At the age of 35, I finally hit a milestone in my life that I had been dreaming of, starting a family. Luckily, my pregnancy went so smoothly, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Not that it didn't come with some minor hiccups, but it was a fantastic experience all in all .
When we found out the news that we were pregnant, we were over the moon happy, however once the instant joy passed, I immediately had that sudden fear of gaining back all the weight that took me three years to lose. Therefore I set my mind to make sure that I would keep my healthy eating (not dieting, but healthy) and continue exercising as much as I could in order to maintain a healthy and realistic weight gain. I was worried about being vegan and pregnant, however my doctor told me that all was fine as long as I ate a variety of vegetables as I usually do. And so my journey began!
During the first trimester, I continued training as usual, no changes in my fitness routine. I lifted just as heavy and continued my HIIT 4-5 times a week. I did not have much nausea, but when I did, I would simply eat some carbs and it seemed to subside. With the extra carbs I was eating during the first trimester, I gained 6 pounds. My only cravings were tomatoes and apples! The only drawback during this first trimester was the extreme fatigue. I would take naps on the turf at the studio, using the sandbag as a pillow, between clients. Thankfully I have an amazing job. All my clients are fantastic, if I needed an extra 15 min nap, my clients would let me sleep and they would do a little more cardio.
At the first ultrasound, they noticed that I had 2 subchorionic hematomas, which is essentially a pooling of blood between the membrane surrounding the embryo, and the uterine wall. It can cause further complications, therefore my obgyn advised that I modify my fitness routine to exclude any jumping. I was lucky enough to find an ob that was also a fitness junky herself! She understood that if she told me to completely stop moving , I would go crazy . Therefore I modified my training for the second trimester to exclude any jumps and focus on weight training alone.
Second trimester is probably the most fun of all! The belly started to pop, I didn't just feel bloated, but finally pregnant! The boost of energy is absolutely fantastic! I was working like crazy, training hard and took advantage of the energy to start with the baby room. I started to de-clutter my house. Everything is now in perfectly organised bins with tags :) My cravings changed to grapefruits and eggs! Yup, I was no longer vegan. I was craving eggs so much, therefore I decided to give in, and stuck to organic free range eggs.
Third trimester was surprisingly ok! I had heard so many stories of people being unable to sleep, move around, feeling swollen, wanting that baby out now! ETC... When I say lucky, i meant it! I didn't have any of those side effects. I was enjoying life, moving around all the time, still training people and training myself as usual, nothing changed for me except excessive heartburn. After a box of tums, I was fine ;) The last month, I started having restless legs. This was the only thing that would keep me up at night. It was bothersome, but not that bad. I was just lacking sleep which I would make up for in the evening with some cat naps. Cravings were the same as the second trimester. I really enjoyed my grapfruits!! Sometimes I would eat 3 in a day !
During the third trimester, I started noticing the relaxin hormone kick in, since my hips were feeling wonky. I'm so grateful to have the best chiro in town. I went to see him every week during the last month of pregnancy to make sure that all was aligned correctly. He helped me with my hips which in turn helped with the restless legs! I am glad to say that he was completely shocked at every appointment. He could not believe my agility for a pregnant woman of 9 months. He kept telling me that I was doing good to put all the chances on my side by training, eating well and seeking treatment for my minor aches. I did worry about my lower back during pregnancy since I've had recurring episodes of my disk slipping in the past. however, my lower back didn't get affected at all. Oddly enough, my upper back was feeling a pressure near my shoulder blades. My chiro explained that since my bosom was growing, the extra weight could impact the upper back, which is what happened. My rib was slightly misaligned. Once he took care of it, pain was gone.
Thank you Nicholas for your amazing help :)
The 20 week ultrasound was a stressful one. I was wondering about the status of my hematomas. They were also going to check that all was ok with the baby, measurement wise. Thankfully baby was doing great and the hematomas were absorbed by my body! The only hiccup was that I had a low lying placenta. My gyno told me to continue what I was doing training wise, however to still avoid jumping. I was then scheduled to have a 32 week ultrasound in order to make sure that the placenta would move up in order to deliver the baby naturally. Therefore my fitness routine was the same as the second trimester. I didn't do any fancy moves, I just stuck with the basic ones and made sure I trained the full body. I especially did more upper back exercises to counteract the weight of the chest.
32 week ultrasound: Good news! The placenta had moved up and I was ready to deliver naturally! My ob gave me the ok to do my usual fitness routine, within reason of course. I was now able to do squat jumps, butt kicks etc. I didn't exaggerate as my cardio was no longer what it used to be, but it felt good to jump around again. I trained up until the day I delivered. I was 4 days overdue and my clients and fellow trainers were making fun of me for still being in the gym :) Most of them were so worried I would deliver there!
Finally, the day had come. I was going to meet my little girl. I was waking up to go to work, but I felt some odd cramps. I decided to take that day off as in fact, I was having contractions! I was in labour for 14 hours, which is normal for a first time mom. I won't lie, the pain of the contractions are terrible. I thought I was a tough one, but it beat me down. I took the epidural for the last 2 hours of my delivery. What a relief! And then the final moment came, when I had to push. I am now convinced all the squats and training I did were for this moment. In just 4 pushes she was born. A healthy beautiful baby girl. I had a second degree tear which is also common, but the delivery went well.
And now for the mommy part! I'll be back to give you my journey for my weight loss post partum. I gained a total of 35 lbs during my pregnancy. I have another 25 to go. Stay tuned!