Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 weeks and counting...

Only 63 days left!

This countdown is even better than the countdown to Christmas!! I still find myself amazed that I am where I seems so surreal.

Little Dim Sum is an incredibly active baby, and these days not an hour goes by that I don't feel him either hiccuping or turning a million somersaults inside my tummy. I do find myself wishing that my husband could feel these same sensations; even though he puts his hand on my belly to feel "the show", I just don't think it's the same! I know that he would think it's amazing to feel what I feel.

Sooo...starting to get a little nervous about the whole birth thing. I'm worried that I'm not fit enough to go through labour. From what I've read, it's a HUGE workout, requiring a lot of energy and stamina. Have I got what it takes?

Last month, in an effort to get myself into said shape, I signed up for a pre-natal fitness class at my local gym. The description said "No previous fitness experience required". So I got myself registered and eagerly looked forward to the first class.

When I showed up, the instructor gathered us all, took attendance, and then immediately started in on us. Without any kind of warm up, she asked us to do lunges for about 100m, then 20 push-ups. This was followed by another set of lunges for 100m, then 20 more pushups. I thought I was going to DIE. And part way through the lunging, she came over to me and said, "Oh, you're putting your weight on the balls of your feet; you should be stepping down on your heel." Did she realize that I was putting weight on the front of my foot because my big belly was dragging me forward?!? The lunging/pushups were followed by stairs (up, down, up down for 40 reps on each foot). This was followed by squats for 200m, 8 minutes on the rowing machine, weights (biceps and triceps), then stomach crunches (pilates style).

Needless to say, I couldn't walk for days afterwards...
And p.s. - I have since dropped out of that class.

No fitness experience necessary, my ass!!

But then this got me thinking - am I really THAT out of shape? If I can't handle an exercise class, what makes me think I can handle childbirth? What if I'm so out of shape that labour takes forever? What if I don't have the strength to push little Dim Sum out of me? Ack!

There is no point in asking my sister for advice. She ran a marathon when she was 4 months pregnant with my niece, and continued to work out throughout both of her pregnancies. When I told her about my exercise class experience, she tritely said to me, "Well, if that were me, I would be able to handle it..." I felt like jumping through the phone and clobbering her.

Sigh. I know it's too early to panic. But does anyone out there have any advice for me? I don't mind hearing bad labour stories...I'd rather be prepared than blissfully ignorant, only to be slammed when the sh*t hits the ceiling!


Anonymous said...

Personally, I find that workout class insane. I'm with you - I could never do it. I would look for some pre-natal yoga classes. I believe there are a few in Calgary. They should help with being help to calm the mind & body in labour and gently strengthen you (from what I've heard).

I just wanted to add: thank you for your blog. I found it very inspirational when I was embarking on my 1st (& hopefully only) IVF (with a lot of doubts), and the fact that you were at RFP was even better. I've just entered the 2WW with 4 embies transferred, and am trying to remain calm & hopeful.

Believe2010 on

Anonymous said...

I am with Believe on this one SR! That workout session sounds crazy for someone who is 31 weeks preggo! My doctor always said its ok to continue doing what you were doing before, but not to ADD anything while you are pregnant. Pre-natal yoga sounds like a great idea to stretch out (and relax!) plus I find yoga to be a great exercise as well. I planned to take it as well while pregnnat with my girls (before bedrest started!) and even though I had a section, some light stretching would have been good for me in the recovery period. There is a really great yoga studio in the NW (just off 16th ave) called the Yoga Shala and I know they have classes there!

Congrats on making it to 31 weeks! In no time at all you will be holding your little dim sum;)


Mommytobe said...

Holy cow, I couldn't do that class without being pg! I did take some pre-natal yoga classes before DD was born but trust me, you so don't need to worry about not having the strength to push your little Dim Sum out you get so caught up in the moment and your body knows exactly what to do(I didn't do prenatal classes but still "knew" how to push). My active labour was about 3 hours long and I must admit at the end you are exhausted but in the middle of it all you don't feel tired. The pics from right after my delivery have me looking a little stoned though :)


Kate said...

I wouldn't do that. After a few weeks on the couch, I'm happy to be getting a little walking in as exercise. And I've always made sure to tighten my transverse abs a few times a day to keep them toned.
What I have read is that you shouldn't do normal abs stuff or sit-ups while pregnant because you risk ending up with rectus diastasis. That would be far worse than an out-of-shape belly that you could get the tone back into later on.
I don't think you need to be an athlete to do labour. There are plenty of fantastically obese out of shape patients who deliver babies without any trouble. My hypnobirthing class would like me to believe that you don't need to strain and valsalva to "push" your baby out. I intend to let my uterus help the kiddo descend on her own without killing myself pushing her out.
I'd do something gentler - prenatal yoga or walking or swimming. And increase the activity level slowly.

Anonymous said...

i'm all about prenatal's gentle and yet still requires strength and stamina, plus gives me confidence in my body's ability to move and support me and all--even with this baby belly.

when i was reading the list of exercises they had you doing in that class i was nearly out of breath--just reading about it! :) there's NO way i could do 1/2 of what you wrote. but that doesn't mean we're out of shape or not fit for labor. it means our bodies will respond to another kind of movement/exercise...i think yoga is worth a shot.

as for birthing...have you considered hypnobirthing? what i love most is the way i am encouraged to believe in and trust my body and my baby to know how to's gentle and empowering. you might like it!?

CJDR said...

Ok to me it sounds like that workout class was to PUT you in labour.
Know this, I am horribly out of shape (I know, I know....) and labour was honestly my favorite part of the whole thing! Its tiring and painful, but its amazing too.....and I did it fine. No fitness test required!
I think to prepare you need to get yourself mentally ready instead. I practiced my focusing, and breathing. I practiced my different labour positions. Thats how I was prepared, and let me tell you, those are the things I used!
Anyways I agree with everyone else and prenatal yoga helped me feel a bit better (until I was on bedrest).