I just came to the end of my third pregnancy and it was a long ride! I was tired, irritable, sick, frustrated and elated all at the same time. At the beginning of the nine month journey I felt great, working out almost everyday, cardio, barre, yoga you name it. Making myself healthy smoothies in the morning and overall eating well. I thought “this is gonna be my best pregnancy yet!” Then BAM! About 2 months in, I was sick, tired and had no motivation what so ever. I wasn’t exercising and I was eating whatever I could stomach, mostly crackers and lots of high carb meals like pasta, as they seemed easier on my stomach than anything else. Things got a little better month 4 and 5, then I pretty much went back to being extremely tired, irritable and overall not feeling good.
My point in telling you this is not to get sympathy, as I know many women have much harder pregnancies than I’ve had. I simply want to express how when it comes to being pregnant, and honestly in most areas of life, we have very little control. Our bodies are in charge. I would love to be the woman running 3-5 miles a day up to when I give birth but that’s just not in the cards for me. I realize part of getting yourself to do things like exercise and eat right has to do with motivation, no matter how you feel, but much of the time how you feel takes away that motivation. Especially when your energy levels are very low. It becomes very depressing actually. You just want to feel “normal” again.
At some point you just need to let go and ride it out. Realize that the way you feel won’t last forever and take advantage of others willingness to help you. Part of what made me sad during my pregnancy was my inability to do all the things I was doing before, not just for myself but for my family and friends. I’m terrible at asking for help, I feel guilty that someone else is doing what I think I should be and have to learn to let go of that. People want to help, as long as you’re not taking advantage of it of course.
Now that I’m three weeks post-partum I feel like a new person. It sounds strange but even though I have a new- born at home I’m getting better sleep then I was the last few months of being pregnant! I’ve started walking again and ready to get back to working out as soon as my body is ready. Now that I’m feeling better my instinct is to workout like I was before my pregnancy. But, my best advice is no matter how good you feel post baby, wait until your doctor gives you the go ahead to do high impact exercises again before you attempt anything to strenuous or you’ll just slow down the recovery process. For example, I took a longer walk last week than I should have and it set me back a few days in my recovery.
I’m back to walking only a few miles every other day at this point. Next week I’ll do a little more and soon enough I’ll be back to exercising the way I want to.
Stay tuned for more on how I get back in shape after baby and tell me how you do it. What do you do to look and more importantly, feel good while juggling mommyhood?