Being pregnant, I can’t help but reflect on my body and everything that’s transforming, inside and out! Some days I feel like a serious superwoman, toting my mini toddler and tackling every task the day throws at me–all while growing another person! Then other days (like today), I am literally waddling from place to place and relying on nap time for recovery. My pelvis aches and everything feels challenging.
On days like this, I’m grateful I have more good days than “bad” and that I’m even pregnant at all. Coming from years of infertility and multiple losses, I keep my chin up and try to smile as much as I can. Truthfully, most days are easier than not. This isn’t my permanent state. As I wind down through the last weeks of this pregnancy, I know my normal body should be back soon! Hallelujah! So in between moments of just wanting to be done, I’m also trying to enjoy feeling this little person grow. For the gift of being able to carry this baby in my body, and help it thrive–despite the wear and tear my body endures.
Thinking about being pregnant with Isla, and this time, I try not to compare the two. But that can be pretty hard. My pregnancy with Isla is still so fresh in my mind. And Isla and “new baby” are already both so different. How they move is different, how they lay in my belly is different, and I look different. This baby is much lower in my belly. I know–the wives tales say this must be a boy then! Who knows, though soon enough we’ll see.
Another way that I find myself comparing these two pregnancies is weight gain. While I don’t want to find myself perseverating on a number, loving or hating a scale, I try hard to keep my weight gain in a healthy range and so I stay aware of my number. This time around, I think I’m eating healthier overall, but I’m convinced my body is just going to do it’s thing–no matter what I shovel in my mouth. I gained about 35 pounds when I was pregnant with Isla, and I ate a lot of ice cream! At 32 weeks pregnant, I’ve gained about 25 so far. I’m on track to gain 35 again, even with a lot less ice cream trips (I love ice cream–I’m not giving it up).
Here I am, 6 months postpartum (and unknowingly 4 weeks pregnant–eek). And today, 32 weeks pregnant.
Looking back at myself 6 months postpartum my first thought is: I’m too hard on myself. My abs were coming back and even if they weren’t, I was working so hard! While I feel chunky as a 32 weeks pregnant woman, I also look at myself and feel strong.
I look forward to my postpartum journey this time. For once I seriously don’t care about the scale. A pound of fat is much larger than a pound of muscle and I love when I look lean and strong. I can be lean and weigh more than I did when I started this pregnancy. I honestly hope that’s what happens too. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the scale says. My weight is much less significant than how I feel. I can’t wait to see how my composition has changed throughout pregnancy and how my progress can continue postpartum. That’s the journey I look forward to. How much muscle am I building in these 40 weeks? With Isla I gained about 5 pounds of muscle. How much can I maintain? Postpartum last year, I struggled with that. I needed to eat more than I thought (working out and breastfeeding require a lot more calories than we sometimes think).
These side by side photos and the thoughts they evoke help me realize this baby hasn’t been the only thing growing in the last 8 months. My mind and body have been too, and in the best ways. I am healthy, strong, more confident, and open to embracing everything the next several months has in store. Bring it on!
How have you transformed this year? Share in the comments below!