How To Have The Most Enjoyable Pregnancy
My First Pregnancy Experience
Are you enjoying your pregnancy?
When I ask that to most pregnant women, they say NO!
Most women actually hate being pregnant.
Well, most of them except those that do my Fit Mom-To-Be Workouts, because they actually have energy and sleep well, and don’t gain excess weight, and don’t have aches and pains… Because those are some of the things that make women hate pregnancy.
There are so many benefits to exercise during pregnancy that I hope that you are staying active during yours. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to how you feel during your pregnancy.
Here are just a few of the BENEFITS OF EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY.
And did you know that exercise during pregnancy is also good for your baby?
After having 2 amazing pregnancies, and working with THOUSANDS of pregnant women in the last few years, I can tell you without a doubt that EXERCISE and HAVING A HEALTHY PREGNANCY DIET will make all the difference in the world and will help you have a great pregnancy and enjoy it to the max.
Not only did I enjoy it to the max but I also had a lot smoother LABOR AND DELIVERY and a super fast recovery. I lost all my BABY WEIGHT in less than 1 month.
This is what I look like now with my 5 year old and 15 month old (at this picture)
People ask me all the time about my actual pregnancy experiences so I thought I would share them here.
I’ll try to be as concise as I can but I think that throughout MY EXPERIENCES in both my pregnancies, you can learn a lot of things that will help you have an amazing pregnancy.
Through my experiences you will learn how to have the most enjoyable pregnancy ever.
Because pregnancy is the most wonderful gift that God gives us women and it would be a shame for you not to experience how amazing it really is.
6 Things You Will Learn Through My Pregnancy Experiences
- MIND SET
- PERSISTENCE & DEDICATION
- COMMITMENT TO HEALTH AND FITNESS
- HEALTHY PREGNANCY DIET
- CONSISTENT EXERCISE
My First Pregnancy
- What if I gained a ton of weight and couldn’t lose it?
- What if I felt sick all pregnancy and couldn’t eat as healthy as I wanted to?
- What if I was so tired that I wouldn’t be able to get up for working out?
- What if I was never able to get my body back?
- What if I ended up having a huge pooch that took years to get rid of and I still looked pregnant for months or years after?
- What if I got stretch marks?
- What if my husband didn’t find me attractive during my pregnancy?
Some of the Pregnancy Horror Stories People Told Me
- You are going to gain a ton of weight.
- You are going to sweat all over all the time.
- You are going to be so hormonal and cranky and grouchy.
- Everything your husband does will bother you, you will hate him.
- Your husband will not like the way you look so try to keep him happy other ways (can you believe this one).
- You will hate the smell of everything, even your house and your husband.
- Your hips will get huge.
- You will get stretch marks.
- You will hate having sex (see my post on Pregnancy & Sex)
- You won’t want to exercise like you do now.
- You will be so tired all the time that you won’t want to do anything.
- You will get tons of cravings so eating as healthy as you normally do is out the door.
- You will have aches and pains everywhere.
- You won’t be able to sleep for 9 months and then you will never sleep again.
- Everything will bother you.
My Mind Set Shift
- I will not be like those miserable pregnant women.
- I do not want to be one of those nagging and complaining pregnant women.
- I don’t want to be negative to others like people were to me.
- I want to feel good.
- I am going to embrace my changing body instead of resisting it and hating it.
- I will love my growing belly and black nipples, and expanding hips, and cramps in my calves, and changing belly button………..
- I will be positive.
- I will nurture my body and take care of it as best I can so I can create the best possible environment for my baby and myself.
- I will not use pregnancy as an excuse to pig out and eat.
- I will not use pregnancy as an excuse to not move and be active.
- I will use pregnancy as my motivation and inspiration to exercise and eat healthy and create the greatest experience.
I’ve never done this before, never really shared my entire story, so I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you in some way.
It’s about to get personal up in here.
I would be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t afraid of losing my figure when I got pregnant.
Having been in the Fitness and Health Industry back then for about 15 years, I knew that it was important for me to be in shape and be a good example of health and fitness.
