Miscarriage: Your Story Matters At Every Phase

Content warning: Miscarriage

The second time I was pregnant, I knew instantly - okay, within 5 days to be totally accurate. My bras filled up, my poops changed, and I had that full body exhaustion where it’s not just your eyelids that want to close but your entire body wants to turn off. I took a pregnancy test even though I knew it was too early to show on the pee stick (it was).

A couple weeks later, I wanted to involved my husband so I told him the 3 minutes was up for the pregnancy test and as he walked into the bathroom I said, “two lines means yes, one line means no.”

He came out of the bathroom with a puzzled look, “what if one line is faint?”

Me, “no fu@k!ng way!!”

The smiles on our faces said it all. We were excited. After all the things leading up to this, it felt right (read this blog post where I chat all about our struggle with how to know if we were “one and done”, our couple’s therapy, and my decision to ask for PPD medication).

Within 5 minutes of excitement the obvious impact hit me, and tears started flowing, as I realized we really were about to go back down this path. Things like, “but I JUST feel like myself in the gym again” and “argh I’ve been craving sushi!!” came out of my mouth. As silly and petty as those things sound, they were really just the tip of the ice berg of knowing what I was in store for for the next 9 months, and what we’d be in store for as a family after that.

Not more than a week or so after, I felt the cramps, and again, knew immediately. I knew something was wrong. The heavy bleeding followed, and I had to break to my husband that this one wasn’t meant to be. After 5 days I took another test, to confirm what I knew, because both of us were still holding on to a little bit of hope that maybe things were okay. But this one wasn’t meant to be.

As soon those two pink lines confirmed a baby was on the way, we were picturing Christmas 2019 with an almost 3 year old and a 4 month old. Would it be a boy this time? Another girl? Up until getting pregnant I’ve said I wanted another girl - partly because I have boxes of clothes waiting downstairs - but as soon as we saw the two pink lines, it didn’t matter. It became the old, “as long as it’s healthy.”

Now, working out, eating sushi, and having wine, didn’t seem like a big deal, nor even enticing anymore. I didn’t touch a drink for a couple weeks after the miscarriage, even though I was “dying for one” when I found out I was pregnant. I still haven’t, months later, had sushi – again, that I was craving so badly, apparently.

It confirmed for us how much we did want this. No question now. We were sad.

And boy did we appreciate our little girl that much more. We were, and continue to be, so thankful that she came to us, and is the healthy spitfire she is.

I was additionally upset because I felt like the medication I had just started for my postpartum depression wasn’t working. I was low, sad, my social anxiety heightened again, and I didn’t want to partake in anything. I quickly reminded myself – no, this IS a reason to feel sad. If anything, it was a sign that my medication wasn’t “numbing” me as so many false claims are made about anti-depressants (especially maddening when those claims are made by famous people with huge influence circles, and add to this stigma. Not naming names. We’ll call this fictional character Hewis Lowes.)

There are always surprises in these life events. With my miscarriage, the surprise was in my inability to allow myself to be outwardly sad. I didn’t feel worthy of sadness. Why? Because I wasn’t far enough along. Because I never met my baby. I fell into the comparison trap of “my story isn’t tragic enough.” I was “just another statistic” of the many many women who will experience miscarriage in their life. But the truth is, the SECOND we found out we were pregnant, that child existed to us. It was the 4th at the Christmas table next year. It was Anna’s sibling. It was the 2nd grandchild (on one side) and the 34th grandchild (on the other side - yes, 34th).

Again and again I’m reminded – everyone, EVERYONE has their struggles, and every single struggle and story matters. Everyone is entitled to feel all the feelings, go through all the thoughts, and mourn or celebrate or laugh or cry. If you’re feeling like your situation isn’t worthy – it is. It absolutely is. And you have every right to feel every and all of the emotions over it.

