30
Jan 2014

Live More Weigh More: A short guide to pregnancy

1

Hey there!

It’s been an amazing 8 months growing this little guy in my belly and I can’t wait to meet him in just a few short weeks!  I’ve gathered so much information over this time and I thought it might be helpful to share it here.  Even if you’re not pregnant, I hope it can be helpful for a friend of for you to come back to when the time is right for you.

My intention in writing this short guide is not to tell you everything you need to know or to be a replacement for a pregnancy book.  I merely want to share with you what I’ve learned about pregnancy and myself over the past 9 months – one girlfriend to another.

Getting Pregnant

As you may have read (if not, you must here) my pregnancy was a surprise.  (Public service announcement, the rhythm method is not effective).  Jonathan and I were always planning on having kids, but I got pregnant a year earlier than expected.

This was seriously the best thing that could’ve ever happened.  So although the rhythm method is not effective (when I say rhythm method I mean that when I was ovulating, we used a condom) I HIGHLY recommend using it as a form of birth control for married couples who want to have kids someday. Here’s why:

1. Jonathan and I were perfectly content to use a condom until…we weren’t.  There came a time when my body was like “TIME FOR BABY!” and seriously tricked my brain into thinking I wasn’t ovulating (even though I clearly was).  Jonathan recalls feeling a similar primal instinct to just go for it, no matter what.  Bam, baby made.

2. I am the type of person who thought I needed to have everything totally planned and sorted out before I got pregnant.  I didn’t know how I would balance a baby and business, where we would live (we were, and still are, in a one bedroom apt) and if I was “ready” to be a Mom.  I tried for years to imagine how I would make the whole thing work to no avail.  But when I discovered I was pregnant, I got my two trusty biz advisors together, Nisha Moodley and Liz DiAlto, and we figured out exactly how I would run my business during my pregnancy and post-baby in just 10 minutes.  It’s like a new part of my brain was born and it just became so easy.  If I was waiting to go off birth control until I had all my ducks in a row, it never would’ve happened.

3. The lack of stress and pressure we felt to get pregnant I am convinced helped the process happen so easily.  You’ve heard how a lot of Moms get preggo after they adopt a baby…  stress plays a huge role in our fertility.

4. The surprise of finding out I was pregnant, was BEYOND.

2

The Plan

Pretty early on I think it’s good to figure out what kind of pregnancy, maternity leave and motherhood experience you want to have.  One thing I did plan ahead on is that I knew I had to support my own maternity leave, so over the course of a year I put 6 months of living and business expenses aside into a savings account.  When I got pregnant, I realized I wanted to have 2 months off before I got pregnant and 6 months after, so I opted to do Live More Weigh Less Mastery in the Fall of 2013, instead of the spring of 2014.  This was going to help me with the extra cushion I needed financially, provide the support my community needed and freed me up to be with my baby the months after he’s born.  Though I did run the program again, I didn’t get all fancy or create a new marketing plan.  I just had to trust that what I had built was already great, and just pressing play was ok.  LMWL this fall luckily was a HUGE success and such fun for me.

Now, I’ve had a lot of people tell me “you’re so lucky you get to take so much time off!”  Um, luck has nothing to do with it.  I try to remind the people in my life who want this flexibility that I deliberately chose, created and planned it this way.  If this is something you want, think it out, get creative, plan ahead.

I also had to make sure I pre-created the materials I needed for my business to run during my maternity leave.  For me this meant writing weekly blog posts through August, pre-planning the launch of LIVE FREE Sonoma and giving my business manager a little more training and a LOT more responsibility.

The First Trimester: Bread Wars

Now we can talk about the fun stuff… nausea.  I had night nausea that hit around 4 everyday for 3 months, but honestly, it really wasn’t that bad.  Overall I felt fine, perhaps a little hungover feeling (not from drinking) and tired, but I was in much better shape compared to most pregnant women.  When I started reading the more “holistic” pregnancy books they kept telling me to eat lots of greens, nuts, fruits and organic meat.  I am convinced these people were never pregnant.  There were only 3 things I could eat in my first trimester, bread, cheese and ice cream.  And I ate a lot of it.

Anything green made me want to puke, meat made me want to cry, nuts made me dry heave.  I’m not kidding.  Anyone who tries to tell you to be gluten and dairy free during your pregnancy is bat shit crazy.  For me, the first trimester is all about survival, and you just have to do what you can and eat what you want to.

3

Wine

The first thing I did when I got pregnant was do a ton of research on drinking wine.  Of course there is a ton of controversy around this (if you leave a ranty comment below I will delete it so please don’t, this is a space for women to make their own decisions and not a place for you to tell others how to behave).  What I decided was best for me was no wine during the first trimester and a small glass twice a week-ish for the rest of the pregnancy.  Most of the research actually reports that women who drink moderately during pregnancy have more social children.  This obviously has a lot more to do with the personality of the Mom, but I still decided that it didn’t have any adverse effects.  But make sure to do the research yourself and talk to your doctor.  “Expecting Better” is a great book if you’re interested in this.

