Only one more day till the weekend! Woot woot! You’ve got this.

Josh and I are going to hit the road once again. We’ve been in travel mode crazy. This time we’re heading to to the beach! North Myrtle Beach to be exact. My family gets a house in the Cherry Grove area every summer. We haven’t been able to go for the past two summers, so I am very excited that it worked out for us to join this year. My parents and my sister and her whole crew will be down there with us. My best friend Leslie and her husband Jordan will be meeting us down there one night to go to dinner and cruise the boulevard.

Most of the houses are on the canal like this. Great for fishing, boating, and kayaking!

I remember in the past before Josh we would go to the beach and I’d be on a man hunt. I had my few summers of boy crazy. Something comes over teens when they go to Myrtle Beach and all the hormones come out. Being stuck with your family for a week doesn’t help.

Other than searching for boys, the second thing most on my mind was looking cute in my teeny bikini. Getting tan and looking skinny on the beach were the goals for the week.

Well, this beach trip will be very different for many reasons. A. I’m happily married. B. I’m a grown ass woman. C. I am very excited to spend time with my family. D. I’m 30 freakin weeks pregnant.

Let me repeat.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant.

I like to make jokes like we can do things like whale watch, oh wait that’s just me laying on the beach. But in all seriousness, this will be a weird experience. I’m not perfect. I still have negative thoughts about my body even though I know what an amazing thing pregnancy is. So I want to talk a little about finding love for your body during these nine months.

Body image has always been a “thing” for me. I’ve been honest about struggling with a past eating disorder. I knew getting pregnant would be a challenge for me. In fact, it was one of the reasons that was holding me back from the idea of having children. But I knew the second that was a real reason for me not to have kids, then I needed to have a reality check. And thankfully I did. But that is not to say that this has been easy.

Seeing your body transform before your own eyes can be disheartening. You may even feel like you don’t recognize yourself. That is kind of how I feel sometimes, especially in these later weeks. I almost “forget” I’m pregnant from time to time until I pass a mirror and about choke on whatever snack I’m eating at the moment.

Guys, I’m going on 30 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight. Walking is hard. Training clients seems like a joke. Sleeping isn’t the easiest anymore. I can hardly tie my shoes. Let’s not even talk about trying to shave my legs. It is frustrating. I’m use to being so active and eager to move. Now everything takes so much effort. I have to mentally gear myself up to do basic, everyday tasks. I’m rotating through the same handful of shirts everyday. None of my cute summer clothes fit. I can’t shop at any of my favorite stores, and no matter how good of a workout I manage to eek out I’m still gaining weight. My back hurts, I have to pee every 20 minutes, and cellulite has decided to pop up in places I’ve never seen it before.

Have I whined enough yet? Don’t worry, I’m making something positive out of this. Hear me out.

Through all these negative things I’ve had rolling around in my head, there is something beautiful about this time. People are nicer to you. You get sweet smiles from ladies in the grocery store. Men jump at the chance to get the door for you. No one is ever mad at a pregnant women! And let me tell you about those baby kicks. I could just watch my stomach roll around all day long. And you don’t hear anyone say that when they are not pregnant! Every time I feel her it reminds me that all of this is for a reason. There is an end goal to this; a healthy baby girl.

It is amazing what the human body can do. I am learning to appreciate my body in a way I never have before. This is one of the few things that only a woman can do. I am trying to change my complaints and turn them into thoughts of thankfulness. I am thankful that I can carry a child. I am thankful for all the amazing changes in my body even if I don’t love them. This extra layer of fat? I am thankful for it because it is cushioning the baby growing inside of me.

I am very aware that so many women would do anything to have a child and can’t. For every ache in my back, there is the ache in the heart of a couple who just found out they lost their child. I am so thankful that even though I abused my body with too little food and not enough nutrients for years, I still can carry a baby.

And guess what? All this is temporary. I am trying so hard to live in the moment during this time. I only have a few weeks left before I’m not pregnant anymore. I want to embrace these moments of feeling my baby move and knowing that she is wherever I go.

It’s strange because you take on this new identity. I AM a pregnant woman. And then bam, you go into labor, push a baby out, and you are no longer pregnant. I feel like it will take getting use to NOT being pregnant again. Weird, I know.

So where am I going with all of this? What is the goal of this post? Well, if you already have kids, maybe you can just agree with some of what I’m saying. If you are pregnant, you can probably get a lot of what I’m saying. And for those of you who don’t have kids, this is almost more for you.

Society tells us women that beauty is an expectation. Women have this “debt” to the world to be attractive. So if you are anything like me, you associated being pregnant with “getting fat”. Getting fat equals unattractive. Therefore pregnancy equals unattractive. So the act of bringing a new life in to this world is unattractive? NO TO ALL THIS.

Watch out, I’m really on my soapbox here.

What I am trying to say is that though I (and you) may not always feel beautiful during these 40 weeks, this is a beautiful thing. I am proud of myself for taking on this journey. And the journey does not end at birth, it just begins.

Of course I am looking forward to losing this weight and feeling mobile again. But I want to wake up every morning and appreciate this big curve of my belly, not secretly (or not so secretly) hate it.

So to all the mother’s who have gone before me and have already felt this surge of emotions and hormones that I am obviously experiencing, I understand it now.

To the women who hope to have kids in the future, you have such an amazing experience ahead of you. Don’t let any fear, worry, or hesitant thought about it stop you. It takes 9 months for a reason. You’ll never be fully “ready” to have a baby. You get ready by going through it.

Though it scares me to death, I can’t wait to meet this little girl. I can’t wait to love her more than I even know is possible sitting right here, right now. I can’t wait to hear her first cry. I can’t wait to hold her chubby little hand. And I can’t wait to take on this new role..being called mom.

Lots of love.