Sometime pregnancy really is magical. The knowledge that your body --without any sort of direction or conscious decision on your part-- is busy creating a whole other human being inside of your uterus (which used to be the size of your fist... I think that's right... but is now the size of your entire belly blown up like a beach ball)... It's empowering. That's really the best way I can describe the feeling, because I think its one of those things you have to experience to truly understand.
Other times though, the magic is sort of missing and you're left feeling like an over-emotional, bloated whale with some sort of eating addiction. I mean, if I don't eat something right before bed I wake up for my 2 am pee break and sort of zombie shuffle blindly into the kitchen where I then stuff whatever looks delicious into my mouth. Thankfully everything I've eaten in the dead of night has been edible to date.
I think one of the hardest parts for me to handle has actually been my own self-judgement, especially about the weight gain aspect of pregnancy. In college I lost over 70 pounds and went from a size eighteen to a size six, and it was a really triumphal period in my life. I was able to overcome my addictions to food and rebuild a relationship based on enjoyment and moderation, and I feel like I've done pretty well keeping to that during this pregnancy. Still, the pounds pile on and I'm trying to be okay with it, but in the back of my head I'm all like, "Llama, did you really need to gain 34 whole pounds?! Normal is between 25-35! Couldn't you have stuck to the low end of the spectrum?!" And then I whine to Mr. Llama about how fat I feel and he tells me I'm not fat I'm pregnant, and I look fabulous (because he always knows the right thing to say) and I tell my self-judgment to go jump off a bridge because tonight I'm going to get busy with a large serving of tin roof sundae ice cream from the most delicious little creamery, because I've been really good about my eating habits all week and my ribs ache and I need something tasty.
And that makes it a little less hard to deal with.
You know what else makes pregnancy weight gain easier to deal with? Planning for the future. I can't count the number of times I've said something along the lines of "once this baby evacuates, I'm going to hit the gym and be super sexy." I've said it so often I believe it, and whats more is that I'm excited about it. And not just the weight loss aspect of it. I'm excited to get healthy! Sure I was "thin" before (even though self-judgement would never let me call myself that), but I wasn't super healthy. Running left me all wheezy, and strength training was me lifting a weight once or twice and then calling it good. I didn't enjoy activity. It wasn't really a part of my life. Instead I focused on my diet. Calories in, calories out. Healthy foods and avoiding my triggers (I'm looking at you extra large Sonic Butterfinger Blast!). But something was definitely missing.
I mean, I have this amazing body, it's capable of an act of near divine creation, and I'm just sort of living in it. If I were to actually make an effort and use my body to do all the things it is capable of... how awesome would that be!? I mean, what if I could run ten miles? Or if I could be an awesome swimmer? Or go hiking on the weekends? What if I could dance or do yoga like a pro? What if I'm an athlete and I've just never tested myself to see, so I'm depriving myself of fulfilling experiences I could otherwise be having? And what if, as a mother, it's my responsibility to be active and healthy as well as a giant nerd, so that my daughter will know that while her mind and her spirit are important, so is the health of her body because it is her perpetual home?
I know, I know, I'm getting a little introspective here. But what if, right? I think I owe it to myself and to my family to try something new and make my physical health a priority. And maybe that is what has been truly magical about pregnancy for me. It has made me realize I'm capable of more than I had ever imagined, and I will forever be grateful for that.
^^^My capable body, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
What physical activities do you enjoy? Do you think pregnancy is magical? Do you believe in Unicorns?