutely flown by. While certain periods seemed painfully slow (Hello! First trimester!), I am now at the realization that there are only 14 short weeks left until my life is changed forever.
Pregnancy thus far has been incredibly different than I ever imagined it would be, and in all honesty, that has been a really great thing. As a matter of fact, it has been pretty amazing. For starters, I really, really lucked out. I never had morning sickness, headaches, dizziness or typical pregnancy symptoms of any kind. The worst I got was a case of crappy skin and a temporary bout of narcolepsy, and for this I feel unbelievably blessed. I have heard the horror stories of those who weren’t so lucky, and I truly can’t imagine the hell that must have been. Pregnancy is hard enough without the extras, so for all of you ladies who have suffered through morning sickness and carried on with your daily life, I applaud you. You’re a rock star.
On the food front, my appetite never seemed to suffer from any real aversions. Did I always want to eat healthy over the last 6 months? No, I’m human, but thankfully my cravings were never too far off base. I think the biggest thing that’s changed for me is the fact that I have really craved meat, red meat in particular, when I was practically vegan prior to pregnancy. In my personal opinion, pregnancy is a time where we should be careful to listen to our bodies, so I have tried to do just that as I feel it knows what it needs. I am not saying that I’ve listened to every salt and vinegar chip craving I have had thinking my body must need it, but I do think that the meat craving is justified as the additional protein was needed for my growing baby and energy levels in general. When I do eat meat, I always make sure its grass-fed and organic, and I try to only indulge 1-2 times a week for the sake of my cholesterol. I try to keep the remainder of my diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, but that isn’t to say that I don’t indulge in the occasional order of French fries every now and then.
As far as working out, I have always been an active individual, especially over the past few years, so it has been extremely important to me to maintain that. I don’t feel great when I don’t workout, so I have tried to be consistent throughout my pregnancy by getting something in every day. The first trimester was a little difficult on this front because I was so ridiculously exhausted and lethargic that I only engaged in light activity like prenatal-pilates and some light walking, but once I got into the second trimester, my energy levels returned and I started up an outdoor walking program of 5-6 miles a day, at least 5 times a week, along with some light weights to regain some kind of muscle tone. Keeping active has been a lifesaver when it comes to alleviating any pregnancy related aches and pains, but beyond that, it has also been a savior for my sanity. I am a true believer in the saying that a body in motion stays in motion, and when I am active, my mind feels clear, my stress levels dissipate and my self-image improves, which certainly helps my emotional state. Along with all of the mental and physical positives working out has provided me with, it has also really helped me to maintain a slow and steady weight gain. During the end of my first trimester, I kind of took a month off over the holidays from working out, and boy did I pay for it! I ended up gaining 6 lbs. in just that month! Thankfully, the weight gain slowed back down to a healthy rate once I started moving again and monitoring my diet, but that was definitely a lesson learned!
At 26 weeks, I have gained 18 lbs. and all in all, I feel pretty great! There are certainly days I feel swollen and uncomfortable, but I know I am doing everything in my power to have a healthy and active pregnancy, so I have accepted that the rest of it is out of my control. It is far too easy to get down on yourself or be hard on your appearance when something changes each and every day, but I have to remind myself daily that all of this is temporary and the end reward makes all of it worth it. I want my daughter to have a healthy, positive body image and that starts with me, and how I view myself.
With 14 weeks left to go, I plan on keeping active, eating right, indulging occasionally and cherishing every precious moment that pregnancy has to offer. Here is to hoping that the next few months are as good as the last few!
Here is me at 21 weeks…..
And most recently at 25 weeks…..