There’s a lot of hype around 2020. I get it. 2020 hasn’t been ideal – even for those of us who haven’t been impacted by the effects in a damning way (as in substantial income loss, death, or other misfortune). No matter what, we’ve all felt it. My family and extended family has felt it. People have experienced sickness, death, loss, anxiety, canceled plans, and the list goes on. Also, we’ll never forget the turmoil and hurt our nation, and people as a whole have felt in 2020. I’ve tried hard in 2020 to empathize with that… it’s taught me to put myself “in other peoples shoes” and be more willing to listen, all the while, not putting up with the things that don’t produce good or peace in my own life.

But as I type this, I hope that maybe it inspires you to see that there is still time for 2020 to be GOOD (even if it’s for just one or two things to work out in your favor).

2020 made me slow down A LOT. For a start, I had several big competitions that were canceled, all while feeling MY BEST. Like some, I questioned my place and identity. Despite Daniel working at a hospital and feeling the weight of the pandemic there.. I think it made him slow down some too. We both agree that 2020 has been the best year we’ve ever had in our almost 10 years of marriage – even despite a little bit of uncertainty at times. Throughout the spring and into summer, we spent more time together. We even worked out together a good bit in our back yard! This is BIG for us πŸ™‚ We walked more in our neighborhood. We walked ALL THE TIME. We ate more ice cream and tacos (literally less than a mile walk from our downtown home πŸ™‚ We made memories we’ll never forget. We dreamed about having a child (hopefully sooner than later – through adoption). I was already praying that the mom would be from this area and that she would even let me come to some of her doctor appointments with her and really get to experience this pregnancy alongside her (all the while knowing it is her right to not want to have anything to do with me too…)

Early this year, we started the adoption process. We were SO PUMPED about it – even all the paperwork, and home study, and the insecurities of would anyone in their right mind want US to be their child’s parents?!?! HA. I’ve shared this before, but adoption was a FIRST choice for us – not a consolation for not being able to get pregnant. We were both told last year that we are perfectly healthy humans and nothing was wrong to make us not be able to get pregnant… for some people, it just takes longer. We both never felt right (FOR US) about fertility treatment or in vitro, or any other option. We just knew we wanted to be parents, so why not adopt?

We learned a lot, and we were so glad when we finally were off the waiting list and getting to actively pursue this dream of our’s to become parents. At the end of August/beginning of September, we were already receiving “situations” where we were presented with a mom who is pregnant, and her story, and why she is contemplating adoption for her baby. I wanted to be matched with the very first one we were presented with.

In the middle of September, I felt “a little off” – like more off than usual. Haha. Ever since my competitions were canceled, I quit working out as hard. I worked out once a day, and I did personal training and coaching in the afternoon. However, my body felt like I was running it into the ground. I felt a little extra anxious. I wasn’t sleeping very well, yet I was always tired. I took it as I was overworking myself and putting too much pressure on myself as a coach and that I needed to let go of some clients. Over the summer and leading into September, I think I had 18-20 remote clients at this time (doing some sort of program). I let that fizzle out, and by September, I was feeling like I could breathe again.

I wear a recovery band that you’ve probably all heard of by now (they are taking over!) WHOOP. My RHR was so much higher, and my HRV (heart rate variability) was a good bit lower. If I wasn’t in the red in whoop, I was in the low yellow. Who knew the initial stage of growing a child would be that taxing to make your body respond like that??! I even tried calling my general/family doc a couple of times, but could never get through to make an appointment.

At the very beginning of October, I was feeling off in workouts – like my HR would jump SO HIGH so FAST. I was about to do a competition with my friend Colin, and the programming was pretty tough. We ran through a workout (that I LOVED) and I seriously thought I was about to throw up on the GHD Situps. And I LOVE GHD Situps. Give me 100 of them for time (not now, but ya know…) The next day, I felt the same doing burpee box jump overs and these tricky double kettlebell front squats (that were pretty heavy and uncomfortable). SO, I went and bought a pregnancy test. We needed broccoli anyway, so I figured why not? I also bought some animal crackers (publix brand) because it was like I HAD to have them.

I had been listening to this song all day. It’s called “Good Grace” by Hillsong United. I got my lunch started and went to the bathroom to take the test. The song was playing on my phone.

The lyrics to the chorus go like this:

Don’t let your heart be troubled
Hold your head up high
Don’t fear no evil
Fix your eyes on this one truth
God is madly in love with you
Take courage
Hold on
Be strong
Remember where our help comes from

Anyway – that song is really special to me. Anddd it was a good change up from Cardi B or Beyonce (although I love them too).

I took the test and honestly, I kinda forgot I even took it. I learned a long time ago to not get my hopes up over these things, and just treat it as a formality. Welllllllll, after scrolling through instagram for 5 minutes, I remembered to look over, and I see a very dark + sign. Ive never seen that before (even on an ovulation test) so I studied it so hard. I was so confused and taken back. All I could say over and over again was “WHOA”…so that is what I have nicknamed our baby for now – at least until we find out if it’s a girl or a boy.

I was in shock. This is NOT cute or romantic at all (sorry Daniel) but I called him at work and just told him. I wish I had a cuter way of telling him, but to me, I had just witnessed a miracle, and I was in shock.This was one of those clear blue double packs, so I took the other one when I had to pee again. And bam. This is one of the ones that flashes and then says “pregnant” on it. Well, there it was – “PREGNANT.” I couldn’t believe it. I told Daniel, and then I called my doc office. I was thinking they could get me in like that day or something πŸ™‚ HA, I had to wait a few weeks (which makes sense now).

