- Postpartum – W2D5 – Deflated
That describes how I’m feeling in every meaning of the word.
My belly is flat (-ish) and squishy. It kind of sags inward around the belly button. Pregnant, it was round, plump, and firm. Postpartum it can barely hold itself up.
Someone opened the valve to my energy and let it all out. Like a hot air balloon laying deflated and used on the ground.
I want to hold Rachel in my arms all day and stare into her eyes. I don’t need food or drink or sleep, her eyes and her cuddles are enough. Why am I so exhausted? I have nothing left.
Was that a cry I heard? Oh, the little thing! She must need more cuddles from Mama. My little baby will know how much her mama loves her! That’s all she needs, cuddles, milk, a clean diaper, and cuddles. Cuddles make everything okay.
My brain can’t think straight. I hear even a peep from Baby Girl and I have to check on her. For anything else, it’s mush. Speaking without forgetting any words, reading the newspaper, remembering to eat the hot food sitting in front of me: these are beyond my brain’s current capacity.
It’s 100% focused on baby.
Off to take a nap.
Or maybe I’ll look at baby pictures instead.
- W38D4 – Waiting game
It’s been a while since I’ve written.
We moved at 35 weeks. It was planned basically since the positive pregnancy test! But that didn’t make it any easier to curb my nesting instincts 😉
The last few weeks I’ve FINALLY been able to go crazy cleaning, organizing, and unpacking. It’s been great! We moved to a bigger house in a better part of town, closer to family. Baby girl will even have her own nursery!
I’m pretty sure she’s “dropped”. I noticed it on Monday, 37 weeks and 6 days. Richard and I were watching a show and I felt her on my bladder. When I stood up to go to the bathroom, I could hardly walk! Thought I might not make it the few steps to the toilet, she was that low.
It’s been more of the same all week! I went from going to the bathroom once or twice a night to now three times. Sometimes I have to go every 30 minutes, even if it’s not very much. It seems like I can always feel my bladder! My bump is lower too than it has been – no more boobs resting on my tummy 😉
I’m getting nervous and excited and sick of being so big. It will be great to walk and move like normal again!
Apparently your estrogen and progesterone levels drop right before labor – same thing that happens right before your period normally. So maybe that’s why I feel so moody! My pregnancy has been pretty smooth (except a few breakdowns when we were out of chocolate milk…), but today I’ve been super grumpy for no apparent reason. I had a huge cry fest earlier about how hard it is to be pregnant and how badly I want her to be born. It was nuts!
They say the last month is supposed to be so awful you don’t fear labor. Well, it’s working!
This is a blog about being athletic and pregnant, so what have I been doing for exercise? To be honest, not much. We went to the local rec center a couple days ago and I used some of the weight machines. Squats in particular felt great! I also used one of those reverse sit-up machines to keep my back strong, since working your abs directly can lead to diastasis recti (check out the Best Exercises for Your Core during pregnancy).
I stopped running around seven months due to too much “bouncing” and stress on my hip flexors and lower back (even with my amazing Belly Band!). However, elliptical machines are still totally game! I warm up slowly to get my heart rate gradually adjusted to exercise, and generally take it easy. Feeling my heart beating and blood moving makes me feel like myself again after what’s felt like a never-ending nine months. I also have a set of resistance bands that I use to get some weight-bearing exercise from home.
Relaxin increases toward the end of your pregnancy to prepare your pelvis for childbirth (Read: How Does Relaxin Affect your Exercise Routine?) so I’m taking everything pretty easy right now. I’m also big and get tired easily, surprise surprise!
These last couple weeks are just one big waiting game. Braxton Hicks contractions are becoming more frequent and prominent. I hope that means labor will start soon! Can’t wait to see what happens and finally meet our baby girl!
P.S. Here are two posts I love on the last weeks of pregnancy:
- W37D5 – Sports
I’m finally in my last month of pregnancy.
Many of my favorite sports I’ve put on hold for now, or else slowed waaay down:
– Bouldering: stopped at two months (doctor’s orders)
– Aerials: stopped at five months due to decreasing muscle strength and an unexpected fall
– Running: stopped at seven months due to sore hip and pelvis ligaments
– Biking: stopped at eight months after becoming difficult to reach handlebars (check out how I raised my handlebars to make it this far!)
– Climbing: still top roping, but not at my usual level since about seven months (feeling too heavy and weak, with low endurance)
– Walking: still walking, but for no more than 2-3 miles (lower back gets achy)
Prenatal yoga has been unaffected and is my haven! The weekly class I go to feels wonderful for my soft body and provides the perfect community of fellow first-time preggos. Everyone is super friendly, and it’s rewarding to be a part of other preggos’ journeys: the nausea and uncertainty of first trimester, the energy and optimism of second, and the final weariness and realization of third trimester.
