Knocked-Up Fitness is very excited to introduce Brittany Barry to the Real Mom Blogs! At 33 weeks into her first pregnancy, Brittany candidly discusses the highs and lows of her pregnancy experience so far, and her thoughts going into the final weeks before she and her husband welcome their little one!
A: My name is Brittany Barry and I have lived my entire life in the South. I married my husband, Michael, about 3 years ago. We’ve gone through two deployments together and in December 2011 we moved to Arlington, Virginia. I love writing and am lucky enough to have found jobs where I can do this for a living. We are expecting our first baby in late December 2013.
Q: What has your pregnancy experience been so far?
A: To be honest, the first 12 weeks were very challenging. I had morning sickness 24/7 and definitely fell off the wagon when it came to eating healthy and working out. This was probably one of my biggest challenges since before my pregnancy I went from eating very clean and working out for at least an hour a day, to not being able to leave the bathroom for the majority of the day. On top of that, I experienced some serious depression (something I have never struggled with before) during this time. After the first trimester, things became much better. I have embraced being pregnant and truly cannot wait to welcome our new little boy into the world.
Q: What are you most excited about with this pregnancy? Most nervous?
A: I am so excited to meet our son. My husband and I keep talking about what we think he will look like or act like and it is such an exciting time for us. I am nervous about becoming a new parent though. To have such a little, helpless human being depend solely on you for protection and survival is amazing, yet terrifying at the same time.
Q: What are your favorite prenatal fitness activities?
A: I have a love-hate relationship with the Stairmaster currently, but I always feel like I conquered the world after my workout. I also love taking walks with my husband and our Jack Russell Terrier, Loki. I also enjoy my prenatal yoga class. It really helps me remember to relax and allows me to focus on my baby and myself.
Q: Any activities you’re finding more challenging or more enjoyable with this pregnancy?
A: I know that flexibility is supposed to increase with pregnancy, but I guess my body missed this memo! I also have to modify many weight lifting and stretching exercises since my growing baby bump seems to get in the way at times. I always try to stay within a pain-free range of motion in any exercise I do, and sometimes I have to tell myself that it is okay to go for a lighter weight or skip a certain exercise that I normally would be able to do.
Q: You said you have a dog as well, any plans to get him adjusted to the idea of a baby in the house?
A: Our dog is a bit different since she was abused and came from the local pound. She’s been with us for about five years now, and is one of the most lovable, friendliest dogs you could ever hope to own. We have been letting her sniff around in the nursery to get used to the fact that the room will no longer be off limits (the room was previously used as a junk/storage room). Once we bring home our new little one, we plan on slowly allowing her to get to know him through smelling his clothes and blanket and being able to approach him if he’s in the baby swing or playing with us on the floor.
Q: With an active duty husband, how are you finding time to stay involved with each other and have him involved with the pregnancy? Any tips or challenges?
A: We are both lucky enough that Michael has a non-deployable billet right now, meaning that unless there is a special circumstance, he most likely will not be deployed. However, he still has a hectic and non-traditional work schedule, so one of the ways that he has stayed involved with this pregnancy is by attending a Sunday birthing class with me. This allows us to just focus on the baby for a couple of hours and really take the time to communicate with each other and bond with baby.
For any other military spouses out there, I would suggest trying to do little things like either a birthing class when he is free, scheduling doctor’s visits around his schedule, or bringing him along to a prenatal exercise class. If he is deployed, look into mommy support groups on base. Other military spouses know what you are going through and there is no need to suffer through this emotional time alone! Another tip is that when my husband couldn’t attend ultrasounds, I videotaped them on my phone and emailed the video to him. While he couldn’t be there in person, I know these little videos allowed him to feel like he was still involved in the pregnancy.
Q: Do you have a birth plan?
A: We actually just finished our birth plan! I am going to try to get through the entire process without drugs and hopefully do most of the early laboring at home. For me this decision is mainly about being able to trust my body and being confident that as a woman, my body was naturally designed to do this. However, we also made the birth plan flexible in case an unexpected circumstance comes up and we need to adapt in order for our baby to be healthy and safe.
Q: Any baby gear you have to have or really want?
A: I had two must haves on my list: a jogging stroller and an Ergo baby carrier. I know that some of the first opportunities I will have to exercise after delivery will be walking with the baby and eventually slowly jogging with him. This is why the jogging stroller was a must have on my list. The Ergo carrier was also a necessity mainly because my husband really wants to be involved in holding our son. We talked a lot about baby wearing and my husband thinks it would be a great way for him to give me a bit of a break and interact with our new baby.
Q: What 3 words best describe the kind of mom you hope to be?
A: Patient, supportive, flexible
Q: Any pregnancy cravings?
A: I have been craving sushi for the entire pregnancy. This will probably be the first thing that I want to devour after giving birth.
Q: What is your favorite thing about pregnancy?
A: My favorite thing is feeling him kick. Once I was able to feel him kick and move, it all became so much more real for my husband and I. It reminds me that this miracle, this new life is growing inside of me and he will always be a part of our lives.
Q: On the flip side; your least favorite thing?
A: My least favorite things would have to be the nausea and the uncontrollable mood swings.
Q: What have you found most difficult to adjust to during pregnancy?
A: This may seem superficial, but the most difficult thing I’ve had to adjust to is my weight gain and growing baby bump. Before getting pregnant, I was training for a figure fitness competition, which meant I was spending two hours a day lifting weights and eating a bodybuilder type diet. I have always been thin and before becoming pregnant, I was honestly proud and happy with how my body was beginning to look. After getting pregnant, I realized that no amount of cardio or weightlifting would make this growing bump disappear. Even 33 weeks into my pregnancy, I have to remind myself that I am a beautiful woman, and that my bump is something to be proud of!
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I am so excited to chat and write about issues that many pregnant women are also experiencing! I cannot wait to hear from all of you about your stories and little bundles of joy.
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