These are all things I thought about while “trying to get pregnant.”
Which by the way took about 6 months. My mother-in-law was sick with cancer and in her final stages of her amazing life, and we wanted to give her a reason to want to live. So getting pregnant was a bit stressful for me.
Couple that with all these fears I have and you have a good recipe for STRESS AND ANXIETY.
I finally got pregnant and as soon as I started telling people, I started getting all the horror stories.
I mean, it really blows my mind that people are so negative. I mean for goodness sake you are already pregnant, its not like you can take it back, why do people want to tell you how horrible its going to be.
I feel like I could keep going but you get the picture right?
But then I got pregnant and something in me changed.
I thought to myself… I don’t want to be like the statistics. I don’t want to be like these people and go through these things. I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to suffer through 9 months of my life.
I mean pregnancy should be a beautiful thing, I’m about to CREATE LIFE.
Why should that be such a horrible experience, it should be a BLESSING to be pregnant and carry your child and have that special bond that no one else could ever have.
So one day I decided to EMBRACE ANOTHER MIND SET.
It was just like that… A shift… A decision… A choice I made one day…
I said to myself…
These are the things you have to meditate on, the choices you have to make if you want to enjoy your pregnancy.
My first pregnancy was as smooth as could be.
Every doctors appointment went well, every test came out well. My weight gain was right on point, I felt great.
I didn’t have morning sickness and I attribute that to eating so healthy.
I followed this way of eating…
Here is a Nutrition Guide that I followed myself and have thousands of pregnant women follow as well. You can download it for free and follow it as well.
I did have some FOOD AVERSIONS during the first trimester and I immediately realized that all I wanted to eat was CARBS. The thought of a piece of chicken made me nauseous.
But I knew that I needed to eat protein. My knowledge and experience told me that PROTEIN is a nutrient, meaning its essential to LIFE. So I knew that I needed to eat it if I wanted my BABY to be healthy and if I wanted to increase my chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
So I came up with some ways around the CARB LOAD.
I really couldn’t do anything about the Food Aversions so on those weeks, I came up with a great recipe that literally saved me those weeks. I ate that pretty much every day and for every meal for weeks. I actually really enjoyed it, it was yummy, comforting and super healthy. And I found a way to add protein to it without looking at it, smelling it or touching it which is what grossed me out.
I tell you all about what I did and the recipe here: Food Aversions
This one thing I did seriously helped me still be able to be healthy during weeks that were really hard and all I wanted was carbs.
I also came up with a LIST OF CARB MEALS that were healthy yet yummy and comforting enough to satisfy me while still keeping my commitment to stay healthy and fit.
If you want the list, click here: List of Healthy Carbs and High Carb Meals For Pregnancy
With these two things, I made it through the first trimester.
My workouts were not as intense because I was a bit tired, but I still exercised about 5 times a week. I did my Fit Mom-To-Be Workouts 3 times per week and did about 2-3 cardio workouts.
I felt great, I had energy again after the first trimester, I had only gained about 12 lbs and as the months went by I gained minimal weight (healthy and safe of course).
I loved when people would compliment me. I mean you do feel big and your body is totally changing so its nice to hear people say nice things. It was actually motivating and it made me want to try harder to keep being healthy and fit.
Some of the Compliment I got…
- You don’t look pregnant from behind.
- Your arms look great.
- Your belly is tiny. (it totally didn’t feel that way, it felt huge).
- You are glowing.
- You look beautiful.
- You are carrying so nicely.
- Pregnancy does you well.
- Your skin looks amazing.
- Your hair and nails look awesome.
- I can’t believe your thighs and butt haven’t grown.
The only problem I had was one doctors meeting, he told me my belly wasnt measuring what it was supposed to which freaked us out because the baby could have not been gaining enough weight or I could have been losing amniotic fluid so we did an emergency ultrasound and had to wait 24 hours for the results. The longest 24 hours of my life in which I had to deal with family telling me I work out too much, I don’t eat enough, mean while I ate every 2 hours super healthy and complete meals.
