Being Ok With the New Me

Ok guys, it’s time to get real about pregnancy.

I am so, so glad I am pregnant, and cannot wait to welcome baby M into the world in September, and am very aware of how blessed I am to be pregnant at all. However, I would be lying to you all if I, in my most perky, sparkly voice said I was totally and completely content with the changes in my body, and what I can do physically to sweat and stay in shape.

It’s hard, yall. I don’t just mean from an “oh my gosh my butt is growing as fast as my belly” sense, but also from a “why is it hard for me to power walk 3 miles, I am a marathon runner!” sense.

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Even though I KNOW a changing shape is supposed to happen and is a GOOD THING, it can be difficult some days to step on the scale and see numbers I have never seen before. This is coming from someone who has a good relationship with food and has never suffered from an eating or exercise disorder. I’m just a regular girl yall, but going from running back to back races as a normal thing to huffing and puffing up the stairs to go put on maternity pants…because regular ones stopped fitting a LONG time ago…is a tough pill to swallow.

I know when I am holding baby girl it will all have been worth it, and I have some great friends who have been there done that and will help me get back into shape, but I’m still scared. I think the first time around will be the hardest because not only do I not know what to expect as far as what the heck my body is doing, but I also don’t know what to expect as far as how long it will take me to bounce back after baby arrives.

This is NOT me asking for compliments, or trying to sound vain or self absorbed in any way, I just wanted to be open and honest with what is going on in case there are other mama’s to be out there feeling the same way. You are not alone. Change is scary, especially when it is happening to your body and you have no control over it (people telling you that you look huge and “are you sure it’s not twins” really, really don’t help!)

So yes, I am only 21 weeks pregnant, and while I will do everything I can to stay healthy and create a safe and comfortable environment for baby M to bake for the next few months, I already can’t wait to do a really long run, sweat buckets, and not have to pee every five minutes while doing so. So for now, I try every day to love myself for what I am doing, bringing life into the world in my new shape, and will try not to worry about the rest. Some days will be easier than others, and that’s ok too.

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I won’t wear maternity clothes forever, I will run long distances again, and I will have the best little cheerleader to meet me at the finish line.

QOTD: Mamas did you struggle with lack of tough workouts/fitness level as well as weight gain while you were pregnant?

Is this something non pregnant women think about? I don’t think I ever really did until it happened to me!

Comments

  1. What you’re feeling is 100% normal and doesn’t mean you love your baby any less or you’re not impressed with your body. Huge hugs! I promise you’ll be racing again – probably even faster than before!

  2. Rick Stiles says:

    Baby M is making huge demands on your body. The number of changes from the cellular level on up are huge. And changing. The entire process borders on the miraculous. Unfortunately, all this puts a tremendous toll on you.

    As a male, I don’t know how all you mother’s-to-be can deal with it so easily (and yes I know it is not easy!!). Obviously, I don’t have any first-hand experience, but most of the new mothers I’ve known bounce back very quickly. And those who are as fit as you seem to bounce back the fastest (2 to 4 weeks, if you can believe it).

    I don’t see how any of that can happen since new mother’s have new babies to care for and that part takes up only about 30 or 40 hours a day.

    Hang in there! The next 18 weeks may seem to drag on for a year, but sooner than you know, Baby M will smile up at you from your loving arms and steal your heart and erase the memories of the aches and pains. Your body will again be your own, but she will still claim most of your time. And you will love every minute of it!

  3. You’re reaction is totally normal! But you need to consider all of the energy that your body is using right now to create LIFE. It’s science, you can be the healthiest person in the world prior to getting pregnant but your body is still going to require a certain amount of energy being taken from you to create a beautiful, healthy baby. I’m sure you’ll get back to where you were before, you seem to be such a driven person so I can’t imagine that you would just stop caring about your health after giving birth. Hang in there, halfway done 🙂

  4. I find it so interesting to read about other pregnant women and their experiences! I’m actually feeling the opposite. I am loving just doing short, easy workouts for “health” reasons rather than my normal intense training. I get to work earlier and get more done, I’ve been reading more books, and I just love having the freedom to “relax” while exercising and take it easy! I’m also loving my growing belly – maybe because I had a bit of time to fantasize about it since it took us a little while to get pregnant! I’ll agree it is annoying to have to change three times for work because nothing fits or it fits but makes me look like a hooker because it suddenly shows cleavage in my new big boobs, but overall I’m a happy camper. Hang in there though! I know tons of women who bounced right back, and were even faster!

