Wow, #4! Only 2 1/2 weeks left! It's still hard to believe. This baby was unexpected, and honestly, we had prepared to move on from "Babyland." Our youngest is 5 and we had gotten used to being without diapers and bottles....
For those of you that have been following us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, you have seen some of the ins and outs of this pregnancy, and let me tell you - it has been rough! Especially, after having gone through 3 miscarriages, just the emotional pain and fear that goes along with that has been hard. Add to that being new business owners, working more than full time to keep the business alive and growing, having 3 other kids to care for, flipping a house, dealing with rental properties, and trying to maintain a happy marriage - need I say more? This mama is whooped! Thankfully, this pregnancy has been progressing well and everything seems to be healthy. I have tried to maintain my strength to at least 60-70% of what it was and just keep up with regular cardio (breathing is difficult when your insides are compressed). I've gained about 30lbs, which is more than what I gained in my last 3, but I'm sure it's because my body fat % was lower starting out this time. It's all good - that's one thing I know about myself - fitness is a priority and I can't live without it! So, let me give you some insight into a healthy pregnancy from this mom of 4.
From the beginning....the first trimester is awful (for me at least) and there's no need to push yourself to your limits by trying to maintain the same exercise routine that you had before the pregnancy. This is a PERSONAL TRAINER telling to you take it easy. Everyone's pregnancy is different, but for this pregnancy (granted, I was my husband's primary employee on our house flip which involved a lot of manual labor and was training clients and running a business) I did not work out regularly through the entire first trimester or at least from weeks 10-18. Even without regular workouts, I have never napped so hard in my life! Just getting through each day came with great effort. So please, don't be too hard on yourself!
Cravings: Ok, deep down - or maybe not-so-deep-down - I know that cravings originate from a nutritional need. That's why I have been preaching this message, "reduce your cravings down to a nutritional need and then fill that need." So, for example, if you're craving ice cream, you may need fat, carbohydrate, or calcium. In that case, I would (and have) replaced ice cream with a thick, creamy shake made from vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, banana, and dark chocolate chips. YUM! Most of my cravings occur in the first and third trimesters as the baby's nutritional needs spike to account for rapid growth and it's a good idea for both of you to fulfill those needs. But, Taco Bell tacos are not the right way to fulfill them.
Clothing: I'll admit, for this pregnancy I did not buy very many maternity clothes. I used to have a couple boxes full of clothes that I loved - and then I loaned them to someone who used them for multiple pregnancies and I've given up hope of seeing them again. So, I was stuck with my gym clothes, which have a good amount stretch. And honestly, they're pretty darn comfortable. I did buy a couple of Athleta shirts which are not maternity but had the side ruching that a maternity shirt would have and that was a very essential purchase. Sports bras a darn comfortable and have mostly stretched to my new size as needed, so no change there. The only maternity purchases I've made are a pair jeans - yes one! - and a dress for third trimester. Maybe I'm not the trend-setting maternity maven, but just re-purposing some of my non-maternity clothes has been enough to get me through. Moral of the story - don't think you have to buy an entirely new wardrobe, just be creative!
Lastly, make sure your nutrition is on point! By that I don't mean that you have to be uptight about everything you eat, but it is very important that you give your body what it needs (and I've already made it clear that that doesn't include Snickers bars and french fries). Your body needs more GOOD fats during this time for the baby's developing brain and to keep your hormones balanced. Don't be afraid of fats, just choose the right ones! Butter from grass-fed cows, egg yolks, nuts, coconut oil, animal fats from grass-fed animals are GOOD. Include them every day. Drink lots of water! I carry a half gallon container with me everywhere I go and I make sure to drink at least one of them a day. I would normally drink more, but with my stomach so squished and the threat of heartburn lurking, I just stick with the half. And keep those veggies and proteins going in! Especially if you are working out regularly, you need to make sure you're getting enough protein.
So, I'll wrap it up here, but I hope some of these tips helped! Some women love being pregnant and others can't wait for it to be over, but either way, taking care of yourself will make it more bearable. Don't get me wrong, my body is TIRED, but I'm confident that because of the care I've taken during the pregnancy, I'll be able to get right back on track!