Results came back after 24 hours of stress and everything was fine, I was just carrying smaller.
A few days before my due date, my doctor went on a few days vacation. I wanted to die. I told him I would not have this baby without him. He told me to drink a little wine and relax that that would help me not go into labor.
I did what he said and he got back and baby was still in.
He decided to induce me.
Eating Healthy & Exercise helped me have a FAST and EASIER Labor and Delivery.
My Labor & Delivery Story Baby #1
He put cervadil, to help me efface around 4pm, and he told me that I wouldn’t feel anything and I would sleep the night and he would come back around 8am to induce me with pitosin and I would have the baby by 8pm.
Around 7pm I started having excruciating pain, I was like this is not normal. This was serious pain. So I had my mom call the nurses to check me.
I had been debating on whether to do epidural or not…. Read my thoughts on that here: Drugs or No Drugs For Labor.
When the nurse came to check me and I told her how much pain I was in, she decided to check my cervix. When she did she said Ohhhhh, congratulations, your water just broke and you are 4 cm dilated.
My contractions were so close together from then on that the nurses kept trying to convince me to get an epidural. I had no break, the contractions were every 60 seconds.
I was dilating so fast… In one hour I was about 6-7cm and then 8cm so they called my doctor who was in disbelief that I went into labor and was dilating so fast. He was expecting me to be like every other first timer… hours and hours and hours.
He took his sweet time getting to me while I was literally dying in pain with contractions every 60 seconds. I thought I was literally going to die,go somewhere terrible and never come back. It was the worse pain ever.
I finally gave in and got the epidural at almost 8cm, whew, what a relief.
All of a sudden, 8 1/2 cm, 9 cm, 10 cm…
Lets get ready to start pushing Michelle…
On go the lights and the nurses and doctors getting the baby stuff ready, all these lights going on, people coming in and out…
Where is Dr. Stemple, I screamed, I am not pushing without him…
So they made me start pushing a little just to get the baby in the right position for when the doctor got there.
He walked in in the middle of a terrible contraction, I had been pushing for about 10-15 minutes and that last push as he walked in the babys head came peaked out. No stop they said, back in went the baby and Dr Stemple nearly had a heart attach because I pushed so darn hard I tore a little. He told me to chill out or I would tear entirely. Ouch I can still remember…
A few minutes later, he was born.
I wanted to immediately push out the placenta but he was so afraid of my pushes, he told me to just cough so I did and out came the placenta.
Hmmmm, those workouts must have really helped.
Then the stitching…
OUCH! He said, what? you feel this?
Ummm … Yes… How many more stitches are you giving me?
Don’t worry Michelle, he said… “I’m giving you a GUCCI CUCCI”.
Um yeah, funniest line ever. I will never forget it.
Ok then, well then stitch away in that case, I mean a designer cucci, who gets those?
Hey, you gotta learn to see the positive in everything right?
In total I was in labor for 4 hours and 15 minutes of pushing. My doctor couldn’t believe it he said in his 25 years of delivering babies, cases this fast were extremely rare. He said, “It must be all that working out you do”. Yep, so you know what I was doing my second pregnancy! So worth it.
Can you imagine being in labor for 12-36 hours like some or most women are… Heck no! I much rather workout a few hours a week. Thank you very much! 🙂
It Was Well Worth It – The Postpartum Experience After Baby #1
Well, I felt great right after everywhere but down there.
Yep those darn hemorrhoids and stitches barely let me walk for like 12 days.
But my belly… ahhhh my belly, it felt so good again. I pretty much just looked bloated, like I had my period. I immediately thought to myself how worth it it had been to exercise during my pregnancy and eat healthy.
I remember going to see friends 1-2 months after baby’s were born and they still looked 5 months pregnant, I was mortified!
But… I worked out, I put in my time, my effort and it paid off.
Check out what I looked like 4 days postpartum.
By about day 10 I was completely flat again.
I did put a belly band on when I got home from the hospital and wore it for about 4 weeks as much as I could.