I sent my doctor a text to tell her I called her office. She walked through some fertility and hormone testing with me the year before, so I knew she’d love to hear this news. She told me to take a prenatal vitamin, which I’m glad she did, because I didn’t even think about that.

I was a little anxious about being pregnant in those first couple of months, and it was hard to believe I actually was, until I got to see our little miracle via ultrasound. I literally took a pregnancy test every day leading up to that appointment (as if the nausea and feeling exhausted wasn’t enough to confirm that I was pregnant). I was so thankful to see that little baby and see the super fast heart beat, and I’m so glad Daniel was there to see it with me (some places won’t let the partner come with because of covid). That was almost 4 weeks ago, and we still just can’t believe it. I haven’t taken a test since then by the way. πŸ™‚

It’s been so amazing watching my body change and grow. I’ve had to tell myself to not compare to anyone else. I love it when people say “I am showing.” Although I tell them it is probably actually more like food and bloat. I’m bloated all the time. I like having a belly. (Quote me on that 5 months from now!).

Working out has been TOUGH to say the least. I’ve NEVER not been motivated to work out. Literally. I’ve always been the girl you have to force out of the gym. As a coach, I’ve always had a tough time understanding why others aren’t motivated… and let’s just say that now I can sympathize. However, as slow and as much less volume I have done over the past couple of months, I’ve never regretted moving during this time. It’s made me feel better actually! I try to do SOMETHING 6 days a week. Some days this may look like a run (my running is a lot slower these days) or a quick 30 minute workout in the gym, or I try and drag it out and just enjoy the company.

I actually feel decent in the morning, so if I don’t get it in then, it’s tough to make it happen. I’ve been working out at ECFC several times a week after I coach the 8:30 class. Other days I’ll get in something quick before I coach at ECMMA (but working out alone is now super unmotivating to me). Some days I enjoy the weather and go for a jog. I’ve just been modifying the workouts as needed. I can still do mostly everything (except GHD situps, HSPU feel weird, and butterfly pullups have been weird, so I started kipping pullups again). Everything is just A LOT slower – with some forced rest time, some time spent looking at my heart rate on my watch, and just feeling the effects of being a good 7-8 lb heavier now + constant pressure on my uterus. I am not lifting super heavy. If it starts to break down, I just stop. For example, today we were doing some hang power snatch singles. I got to a weight that I was hitting, but it didn’t feel smooth anymore, so I stopped and did some light overhead squats. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE PARTER WORKOUTS RIGHT NOW, SO HIT ME UP IF YOU’VE GOT ONE AND YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO IS A LITTLE FIT BUT 12 WEEKS PREGNANT TO COME DO IT WITH YOU. Partner workouts make working out fun for me and there is usually some built in rest. This is why I loved working out with my friend Jen at the Factory Frenzy All Girls comp this past weekend. There was a good bit of rest every workout (except the ass bike deadlift workout, and I just did what I could there without pushing it too hard).

I am stoked to say that I am meeting with a PT this weekend in Greenville – Jess Gingerich – who is really sweet and hopefully can help me during the pregnancy and post partum.

I get pretty nauseous and tired in the afternoon, which has made coaching multiple classes back to back, M-F, tough at times. But everyone at ECMMA has been really patient with me. I’ve tried to bring my best effort. I am looking forward to hopefully not feeling as crappy in the afternoon in this second trimester so I can make sure I am giving all of you my best.

I have been trying to get ALL the nutrients in when I can. I posted yesterday about wanting burgers and fries and pizza and frozen food. This is very true. But I’m thankful that I’ve had at least two meals a day that are in my old norm. I’ve just been more about eating out in the middle of the week – which is so unlike me. In fact, I am thinking chipotle is for dinner tonight, now that I type this. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was wanting all the PB&J sandwiches, which is odd for me. I remember at that Crash comp, I probably had like 8 the whole weekend. Eating one just brought me life. Soon after that (Middle of October) I was wanting all the fried food and burgers. And after eating an entire meal, I’d still be hungry. Daniel keeps reminding me that I’ve always been this way. Ha, maybe he is right. I’ve always wanted ALL THE FOOD – but it was 90% of the time home cooked and mostly vegetables and lean protein and rice, oatmeal, potatoes – things of that sort — NOT buffalo chicken sandwiches and fries from Sullivans. I’ve been giving my body what it’s asking for, and I know I’ve put on a good bit of fat on these bones, or muscles. I am proud of that. Those cravings have decreased a little, and I am wanting my old way of eating more and more.

Telling our family was an experience!!! We had these wonderful Adoption Profile books made by a company called Kindred and Co. These books are given to moms who are contemplating adoption. They get to look into our story and life and choose to maybe be matched with us. We were so proud to give these to our family in Savannah a few weeks ago. We let them flip through a couple of pages, and then there was an envelope that said “plans change” with an ultrasound pic in there.

Thank you to everyone for all the love and support. We know that there was a reason we went through this adoption process, and we don’t think our story is over there. I had a friend text me last week and said that this pregnancy is God’s “immeasurably more” (eph. 3:20) for our life. I hadn’t thought of it that way. It’s like we saw our life going one way, and it was GOOD. And this happened, and it’s even BETTER than we could have hoped for – FOR US personally. It’s cool that everyone’s “immeasurably more” may look a little different. For some, that is having the opportunity to foster or adopt a child. For others, it may look like YEARS of trying to get pregnant, even spending thousands of $$$, and it finally happens WAY down the road. If you are in a tough place when it comes to this, I hope and pray that you know that your “immeasurably more” (whatever that looks like for your family) will happen one day. AND if you’re like us, it may not look like how you envisioned it would. Keep your eyes open to all that God may be doing in your life in the midst of this crazy year. And if you look back, even in the “worst” parts of 2020, I hope you can find some good that came from it.