  5. Vonna Pauls says:

    Wow, just wow! How about you get down on your knees and thank God or your lucky stars or whoever you pray to that you are going to bring a life into this world and be a Mom. That’s what I would be doing. See, my husband and I were never able to have children. He would have been an awesome dad and I would have done everything to be a great mom. No seeing your baby take those first steps, no peewee football or t-ball, no teaching your teenager to drive, no proud graduation moment and nobody will ever call us grandma and grandpa. Why don’t you think about how incredibly blessed you are instead of your waistline and your butt?

    • You obviously didn’t read the whole post or you would have seen where I specifically mentioned being aware of how blessed I am to even be pregnant. Everyone has trials and struggles in life, some people’s just look different than others. Trust me when I say I have had my fair share. It still doesn’t mean my struggle right now is not valid or real, or that I am not allowed to have certain feelings about it. I am so sorry you obviously have a lot of anger in your life that still hasn’t been dealt with, and I am so sorry you were not able to have children, but think about things in life you wish were different that other people would love to have or be in your shoes that you have been blessed with. Everyone has challenges.

      • Everyone is fighting some sort of battle, and having their own challenges. You clearly know you are blessed and I as someone who may not be able to have kids realize this. You are always acknowledging your blessings and are so gracious. You are allowed to feel, and need no ones permission to feel. I have watched a lot of weird inappropriate comments your way this pregnancy on social media and they just harbor anger and misplace it into you. Or are so socially inept they don’t know its not ok to ask you if your sure it isn’t twins or yell at you for saying what you feel

  6. it will all all all be so worth it.
    and more.

  7. Oh yes I remember this being tough for me as well. I had always been so skinny. I was a size 0 when me and my hubby started dating. Seeing the changes in my body from pregnancy was definitely scary. But it is soooo worth it! I didn’t exercise during my pregnancy so it was really hard to lose the weight. Especially since I had never had to worry about weight before in my life! I still struggle with this. My youngest is 6 and I still feel like I have baby weight lol! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My two boys are my heart! You will feel the same way when she gets here! 🙂

  8. The sacrifices for your baby begins with your body. It’s amazing, noble, and incredibly hard. Every athlete goes through what you describe. Know that your body will pop back and you’ll love the baby. In the meantime, take an intense prenatal yoga class.

  9. As someone who hasn’t decided if kids are in my future or not, this kind of stuff is definitely something I think about a lot. It’s scary to lose sole control of your body. But, just like folks are telling you, anyone I know who’s had children tells me it’s a small price to pay and unquestionably worth it.

    Posts like these, honestly sharing your feelings and experiences are some of the most helpful things to hear. People only talking about the good things and how lucky they are without acknowledging the hard days make me feel way less prepared for what’s coming if I choose to someday do what you’re doing. So thank you for sharing, don’t let people bully you into feeling bad for sharing these experiences and feelings, because it really does help some people.

  10. I totally understand – I can answer your question about do non-pregnant women ever think about this. Yes, we do! And knowing there are people out there who have these thoughts when pregnant is actually truly comforting. You have a lot of support and will undoubtedly be back to running long distances. I’ve seen tons of moms who actually get themselves into better shape after baby! I know you’ll be ok because you have that internal drive!!

  11. Obviously I’ve never been preggers, but I have often wonder about this aspect of it as I think anyone who has been body conscious in the past and enjoys being fit would have moments of mentally trying to adjust to a new normal

    • yes, it is def. mentally tough and then you feel guilty for struggling with it b/c you are also so grateful and know others can’t have kids, so then you beat yourself up for ever feeling that way!

