By Megan Smiley, Jul 23 2019 08:41AM

If you've read some of my blog posts before you'll have heard me going on about how amazing I think the body is. From the way we can physically train and develop it, to the power of our minds and the way it can heal and rebuild itself. Well, I'm in a new state of awe with the human, or should I say, the female body as I am now 20 weeks pregnant.

I find it both amazingly mind boggling and also the most naturally instinctive thing my body has ever done. Now I'm not saying I'm naturally amazing at being pregnant. There have been very few perfect pregnancy moments or moments worthy of Instagram posts over the past few months. And anyone who knew and asked me how I was in the first trimester would know that was the case. I very much did not enjoy that stage and the only way I could deal with the constant nausea was to constantly eat. In a normal situation, constantly eating but with a valid reason sounds right up my street. However in this situation it was a necessity and not a pleasure, and possibly for the first time in my life I stopped enjoying food.

What I'm talking about by being instinctive is the anatomical and physiological changes your body makes, and these are absolutely fascinating and remarkable. From the heightened sense of smell to help you avoid gone off/bad food, to the production of a hormone called relaxin that loosens your ligaments and joints in preparation for labour, to the expansion of the ribcage to accommodate the growing baby taking up space in the abdomen. There are so many more too: changes affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine systems, so basically everything! A lot of these changes are subtle and gradual, and some people might experience or notice some more than others. But the bottom line is the body is such a clever bit of kit!

There are also psychological changes. I'm in full nesting mood with most weeks a bag of bits going down to the charity shop and a new bag of baby bits coming in, thanks to the donations from friends who are “definitely not having another one”! The joys of being a geriatric mother – not my words but the words of the medical world what with the fact that I'm over 35 - are that lots of my friends have done the baby thing already and got lots of stuff to pass on. Also, I'm trying to finish any on-going house projects, doing any house maintenance required and sorting the (still over-grown) garden.

Someone recently told me that once the baby arrives life will never be the same. They didn't say it in either a positive or negative way, just matter of factly. But for me the changes have already been happening for the past five months, and they might in many ways be less impactful changes than we have ahead of us. All the same I am very aware how my body and mind have been processing and adapting for the impending arrival.

By Megan Smiley, Feb 18 2019 07:03PM

One month post op photo
One month post op photo

The body works so hard to keep us functioning at an optimum level and it gets thrown so much at it that it has to deal with and fix. Be it what we put into it: inadequate nutrition in terms of too much or too little, or a lack of good food sources or too much of the bad stuff. Then there's alcohol, painkillers and numerous chemicals and toxins.

The body also has to deal with what we put it through: not enough sleep, too much stress, not enough movement/exercise and so much more, plus any injuries and health issues it needs to combat and try to heal. It may not always be able to overcome these things so we should all try and give it a helping hand rather than fighting against it!

It’s just over a month ago I had surgery on my foot. It wasn’t major surgery like the two operations I’d had previously on it. It was to remove all the metal that had been put in before. However, it did involve making a couple of sizeable incisions on my foot to get the metal out, a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital.

So over the last month I’ve been trying to give my body a helping hand by looking after it as much as possible: eating a wide variety of food that is full of nutrition needed for healing (lots of fruit, veg, dairy, nuts, fish and meat) and the right amount, the body needs enough fuel to heal, taking vitamin D supplements what with it being winter and living in the west of Scotland(!), keeping active but not over doing it, and finding time to relax and getting enough sleep. My Mum has been telling me to be more slobby!

My foot is feeling pretty good considering that it's been bashed about for the umpteenth time, and no one's actually sure what's going on with it, hence having the metal out so I can have an MRI and see what's actually going on in there. So l apologise to anyone how doesn't like photos of a slightly gruesome nature or of feet, but I wanted to include the above photo (this is one month post op) to demonstrate how amazing the body is at healing and helping you. So please show it some love in return!