Recipe For A Home Workout

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Ingredients

1 cold rainy day

1 happy baby

Pandora Glee station with Broadway songs mixed in

1 set of medium weights (like 10#) or comparable heavy items

Cardio Ideas

Jump roping without the rope

Jogging in place

Over-the-baby mountain climbers

Over-the-baby burpees

Jumping squats

Knee lifts

Alternating jumping lunges

Grapevine

Dancing with baby in arms

Jazz feet

Jazz hands. Lots of jazz hands.

Strength Ideas

Bicep curls

Shoulder press

Overhead triceps lift

Combo moves of all of the above

Squats

Lunges

Planks

Over-the-baby pushups {strengthen the lips with bonus kisses}

Rows

Tricep dips on sofa

Shoulder press with baby

 

Method

Starting with cardio, alternate cardio + strength song tracks.

Don’t worry about order or reps – just keep moving the whole time.

Singing encouraged to strengthen the lungs.

Continue alternating until one of you cries.

{We lasted about 35 minutes until I did.}

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Added disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer. This post is not intended to be instructional but is a recap of my experiences. Please do exercises at your own risk and keep baby’s safety as top priority. 

 

31 Weeks: Preparing For Childbirth

As I go into labor, I want to know I did everything possible to prime my body for this experience. While many women probably do nothing to prepare and still have normal, healthy labors, I still want to cover my bases. My goals are to keep my body in complete balance so that when it’s time for the baby to descend, he has the best chance possible to make that journey smoothly. [Read more about that here.]

Below are five physical things I’ve done to get my body in shape for birthin’.

Pre-natal Yoga

I talk about this class a lot, but it’s really been SO helpful for me. Not only for all the reasons I mentioned in this post, but also because my squat is now deeper, my pelvis more rockable and my understanding of the childbirth poses stronger. It also has been great to have my yoga teacher and doula be one in the same since I have gotten to know her both personally and professionally. I have friends who went to her yoga class for months and said laboring with her was wonderful and familiar because they used many of the same positions from class. I’ve made every effort to get to my Tuesday night class and try not to miss a week!

Weight Lifting + Physical Stamina

I look at labor as somewhat of an athletic event. I’ve heard moms say in their birth stories that being active really helped them get through the physical endurance it requires. Caitlin said in her birth story that she could not have imagined going through it without staying active throughout her pregnancy. I’ve heard other moms say that the closest thing they’ve done to giving birth is run a marathon. Thus, I have viewed a lot of my activity as preparation for labor. I’ve kept my body strong with Pump classes twice a week and my stamina up with tons of walking, some cycling and a little bit of swimming – nearly daily exercise of in some shape or form. While I’m not sure that I could run an 8 minute mile right now, I do feel that my fitness level has been maintained – at least to the level that I’ll need to be in good physical shape for the big event ahead.

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Chiropractic

I have not been a chiropractic patient in the past – mostly because I’ve been lucky not to have any issues with my back or structure that have caused me pain. But I knew upon getting pregnant with so much change going on in my body that I wanted to be proactive about keeping things balanced. It helps that my friends own a clinic that made going to my first visit very accessible and not scary. My insurance luckily covers it (with a co-pay) up to a certain number of visits a year, so I’ve been going every 2 weeks starting in the second trimester for an adjustment. For the most part, my body has been aligned well, but there have been times when my pelvis was off that I’m glad we fixed before it got worse. I can only imagine all the changes going through that area with the growth of the bump pulling and the hormone changes. I don’t think that chiropractic is absolutely necessary in pregnancy, but I wanted to be sure to catch something before it became a problem – and I want to make sure my pelvis is perfectly aligned when go-time happens and the baby must squeeze through! And thankfully my insurance supports chiropractic for wellness.

