Two words that describe me: Mover and Shaker. When I became pregnant in March of 2013, I was determined to continue to be just those two things.
It’s true that from the very moment you become pregnant, your entire mindset changes. I knew I had to continue to be a mover and shaker not just for me, but for the health of my son. So I set a plan. I was going to have an all-natural water home birth and I knew I had to keep myself in the best shape possible to make that happen. I quickly learned that stretchy yoga pants can really only stretch so far, but I continued! With a growing belly, and workout clothing that no longer fit, I moved it almost every day for forty- three whole weeks.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you they weren’t scared or anxious or nervous about giving birth. Part of me thought, I committed to natural childbirth, but what if I can’t do it? What if I’m not as tough as I think I am?
I googled “How much does child birth hurt?” Don’t ever do that. As an educated nurse with a degree you would think I would have known better. I took hypnobirthing classes to help get me in a calm, relaxed zone, but deep down inside I was scared. Don’t ever let anyone tell you they weren’t scared or anxious or nervous about giving birth. Part of me thought, I committed to natural childbirth, but what if I can’t do it? What if I’m not as tough as I think I am?
At thirty-two weeks, we found out our son, Oliver, was breech. It was an instant game- changer. My options were a scheduled C-section or try to find an OB comfortable to deliver naturally in the hospital. We tried everything to get Oliver to go head down; acupuncture, standing on my head, somersaults in a pool, homeopathic medicine. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall watching a forty- two week, massively pregnant woman doing somersaults in a pool. I was starting to feel like my body was no longer my body, and I was losing control. To add to the stress, after forty -three weeks Oliver decided he was comfy where he was and just didn’t want to come out. Still trying to save some part of my birth plan, I did find an OB that would let me try to do this naturally, the catch, she wanted to induce me. Well there went my all-natural birth plan, but this was the only thing keeping me away from surgery.
My contractions came EVERY MINUTE with no break in-between.
Induction was awful and I give Pitocin, the inducing drug that is supposed to mimic natural labour, the big fat middle finger. There is absolutely nothing NATURAL about Pitocon. I walked, I squatted on the exercise ball, and I blasted out my tunes on my iPod. I also laboured in the company of my supportive husband and amazing doula. I was able to continue for twelve hours and run what felt like the marathon of a lifetime. My contractions came EVERY MINUTE with no break in-between. That is not natural labour, but that was my labour. I needed an epidural. I cried and I apologized for needing an epidural. WHY? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Plans change, our mindset changes, we have good moments, we have bad moments, we are strong, we are weak, and that’s all OK.
I went twelve entire hours of active labour until Oliver decided he wanted to hit the ground running. It was time to push and he presented with both feet first. Instant game changer again and I needed an urgent C-section.
Fear that I wouldn’t be able to take care of my son as I’d be recovering myself. Twenty-four hours later, I was up, showered, and walking around the unit at the hospital.
I can’t quite describe the fear that overcame me at that present moment. Fear of a complication arising, fear of feeling the actual cutting, fear that I’d not be able to be a mover and a shaker for quite a long time. Fear that my body would be wrecked forever. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to take care of my son as I’d be recovering myself. Twenty-four hours later, I was up, showered, and walking around the unit at the hospital. I realized that my fear was just that; Perceived fear. It didn’t have to actually be my reality and I had a choice. I could let my fears get the best of me or face the cards that were dealt right there in front of me.
Two days after the section, I was ready to go home. As painful as each step was, I knew it was one step closer to feeling better. I had an even bigger sense of purpose. Being able to hold my son in my arms, being able to kiss his sweet face made all of those fears seem minor. They were no longer a part of me. I am a mom. I am needed. I can do this. I truly believe my mindset changed, long before I ever even realized it.
I had a lot of doubts about continuing to make QUICK 10 videos as the fitness world is harsh and critical. People are harsh and critical, but I wanted to stay REAL.
It was difficult for me to listen to my body for forty-three whole weeks as my belly grew. I physically couldn’t do the things I used to do. In reality, the only person who actually cared was me. I had a lot of doubts about continuing to make QUICK 10 videos as the fitness world is harsh and critical. People are harsh and critical, but I wanted to stay REAL. I now have something positive to show our son. Mom was planking at forty weeks pregnant and walking through burpees while you were sleeping in utero!
Continuing to eat extremely healthy and staying active didn’t REALLY click in, until labour actually came and recovery went so smoothly for those first few days. My son and I did that together and I am extremely proud of that. How often do honour ourselves and acknowledge exactly what we ARE able to do instead of focusing on the plans that go haywire, the mistakes we’ve made and the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s? Stop it. We are harsh and critical of OURSELVES. Within two weeks I lost twenty- five of my thirty -five pregnancy pounds, but does a number really define what your body can do? For one of the first times in my life, I thanked my body. I see it in a new light. Having a happy, healthy baby, I know he is thanking me too.
I can tell you that stretch marks, an incision, and a saggy stomach is something I have never sported in my life.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I can tell you that stretch marks, an incision, and a saggy stomach is something I have never sported in my life. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t expecting to see this extra pocket of love when I first looked in the mirror at myself, but this extra pocket of love is exactly that, a beautiful reminder of what my body was able to do; A beautiful reminder of places I’ve been and the completely unselfish love you have when you turn your body over to someone and something else; Most importantly, a beautiful reminder of the miraculous little being that’s all ours. When I look at my son, my heart explodes with a love that I never quite knew was possible.
I want to be able to run and sprint, crawl and lunge, and have the stamina to keep up with this growing boy.
Now I will train for a different reason. I want to be able to run and sprint, crawl and lunge, and have the stamina to keep up with this growing boy. Instead of thinking where is my old body, I’m looking forward to creating a new body. Instead of getting frustrated at the things I can’t quite seem to do yet, I’ve set completely brand new goals for this year, goals that last year I wouldn’t have even dreamed possible. I want to be able to do one unassisted chin up all on my own. That’s going to take a lot of hard work. Perhaps forty-three weeks or more of hard work, but my body and mind has been down this road before and I’m going to succeed. Stay tuned for my monthly blogs tracking my progress, my weight loss, and my continued journey into mommy hood.
- Lisa P.