Pregnancy books suck

This is a generally agreed upon sentiment.  I kind of found Deepak’s book for preggo ladies helpful, but please don’t read What to Expect When You’re expecting, it’s garbage.  I did love many books I read about labor, which I’ll get to later.  But overall I say avoid sushi and unpasteurized cheese and mostly go with your gut, listen to your body and take care of yourself.

Moving your body

When I got pregnant my “inner perfectionist” came out and convinced me that I was going to have the most toned legs, ass and arms while I was pregnant.  I went to Pop Physique (similar to bar method) twice a week for the first few months.  I usually felt like I was going to pass out, and after 2 months I had completely messed up my hip alignment, my butt was gripping constantly and I was super stiff.  The key with pregnancy and having an easy labor is that you want your hips and ass to be as open and supple as possible.  Jello butt as my yoga teacher calls it. So I tried dance, and all the jumping and tightening my buns had the same hip tightening effect.  Bummer.  As my masseuse put it, you have your whole life to have a tight ass, this is not the time.  So my butt got a little saggy and my legs a little lumpy, but I am so open and flexible it’s amazing! This baby is hopefully going to slip right out.

Instead, I went to pre-natal yoga and walked a lot.  Sometimes I lift wine bottles at home to tone my arms so carrying my baby will be easier.  I looooove pre-natal yoga.  It’s not the best “workout” but it is incredible preparation for birth and a fabulous way to meet other pregnant moms.  I go to Jane Austin’s and Brit Fohrman’s class at Yoga Tree in SF (all of this info is in the resources section at the end).  In most yoga classes you go around, introduce yourself and say how many weeks you are.  I wish all yoga classes did this!  Social yoga is so up my alley.

I started going around 14 weeks and I felt totally uncool because my belly wasn’t as big as the other ladies, and I was convinced they were going to think I was so lame for going when I wasn’t even showing.  Can you see how I play out the 5th grade playground in every situation?  I soon realized that I’m CRAZY and many women told me how great it was that I was there early.  It was also so amazing to be in a room of gorgeous pregnant women in all shapes and sizes, it made me feel more pregnant and connected to my baby when all I felt was bloated and nauseous.

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Live More Weigh More

I still don’t know how much I weigh or how much I’ve gained, I never looked at the scale or had the nurses tell me.  It says very clearly on my chart to not talk to me about it.  I told my midwife that if there was reason for concern, we could talk about it.  But it has never come up.

I have a friend who ate so much during her first pregnancy and gained 67 pounds.  For her second pregnancy she decided to reel it in and be more mindful, she said she ate completely differently.  She gained 67 pounds for her second pregnancy.

Your body is just going to do what she needs to do, leave her alone.  Now, that is not an invitation to eat only junk food.  What you eat does affect the health of your baby.  But, as always, I focused on eating what made me feel good.  In the first trimester, it was bread and ice cream (again survival), after 16 weeks I could add in some cooked greens, more whole grains and a LOT of soup and stews.  I really couldn’t eat cuts of meat until the last 2 months. I realized that I could eat a pint of ice cream a day if I wanted, but it made me feel really constipated, so I switched to a bowl of coconut ice cream most days, and ice cream once or twice a week.  This is what made me feel like my body was working the best.  Plus I could tell that the days I ate kale I had way more energy so it motivated me to eat it more.

The unexpected revelation about my relationship

One of the most surprising and hard things about being pregnant is realizing that the days of “just me and Jonathan” are ending.  Sure we’ll create space for us and go on plenty of dates, but we both know that it’s just not going to be the same, and it was incredibly sad for me.  I feel like a lot of people miss this grieving process, this letting go of the way we’ve been together for so many years.  Jonathan and I took a lot of time to process this, reflect on our relationship, celebrate it and talk about the future.  We of course know that things won’t be worse, but they will be different, and it’s important to recognize that.

Because of this we planned a last minute trip to Paris to really celebrate the ending of this “just the two of us” chapter.  We’ve also being paying special attention to going on lots of dates and having lots of snuggle time.  I will say that giving this huge change the attention it deserves makes it easier.

5

No longer the life of the party

Around month five, I had a week where I cried every day.  Poor Jonathan thought I was dying.  I felt so overwhelmed, depressed and paralyzed.  It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before.  My therapist was the one who pointed out to me that in one week I had my LIVE FREE Retreat, a surprise birthday extravaganza for Jonathan, leaving for Paris and running Live More Weigh Less Mastery all at the same time.  It was too much of a good thing.  Plus when I looked at my calendar I had a birthday party, bachelorette, wedding or family weekend every week until my due date in February.  Now, this is the way I had always lived my life, and I loved it.  I was filled up by being with my friends and family and celebrating others.  But once I got pregnant, I changed.  All of the sudden I realized that I felt like I needed to go to her birthday or else she would hate me, or if I don’t go, then she wouldn’t have enough people there.  There was all this pressure.  So I cancelled everything.  Almost everyone was understanding, some were not, but their disappointment was well worth the freedom I felt.