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Massage

Hand-in-hand with chiropractic, I’ve been getting regular massages. Now this isn’t something I would be doing regularly with the typical costs of massage or at a luxury spa, but CORE has a massage therapist in the building that is able to take my insurance (up to 15 visits – yay Blue Cross) if it’s referred through Dr. Tate. I’ve been seeing Erica regularly and she does amazing things for my hips, glutes, legs and back. The massage has been great first for symptom relief, but second it’s also helped to keep my body loose and counter the weight lifting I’ve done. I’ve heard a tight butt and hips are the last thing you want when your pelvis wants to open!

Stretching

Continuing the “balance the body” theme, I’ve been doing stretches at home to keep my body limber. Mostly an extension of the poses from yoga, squats, hip openers and sitting in cobbler’s pose. I don’t do them too often – maybe once or twice a week I’ll do a series when I get out of bed in the morning or in bed at night. Additionally, Jen, our doula, taught me several stretches. You can find them on Spinningbabies.com.  This inversion I try to do once a week or so (it relaxes all the ligaments) and this side stretch that is a partner stretch with Matt is AMAZING on the hips and glutes!!

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Do I think it’s necessary to do these things to have a healthy pregnancy and give birth? No. But they are all things that have personally helped me and will hopefully give me the best possible physical preparation for the Big Day(s ).

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Not The Patient

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30 Weeks: Healthy Living While Pregnant

For the most part, healthy living now is not that much different than before. I’m still staying active for about an hour a day, and I’m still eating a variety of real foods in the form of 3 meals and a snack or two everyday. And one other positive for my health: fewer hangovers ; ) I luckily haven’t had major cravings that send Matt running for Ben & Jerry’s at midnight or put chocolate cake on my plate for breakfast. Real Food still makes me feel best, inside and out.

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But both my exercise and my eating have changed somewhat:

-My workout intensity is drastically different than before: I am rarely out of breath or covered in sweat now – something I used to aim for daily

-My diet doesn’t look exactly the same since vegetables just don’t taste as good

The other day I was trying to put into words to Matt why I just don’t want to run or eat tons of vegetables even though I could force myself to do both. And what it comes down to is this: high intensity exercise and huge salads just don’t make me FEEL as good as they used to.

Before pregnancy, there was nothing like a sweaty run followed by a Hugh Jass salad filled with all kinds of hearty vegetables. I used to love the feeling of racing, being out of breath, being covered in sweat. At 30 weeks pregnant, a run would probably leave me uncomfortable, dehydrated and exhausted. Maybe even sick.

I used to bulk up my plate with all the veggies I could find at buffets and restaurants and would never turn down extras. I wanted them to fill me up but also because they tasted really good. These days I have no reason to fill up my shrinking stomach, and my salads are more like side dishes of simple greens without all the bulky veggies. I used to eat 2-3 servings of veggies but now 1 serving is enough. Enough to get in the nutrients and balance out my plate.

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Walking, yoga, swimming, lighter weight lifting feel good to me.

Running, intervals and pushing myself hard don’t.

While I do still enjoy most vegetables and eat them daily, including salads, they just don’t bring on the same feel-good feeling that they used to and my portions of them are smaller.

Fruit, lightly-dressed greens, yogurt, cheese, eggs – these make me feel good.

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So I guess my point is this: do what makes you feel good.

Run marathons at 39 weeks if that’s what it takes to raise your spirits. Or drop down to only slow walks and yoga. So long as you’re staying active in some shape or form given all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, then pick what you want to do most.

Similarly, there are so many healthy foods out there – choose the ones you want to eat most and enjoy them. Have smaller portions of the ones that you’re not as crazy about (likely the green ones).

While exercise and nutrition are extremely important during pregnancy, don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up with your old self. Because your old self is gone – at least for the short term!

I actually can’t WAIT to run again – and hopefully get my taste buds back! You know how when you go on vacation for a week you come home just craving the way you felt before the vacation with your healthy habits in place? Pregnancy is like one looooooooooooong vacation. It hit me about 6 months in when I started to miss my old body – not so much its shape or appearance, but how it felt. Now that I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I absolutely cannot wait to go back to my old self. Or rather, Old Self 2.0!

