This pregnancy has been an up and down of emotions. At times I feel blessed that we made it through such a tumultuous time and have been able to carry this baby thus far and then other times I’m an emotional wreck, feeling guilty about any negative feelings I have towards the pregnancy and how it has impacted my body. I try to allow myself all feelings, but the guilt creeps in at times. I’ve found there are a few things that can help me get through it and I thought I’d share them on the blog so other people who may be experiencing pregnancy after loss (or just similar guilty feelings) can find solace in knowing A. They’re not alone and B. There are things that help.

1. Gratitude. One of the strategies I have utilized to keep a peaceful frame of mind is gratitude. I’m grateful for a. being able to have this baby b. the love and support I have in my partner c. that I live in an amazing city with so many amazing opportunities for myself and my family d. that I have a home e. that I have friends and family that I love f. that I have health care (fucking Trump) g. that I love my job. And honestly the list goes on and on. When I’m feeling down I start running through the list of things I’m grateful for and it really does help.

2. Healthy eating. I feel that throughout this pregnancy I have been able to eat a healthy balance of 80/20. I can’t imagine never indulging in those things that your pregnant body desires (in my case Cadbury egg, popsicles/slushies, doughnuts <–okay this one might not be pregnancy hehehe), but I’m extremely head strong about maintaining a balance with healthy foods. Here are some of my faves so far:

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Avocado toast, banana almond butter toast.

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Sauteed spinach.

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Savory eggy oats.

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Smoothie bowl.

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Whole foods salad.

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Bagel with cottage cheese cucumbers and tomato.

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Brown rice with Kale and egg.

3. Hydration. I’ve also been sure to drink 80-100oz of water a day. This has kept a lot of the negative symptoms at bay and I’m so happy about that.

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4. Finding inspiration. I’ve been inspired by so many bloggers in general during the last 4 years that it was intuition to start finding those who had given birth. I love reading the Hungry Runner Girl, Peanut Butter Fingers, and The Fitnessista. On Instagram I recently found Hayley Bolton’s account and she is so REAL and inspiring. I also follow Knocked Up Fitness on IG (I have her DVDs too), which lead me to really watch out for Diastasis Recti and see a personal trainer when I felt it had happened to me (Thanks Erica!). Lastly, I follow Natalie Jill Fit on Facebook (I’m rarely on facebook now but she has great videos). These women do not sugar coat things, they are women that have worked hard after pregnancy/delivery (with things not always going smoothly) and it is truly inspiring.

5. Hiring a doula. The doula has already been such a great support. I had some pretty intense sciatic nerve pain and she had some great suggestions for how to sleep at night that would help and it completely has! She also gave me an acupressure point for anxiety/sleep, and has shown me some dance moves to help alleviate that ‘full’ feeling that happens near the end of the day.

6. Working out. Ever since my first pregnancy I found that the times I felt the best were when I was working out. But this has rung true even more so during this pregnancy. At the beginning of the pregnancy the nurses/doctors at the high risk clinic advised me to keep my workouts easy (which was a real bummer), but as soon as I hit 12 weeks and went to a regular OB I was cleared to do my normal thing. I’m so proud of myself that I’ve gotten in 5-6 workouts a week and I don’t feel like I’ll be stopping any time soon. My workouts have consisted of: Body pump, Spin, Mixxed Fit dance, Kettle bells, walks, and hikes.  It’s crazy how I can be sitting on the couch and think ‘my hips hurt and maybe I shouldn’t go workout,’ but once I’m at the gym doing it my hips feel much better.

I spoke with my doctor again yesterday and she was very happy that I’m able to engage in this level of activity, she wants me to keep going for as long as I can. A lot of things change during pregnancy and if this can be something that stays consistent and can help me recover afterwards then this is something that definitely makes me happy when I’m feeling down on myself.

I wanted to share what week 32/33 in workouts looks like for pregnant Nicole:

1. Thursday, April 27th was a 45 minute spin class. Forgot my watch, so you get a picture of the bike instead.

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2. Friday April 28th was an hour and a half walk with Dave (prepping for Bloomsday), we got a little bit of jogging in there.

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3. Saturday, April 29th was suppose to be a Body Pump class, but I got such little sleep Friday night that I decided to sleep past my 7am alarm and do a 45 minute workout from Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt DVD. I love these things, they are a really great work out!

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4. Sunday April 30th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) was a sweaty spin class.

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5. Monday, May 1st was a rest day. I took the boys out for walks, but kept it really minimal because my body definitely needed a break.

6. Tuesday, May 2nd was another great spin session.

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7. Wednesday, May 3rd was time for some weight lifting at Body Pump.

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My goal has been to get 3-4 days of cardio a week and 2 days of weight training, and so far so good. I’m taking advantage of this time when my body feels good and I feel like I can get out the door and do it. If there comes a time when my body says no, then I will listen, but thankfully it continues to love these workouts.

So now you’ve heard what’s been getting me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, hope it’s helpful to anyone having similar feelings.

Be well!

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