Feeling motivated after my workout, I decided to try to adhere to my pre-pregnancy nutrition routine: whole grains, lean meats, little sugar. So I made whole grain pasta instead of white pasta. You know what happened? I still got fat because I’m 30 weeks pregnant and the little human in my belly says, I don’t care what you eat; I’m gonna squeeze every calorie out of that food and store it in your ass in case I need it for later. I exercise so at least my muscles will stay conditioned underneath the fuel storage, but getting on board the nutrition train right now just seems futile. At this point, I’m just trying to keep the fat from migrating to my face so I don’t have to take those poufy faced post-partum pics.
I’m not one of those cute pregnant women. How is it that some women glow? There’s no glowing here. I have circles under my eyes, oily hair and blemishes all over my face. I don’t carry the weight well so I’m very round and kind of all over the place. I’m a shortish person at 5’4 and though I have a healthy physique when I’m not sharing it with a growing fetus, you can’t tell by looking at me now. All you can tell by looking at me now is that I must be in my third trimester because I am clearly not having fun anymore. That’s not to say that I have enjoyed the pregnancy on the whole. No, I’m not a happy pregnant person. Let me qualify that by saying I am happy to be pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy to be pregnant. Some women really enjoy it. To me, the ends justify the means.
I have been staying active since I would like to get back in the dojo and train for a fight as soon as possible. Regardless of my physical goals post-partum, staying fit during pregnancy seems like a contradiction in terms. As a fitness person I should believe and preach that the body wants to be healthy, especially during pregnancy. Uh, no it doesn’t. Your baby does not care what it has to suck out of your body to make sure he or she has everything it needs to grow and be strong. Your body is merely a vessel to give everything to your child. It makes it that much harder to stay healthy because your health and nutrition are not your own. If you don’t give it to your body for your baby to use, your baby will take it from wherever it is available. That means your teeth, bones, fat storage (though here your baby is considerate and makes sure those fat stores stay packed), and any other resource that you somehow thought was your own. Nothing is your own when you’re pregnant, not even your dignity.
I am nearing the end of this, my second pregnancy, which means any modesty that had returned in the 3 years since my last delivery is to retreat with cold hands and even colder jells. I didn’t care who or what went under my hospital gown by the time we determined my induction was a failed one and a C-section was necessary during my first delivery. I never got used to getting my cervix checked though; it’s like getting your tonsils checked through your vagina.
Look, let’s keep things in perspective here. I’ve got the third trimester blahs and in a couple months I’ll be posting annoying observations about how glorious and magical the whole process has been. Yes, it will be written in the post-partum bliss of having my body back. Ok, not entirely since I’ll be breast feeding, which reminds me to rant about the lies they tell you about that! Let me start by saying this: I believe in breast feeding as the primary source of a baby’s nutrition- I don’t need to be convinced by anybody or any institution about that. But don’t lie to me and tell me breast feeding helps me regain my pre-baby body because you burn sooo many more calories. Yeah, right. Hard work, watching your diet and a lot of support from those around you gets your pre-baby body back. Breasting feeding requires calories and I’m pretty sure the ginormous boobs that I heft around after my baby is born resemble nothing of my A cup boobies pre-baby.
Here’s the deal- if you’re reading this and you have been through a pregnancy, birth process and recovery, you kind of get what I’m saying- even if you’re one of those jerks who glowed. If you’re reading this in your first pregnancy, you might be kind of taken aback, terrified or defiant against what I’m saying. No matter how you feel about being pregnant, pregnancy is best experienced in retrospect. All the things I’m complaining about today somehow disappear and all that remains are the highlights of the awesomeness of having the super power to produce another human being from scratch. And then, one day, you may end up in another third trimester cursing the sous chef.