Archives for posts with tag: pregnancy

Perpetual laundry…

Nursing every 3 hours…

I don’t even remember what our kitchen counter looks like…

And a house so full of love and delight that I can’t even explain it.

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One of my biggest ah-ha moments as a mom was when I realized- for myself- that love grows exponentially.

‘Love’ seems to be one of those buzz words lately. ‘If we just LOVE each other…’ or ‘Love is the answer’. But to be honest with you I thought this was all kind of cheesy. Now if you read my blog then you’ve probably realized I teach yoga and practice buddhist meditation- so I understand all about love and compassion. But I have felt like there was an inauthenticity in the way some people used this expression ‘LOVE’.

I remember when I was towards the end of my first pregnancy, I was driving on the highway, jamming to ‘Black and Gold’ by Sam Sparro. I got really teary thinking that I wasn’t sure how I was going to love this baby because what I did was love my husband. Thats who I was, I was his wife and we loved each other, how was I going to have enough love for them both. Now I know what you’re thinking: this seems like I felt love was a scarce commodity- but it was how I felt. A few weeks go by and the nurse hands me my firstborn- and in that moment I understood how love works.

There are, in my recent experience, no limitations and no boundaries on love. Yet we all define it and experience it differently. My becoming a mother allowed my love to become bound-less. I have been able to love more people more freely, more compassionately because my kiddos have shown me how to love- MY WAY. Love grows and multiplies at astonishing rates. The trick is that we have to be open to the timing and the possibilities. It won’t do us any good to adopt another persons version of love. I would even say that doing this can lead us down a very unfulfilled and potentially self-destructive road.

So stay your course, look for YOUR love in all the unexpected places. Let it make you hurt and let it make you cry. Question it and doubt it.  And on the other side, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to say that you LOVED in your own way as hard as you could… and the dishes will eventually get clean. The good news is that dishes don’t matter so much when you are full of LOVE.

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So the big announcement recently is that baby Cook #2 is on the way!

I posted a pregnancy pic on FB and was amazed by all of the likes and comments. Not only was the support and excitement humbling, but it helped me to realize the incredible audience thats available when the news is about babies!
As I continue to share parts of my journey I hope that if you or someone you know is expecting, there is some sliver of insight, grace, or maybe even humor that can be gleaned from my experience.

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Phase 1: Not so hot!
For about the first, oh, 6 weeks or so that I new I was pregnant I just felt terrible. I was nauseous, tired, poorly motivated and eating horribly. Its an interesting cycle because I didn’t feel good, but the only thing that made me feel slightly relieved was food that I don’t normally eat. So I was snacking on white starchy carbs and cheese, which probably contributed to some of my lack of energy, but I couldn’t pull myself out!  I’ve talked to a lot of moms-to-be who wind up doing the same things, so I don’t feel totally horrible about it, but still.  Around week 11 I finally made resolve that I would have to force some vegetables/ salads/ fruits etc.
Also, as a result of the fatigue and lack of motivation I wasn’t really working out. I’d say I was going through the motions, which may be enough for a woman in first trimester, but didn’t feel that productive. The third dimension of this phase is that the nausea DID actually keep me from practicing yoga. I couldn’t spend hardly anytime upside down because it felt so uncomfortable. Needless to say, I am very relieved to be past this part of my pregnancy.

Phase 2: The baby bump
One of the most challenging parts of early pregnancy for me is that the cause of the symptoms is still hidden. I gain weight, I feel sick, I look tired, yet no one can see why. And then BUMP! Almost just like that! People start to notice and even ask me when I’m due. This is exciting to me because, I believe, being pregnant is such a sacred and special time for a woman. So now that people can tell I’m pregnant I actually feel much more confident. I don’t feel like I need to hide behind baggy shirts and avoid mirrors, but instead I can rock the baby bump and folks think its cute. And lets be honest, so do I. Interestingly, (and I am totally aware that hormones are really in charge of all of this)  the confidence impacts my physical ability. Pregnant workouts are so inspiring because its amazing the things your body can do- and all while you are creating and nourishing a whole separate human! I’m back to the gym, I’m back to my practice, and back to eating healthy and feeling great.

So- to all the mamas out there wondering if pregnancy will always feel yucky- hang in there! It just might turn around for you. And for all the mamas nearing the end of their pregnancy you are about to become the most important person in the world to one little human. Be prepared to fall head-over-heels in love. For those of us here in the middle of things- I will continue to post more specifics about how to modify workouts and yoga practice for pregnancy. Until then… I think I’ll reward myself with a DQ Blizzard.

I’ve been on this earth for a while now. But I think I am finally starting to understand the powerful difference between setting a goal, and the will to achieve it. We can set intentions all day long, but if they don’t hit us on a heart level… on a soul level, we might as well throw in the towel.

After I had my baby it was really important to me to get back to my health. Going through pregnancy and labor is a perfectly healthy thing to do, but there is a lot of strength and endurance that’s lost. Not to mention the complete 180 that your lifestyle has the opportunity to take once the baby has arrived.

The summer that I found out I was pregnant I ran my first half marathon. I actually WAS pregnant when I ran it. I remember the preparation and the running of that race were such milestones in my love-hate relationship with running (read previous blog post here).

In an effort to ‘get my body back’ I set a tentative goal to run my second half marathon this summer- two years post baby. I say tentative because its become so much more important to me to be doing things smart rather than hard. I have a back injury and I just didn’t know how my body would feel pushing those long running distances.  As the deadline of this half marathon got closer and I danced with the reality of actually having to run it I intensified my training. I knew I would have to run at least 10 miles before I would be comfortable considering 13.1.

Well, I had my longest training run this week- 8 miles. As you can imagine, there is a lot you can think about with an hour plus of handsfree time and no where else to go.  While the corner of mind my is chanting ‘light on your feet, lift up from your core, this feels easy- keep it easy’ the rest of my mind is pondering a full spectrum of things from the problems of the world to why the Panera I just ran past doesn’t have a drive-thru.

Previously I had run 6 miles, which is a personal obstacle. My struggle through that first 6-mile run is completely mental. I fight myself the whole time. But once I’m past it my whole mindset changes from doubt to assurance.

So for 8 miles I chose a familiar path, one with plenty of shade, not too many hills, good scenery and I set off. I usually find my stride about 2.5 miles in (lift up through your core, use your muscles, this is easy).

Around mile 3 I really started to believe that this WAS easy. My cross training at Red Rocks and running trails HAD made me stronger (shoulders back, land light, this feels easy).

End of mile 4 was exuberant- just turn around and trace your steps (you’ve already run this, now you’re just running home).

At mile 6 I was high as a kite. I’d come to the realization that I AM as strong as I was before the baby- if not STRONGER. The ease that I was running with was unbeliveable, mostly because I WANTED to be there. I WANTED to be a strong-by-my-standards runner. I wanted to be able to run 13.1 miles if that was what I chose for myself. I WANTED it.

Now that I’m on the other side of that 8 mile run, the half marathon itself is less of a prize. Mostly because I KNOW I can do it. The goal- which was the race- has shrunken in measure compared to the confidence and pride I have gained as a result of my training.  I wanted to be prepared and focused. And now I am. I wanted to be strong. And now I am. I wanted to run as far as my heart could take me. And now I will.