I Made a Baby with This

Photo by  Dakota Corbin

Photo by Dakota Corbin

I always knew that if I were ever to get pregnant, I would be one of those women who turned into a water buffalo. And, sure enough, by the time I went into labor I had gained a full 50 pounds. This is no small amount of weight on someone who is 5'4" to begin with.

It's not like I went crazy, either. In fact, I'm completely befuddled by how it was actually physically possible for me to expand to this degree. 

In all fairness, I also have to say that, in some ways, I got off easy. I don't have a single stretch mark to be found (thank you, coconut oil!). And, much as I didn't love being pregnant (I don't understand this whole "I was glowing" thing), my body handled it well. I experienced morning sickness a total of once.

If you had told me at the beginning of my pregnancy that I would gain an entire 50 pounds by the time all was said and done, I would have freaked. out. I've always been aware of my body and in battle with it to stay somewhere in the 120-something range. Sometimes I have done this in healthy ways. Other times, I have not.

What I couldn't have understood at the beginning of my pregnancy, though, was how much my mind and heart were going to shift in the course of making another human. And not just any human, but my human. Would I like to look like I did before I got pregnant? Sure I would! Am I going to spend every moment of my time doing every little thing I can do to make that happen? Absolutely not.

One of the great offshoots of pregnancy is that I have a whole new respect for my body. It can do incredible things. Like, it just knows how to make people--what?!? And it also knows how to deliver those people into the world, much as the physics of it still don't make a whole lot of sense to me, even after witnessing it first-hand. 

After I gave birth to Izzy, I thought I would never be the same. Even getting up from a sitting position (never mind getting out of bed!) was a major fiasco. Despite the 15 years of yoga practice prior to pregnancy, I still literally felt as if my core had been ripped out of my body. That first week, I couldn't imagine I would ever be the same again. But, almost without me noticing, it started to happen.

Five months out and I can kickbox and do a headstand and plank for days (okay, okay, for a minute). I've lost 40 pounds with 10 left to go. I've accepted the fact that losing those final 10 is not going to be a sprint, but a marathon. It's going to be a slow process of being healthy.

Izzy and I walk two times a day--honestly, it's less as a form of exercise and more as a way to bookmark our days with some quiet time and to get out in the world and introduce her to the trees and the sky. When I can, I do yoga. Gone are my 90-minute studio classes, though--instead, it's stolen moments of logging onto YogaGlo. Some days, I go to 9Round to get some kickboxing in. But I would be lying if I said that was most days. I'm eating healthy, but that doesn't mean I'm skipping out on pizza altogether.

Just like so many other aspects of my life, my body and I are currently in the process of redefining our relationship. We're still getting to know each other, but I'm enjoying a gentleness in our relationship that was never there before. 

Check out some of my body and movement self-care tips. Also, be sure to drop me a line to share some of yours!