May 12, 2021

Steph Claire Smith’s Pregnancy Journey

I can’t begin to describe how incredible my pregnancy journey was. The whole experience was magical and I am genuinely so blown away by what the female body is capable of – like, there was a human being growing in me, my little Harvey is half me and half Josh – how incredible is that?!

Overall, I was really lucky to feel well enough to move my body throughout my entire pregnancy, and from the moment I found out through to the birth of my little man, I tried to keep active in some way shape or form.

I am so excited to be a mum, and honestly can’t describe how much I am loving this whole new world of motherhood! But first let’s rewind and start from the beginning…

Josh and I knew we wanted to start a family, so when we decided it was time to start trying, I was hyper aware of my cycle. In the days leading up to getting that positive test, I was super restless and could barely sleep. It felt as though I was on the verge of getting my period as I was cramping, feeling a bit bloated and ill in my belly and my boobs were really sore.

When I realised I was a few days past the due date of my period and couldn’t sleep I decided to take a test. I went to the spare bedroom so that I didn’t bother Josh, it was around 1am and he was also having trouble sleeping, but he had actually taken a sleeping tablet that night so he was completely out!

After peeing on the stick, the second line popped up so much quicker than I anticipated and I threw it in the sink and promised myself I’d wait the full three minutes until I checked it again. I had thought that maybe the second line comes up sometimes and then disappears. After three minutes I checked the test and the double lines were still there – I was in shock! Just wanting to be 100% sure, I jumped onto google and asked how common it was for a pregnancy test to be false. Turns out it can only really be wrong if it says you’re not pregnant when in fact you might be… But it’s almost impossible for them to say that you are pregnant if you’re not. The feeling of seeing those two lines appear on the stick was indescribable, I couldn’t wait to tell Josh.

Being my first pregnancy, I wasn’t sure what to expect and so when it came to exercise there was so much conflicting advice, especially online, so I decided to just speak to my obstetrician about it and she helped me feel quite confident in the exercises I was wanting to follow.

In my first trimester I was so lucky that I didn’t suffer from morning sickness, so my exercise routine remained pretty consistent. I kept KIC’ing it and walking with the odd modification here and there. I found that my heart rate was rising so much quicker than prior to being pregnant, so I limited the HIIT workouts and running as they made me feel a little light headed and quite out of breath. Another thing that I noticed was that all of a sudden I could not stomach salads! Rice, pasta and bread were my besties!

When it came to cravings and food, I don’t think one day went by where I didn’t crave Vegemite and cheese, either separately or together. I was also frequently craving dairy whether it be cheese, yoghurt or a glass of cow’s milk and I haven’t been able to get strawberry milkshakes off my mind. Actually, I found that a lot of my cravings were foods that I loved as a kid, from family favourite biscuits to porridge or icy poles and even jam on toast. I’ve been obsessed with the KIC Banana & Strawberry Smoothie, it’s so delicious and thankfully was a healthy way to help to cure my milkshake cravings! I’ve made sure that I kept a lot of nutritious foods in my diet throughout my entire pregnancy, but I’ve definitely allowed myself the odd Maccas cheeseburger when the random craving popped up!

In my second trimester I had so much energy, but my belly was growing, so not everything I was doing in the first trimester felt right anymore. I mainly stuck to KIC Pilates, yoga, upper body strength masterclasses and walking daily.

Then in the third trimester my routine changed again! I started Physio, working with Ashleigh Mason who is one of the amazing experts behind KICBUMP. I was doing 2-3 Pilates flows a week up until about the 35 week mark, and short strolls everyday, then dropped down to 1-2 Pilates flows a week, and short strolls when I felt up to it later on.

The feeling of not being able to move my body as freely as I once could in my third trimester was definitely the hardest part of my pregnancy. I missed the feeling of challenging and pushing myself in an intense workout! But I kept reminding myself that my body was in a challenge of its own – it was working really hard to create a little human! Nevertheless, I was so fortunate to have been able to move my body on the journey – even if it wasn’t the same as what it was before, I know a lot of people don’t feel up to moving at all!!

My biggest piece of advice to women who are worried about exercise during pregnancy would be to find comfort and confidence by getting advice from your own trusted health professionals and don’t go to Dr Google! Start with guided exercises, whether it be in person or online, having an expert with you every step of the way will boost your confidence. One-on-one prenatal Pilates classes can be expensive, so if you’re looking for an affordable option, I highly recommend giving KICBUMP a go! I love that our Pilates instructor, Christina Traychevska is also pregnant, so you’re literally working out with another mama by your side. At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else. If something doesn’t feel right, stop!

Steph Claire Smith