I’ve come to view this experience as a necessary one for us. Never ever has a decision been so all-consuming, and it was the scariest thing in the WORLD to try for a second. Even when it happened, I still had a huge piece of me saying, “do we REALLY want to do this again?” Despite the tantrums, the hard days, the sleepless nights, the teething, the sickness, the trips to the Children’s Hospital, the constant physical contact, the constant repeated questions, the lack of time for us as a couple, the lack of time for us as individuals - despite ALL of it, we were sad when that was all taken away from us. It was the confirmation piece we needed to say, “Yes. This is a bad shit crazy ass way to live. But for some reason, we want it, and we want to add to the chaos.” (And even as I write that, I still don’t 100% believe it, hah! Do you EVER believe it?).

Going Upside Down In Pregnancy & Postpartum: CrossFit Open 19.3

Welcome back for week 3 of the CrossFit Open! If you’re new here, hi! And welcome. Each week I’m offering considerations, strategies, and modifications for the Open workouts for pregnant and postpartum athletes.

Open 19.3 - For Time:

  • 200-ft. dumbbell overhead lunge [Scaled: front-rack]

  • 50 dumbbell box step-ups [Scaled: same]

  • 50 strict handstand push-ups [Scaled: 5-in. elevated]

  • 200-ft. handstand walk [Scaled: bear crawl]

    • Time cap: 10 minutes

    • Men: 50-lb. dumbbell / 24-in. box

    • Women: 35-lb. dumbbell / 20-in. box

As in previous weeks, let’s break this down movement by movement!

Dumbbell Overhead Lunges

Considerations:

  • The main consideration with an overhead position while pregnant or postpartum is are you able to maintain core control to keep your ribs over your hips, without thrusting your rib cage up to the sky? Thrusting your rib cage puts extra tension on your core - of consideration if you’re healing a diastasis, or are pregnant and trying to keep avoid excess stretching. Second, thrusting your rib cage takes your diaphragm, core, and pelvic floor out of alignment, possibly meaning more strain on your pelvic floor than necessary.

  • If you’re experiencing pelvic pain like pubic symphysis (in the front) or SI joint (either side of your bum), lunges may be something that is aggravating to you at this point. Really, my only advice here is, if it hurts, don’t do it:)

Modifications:

  • Front rack carry, and/or reduced weight: could help to take away any rib thrusting, and will be kinder on your core and pelvic floor.

  • Squat instead of lunging for pelvic pain: Since the squats won’t move you forward, either pick a reasonable number to do that you can do with controlled form, or take a few steps forward after each squat.

Dumbbell Box Step-Ups

Considerations:

  • Hip movement: Pelvic pain or not, as we get bigger in pregnancy and adapt a “waddle”, there’s no need to exaggerate this movement with a step onto a 20” box. Try to pay attention to if you’re able to maintain control on the way up and down.

  • Again, if you’re experiencing pelvic pain like pubic symphysis (in the front) or SI joint (either side of your bum), step-ups may be aggravating. Same advice as above - if it hurts, don’t do it, or at least not as written:)

Modifications:

  • Lower box and/or reduced weight: Does a lower box or step help you better control the movement? Does it diminish your pelvic pain?

  • Hip thrust (shoulders elevated), with or without dumbbell on your hips. Alternate between right leg, left leg, and both legs for variation.

  • Consider reducing reps.

Handstand Push-Ups

Considerations:

  • Holy core pressure batman. Lol. I don’t even know what else to say. Hah! Read below under “Handstand Walk” for my take on doing these upside down movements. For the record - being upside down isn’t necessarily the issue - if you’re a gymnast or yogi and have been inverted for the last 5, 10, 20 years, your body is familiar with this position. What’s more the issue, is the core control required to do the movements while upside down - the push up or walking itself.

  • Plus the whole being upside down thing in pregnancy - nausea, dizziness, acid-reflux, all the blood rushing to your head.

Modifications:

  • 5-in. elevated: while this is the scaled option, I don’t particularly love it as a modification. It’s sort of like saying single skips are a modification for double-unders. Still a TON of core pressure here. Let’s maybe leave upside down for a little later.