  12. Heather,
    I just started reading your blog and want to share with you that I feel EXACTLY the same way you do. I am 22 weeks pregnant today and have struggled with both anxiety, excitement, and guilt over my changing body. Feeling baby move inside over the past few weeks has allowed me to fully connect to the miracle of life that is growing inside of me! It has also helped me in many ways to take the focus off myself. I feel incredibly blessed to be given the gift of motherhood. But I too have struggled with anxiety and trepidation over my changing shape and activity levels, as well as guilt over wondering if I am alone in my struggle–do other women feel this way as they see their body change in pregnancy? Or is it just me? Am I being selfish or vain or prideful? It is an encouragement to me to know that many, many women experience these new emotions and questionings as a part of pregnancy. It is all a part of the unique physical, spiritual, and emotional changes that will occur in us now and over time as we become mothers and grow into our motherhood. Thinking of you during this unique time! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing with us all 🙂

  13. Christina says:

    Heather, I struggled with many of the same things while I was pregnant, and even more so in the first few months post-partum when I was tired, struggling to breastfeed, and wondering why my body was shaped so differently now even though I didn’t have a baby anymore. That said, I know (and I can see that you do to) that it had accomplished a miracle, and was absolutely worth it! And while seven years later, there are parts of me that will never be the same, I’m finally okay with it because my little man changed my life for the better, and has inspired me to become stronger and better in so many ways. What you’re feeling is 100000% normal and you are definitely not alone!!

    • Christina says:

      That was “baby IN THERE” anymore. Yes, I still had the baby and still do have the (seven year old) baby 🙂

  14. I can so relate! Doctor told me I wasn’t putting on enough weight so I started eating more, particularly a pint of chocolate Haggan Daz a day. She told me to stop at one point but it was too late, I was only able to cut down to 1/2 pint and that was tough. So, 45lbs on a 5’3″ 125lb body caused misery. Needless to say I was so uncomfortable by June that August 7th could not come any faster. The one place I felt relief was the pool. Not only did I feel lighter, I could move without becoming winded. As for losing the weight, I breast fed and it melted off in a few short months with occasional exercising. Not only great for the baby but good for mama as well. Good luck! By the way, as miserable as I was, I would do it all again for my now 10 year old!

  15. never been pregnant, but i can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read someone being real for once, and not pretending like everything is hunky dory. not that i relish in your unhappiness, but you know what i mean. i know that this is something i will one day struggle with, because i know myself, and it is nice to know that it is normal and even healthy. so you go girl, and of course – you look so amazing.

  16. Joy Hargraves says:

    I have never been pregnant, and have no plans to ever be. But you sound like an incredibly normal human being going through all of this. You have friends, virtual and otherwise, going through this with you. You have all of our support and encouragement, and are here when you just need to vent. I have totally enjoyed all of your blogs about your pregnancy, in fact, I look forward to them!! You are an incredible encouragement to others who are experiencing what you are going through, but just do not know quite how to voice it. I hope one day to meet you.

  17. As a new first time momma, I get this. I get you. I was there. It is hard. Your body is seriously not your own and even when the baby comes out, your body is never the same again (sorry for the bad news). It won’t go back to where it was before. Your hips will always be a little bit wider, changing your running gait (that’s a new one to get used to). There will be trouble areas where it takes more time than before to work on and get in shape. It will also take you a while to feel “strong” again. You may get into shape after several months, but the muscles take a while to get their bulk back. So aerobically you may feel good, but strength wise you may feel a bit lacking for a little while.

    And that is OKAY! Your muscles go through so much, your tendons and ligaments have been stretched and pulled in ways they never had been before. But take heart in knowing that you WILL get stronger, you WILL get back in shape and you WILL be rocking those long runs again. Just be kind to your body during the remainder of your pregnancy and afterwards. Remember that it took you 9 months to get there, it will take at least that much time to get back. Keep your chin up, you’re gonna be great momma!

  18. Though I’ve never been pregnant, I certainly understand how you feel and it’s something I do worry about for the future. Hang in there! My friend who is pregnant has the same frustrations as you: not being able to run, her body changing, the scale, etc. I just try to remind her that she’s growing a person 24/7- that is an amazing feat in itself! Thank you for sharing so honestly! 🙂

  19. How you feel is 100% normal. I felt the same way throughout my pregnancy. Every time I jumped on the scale it took my breath away because it was so weird to see the numbers climb higher. I had a difficult time with not being able to be as active before and how tiring simple exercises became, but you’ll be shocked how fast you’ll bounce back after delivery! Continue to remain moderately active (totally ok to have lots of rest days and a simple walk is considered exercise) and eat healthy (but don’t deny the cravings too much! ). 😉

    I’m currently 5 months pp and feeling back to normal and stronger than before. My workouts and runs are “my time” and great for recharging after a day taking care of the little one. Delivery was empowering for me. I feel like after doing it med free and seeing how strong and capable my body is, I can tackle about anything now.