It felt so good to have lost all my weight. When I weighed myself at 4 weeks when I went to the doctor I had already lost all my weight, but I bet I lost it before then… At least it felt like it and if it was a pound or two off, it was definitely my TATA’S.
I never got postpartum depression and I think a part of it was because I felt like I was back to myself. there is something really fulfilling in that after 9 months of carrying a child and getting huge lol.
Soon after I got medical clearance, I started exercising and not even a year later, I was in the best shape of my life.
I’m telling you, it was so worth it to exercise and eat healthy during my pregnancy.
If you are so pumped you can’t wait to finish this blog post to get started, here is the link to also do my Fit Mom-To-Be Workouts and get this type of results.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years later and guess who is pregnant again?
Yep, this time it only took about 2 months to get pregnant.
I was so excited and so badly wanted a girl.
I felt bad praying for it because I would be grateful with just a healthy baby, but I think God knew what I really wanted.
My Second Pregnancy Story – So Different, So Trying
Oh my… Just a few weeks in and I felt so darn pregnant. With my first pregnancy I didn’t feel pregnant at all. If it weren’t for my growing belly, I would have had no idea I was pregnant. The yucky feelings started which I didn’t have with my first pregnancy. I started feeling I guess what is called morning sickness but I never really threw up. I just had this really yucky feeling for most of the first part of the day.
This isn’t supposed to happen to me. I workout, I eat healthy. What the heck?
You mean this isn’t women just making this up?
You mean its true, they do feel sick?
Ha, I guess thats what I get.
I guess having a girl just EFF’s you right up LOL or so they say.
How I Got Rid Of Morning Sickness With My Diet
I wasn’t about to go through 12 weeks like this so I decided to try some things out to get rid of that yucky feeling and low and behold, I did! I got rid of MORNING SICKNESS and I wrote on everything I did so that it can help you too. And it works, because I have helped hundreds of women get rid of it also by doing this, read it here: Getting Rid Of Morning Sickness.
I continued to exercise throughout the days with morning sickness.
I mean, the workouts weren’t super intense and they weren’t as long as usual but I never skipped a workout. I didn’t want to get into the BAD HABIT of skipping workouts cuz I knew it would be hard to get going again. So even if I did a 20 minute workout, I still woke up at 4:30am, yep, you read that right, 4:30 am with a 3 year old, pregnant and working out at 5am.
So, I’m cruising now into my second trimester and its time for an ultra sound, one of those major ones. Also, the one where I was going to find out the sex of the baby.
We were so excited, it was a Friday of a long weekend and we were meeting my whole family at a beach house for the weekend.
I get the ultra sound and they gave us the best news ever…
ITS A GIRL!
OMG, the excitement was out of this world. OMG, God really hooked me up, he is giving us our little princess.
But before we could call our family to share the news, they told us we needed to stay after to discuss the ultrasound findings with the doctor.
I didn’t imagine anything bad…
But when we sat in the room, she BAM hit us in the face with heart breaking news…
The Bad News
She said I had what is called Placenta Previa. My placenta was sitting very low which was a high risk pregnancy and I needed mild bed rest as well as a possible C-Section if it didn’t resolve itself.
Bed rest… Me?
Did she know who she was talking to?
I can’t not exercise…
But it wasn’t just not exercise, it was not carrying my son, not carrying groceries, not standing for long periods of time, barely driving…
OMG, I’m going to get huge I thought to myself. But I didn’t get to hold that thought for too long before she smacked me across the face with some more bad news.
There were spots in the brain that she didn’t like and she wanted to do further testing.
Testing for Down Syndrome and Some other chromosome diseases.
Ok, now forget about the exercise, I will deal with that by just eating even healthier…
You mean, my precious baby girl, my princess may have down syndrome.
I was to the floor in tears, in stress, in disbelief. I was torn.
I couldn’t even be happy anymore that we were having a girl.
How Faith Took Me Through
I got to the beach house in tears. I couldn’t even carry my bags because I could start hemorrhaging from the Placenta Previa.
I didn’t know what to be upset about.