  • Push-ups: From the floor - still core intense but not as much, or incline - getting better on the core pressure situation now.

  • Dumbbell Z Press: From a seated position this one is all upper body, and is a great alternative to HSPU. Not only that, you’re directly working on strength to eventually be able to do a HSPU, when the timing is right.

  • For any of the above, feel free to reduce reps as well. 50 is a LOT of one movement in a row, and form is likely to diminish no matter how strong your first 20 look.

Handstand Walk

Considerations:

  • Core pressure, core alignment - all of it! For fun, I googled “pregnant handstand walking” and found a number of videos that visually showed what I expected to see - a LOT of lumbar curve. Think about it - you’re walking on your hands, feet in the air, with a large belly throwing your centre of gravity off. Most women won’t have the strength (or balance) to maintain a neutral spine, so to compensate for the belly their belly is forward, while hands and feet are behind - resulting in a huge “C” shaped body. The resulting pressure on your outstretched belly is a lot, as you walk across the floor.

  • While postpartum doesn’t have a belly pulling you forward, I’d still caution being in this “C” shaped position and the strain it will place on your linea alba (abdominal muscles), particuarly if you are healing or managing diastasis.

  • Again, being upside down in pregnancy and dealing with nausea, dizziness, and/or acid-reflux. Not fun.

Modifications:

  • Bear crawl: If having your head down doesn’t make you dizzy or want to vomit, bear crawl is a much more core friendly movement.

  • Offset front rack kettlebell carry: If you’re later into pregnancy and being bent over in any way shape or form is just not happening, opt for an upright walk instead. You’re still working on a ton of core stabilization, plus you can walk the same distance as everyone else - just be sure to switch hands at the half-way point.

How did you modify your workout? Let me know below! I’ll be doing mine later today and will check in with you all after:)

I thought I wanted a fit pregnancy. What I really needed, was a supported pregnancy.

During pregnancy everyone asks about the baby. Your doctor wants to know how much it's grown. The nurse asks if you plan to breastfeed. Friends ask "what's the gender?", "what's the name?", "will you do baby-led weaning?" Family asks which school system they'll attend, and if you'll still be home for Christmas. Coworkers ask how many weeks left. Strangers ask how many are in there.

But what about the mom?

There is one message out there, and while it carries benefits (or at least I think is trying to), I'm going to unload my issues with it. That message? #fitpregnancy and everything surrounding it. The MAIN focus we see being directed towards moms during pregnancy, is fitness.

Sound weird that as a trainer I have issues with this? Hear me out.

First - YES there are absolutely multiple benefits to working out during pregnancy. Research supports this, I am not disputing this, nor saying that someone shouldn't workout during pregnancy. I absolutely support and think they should - in ways that feel good for their pregnancy body, and ALSO support their mind.

Buuuuut. (You knew there was a but coming).

But why is it "fit pregnancy"? Images of thin women with round bumps looking adorable as they squat, in adorable outfits, smiling. Or in the CrossFit world I follow, videos of women well into their second or third trimesters doing workouts at a 9/10 intensity with little to no scaling or modifications. We've hit another extreme. Swing, pendulum, swing!

The message this gives off: We care about you, too, moms-to-be. But we still have impossibly high expectations of you while you're pregnant. Be fit. Be strong. Be amazing. Be invincible. Be superwoman. 

Enough.

You know what a pregnant woman wants when she goes to the gym? To be spoken to like she's NOT just a vessel for another human to rent out for 40 weeks.

When's the last time you told someone at the gym how big or small they look?

When's the last time you reached out and touched someone at the gym's belly, without permission, and made a comment it as you touched it?

While you get asked about 500 times during pregnancy, "how are you feeling?" I would actually much prefer to hear this over and over. Because at least it asks how I'm doing, and gives me the opportunity to answer for myself, as a whole person, not just a body that happens to be growing an incredible little human being.

