I hesitate writing the following for fear of jinxing myself, but I'll go ahead and say it:
mine has been a relatively easy pregnancy.
I am incredibly thankful for this and say daily prayers of gratitude that things have gone so smoothly thus far. I sometimes get asked how I've managed to get this far while staying in shape and feeling good and, beyond thanking God, I give almost all of the credit to four things:
1. Eating healthfully
This has been absolutely key for me. The myth of "eating for two" is just that - a myth. I think a lot of women take being pregnant as a free pass to go on a cheeseburger and milkshake diet but as a friend pointed out, "do you really want your baby to be made out of cheeseburgers and milkshakes?" Really, your daily calorie needs only increase a smidge during pregnancy - 100-300 calories depending on the trimester. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I wanted to do whatever it took to feel good, great even, for as long as possible. This meant heaps and heaps of fresh fruits and vegetables which has been relatively easy, given the bounty that is available in spring and summer.
Here's a typical daily intake for me:
Breakfast - high fiber cereal with calcium-enriched rice milk
Lunch - Greek yogurt and salad (fruit or veggie)
Dinner - lean protein and gigantic salad
Snacks - fruit (I can easily eat 1/4-1/2 of a watermelon in a day), nuts, dark chocolate, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, homemade popsicles
Supplements - I take a daily prenatal vitamin, Tums for Calcium and the occasional heartburn that comes with having your entire digestive tract shoved up into your chest, and a generous dose of Omega-3 fish oils
That's typical, but I have certainly allowed myself to indulge here and there. I almost never say no to ice cream and David and I have a hard time walking past Pinkberry without stopping inside. I love going out for dinner and we do so every chance we get since we know those days are numbered, but I really do try to make wise choices whenever possible.
2. Getting LOTS of exercise
My friend Emily laughs at me because I used to say that when I turned 30 I would get really good about exercising. It didn't happen. It's not that I don't like to exercise. I feel really great when I do. I just lack the motivation to do it super regularly. For me, being pregnant was all the motivation I needed. I read all of the articles and heard all of the stories about how exercise can help make for an easier labor, delivery and recovery and that was all I needed to hear!
We don't own a car and therefore, we walk a lot. This was already built into my daily routine, so I set the goal for myself of walking 2-3 miles each day. This could be walking Moses, running errands, walking to my workout destination, whatever, as long as I was moving. I also wanted to find a good prenatal yoga class having also read and heard about all of the benefits associated with yoga during pregnancy. Thankfully, I found a great one and I am completely devoted to going.
We Cantabrigians are fortunate to have a fabulous community recreation center with a beautiful, clean pool that offers fun aquatic classes year round. I signed up for Aqua Zumba (think world music and dancing all in the pool) and have been a faithful weekly attendee. It's such a great workout and being in the water when you're pregnant and it's 99 degrees outside feels fabulous.
3. Drinking more water than I ever thought possible
I've always been a big water drinker, but never like this. I try to drink 96 ounces of water a day. It makes a huge difference in how I feel especially as it's been so hot this summer. Of course, it has me running for the bathroom on a regular basis! In the last couple of months, I've noticed that I'm thirstier and thirstier especially at the end of the day, so my water intake has been well over a gallon a day. My doctor says this is all fine and normal, so I'll keep on drinking, however, it's always a good idea to alternate with a sports drink or something with electrolytes so that your potassium levels don't become too dilute. I've become a big fan of coconut water which has the added benefit of keeping my leg cramps in check!
4. Sleeping as much as I can
David, Moses and I have a healthy appreciation for sleep and we hope we can impart that on our little one! That said, my schedule during the week affords me the time to take a nap or just lie down and work from bed for an hour or so if I need to. I know not everyone has that luxury and again, I'm so grateful that I do. With baby due any day now, I've been told to get as much sleep as I can now and believe me, I have been!
I'm sure genetics plays a huge role in how a woman responds to pregnancy, so I don't want to be confused as taking credit where it's not mine to take. When I realized that I would be pregnant through the heat of the summer, I knew I wanted to do whatever it took to make sure that I wasn't in misery by the time the baby arrived. I've gained about 20 pounds thus far which my doctor says is perfect. My body feels energized and stronger than it has in years, I sleep well at night and have a general sense of calm. Of course, I still have a month left to go, so I'll be sure to keep you posted!