It was hard letting go of that identity I had, being the social one, the one who shows up for people, but I had to let go of that to make room for the future.  I don’t know what I’m stepping into yet, but I’m excited to see what unfolds.

I think it’s so important to tell your friends that you can’t commit to anything and if they want to make other plans they should feel free, or you can play it by ear.

Nesting.is.the.best.

I always thought that when I got pregnant we’d move to a bigger place with a yard.  However, I realized that the increased rent, moving stress and the risk of not feeling “at home” when the baby arrived was way more stressful than figuring out how to have a baby in our one bedroom apt.  At first, I felt so cramped and uninspired by my space.  I felt like I’d outgrown it and hated being here.

So I called on my dear friend and interior coach Rebecca McLoughlin.  Over the course of three sessions we threw out, donated or stored half of our belongings.  I can’t stress enough the magic of having a storage space.  We keep out of season clothes in there, ski’s, furniture that no longer fits but we wanted to keep, our christmas decorations… tons of stuff, for only $150 a month!  So worth it.  We went from feeling like we lived in a cramped dorm room to a palace.

Now here’s the key, you couldn’t see any of this extra stuff.  It was packed away in closets, under the bed and behind the couch. But the energy just seeped into the space and made it feel so yucky.  Now we have a half empty linen closet, a completely vacant kitchen cabinet and nothing under or behind any furniture.  All in all, lots of room for the baby and baby stuff to come in.

On top of that I “glammed” the place up by replacing a wall of messy photos and paintings with a huge gold framed mirror.  Bought a vintage Russian rug and pulled more blues and deep reds in instead of the bright colors we once had.  My living space now feels grown up and refined with just a few changes.

Now… the nursery.  We are very lucky to have a “stand-in” (not quite walk-in) closet with a window.  We bought a huge armoire from Ikea that we set up in our bedroom and then turned the closet into the nursery.  Hey, it’s bigger than my belly!

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Preparing for labor AKA being a Professional Pregnant Woman.

Preparing for labor was by far the most defining theme of my pregnancy.  I truly believe that there are some great things women can do to create an easier, more empowering labor.

Here’s all the stuff I did:

1. Monthly massages for 6 months, and then every other week for the last 3 months.  I bought a package from Tracey Stone at More Mojo which made frequent visits much more affordable.  She made sure my hips were lose, my belly in alignment and me just plan old relaxed and happy.

2. Prenatal yoga 2-3 times a week.

3. Acupuncture weekly the last 6 weeks with Rachael Webb of Lucent Alchelmy.  This helped align my energy and clear out any blocks or fears that may come up during the labor.  We worked on things like opening up my heart to love the baby and connect with him more, trusting him and strengthening my intuition. We analyzed my dreams, talked about my fears, visualized my future and connected with the being inside me.  It was amazing.

4. Hypno centered birthing with Rachel Yellin.  Rachel is the top dog of hypnobirthing in these parts and she is AMAZING.  The philosophy behind hypnobirthing is that when we are relaxed and understand that what is happening to us is normal, our body is stretchier and surges hurt less.  Think about it this way, when we are scared or in pain, we get into fight or flight and all the blood rushes to our arms and legs for a quick get away, and to our brains for quick thinking, and our bodies tense up.  When there’s not enough blood in our uterus, the muscles are less pliable and every surge is like falling on concrete.  Ouch.  But when we’re relaxed it’s like falling onto a trampoline.  Much less painful.

5. I hired an amazing doula, Sandra Lloyd.  A doula is there to teach you about labor and support you through the labor and the birth. Sandra has been by far the most important part of this whole process, I truly believe that regardless of where you are giving birth, whether it’s at home or in the hospital that you hire a doula.  Having someone around who’d been to hundreds of births makes you feel so much more at ease.  Plus, these days doctors are managing many laboring women at the same time so it’s nice to have someone there with you the whole time.

6. I made sure I had the “life support” I needed. I increased the frequency our housekeeper comes to clean and trained her to spruce up our home, fold my clothes nicely and just help me put things away.  Having help with my home is just invaluable.  I also signed up for an organic laundry and dry cleaning service that picks up and drops off our laundry at the same time every week.  The other incredible change I made was sign up for an account at the UPS store 3 blocks away to take all of our mail and packages.  I can’t tell you how often I was driving all over the city to our post office, the UPS store and FedEx to collect packages that I missed.  Now I can get my packages all in one place when it’s convenient for me.  My housekeeper is also on my account so she picks things up before she comes over.  Just doing these few small things makes my life flow so easily and will allow me to focus all of my energy on my little man when he comes without my home or life falling apart.

