Change is a funny thing. Growing up I used to fear it, run from it, and figure out ways to avoid it. But lately change has been a huge theme in my life. Pregnancy, moving, and transitioning to a new routine have become the norm.
When I was nine-years-old I was the first girl in class to get a training bra. While some pre-teens beamed with pride at the sight of their growing chests, my morphing body was confusing. The physical change ushered in a wave of emotions my nine-year-old “Limited Too” loving self wasn’t prepared to face. Being the first to experience everything created fear and confusion. “Why me and not them?” often raced through my mind.
Over the next couple years I struggled with body image, weight gain, and my “bodacious boobs” (as the gals at Nordstrom used to say). Change was scary and I often felt like it was something I could not control.
As women we go through several periods of intense change. This is normal, but nonetheless frustrating and confusing. As a young woman I became more self aware and understanding of others’ struggles and emotions too. I learned that embracing change and addressing questions about my body was important for my mental wellbeing. I asked my mom and doctor a ton of questions, talked to friends, and took control of my health. Change forced me to grow up, and over time I grew in to those bodacious boobs and my new adult body 🙂
My body has undergone immense change the last two years. From bikini competitions to fertility treatments/IVF, miscarriage, and now 33 weeks of pregnancy, I often don’t recognize myself. I have caught myself comparing, not only to other pregnant and recently postpartum women, but to my pre-preggo self.
Pre-pregnancy I trained hard and long, always. Pregnant Erica takes breaks, steps outside for air, and runs to the bathroom. More recently I’ve fallen in love with classes at Barre3, a local barre studio that also offers childcare. In every class I feel strong and supported, working the muscles I know I’ll call upon in labor. The low impact option is something I envision doing throughout my entire pregnancy (I hope) and postpartum to rebuild and strengthen my pelvic floor. I’ve significantly changed the way I view my workouts. It’s now about building endurance and strength for delivery and my growing body. My husband and I have also been building out an in-home gym so I can continue to lift at my own pace.
Connecting with other Women
More recently, I have learned just how important it is to connect with other pregnant women and moms. With all the changes and emotions it’s nice to have a conversation with someone that “gets it.” Being new to the area I’ve been doing a lot of research on groups, resources, and studios that cater to pregnant women and new moms, such as Barre3, Fit4Mom, and PEPS.
Through some of these initial conversations I’ve changed the way I view friendships, my passions, and my body. It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to crave certain foods. It’s ok to be uncomfortable.
Pregnancy weeks 29-33 saw a lot of change in our lives. Although sometimes this change has been scary and overwhelming, I know it’s going to be an amazing adventure for our growing family. I encourage you to welcome change, embrace it, and know that it’s ok to be scared or overwhelmed sometimes. I know that I’ll get my back to my pre-pregnancy routine (sort of) in 2019. I know that we will settle in to our new city and flourish. Change takes time. Be patient, be loving, and keep pressing forward.