I am only 26 weeks and a half today and I thought it would be interesting to share my journey a little bit and how things have gone for me. I haven’t experienced some things that the mainstream articles offer, so I thought we had to share here how it’s gone, from an honest and closer point of view.
- Belly showed very fast. I remember I took a picture when I was only 8 weeks pregnant in the gym’s mirror and I look ”bloated” at all times. When compared to internet pictures of pregnant women, my belly looked like a 3 months’ womb when I was barely 8 weeks.
- No nausea/vomiting. The way I knew I was pregnant is because it was a planned pregnancy and I couldn’t wait for my period to come, so I went ahead and took a test around 4 days before my period and yes, it already showed a pale positive line. Meanwhile, I didn’t vomit at all.
- Food aversions. I can clearly remember a period at the beginning of the pregnancy when I disliked minced meat when M would cook it for himself. At the same time, burgers were more than welcome, funnily enough.
- Both sweet and salty cravings. And they still go on. From the beginning of my pregnancy, I craved both of these and satisfied it with chocolate most of the time, fruits and homemade salty foods, before I discovered lentil chips.
- Citrus. I had a period of eating 5 oranges a day, the body was asking for it and I gave in. I went with the mentality that if the body asks for it maybe it’s nature’s way of saying I am lacking something in my diet, so I had as many oranges and even lemons as I craved. No restrictions.
- Meat. Of all the foods I have eaten during pregnancy up to now, meat has been my favorite. I am also taking extra iron pills, but meat has been definitely a staple. How else is my baby kicking this strongly if not because of the little muscles she already developed?
- Difficult squatting. I really wanted to keep going to the gym and perform my favorite exercise of them all, squatting, but due to the belly position it has been impossible. My belly grew so fast and widely it was impossible to find a comfortable squatting position. I squatted up to 15 weeks with 50 kgs but it was quite difficult and it didn’t feel right to continue as it was not something enjoyable.
- Cardio time. I have switched to just move a lot. We enjoyed powerwalks and a little forest hiking quite a bit so I continued with that even until now. Now it feels quite uncomfortable being honest but I push myself for the sake of it. It feels like the belly weights a lot, it makes me slower, and I am starting to take smaller steps which leaves me in disadvantage when walking with someone like Mister M next to me.
- Sleep deprivation. This one has been true until the baby started to kick at night. She has had patterns, first kicking mostly during daytime, and then I would be able to sleep at night. Now since week 23 I would say, she’s a night kicker and it’s just impossible for me to find a good position and fall asleep.
- Baby kicks. Articles said first-to-be mothers won’t feel their baby until week 20-24. Ehm, no. She is my first child and I started to feel her movements already on week 15-16. I think has to do a lot of how empathetic you are and how well you know your own body. First it felt like little fishes in my belly, not painful, just funny feeling. Then it started to feel like bubbles and finally now like proper kicks, which are not painful just unexpected and only little bit uncomfortable as she can be quite insistent. It happens when I lay down on my back, when I sit at the table or when I play certain music (Enya especially). The moments she doesn’t kick I am more worried rather than relieved. So I do prefer her kicking and showing signs of strength.
- Back pain. This one kicked in at week 25ish. I think it is rather related to the fact that the baby sometimes sits in a certain position that puts pressure over my back and also that she has gotten quite heavy, most likely.
- No sweats or too frequent urination. Frequent urination only happens when outside and walking, so I avoid drinking all too much before going out for couple of hours.
- I didn’t obsess over pregnancy pictures so I did not take ”progress pictures”. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed particularly seeing my mother semi-naked carrying me in her womb, neither I think it’s ”interesting” nor serves any purpose than just feed your self centric self. I have the journey well installed in my memory, I will remember it as it is without the need of pictures of my body’s growth.