I hope this short guide was helpful for you!!  In the comments below I’d love to know if you have any questions for me on topics I didn’t cover and if YOU have any great tips for our community.

Sending you lots of love,

Sarah

7(2)

Resources

Books
Expecting Better
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives

Interior Life Designer
Rebecca Mcloughlin

Prenatal Yoga
Jane Austin’s Prenatal Yoga
Brit Fohrman Prenatal Yoga

Massage
Tracey Stone: More Mojo Massage

Acupuncture
Rachael Webb:  Lucent Alchemy

Hypnobirthing
Rachel Yellin

Doula
Sandra Lloyd

Pictures by Melanie Duerkopp

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We take pride in our positive community here, so please be respectful. Comments are moderated, so those that are deemed inappropriate, including general or self-promotional spam, untruths, offensive or harassing statements, or comments unrelated to the post will be deleted.

  • Haha you are so cute! I went for a raw vegan diet to yep you guessed it, bread, cheese and ice cream too in my first trimester with my first bub. Love it. You look incredible too.

  • *Gorgeous* photos Sarah.

    Love how willing you are to share your truth of pregnancy.

    I wish you a beautiful birth experience!

    xo
    Jess
    (a fellow b-schooler)

  • Hannah Watson

    Thank you so much for this! I’m 8 weeks pregnant (with my first) and so excited to read through, all your handy pregnancy tips. I remember seeing you on Instagram reading Mama Glow, so i purchased it recently and now i look forward to reading the other books you recommended.

    I noticed in that beautiful bikini pic of you the other day, that your perfect bump seems to be stretch mark free, are there any great products you used, to help with this? Also what are your pregnancy must have items, like comfy maternity clothes and nourishing products etc

    Thank you for being such a beautiful inspiration xx love Han

    • Sarah Jenks

      Hi Hannah! I think a lot of it is luck:) but I use pure vitamin E mixed with almond oil daily.

      For mat clothes, everyone is different but I got a ton of shirts, a few sweaters, 4 pairs of legging, 2 jeans and some army pants at pea in the pod, and then got a ton of cotton dresses at ASOS Maternity. Make sure you have cozy tights and flat boots too. And a maternity bathrobe!

  • Caitlin Gardan

    Loved reading this post Sarah. You look glowing and gorgeous! And your hubbie takes a good pic too. Congratulations on your impending bub and Bon Courage…not that you need it.

    Thank you once again for leading LMWL last year. Ah-mazing and life changing :)
    Xx

    • Sarah Jenks

      Youre so welcome my dear!!! It’s so great having you in this community. xx

  • Michelle

    This is a beautiful, thoughtful and helpful post. I’m done having my children but I wish I’d known some of this before and during my pregnancy. I learned some along the way but it would’ve been great to have a girlfriend like you to discuss pregnancy issues with. The pictures are amazing. You guys both look radiantly happy! Congratulations!!!

  • Tiffany

    This is such a beautiful post. Thank you Sarah for sharing your journey. For being honest, and true, and vulnerable. Conscious, intuitive pregnancy is a wonderful beginning to the parenting journey. As always, you rock!

  • Jess

    I am 12 weeks along so this was really helpful- thanks for all the advice! I have to second the surprise pregnancy thing… we would have waited 3 or 4 more years, with my body nudging me harder and harder, just feeling like we wouldn’t be able to afford a baby! You definitely need to have your back against the wall to properly brainstorm solutions in this case.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Congratulations!!! You’re going to love every minute of it.

  • Julie

    I’m 45 and chose not to have children but really loved reading your guide. Your journey is beautiful, insightful and filled with so much love (it’s literally jumping off my computer screen!!!). Your unborn child is so fortunate to be coming into a world with so much preparation and forethought. Regardless of whether I have had a child or not, your level of self-care and self-love warms every part of my being. Best wishes for a beautiful delivery! I can’t wait to hear about it!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Thank you so much Julie, your words mean so much to me:).

  • Casey Erin Wood

    So beautiful Sarah!

    I agree whole heartedly about the pregnancy books, trusting your body and its food cravings and learning to let and go and turn inward. I loved being pregnant and am so grateful for what it taught me about listening to my body.

    I also went ice cream crazy and continued my daily does well into the first few months after my daughter was born. And then one day the cravings went away… along with the baby weight. Its such a special time, I am so happy for you and grateful for your sharing.