The focus goes from fit pregnancy, to bouncing back. Getting in your old jeans. Shedding the baby weight. Barf. I am so sick of these phrases.

What, instead, could be helpful for a new mom?

Do you have resources for BOTH breastfeeding and bottle feeding?

Who can help you have some time to yourself when baby is born, so you can sleep, nap, or take a bath?

How do you feel about your transition from career life to mom life?

Do you have someone who you feel comfortable talking to when things get tough (because they will)?

Do you have some numbers on hand to reach out to for depression, anxiety, PTSD, or couples therapy?

What do YOU need from me?

And moms-to-be, what do you need from yourself? 

Grace, to know you're going to have bad days, but that doesn't make you a bad person, nor a bad mom.

Patience, to know that you are going to heal, and that you are going to make it through.

Confidence, to say no, and to ask for what YOU need.

Permission to ease off, of the gym, of work, of life's tasks. Permission to do LESS, and not be invincible.

Acceptance, that some things won't be the same. But also Faith, that some of those things will be even better than before.

Courage, to speak up about the hard things, and to take action even when fear is telling you not to.

Resiliency, to forge your own path - the one that has your best interest at heart. Not what society wants of you, not what medical staff want of you, friends, family, social media - the list goes on.

I am not immune to the body talk surrounding motherhood. I know it's not easy to shift your thinking. But, together we can interject in the conversations that revolve solely on aesthetics. We can speak up when someone fails to understand there is SO much more important things to talk about than how our physical body has changed.

I thought I wanted a fit pregnancy, but what I really needed, was a supported pregnancy. Someone to say, it’s okay to ease off. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel lost. You are not defined solely on what your body can or cannot do.

I'm curious - what did you think you wanted in pregnancy, and what did it turn out to be that you actually needed in retrospect? Comment with yours below:)

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Box Jumps: How To

Box jumps build explosive power, and are a hip extension exercise. If box jumps don't:

a) translate to your sport of choice, or

b) aren't something you enjoy - then really, why ARE you doing them?

"Because they're fun!"

"Because my sport requires explosive power!". Great answers!

"My gym programs them, but they kill my knees." Probably time to find a substitution. 

Here are five ways to build up to box jumps, as well as two common faults with some ideas on how to work on correcting them. Check this post here for all six accompanying videos.

  1. Jump on the spot: Get used to launching off of two feet and landing on two feet. Practice using your hip (glute) power to launch you straight up. Not sure what to do with your arms? Think of them leading you where you want to go, down as you load your glutes, and UP as you jump

  2. Kettlebell swings: KBS are great for training hip extension and power. I also like KBS as a postpartum progression to train your breath and pelvic floor for more dynamic movements PRIOR to including impact.

    Let's pause and talk breathing for a second: Everyone will be different, but my go-to breathing technique for box jumps is exhaling BEFORE my feet launch off the ground. If I try exhaling when I'm in the air, I have a tendency to leak with multiple reps. Whatever works for you just remember to BREATH. Don't hold your breath. I promise, that little bit of extra air you're holding in your lungs isn't really having the hot air balloon effect you're hoping for to get you higher. I would not have someone start with ANY jumping movements until a solid strength base is built up and breathing techniques have been incorporated into non-impact dynamic movements.

  3. Low box: I wouldn't recommend my unstable IKEA stool, but if you're at a gym that has the stackable 6" and 12" mats, start with these. The foam will help ease your nerves, and you'll be able to master solid reps at lower heights first.

  4. Box jump: Look forward to go forward (skiing between trees? Same idea.) Land with both feet FULLY on the box, knees slightly bent. Step down to save your achilles.

  5. Common fault - knees caving in: I couldn't bring myself to actually land with my knees caved, but you get the idea - check your landing form. If needed, lower the box height, do some banded squats to work on form before adding complexity.

