Pregnant and fit. Sometimes these words and body (& mind!) states seem to exclude each other. And there might be a medical condition for it, always respected. Also this time, this is only personal thoughts gathering, no medical advice nor research behind it. Life is about how we live it and how we approach it. This is lifestyle. And it is in our hands. Also, in these special 9 (or rather 10) months!
I often wonder how people around me do not get completely crazy with me! My pregnancy started with my “paranoia time” and ended up with me wanting it to last more and more. So, let me tell you quickly my story first! As usual, it isn’t usual!
MY UNUSUAL STORY
I had always dreamt of having a family. Still, seeing a light line on the pregnancy test gave me both the biggest happiness, as well as a bit of my own “paranoia”. Work change, relocation, adjusting lifestyle – it all gave me my own thoughts and worries I had to process myself. Guess took me two months to understand that to “see that line” – time is always right! That was Q4 of 2018 and the ‘big day’ was predicted for 18th July 2019.
Back then I was in Poland, working as usual. As there were no medical limitations, I was told I can follow my normal lifestyle, just adjusting it a bit of course. That was a great news for me. I was able to travel, to continue to exercise, to take care of us just with minor changes: bye to my sushi (with raw fish), to evening wine, to lifting too heavy bags, to exercising my tummy. Staying fit (and slim! 😉 ) is part of “me” however I knew that our health and well-being became priority number 1. I remember back then that together with My Better Half we said that I should be back to pre-pregnancy state for New Year, ~6 months after delivery. We even smiled that I should fit in my golden wedding dress again! I liked the idea!
So the weeks started to pass. I was fortunate enough to pretty much feel normal. Most of the second month I spent in Israel on business meetings. I used to wake up after 5 am to get ready for office and catch shuttle bus! I was super happy: no morning nausea. My only craving back there: mandarins and yogurts 🙂 (which before I stopped having for few years) Third month I was on the plane to India to spend Christmas and a bit of time with My Better Half and Our Older Angel. That was the time when my body told me for 3 weeks, and I still don’t believe my own body: no to my espresso coffee! Being all together again was best. 4 of us, 3 out and 1 in. 🙂 Then again time back in Poland, working, meeting friends, being active all the time… especially before my relocation to India in March 2019. Yes, already with tummy, I was packing 6 suitcases! No, I did not lift any of them.
I left for India on 8th of March. Women’s Day. Yes, with a mix of smile and tears. Many people were telling me that they would not decide for a delivery in a foreign country, and to it – on another continent, at least 14 hours of flights away. But I knew that I wasn’t alone. My Better Half and Our Older Angel were with me. My lifestyle didn’t change much. I just drove less, very less. Yes, driving in India can be a challenge – I just didn’t want unnecessary stress: a. if i am on the right lane (it is opposite to Poland), b. if I can forget all the driving rules learnt till date and just drive ahead, or rather: throw myself ahead 😀 My Better Half smiled when few times I just waited to have an “empty road” to do U-turn 😀 I could have waited for hours! Oh, I missed driving my car! (yes, my beloved parents, sister and friends too! 😉 )
As all the weeks were passing by, Our Little One was growing more, me too – but slowly. I kept on taking care of both of us all the time. So did my family. I wanted to enjoy these 10 months as much as possible. Also, I wished to be healthy, to stay fit. I knew that mostly it depended on myself: pregnant and fit! It was also important for me to do something extra so that “appearance” of Our Little One would be easier. We can influence it by preparing a bit in advance too.
PREGNANT & FIT – OUTCOME?
Before reading it: please remember that this is my individual story, our bodies are all different, our habits, tendencies or even multiple years of practices. However, I truly believe that we have strong influence over our minds and bodies – also during this blessed time, hence my sharing.
I stayed fit all pregnancy. In the 5th month of my pregnancy I was still doing free stand sirsasana (headstand). My last yoga session was on Friday (5th July) and I had next class scheduled for Monday (8th July) which we had to cancel as Our Little One joined us on 7th July. During entire pregnancy I increased ~7.5 kg (~16.5 lbs). And after 10 days I was back to my initial weight. After another 4 days, 2 weeks, I was below initial status.
