Friday, August 24, 2012

The Beauty of Being Pregnant

This morning I had a smoothie with greens, half of a banana, some almond butter, coconut milk and cocoa powder sweetened with stevia extract. Every other day is smoothie day because it seems to help me poop regularly. If I tried to have a smoothie every single day, my body would refuse to empty. It just wants to do every other day and there seems to be nothing I can do about it. I also had 2 eggs and 2 pieces of bacon. I didn't eat greens this morning except in my smoothie.

The Beauty of Being Pregnant
This isn't the part where I tell you how beautiful I feel and that my skin is radiant and glowing. The title is a bit of a joke. I'm going to tell you how I am beginning to feel a little bit like Shrek.
First of all, something I have noticed but haven't mentioned until now is what is happening with my skin. First it seemed to be some dark patches that looked a little bit like a birthmark. One whole armpit was covered and the other just had a strange spotted pattern. I also see it sometimes on my bikini line which is great for summer when it looks like I have a permanent 5 o'clock shadow around my bathing suit bottoms. It comes and goes in darkness but I always see it because I am looking for it. Then I noticed some light spots on my chest that looked like I got sunscreen dripped in spots and those spots didn't tan like the rest of me. I think those are pretty obvious now that I have a great summer tan but at least they match the ones that have shown up on the inside of my left elbow. Every now and again some of these areas become raised bumps, like little spotted welts. I haven't been to a dermatologist so I can assume that this is a hormonal situation.
This webpage talks a little about what it is and describes one cause as: "Hormone. Melasma is more likely to occur during pregnancy and with the use of oral contraceptives. There is also evidence to suggest that progesterone administered to postmenopausal women may also play a role in the development of melasma. Apart from the female hormones, it appears that thyroid gland disorders may also be a risk factor for melasma."
Sounds like fun! Here's a picture of an example on a woman's face.

The next thing that's going on is hair. I've always been pretty lucky in that the peach fuzz that covers most of my body is blonde. Even my leg hairs are still blonde. For some reason I still have to dye the stuff on my head though. Well, the other night I was looking down at my belly and noticed that the fuzz on it was quite a bit longer and more noticeable than I remembered. It was still light, so I don't mind much. However, when I pointed it out to my husband he grabbed his electric razor and started to go to town on my stomach until I pushed him away. It would serve him right if that bare spot grew back long and dark. Haha.... Actually, I'd rather it didn't. Well, the hair is not just more noticeable on my belly but also on my breasts. I'm not going to go into much more detail than that... except to say it reminded me of this scene from scrubs (no need to go past the 1 min. mark).
When I first noticed the hair on my belly, it kinda reminded me of this picture (below), but by no means is there nearly this much hair. It's just what the hair was doing and the shape that reminded me.

Perhaps one of my husband's favorite ogre-like symptoms I have acquired is the gas. Whether it's burping or farting, he puts up a whole big stink (haha pun). You'd think he'd be much happier with the burping, as it is not so much lethal as it is loud. He acts like he doesn't understand the fact that I can't burp quietly because all the air will not come out if I try to stifle myself and then I just end up in pain. As for the farting, well, it's just the most awful thing in the world. Some people can stand their own farts or even like them, but I have to admit that these are even unbearable for me. Sometimes my husband gags and I will not be surprised if he actually vomits one day. I do what I can in the way of letting it out somewhere else or at least warning him that it's happening, but that doesn't do much to help. I tell him that it is all revenge for when we first started living together and I awoke from a deep sleep to the horrific smell of one of his blasts.... seriously, a deep sleep.

One other thing I've been feeling is a fullness that I was associating with overeating and constipation (a symptom I've already covered quite extensively). It turns out that I was not overeating but the feeling is just another symptom. In the book Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp M.D. he describes this fullness as a result of additional blood flow during early pregnancy: "the increased flow to the reproductive tissues ensures adequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the developing placenta and baby, but it also creates the uncomfortable sensation of pelvic and lower abdominal fullness."

Hopefully the last thing I have to report about (so far) is the death breath I have been walking around with. Of course the hormonal changes a pregnant woman goes through are the culprit of this fabulous affliction too. I honestly am not affected by it one bit, but that is because I am not trapped in an astronaut helmet forced to inhale my own stink breath. My husband is of course constantly reminding me of how awful I smell and I do what I can to cover it up. Hopefully the people I am coaching in beginning CrossFit classes aren't catching a whiff. Sorry.....

Besides all of this magic of pregnancy, I still feel beautiful. My skin does look nice (where it is not blotchy) and my belly is starting to round out a little. I am just beginning my second trimester which is supposed to be the best part and looking forward to it!

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