02/08/2013 08:07 EST | Updated 04/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Staying Body Positive When Pregnant

File photo dated 19/02/08 of a midwife and a pregnant woman as mothers-to-be who suffer from the same severe morning sickness that the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for have an increased risk of a number of complications if they have the condition during the second trimester of pregnancy, research suggests.

There was this feeling at the pit of my stomach that I just had to get a pregnancy test. My woman's intuition told me so and you just can't ignore that. So I took one. OK, maybe five. I needed to be sure. I went into the bathroom, did the deed and waited. Staring at this stick, like a magic wand ready to tell me my future, I began to panic. What if it says YES? What if it says NO? I was worried I wouldn't know how to react. So I waited for what seemed like half a day. And then, after three minutes I glanced down at the magic wand and it read "pregnant."


I was expecting a marching band, some fireworks and maybe Oprah to appear. I mean, this really is a magical moment. I sat there not knowing what to do. There were no instructions, there were no tips or how-to's, and there were certainly no fireworks. I was scared. Not so much about growing a baby, but scared about what was going to happen to my body.

Will I gain weight?

Will I be sick?

Will I lose the figure I have been so proud to call my own?

It took awhile to actually start looking like I was pregnant. I had the typical basketball bump. I slowly watched the scale increase, my pants size get bigger and people around me start to really notice that I was "getting rounder."

It was a little discouraging (note: I was reaching my two month marker in training for a half marathon knowing full well I wouldn't be able to run it) but it was incredible. I was growing a mini-me inside of me! When the reality finally hit I was fully accepting of the adventure ahead regardless of the toll on my body. I ate better, I ran more and I even submitted a portfolio to become a pregnant model. I wasn't this confident even before I got pregnant. Maybe it was the hormones, the (potentially) excessive chocolate consumption, or the fact that I was glowing. Whatever it was, I was feeling on top of the world.


Image Courtesy of Renée Warren of Onboardly

Though I had some low days, and I mean low days, I stuck them out and kept up with a positive mindset. Here is how I did it:

1. Knew I was creating life (This IS magical)

2. Kept up with my health (eating well kept me feeling trim and sexy)

3. Openly shared the hardships with close friends. They are incredible support systems.

4. Took advantage of people opening the door, giving up a seat, or adding me to the front of the line at my favourite breakfast spot.

5. Knew that my dress size was not a number to be judged by.

6. That it was OK to not see my toes. As it was a blessing to not have to see those swollen feet anyway!

7. Heels were more comfortable than flats

8. There would just be some bodily functions you can't control and that's OK (blame the baby ;)

Then, on August 17, 2012 my son was born. Wow. Holy friggin' emotional mess. This doesn't compare to the moment the magical wand told me I was having this baby. It doesn't compare to the many times my husband said I was a GORGEOUS pregnant women. And it certainly doesn't compare to the time only three months after his birth that I fit into my skinny jeans again. (Wowzer!)

The toll on my body will forever remain, but my heart has grown bigger and my confidence much stronger knowing that I created the most beautiful life I could possibly imagine.

Pregnancy is not easy. It can be exhausting, disgusting, boring and a pain-in-the-ass. But what it should not be is a phase in your life to feel down on how you look. YOU are beautiful no matter what. Whether my words mean anything or not, you are in the process of creating something phenomenal: another life.

BeauCoo would like to thank new mom, Renée Warren, (@Renee_Warren), Co-Founder of Onboardly and mother to five-month-old Mighty Max for sharing her experience!

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