My family was so supportive. My sister greeted me with a really cute baby girl outfit with the cutest little shoes and everything. I still remember it…..It was a super cute little ruffle shirt with little tiny delicate flowers with little jean shorts with ties on the sides and the cutest little red flowered shoes.
I was in tears…
They kept telling me to have faith, we prayed, we decided to not believe what the doctors said but to believe what OUR SAVIOR said and that is that he is in control and my baby and my placenta were going to be just fine.
Danny was super supportive, he kept telling me everything would be fine, he took care of me like I was royalty, I mean he did everything from groceries, cooking, cleaning, driving me everywhere, taking care of Nico, everything.
He was amazing.
But I know he was scared too.
I would catch him at night googling all those diseases and what the spots in the ultra sound meant and every positive story he found online about Placenta Previa.
I did my best to stay positive. But I was still scared.
Until one day, I decided to stop feeling bad for myself and start really BELIEVING… having FAITH… VISUALIZING the perfect outcome.
A few hard months passed.
I ate extra extra healthy those months that I was so inactive. I followed my Nutrition Guide, which you can download for Free here: MMF Pregnancy Nutrition Guide.
And every time I weighed in, I was at about the same pace in weight gain as with my last pregnancy which was amazing but so good. It goes to show you how important DIET and HEALTHY EATING is. I ended up gaining the same 20 lbs I did with my first pregnancy, and I didn’t exercise for about 4 months.
BELIEVING and VISUALIZING
The day I decided to start really believing and visualizing, everything changed.
I truly would sit down and think of my Placenta moving up a little bit at a time. Seriously I would envision it moving.
Every second I got I started thanking God because the tests results came out negative and all those tests were going to say that my baby girl was perfectly healthy.
Every time I got scared, I thanked God, I sang songs of worship, I read my bible.
I would envision myself holding my HEALTHY baby girl. And after 3 long weeks of harassing that dang doctors office daily, we got the results. Everything was fine. My baby girl was perfectly healthy. Praise be to God!
A few months later we did another ultra sound and my placenta had moved up, it was in place and I was able to go back to my normal life and EXERCISE.
OMG, I can’t even tell you how much better I started to feel once I started working out again.
I was feeling more tired, sleeping less, aches and pains everywhere, my moods were terrible, I felt huge and flabby and not confident. I was a mess!
That is why I truly can tell you the difference in how you feel when you exercise versus when you don’t…. Because I experienced it first hand.
So about 3-4 weeks passed and I was working out and feeling great. Back to my energy level, moving around well, feeling awesome, “glowing”…
Well, let me preface the “glowing“, with the fact that my belly was much wider and rounder than my boy.
My face was also a little broken out, and my boobs, they were ginormous.
I think its true what they say that boys make you more beautiful and the girls take your beauty away.
But in any event, amidst all those facts and that my belly with Nico was much much cuter…
I felt lucky, and happy and blessed after all I had been through.
And then BAM!
BROKEN TOE AT 6 MONTHS PREGNANT.
Yep, you totally read that right.
I completely fractured my big toe less than a month after having my bed rest lifted.
I think God really just wanted me to lie around and be pregnant.
It was so darn painful and so darn hard.
I had to now crutch around with this huge belly which was so hard to do while trying to carry along with my toddler.
I had to wheel chair around my house for weeks and bathe my son, feed him, play with him and put him to sleep while wheel chairing around the house because the crutches were too uncomfortable and painful.
But guess what?
Not for 1 day did I stop cooking. Yes, I would wheel myself around the kitchen and cook myself and my family healthy dinners.
And if you don’t believe that, well listen to this…
I still exercised!
Yep, I was so excited to finally be able to move that I decided to pay no attention to that toe. I didn’t do any legs of course for about 6-7 weeks while it healed but I did crutch around the gym and do core and upper body workouts. Yep, 3 times a week at 5am in my crutches. I did it.
And I was happy to do it… Grateful!
I got through it and when I was able to exercise lower body again because my toe healed, I did.
