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This podcast episode is the epitome of nuance – of several different emotions and experiences coexisting at the same time. So I want to make clear that if you skip any part of this or take any single part of it as the conclusion of my experience or this episode, you are mistaken and you’re also missing the entire point of this episode.
Bless me and my attempt to keep this episode concise. I’ve already decided to make this a two part series because it’s just needed to get in everything I want to. Bringing a bebe into the world is not a simple thing for me (or anyone I presume).
Pregnancy back story
It’s no secret to my Instagram audience, friends or family that Nate and I were team no babies for a long time. I say that but it’s not entirely true.
If that was the case, we would have gotten him snipped or tied my tubes or taken an actual preventative route. That only makes sense if you’re 100% on not producing offspring.
For us, we’ve been married nine years in August. When we got married, we told people, maybe in three years we’d think about expanding our family. Then three years rolled around, and we said maybe at that five year mark. Then five turned into we aren’t preventing kids (I wasn’t on birth control but tracked my cycle via the Fertility Awareness Method – aka FAM), but if and when it happens, we’ll figure it out.
Therefore we were open to having kids, we just didn’t WANT them in a specific time frame.
I would say I was more against the idea of having kids. And I want to be very careful with my words here. I am simply sharing the most authentic story I can for myself in hopes that it helps other people (both men and women) feel less alone if they had or have similar feelings.
Also, I have always been amazed by and think that motherhood, pregnancy, in the act of giving birth is miraculous. And believe it as a gift. It was just never some thing I saw clearly for myself.
Let’s lay out my situation. I am the breadwinner. And frankly my business has been my baby for the last seven years. Thinking about a child coming into that picture did not seem feasible to me. I couldn’t visualize it working. I’ve never identified with any of the natural motherly tendencies or desires. You could say I have more masculine energy naturally. But the beautiful thing is, Nate is a stay at home husband and is fucking amazing with kids. They gravitate towards him. He’s a big punching bag or cuddle bug, and a big kid at heart. He’s a better cook than I am and he’s hospitable AF.
It’s why we work. It’s not that I am masculine and he is feminine. I want to make that very clear. We very much so respect rather traditional masculine and feminine roles while also letting each person pursue and express what we believe to be their natural gifts – I am task driven. He is relationally driven.
Sooooo all that is to say – I am now, at 19 weeks stoked to raise a babe with Nathanael and trusting him has also allowed me to see myself in the motherly role that will make sense for me.
That feeling is abundantly different than when I found out I was pregnant and two years leading up to it.
From 2018 through 2021 my feelings around possibly becoming pregnant were 110% fear driven. That fact is clearer than ever now. From the fear of actual motherhood – bonding with the baby, balancing my work life, literally not getting to be as selfish as I was without children, to the literal act of labor, I avoided even thinking about the possibility because I was terrified of it all. Stick with me, because I don’t fear these things now.
I don’t even fully know how to articulate it so I’ll just tell you a short story for a visual. I started using Hilary Rushford’s Elegant Excellence Goals Journal in 2018 or 2019. And she lays out that our future has multiple possibilities. So while laying out your 5 year plan can be all well and good, it might be beneficial to look at three possible outcomes for your 3-5 year vision.
I kid you not that I actively avoided the possibility of children every time I approached that exercise. And every time, kids or a family came to mind. I just shoved it right down, because that’s what fear does. Or apparently that’s how I deal with fear. Do not recommend.
I wish I would have asked more questions of myself – why am I so afraid of being mom, or giving birth? What could that look like for me? I felt like if I asked those questions, I was opening a door I wasn’t sure I wanted open. BUT HERE WE ARE. It would have been helpful for me to ask those regardless of if we ever had kids or not. I don’t doubt that for a second.
So, if you’re in a similar boat to me, please, if it fits, learn from my fear shoving tactic, and maybe just ask the questions. You might surprise yourself.
Finding out I was pregnant
Alright – so how I found out I was pregnant, how my first trimester went, fitness and running my business – basically how did all the fears become less scary in the last four months…
I was two days late and knew. I am regular AF. I should have started but my temp on my Oura ring wasn’t dropping. I had all my normal PMS symptoms but my boobs hurt so freaking bad. Like hurt for a breeze to touch them. I mentioned to Nate I better start my period. He started joking about a baby being in my belly. But I was actually beginning to cope with the fact that there may legitimately be a baby forming inside me. The morning of day four past my start date I told Nate to go get me a pregnancy test and I was 100% sure they would all be positive. They were, immediately, all three.
I’d already accepted it. Nate less so. That’s when it became “real” for him.
I asked him how he felt, he said “sad.” We were keeping the baby no matter what, as mentioned earlier, but I think it’s appropriate to mourn life as it was. And that’s what he meant.
After a few days and several conversations, we were much more game. And I had shifted from fear to “I truly believe I was made for this and will be prepared”. But there was still so so so much to figure out.
Insurance – which we still don’t have. Cost of the birthing process, pregnancy, our home build, bodily changes, external expectations, maternity leave, and the list goes on.
I’m going to keep all logistics for part two and go more into my personal experience with pregnancy today.
To be clear in part two I will be covering:
Another fear I had around pregnancy it was the physical aspect of actually being pregnant. I hate puking more than anything. And for some backstory, I have always had pretty intense pain, and I was allergic to hormonal birth control. So in my mind, I just figured pregnancy would be terrible for me. No science to back that up, just my own assumption.