    Wishing you every blessing as you prepare for your little love. xo

  • Tali

    I have no intention of becoming pregnant anytime soon, but i loved this post and makes me so excited for the day when i do want to and become pregnant :) :)))) thank you

  • Felicity

    Sarah I LOVED reading this post!! Especially your tips about getting the apartment baby-ready. I have read so many articles basically preaching raw veganism during pregnancy but it is so refreshing to read something so real. I feel genuinely uplifted instead of intimidated reading this and you’re so right about waiting…we wait too much, there is never a ‘right time’!
    Can’t wait to read more about your journey into motherhood, wishing you all the love and luck in the world for your delivery! xo

    • Sarah Jenks

      Thanks so much Felicity! So glad this was uplifting, that’s always my goal.

  • Meredith

    Sarah, I enjoy following you immensely. This is yet again another beautiful and inspirational post. Thank you for all you are giving the world. Xo, Meredith

  • Zuzana

    Thank you Sarah! This is a beautiful guide! I just gave birth to a baby boy 2 weeks ago and wish I had your advice a year ago. I was working way too much during pregnancy and ended up sick for the last 10 weeks.
    Grieving the “just the two of us” phase is so important. When my daughter was born 2 years ago, I didn’t realize how much my marriage would change. When it really hit me 2 months later, I felt like someone died. I kept sobbing for like 3 days, feeling a huge sense of grief. Date nights are super important :)

  • Sarah, thank you so much for such a valuable post. The information is priceless. And most importantly, so much love of a pregnant woman is felt within the lines! Fabulous. Wish you to meet your baby with ease, full heart and lots of love. You will be an amazing mom!

  • Dang it, Sarah! You are making me want to get pregnant TODAY. Uh,oh. Thanks for sharing! You look beautiful! Can’t wait to read about your next experiences.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for sharing, Sarah. You’re really quite the inspiration and you’ve become one of my role models. I love your honesty and your willingness to be yourself. You shine brightly. Congratulations!

  • I love these tips as I am thinking of having a baby soon. Can you tell me some tips for people that have a regular 9-5 job can plan for a baby? Like I can’t take 6 months off, I will lose my job. Would be nice. Also do you worry that having the baby will stop your momentum in your career? I am frightened of this alllll the time. I have a lot of good things happening for me and I don’t want them to stop for a baby.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Hi Sophia! Such a great question. I would really encourage you to talk to your employer and see if you can start working from home one day a week, and actually leaving at 5:). Def take the max leave and perhaps some vacation too. Remember is more about the quality of work you’re producing, not the number of hours youre putting in.

      In terms of losing momentum, I’ve thought about this a lot. For me the key is to be really clear on what I want. If I want to keep things going with work, I need to deliberately create systems to make sure that’s not taken away from me without me noticing. I am full believer in child care so you can have a life and be a well rested, happy mom. However, if you are feeling like you really rather be with your baby than work, there is NOTHING wrong with that, and losing momentum at work wont matter because you are living the life you want. I just urge you to really know what you want and make it happen.

      • Thank you soooo much for your reply Sarah! I really appreciate it and you have made a lot of good points! While I cannot afford your services I really believe in what you are doing and think your work is amazing and inspiring! I am very fortunate to have a mother in law that doesn’t work, so I know I will have lots of help. My own mother is also nearby. I see what you are saying, having a plan is key and makes it possible for you to powerfully move forward. My long range plan is to be able to do my food blogging, writing and photography FT at some point. So I made my own hours.

        Keep being awesome Sarah and I am so glad I met you!

  • I resonated with this all, as I was just recently pregnant and now have a two week old little boy, Luca. Greens disgusted me, and I craved all similar things. Thank you for sharing so boldly.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Luca! What a cute name. Sending you and him lots of hugs.

  • Ohmigosh, I am saving this for later! I read the whole thing of course, because your writing is so engaging and full of love. I know this is going to come in handy in the next few years. ;)

    You’re so gorgeous and I love all the photos of you and J. I feel like that mourning period of “just the two of you” is so important, and something I hadn’t considered. But it makes a lot of sense!

    Can’t wait to see your little one when the time comes! :)

    • Sarah Jenks

      Thank Nath!!! You are going to be the best Mom. So excited for you meet the little guy. Big hugs.

  • Monique

    I am so ecstatic that you are using Hypnobirthing & a doula. My Hypnobirthing experience was amazing. Just trust your body & the process. And if everything doesn’t go the way you visualized, a doula is invaluable at smoothing the transition. Can’t wait to hear your birthing story! Best wishes!!!

  • Beautiful post Sarah. Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom with an intuitive flare. I am not pregnant nor planning on becoming pregnant but I found the article to be so helpful and useful in everyday life. Loved the photos as well! Thank you for you :)

  • I loved this! although my baby is now 10 months, i look back onto my pregnancy with fondness. I loved being pregnant and this is actually a great resource and advice for mums-to-be :) Wishing you luck with the birth and beyond and can’t wait to see pics of your little man!

