Hi, I’m Natalie, the co-founder, President, and Research Director of Be the Change Group and a family physician. Here’s my first crack at being vulnerable and putting something personal out there…
Maybe you know, maybe you don’t know, but I’m pregnant.
And, along with the anticipation, joy, and love I’m feeling for growing my family, I’ve got some mixed feelings too.
I know this isn’t unique to me. But, at the same time, as a doctor, I’m in a fortunate position to understand what’s happening to me and my body. I’m also in an equally unfortunate position of understanding exactly what’s happening to me and my body. All the changes. All the challenges. All the things that aren’t so warm and fuzzy. And that makes me feel vulnerable, because, at times, my professional perspective impedes my ability to simply experience pregnancy as a woman and a mother-to-be.
Pregnancy has long been a scary thought for me, both in terms of the life changes and physical changes it brings. So much so that I’ve never really zeroed in on the perfect time to get pregnant. (I know, I know, there is never a perfect time to get pregnant.)
But here I am, over halfway there, and experiencing everything I’ve learned so much about in my profession, including:
- The reshaping of my body by a force outside my control
- Decreasing from 100 miles an hour to 60, then 50, then 40, 30, 20…
- Doing high-intensity interval training with a lot more intervals than intensity
- Feeling the frustration of fatigue that appears out of nowhere, unwelcome and unannounced
Some of these changes aren’t permanent, and I know that, even if they are, they’re just a part of something bigger.
I know that.
But that doesn’t make it easy. I loved my body the way that it was, and I loved the strength I carried in it all the time. And now, even with my professional expertise, along with all the support and guidance from women who have been there, I worry.
Can I come back?
Can I come back all the way?
How long will it take?
And what will that journey look like?
I’m a doctor, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m an expecting mother. I’m also a 35-year-old woman, undergoing one of the most intense experiences of my life. I deliberated about sharing my thoughts—particularly here—but I think it would be weird not to. It’s a huge part of who I am, including in my professional life, and I think it’s worth discussing.