Shalisa Pouw on Letting Go of Expectations
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the Executive Producer for DiningOut Events in Denver, CO. We produce large festivals (mostly food focused) in Denver and a few other cities. Outside of my day job, I am a fitness fanatic, and I teach classes at Pure Barre and Rush Cycle. As a former fitness studio owner, I also spend a lot of time supporting, connecting, and mentoring fellow female business owners! Now that I am pregnant, I have been sharing my journey and fitness routines. You can follow me on Instagram at @shalisa_p.
My husband, Jeff, and I were married in September of last year, and found out we were expecting our first baby boy at the end of October!
What brought you to where you are now? Bring us along from the beginning.
Well, I'm 37 and having my first baby, so I guess you could say a lot of things have led to where I am now! I always knew that I wanted to be a mom, but also knew that it was important to me to wait for the right situation. I was married in 2011 and quickly found out that, while my ex was great, I couldn't see myself continuing a life or starting a family with him. After leaving that marriage, I spent a lot of time soul searching and working on myself, and I think it led me to where I am now!
Tell us about your partner. What made you want to start or grow a family together?
I met my husband randomly in 2005 at a job interview! He was opening a hotel/club, and I was looking for a part-time position. He also happened to be dating a friend of mine at the time, so we became friends. 11 years later, we ended up reconnecting and going out to dinner...and the rest is history! I always knew that Jeff was an amazing human. He is the type of guy that everyone considers their best friend. He's smart, driven, compassionate, and caring, and he is always the first to help out a friend in times of need. Because we had known each other for so long, things moved pretty quickly once we started dating. I never doubted that he would be an amazing husband and father, and now I'm so excited to watch it happen!
What was your journey to parenthood like?
I had a lot of fears that my journey to parenthood would be a long one. I am 37 and my husband is 50, so we weren't sure what the process would look like for us. A friend who recently got pregnant gave me some of her leftover ovulation test strips after our wedding, so we decided to start trying and see what happened. Crazy enough, it only took one try and I was pregnant! We feel so lucky to have been able to conceive and to have a healthy pregnancy so far.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start your family?
We had just gotten married!
How did you care for yourself while trying to conceive?
Being a fitness professional, I generally try and take good care of myself. I eat well, and I workout on a regular basis, which I think has helped me conceive and stay healthy during my pregnancy. Because we were able to get pregnant on the first try, I didn't spend very much time thinking about how caring for myself would affect the process.
How did you care for your body while pregnant?
I have found that movement makes me feel better, so working out has been a big part of my pregnancy. Even when I was feeling tired and nauseous in my first trimester, 20-30 minutes of movement always brought me back to life. I am in my second trimester now and have been able to keep up with my Pure Barre workouts, teaching spin, and working out with a trainer once a week. I am hoping to continue as long as my body (and my belly) allow me to!
I've been eating fairly healthy and have added in protein smoothies with lots of greens to make sure I'm getting everything I need. I am definitely letting myself indulge when the urge presents itself, and donuts are my weakness :)
Lastly, I've been dry brushing every day, something I did pre-pregnancy as well, but have added in a bio-oil for my belly. It's great for circulation and keeping my skin exfoliated; I highly recommend!
What experiences shaped your understanding of conception and pregnancy?
I think hearing stories from my friends and family has really shaped my views on conception and pregnancy. Each person has such a unique and special story, with different ups and downs, and I think sharing stories helps new and expectant moms prepare for the unknown.
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant. We'd love details!
Two weeks after our first try at conception, before I even missed my period, I had a feeling that things were off. I wasn't sure what it was, but I decided to take a pregnancy test just to see. I didn't tell my husband, because I really didn't think I would be able to find out that early, but after two tests the answer was pretty clear!
What have you learned as a result of trying to get pregnant and/or being pregnant?
I've learned that everyone's journey is so different, and the most important thing you can do for someone who is pregnant or is trying to conceive is to be thoughtful about your words. It is such an emotional time in a woman's life, and it's easy for people who aren't going through it to say the wrong things, even when they are coming from a good place!
I've also learned that, while it's really tough, I can't give in to the pressure I put on myself—or that I feel from peers or social media—to look or act or feel a certain way. The more I listen to my body and do what I feel is best, the better this pregnancy becomes!
What's your wish for women who are trying to conceive?
My wish is that they allow themselves and their bodies some grace. Through hearing about some of my close friends' experiences, the best thing you can do is to let go of your expectations and stress, no matter what the end result.