If I Could Change One Thing About My Pregnancy...

Henry is 8 months old and I don't even feel close to my pre-pregnant self.

I have finally started exercising again in earnest. New gym shoes, membership to the YMCA, loading up the iPod with a running playlist – I think you can see I mean business.

But man, you guys, it is brutal. I am just now realizing how devastating my last pregnancy was on my body. I’m not just talking about some weight gain. I’m talking about bone restructuring, complete loss of muscle, perpetually sore back, jacked up ankles and feet…

The one thing I would’ve done differently during both pregnancies, but especially my second pregnancy is…

You like that?  How I kind of left you hanging there?  Ratcheted up the suspense until you were in a mad frenzy to click onward?  Anyway, as I was saying, the one thing I would’ve done differently is I wouldn’ve kept active all the way through the pregnancy.  Stretching every morning and at least walking once a day.  I really just let my body go to hell, you know?  Not the weight gain, but just my overall physical fitness in general.  It’s like I don’t even have stomach muscles anymore which creates some serious lower back pain, especially when I lug Henry around in a sling or baby carrier.  You gotta have core muscles to haul kids.

It seems like mostly we focus on the weight gain during pregnancy, but anyone who’s given birth can tell you bones migrate, never to return, feet increase in size – your entire body shifts.  I mean, now that I really think about it, I haven’t felt like myself since I was 31 years old and got pregnant with Violet three years ago.  Because right around when I was closing in on what I consider normal for me I got knocked up with the Hankster.  I gave birth 8 months ago and am just now embarking on a regular exercise regimen.  Recovering from pregnancy can take years.

So listen.  If you’re feeling all fat and bloated and tired, I implore you – keep active.  As active as you can, anyway.  You’ll thank me for it later.  Now, I’m not saying go out and run a marathon or anything, but consult your doctor and do as much as you can.

I have just begun the long road back to physical fitness and it is daunting.  If I’d maintained activity throughout both pregnancies I could’ve reduced what I’ve got to do to make a full comeback in half.