Now that I’m a mother of 3
rascals beautiful, tantrum-throwing well-behaved children, I would say that I’ve earned the right to dispense some advice, when asked, about my experiences with pregnancy and child-rearing. I will say right off the top that going into my third pregnancy, I definitely felt a bit more confident than I did with my first two. I new what to expect (endless hours of nausea for the first half) but was still caught off guard by other things (restless leg syndrome so bad, I had to stop working because it was deemed that it wasn’t safe for me to drive due to sleep deprivation).
Looking back (and forward at the next year), I’ve learned 5 lessons along the way. Some are serious life lessons, while others are mere observations. Today, I’m sharing these thoughts with you (cue the confetti toss!):
1. You lose the weight before you find the Body: This is a lesson that I always forget and need to remind myself of. In all 3 pregnancies, I gained weight. After all my (large) babies were born, the weight came off. The first time, it took about 6 months to lose 50lbs, about 3-4 months for the 33lbs I gained the second time and at 6 weeks postpartum, I’m 5lbs away from prepregnancy weight after a 37lb gain. The weight comes off fairly easily for me BUT the body takes a good year to come back. Case in point: my prepregnancy pants were a good fit and an extra 5lbs would not affect how they fit. Yet, I can barely get them over my thighs. My shirts are all tight and everything just plain looks weird. You see, the number of the scale doesn’t reflect the image in the mirror. This is the main reason I’ve never looked at the number on the scale as any measure of progress. For me, it’s how my clothes fit (or don’t fit), it’s how I feel, it’s the work and commitment I put into my lifestyle that I measure my progress.
2. The Battle of the Greys: I’m currently in that phase where I’m shedding my hair everywhere. It’s gross and I’m sure I’m going to be swallowed whole by a tumble-weed sized hair ball. What I want to know is why oh WHY am I only losing brown hairs?! I have more than enough grey ones that I’m happy to donate to the hair thinning cause and yet they stay happily planted in my balding head. Really hair? Really??
3.I wear my scars with honour, not shame: I’ve had 3 c-sections. After the first 2, I felt ashamed because my body wasn’t able to do what every woman’s body *should* do: namely push a baby out of it. I seem to grow them very well but giving birth didn’t seem to ever be in the cards for me. As I prepped for surgery number 3, and even now as I feel the lumps and bumps of my scars, which will takes months to heal completely, I don’t feel any shame about it. None. Certainly, it’s not my ideal method because the recovery is crazy hard when you have little ones running around BUT, it doesn’t make me any less of a woman or mother any more than running a 13 minute mile makes you less of a runner than someone who runs an 8 minute mile. You’re still a runner in my books!
4. Slow and steady doesn’t win the race but it always gets you to the finish line: I have yet to take a single jogging stride since the Little Lady was born. I know many who have and who are out there running AND racing much sooner than I am. I have no plans to race before Spring race season and even then, the distances will be shorter to start. I will get back to half marathon shape and I may even get there before my planned fall half next year BUT I’m not going to force it or fret about it. I’m going to honour the body I have, train it to be strong again and when I’m ready to race, I will be in the right physical AND mental head space to really enjoy it. I won’t be breaking any records and it may be another year before I PR any of my times but I will get there. I really believe that my best athletic performance is yet to come and I’m going to get there in my own time and on my own terms.
5. Motherhood looks good on me: Sure I’m running on coffee fumes most days and my mental string is dangerously short but I’m loving my role of mom to my kids. Sure most days, if I get the chance to leave the
cave house, I’m wearing ratty yoga pants, my hair is likely a greasy mess from days over days without a shower and the only thing more obvious than the dark circles under my eyes and grey hairs is the liberal amount of baby puke I have from the shoulders down.