It’s hard to not have expectations around pregnancy when we are quite frankly bombarded with expectations. The first trimester will be terrible, you’ll be fatigued, nauseous, have food aversions, I think meat is disgusting, and then it’s bliss when the second trimester hits.
I can only speak to my experience up to 19 weeks at this point.
If you followed our truck saga, you know that I was pregnant when we flew to Michigan to pick up our truck and then drive it back across the country. During that time I was 6 to 9 weeks pregnant.
I felt OK at the beginning of the trip. And then pretty much at eight weeks starting to feel much worse. I got the stomach flu in Detroit and thought to myself oh my gosh is this going to be the rest of my pregnancy? Because I honestly don’t know how I would have made everything work if that was the case.
Then Nate started puking and I praised the Lord. It wasn’t morning sickness. We just got the flu.
When we were in Salt Lake City, right before heading to Jackson Hole, the place we were most excited about, we made the decision to head home earlier because I literally could not get off the couch. I didn’t leave the apartment for the entire three days we were there. And traveling while you feel awful is the worst. We headed home.
So from a fitness standpoint, I lifted a pretty regularly up till week seven. And then it was maybe once a week if I was lucky through a week 11 or 12. Once we got home I was pretty much on the couch 24/7.
I was nauseous, I didn’t puke thankfully. And nothing sounded good other than grapes, Doritos, bagels and cream cheese, bean and cheese burritos, and yogurt. And that is in fact pretty much what I ate for my first trimester.
It was this weird experience because I didn’t have an appetite, yet needed to eat every hour or so to keep the nausea manageable, I was never satisfied from eating, and I always felt like my food was stuck in my throat. Like I was always on the verge of puking. It was very strange and not what anyone had described to me.
I also expected the fatigue to be actually feeling tired. And for me most of the time it was just a general lack of energy and ability to focus. But I didn’t actually want to take a nap. I watched seven Seasons of MTV the challenge. Nothing helped. Not water, electrolytes, movement. I was just lethargic no matter what.
And I questioned every day how prenatal maternity leave isn’t a thing. Huge shout out to any woman who continues going to work or raising other babies while feeling like that. Y’all are legitimate champions.
From weeks seven to 12 or 13, I don’t think I opened my planner. My business was strictly in survival mode and I was doing the bare minimum. I maybe showed my face and Instagram stories once or twice. And tried to remain as normal and consistent as possible. Obviously my business clients knew a lot earlier because I was dying during our calls.
I did no baby preparation in that time. I’ll talk in part two about the insurance and appointment side of things. Which felt like a full time job.
When week 14 hit, I was expecting second trimester bliss. But it wasn’t until weeks 16 or 17 that I really felt as normal as you can while growing a baby. And it wasn’t bliss. It was just not as terrible as the first trimester. Still had tailbone and SI joint pain. But I had a full appetite back, and the energy and desire to lift weights and exercise again. And my brain felt like it could actually function which was nice.
Some thing I also want to touch on is just the expectations around how your body is going to change and when you will start the show, etc. I felt I started showing earlier than most. I straight up I don’t love my pregnant body. I think it’s fascinating, and I do think it’s miraculous. I think it’s amazing. But I absolutely prefer my body pre-pregnancy. And I think that can be body neutrality. My body is storing fat in places I’ve never had before, my nipples are swelling, I’ve lost muscle, and there are just changes in more places than I was expecting overall. Like I’m only 19 weeks and my literal rib cage is 2 inches wider. I’ve gained 15 pounds, and my feet hurt with that decently rapid weight gain. I didn’t expect most of these things until my 3 trimester maybe? So just interesting observations. I adore my body for what it’s doing. I straight up don’t love the actual physical changes.
In general, everything has been a gradual improvement from weeks 14 to 17. And solid from 17-19. I wrote out my maternity leave plan, started getting ahead again in business, started lifting three days a week again, and food has been enjoyable. So I can see why people rave about the second trimester especially if they had a worse first trimester than mine.
All in all, I have had a relatively easy pregnancy. I like to say that when you’re used to feeling pretty close to optimal, any discomfort, or inconvenience is just not enjoyable. Therefore, for me the first trimester especially was just an annoyance. I didn’t feel how I wanted to feel, even if it wasn’t that bad and pregnancy terms.
As far as lifting goes, I ended up purchasing a program from Mamma Stay Fit which I think I mentioned in another episode. I also purchased the Moms Gone Strong pregnancy and postpartum program. Both for continuing education and use. For me it’s nice to have these as a confirmation of what I thought, and and OK on what I should be doing to prepare my body for labor. I am not pre-and post natal certified nor am I an expert, I know some general things. But following a program is just easier.
I didn’t actually start following that lifting program until week 19. Up until that point I just incorporated more core awareness, and internal oblique work. Wish my massage therapist had already assigned me months before. And then put together workouts that were 30 to 45 minutes instead of an hour. And training looked somewhat normal for me. Deadlift and squatting patterns, overhead press and horizontal patterns, and horizontal and vertical pulling patterns. I would say I lowered my overall intensity quite a bit. But that was just based on the feel.
We are at 19 weeks at the time of recording this. And I hope to be able to lift throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I will get into more logistics about maternity leave, insurance, cost, and other logistical stressors that came with pregnancy thus far.
Please do remember that I am simply sharing my experience. Not trying to paint a picture for anyone else but myself. And I hope that it was just a peek into my current life state, as a lifter, business owner, and human.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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