  • Such a beautiful post! I’m so excited for what’s about to happen in your life. Thanks for letting us all be part of it with you. I’ll be thinking of you. <3

  • Wonderful post, Sarah! And your maternity pics came out fabulously! Being just a few months behind you in my pregnancy this stuff is all spot-on and super helpful to me :) I have definitely made the commitment so far throughout my pregnancy to be more in-tune with my body and what it needs, and be more kind and gentle with myself in general as well- whether its with what I’m eating, how active I’m being, what I’m spending my time on, etc. I noticed that as soon as I push myself to do things that I think I “should” be doing, the whole next day I’m out of commission with that terrible “hungover” feeling. It’s amazing how much just listening to my body and needs has made me so incredibly happy and calm the last few months! One thing that I’ve been constantly struggling with lately though that I thought you might have some input to is regarding budgeting for baby. You mention in your post that you planned ahead of time and saved up money earlier in the year to cover your maternity leave – what I’ve been struggling with lately is the balance between wanting so save up money now to spend on baby and be able to live a one-income lifestyle if we decide that’s best for us after baby arrives, but also still wanting to enjoy dates/dinners out and other things that I know we won’t be able to do so much once he is here! I also noticed that many of the things that you did cost quite a bit of money…they all sound fabulous but any suggestions on ways to get some similar impacts without having to shell out all this extra dough?? Best wishes on the even more exciting events for you ahead!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Great question love!! Before I dive in, so proud of you for listening to your bod. Glad LMWL is paying off!

      In terms of money, I was actually surprised by how affordable my masseuse, hypno birthing classes, chiro, doula etc actually was. Many of them have sliding scales.

      For dates, we’re been actually staying in more bc Im pretty tired at night, so we’re cooking cozy dinners and lighting lots of candles, really cozy.

      For baby, I would just be really clear to your family what you really want off of your registry. We ended up getting a lot of clothes and not so much of the “gear” so we had to spend a lot of $$ on diaper pale, car seat, bottles etc.

      Unfortunately, i have no idea how much a baby is actually going to cost, but put some money aside just for him/her so you dont feel super stressed. I also believe that as a new mom, you’ll figure it out and get creative. There may be no real way to figure it out now. Trust yourself to be resourceful.

  • Sarah,

    I LOVE this post! I so wish I could have read something like this when I was pregnant with my twins. I had a hard time ‘giving myself permission’ to NOT read “What To Expect…” The first few chapters filled me with fear and dread and I just didn’t want that energy. I think it’s still hard for women to say no to things, and trust themselves and I wish this was easier. I said no to transferring 3 embryos during my IVF, I knew 2 would take (and here I am with boy/girls twins!); I said no to extensive testing; no to an amnio. And I’m not recommending this to other women-this was my journey-but throughout my pregnancy it was hard to follow my own voice. I wish it was easier! So thank you for this :-)

  • Sar,

    First off, I have always told you but you are just stunningly gorgeous. Second off, I have really loved watching your transition into motherhood. The softening and the ease that you’ve created around you is beautiful and I’m so glad that you shared this with us all.

    You’re amazing. xox

  • Congrats and good luck! I just turned 35 and I’m on the fence. I’m giving myself one more year to think about having a baby. Best to you both.

  • I had my precious boy 6 months ago. I LOVE what you said about deciding to stay in your one bedroom instead of dealing with the stress of moving and nesting in a new place. I WISH I had done the same. Our lease was up a month beofore baby was due and I decided to move, feeling like I needed more space…well baby came 5 weeks early (blessing in disguise because moving would have been SO hard on my pregnant body) AND after finally moving and getting his beautiful nursery set up, he still hasn’t slept even one night in there. He’s still next to our bed in his pack n play :)

    • Sarah Jenks

      hahaha! That’s so amazing. I love how perfectly things work out. xoxo

  • Claire

    I loved reading your post on pregnancy! I have recently been through everything you mentioned including the yoga, acupuncture and eating the ice cream! I totally agree with you about pregnancy books, they suck! Especially the ones that preach about routine, don’t read those they can be very stressful and you forget to enjoy your baby because they are not sleeping at exactly 7.10am! You look amazing and have that gorgeous pregnancy glow. All the best for the birth and enjoy falling in love with your bubba! X

  • Sarah,
    First off you are absolutely radiant and stunning-pregnant or not.:) I love your honesty and just how you share and make it REAL. You use your life to show that this isn’t about being born with a silver spoon or anything. It is intentional life creation and I love that! Thanks for the piece on red wine too because I’ve always wondered if you could and don’t think women in Europe swears off wine for 9 months ;)

