Number of pregnancies: 1 pregnancy/birth
Age of child: 18 days
I got pregnant in London during the Olympics last summer. It wasn’t planned, but we were both pretty excited when I came out of the bathroom six weeks later with two positive pregnancy tests.
I was very fortunate to not experience the continual nausea or vomiting throughout my pregnancy that a lot of women experience.
I kept up with my fitness (doubles beach volleyball, Ashtanga yoga, running 5ks, hiking) until I was six months pregnant. I slowed down to gentler yoga and walking, but I was still in good shape. I ate really clean because I knew that every single thing I put into my body would affect my baby, which made me even more disciplined to eat pure, whole foods. I ended up gaining 23-24 pounds by the time I delivered at 41 weeks and 4 days (I’m 5’9″ and weighed 145 lbs pre-pregnancy).
No stretch marks appeared until one month before my due date. I don’t hate them or hate my body because of them, but they’re so friggin’ dark that I wonder if they’ll ever fade.
I gave birth to my beautiful Ember on May 2, 2013 in a birth center in South Florida. I had a short, yet intense five-hour labor at home before driving to the birth center and being told by my midwife that I was fully dilated and ready to push. I couldn’t believe I had gone through all the stages of dilation at home (Ujjayi breathing really helped)! I thought surely as a first-time mom my labor would last at least 12 hours. Upon hearing the great news, I stripped down naked and told the midwife I wanted to push in the bathtub. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, my baby was born. She came out perfect in every way.
I attribute my smooth labor and delivery to staying fit and healthy throughout my pregnancy. I did end up having a second-degree tear on my perineum and I know my vagina will never look the same, but let’s be honest, our babies are worth whatever “damage” happens to our bodies. I lost 20 lbs after giving birth, but I’m not worried about my weight. All of my energy is focused on feeding my baby and fueling my body with enough healthy foods to do so. I know that I will eventually get back into shape once my stitches heal.
I always considered myself a “strong” woman, but now I feel like I’m even stronger. It sounds so cheesy, but I know that if I can push a 7lb 4oz baby out of me without any sort of medical intervention or drugs, I can do anything.
Pictures: At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, 39 weeks pregnant, just after birthing my daughter, my little Ember, my stretch marks two weeks postpartum.