Before I got pregnant, I never listened to my body. I was a typical twentysomething living in New York, focusing on things like staying slim, killing it at my job, and getting through the day. I wasn’t worried about taking proper lunch breaks or getting enough sleep, vitamins, and minerals. I was trying to be as productive and successful as I could.
So, when I got pregnant (with twins!), it was a huge shock realizing my body wasn’t my own anymore. You often hear from other moms that your body will tell you what it needs and, around my second trimester, I finally felt like I understood what that meant.
I was able to tune in to all the signs from my body that I’d been overlooking before. When I got tired, instead of chugging coffee, I would slow down and take a break or a nap. When I was hungry, I ate the foods my body craved. It was a small but important shift in how I stay healthy. It changed my definition of “success.”
Pregnancy isn’t easy. You go through a whole host of mental and physical changes. It feels like the media glamorizes pregnancy, which is a confusing and overwhelming layer on top of everything.
Sometimes I’ll see other moms on TV or in magazines and wonder why they don’t look tired, have hormonal acne, or deal with dry skin like I do. What about morning sickness? Where were the moms coping with that?
But I quickly learned that you can’t compare yourself to others. You can learn from their experiences, but when you start comparing, it often leads to feeling bad about yourself.
For example, I haven’t really been able to work out at all this whole pregnancy. So when I see moms on social media actively working out at 38 weeks, it’s tempting for me to think, “How are they doing this? I can barely walk my dog around the block!” Instead, I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can do. I had to learn to give myself credit. I honestly think all moms deserve credit, just for showing up every day.
When I look back at pictures of me at 12 weeks when I thought I had a belly, I can tell that it was really just me pushing out a pizza dinner; a “food baby.” It’s an unbelievable transformation, growing twins in your body. It’s also so cool — especially once they start kicking and you realize there are two actual people in there!
Now, there’s absolutely no denying my midsection. I bump into everything. I’ve probably gained 50 pounds. It’s been such a good mental reset for me letting go of the number on a scale. I know that in the past, I’ve given the scale more power, but pregnancy has helped me internalize that it’s about being healthy.
There’s also the stretched skin that comes with a growing belly. I scar really easily, so I worried about stretch marks. So from the first day I found out I was pregnant, I started moisturizing morning and night.
At the same time, I was also dealing with hormonal acne on my face and extremely dry skin, too. I’ve noticed when I have hormonal changes or stress, my eczema flares. And the bigger my belly gets, the harder it is to moisturize my whole body.
So when Olay approached me to take the Two Week Body Wash challenge, I quickly said yes. I was really looking for something that would clean and moisturize my body all in one in the shower — it’s so much easier for me to have a product that does it all, because I can sit in a bath or stand in the shower.
After 14 days, Olay Ribbons Body Wash in Shea + Blue Lotus covered, cleansed, and quenched my whole body. It’s the best —it smells good, it’s soothing, and it’s extremely moisturizing. My husband loves it too — between us, we’ve gone through four bottles.
It’s so important to listen to your body, whether you’re growing a baby or not. I’m grateful to the pregnancy process for teaching me that lesson.
Being pregnant has forced me to slow down in a good way and focus on myself and my overall health. And I’m learning it’s not selfish to do that. I have to do everything I can to grow and take care of these two little boys growing inside of me.
Up until now, my pregnancy felt like a long journey, but now that I’ve almost reached the end, everything seems speeded up somehow. I can’t wait to see their little faces for the first time, and I’m so excited to hold them and kiss them and see them grow. It’s going to be a fun time. It’s going to be wild. We’re ready to roll with the punches.