It feels like just yesterday that we firmly decided we were both on board with this whole baby thing and set a date six months out to start. A lot had to happen in those six months, and did. I had goals I wanted to meet physically, but also mentally. It seemed like it would be forever before April rolled around, but time finds a way to keep moving.
I wanted to take that time to get stronger, to focus and clean up my diet, and to allow for time to get past baby fever and move on to being rational. We stopped Crossfit in October to sock away money and also to focus on strength training. I’ve been doing a 3×5 Starting Strength program since November that includes 3x week squats. I’ve now gone through two whole 10 week cycles and feel a lot stronger for it. My bench went up by 15lbs, my press by 10, and my deadlift by 20. If I’d been more consistent, I’m sure I would have seen better results, but I’m still happy with that.
I wanted to focus on squats specifically because of all the anecdotal evidence I’d read from crossfitting ladies who’ve been pregnant. It also just made sense to me. Squats are a full body exercise, but primarily strengthen your core, thighs, and butt, while helping with hip mobility. Considering the amount of times I’ve read how very important a strong pelvic floor is – part of your core – to both pregnancy and afterwards, it seemed logical that strengthening all of that would only help. Plus, I just wanted some kickass thighs.
My ulterior motive lay in that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to focus on strength gains while pregnant, and I knew in the last few weeks and first few months, there would be little to no training. I didn’t want to go a full year without a new PR. :3 That said, everything I’ve read and understand about pregnancy indicates continued strength training for maintenance is a good idea, as long as one is comfortable and able to scale back and down – sometimes way down – as needed. Just, don’t do burpees. Like we need an excuse not to do burpees.
The AIP wasn’t officially part of my physical focus, but the strict return to paleo had its own a side effects. Since autoimmune diseases often go into remission during pregnancy, I wasn’t so concerned about getting that under control first. It was more just being fed up with the rash that spurred my AIP efforts. But the hyper focus on eating nutritionally dense foods was beneficial in helping me be comfortable with forgoing the standard prenatal vitamins – except folate. It also helped me meet my nutritional goals of eating a ton of greens every week and broth every day. With the AIP, both have become ingrained habits.
Mentally, I knew I needed to get past baby fever and let my wife have more time to fully get used to the idea. We also needed to start planting the seed that this was a thing that would probably happen in family member’s minds. One of the things my mother mourned when I first came out to her was a derth of grandchildren. Granted, I didn’t exactly help with that assumption at the time because I didn’t think I’d ever have kids. How things change.
I went back and forth for a while about whether or not to tell close family that we’d be trying in advance. On the one hand, it’s a personal decision for us to try at all, it’s not really any of their business, and there could be anywhere between months and years before we have anything to show for it, with tons of tears in between. Ultimately, though, considering that base assumption that we couldn’t have any and that this was a purposeful endeavor, I thought it would be better to prep family up front. That way they could work through their own assumptions and base reactions and be ready to simply be happy for us when it happens. It’s both fairer to them and easier on us in the long run. Let them get their questions and confusion out now while we still have patience.
Time for family, but we also needed time for us to get used to the idea. Time to think through all the eventualities and be scared and excited and terrified. Time to become impatient and time to research how this will effect us legally and time to coo at baby hats. Time to be certain about our donor choice. And time to just be us.
Plus, of course, time to chart cycles, and time to learn about my body, and time to grow more and more paranoid that I have no idea how to read my cycle, and then time again to trust it.
Six months is a long time, but it’s also a short time when you have all those things to work on and through. I think it was a good decision for us to wait that long. Now I feel even more ready and sure about this, which I know I’ll need going into a possibly months/years-long roller coaster process.