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27 Weeks: Knocked Up Fitness

While I was at the beach last week I brought along the Knocked Up Fitness Pilates Infused Fitness DVD. The DVD is led by mother-of-three Pilates instructor Erica Ziel. Erica sent me her DVDs to review here on BERF.

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As you know, I am not very experienced in Pilates. I’ve done a class here and there – maybe 5 in my lifetime. I blame my lack of participation on an itch to move around, but I do think it’s a very effective method of strengthening. Now that I’ve slowed down a bit with my fitness, Pilates is more appealing. Especially because the equipment required is minimal.

In my expedited vacation workout schedule, I opted to do 3 of the short workouts:

-Warm-up (12 mins)

-Prenatal Fitcamp (8 mins)

-Total Body Pilates (8 mins)

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I didn’t have my exercise ball with me at the beach or any weights, but I improvised with the ball and used water bottles for weights.

Workout

Overall, I really enjoyed the workout! I felt like I’d be stretched and strengthened during the ~30 minutes I did. In fact, I was only going to do 2 of the workouts and ended up adding one more because they went by so fast.

Loved

  • How short the workouts were. In contrast to Expecting More, which I liked because the workouts were so long, this is a great contrast for days when you don’t want to spend an hour weight lifting. Perfect especially for later trimesters when you don’t really know how your energy levels will be : )
  • The workouts move fast – so I never got bored or itchy
  • I liked Erica’s temperament and the studio was really pretty and natural – not 80s aerobics décor
  • You can really do one of these every day because they are short and effective OR you can do more at once and bank them together
  • I felt that new muscles of mine were used, a nice contrast to Body Pump power lifting
  • It was similar to my prenatal yoga class with pelvic tilts/cat cow

Didn’t Love

  • The exercise ball – because I didn’t have mine with me! But I just put a pillow down on the floor, so it wasn’t a huge deal
  • While I found the workout to be effective, I didn’t feel super challenged. But who really is after that late in pregnancy anyways?
  • I just don’t looove Pilates, but I can see how beneficial this type of workout is

Since this was just the Pilates “infused” session, I’m betting the other DVD – THE Pilates workout – is harder! I definitely think these workouts will be good for post-baby home exercise too.

Here is the Amazon page and costs – $19 each or $36 for both. I would recommend getting the fitness one if you don’t love Pilates and the other if you already practice.

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23 Weeks: Pumping (And I Don’t Mean My Breasts)

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How has exercise changed since becoming pregnant?

1) I stopped running.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with running while pregnant. I’m in awe of the women who are still doing half marathons or speedy distances. The main reason I stopped running was that in the first trimester, my body just felt fragile. It felt wrong to me to get out of breath and pound the pavement that much. Everything down there just felt more tender, especially since you use your core and lower abs a lot while running. And while I felt like exercising, I just didn’t really feel like running. It was also winter, so of course the cold was a major deterrent. I did go on several runs in the first tri, but they weren’t great ones. In fact, just before I found out I was pregnant I had an awful run that had me stopping every mile for cramps in my sides. I suspected my body was a’changin’. I ran at about 20 weeks too on a beautiful spring day and it went fine, but since I hadn’t ran in so long it wasn’t a great one. Psychological or physiological? I think I’m just out of running shape now, so I doubt I’ll run again. So I just don’t think running is in the cards for me. Luckily I’ve been active in many other ways!

2) I took up walking. Lots of walking.

95% of the reasons why I run can be satisfied with walking. Walking (especially on the hills here) is good weight bearing low intensity cardio while enjoying the outdoors. In fact, I kind of like walking more now. It’s great because most of the time (it’s not summer yet..) it doesn’t require a second shower because I don’t get too sweaty, and I have been able to do it in my street clothes. I do miss the high of running (especially when anyone is talking about a race or I see a runner out on a beautiful morning) but for now, I like walking more. Thankfully I have the time to put in the miles. Podcasts, magazines and moms on the phone are a plus! Since I walk a lot around town anyways, some days I have covered 7,8,9 miles in a day when I add my exercise walk with social or commute walks!

