My body is changing at a ridiculously fast speed, my hormones are soaring, and my stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable pretty much around the clock. You can also add nauseous, moody, constipated, and always having to pee to the list. I have to remind myself that my body is taking on one of the most beautiful tasks that it was built to do: I’m pregnant. The changes that my body is undergoing are out of my control, but I have decided to take ownership over this pregnancy in a way that I was too fearful to do with my first pregnancy. I am redefining this pregnancy by giving myself permission to continue to run, hike, and move in the mountains as long as my body allows me. I’m doing so with confidence, not fear.
I have always known that I wanted to become a mother. For as long as I can remember I have emulated my own mom and her strength and patience in raising my four brothers and myself. I’ve always looked forward to being able to bring my own children into this world. With that yearning also came fear and anxiety. Fear that something would go wrong, fear of the unknown. Despite being over the moon with joy and excitement when I first became pregnant, I was also filled with worry and nerves. I went about my pregnancy being overly cautious in order to quell my anxious thoughts. I cut out caffeine, I ate none of the iffy foods, and I chose not to run during my pregnancy. I let my anxiety dictate my pregnancy.
I have decided to take ownership over this pregnancy in a way that I was too fearful to do with my first pregnancy. I am redefining this pregnancy by giving myself permission
After a healthy and beautiful childbirth, I was able to slowly build a new sense of normal with the support of my husband. Although my anxiety and fear did not disappear, it lessened as I gained confidence and experience as a new mother. I began running again. I made time for myself on the trails. I loved the sense of strength and challenge I felt after a trail run. It allowed me to connect with nature, take time for just me, and to unplug from all of my other responsibilities as a stay at home mom. I could always count on coming away from a trail run with a full heart and lifted spirit. Trail running became an integral part of my health and happiness. I knew it was too valuable for me to give up during my next pregnancy.
A few years have passed and I am pregnant again. I have made the decision (with my midwife’s consent) to continue to trail run. The confidence I have built over the past few years of mothering my first daughter, coupled with a few years of trail running experience under my belt, has encouraged me to continue to get out on the trails despite a rapidly growing body. I have read a handful of fact-based articles on running while pregnant, spoken with my midwife, and picked the brains of my fellow mama runners in order to learn more. What I have learned is that running through pregnancy is a unique journey for every woman, and with each week of change and growth I am learning more about my unique journey. I am working hard to show myself grace as my pace slows. I am trying to be mindful about savoring these moments with this new baby I am able to carry with me through the mountains.
Trail running is how I practice self-care. It is a sport that fills me up, pushes me to set goals, and leaves me feeling rejuvenated yet challenged. Self-care is more important than ever to me now that I am raising a toddler and have one on the way. I find beauty in trail running because it remains constant as my body and running abilities are changing. My favorite trails are not going anywhere. My favorite tree-lined sections and sweeping mountain vistas are out there waiting for me. Those things I can count on. While I’m not sure what each new week of pregnant running brings, I can predict that with each week will come a slower pace, more weight to carry, and a few new aches and pains along the way.
I am redefining this pregnancy for myself because being out on the trails makes me happy and I deserve to make that time for myself a priority whether I am running, hiking, or just sitting outside under the trees. I hope to provide an example of strength for my daughter and future child that finding and keeping a passion that lights your fire is important, that women can get dirty and do hard things, and that self-care is important. And I hope I can do this while giving myself grace and patience as my body changes.
4 thoughts on “Redefining My Second Pregnancy”
Great inspiration for young moms. Way to go Brigid!
Thank you, Lisa! ?
Thank you! I can relate with you in all levels! I have a 4 year old and 1 on the way, I still take time to hit the trails when my body allows it. It is getting harder now that my belly is getting bigger but I can’t wait to take my babies on the trail with me!
Love this so much and it really hit home for me as I’m 32 weeks into my second pregnancy. I did exercise through my first, but I have allowed myself to really dedicate the time for me and given myself grace with all the changes. Keep it up mama! You are amazing.