Hey everyone! Well, my mind felt the need to get some thoughts out on
paper the internet, and my fingers felt the need to move, so here we are, 26 weeks pregnant with our second, spending some time reflecting. I can’t believe the third trimester is only 2 weeks away – the time is flying by and I wanted to capture some thoughts at this moment in time. So here’s a snapshot of my mind in this moment of time.
Much like my pregnancy with Abigail, I haven’t really had any cravings during the past few months. I definitely ate a lot more bread in the first trimester as compared to my regular eating habits, but I was okay with that given that I knew it would pass. And it did! But then we got a few cereal options in the house and I just couldn’t stop munching on cereal. This is a great snack option, but I noticed I was eating mindlessly and it wasn’t leaving me feeling satisfied in body or spirit. So, I signed up for the “Fall Into Consistency” nutrition challenge with Street Parking for some accountability. I was a little nervous to do so because I don’t do well nor believe in restriction when it comes to sustainable change and habits for me, but I knew I needed an external factor to reign in it in. I decided to make the challenge work for me during this season of life and my main goals were to let go of processed food and my urge to eat something sweet after every meal.
So how’d it go? Great! I gained weight! 😉 (pregnancy joke there) But seriously, knowing that I had paid for a template and program was enough to keep me mainly on track with those goals. I felt so good over the last few weeks, didn’t put major restrictions on my food or on how I felt about it (no feelings of guilt because that doesn’t work!), but I did mainly stick to real foods. In fact, I love candy but made it through Halloween truly not wanting any candy, which is a huge first for me!
And then, this weekend, I kind of went nuts. It wasn’t just that Abi and I made cookies, but that I ate pretty much all of them the next day.
It wasn’t that I ate all sugary foods, but that I ate in excess of all foods this weekend – and with a growing belly, it makes for an uncomfortable few hours when I’m feeling extremely full! It was a good wake up call/reminder to myself that I feel better, pregnant or not, with more real, nourishing foods. So, back to that this week it is! And I never felt deprived the last few weeks in any way; when I ate that candy and those Pillsbury cookies, I didn’t really enjoy it. So, more enjoyment, more proper fueling, more feeling better, and I’m ready for it!
Okay, big nutrition recap, but if any Street Parking members out there haven’t tried the template program, I encourage you to go for it! And if you’re not a SP member, what are you waiting for? 😉 ‘ll be following it more specifically postpartum after a few months and can get further use out it then.
I’m loving my movement this pregnancy! During my pregnancy with Abigail, I worked out hard until the end, taking care to breathe, to warm up, to do BirthFit workouts, and walk a lot. I had no pelvic floor pain/dysfunction that I knew of and I felt great with lifting relatively heavy and modifying not until later in my pregnancy. This was what worked for me in that season and I enjoyed every minute of it.
But this time around, things are different:
- I went into this pregnancy with pelvic floor dysfunction (pelvic organ prolapse), so certain movements don’t feel as good (more on this below!).
- That second time stretch thing? It’s true! Which means my core is much weaker because the stretch came so much faster. This just means I’ve modified my movements much sooner this time around – especially core movements. And I’m okay with that!
- I’m following two programs (Pregnant & Postpartum Athleticism and Street Parking) as they fit into my life, not strictly either way. When I have more time or can modify the workouts at home, I do the former, and when I’m squeezing it in with Abi playing around me or over nap time at home, I grab my dumbbells and (newly purchased!) kettlebell and do the former – short, sweet and effective workouts. And in general, I’m not going as heavy or hard – neither workout lasts longer than 45 minutes with most my workouts around 10-20 minutes and my weights staying around 15-35 lbs all in.
- I’m walking and moving, mindful of my steps (got that FitBit still going strong!), always reminding myself that it’s okay to not hit your step goals though – we need some rest, too, and don’t need a watch to tell us if we’re living the right way! But it’s less than when I was pregnant with Abi – my time is not my own or the same as it was when I was pregnant and didn’t have a toddler! And that’s okay!
- I’m trying to do one (two would be great, but goal is one!) Street Parking maintenance or postnatal yoga flow a week (see picture above!)… Every time I settle in and do it I feel great.
This is working for me this time – it feels sustainable, like I’m still an athlete and accomplishing things that make me feel strong and ME, but also that are in line with where my body is at during this second pregnancy. And that’s a great place to be! Not better or worse than the first time, just different.
Current Physical State
I shared a bit on this Instagram TV episode about the current state of my pelvic floor (because, hey! open book over here!), if you’d rather listen than read:
All in all, it’s been a great pregnancy. My energy has been high, nausea was slight and didn’t last long, and what’s happened since the above video is that my rectocele prolapse (which had ballooned up and gotten much worse as my cystocele prolapse got dramatically better) is now receding! It seems the bigger I get, the better those prolapses become. What’s been tough is actually less my pelvic floor dysfunction and more my varicose veins. I had them with Abigail (only on my left leg and disappeared in those first days of her life), and I’d heard that they are worse with subsequent pregnancies, so I was basically just waiting for them to hit. What’s been worse this time with them is how high up into my groin they go, and it makes for a very swollen, uncomfortable pubic area. All the stuff people don’t see and don’t talk about, right?! I’m sharing this because maybe someone out there also has this issue, and it’s nice to know we’re not alone!