- Weight gain. Everyone’s body is different so I completely disagree with all those calculations of 1.8kg placenta and 1.1kg breast tissue. No. My body has grown quite a bit and won’t obsess over it. It has always been easy for me to go back to my size. I am amazed at those pictures of women that the only thing that changes with them during pregnancy is that suddenly a belly appears. Nah. It is not like that with me. My legs have gotten thicker, my arms bigger, and my breasts even more. And all for the purpose of growing a life within me – that I miss lifting and the gym? Sure, but what I long for is actually seeing my little one in my arms.
- Food safety. I only avoid certain cheese, uncooked/raw/smoked meats or fish, canned things because they’re not that hygienic and overall eating out (though we ate out quite a bit but I always ask for cooked, elaborated things rather than salads). My favorite food when eating out? I am a simple girl, I love Max Burgers, especially the Spicy Chicken one. Now here is the thing: if our foods were as natural as they would be, we would be able and we should eat all and everything local and natural, but many regulations regarding food come in due to the fact that most food today is processed, hence the more processed, the more manually managed – the more bacteria will carry. What to get plenty of? Vitamin K and Vitamin A. They are hugely important for your child’s facial structure and ”beauty” of it. I will talk more about this later on.
- Vitamins. I try to take all and everything from foods, reason why I do not agree with all the deprivations the Americans set as of ”universal rules for pregnancy eating”, so I do not obsess over ”taking vitamins” every single day. I eat eggs, butter, meats and plenty of fruits (well, citrus fruits it seems) and whatever I was eating before (less veggies, being honest).
- Depression? No. The only thing that scares me about the whole process is if I would need a C-section (if the baby is too big) and any health issue that might arise suddenly for the baby or I during the procedure. But not scared of the pain or anything like that.
- Hormonal? No. I didn’t have one single moment that I cried watching something, as you hear in these mainstream articles, nor times where I felt angry without a reason. I think this depends a lot on the type of person you are prior to pregnancy and I have been quite cold headed and rational most of the time, so sudden changes in my mood were inexistent during pregnancy.
- Excessive sweating. I did not experience such thing either. My body was quite normal producing the normal amount of sweat, etc.
- Birth classes. I have been given the option to sign for them, but I have taken a look on what they’re going to talk about and I am not sure of how much help they’ll be. I am curious about the procedure, but I hope they will explain these things to me upon my arrival at the hospital…regarding ”pain management”, I put very little faith that anything than oneself can help. I know breathing has a lot to do with it, and I am able to control that – I think the classes are more for anxious, scared mothers than for those that have a stronger mentality and positive image about how everything will go.
Overall, the most important thing I came to share here is that so much you get to feel and experience depends on you. On how you look at things, on whether you believe that giving birth is a gift or burden, on whether you think your body’s outside image is more important than bringing children to this world, on whether you accept that this is natural and we’ve been doing it forever, or you choose to be scared, complaining and detract importance from the fact that you are giving life to a human being.
Also, never, never compare your body to others’ while pregnant. That’s probably one of the reasons many get depressed, scared of the process and end up bitter because they keep seeing women on social media (that probably undereat and end up having a smaller child or a child lacking nutrients) that literally grow a belly and nothing more. It’s just surrealistic to expect that from everyone and especially if you take care of your body the way it’s been done traditionally. And I focus on ”traditionally”, because women used to believe they need to eat for two, and we can all agree that the amount of babies used to be higher back in the day than nowadays. Why? Because the food we eat and how we eat has played a lot with female fertility. The diets, the lack of nutrients, the trendy artificial foods, lab foods, processed foods, lack of food because of low calorie diets, etc.
If you eat as your body asks and you are on an average weight, healthy and fertile, you will gain weight no matter what. Do not stress about it. Mainly is a lot of retained liquids, stored fats for your child to grow and your body to function as it’s growing another human inside you, and new tissue forming as well as your own expanded womb and all it takes.
This is everything I wanted to say up to now. As I get to experience more things, I will update with new posts on the same line. I hope you got to know a little bit more about the process of it and hopefully my experience will aid you in your own journey sooner or later.
See you soon and Merry Winter Solstice! Happy Yule!