3) I swapped out yoga for prenatal yoga.

I hadn’t done too much regular yoga, so this was more of an addition than a swap. I didn’t start prenatal until I was about 14 weeks, but it was about this time when I could no longer lie flat on my stomach in a class and figured regular power yoga might be a bit too bendy for my growing torso. Love prenatal yoga! Yay for squats and pelvic circles.

4) Once a week cycle class.

I really enjoy my Wednesday cycle class and figured I could easily modify it to suit however I was feeling that day. I have taken my intensity down just a weeeee bit and opt out of the jumps at times, but for the most part this is my one high intensity, sweaty workout of the week. I’d go a second time but I just don’t love any other class as much as Amy’s and I hate that it’s always held in a dark, dark room.

5) And there’s Body Pump.

I’m very happy that I’ve continued to go to Pump throughout pregnancy so far! I really enjoy the class and have a group of friends I look forward to seeing on Mondays and Fridays. I want to keep myself strong for labor and the baby care beyond. When I couldn’t imagine something high intensity like a run, Pump still sounded appealing.

A few Pump changes:

-I dropped my weights down a hair after becoming pregnant. Like with running, I just didn’t want to feel that edge of fatigue. And feeling more fragile meant I didn’t want to be picking up the heaviest weights I possibly could. So I stepped down just a baby weight on everything and continued on. Still get tons of burn!

-Around 20 weeks I started to incline my bench. No idea how much this might impact the whole vena cava compression, but it is a bit easier to get on and off of. I often prop my leg up in a “figure four: while I’m on my back, as it seems to take some of the pressure of lying flat and lets just my lower body tip to the side just a bit, hopefully reducing the pressure. My upper body is still square though.

-I’ve modified the abs track since about 7 weeks when I had that horrible cramping. I was worried I had irritated my lower abs, so I stopped doing abs. Once the second tri started, I felt stronger and less fragile and I added back planks. During the abs track I try to do some leg lifts, 3 planks (front, both sides) and then some stretching while everyone else is still crunching. A kegel or two if I can remember!

-I still opt for the higher intensity options – like if there’s an optional hop, I still do it. Most of the time.

-I’ve added a nice 1 minute camper’s pose to my stretching. Can’t hurt right? (Oh yes it can!)

6) I’ve cut out the elliptical. And vacuuming!

My prenatal yoga teacher is big on keeping the pelvis aligned square to the front throughout pregnancy. Certain movements with reaches or twists pull the pelvis to one side or the other. She has three things she strongly recommends we not do:

-the elliptical (more often than not, the motion pulls hips forward and back, misaligning the pelvis.)

-vacuuming (she tells us to get our partners to do this – or hire an intern!)

-gardening (unless we are VERY careful to keep the hips forward. Reaching side to side is forbidden. Weeding right in front of your body while squatting is OK)

7) I’ve added in some home workouts.

Since I’m running less, walking a lot, and no longer doing cardio equipment like the elliptical (see above) or Stairmaster (too intense), I started to seek out prenatal DVDs. I first bought Summer Sanders’ DVD and then did a review of Expecting More (which I like a lot more). I also have a Knocked Up Fitness one to try out and review! And some YogaDownload prenatal yoga saved, but I haven’t tried those yet either.

Weekly Workouts

Mon: Pump Challenge

Tues: Walk + prenatal yoga

Wed: Cycle

Thurs: DVD/walk/inevitable rest day/swim?

Fri: Body Pump

Sat: Bakery/walk/rest/DVD

Sun: Walk/hike/DVD/swim?

What’s to come?

I would REALLY like to start swimming again, especially now that it’s warm!! I have almost scheduled it in a handful of times, but I don’t like going to the gym on Sundays and my Thursdays keep getting walks instead!! Maybe this week will be the week!