These type of pregnancy-related, high-into-the-groin varicose veins have a specific name: vulvar varicosities. They are due to “the increase in blood volume to the pelvic region during pregnancy and the associated decrease in how quickly your blood flows from your lower body to your heart. As a result, blood pools in the veins of your lower extremities as well as your vulvar region — causing vulvar varicosities. Vulvar varicosities can occur alone or along with varicose veins of the legs” (Mayo Clinic source). This has been hard, but something I haven’t talked about much, because there isn’t much you can do, save for wearing compression, changing positions often and elevating your feet, and applying cold compresses to your vulva (this I’ve only done once and will continue to do it – so much relief, especially if it’s been a longer day on my feet!).
Pregnancy takes its toll on any woman’s body, and this is part of my journey to grow and deliver a baby! I can’t imagine having nausea for 9 months (let alone more then the few weeks I had it!), or being on bed rest or anything like that, so vulvar varicosities it is for me. 😉
My final days at my gym are approaching, and it’s getting harder to think about! The change is different this time around (as I’m seeing many things are!) because I know what’s waiting for us – a little baby! I’m starting to feel that urge to wind down a lot sooner than I did with Abi, and excited to tune into her and our time together before there’s another baby in the mix! But I am a little…nervous? unsure?… about the transition of not necessarily going to CityFit every day – less so for me and more so for Abigail! When she goes to her grandparents’ house every Tuesday, she asks to go to CityFit the next day. She loves the people there, the snacks we eat there, running around her little domain and exploring, and it’s even the place she took her first real steps!
So this change of routine for her and I is going to be interesting. But this means more time to connect with other friends with kids and really visit intentionally and have some little adventures together! So that’s going to be fun for us. And even though I’m not working a ton, with my veins likely only going to be getting worse as I get bigger, it’s probably for the best that I’m not on my feet as much in the coming months, so that will also help.
In the birth realm, I’m also back to listening to podcasts that chronicle birth stories and experiences, interviews with experts and topics that I’m interested in. I’m definitely approaching this birth with a different mindset, and I’m trying to soak up all the info I have around that. For starters, I am excited to quell the “athlete brain” that Brianna Battles talks about, just like I’ve done when it comes to my workouts this time around.
I loved my first birth experience and honestly only had good feelings about it (for which I am so thankful!), but upon more deeper reflection, I know that I want to rethink the pushing stage when it comes to birth this time. Adriana Lozada has a great podcast episode about this (listen here!), and when I found out that you can give birth when you’re unconscious, that really got me thinking. There is another way to give birth besides going to the thinking, athlete side of my brain which coached me last time, saying, “Come on, Bonnie! Give it all you got! Push again – one more push! You’ve got this!” While I tip my hat to my brain for telling me I could do it, I know I pushed after my contractions had stopped, had trouble knowing where to push, and I can’t even think about how sore my biceps were the next day from gripping my legs and going for it. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best for my pelvic floor. 😉
So I’m going into this birth with a different mindset not for the whole thing but for that active pushing phase – which I hope to not view as so active! Yes, you have to push, but you can let your strong uterus do the work and your tissues take their time to soften rather than my previous “GET ‘ER DONE, SON!” kind of attitude.
The idea of a water birth also sounds so good to me when I think about how much easier that is in terms of tearing (though hoping not to, this time!) and living that for the baby and experience, but I’m not really a water person. I don’t love baths and last time laboured by walking up and down the steps and also while on the toilet (these things brought my contractions hard and kept them coming fast!). So I never got in the shower or tried water last time – it seems so foreign to me, and I don’t think we’d set up a birth tub in our living room, so while I love the idea I’m not sure if I’ll dive deeper into it (pun not intended but hey! that works!). I do enjoy listening about water birth in terms of the history, the stories people have about it, and watching videos of it – so peaceful and calm!
We are hiring our friend and doula again, and I’m hoping to have Abigail around the house (if we are able to have a home birth again – that’s all in God’s and this baby’s hands in terms of what happens, and of course if plans change we want to be ready to go!). I spoke with my midwife team about this and they didn’t think much of it; many kids stick around! They said if labor happens at night many toddlers don’t even wake up – I’d love this to be the case, and last time I went into labor in the early morning. We have my in-laws in Calgary as back up, but I really would like to have this be an immediate family experience with the help of Mikey and our doula. Who knows! This element is probably one I feel the most concerned about as it’s all so new to have a toddler, too, so I’m digging into those emotions and feelings and of course talking with our birth team about it.
So, from nutrition to movement to where I’m at physically and what I’m looking ahead to, that’s my 26 week recap of pregnancy #2! Still no thoughts on whether this is a boy or girl – I’ve unconsciously referred to this baby as both a “he” and “she” at different times without thinking. I just still can’t believe there is life growing inside me and feel so, so thankful for this gift. Birth is on my mind! And I’m already interested in what this little one’s story will be and also the magic of those sleep-deprived, early days with him or her. A change for all 3 of us is coming! Thanks for being along for the journey.
Live well & be well,