weighing the pros and cons
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. It’s been a common thing for me this entire pregnancy, however last night was longer than usual. I was up for about 4 hours. I try not to whine too much about it, because it’s a fact of pregnancy, but some days it’s just so awful. I’m sitting here, my head swimming and just feeling so detached. The kids have been entertaining themselves by playing a game of ‘buying things with fake bugs and paper’ through the cat door. I’m not worried about them.
At this late in the stage of pregnancy, I’m allowed a little wiggle room for laziness and clock watching until nap time.
I’m not a coffee drinker, which makes my RPM members happy since apparently I’m full of energy already. But sometimes the luring feeling of a caffeine high makes me willing to bend. At least on days like today.
But what is the only thing that seems to help me? Exercise.
Yesterday at Body Pump there were about five members standing around playing twenty questions with me before class started. They continually smiled, commenting on how fit I am, how this labor will be a breeze and how proud of me they were.
It felt really good.
It’s a huge change from what I get elsewhere, sometimes. Elsewhere, I’m told that I’m endangering my baby. That I’m being selfish. That I should be resting.
And while I see their point, they just don’t get it. It’s not about them.
I’ve been pregnant four times. I think that puts me past novice and into borderline expert. My first pregnancy was my worst. I bloated up right away, went straight into maternity jeans and slept on the couch all day. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what my body needed me to do, but my body also needed me to move. I hurt. I hurt all the time. My back, my hips, my shoulders. I slept horribly and got no relief. Postpartum was awful, too. Claire was a light sleeper, was up every 2-3 hours for A FULL YEAR and I was so tired of my boobs being used as a human pacifier. And I was terribly sad. Probably had PPD, but was never diagnosed.
While I know that exercise couldn’t fix all of those things, it probably would have helped some.
With Luca, I was a bit more active. I did prenatal DVDs, Matt, Claire and I went for nightly walks after dinner, I ate more sensibly and stretched. I think I even did a lot of squats. But nothing regimented and nothing consistent.
I also ended up with PPD.
With Mae, I ran races, was at the gym 4 times a week and went for long walks with the kids at the North Shore and around the neighborhood. I slept better, I wasn’t sore and my postpartum period was very brief, in that, I wasn’t sad, she slept good, and she kind of just fit in. My prebaby ‘fat’ jeans still fit me and that was my badge of honor. I still have those puppies, and wore them yesterday.
This pregnancy, aside from the brief intermission of awfulness, has been my best. Sure, I was a little nauseous in the beginning and I bled and cramped and felt like garbage for a solid 6 weeks, this has been the best. It was interesting. On the SCH boards, people would do anything to reason with why the dreaded SCH was happening to them, all the way down to saying they should have never ever exercised. Because it’s all about baby now and it’s not a time to be selfish.
I take issue with that.
My SCH was not caused by my exercising, as further proven by the fact that I could continue working out while the SCH was still looming, and baby was fine. I wasn’t selfish for continuing on. By the end of my 6th week of sitting around and doing nothing, I was getting depressed, and I was getting worried. When my OB said that I could slowly work my way back in, I cried because I was so happy. I’m not a workout junkie. I’m not obsessed with being fit. It’s a part of my life, just as for some, going to the theater or happy hour with friends is. It’s a part of who I am. It makes me feel good. This has been my best pregnancy and I am convinced it’s because of me being so active.
But last night, as I laid in bed, I started to let all those naysayers get into my head.
I found myself googling, “Is it safe to spin at 37 weeks?” at 4 in the morning. The majority of the things I found said, Stop! What are you thinking? But then I found a personal blog about a woman who teaches spin and did until she delivered. She said that she got off the bike every now and again, but she still did at least 50% of the class. Just. Like. Me. She wrote about the naysayers. She wrote about her beautiful baby. She wrote about how easy her postpartum time was. She wrote about how fast she got her shape back. She even wrote about how much better she felt.
I could have kissed her. Sure, she’s in England, but still.
My OB is realistic. She’s told me multiple times just to listen to my body and not overdo it. Drink water and try not to overheat. She knows that my idea of not overdoing it is not painting the entire house in an afternoon, rather just half. She understands that RPM and the gym is important to me. She also knows I’m a smart woman who would never want to hurt the baby.
So when I was standing there, with those women standing around me, telling me they were proud of me, and impressed and being so kind, and not mocking me for how much weight I was putting on my bar, I’m taking that with me. All the way to the end of this pregnancy. Because I’m not selfish. I’m listening to my body, I’m being kind to it, and I’m doing me, myself, no one else, a service by doing what I love.