(The Lion’s version: Experiencing Pregnancy as a Man)
It’s funny how greetings change as your life does. I went from hearing, “How’s wedding planning going?” every day for a year until our wedding date to “How are you feeling?” now that I’ve announced my pregnancy on social media. I guess it is more personal than the “How are you today?” that we receive every where so I can’t complain. Plus, most of the people who have asked me how I am feeling are genuinely curious and ready to hear me explain how I’m actually feeling, and for that patience and thoughtfulness, I am grateful and appreciative.
My pregnancy (17 weeks, day 1 today) has been great so far. It hasn’t been all great these last four months, as I’ve had about 3-4 outstanding rough days (including one day of pretty terrible morning sickness) that included headache and crankiness and feeling generally uncomfortable, but overall, I feel happy and content.
I don’t feel like there has been a [huge] shift in my personality or mood, although I have noticed that I am crankier when I don’t get 2-3 naps in throughout the day. I am eating slightly less meat (I used to eat about a half pound of protein per meal), I find that I crave vegetables more (salads, veggie sticks and dip, and more salads), and I prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big meals (read: I love snacks!). I haven’t had any weird cravings for dirt, chalk, fast food, tuna ice cream, or much sweet stuff (now, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t eat In-N-Out if it was right in front of me!). And I’ve found that if I DO have cravings for fast food or sweet stuff, I can find something else desirable to snack on, like apples and almond butter or a couple pieces of dark chocolate or some cheese and nuts, and feel satisfied enough to stave off the craving. I am also continuing my aerial dance workouts. Mostly because I see all of my good friends there, but also because I always leave the class feeling accomplished and happy. I used to train “hardcore,” approximately 3-4x per week for 1-3hours each time, but I’ve noticed a mental shift since I’ve been pregnant: my desire is no longer to “train” or learn new death-defying tricks, but rather to perfect the basics (like learning to do the same moves but on my less dominant side), to feel the music, and to just dance. I think this helps me to tune into what my body is feeling, and it has helped me to gain acceptance of the changes that’s going on physically and mentally. It also helps a lot that many women who are in my classes are moms themselves and have also experienced this change!
I believe a lot of what is contributing to my positive experience of pregnancy so far is my diet and exercise regimen. I eat a lot of protein (grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild-caught) and fresh vegetables (organic), and I eat a little fruit (also organic, and seasonal) for dessert. I drink fresh squeezed orange juice, whole milk (raw milk, occasionally), and homemade bone broth and kombucha. I exercise every day by taking our dog on a morning walk and an afternoon walk (sometimes also an evening walk, but a lot of times I’m asleep already :), and I am at the aerial fitness studio 3-4x per week stretching, dancing, and weight training.
I am also preparing mentally and emotionally by reading a variety of books on pregnancy nutrition, child birthing, and child raising (all to be reviewed on this blog at a later date…). These books help give me an idea of what to expect, realistically, and how to accept these changes instead of fighting them. I believe that because I have this knowledge of what pregnancy is like, I am less anxious about what is happening to my body. Furthermore, being prepared with a plan on how we want to raise our child means less stress during pregnancy!
Now, on to research about what pregnancy pillow is best for sleeping…