Saturday, January 26, 2013

Old self vs. new self

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what life will be like after the baby is born - specifically in relation to my sense of self before and after.  For the first 6 months I really just reveled in being pregnant, but now I'm wondering how I will hang on to a bit of who I was before while still growing into my role as mom.

I've been scouring other blogs lately to read about other mothers' experiences with post-baby mind and body.  I think the most important thing will be to make an effort to exercise...and it will be an enormous effort!  I know I'll be tired and uncomfortable and I won't want to leave my sweet little daughter.  I've talked to my husband about this and we've both acknowledged that we need to encourage the other to exercise and do what we can to give the other time to exercise after she's born.  I plan to start walking as soon as I feel able and make the transition into run/walking as soon as my doctor gives the okay.  Since it will be like starting from scratch I'm going to start at the same place I did 2 years ago when I started running with the Couch to 5K program.  I've registered for a nice jogging stroller so hopefully I'll be able to take the little princess on some runs too!

April/May of 2012 was really the height of my fitness and how I felt about myself.  I had a half marathon and a 10 mile race under my belt, I was still running regularly and going to yoga like crazy, and I loved how I looked and how I felt.

May 2012 - post-run

I love my pregnant body, but I can't help but notice how much rounder my face is, how my arms have a little more jiggle than they used to, and how my thighs have started to rub together when I walk.  It doesn't help that I haven't been as active as I thought I'd be during pregnancy.  I don't know that it would have made that much of a difference - I believe that every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy and as long as my doctor says I'm healthy, this extra weight is something my baby needs from me.

29 weeks pregnant

I definitely want my daughter to grow up seeing her parents exercise and participate in races because I want exercise to be a part of her life.  I'm excited to see what the new mom version of me is going to look like - hopefully just as fit, but with the added joy that having a child brings to life!

As far as my mindset goes, I'm less worried about that.  Of course there's no telling how I'll feel when those post-partum hormones kick in, but I really feel like I'm going to be okay.  Like every other mother, I have my neuroses - for example, I have this irrational fear that people are going to be around all the time holding my baby and I'll never get to hold her - but I'm hoping that once she's here my excitement over meeting her will overshadow everything else.  It's certainly going to be an adventure!

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