The Ups, Downs and In Betweens of Pregnancy

This is more of a personal post rather than an educational one, simply because, I feel like venting a little. Well, not really venting, just giving you a glimpse of what the last six and a half months of growing a human have been like for a dietitian!

As you all probably know by now, the “bloated” tummy has now transformed into a full-fledged “yep, there’s a little human in there” belly. Now I have to admit; the first 5-6 months were pretty  much smooth-sailing and I shouldn’t really complain. Morning sickness, well more like a wee bit of nausea, lasted for only 3 weeks and was practically gone by 16 weeks. My insane need for afternoon naps slowly subsided and things were pretty much tip top – “let’s do this” kinda attitude from then on. So many mamas-to-be including myself have a plan of how the journey ahead would look like for them:

  • Of course, we have to start with meal choices: super-healthy, well balanced with the occasional treat
  • Squats, cardio, strength training, Kegels 4-5 times per week
  • Pre-natal yoga, swimming
  • Stretch-mark prevention like it’s a plague
  • Taking  prenatal vitamins regularly
  • Embracing the pregnancy glow, that growing belly and bigger boobs
  • Weight gain of around 10Kg
  • Get as much sleep possible because we all know what the outcome is post-baby

And the list went on…My reality was this:

  • Yes, given my love for good, home-cooked, nourishing, plant based food, I definitely enjoyed loads of yummy meals but by around 5 months, I developed this bizarre and overly intense craving for something sweet right after dinner. I believe we’ve lost count of how many Nutella jars I have devoured. Yes, that heavenly, creamy, nutty, processed stuff by the spoonfuls. 
  • I kept active and kept my exercise routine going for about 4 times per week, so yay me! Until my pelvis decided to fail me and am now currently on crutches and receiving physio twice per week. It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve seen any piece of equipment or the inside of a gym. The pain has been unbearable and the melt-downs have definitely come and go in the last few weeks because in my controlling, “everything has to go according to plan” mind, I am failing.
  • Weight gain to date – 8.5Kg possibly 9 Kg aaaand I still have 3 more months to go… I bid farewell to my bi-weekly weigh ins. As shocking as it is (being a dietitian who feels strongly about protecting women’s body image) , I was surprised at how that number affected my thoughts and perception of my own body during a time that is meant to be so precious and life-changing. 
  • My IBS has been at its worst. Will spare you the details.
  • No stretch-marks to date – I guess genetics definitely play a role then! Well regardless, I will continue to religiously use my cream of choice – not that I’m wanting all of you stock up on this stuff nor am I exclusively associated with any brand – but I have been loving Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter. Everyday, twice a day. 
  • Never made it to yoga.
  • My face…Oh my face. Hello to being 14 again! Matter of fact, I never had that much acne andScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.54.05 PM bad skin until the hormones decided to go all hell on my face with the pregnancy. 
  • The only way I could possibly describe breasts changing throughout pregnancy, keeping it PG, is imagining two honey badgers dangling from these ladies for dear life with their claws and teeth.
  • I’m booked in for an iron infusion next week and am anxiously waiting for my results for gestational diabetes (side note: now I know why all my clients complained about that damned glucose tolerance test…Drinking 75g of pure sugar on an empty stomach – lord have mercy). 
  • As for sleep, I have been waking up at 6:30am sharp, which is mind-boggling. I L.O.V.E my sleep. Regardless of when I have gone to bed the night before, here I am, sipping away on my coffee, listening to the birds (and now, the most annoying construction work next door) at the crack of dawn. Who am I?!

When people ask about how my pregnancy is going, there are times where I feel so bloody guilty for not enjoying it. The mental and physical challenges that get thrown at you every week were something I was definitely not prepared for but who is? As I slowly make my journey towards the final trimester, I continue to learn so much about myself and I must say, as cliché as it sounds, those kicks (not the 4 am ones that feel like an alien is clawing its way out of my stomach) do make me forget everything and just live in the moment. Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.54.22 PM

Do I have a birth plan? Of course I do! But I am now prepared to take things on as they come and truly practice this whole “come what may” mantra. Mamas and mamas-to-be, you are powerful, beautiful creatures and hell yes, we ARE superwomen (bow down!).  

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