Pregnancy involves a lot of adapting, and some hard lessons learned.
Two weeks ago, I suffered a fainting spell and went to the ER. It sounds more dramatic than it turned out to be. The lesson learned was not to start my day with too many carbs (even the sugars in fruit can contribute) and not enough protein and water. I also learned to stand up more slowly to allow my increased blood volume to properly adjust.
The funniest part of my hospital visit was that “Hawaii 5-o” was filming at the Tripler ER that morning, so we pulled up to several blood-soaked patients, who were actually just actors. Someone on set actually shushed an EMT and I’m pretty sure I saw steam come out my husband’s ears. I may not have been covered in blood, but I was the only true patient.
Another funny tidbit from that morning was how I kept having to repeat that I’d had cookies and fruit for breakfast. Yep, the personal trainer who is all about health and nutrition had given in to sugar cravings only to have to repeat them about five times. My husband was snickering in the corner. I suspect he paid extra people to ask what I had eaten.
While at the hospital, they also monitored AJ (the boy who lives in my belly) to make sure he had everything he needed. He quickly proved he was fine by boxing the monitors they put on my belly. We could actually see them moving with each strike, and my insides were raw by the end of it. My little show-off. I was proud.
Fainting spells aren’t actually dangerous for babies. The whole reason I was depleted was because my body was prioritizing the baby, making sure he got everything he needed first. (Hey, the baby needs blood. Great, lets take it from mom’s brain.)
In other news, our household goods will arrive tomorrow. Although I’m impressed at how well the air mattress we’ve been sleeping on has held out, I’m definitely ready to get back to sleeping on our real bed. I’m equally excited for our couch and TV. Next week, we’ll have cable for the first time in 2 years. My husband will be away when that happens, so I think it’s only fair that I take it in for both of us by parking it in front of the ole picture box for a marathon run of whatever is on.
Fitness, nutrition and preparation at 25 weeks:
I’m 25 weeks today, and I’m still active. I walk 18 miles each week (2.6/day), and I mix up other activities for my upper body. I’ve gone kayaking, enjoy swimming, and am still good about pushups, tricep dips, planks and back exercises.
For someone like me, use to pushing herself, it’s hard to learn to err on the side of caution and slow down. Also, whereas I use to monitor and restrict my diet, now it’s “when in doubt… eat.”
As I type, I’m eating an oatmeal, blueberry and walnut muffin. The 3rd trimester is right around the corner, and that is when it’s most crucial to get a ton of DHA/omega-3 – i.e. brain food for baby (NO PRESSURE!). These muffins cover a lot of nutritional ground with banana, blueberries, oatmeal, almond meal, walnuts, eggs, and coconut spread in place of butter. I would share the recipe, but I didn’t use measurements.
Each day I do a bit of a nutritional checklist to make sure I’ve covered my good fats, greens, grains, vitamins, etc. My prenatal vitamins cover a lot of ground for me, but it’s always best to get what your body needs straight from the source.
To further help prepare us for AJ, we have hired a doula and are all set to take a CPR refresher course.
Learn from my lessons:
Whether you’re pregnant or not, a daily nutritional checklist is a good idea. Your skin (outward appearance) and your brain (inner prowess) will seriously benefit from omega-3, tons of water, and vitamin C. You won’t faint without them, but they’re still important.
I know my site is called, “Running for Pizza,” but, now, a more appropriate title would be “Walking for Baby.”
I am almost 18 weeks pregnant and living in Hawaii as our adventure continues.
Let’s talk pregnancy fitness.
Before taking on a triathlon, marathon, or any other major physical endeavor, you have to train, right? Well, having a baby is one of the most intense physical challenges I can imagine. Thus the name, “labor.” If it was called “blissful baby introduction,” you could prepare by sitting on your rear drinking milkshakes, but that’s simply not the case.
Pregnancy is not a good time to stop all exercise and eat your face off.
Exercising during pregnancy can lead to shorter, easier labor and faster recovery. Do you really need more reasons?
What I’m not doing:
- I’m not trying to prove how amazingly fit, strong and perfect I can be while growing a baby. I don’t want to be superwoman, I just want to be healthy and set baby and I up for success now and later.
- I’m not eating for two. The second person, the one growing inside of me (How cool is that?!) is much smaller than me, so I only actually require about 300 more calories/day + enough to supplement exercise. If I were to eat for two, I would end up looking like two of me after the baby. Nothing tastes good enough to make that worth it.
What I am doing:
I have stopped running and plyometrics simply to remove joint impact. These exercises won’t hurt your baby, but, as your body releases relaxin to help your joints expand to make room for baby, you are at a greater risk of injury that you might not fully comprehend until after baby.
I miss running like I miss wine. It was part of my daily meditation, and walking feels like it takes forever to cover any kind of distance. Having said that, I sure do feel good.
My current, daily routine involves walks of 2. 75 miles, 25 regular pushups, 25 tricep pushups or dips, 50 hip raises, 50 pelvic tilts, 50 straight-leg crunches, 30-second side planks, 1-minute center plank, and either rows, rear flies or shoulder rolls with a blade squeeze for my upper back. Since arriving in Hawaii, I haven’t set for in a gym (that all changes this Friday), so all of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home. No excuses.
A few rules of thumb for pregnancy exercises:
- If you were doing it before you were pregnant, you can do it while you’re pregnant, just listen to your body.
- Avoid straining, or any activity that leaves you breathless/unable to speak a full sentence clearly.
- Something is better than nothing.
- If you feel too exhausted to exercise, take the hint and sit one out, but remember that a little exercise will help your energy stores overall.
- Eat a snack before you exercise, and increase your calorie intake based on your exercise expenditures.
- After 20 weeks, stop performing exercises that require you to lay on your back. Reach out to me for modifications.
This is my first shot at being a pregnant person, but I’m grateful for my additional pre- and post-natal studies and certification, and for my pre-existing knowledge on nutrition and exercise. Getting pregnant is as much about your body being in the right condition to create and support a baby as it is about the actual act of making a baby. A healthy baby starts with a healthy mommy. If you don’t want to do it for you, now you’ve got a much bigger reason to take great care of yourself!