So on Sunday I completed my first triathlon since having a baby six months ago.
I’ve done them before and had time goals but this one was just about completing it; I didn’t even wear a watch. 10 minutes before the briefing I breastfed my son and had a moment of reflection on how incredible our bodies are. Cliché? Maybe. But true nonetheless. I can look at the photos of me in Lycra and obsess over the size of my thighs etc but I’m deciding not too. I’m so proud of myself for pushing my body but being kind to it at the same time, for having a goal for the end of 2016 and achieving it, and for deciding to go into 2017 being my body’s biggest cheerleader, not its biggest critic.
I just found out that a very good friend of mine has found out she’s pregnant. I’m only six months in to the crazy journey that is being a parent but put thought back to my pregnancy and the most important pieces of advice I could offer her. I asked my mothers group for their input and this is what we came up with:
1. Listen to your gut. You will never stop worrying but try to recognise when you really think something isn’t right and don’t be afraid to get it checked out – but not by Dr Google as you will either be fine/dying. We all looked for blood when they went to the toilet – you are definitely not alone on that one if that has become a recent obsession! Then in third trimester that turned into keeping an eye on kicks, which is super important.
2. Keep moving. You are not made of glass and can still get out of breath and sweaty*. See point 1 if you’re not sure about something but move move move.
(*This applies if you are already active. If you aren’t make sure you speak to your doctor or midwife about how to start exercising safely during pregnancy)
3. Moisturise the shit out of your upper legs, bum and tum and drink loads of water for purely vain reasons. Hydrated skin is more elastic and stretch marks will be less.
4. You don’t need as much stuff as all the baby marketing directed at you tells you. Get some items second hand (our cot was from Gumtree). It’s fairly easy to get decent second hand buggies because people often have another baby quickly and need to upgrade.
5. Enjoy it. We all agreed we felt amazing in the second trimester once the nausea/exhaustion of the first trimester had passed. The third is so exciting and terrifying in equal measures and ALL of them (including me) had times when they seriously wondered if they were ready, how they would cope but they are all doing amazing jobs. We all agreed there’s no perfect time to have a baby and (to a certain extent) there’s no bad time either. It’s so awesome to have conceived one at all. Your life will change (no shit) but not necessarily as much as you think it might.
6. Trust yourself and be kind to yourself. Always.