Because I always need yoga...and I sometimes need chips.

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6/28/2018

The Ten Surprising Things I've Learned about Pregnancy

I thought I had heard it all.

21 week bump!

Morning sickness sucks! Labor hurts! It's cool to feel the baby kick! But I wanted to share what I've learned - the good, bad, and the ugly (yes, yes, I know in yoga we shouldn't distinguish things as "good" or "bad," so I'll let you draw your own opinions) - about pregnancy that I never knew. And disclaimer - Everybody and every body is different, so take what I say with a grain of salt, and please consult a medical professional if something doesn't feel right. Consider this a brief preparation guide for what incubating your little spawn may feel like.

1) You will be more exhausted than you've ever been in your entire life. Like, maybe I'd heard people say, "I was really tired during my first trimester," but to me that was like saying, "I don't enjoy going to work on Mondays," or "The Bachelor is totally fake" (jk I know it's real). It's a given, right? And in today's society, everyone's stasis is being tired! It's the norm! It's a rite of passage! You're doing it wrong if you're not tired! Well, I hate to break the news to you, but you weren't actually tired before. This newly defined exhaustion that engulfed me during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy was a bloody beat-down like I had never experienced. And it doesn't matter how much extra sleep you get - you STILL won't be able to lift your head off your keyboard! And even better? It might be too early for you to feel comfortable telling anyone you're pregnant, so all of your coworkers just think you're a big giant hungover <~~(if they only knew) slacker. Hooray! 

2) You think you've had Charley horses before? Think again. My second trimester is characterized by two things: debilitating leg cramps and intense back/rib pain. Oh, and feeling the baby move, I guess. But more on the latter two in a minute. Imagine jolting out of bed at night, not once, not twice, but three times due to lightning bolt pain in the same calf. Then you're doubled over your leg, gasping for air, flexing your foot (as the interwebs have instructed you to do so), which then causes the cramp to migrate to your shin, all while your saint of a husband wakes up bewildered at the beast that is thrashing around wildly in his bed. Then you're limping around for days after because the experience was so intense! But there actually is good news on this one - There's a little something called a magnesium supplement that will make this all go away. Just learn from my mistake of enduring a month of these cramps before doing anything about them, and (after consulting your doc or midwife) start taking the magnesium the second you get one of these Level 10 Leg Destroyers.

3) Your ribs will start to expand, or your baby will press up against them, or maybe it's just gas? which really really really does not feel great. In general, I have some low back issues. Nothing too major, but just some tweakiness that I have to be mindful of. So I figured if I were to have back issues during pregnancy, that's where they would take place. Au contraire! I've recently had quite a bit of pain in my mid back, which travels around to the front of my ribs. It's so uncomfortable that it has become the norm that I come home, walk in the door, bra in my hand, and my husband says, "Did you take your bra off while driving again?" Yes, because the wire is digging into my ribs, and even though they measured me and gave me a more fitting size now that I'm a milk factory, the pain is still there. RIB PAIN people, who knew?

4) Speaking of gas. That delicate, modest flower of a lady your partner once knew and loved? She is nowhere in sight for nine months. The flatulence is real, and horrifying, and inevitable. But if you're a class act like me, you'll ever-so-calmly scream, "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" every time an "incident" occurs and your significant other looks at you with horror in their eyes. 

5) You will run out of breath very quickly. Walking up the stairs? Need to catch a quick breath. Standing up from your chair? Whew, feeling a little winded. Lifting that chocolate chip cookie to your lips? GASPING FOR DEAR LIFE. That whole baby-crowding-your-lungs-and-ribs thing gets you every time.

6) People will not let you lift a finger when you're pregnant. This really bothers some people. Others love it. I'm like, you know what? I'm carrying a bowling ball around that is sucking all of the magnesium out of me and karate-chopping my ribs on the reg - If you want to carry that *slightly* heavy thing for me, I appreciate you, good madam or sir.

7) Giving up pants will save your life. My husband and I were leaving to go out of town a few weeks ago. He asked me if I was packing jeans, to which I said, "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've stopped wearing pants altogether." It's summertime in Houston, which means it's 178 degrees (give or take), and I need flowy clothes that allow me to feel the breeze between my ever-growing thighs. Going pants-less is my biggest piece of unsolicited advice, YOU'RE WELCOME.

8) Pregnancy glow? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My skin hasn't looked like this since the seventh grade!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

9) The emotional roller coasters are very very real. Have I mentioned my husband is a saint? 

