Becoming more frequent are the moments I feel like this:
But it’s not that bad, I can still see my toes…when I lean forward a little.
Today I’ve been limping around with sore quads and groin from yesterday’s prenatal yoga class, and a bruised knee from moving a piano. (Oh don’t worry, a smaller electric piano, but with sharp edges.)
It feels as though my belly grew an entire centimeter, its weekly “quota”, in one day and lately the baby has been sitting low. Yesterday I felt several punches (a guess) to my cervix and for most of today, the head (another guess) has been pressing against my bladder and I’ve felt like peeing all day.
Despite these discomforts, I went for a slow jog. I thought about not going, with my legs making low grumbles about rest. But they didn’t plea enough to stop me. It had been a few days since my last run and frankly, I was worried that if I didn’t get out today, the next time would be hard enough to discourage any more running for the rest of my pregnancy.
And that’s how it goes on. I consider that I might reach a point where running or riding my bike is too hard. But secretly hope that I’m able to keep these activities up until the day I go into labour. I’ve heard it’s possible…
It’s great to live in an age where many forms of exercise are known to be safe during pregnancy and in fact, encouraged. Even so, there are limits. Your body is going through a massive change and one way or another, your capabilities and the way you exercise will change too. It’s been a huge learning experience dealing with these changes, listening to my body and understanding my limits.
Or “negotiating” them as I sometimes think of it. Which discomforts and pains are okay? Which are not? When might exercise give me a boost of energy and mood? When is my body begging me to conserve energy for a baby growth spurt?
Pressure on the bladder, ligament pains, oddly shifting core muscles, shortness of breath, sore ankles, indigestion and heartburn, loosening joints, and more… These discomforts are caused by your increasing oxygen intake and blood supply, the extra pounds, a uterus expanding into the once roomy quarters of many other organs, and the relaxin hormone that “relaxes” your ligaments, musculoskeletal system, digestive track, and arteries so that your body’s flexible enough to do all its baby-making magic. Luckily, it doesn’t happen all at once. There are good days and bad days, as well as a different “phases” throughout the pregnancy.
Given all the above, and topping it off with morning sickness, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and a whole slew of other crap going on, I can totally understand how someone might completely retire from an exercise routine while pregnant. Heck, this week I noticed a cobweb spun off my road bike. And while contemplating a winter ski trip in the fall, in the end I decided ‘no’. The risk of an accident given my marginal skills and the consequence of injury were too high. A broken leg and this huge belly? Um, no thank you.
So while I hope that doctors, midwives, books, blogs, and all the other advice givers continue to encourage exercise and reassure women of the many activities they can do without hurting their baby, I also hope it doesn’t become another pressure. An addition to all the DO’s and DON’Ts compiled by those who like to establish standards for how you can control your child’s success and be the perfect mother. Hmm, I sense another topic starting so maybe I’ll wrap up…
My advice to myself if I decide to do this again: listen to your body. Find a balance between confidence in its abilities and strength and giving it the rest it deserves for all it’s doing.
Thirty-one weeks. I now understand why pregnant women are always rubbing their bellies, and it ain’t just for good luck.
Thirty weeks down, ten plus or minus a few to go. There is still plenty to do before the baby comes, but I’m more eager than anxious. Did I mention that pregnancy is a lot of waiting? A limbo where you’re not yet loaded with the responsibilities and joys of being a parent, but you can’t quite live the life you had before pregnancy.
Before the long weekend I was feeling a bit restless and sad that I had no adventures planned, especially with the weather forecast a row of golden circles. Under different circumstances I would have gone surfing with friends. But I presumed that at this point the beach ball between me and my board would be uncomfortable and I wouldn’t want to risk stretching out my wetsuit anyway.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one staying in town and before I knew it, the three days off were full in the most enjoyable way.
Starting with sunset from third beach on Friday.
Colouring eggs with Marten & Julie. We discovered that you can indeed, with a dark enough dye, dye brown eggs with rich, intense results.
A trip to the garden store, fresh soil, a spring crop planted and further exploration of the many plants coming to life around the yard.
A passover potluck and my first matzah ball soup (I left my camera at home).
A wander around the Reifel Bird Sanctuary to see swallows back for summer…
…plenty of ducks…
…and the sandhill cranes.
Spring finally arrived and with a good hint of summer. It felt like a real turning point from my due date being in the distance future to the weeks being truly numbered. Which is a bit funny to say because they’ve been numbered since October, but now I can count them on my hands as long as I add a few toes.