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22 Weeks: Expecting More

Since changing my fitness routine around a little bit with pregnancy (mostly a decrease in intensity and hiatus of running), the idea of fitness at home has become more appealing. I tried out my first prenatal DVD a month ago and liked the level of workout I got without leaving my house a lot. Shortly after I mentioned doing that DVD, Sara Haley’s Expecting More contacted me to see if I would like to review the 6-workout DVD set.

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So far I’ve done 3/6 of the workouts – the 3 on the cardio disc – and have been beyond impressed. The workouts are long enough to feel productive and intense enough to get me out of breath and break a sweat (a rarity for me!). They’ve been fast-paced and fun too. Sara isn’t cheesy at all, and I’m impressed with all she can do with the size of her bump! Here’s a promo video that shows what the workouts are like.

Here are reviews of the three workouts I’ve tried so far:

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Sweat Sport

I started with the sports-themed class because I’m competitive and all Smile It’s been a while since I’ve felt like an athlete, and with my second-trimester energy, an athletic conditioning class sounded like a good challenge. Throughout the class you build on a series of exercises that you do as a routine at the end. The exercises involved more jumping and bouncing than I expected in a prenatal workout, but that’s also why it was such a good challenge!! I was a bit timid to jump around at first but found that I had no problem doing it. We did jumping jacks, running in place, shuffles and more. Each exercise built on the last and by the end performance we did them all together in a 2-3 minute stretch. It was hard!! The class lasted almost an hour including the warm-up and cool-down, so there was no need to repeat anything. I had considered doing another segment when I started, but I was too beat to think of it when it ended!

Sweat Funk

Dance classes tend to make me feel way too cheesy, and as a former dancer, sometimes they are just too easy. Grapevines don’t get my heart rate up that much. But this class was good. It was a nice mix of funky steps and some bigger movements that moved you across the room to get you out of breath. I found it pretty hard to keep up and remember the steps at times, but I’m sure after a few more classes I’ll have it all down. Just like the fitness class, this one build the steps up into a routine that you did at the end in a performance section. The whole class was about an hour, and my body felt tired when I was finished. It’s really the 10 minutes of non-stop performance at the end that ends both cardio classes with a bang!

Synergy

The first two workouts were all cardio and didn’t require any equipment at all. Perfect for hotel rooms, travel and rainy days! The combo class was an hour-long strength and cardio interval workout. You needed a chair and some weights as equipment. I ended up using horseshoes because I didn’t have any weights, but they worked just fine. I liked the interval style a lot, although the cardio segments were less intense than the two above cardio classes. As a regular at Body Pump, I felt like the weights were on the easy side, but it was still nice to do when I couldn’t get to pump that week. Now that Faith let me borrow some 9 pounders, I have a feeling it will be more challenging! I still felt like it was a great overall toning workout and it would be good for beginners and intermediates alike.

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Overall

Pros

  • Love the timer that counts down not only each exercise but how many minutes are left in your whole class
  • Not cheesy
  • Actually challenging
  • Options to modify if you’re feeling more tired one day or bump it up if you have extra energy
  • Fast pace so when you do it a few times a week you don’t have to go super slow while they teach the steps again each time
  • Mental challenge as you build on the routines
  • 6 workouts in one set so variety with familiarity
  • Will be great for home workouts post-partum too!

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Cons

  • I wish there were a strength workout that just used body weight (like planks, pushups, squats) for a guided strength workout if you don’t have equipment or while traveling
  • I would LOVE if one of the 6 workouts was a childbirth fitness class like my prenatal yoga class and guided you through a series of pelvic exercises, squats and meditation. I’d do that multiple times a week!

Still to come: reviews of the two total strength workouts (which are hard for me to fit in because I’m already tired from Pump twice a week!) and the salutation workout, all on disc two

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Things I Love About Prenatal Yoga

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22 Weeks: Things I Love About Prenatal Yoga

Not all prenatal yoga classes are the same, but I sure do love my class! It’s not all what I expected. I thought it would be just like a regular yoga class with modifications for big bellies. But in actuality, it’s more like a childbirth class with a few traditional yoga poses thrown in.

