What they don't tell you about being pregnant
Foreword: Those mamas or mamas to be who are grieving loss or are deeply entrenched in the fertility journey I feel you and hear you. I'd also like to start by saying carrying a baby inside you is a treasure to be cherished, mamas all over the world know this is a magic and miraculous gift. And this is probably why we don’t hear about what really goes on within those 9 precious months.
Fit Birds recently had the opportunity to gather a flock of Bumpin’ Birds - a group of women all pregnant and all searching for a little extra empowerment while on their pregnancy, birthing and beyond journey. This 4 week course was totally empowering, to be together as women and mini growing humans, to simply speak from the mind and the hear about all the feels was spesh. We dived into different ways to keep strong, fit, mindful, pain free and connected to ourselves and our bubs. We reminded ourselves how to be intuitive and to give ourselves and our growing bubs whatever it is they need (maybe it's a sweat session or maybe it's the cake). But what struck me most - was the individual battles of each mama, no matter how big or small there were highs and lows which stretched all across the board.
For those who know me know I’m a pretty capable bird, capable of carrying a 25kg backpack around the world and capable of scaling onto my balcony like a monkey when locking myself out of my flat. I'll be the first to climb the kids playground with your kidlet, or get up before sunrise to traverse a volcano. I'll jump off a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean with you and I love to laugh, dance, clean, cook, go on road trips and socialise.
Fast forward to the present moment - 38wks pregnant. I am none of those things.
A day in the life of me at 38wks pregnant
"6am wake up call by the cat and I quickly remember that I wish I had some kind of pulley system to lift me out of bed. Toilet first (I’m incredibly busting even though I’ve been at least 489 times already during the night) then a slow waddle to the kitchen dragging almost 20kg of extra weight (to feed desperate cat) and give myself coffee and spoon peanut butter into my mouth.
Getting dressed is like when I spent 5 days trekking & mountain biking to reach Matchu Picchu, it takes time birds. I look like a frog when putting my leggings on and I now sit down to put my shoes on, like my husband does! Now in the car - my seat is so far back I can barely see over the dash, I‘m definitely a liability on the road as I can’t turn to look for cars. If I do - instant rib pain which feels like something between a gunshot wound and a third degree burn (All. Day. Long). So I choose to drive like a laid back boy racer in a bucket seat wearing an invisible neck brace. I feel every single bump. Time to get out of the car, I procrastinate doing this for around 5-10mins each time (new reason for my constant tardiness). Once out, I’m bracing myself for the ultimate cocktail of fanny daggers (aka lightning crotch), pain bearing down on my vagina (it feels as though it’s about to fall out) and of course - the instant need to pee. I do my best not to get my waddle on and play it cool.
Fast forward a whole 3hrs after teaching and training a few birds I’m DONE. Maxed out, no supplies in the tank, legit running on empty. So I turtle my way home, wishing there was a pulley system to get my up one flight of stairs to my flat, wishing I had a robot to take my shoes & leggings off and I flop in the bath. Warmth and water is my saving grace. No 'ticking off the to do list today', no washing done, no yummy dinner cooked, no amazing yoga class and definitely no sweaty workout.
In coming amazing husband from work. Me: Complain, winge, complain and winge. Eat sugar. Our baby bird's beautiful kicks now feel like she's playing a 24/7 game of dodge ball, so I stand, sway and flop over my Swiss Ball naked because clothes are too uncomfortable and no position is comfortable for longer than around 1min. Full scale itching & irritability over my body takes over so I’m back flopping in the bath. I claim the sofa because for whatever reason its more comfortable now than my beautiful bed with fancy soft, breathable linen bedding".
Putting on almost 20kgs is not fun. My face is round, my arms are huge and my legs basically resemble something like two squishy sausages covered in orange peel. Being addicted to sugar is a new one for me too, it is OUT OF CONTROL. I now eat refined sugar daily, sometimes twice daily. I actually walk into the bakery, buy a doughnut and eat it in the car covering myself with icing sugar (classaaaay!). Or I'll top up the car with petrol and am now that person who gets sucked in to buying a Bounty Bar (the triple one obvs) while at the counter. Physically speaking - I can squat like a champion still and I can do a few exercises in an all fours position. Oh and I can swim! But that's it, all of the other amazing ways I used to be able to move by body are now restricted by this beautiful bump! Who even am I birds?
I have a feeling this is a part of the big letting go of life as I have once known it.
Closing Word: I have loved being pregnant and wouldn't change it for the world but I am also ready to reclaim myself back. We are beyond grateful to have a healthy little girl swimming around inside me and we are too excited to meet her (for more reasons than obvs). I've debated writing this, because is anyone really interested in hear negative rants? Not really! But it's out - it's out because it's kinda self-therapeutic and I am also so grateful to all the mamas (Fit Birds, friends and strangers) who decide to share their most intimate pregnancy, miscarriages, fertility, birthing and beyond hardships with me. In sharing this stuff we can learn and realise from each other that we aren't alone in feeling helpless or incapable.
Obviously not every day is like this (though most days since week 33 TBH). Just as I thought though - as soon as I have started to slow riiiiight down at work this 'heavily pregnant biz' all seems much more doable. I'm grateful for the Fit Birds team of trainers who are holding the nest while I take a lil break and seriously - I cannot wait to be on the other side with our newest baby bird exercising in the park with likeminded heroes!
It's empowering to take ownership of whatever you are going through, right? The highs and the lows. So here's to all the humans who decide to share, care, show kindness and empathy to one another, because as far as I can see - we are all faking it at some point of our lives and you never know when your vote of confidence in someone will lift their spirits.
Counting down the days till our little chicken arrives, our new life begins and I can hopefully find a little bit of that old self back too!
Word to the pregnant mamas.