I was one of those pregnant ladies that other women roll their eyes at. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt like I was in the zone – a euphoric state of zen. Relaxed, calm, and just excited for what was to come, my typical anxieties (self-consciousness, perfectionism, stress) that plagued me since childhood actually seemed to dissipate as my belly grew. The lack of morning sickness, fatigue or other pesky pregnancy symptoms – not sure what I did to deserve that free pass – helped, and by some strange hormonal twist, I felt completely confident, energized, and comfortable in my own skin.
It was then no surprise that with that “golden pregnancy”, I felt well enough to exercise nearly every day of those 39 weeks. Clocking time on the elliptical, taking group classes like bosu step, cardio kickboxing and bootcamp (modifying steps and keeping an eye on my heart rate, of course), and continuing with my favorite barre class was the norm. I had a couple of glares and even outright “should you be doing that?” comments from other, old-school ladies, but I felt like I knew my body best and what it could and could not handle (with my doctor’s approval). I loved that I was able to maintain my fitness routine throughout and I believe that being able to do so helped the pounds melt off more quickly after my daughter was born.
Fast forward to today, almost 20 weeks along with my 2nd, and the story is completely different. Perhaps it’s payback for my walk-in-the-park, 1st pregnancy, perhaps its age, but this go-around is an entirely opposite scenario. All day nausea and a heavy pregnancy fog introduced themselves early and lasted until very recently. My body was not my own. Most days, I had to will myself to just move. Getting through each work day, chasing after my 4 year old daughter, while fitting in a workout became a Herculean, marathon-like feat. It’s been frustrating and exhausting, but I’ve been trying to keep perspective and am reminding myself that I’m lucky to even be in this position, and that it’s all worth it. Playing with my spunky and silly, little mini-me is a nice everyday reminder of that.
I’ve been managing to keep up with my barre classes (getting there is half the battle) 2-3 times a week and have continued with my weekly Zumba class or cardio session. I find that I feel more energized and less cranky once I’ve tucked into a good workout. That said, I am noticing that my body has already set different limitations from the last pregnancy at this mid-point. Back aches and lower abdominal ligament pain are common, and a couple of times after my cardio classes, I’ve had some braxton-hicks type of contractions. Although I was a bit freaked out, after checking in with my doctor, she said that these symptoms are common and are the body’s way of telling you to ease up a bit, and to stay hydrated, especially after a workout. With that in mind, I’ve been guzzling water like it’s my job, and trying to modify more of the exercises in my classes while taking the intensity down a few notches. So far so good. I’m hopeful that with these changes, and continuing to stay attuned to my body, I’ll be able to keep up with my workouts (for my own sanity’s sake) while doing a good job nurturing and growing this little human inside of me.