Pregnancy is a wild ride and a mix of emotions. One second you are so excited to be pregnant, creating a beautiful human life, and the next you're in tears because you're terrified of the future, you have no idea what you are doing, and your body is changing before your eyes.

Everyone loves a pregnant woman and everyone loves a baby bump. But what if you don’t love it? You can't really express that without someone thinking you don't love your baby. And that was definitely not the case. As my pregnancy went on I grew to love my bump, but I didn’t start out that way. When I first started to show, I just felt soft and squishy. I didn’t associate my bump with the baby. I associated my soft stomach with past emotions and past fears of gaining weight. As an athlete and a personal trainer, I had spent my entire adult life trying to control my body, my outward appearance, and my weight. I was hyper focused on calories, my workouts, trying to have abs, and to stay as fit as I possibly could. When I got pregnant, that of course, all got turned upside down.

First trimester, I was EXHAUSTED. I would sleep 8+ hours and wake up feeling like I barely slept at all. Because this was my first pregnancy, I really didn't know what I could do for my workouts and I was afraid to push it, so I didn't do much. My workouts didn't last longer than 30 minutes. I would walk on an incline for 15 minutes and then do a few total body circuits for another 15 minutes and call it a day. Honestly this was perfect for me and all that my body was calling for. However, because I wasn't working out like I was used to, I didn't feel like myself, both mentally and physically. I was used to pushing my body to the extreme, leaving a workout or race practically dead because I pushed it so hard. Now I was mellow and gentle and I just felt so soft (like when you're on your period and you feel squishy and bloated). Even my massage therapist could tell my muscles in my back felt softer, even just after a few weeks of being pregnant. Deep down I knew this was good for me and the baby, but it was different and I wasn't used to it.

I will preface this next part, by saying I had an overwhelming amount of love and support all around me regarding this pregnancy and I am so unbelievably grateful. It was ironic, however, that I felt so alone at this time, but I think it's because no one really talks about their internal struggles so I felt like I was the only pregnant woman on the planet feeling this way. Everyone around me was so excited about my pregnancy and would constantly ask about my bump (or at this point still a lack there of). This goes back to society loving a pregnant woman and her bump, which is why you feel so isolated (or think something must be wrong with you) when your'e not quite loving it. I did not associate my bump with my baby. I really wasn't showing yet and I just felt beyond bloated, emotional, and tired. Then to have everyone's eyes on my stomach daily, commenting on one of my most self conscious parts, was ROUGH. Don't even get me started when someone would just come up and touch me... I felt alone, ashamed, and totally out of control with my body, which also caused a ton of anxiety. For an anxious person like myself, it's allll about having control, and I felt like I had none.

As the months went by and my stomach actually grew, I started to truly love my bump. Once I could feel Ryan kick and I could see my stomach physically move, my bump actually became one of my favorite parts. Feeling a life move inside of you, that your body is creating is magical and insane. But it took time to get to that point and I wish I had been more patient and loving to myself during that transition. I wish someone had said to me, "It's okay if you don't love your bump. It doesn't mean you don't love your child, it just means you haven't adjusted to the changes happening yet and that's okay too". For months, I feared and resisted what I could not control. I have realized that letting go of this control is a huge part of the pregnancy journey - learning to love and trust your body because your body knows exactly what to do. The journey to motherhood taught me self love and I hope through my stories and experiences that you can learn this too, hopefully sooner than I did. Your body is creating a LIFE! Don’t take that lightly. Give yourself all the credit in the world because you deserve it!

Daily mantra: "I love my body. I trust my body. I honor its changes.”

When you are feeling down, anxious, emotional, or lacking confidence, repeat this mantra to yourself. It all starts with loving yourself, trusting the process, and being patient. Remember, your body was made for this. Your body is incredible. You are incredible.

You got this mommy!


Coach Tay

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