    I had a question about the birth control method. I hope this isn’t too invasive. I’m not pregnant, but I wanted to look into natural family planning and heard about various methods like checking vaginal mucus daily (Billings Method), charting and trakcing your cycle and taking body temperature. I know when I get married I want some time before I have a baby, but I don’t know if I want to use condoms with my husband unless we really want to have sex when I’m ovulating. Did you use other natural family planning menthods (like all three above) besides just the rhythm method and did you still use condoms when you weren’t ovulating? I just want to ask an actual married woman because no one else talks about it! Thanks and beautiful blessings with your birth! You’re such a fierce mama already! xo :)

    • Sarah Jenks

      Hi love, great question! I just tracked my ovulation really carefully and paid attention to discharge. We only used condoms when I was ovulating. I had a copper IUD for a while and then took it out about 9 months before I got pregnant. I will just say that if you’re going to use this method, it’s good to know that you’d be really happy with a baby, because there’s a REALLY good chance you’ll get pregnant. Of course using condoms all the time is a lot more effective, but I agree that it can be a pain.

  • Also, was that the only form of birth control you’ve used? Thanks! xo :)

  • Maria

    FWIW, I followed the same wine plan as you, and my 7th grader is doing 9th grade algebra. :-)

    And I HATED the what to expect book – I called it the “horrible” books. There was a rant on Salon back when I was pregnant in 1999-2000 about the diet that book promotes, and its suggestion that the dad-to-be provide “loving guidance” about choosing baked over fried. Money line: “If my husband did that, I’d divorce him.” :D

    Have fun and enjoy the ride! It goes too fast.

  • Great post Sarah, thank you for such an authentic insight into pregnancy and your thoughts and experiences so far.
    You are the prettiest pregnant women, absolutely radiant!
    Wishing you all the best with your new baby boy!

  • Sarah,

    You are stunning, my dear. Simply stunning.

    Wow. All I could think of– “When I have a baby, I want to do it like this” — the serious amounts of self-love and self-care make me giggle with joy.

    I love how you delegated and outsourced where needed. If you ever did a course on this, I’d love to take it, because I love the life management aspect of your life. Lol.

    Anyway, you look lovely and you’ve inspired me for when that time comes… and for adding my love and care to my life now.

    With joy,
    Melodee

  • Amazing post – you had me in tears at one point ;-) Love you lots – best of wishes over the next few weeks! Can not wait to see pics of your little man xxx

  • Such a lovely post! I have to say, having battled my weight (and my body) my whole life, pregnancy was really rough for me. I topped 200 pounds and was extremely anxious that I wouldn’t be able to lose the weight.

    But pregnancy and labor are so weird and so educational in that your conscious mind is not in ANY tangible way in control of the result! Que cera, cera! And after I experienced a nearly textbook labor and delivery, I came away realizing that I actually could trust my body to do what it needed to do instead of getting in the way with all my THOUGHTS and ANXIETIES. :) That revelation was a huge help to me when it came to losing the baby weight.

    Best of luck to you! I can’t wait to read more about your experiences as a new mom.

  • Maria S

    Thank you for that great post!! I’m prego too and can def relate.
    Love your maternity style!! Where did you go for your maternity clothes bc I’ve been finding hard to find clothes that I feel good in!!

    • Sarah Jenks

      I go to pea in the pod and ASOS maternity. Great stuff.

  • Lori

    Beautiful post ….you are very fortunate to have the ability to take so much time off and hire so much help ..however , how can someone who is the major bread winner ( me) while my husband is in his PhD program possibly afford the time and the amount of help you are so fortunate to have ? I am due in 2 months and will be working until the end so that I can have a6 week leave from my pediatric medical practice ..I am sure many of us would appreciate how we can do, this . As a pediatrician I see so many moms and dads who have stressful careers with little help

    • Sarah Jenks

      Hi Lori! I too am the major bread winner and my husband is in residency, so I get where you are coming from. The key is to get clear on how much money you need to be comfortable and get creative with how you are going to make it. I believe that all people have the ability to make as much money as they please as long as they plan ahead, get clear and put in the work.

      There are many ways to think outside the box as a pediatrician, take some time and see what you can come up with. xoxo

  • I just couldn’t love you more. To say I am excited to meet your baby love would be an understatement. I am so happy for you and Jonathan, this is just the best thing ever. Love you Sar <3

    Nit

    • Sarah Jenks

      Love you Niti:). Youre going to be the best auntie ever.

  • Authentic words for pregnancy! Two words for after you have your precious boy: postpartum doula!!

  • Dawn

    You are a beautiful woman. I loved your blog. Your baby will get a kick out of everything you two have done to prepare for its arrival. Thank you for sharing. My babies are 45 and 40. Yes, they will always be your ” babies”
    Peace love and joy
    Dawn.

