Pregnancy is less fun the second time around

Photo credit - Kelly Balch

I have officially entered the single digit weekly countdown until my baby girl is here. Where has the time gone?

This pregnancy has definitely felt totally different then my first one. For starters, consistent exercise has been an ultimate goal of mine for… roughly 34 weeks now, and is yet to be met! With my son I hiked, power walked, lifted weights, and basically had the Rambo soundtrack on repeat in my head. I attended weekly circuit classes, chugged green smoothies like it was my job, practiced yoga, and generally loved every  minute of my pregnancy. I mean, it’s such a wonderful time! How can you NOT love being pregnant? In fact I loved it so much, I couldn’t fathom those women who endured it rather than celebrated in the miracle that their body was performing.

Until now. Now I am that woman who is enduring this miraculous time of my life. Though this pregnancy started off much easier than my first, I didn’t get very nauseous, I certainly never threw up, those tables have turned. I’ve developed varicose veins down the backs of my thighs, my indigestion makes me wonder if I’ll be birthing a yeti come September, and the mood swings have me seriously wondering how in God’s name my husband still shows any remote signs of affection towards me.

Whereas before I felt like one with my big belly, loving every little kick, and laughing when I could no longer bend down to tie my shoes, this time around my belly feels massive and uncomfortable. Baby girl’s kicks are so hard, that they make me jerk and shift positions. I get frustrated when I can’t comfortably perform a task like I used to. I long for the day I can sleep on my belly again, twist my body without feeling a pull that makes me wonder if I just did some permanent damage, and exercising without feeling like my whole body is just on the verge of falling apart.

In general, everything feels looser, heavier, more taxing. My fatigue is significantly worse. That’s partly to blame for my lack of picking up iron pills when I run out and consistently forgetting about them until after I’ve come home, unloaded the toddler and groceries, and partly due to the perinatal anxiety I deal with on a regular basis. My son’s an amazing sleeper now thanks to my dear friend who’s a sleep consultant but also a magical goddess of sorts, I’m pretty sure, so there’s no real reason why I shouldn’t be getting a solid 8 hours each night. But with my daughter’s arrival in just two months time, I’m savoring the uninterrupted late nights watching Netflix on the couch cuddled up next to my husband. I should be going to sleep at least an hour earlier, but spending that one-on-one time with him right now is so important to me (especially since I’m a real peach some days). And though we spend most of that time reflecting on how cute our first born is, and wondering if other parents spend as much time as we do discussing their obsessions with their own children, I cherish this time. I know what’s coming, and I don’t want to sleep away these quiet moments!

Let’s be honest, even if I did get to bed at a decent hour, I’d be up for that same amount of time, if not longer simultaneously worrying about all of the big changes ahead and getting beat up from the inside by a tiny, roughly 3.5 lb fetus. Girl’s got some serious fight in her!

My weekly exercise consists of all the organic movements associated with interacting with a toddler (bear crawls, slow motion chasing, tickle fights, diaper change wrestling matches, lifting up, putting down, lifting up, putting down, lifting up, putting down..). If I’m lucky (or desperate enough) I manage to squeeze in a bit of yoga practice and the odd power walk. Some days I get to finish an entire green smoothie, some days I share it with my son, some days I forget where, or when I put it down and by the time I find it it’s got a less than pleasant tinge of compost rank to it (I like to add a LOT of greens to my smoothies). But some days I just don’t get around to making them all together. I’ve given in to far too many hankerings for chips at the end of the day, eaten way too many Oreos, and sent my husband off to get ice cream too many times to count. Don’t worry, I take my prenatals (almost) every day and actually eat nutritious meals throughout the day. Baby girl’s getting her vitamins and minerals. I held off on a lot of these cravings with my son. I mean, I gave in at least 50% of the time, but for the most part, I tried adhering to a whole foods plant-based diet.

Suffice to say, this pregnancy has humbled me. My fitness level isn’t where I expected it to be at, my eating habits have entered a whole new level of lenient, and although I’m counting my blessing, I’m also counting down the weeks to my due date. I’m uncomfortable and often on the verge of tears or rage. My solace? That my family will be complete once this baby is here.

Photo credit – Kelly Balch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s