At this point I only have a few weeks of pregnancy left. It feels like just yesterday I was googling “what it feels like to be pregnant” and wondering what changes would come to my body. It’s hard to believe I’m almost done!
Next up: labor and delivery, then postpartum recovery. Stay tuned for getting back to a normal sports routine!
- W36D2 – last month
Yesterday was 36 weeks.
One more week and I’m full term!
I’m scared and excited. Pregnancy books the first eight months talk all about the symptoms you can expect, how you might be feeling, tips n tricks to ease discomfort, etc.
Month nine? They talk about delivery.
“Here are signs of labor!”
“How to prep for the hospital”
“What to buy for baby”
Basically, you’re not in month nine of pregnancy; you’re in the “still pregnant, no baby” stage. Any symptoms you might be feeling are eclipsed by labor/delivery pep talks and baby prep.
My emotions are weird right now. Maybe I’m too paralyzed to feel anything, unbridled excitement or utter fear. I’m having a baby! Yay! Oh wait, I can’t just pick up my life from 9 months ago? Hey, I’ll be able to move like a normal human again! I need to find daycare or take a kid everywhere with me now? Huh.
It’s all sinking in what it means to be pregnant and have a kid. It feels too late that I’m looking backwards, realizing what I used to have and won’t have again. It’s scary, but then I remember being there and wanting kids so badly. Knowing that, for me, there was NO way forward without having kids.
This is just the transition.
I’m scared – it’s a big change! I’m also unbelievably excited. So many of my childhood dreams are coming true! Building a family, creating a home, being with a man I love. Someone pinch me!
Pregnancy month #9 is like taking a deep breath before diving in. Everything else is done, and now time stops just briefly before the Rest of Your Life begins.
- W31D6 – sunset
I’m watching a beautiful sunset, which is the sunset of my Life so far.
Looking back on the Day brings satisfaction and contentment. I think of all the activities enjoyed and rites of passage experienced which can only come during the daytime. There’s plenty to look back on and smile about, and mine feels like a typical Day. It’s happy, carefree, and full of memories.
Even so I can feel the sun going down. Much as I love the Day and all its joys, something else itches inside of me. I yearn for something that can’t be found in spur-of-the-moment adventures and gossiping with girlfriends. There has to be something more, and I know where it is.
The Night. Full of different joys, harder than the daytime but more enriching. One-way ticket only. I yearn to visit, know there’s no way I can’t not live there. Fearing it, feeling apprehensive of the unknown, feels irrelevant to what I’m sure is my Fate. The Day will finish and I will go to the Night. That’s how it is.
And right now, at 32 weeks pregnant with my first child, here’s the Sunset. The inevitable link between two such different worlds. Beautiful because of its fleeting nature. It’s a celebration of all the color and energy of the Day, mingled with the the vibrancy and mystery of the upcoming Night. The gods must have designed it to grab the attention, compel one to savor what has been and ponder what’s to come.
I’m watching the sunset, and I’m feeling baby girl’s kicks, and I’m reflecting on what Life has been so far.
And I wonder what joys and challenges the Night will bring.
- W31D7 – End of Running
I have a confession to make, and it pains me to say it.
I think I’m done with running for the rest of pregnancy.
I am HEARTBROKEN. I really wanted to keep running until giving birth. But realistically I just don’t know if my body can handle it.
The issue is my hip flexors. I had trouble with “jostling insides” until I started using a belly band, and my feet ache sometimes but the running shoes I wear really help. I’ve gotten good about emptying my bladder right before a run, and always have a small snack and lots to drink so as to not get lightheaded.
But I don’t know what to do about my hip flexors.
It’s those little muscles that connect your legs to the rest of your body. Somehow all the forward motion of running combined with the giant bowling ball in my pelvis really stresses them out. It’s hard to even step my legs forward to walk after just a short 3 miles.
Maybe it’s due to the fact I’ve gained 25% of my body weight in four months. Or maybe the softening hormone relaxin targets your hips and pelvis more than the rest of your body? It’s also possible my body is telling me to just quit jostling around so much.
Running has been my go-to for something like 15 years now. It’s calmed my mind when I’m feeling stressed, traveling in a foreign country, going through a big life change, grieving, cramming for finals, overwhelmed at work, you name it. Running’s always been there for me. So having to give it up is tough.
- W31D4 – ACTION SHOT
ACTION SHOT of me cruisin’ up a 5.10c at the gym! I’ve got my awesome full-body harness, and you can see my belly poking out near the wall.
You know what’s started happening the last couple weeks? My belly keeps me from getting close enough to the wall! On chimneys like this it’s not so bad, but doing a slabby climb has become more difficult. There was one particular route a couple weeks ago where I got stuck on this one move and had to try about four different times before I finally got past it. Then Kelly does the same climb, and she barely notices that spot.
