Thanks so much for being here!! We have an incredible guest spotlight this week, welcome Britt Deitz!! I will let her introduce herself and tell you all about her inspiring journey to motherhood. The Empowerhood Podcast will be launching in just 2 weeks!! So exciting!! Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates and to be the first to hear these powerful interviews. Britt will be on the podcast as well!! Enjoy my friends!
Dear Empowerhood Reader,
I hope this finds you in good health and high spirits. My name is Brittaney Deitz. I am a 36-year old wife, first-time expecting mama, business owner, and full-time middle school teacher. In addition to my 14-year career in education, I am the founder and owner of Britt Deitz Fitness, an online workout platform that offers at-home livestream workouts and on demand classes, including indoor cycling (spin), body strength, HIIT, prenatal workouts, stretching and mobility.
I want to share a little about my personal story that has profoundly impacted my life and fitness — the journey of becoming pregnant for the first time. The past 7-8 months have been filled with incredible changes, challenges, and joys that have reinforced (and in some ways reshaped) my perspective on wellness, while also fostering a newfound strength and resilience. Join me as I reflect on this transformative experience and the lessons I’ve learned along the way so far.
My Journey to Motherhood
The miracle of creating life is an extraordinary gift and one which I will never take for granted. In September 2021, after 7 years of marriage, my husband Justin and I decided it was time for us to think about starting a family. Justin has a complicated health history which includes autoimmune disorders and after years of ongoing battles with chronic illness we thought we might be in a more manageable place to take care of an infant and begin raising a family.
There was a period of time where we didn’t see how we could possibly take care of a baby on top of all the treatments Justin was undergoing (and the reactions/recovery of the treatments was often crippling and exhausting). It finally seemed like having a baby was in the cards for us, and I couldn’t imagine not having this man as the father of my children (I always knew in my heart that he would be the best dad).
Although incredibly common in today’s society, I understood that I was considered advanced maternal age and getting a little bit of a late start since we hoped to have a big family. We decided that we would try to freeze embryos to preserve our options of becoming parents and expanding our family as we both grew older. I started IVF treatments in October 2022 and had my egg retrieval at the end of that month. The procedure went very well and I was elated to learn that they had successfully retrieved 19 eggs (which was more than I was expecting). The next day we learned that 12 of the eggs were good-enough quality to be injected with sperm. Out of those good eggs, 6 were successfully fertilized. This was not as many as we were hoping for since the risk of miscarriage after IVF is about as common as that of natural pregnancies, but we were still optimistic and content with the outcome.
We elected to have genetic testing done to increase the chances of selecting healthy embryos that would hopefully develop into healthy babies. The process of embryonic genetic testing took about 10 days and unfortunately we did not get the results we were hoping for at the end of it. I was crushed. I thought we were sending off six embryos to be tested, but I learned after the fact that only three made it to testing as the other three had degenerated. Two of the remaining embryos came back with genetic problems that would not make it to full term pregnancies. We are left with one that’s a mosaic embryo meaning that it carries both normal (euploid) and abnormal (aneuploid) cells. Because a mosaic embryo contains a portion of abnormal cells, there is a risk of miscarriage or abnormal birth; but there is also a chance it can develop into a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
Looking back, I actually felt great while taking the IVF meds. I continued with my regular workout routine, felt like I was taking such good care of my body and doing all the right things – prioritizing sleep and rest, eating a well-balanced diet, eliminated alcohol, practiced meditation and was in a great mental-emotional space. Since I had 19 eggs retrieved, I never would have imagined such undesirable results. Although I was deeply saddened, I held onto the faith that everything happens for a reason and maybe there was a different plan in the cards for me and my husband.
Immediately after going through IVF treatments and the egg retrieval, we tried to get pregnant naturally. I used a fertility tracker and took ovulation tests to help increase our chances. On December 2, 2022 I took a pregnancy test (well, two tests actually), and they were both positive! I was pregnant! I will never know if simply tracking my fertility was what led to my pregnancy, or if just finishing the IVF treatments had my ovaries and uterus charged up and ready for a baby. Either way, I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to be 36-years old and starting a family with my best friend and man of my dreams.
Embracing the Journey: How Pregnancy Has Changed My Life and Fitness
As I embark on the journey of motherhood, I’ve discovered a profound connection between my pregnancy and my overall well-being. From the moment I found out I was expecting, I realized the importance of taking care of myself, not only for my sake, but more importantly for the precious life growing inside me. Working out, consistent nutrition, and fitness used to be just for me. A time to relieve stress and clear my head, enjoy the union of movement and music, bond with my fitness community, build and maintain strength, boost my confidence and self-image, and enjoy the rush of endorphins. It was a time all about me and all for me. As soon as I conceived, fitness was no longer just about me.