  6. Common fault - no hip extension: If you're landing in such a deep squat are you really even jumping or just tucking your feet under you to land on the box? Go back to #1 and #2 above, or do some banded goodmornings, deadlifts, hip thrusts - anything to work on fully extending your hips - squeeze your bum!

Questions on the breathing and how to get back to impact activity? I am launching a Return To Running online program that will start with foundations, and build you back up to launching - whether onto a box or down the running trails. Sign up for more info via rawfitnessyyc.com/run

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Exercises to Help Ease Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy & Postpartum

Let’s talk pelvic pain during pregnancy & postpartum. You’ve probably heard a variety of names for it: pelvic girdle pain, pubic symphysis dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction - or simply SI joint pain.

What are they? Why are you getting it? And what can be done?

Check this mini video series here to find out, and send this to a pregnant mama friend who could benefit from this info!

Not all pelvic pain needs to be blamed on relaxin, the hormone during pregnancy that causes joints to be more mobile, and this is good news! Why? Because if there’s more to it than just relaxin, it means there are things within your control to help limit, or hopefully eliminate the pain.

Here are 9 movements combining both releasing tight muscles as well as strengthening supporting muscles in the hopes it can help ease some of your pelvic pain.

Your best bet is always to visit your doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist, as they’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your specific symptoms and give you individualized treatment.

But in the meantime, here’s why I’ve chosen this sample of movements today:

- Stretching: releasing tight muscles that attach to your pelvis (there’s a lot of them!) may help reduce symptoms by easing the pulling that tight muscles can cause on the pelvis.

- Strengthening: by strengthening surrounding muscles and learning to engage those muscles, you will be helping to support your pelvis, again hopefully with a reduction in pelvic pain symptoms!

1. Roll your glutes with a lacrosse ball: can be done laying down but is much easier against a wall if you’re pregnant 

2. Half kneeling adductor stretch: gently rock back and forth

3. Banded laying hamstring stretch

4. Half kneeling hip flexor stretch

5. Couch stretch (hip flexor and quad stretch)

6. Roll hip flexors with ball: I prefer these sand balls to a lacrosse ball as they are a bit more forgiving!

7. Banded lateral walk

8. Banded goblet squat

9. Shoulders elevated hip thrust: when pregnant this is much easier if done on a large exercise ball - start by sitting on it then walk your feet out to come to the hip thrust position, and reverse to come back to seated to get off.

Click here to see videos of all 9 movements above.

This is just a sample, let me know if you try them and need some extra ideas.

Tag a mama friend who could benefit from these moves below, and let me know how they feel for you!


When Trying All The Things Still Isn't Enough [PPD]

[Content warning: Postpartum Depression]

This morning I went through with one of the most terrifying and simultaneously bravest things of my life. I felt like I was going to puke as I parked my car, felt like I hadn't eaten in weeks, and even though I was dreading the meeting, my mind was done fighting at this point, letting my legs walk me in rather than run the other way. At almost 23 months postpartum, I sat across from my doctor and asked her through tears if we could discuss medication for my postpartum depression. I rehearsed the simple question over and over on my way to the doctor's office, scared I would chicken out and skirt the issue, or make it out to be less than it really was and leave without a prescription.

The past 23 months have gone something like this…


"Women with a history of being on anti-depressants are more likely to have postpartum depression." - Not me, I'll be different. I didn't really need them those few months I took them over a decade ago.


"Women who have trouble conceiving can be more prone to PPD." - Not me, I'll be different.

It's just because I'm not sleeping well, it'll pass once she sleeps through the night.

It's just because I'm breastfeeding, it'll pass once my hormones level out.

It's just because I'm not working out, once I start working out again I'll feel better.

It’s because I haven’t gone to therapy in a while.

It’s because I didn’t take enough notes when I read, “Girl, Wash Your Face.”

It's because it's winter...

It's because ...

I had a plethora of excuses to miss events, dinners, surprise birthday parties, stagettes, business opportunities, you name it.