“Oh yea, I had my stomach pressed right against the wall to get past that part.”
Well then, no wonder I had so much trouble 😉
This pic is to show to my daughter one day. She can tell people she’s been climbing since the womb! Maybe she’ll fall in love with climbing one day too. She like to kick a lot when I’m on the wall. My father-in-law’s even making her and her cousin mini climbing walls for babies! They say babies are able to climb before they can walk!
One thing that’s helped me keep climbing is learning moves that are easier with more weight (or weaker muscles, heh). For example, pushing myself up off a downward palm (“mantling”) is WAY more doable than pulling myself up from a hold over my head. My theory is that the latter requires more ab muscle, while the former is all about your lats. Because I used to be able to do several pullups without a problem, but even a few weeks into my first trimester (before gaining any weight!) I was suddenly unable to do a single one.
Blame the Relaxin, I say!
Anyway, here’s proof that it’s TOTALLY doable to continue climbing into your third trimester! All you need is the right gear and a little bit of patience 🙂
- W31D2 – Third tri climbing
Still going strong today with rock climbing!
My harness as you can see is still working marvelously. I will say that I had to loosen the shoulder straps a bit now that my belly is bulging up past my ribcage. And I have had some squishing while getting lowered. Nothing too bad, but I hope in my next two months it doesn’t get too much worse. I REALLY love climbing and definitely don’t wanna give up my favorite sport!
That’s the thing I’ve really loved about climbing while pregnant – it seems like the one sport that’s been least impacted by all the changes to my body. I mean I’m definitely weaker than I was pre-preggo (or maybe it’s the fact I’m carrying an extra 29 pounds up the wall), and I have to go slower and take lots of little breaks the whole way up.
But my body still MOVES the same. It’s incredible! All the intuition my muscles have learned in the however many years I’ve been doing this… it’s still there. And being pregnant is just another challenge, like I’m trying harder routes than normal. My body figures out how to make it work. No achiness, no pain afterward, no wistfully watching everyone else do what I wish I could. No ma’am, I’m up there with everyone having a great time 🙂
Feeling so blessed to keep doing this. Here’s to finishing out my pregnancy strong!
- W30D6 – Body acceptance
It’s been a while since I wrote about aerials.
Well, that’s because something happened.
I took a fall.
It wasn’t from very high up, and that’s why aerialists always have a thick pad underneath. But I became unlooped from the fabric in a way I shouldn’t have and hit the ground very unexpectedly.
It freaked me out!
I was totally fine, except for a small headache. Baby girl kept kicking as usual and I felt nothing unusual or painful. Physically, I was completely fine.
What freaked me out was the realization that I wouldn’t have fallen if I hadn’t been pregnant. My body is simply weaker and less coordinated than usual, which is what both 1) caused the fall and 2) prevented me from catching myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen before! I’ve come out of holds that should’ve been secure and found myself grabbing the fabric before even realizing what was happening. My reflexes and strength have always let me correct any mistake in mid-air, and I’ve been lucky to never have a significant impact.
It’s been about a month since I last did aerials. I went to a few more classes after my fall to prove I wasn’t afraid.
The fear was the wakeup call, but my ever-slowing body was the nail in the coffin. I found myself struggling to climb the fabric, unable to finish an entire warmup, and needing to sit out more moves than not.
I wasn’t myself, but I didn’t want to admit it! So I kept going to aerials, kept trying to keep up when I knew I couldn’t.
And…. didn’t write about it. Suggesting I might not be as strong would make it the truth, right?
Maybe it’s being in third trimester and feeling like an absolute whale, but it feels easier to accept that now. My body is slower and softer, telling me in every way to take it easy. Rest. You ARE doing a lot. Your strength will return.
If first trimester is a blur of excitement that carries you through the nausea and exhaustion, second trimester is the exhilaration and energy that convinces you anything is possible. Third trimester is the insight and patience to understand that pregnancy is both finite and difficult.
So I’m *officially* not doing aerials anymore. I miss it, but know it’s not for me at this time. I’ll get back into it when my body’s ready. Or find another fun and awesome hobby instead 🙂
photo credit: https://homethods.com/
- W29D7 – Run and Bike
I’m a little nervous because I’m usually pretty tired just from one of those. But I’d like to try for both – after all, I’m not one to turn down a workout 😉
So here it all is!
– My bike shoes, which I’ve had for years
– My super cushy running shoes
– A belly band for running while preggo
– Some maternity workout leggings
– A supportive sports bra
– An old T-shirt (yes, my belly sticks out from under it 😉 )
– My fave road bike (not pictured), tuned and prepped for me at the subway station
Prepping my gear reminds me of so many other times I’ve packed for an epic adventure day. I love the night-before anticipation, running through your day, picking out all your favorite gear.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes! My energy is definitely low, but I’m committed to working out and staying fit.