And importantly, with this first pregnancy – “appearance” of Our Little One took around 2 hours. Our initial plan of golden wedding dress for New Year was gone. In fact, suddenly with me in India I had too few of my normal size clothes as I left most of them in Poland thinking it will take me a bit more to be back to ‘my shape’. I surprised also myself!
So let’s slow down for a bit and see what helped me to stay fit while pregnant!
MY SHORT WELL-BEING KIT:
🤰 Listen to yourself / your own body: I tried focusing on myself, my own needs – our own needs, I should say. There are usually plenty of advises by others, to eat more, to eat double, not to exercise, to relax as much as possible, to avoid stairs etc. I know that people say it with care. However I knew that just very few people know me very well. Body also knows it best, no matter if this is food, exercise, sleep or anything else. Additionally, it all changes during different phases of pregnancy so following own feelings is just the best!
🤰 Select your own “pregnancy team”: this one was super important for me; My Better Half was pre-selected 😆! I knew that I was dividing my pregnancy between Poland and India, delivery planned in India, so I wanted to have great supporters with me. Number one: doctor. Few doctor visits before selecting the One. I wanted to feel the connection, person who would – without knowing me – understand me, my body & lifestyle to motivate me during these important months. I was lucky to find my dear doctor Praveena Shenoi. She repeated ‘do as many sit-ups as possible’ till the end of the pregnancy. When I lost my weight very fast after delivery, she supported me. Even if My Better Half was hoping she would scold me a bit 😉 (hoping I would finally eat double!) Same worked for my yoga. In Poland, my dear yogin Diana, knew me best. When I landed in India, I started my local yogin search. Tested many trainers, maybe 4 or 5. Till finding the One who knew how to motivate me, how to keep each session interesting (and super tiring!), especially in the last months and weeks.
🤰 Continue with your previous lifestyle (adjusted one): I did not experiment during pregnancy, and that’s important. If previously I wasn’t a good swimmer, I did not enroll myself for swimming classes. I knew that daily I do plenty of stairs so this wasn’t an issue even in the last months. Same for travelling and getting on the plane. I smile now that Our Little One travels well on the plane as we took many flights together during my pregnancy (you can read more about flying with a baby in my previous post).
🤰 Be active: unless any limitations or directions by the doctor; I can’t sit still (unless it is a plane!) so also during pregnancy I was all around, working, going out, meeting friends, preparing “nest” (yes, cleaning continued to be my hobby! 😅), active all the time. I remember people telling me “slowly slowly” (Hindi: aaram se, aaram se!) – that’s just me. And of course my yoga. I just skipped it in the first 3 months. And then continued till the end. With my yogin in India telling me “you can do it”, me replying “no”, “you can do it” – “no, it is too difficult“, “OK, at least try” – “OK, OK, I can do it“. Inside me, I knew that 50 sit-ups 3 days a week is an investment. Choosing sport or activity that is both safe and also well known to you, is the best mixture!
🤰 Food – extra 300 cal: enjoy food, don’t be afraid of it but also don’t overeat. As per the doctors direction (and My Better Half ‘s memory) it is just extra 300 calories that are needed each day. Also here, you will know your body best. If any specific food product or dish gives you any troubles or can cause higher chances of extra kilos based on the past experience – try to skip it. I knew that my balanced diet won’t change significantly my weight. I continued being friends with fruits and veggies. A lot of yummy fruits here in India. However, I limited my beloved coffee and started to add milk. But I didn’t skip it completely. It was my pleasure of the day!
🤰 Surround yourself with people you love: nothing is needed to mention more for this point. Yes, just one thing, it is the most important one. But on purpose, I kept it at the end. Till the end…
I loved my pregnancy too much. In the last month I was sad that it was going to get over. Really. And then Our Little One surprised us by arriving 11 days earlier! Beautiful 9.5 months. Unforgettable. How we feel, how we think and how fit we manage to be, can change it all by 360 degrees. Now I just smile back thinking about my “paranoia”. And even today, I am not as good in sit-ups as I used to be 8 months ago! 🙂 (sshhh…don’t tell my yogin!)
Moments that matter, no matter the weight.