    I hope your pregnancy continues well! Enjoy every second and marvel in the strength and amazing changes your body is under growing to grow that baby of yours. 🙂

  20. Yes! I was heavier in college, so when I lost the weight, I never wanted to see that number on the scale again. When I went past 140 lbs while preggers, I almost cried. However, once I got past that, I was ok with the growing number…150…160…lol. I think I was almost 170 at the end! It was getting past that one number that was hard, the rest was kind of fun!

    I know I’ve told you that I had a remarkably easy pregnancy, so I don’t really have much to complain about. Enjoy the ride! Remember, 9 months on, 9 months off. After baby M arrives, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get into your old clothes a month after delivery. Weight loss takes time and it will happen. Be patient and enjoy the new baby. 🙂

  21. Totally normal to feel this way! I am pregnant for the second time and find myself feeling similarly because my body is changing faster this time around (and I know that’s normal but it’s still sometimes tough to sort out mentally). And the constant breathlessness makes me feel completely out of shape even though it’s just a pregnancy thing. Combine that with being sick lately and I am huffing and puffing all the time! Just try to focus on the fact that, even though it may be harder, you are still striving to be as active and healthy as possible. That’s going to benefit both you and baby in the long run when it comes time for birth and recovery.

  22. Oh my goodness I’m right there with you! I’m 16 weeks, so not too far behind you, and I’ve been dealing with the same thing. And for me, I come from a ballet background where being skinny was what you were supposed to do. It took me a few years of backing away from ballet to get to where I understood moderation with food and how to exercise for the right reasons. Now, I see my butt growing along with my belly, my abs disappearing (that’s a feature I prided myself on!), and I’m wanting to eat ALLTHECARBS and ice cream most of the time. It’s definitely an adjustment! And I totally get your fear about getting back in shape. I know I can do it, but what worries me is creating bad habits now that will be hard to break later (like eating ice cream).

    That said though, I too am SO SO glad to be pregnant. I was afraid it would be hard to get pregnant because I was always irregular. I guess not!

    Oh, and I’m right there with you about job and money stress too. My husband has been looking for a new job for almost 4 months and hasn’t found anything yet. I’m planning to work from home, but either way he needs a job. Praying for you guys!

  23. It’s hard to be honest in a world like this – some of course applaud and some won’t. I’m a lot like you, I always hate to say it out loud as I have a few family members as well as friends that are struggling very hard with infertility and the getting pregnant part for us was relatively easy, so if you complain of course some people are going to get upset – it’s only logical. We all understand how lucky we are to get pregnant but it isn’t all rainbows and sparkles for everyone, and in our society there is a lot more pressure to maintain a certain physique all the time so it is really hard to shut that part of the brain off. This is my second go around with pregnancy and it is even harder this time around since I didn’t ‘lose all the weight after the first’. My only advice is when the baby does get here, try try try to remove all pressure to get right back to your pre-preg self, you will get there albeit maybe a tad different and sometimes it can take even years before you are there again.

  24. Although I am far from being a mommy to be, those lingering thoughts you have often cross my mind…”how will I feel about a pregnant body?” “will I be able to work out?” and I especially think about “what will i be like AFTER the baby”. Not often, but they cross my mind, your post is open and honest, and I appreciate that, and feel comfortable knowing I’m not alone in these thoughts, and hope that you know you aren’t either <3 Sending you feel good vibes <3

  25. Thank you so much for this post–it is so real and raw and very much something that factors into future mama’s thoughts. I know that some people have the BEST TIME EVER when they are pregnant: their skin glows, they feel amazing, and every day is the best daggum day freaking ever. There is no doubt in my mind that I will NOT be one of them. My mom lost weight during the first trimester because she was so sick with me. Hormonal problems run in my family, and I do NOT do nausea well. It’s my achilles heel (I can take Crohns, but nausea, not some much, haha). And having gone through several really awful body blow ups (as in 20 lbs in 2 months, thanks body), that is all I can think of when I consider my pregnant self. But, for me, it will just be a blessing to be pregnant, if I can even do so. Right now, though, I am trying to enjoy the me that I am now, and we’ll cross that bridge when it is time!

