Ha! Just kidding...kind of.
Pregnancy has been a whirlwind for me. It was definitely not what I expected. I thought I was going to be the girl who was floating on cloud 9 for 9 months, glowing, smiling, and working out every day until the day I gave birth. Boy, was I wrong. Little did I know that I would be dry heaving for the first 12 weeks...and then again when I hit 30 weeks, or dragging my left leg as I "walked" around my apartment while on bed rest for 12+ weeks, looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or having the feeling that my tailbone and every other part of my pelvic floor was literally just going to fall out of my body. I was not prepared. At. All.
For me, pregnancy has not been fun. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my little man more than words can describe and I would do this for 100 more weeks if I had to. There are amazing and great moments of pregnancy like feeling the baby move, talking to him and bonding, and seeing my husband sing to, talk to, and kiss my belly. I get butterflies just thinking about it, but I couldn't help but think why my body responded the way it did when I got pregnant. I'm healthier than the average American woman, so why was I having such difficulty?
After thinking long and hard about what could have been some triggers and running things by my favorite doctor, Rebecca Furlano, it all comes down to my Celiac Disease (surprise, surprise). I had been diagnosed at the end of April and got pregnant in June. I was (and still am) a long way from being recovered and my small intestines were not healed nearly enough to handle the nutritional needs of my own body plus CREATING another human. I was malnourished. My body was struggling to get the vitamins and minerals it needed to function at it's optimal level. This also caused my cortisol (stress hormone) levels to be very high...it just so happens cortisol eats up progesterone, the hormone that keeps you pregnant. Low levels of progesterone are the number one cause of miscarriage. Scary. This is why I was having contractions and preterm labor beginning at 20 weeks. My body was not keeping the levels of progesterone it needed to keep this guy in there! About this time is when I began supplementing with progesterone. It's definitely helped. It got better for about 10 weeks, and at 29 weeks I had to go back on bed rest. My body had had enough. I am a PE teacher and "taking it easy" just really isn't an option. I have been on bed rest ever since. But I'm SO glad. Being laid up is tough on the mind, body, and emotions, but this baby is big and my body is not cooperating, so I really have no choice but to kick back and wait it out. I will be at 36 weeks this weekend and in the CLEAR!!! It has been such a tough physical and mental journey and I can't wait to meet the boy that is WORTH every second.
I am already planning ahead on what I will be doing to prepare my body for a healthier pregnancy next time. Here are a list of things I will be doing before and/or at the start of my next pregnancy:
Progesterone Drops or Supplements:
Since my body has had a difficult time keeping progesterone levels up, I will be taking progesterone before (if we plan ahead) or from the start of my next pregnancy. This will help keep my body from preterm labor and contractions.
The mind is a powerful thing. There are MANY ways I plan to stay in tune with my mind and body in order to reduce my stress levels. Things like warm baths, meditation, yoga, and spending time with God daily, are all things that just make me feel better. I am able to calm my mind and body and fall into a relaxed state when doing these things daily. I also found a self affirmation program called Hypnobabies that I now swear by. I bought a couple of their tracks about 2 weeks ago and put it on my phone. I have been listening to them multiple times a day and I only wish that I would have stumbled upon these sooner. I can see a huge difference in my attitude and the amount of contractions that I have been having are much less! Amazing! I truly think he would be here already if I didn't find these sound tracks. Next time, I will be listening to these from the beginning of pregnancy. They teach you how to relax deeply, have happy and confident self thoughts, and prepare you for natural childbirth. LOVE.
Strengthen My Pelvic Floor (along with the rest of my body):
I didn't get a chance to get back into my workouts after being so sick and before getting pregnant. My muscle tone and strength were diminished from my lack of working out and my lack of nutritional absorption. I plan to work on correct breathing techniques (thank God for my very smart, chiropractor hubby), posture and core strengthening, along with overall body strength. This training should help with supporting my belly and baby as well as the major muscle pain I have been experiencing during this pregnancy. I love strength training, so this preparation will definitely be the easiest for me! Les Mills PUMP, here I come!
Continue to Heal:
My digestive tract has definitely healed A LOT since last year. I have come a long way and worked hard to correct my diet. Clean eating has become a way of life and even a passion of mine! I will continue on this path and can't wait to see how my body responds without the stress and hormones of pregnancy holding me back. I don't remember what it's like to feel healthy! It's been THAT LONG!
I would love to hear about your pregnancy journey! Was it what you expected? Would you do anything differently? Do you have any questions about my journey? Comment below...or even email me!
Thanks for stopping by!