I slowly ran out of excuses.

And I got really f$@king tired.

Tired of cancelling.

Tired of having music fall dead on my ears.

Tired of missing out on my daughter's life because I was trying to navigate in my head how I could possibly keep up this charade of being the best mom I can be to her, while inside I feel like I'm being held under water with cinder bricks tied to all 4 limbs. 

Tired of "needing" a glass of wine to relax at the end of the day, without really tasting it anymore.

Tired of wondering, “is this it? Is this how it’s going to be the rest of my life?”

Tired of cancelling work project after work project.

Tired of being sad, but so much more so, tired of being weighed down by apathy.

And so SO tired of acting, of playing the dance. Because you can cancel a lot of things, but sometimes you have to show up for those big major life events. Put on your mask, it's show time!

I must have said "thank you" at least 20 times to my doctor today, she was the most wonderful person I could have asked for to speak those words to. She gave me so much hope that this is not the mind I have to live with for the rest of my life.

My doctor put it so simply but so perfectly, “Depression is a liar and a thief.”

Depression continuously tells us lies, keeping us in this dark place, and it robs us of the life in front of us. So many times I’ve felt robbed of the past 2 years with my daughter, while I’ve been there in physical body, my mind has clouded the experiences.

And the lies it tells. Want to know the single biggest factor that kept me from asking for medication earlier? I didn’t think I deserved help. Who was I to be depressed, when my life is so blessed. I’m a white middle-class Canadian woman, married to a wonderful man, with an amazing healthy daughter. What kind of a selfish ungrateful person am I, to have all this, and be depressed. The shame is unbearable. Couple that with the stigma of mental health, and add on the bias around medication? No thanks, I’ll just keep trying to therapy, sweat, and self-help book my way out of this. [Spoiler: It didn’t work for me.]

For you, if you are reading this feeling like I've opened up your head and am looking directly into your thoughts, please know that making the appointment will be the second hardest thing you'll have to do. The hardest thing you'll have to do, is keep that appointment, show up, and ask for help.

A Letter To New Moms

From this week until the end of December, we are expecting 7 new babies in our family and friends circle, and it got me reminiscing on those first days of motherhood. My daughter was born on the 7th, on a Saturday, so at this time exactly 9 months ago I was about to become a mom in less than 24 hours. And my world would be rocked!

Just shy of my daughter being 2 weeks old, my cousin came to visit for some baby snuggles. With a gift was a letter she had written, passing on some sage mom wisdom being a mom of two herself.

I BAWLED the first time I read the letter - I mean, I was 2 weeks postpartum and perhaps slightly (okay totally) overwhelmed and hormonal. But still. I think I only made it half way down the page the first time I read it because I literally couldn't see through the waterworks of tears.

For any women about to become a mom, or perhaps has recently become a mom, I would like to pass on my cousin's loving words (with her permission), in the hopes that perhaps it will give you a bit of reassurance and comfort during this absolute whirlwind time. Let's be honest, I just re-read it and cried again, it's great advice no matter where you are on your motherhood journey.

