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I have been so apprehensive about writing this post but I think it could be cathartic and maybe help someone else. I'm pregnant! Such a blessing but nerve-wrecking at the same time. You see, I already have a 15 month old daughter and she’s a handful. Do I have the energy for one more, the love for another, the patience for another? These were all questions racing through my mind shortly after the confirmed pregnancy.
It’s funny; Jeff and I knew we wanted another child. We discussed it, kinda planned for it, and BOOM prayers answered. He was surprised considering the timing yet still excited. He went about his day while my mind continued to plan 9 months down the road.
After those initial thoughts dissipated, I began to criticize myself. I had such negative thoughts regarding my post- pregnancy body (yes, I was still calling it that), my laughable eating habits as of late, and my nonexistent fitness routine since arriving in Houston. One day, I am making excuses for myself citing the move, the vacation, Joy’s ability to walk, then other days I was on social media comparing myself to the graceful pregnant women that were avoiding maternity clothes, running marathons, eating vegetables and balancing their already full plates. I was in such a destructive place when I was supposed to be celebrating the incredible journey I was about to go on again and enjoying every minute I had left with my only child, Joy.
I know they say comparison is the thief of joy, but there is so much more to it— It had caused me to want to hide my pregnancy in shame. I had no problem waiting till the second trimester to share the news on social media because I refused to be in pictures for the first twelve weeks. Hence the reason I’m just now typing this at 20 weeks! I would run into old friends or acquaintances and make a deplorable joke about my weight gain. I would say, “oh, you thought I just got really big, don’t worry— I'm pregnant!” I was so uncomfortable with my rapidly changing body that I was looking for ways to deflect.
My poor husband; he was so confused. He couldn’t tell if I was happy, upset, or sad. It was such a range of emotions that I just didn’t expect to experience this time around.
After I had Joy, my baby weight journey started with abounding optimism, followed by more reasonable goals, met with extenuating circumstances and exhaustion. Fast forward one year, here I am pregnant again hanging out with those 10 pregnancy pounds from before. I wrote this piece to let you know you're not alone. We aren’t all rubber bands that are going to bounce back immediately, if ever. Our family (now of 4!) was a priority and life is unpredictable. If we’re being honest, had I paid more attention to the clock I probably would have been more adamant about my workouts and diet. Hindsight is 50/50 right?
I have since come to terms with my bulging belly and am enjoying the tiny kick and wiggles of the Allen baby. I also made a decision to get some help! I am working with Leah Egwatu of fitfoodiele.com (@fitfoodiele) who specializes in pre/postnatal fitness. Our weekly sessions have done wonders for my mental health and wellbeing. I make better food choices and feel strong again. I would highly suggest committing to something during your second pregnancy that makes you feel strong. That might be walking every evening or doing yoga. It could also be continuing modified versions of your workout and fighting the strong urge to indulge in ice cream every night.
No two pregnancies are the same but if you find a way to take control of how you feel, you will reap nothing but the benefits. Find a new way to enjoy your pregnancy. The stronger I feel, the less concerned I am about that fact that I broke out the maternity pants way earlier or the shirts I saved from last time around are a little tighter than I remember. I don't obsess over weekly bump pictures though I still take them!
I hope this helps someone that might be frustrated with losing the last few pounds, anxious about having another one or currently pregnant and loathing their swollen feet and soft tummies. We are all fighting struggles not documented on social media. Find your strength and carry on! We are capable of so much more than comparison.