10) Feeling the baby move is really freaking cool. Okay, I know this is one of those common things you do hear about, but I have to emphasize its coolness. As of right now, my little Chipotle burrito (that's how big he is this week, doesn't he sound delicious?) is not big enough to be giving me ferocious punches to my gut (though I know that's a joy yet to come!), but he moves around, and I can feel it! And my husband was actually able to feel him recently, which was also very cool. Apparently my baby is quite the wiggle worm, as the technicians at my doctor's office always have to chase him around my stomach with the doppler thing to find him, and I feel him totally spazzing out every night right as I lay down to go to sleep. Out of control AND a night owl?! Jon and I are totally prepared scared shitless.


All joking aside, we have been very fortunate to have a smooth and healthy pregnancy so far, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. If you've been through pregnancy before, I'd love to hear in the comments section below about the surprising things you discovered. I'm learning so much about this process, and I know there's so much more I'm going to learn. And word on the street is the end result makes all of the aches and pains totally worth it.

(Also, I plan to remind my son regularly about all of the sacrifices I made for him, and make him repay me through foot rubs, doing dishes, and remaking '90s musicals with me to perform for his dad. Namaste.)
6/21/2018

Eat the Damn Cookie(s).

I'm about to get real with y'all.


A couple of weeks ago, during the meditation portion of my Miracle Morning, I kept getting wildly distracted about the fact that I had gained 12 pounds since becoming pregnant. This was a whopping four pounds more than the recommended amount, based on my pre-pregnancy weight and height. And while I logically knew that being fixated on this was nothing less than completely dumb, and that, hello, I'm creating a whole human inside of me, and that I am such a proponent of NOT fixating on weight...here we were.

And then I felt my baby move for the first time.

And then I cried.

It was like he was saying, "Mom! You're creating me right now! Get over yourself!"

HE KNEW.

Babies, man.

Since becoming pregnant, I've heard the following statements from people on a loop:

You're so healthy and thin to begin with, you won't put on that much weight!

You're a yoga teacher, I bet you'll barely have a belly! (any yoga teachers feel me on this one?)

So-and-so didn't even show until her 8th month of pregnancy!

So-and-so only gained 10 pounds during her pregnancy!

So-and-so DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT! (HOW. WHY. Give me your super powers.)

And while these are well-meaning statements that certainly come from a genuine place of love and comfort, I twisted them around in my head and used them to put lots of pressure on myself. And for what, exactly?

This is NOT a post on the societal pressures women feel to have a perfect body, EVEN while they are pregnant (a sad, but very real truth). Believe me, I could go on for days about this topic. This is a post about living your life, pregnant or not, and eating the damn cookie(s), if that's what you want.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of healthy eating. But I am also a huge proponent of moderation and not denying yourself.

I had a second wake-up call a week later after seeing a picture someone posted of me on Facebook. I was out of town and frantically texting my husband. "Do I really look like this? Please say I don't! How did this happen?" To which he calmly put me in my place. "Who cares? You're pregnant! You're making a baby! GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD YOU FREAKING PSYCHO AND BRING MY WIFE BACK!!!!"

(AKA, Eat the damn cookie(s).)

(Also, he definitely did not call me a freaking psycho, I was paraphrasing for dramatic effect. My husband is an exceptionally nice human being and nothing short of a saint.)

That's when I decided I will no longer weigh myself, and if there seems to be anything alarming happening, my doctor will let me know.

So why, exactly, am I emphasizing to eat the damn cookie? In the previous post on my pregnancy, I mentioned my newfound craving for chocolate chip cookies. I've since discovered that I'm generally loving sweets, and that fruit tastes like pure candy to me right now. I'm definitely more of a vegetable person than a fruit person, but this pregnancy has flipped that on its head. So while I'm giving myself full permission to indulge in cookie(s), I'm doing so in moderation, supplementing my sweet tooth cravings for fruit in between indulgences. I mean, that whole creating a human thing does make me want to take in good nutrients as well.

My husband and I were out of town a couple of weeks ago and having dinner one night. I looked at the desserts and blurted out, "OH MY GOSH FRIED OREOS AGGGHHHH." He shrugged and said, "Get them."

(and I did.)

Eat the damn cookie(s).

So while, disclaimer, I am certainly not a nutritionist or a medical professional, pregnancy has given me more insight into my own personal health and having a healthy relationship with food/my body. So if "eat the damn cookie(s)" is in direct conflict with what you personally need, or what your doctor recommends, please disregard every word I've said! I believe that having a healthy relationship with food and your body requires a unique prescription for every person, as we are all so beautifully different. My personalized health plan is to continue eating healthy whole foods (making sure I get enough protein for baby), stop weighing myself, keep my regular low-impact exercise up (yoga, walking, spin class), and fully embrace that there is something way bigger than me going on inside of my body. And every now and then, if I feel like it...

I'll eat the damn cookie(s).