It became about having a healthy pregnancy, preparing for a better labor, smoother delivery and quicker recovery. Research shows that infants whose mothers exercise during pregnancy are more resilient, develop stronger and better-conditioned cardiovascular systems, and more athletic hearts even before birth. Prenatal exercise has been proven to help a baby’s organ development and decrease their chances of developing chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease later on in life, while also boosting baby’s neuromotor skills helping them be more active later in life.
Every doctor and expert told me that I was safe to keep doing my workouts as usual, which I have continued to do, while also being mindful to make all the modifications I feel necessary to protect my growing baby and my pregnancy. In my 30 weeks of pregnancy, I have made a conscious effort to embrace the journey. Here are some of the ways that pregnancy has changed my life and fitness.
1. Embracing a Mindful Approach:
Pregnancy introduced me to a newfound sense of mindfulness. Listening to my body is a daily practice as I’ve become more attuned to its changing needs and respectful of its limitations. Each day, I prioritize self-care and make conscious decisions to nurture both my physical and mental health. Whether it’s incorporating gentler exercises, going for a walk outside, practicing meditation, indulging in a craving, resting or relaxing on the couch, this journey has taught me the art of being present and appreciating the miraculous transformation that’s happening within me.
2. Fitness reimagined:
My pregnancy has opened up a whole new world of fitness opportunities and exercises tailored specifically to expectant mothers (and really anyone who can benefit from a variety of exercise modification options). Engaging in prenatal-safe and -friendly workouts has not only helped me maintain my strength and flexibility, but also provided a safe and empowering environment to connect with other moms-to-be. The camaraderie and support I’ve gained from other current moms and mamas-to-be is a source of inspiration, encouragement, and motivation to keep going, stay active, and to make as many modifications as needed without judgment or comparison of “what I used to be able to do.”
3. Navigating challenges with grace:
Like any transformative journey, pregnancy presents its fair share of challenges. From morning sickness, to fatigue, to hormonal fluctuations, food aversions, aches and pains, swelling, and simply outgrowing clothes and feeling at a loss of what to wear, I’ve learned to practice navigating these obstacles with grace and resilience (two traits I will undoubtedly need in the future as a mother). I discovered the importance of self-compassion and giving myself permission to rest when needed, while also seeking the support of my husband, family, friends, and other amazing women in the mama community.
By opening up to others about my journey and obstacles, I’ve learned that I am truly not alone and that there are dozens of other mamas out there who are going through and experiencing the same things. By putting myself out there and being vulnerable, I’ve been able to make more authentic and deeper connections, gain insight, advice, useful recommendations, and overall feel much less lonely on this journey. Throughout pregnancy, I think it’s important to remember that setbacks are not failures, but rather opportunities for growth, learning, and adaptation.
A new perspective on nutrition:
Pregnancy propelled me into a world of heightened awareness when it comes to nutrition. I’ve always been intentional about the food choices I make, focusing on nourishing my body and trying to make nutrient-dense selections while also giving-in to occasional cravings. While pregnant, I’ve been trying to continue this pattern of consuming quality foods, and meeting proper hydration needs, to provide an optimal environment and nutrition for my baby’s development. Incorporating a well-balanced diet rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, and getting adequate vitamins and minerals is a priority.
I’ve never believed in restrictive diets, tracking meals, or calorie counting. I prefer to eat intuitively and mindfully, and I’ve actually loosened up even more so while pregnant because I’ve learned that while some of our cravings are hormonal, some are actually our body’s way of letting us know we may be deficient in something. My perspective is that if there was ever a time to listen to our body and give it what it’s asking for, pregnancy is it. This journey deepened my appreciation for the impact that food has on our overall well-being – physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
A new chapter in my life.
In embracing the transformative experience of pregnancy, my life and fitness have changed. It has been a profound journey of self-discovery, self-care, and embracing the miracle of life growing within me. Through mindfulness, prenatal fitness, resilience, and nutritional awareness, I have come to appreciate the power of this new chapter in my life. As I continue to nurture my body and prepare for the arrival of my little one, I am filled with gratitude for the incredible changes this journey has brought and the strength it has instilled in me.
I am excited to share more updates and insights as my journey unfolds on The Empowerhood Podcast. If you have any questions or are interested in adding intentional movement and the support of a community into your daily routine, contact me here and join my private Facebook group page. Want more free tips? Follow me on Instagram, sign up for my monthly newsletter email, and also check out all of the programs Britt Deitz Fitness has to offer.
Wishing you health, happiness, and strength,
What do you need in your life right now?
More inspiration? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Each week a mom shares an experience that changed or shaped them as a mom.
Check out last weeks blog a Q & A with mama Annie Hartigan.
Is your child still not sleeping through the night? Our customized sleep programs with change your life!
Inspired by Britt and ready to make healthy changes? Head over to our Health page to find all of the courses we offer.