Let me start by saying how very happy I am for you and your new family! This is an exciting time that will without a doubt trump all other moments in your life thus far. As a fellow mom, I feel it is my duty to warn you about all the “super helpful” thoughts, ideas, and suggestions you will receive in the next while, and remind you that on those days you think you are going crazy…nope, you really are just normal. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts for you:
A little advice on taking advice:
Take all the “offered” advice with a grain of salt. Always remember, “mother knows best”…meaning you!
When someone offers help, take it! This does not make you weak, this makes you smart.
You will have those days that being short on sleep and overtired get the best of you, and you may look at that baby and say, “holy shit, what did I do!” Don’t feel bad, this makes you normal, and anyone that tells you they never had one of these moments is lying to you. Rest assured, when that sweet baby curls up in your arms and falls asleep to the rhythm of your heart, you will fall in love all over again.
Your baby does not come with a program, as each and every child and situation is unique, so take what you want from all those baby self-help books, and brainwashing Google sites, and toss the rest away.
Take guilt-free time for YOU! These are necessary sanity breaks, and YOU DESERVE THEM!
Join a baby group, but don’t get caught up in the comparison game. Some women will tell you that their child is perfect no matter what…seek out the ones that make you feel normal, not inadequate.
Lastly, don’t forget each other. After all, this baby wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the love that brought the two of you together. Some day that little baby will grow up and get a life of it’s own, and you don’t want to lose sight of each other and your marriage in the meantime. You will find date night takes on a whole new meaning once you have a baby – it means you get to eat a meal while it’s actually hot, wear something other than yoga pants and a hoodie with barf, poop, or snot on it, and perhaps even risk the idea of putting on a regular bra again, even just for an hour or two.
I can’t wait to watch your little baby grow and become the beautiful little person she is destined to be.
With Love
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That feeling when "trusting the process" delivers your reward

You know when you make a decision and at the time it really sucks because it means giving up something you really want right that moment (instant gratification) in exchange for something way down the road, and even though you know the trade off will greatly trump all those little "need right now" moments it's still so hard to trust the process at the time? And every time you have to pass on that want, over and over, you question, "is it worth it?".

But then the day comes where your patience and months (perhaps years) of tough decision making rewards you. This applies to so many things in life. Today I got one of those long-awaited rewards after months of having to trust the process.

I am so excited that 8 months of trusting the process has led me to this moment. Eight months ago I knew I needed to change my mindset on workouts, based on my knowledge of pelvic floor health and diastasis recti. I was doing Crossfit 5x/week, and am, as my husband describes me "insanely competitive". The competitive streak is directed against myself - I'm not trying to beat anyone else in the gym, just myself, always wanting to learn new skills or improve my previous weights or sets. While the gym is a great place to unleash this, it is not a good combo when pregnant and long term health and fitness well into my senior years is the goal.

So I held back. I changed gyms. My pregnancy workouts felt more like my old warm ups did, but I trusted the process. Mentally it sucked a lot of days, trying to match logical brain to emotion-driven brain.

I cried numerous times. I felt like I'd lost a piece of my identity. I've identified as an athlete for years, and as a trainer since changing careers a few years ago. And now I hadn't run in months. Hadn't touched a barbell in as many. My workouts involved lots of seated isolated muscle exercises. I missed my old coaches, and the noon crew that pushed me (and heckled me) and provided me a space to mentally reset each day as well as provided a physical outlet.

I had melt downs when I wondered if I'd ever be able to do what I could pre-pregnancy again. But again, I committed to trusting the process. Some days I hated the process. I had to remind myself:  isn't being able to do 70% of what I could pre-pregnancy for the rest of my life way better than being able to do 100% of what I could pre-pregnancy but only for 2-5 years because of the damage and beating I'd do to myself by pushing for that extra 30%, just to "prove that I could"?

The smile on my face today is after a visit to my pelvic floor physio, where I received that long term reward of being smart these past 8 months instead of just going for it because I could day after day at the gym. I don't have any pelvic organ prolapse and my ab separation is in a good place for only 6 weeks postpartum and the tone feels like it should at this point. This might sound tiny to you, but the alternatives I hear way too many women talking about post partum because they just didn't know how to care for their pregnant and/or postpartum bodies makes me incredibly happy to be where I am right now.

This is just the first of a mini-series of blogs I'll be releasing, so be sure to check back if any of the below apply to you:

  • You like nerding out about body stuff.
  • You're an athlete who "leaks" (regardless of if you've had kids or not) - this was me in University when doing large amounts of bounding and plyometric workouts as a middle-distance sprinter. I just didn't know better.
  • You're currently pregnant.
  • You plan on being pregnant at any point in your life.
  • You've had kids.
  • You have someone in your life who fits the above and you want to help educate them about how to better care for their body.

Stay tuned:)