As I began writing my second trimester update post, I realized that for tonight what I really wanted to write about was why not only do I think it is important to practice your passions during pregnancy but it is necessary…as an opportunity to thrive and flourish and grow during all the stages of pregnancy and into motherhood.
I spent my entire 20’s exploring. It was not my plan but just something that needed to happen. Somewhere down the road, I lost a connection to myself and by the time I was 23, I made a huge decision to go down an untraveled path. I did 4 or 5 very big trips to places around the world, I focused almost solely on studying and teaching yoga both the physical aspects as well as the philosophical and meditative parts that in the end gave me more intention in my life than I ever thought possible. I developed amazing, different and liberating relationships. I questioned everything one million times and then some, I had successes, quite a few failures and gained so many wonderful, scary, smart, and humble perspectives from my studies and from traveling and meeting people, eating different food, and being immersed in cultures that are deeply connected to the grounding foundations of this life.
I did not meet Eric until I was 31 and was pregnant with Lucas by the time I was 32. LIfe has been challenging, fulfilling, crazy, wonderful, sad, happy and all of the rest that is inevitable. I have 4 tattoos that so wonderfully remind me of the times in my life when I was realizing the importance of finding my passions and then the journey that happened to ignite my creativity.
I share this with you because my entire decade of finding my passions, of going through deeply dark times along with the lightest of times has helped me in my pregnancy with Lucas and this time around. What we live, what we learn, what we authentically share helps us as mother’s.
When people ask me if I continue to run, continue to do yoga, continue to swim, continue to write and read and connect while I am pregnant, the answer is always, “Hell Yes”. I ABSOLUTELY have to modify throughout the pregnancy because my body is changing and growing a human being is so much work but I don’t care if my mile is now a 10 minute pace or that instead of a 2 mile swim, it is a slow mile swim or that there are days when I just need to be on my yoga mat in mostly restorative poses. The movement of the body and breath is such a beautiful and organic process that envelopes your child with care and warmth.
Expressing our healthy passions is an opportunity to change the world….maybe it doesn’t seem like it but think about what would happen if everyone took the time connect with themselves, to find and feel what brings them joy, and then to share it with those around them. I feel lucky to have found what brings me joy. I feel lucky to have parents that, although they had their concerns, encouraged me to keep traveling down my unexpected path.
Talk to your doctor or midwife and tell them what you like to do. Ask them how they feel about you continuing certain things during pregnancy. My doctor loves to hear about what I do. And that way, you two can work together when things develop and change during pregnancy. I know that by 30 weeks, my mileage will go down significantly on the road and I will instead be spending more time in the pool. My first 3 months of pregnancy, I was almost solely on my yoga mat because running or hiking was too much. Paint, write, dance, laugh, hike, share it all with your baby. There are some types of movement that are not safe during pregnancy and this is why it is important to discuss everything with your doctor and midwife. But it is pretty interesting how intuitive our bodies are at letting us know what is and is not great. My weeks 15 until now (24 weeks) have felt pretty wonderful in terms of energy. Again this will likely change a bit when I hit over the 30 week mark.
I run/walk 4-5 days a week with an emphasis on walking up hills and keeping the pace easy. But “easy” is relative because pregnancy is rewarding but also challenging. Your body will feel different every day. I have been doing about 30 miles a week but I expect that to be going down very soon:)
I cross train the other days which includes swimming, yoga, light weights and the eliptical or stair master. I like to be intentionally moving for over an hour. Most of the time it ends up being closer to 2 hours. I like to work hard but I also make sure I am well hydrated, not too hot or too cold, my heart rate is at a steady level and that my effort is medium. Pregnancy is a wonderful time to enjoy movement and to be consistent about it but in my opinion, it is not the time to push yourself.
Staying consistent with my movement, reading for fun, writing, baking often, being outside, spending time by the ocean, all my passions keep me strong during pregnancy. I did this with Lucas and it helped me with my recovery tremendously. I want to be strong for my children, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Taking care of ourselves is a necessity. Being connected to what is important to us is vital to the health of our families. Being a mother is the greatest gift I have ever been given and I 150 percent believe in practicing what you love and to always be open to learning something new, trying something outside of your ordinary day to day tasks and to explore and discover what lights you up.