  26. You are not vain at all! Hell I’m not pregnant and I think of that! For me, my body changed drastically with my second child and won’t ever be the same. Of Course you think of it and yes you love your children, but we are human. Luckily, you were and are in FANTASTIC shape which means it will be much easier for you to bounce back looking great!!

  27. 31 weeks pregnant with my first and feeling the same way. It’s not so much the weight gain that I’ve struggled with (I stopped regularly weighing myself after first trimester), but it’s the general “loss of control” over things that is hard. It’s hard having to admit that I’m “slowing down” and that I get more tired easily. I’ve kept up my running throughout most of this pregnancy, but now it’s just getting hard (pelvic pain from loosening ligaments, extra weight on body, heartburn, scrunched diaphragm). As someone who is usually very disciplined and regimented about fitting in workouts, I in a way feel ashamed for now skipping them, even though I know rationally it’s ok and expected at this point in the pregnancy…it’s just hard to get used to! And as you said, It’s not that it’s not worth it or that I’m not incredibly grateful and excited to have and meet this baby girl, it’s just that the actual pregnancy part, particularly third trimester, is just not that much fun, and there’s nothing wrong with being honest about that.

    • I am starting to struggle for sure with loss of control and how much less I can do in a day without getting tired. It’s tough mentally!

  28. I just wanted to thank you for your post and the way it was written. As someone who will never be able to have babies but has longed for not much else in the world, it was refreshing to read your frustrations without much complaint. I understand frustrations with changing things and fears. I don’t tolerate many complaints from the people who are so blessed to experience something I never will.

    Again, THANK YOU!

    • thank you so much for commenting. I have several friends with infertility struggles, so I really tried hard to be sensitive to that while also shedding light on a real problem a lot of women don’t feel comfortable talking about!

  29. Hi there! I had a hard time running when I was pregnant. I had surgery during my first pregnancy which made it impossible and then I just felt terrible during most of my pregnancy with my son so I just accepted that it would all be ok and once the babies came I could get back to my old running routines. It will all be sooooo worth it once the baby arrives 🙂

  30. It is hard. I hit my 6 weeks postpartum mark tomorrow, and it has been hard! I always thought I want my babies back-to-back….but really I need a break b/c I want my body back! haha I found a love for walking while prego, so that was a perk lol but that first trimester I was so tired that I stopped running as much, and I feel like it knocked me out of the “running while you are pregnant” game. So strategy next pregnancy, push through the first trimester tiredness and keep doing what I have been doing! 🙂 although I had other circumstances that made me slow down, like a miscarriage previously, but still it’s hard when your body isn’t your own. I thought about pushing myself to start running again when I regained my energy, but felt like I needed to be careful b/c it wasn’t just “me” anymore! I had to think about that little one inside of me! 🙂

    Congrats! So happy for you! Enjoy the pregnancy, it is fun!

  31. I can so relate to this! I’m 2 1/2 weeks from my due date and am anxiously awaiting reclaiming my body as my own! I struggled through this entire pregnancy with the changes in my body and my physical capabilities. I had to quit running altogether around week 31/32 and now I just do the elliptical and barre workouts. It’s okay to be both excited about the baby and apprehensive/frustrated with your changing body – those are not mutually exclusive feelings and they are both totally valid.

  32. It’s definitely hard to accept the changes both emotional and physical that come with pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. I ran a marathon 2 months prior to becoming pregnant so to go from long distances to huffing and puffing up the stairs was quite a shock!! Today as a mom of an 8 month old, I am a stronger runner then I ever was!! And while there have been some hard days, and hard runs, it has definitely gotten easier with time. Keep up the great job and thank you for your honesty!

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. Being Ok With the New Me

    Ok guys, it’s time to get real about pregnancy. I am so, so glad I am pregnant, and cannot wait to welcome