I continued to eat good and exercise and I ended up after all that hassle, only gaining 20 lbs.
This doctor decided to induce me again because of how fast I went last time and I had the B Strep Virus which mean I needed 4 hours of antibiotic before the baby came out and he was afraid with how fast my first labor was that this one would be much faster.
My Second Labor Experience – Even Faster and Better
So I listened to him and he induced me, but before he induced me I just sat in the hospital with intravenous antibiotic.
He hit me up with the smallest dose of Pitosin and 2 hours later, the baby was born.
It was an amazing experience.
This time, I knew better than to want to be tough for no one LOL with no drugs, so they hit me up with the epidural which by the way scares me more than labor.
Less than 2 hours after the small dose of pitosin, I was feeling at ton of pressure. He said, we are ready to push…
Push Michelle, Push!
Oh my, Ok, here I go….
One push… The baby’s head is out… Ok push again Michelle…
In the middle of my push… stop… yes STOP PUSHING.
Then I saw a ton of blood everywhere… I mean on the doctor, on my bed, on me, on Danny… Okay, finish the push but more like a cough and not so much a push… Ha ha, I knew by now my pushes are too strong… Gotta love that working out… And my baby girl entered this world. Safe and gorgeous. Turns out the cord was wrapped around her neck… I mean, what else could happen.
But my amazing doctor so graciously, quietly and carefully took care of it without me even knowing.
My Second Postpartum Experience – Best Shape Of My Life
This time around my belly felt bigger right after delivery.
I felt a bit uncomfortable and when I explained to the nurse how I felt she immediately told me a belly band would help. She ordered it for me and put it right on… hours postpartum. It was such a relief. It actually felt so much better to have it on.
I wrote all my thoughts and experience with POSTPARTUM BELLY BANDS so make sure to click on it to read it.
I wore it for 6 weeks as much as I could.
The hemorrhoids were worse this time but the stitches were much better, I was only in pain for a few days.
I had prepped tons of snacks and I had precooked and frozen 14 days worth of healthy meals so I was all set.
I did this too for my first pregnancy.
I tell you about this and a few other super important things to do to prepare for Labor here: Pregnancy Tips To Do Before Labor.
So both times, I was eating super healthy postpartum. I had healthy meals cooked and healthy breakfasts and snacks in my freezer already baked. I was all set.
I didn’t get postpartum depression, but I did have a few meltdowns. Its super hard adapting to having 2 kids and the new mommy of 2 guilt is terrible at the beginning.
But again, I think it helped tons that I again lost all my baby weight in less than a month and was feeling myself so fast.
Check out my postpartum pictures this time…
I’m telling you, working out during pregnancy and eating good, really does make a difference….. a HUGE DIFFERENCE.
And as of today, and the writing of this post, my daughter is 19 months and my son is 5 and I am AFTER TWO KIDS, in the best shape of my life. Seriously! Better than ever.
Pregnancy doesn’t have to ruin your body, it can actually make it BETTER.
And if you do things right during your pregnancy, you will also get better after kids.
I loved being pregnant and though one of my pregnancies was really tough, when I look back, I still enjoyed it, I still embraced it and all it comes with, I still felt beautiful and confident and I will continue to be positive about pregnancy and encourage women to exercise and eat healthy and have the right mindset.
If you do, you will ENJOY YOUR PREGNANCY TO THE MAX.
Just like I did both times.
If you want me to be your Pregnancy Coach, I can!
You can join the thousands of pregnant women that work with me on a daily basis through my Fit Mom-To-Be Pregnancy Workouts.
I also have Facebook Page that I just started just to connect with you and all my prego’s. So go there and LIKE the page so we can stay connected.
I also have tons of sample pregnancy workout and diet tips on My Pinterest Page, so make sure to go there now and hit Follow All so that you can have easy access to it all and its all nice and organized for you to find easily.
Tons of great healthy recipes too that will help you with your pregnancy diet. Don’t forget to download your Nutrition Guide, it will help you tons.
Good luck and if you are pregnant, I hope you have an awesome experience!
God Bless 🙂