Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Pregnancy And...Before We Were Expecting

The month after our wedding, I had my annual exam at the lady doctor.  After catching up with the doc on what I had been up to - oh you know, just got married and had the most amazing honeymoon in Fiji! - he immediately took out his prescription pad, wrote one out for prenatal vitamins and handed it to me saying "Oh, then you'll be needing this!"

I laughed out loud.

Although we were planning on starting our family soon, that length of time had not exactly been defined yet...and I surely hadn't mentioned that to him!! 

Heck, I still hadn't even unpacked my bags yet!

But he said I should start taking them anyway - never too soon to start.  And I headed out of the office thinking "Wow, before these appointments used to be all birth control and the moment I mention I got married they switch to the tune of babies, babies babies!"

But a couple days later, I had a flashback to a memory of my mom when she was pregnant with my youngest brother Patrick.  I was still the world's pickiest eater - like literally, I think I could have won an award - and my mom was telling me how important it would be for me to take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, and that she prayed by the time I was having children there might be at least one or two vegetables in my diet.

(At that time, the only vegetables I liked were carrots and celery.  And I did not eat fruit.  Period.)

I started thinking about my diet... Luckily I outgrew my pickiness as I got older.  And after losing all the college / post college weight I had gained (from late night food, beer and lack of exercise) by changing my lifestyle, diet and joining a boxing gym (it really does work!), I was able to maintain a weight I was pretty satisfied with for the past 4 years. 

But I realized that during the times my exercise had become more sporadic, my eating also turned more erratic - I was a habitual snacker, meal skipper, crash dieter.  But it did the trick to keep the scale tipping right around where I wanted it to when I wasn't on the work out train.  

Anddddd then I lost about 3-4 lbs the month before my wedding - the really unhealthy way - you know, because you're supposed to be your skinniest on the most important day of your life!!!  (I wanted to do more (!!) but I was fighting some serious funeral weight... #eatingyouremotions)

I knew that if we were serious about starting a family anytime in the near future, I needed to start eating right again.  And this time not just for me, but for the health of our unborn baby.  That meant no more meal skipping, and especially none of those extreme pre-wedding measures... 

I also did some homework (I promised not to get preachy on ya, but I thought this was too important not to share: stocking your body with nutrients, reduced risk of neural tube defects, fewer episodes of morning sickness, increased fertility...  Food for thought!) and immediately took that prescription to the pharmacy! 

"Soon" turned out to be mid-December.  And while my eating wasn't perfect (and my exercise was still rather nonexistant.  but hey, it was winter!), I was on my way to a healthier me.  Something that couldn't have been done overnight...or from the moment we decided to press go on starting a family right then and there.

Because sure enough, just one month later, well, you know what happened!  :)

Like the doc said, never too soon to start.  Especially for someone like me.

(Stay tuned for an upcoming post On Pregnancy...And Weight Gain for more on this topic!)

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're talking about this! I struggled with body image, and subsequently unhealthy eating habits after many failed crashed diets my whole life. When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that my body was a vessel that allowed me to sustain and grow this amazing life, and a healthy diet would be a gift to the life inside of me. I was worried, however, post pregnancy I would be back to my old habits of crash dieting and poor body image. As soon as I brought a healthy baby home from the hospital, it finally hit me that my obsession with weight and dieting was not only detrimental to my health, but my child's as well. Healthy eating habits and a healthy body image will be passed along to my child(ren) through my example. A positive self image is one of the best things that I can give them. Don't stress about the weight Kait! It will come off. Your body may never be your "wedding body," but it will be this amazing vehicle that created this amazing life. The stretch marks will be a reminder of every kick you felt, every hiccup that kept you up, every time your heart skipped a beat when you saw your son's heartbeat, and a reminder of the first time you met your son and held him in your arms. Be proud of the stretch marks, they are your tiger stripes!