  • Alli Hackenberg

    Sarah,

    I’m pretty sure you were reading my mind! I have been wishing that you would write about your experience. First, your pictures are stunning. Your glow is shining through and Jonathan is so handsome :)
    I’m struggling to get pregnant and in the process feel as though I have become separate with my body. I’m frustrated and blaming my body rather than honing in on her and asking her what she needs. After reading your post, I am reminded to just “chill out” and let nature take its course.
    I have been readying everything and driving myself crazy! I can’t wait to read the books you have recommended and just re-connect with my body. I have always knew you came in to my life for a reason and you always seem to blog about something I am struggling with. You are the light at the end of my tunnel and can’t wait until the little man joins the world!

  • Holy cow, Sarah Jenks! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post…. Thank you!

    I am currently PARALYZED at the thought of losing the wonderful life I have with my man if we were to have a baby. I actually cried (at my desk at work…nice!) while reading “The unexpected revelation about my relationship” — that is exactly what is holding me back! Arg.

    So I appreciate your honesty as well as the book recommendations (and all the recommendations, really)!

    I wish you the best for this new phase in your life! xoxoxoxo
    -Christine

  • […] 05. Sarah Jenks on Pregnancy I’m not pregnant but I’m a follower of Sarah Jenks’ blog. In her latest entry, she tells the truth about being pregnant. I’ve read a lot of articles on what its like to be pregnant (another understatement.) This one might be one of my favourites. So honest. No unrealistic pregnant fluff. I want to read it again when I do have a lil bean in my belly someday. […]

  • Sarah! Congratulations!

    I am in awe as I read this because I feel like I could have written this post myself word for word.

    I had a baby in May and planned very much like you did. Had to save for my maternity leave, planned my online programs in a way that let me stay home and provided financial boosts when I needed it. Hypnobirthingm, yoga, the whole thing. We should be friends!

    Thanks for sharing this great post. I’ll be sharing it with others.
    xo,
    Robin

  • Sasha

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve been following you for a while and love your philosophy… coincidentally, I’m also pregnant right now (though only 17 weeks at the moment) and it’s great to read your experiences – so much resonates with me. “Surprise” pregnancy? Yup. Planning on bringing baby into a 1-bedroom flat at first? Yup. And I was the same way with exercise at the beginning – hell bent to stay in top shape, until I just didn’t have the energy for it anymore. So glad to read that someone else has come at it from the same place! You have a really positive outlook on everything and I totally agree that What You’re Expecting is a load of bollocks. There are so many other great resources out there, thank you for sharing yours. You should totally add pregnancy coaching to your professional toolkit once the baby has arrived, I have no doubt you’d be brilliant at it.

  • GREAT article!

    My pregnancy craving has been tonnes of donuts!

    Good luck for the final stretch.

    xx Denise

  • A friend forwarded me this link and I pretty much nodded my head through the entire thing. I’m 24 weeks pregnant. I’ve struggled with my changing body and not doing power vinyasa yoga anymore, I lived on carbs my first trimester and literally ran away screaming from chicken, and just generally have found this journey to be amazing, life-altering, and sometimes frustrating all at the same time. Thanks so much for sharing and for giving voice to what so many of us feel.

  • You are just absolutely glowing! Definitely some of the cutest pregnancy pictures that I have ever seen. I am not pregnant, nor thinking of becoming pregnant any time soon, but I was just sucked in by your story and so admire the way you let your body take control of this amazing journey. You, Sarah, are again absolutely inspiring. Congrats!

  • Oh my gosh! I saw this article on a friends FB page and now it’s bookmarked. I loved it! Thank you for sharing your experience. You’re hilarious and insightful!

  • Cathy

    Hi Sarah,

    Your pictures are lovely and I love all of the incredible information you just shared with us. I just wanted to also add that any Ina May book is an insanely helpful resource for any women on here looking for more conscious birthing and pregnancy books. Keeping you in mind during this amazing new journey.

    Love from LA,
    Cathy

  • Loved this post. Pinned for future reference :)

  • Hi Sarah,

    I’m a first time commenter (and mom) who is expecting a baby boy in about 6 weeks. I so enjoyed reading this and gave ya some “amens” on the way. I had NO appetite until about week 16, and have generally found pregnancy books to be awful. They either make everything a joke or scary, neither of which I was interested in. My husband and I have both really enjoyed “The Expectant Father” by Armin Brott and look forward to reading more in his series.

    Congratulations, and thank you for your honesty.

    Best,
    Laura

  • Hey Sarah…I love love love this post. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m in my last week of first trimestre n the nausea is getting better now. But man, how I have survived the last 11 weeks ! I even at times get the freaky thoughts of my weight going out of control ( already a dress size bigger)…even though I’m all in for loving n nourishing my body. Still having struggled with my weight n eating for more than a decade, similar beliefs are confronting me again, even though I thought I was over them ! Goodness, I thank u so much for this post ! I’m committed to let my body be, work on my beliefs n come out even stronger on adoring my body n this beautiful journey..
    Love
    Anu

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