It's 8:30 pm on a Sunday night in January. I'm late 3 days late and I just peed on a stick for the third time this week. The other two tests were negative and my husband is sure this one will be, too. He's always calm, cool, and collected; the yin to my yang. But I have a feeling. I already know deep down and to my surprise instead of staring at the pregnancy test for the next two minutes, I feel a twinge of panic: "Holy shit. I'm not ready. I'm scared!" I take a deep breath, place it on the counter and jump into the shower. I literally peek my head outside the curtain and look at the plastic stick waiting for me on the counter. My stomach drops because surely by now lines have appeared. With a quick motion, I shut off the shower and dry myself off, another deep breath, and I snag the test up off the counter-top and there I see two pink lines. A grin spreads across my face and tears well up in my eyes; tears of happiness yes, but I'll never forget the fear that began to creep into that moment.
For as long as I remember I have wanted to be a mother, however, for as long as I have remembered it has scared me. Selfishly, (I'll just be honest and up front) I was most fearful of all the changes it would bring to my body. I am a fitness person. By that I mean it is more than a number a scale, or an impulsive need to look good for someone else, or belief that it somehow makes me better than someone else. It's simply a lifestyle that I chose because it makes me feel good. When I first started working out I was very young with a poor body image. For years I tried to force myself and my body to be something that I was not. Then I found MOJO and MOJO in particular has been huge in shaping my positive body image. "Screw skinny, I want to be strong and fit" is my mantra. I looked self-doubt right in the face and said "forget this bullshit, I'm in control". I fought for that. I won. Now...how is pregnancy going to change this huge part of my life? I was so damn scared of that. So scared of the change. Terrified that I was going to lose who I am to this baby.
I taught class the next day and I didn't feel different physically. Mentally, however, I was a mess. Am I hurting this tiny ball of cells growing inside me? Music too loud? Heart rate too high? Can people tell? You guys should see my Google search history from the last 6 months, it's hilarious.
Week one at the doctors office and THANK GOD this woman happened to be a runner. Immediately she cleared me and any doubt in my mind that fitness while pregnant is "bad" or "wrong". As a matter of fact, it's fantastic for you and your baby to stay physically fit during pregnancy. Since I've already attained my fitness level and as long as I don't add anything more intense, and of course I feel comfortable, fitness is not only very much on the table, but highly recommended. Trust me, my body is doing exactly what it needs to do. I've gained all the weight I need, my belly has swelled to the size of a melon, and I'm basically a zombie after 9 pm. You can't stop that- I learned that lesson thus far! Yes, every pregnancy is different and more importantly every woman is different. So if it's not for you, that's that. No judgement on my part. You would not believe the haters on both ends of this spectrum.
I lasted 6 whole weeks (lol) before telling Amanda. She was thrilled and positive and happy. She told me, "I think this is a great thing. You will probably inspire a lot of people. I think it's badass your willing to do this while you're pregnant." This reaction changed everything. I have this. No more fear. I have the support of MOJO and my doctor. My new mission is to inspire other woman (pregnant or not) that they CAN. To push through their fear whatever it may be and find the strength within. The team at MOJO has been overwhelmingly positive. The clients at MOJO have blown me away with their support. This is what is getting me through this pregnancy both physically and mentally. I'm so thankful for my body. I'm thankful that I could get pregnant to start with and that I can carry a life inside me. More importantly, my body is allowing me to be active during a time where there is a massive amount of work it's already doing to grow my baby to be strong. I'm so grateful. Gratitude, people, it's a life changing emotion.
Fear will inevitably creep back every once in a while. I'll feel a sharp pain in my belly (round ligament pain, totally normal), or be so tired I can barely speak (absolutely crushed me the first trimester) and the worst feeling of all - are people judging me right now because they think this is wrong? But then I remember that fitness is a part of who I am. It makes me happy. It makes me healthy. I'll do it during my pregnancy as long as it's safe and I can physically do it. I've accepted my fear. There will be limitations eventually. But that's ok. That's supposed to happen. Fitness and MOJO will be there for me when I'm ready again. Most of all I can't wait to show my baby how strong she can be. Your strength will always out weight your fear.