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Me Time

Our class begins with 20-30 minutes of share time. We go around the room, one-by-one, and share our name, weeks of pregnancy and any highs or lows of the week. Our instructor Jen, who is also a doula, gives great experiential advice and suggestions on what remedies or solutions might help our ailments.

I know it’s a false impression, but I love the sense that during this hour, no matter how busy the day or week is, this hour of class is about mom and the new baby inside. Aside from the physical, the mental break is one part of class I really look forward to.

Synchronized “Swimming”

We then spend about 40-45 minutes in a series of stretches designed to open the hips, increase flexibility and decrease aches and pains. Class changes from week to week, but we usually begin with cat + cow stretches, pelvic circles and other motions. Things you might be embarrassed to do in a co-ed setting!

We usually do at least warrior I and II during class, a handful of squats and hamstring stretches. The worst type of squat is called campers pose, and the week after I blogged about it, Jen actually talked us through it as a mental game like a contraction. (For the record, it was twice as long and I have yet to make it all the way through without a break….she did say though that one mom reported after the fact that camper’s pose was harder than labor!)

A lot of times we end up doing some chest movements – arms this way or that – that looks like synchronized swimming and a dance class combined. It’s kind of beautiful to watch in the mirrors!

Meditation

Class ends with 10 minutes of “rest” where we get in various poses – legs up the wall, lying on a bolster, etc – for time to think about the baby. My favorite part of class for sure!

Support

Most of all, I really love how it just feels to be in a room full of other women going through a similar life-changing experience. I’ve never been through anything quite like this, and while I don’t really know the names of too many of the women yet, it’s still great bonding to just be in the room together. I like to think all of us are in total support of one another – all good vibes.

Missing Big Mamas

One drawback – people disappear!! After you reach week 30 (I think!), you are welcomed into the “Big Mama” group. And as women approach 40 weeks, there is always excitement when “this might be my last class comes,” and for those getting induced in the next few days, they know it’s their last class. I’ve only been going for about 2 months, but already it’s sad when you get there one week and women are missing. I almost wish there was a time each month set aside for the new moms to come back and share some tips and their babies to see (if they are able and comfortable). Monthly yoga reunions?!

I’m looking forward to mommy + me yoga someday too – perhaps that is the bridge to continue this enjoyable class!

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18 Weeks: Yoga For Two

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Today was my second visit to the prenatal yoga class at my gym! I’ve seen women late into their pregnancies go into prenatal yoga since I joined the gym nearly two years ago, but never did I think I would be one of them!

I was really nervous before my first class. Not about the yoga, since I knew it had to be a bit easier than the power vinyasa I had practiced in the past, but I was nervous about the logistics and the women! I just didn’t know how the first class would go.

When I walked into the room with my 16.5 week belly, a woman, who was clearly way more pregnant than I was, said to me:

“Ha! I thought I was in the wrong yoga class for a minute because you don’t look pregnant at all!”

Welcome to yoga, Kath.

“You don’t look pregnant” is the last thing someone in their early second trimester wants to hear!

Luckily, everyone else was nice, and my friend Amy, who is near term and still rockin’ it, was there too!

I was surprised when we started the class going around the room of about 25 women to each introduce ourselves, our pregnancy week and any issues or joys we had experienced that week. I absolutely LOVED this part of the class and wish we had 2 hours so we could spend even longer on the meet and greet! The instructor, Jen, is also a doula, so she had greats of advice and information to help the mamas with their aches and pains as well.

As we went around the room, I was glad to hear there were 3 other women at 16 weeks or less, so I was not the “youngest” in the room.

After introductions, we began the practice, which was much more of a childbirth class than a traditional yoga class. This is totally fine with me because my #1 goal of the class is not exercise for mind or body but preparation for childbirth. I want to open my hips, squat low and prepare my body in any and every way I can for what’s to come. I think of the class more as a great stretch ending with an awesome 10-minute meditation when you’re supposed to focus on your baby (I think! At least this is what I do!)

My second class was similar to the first, and I found myself counting down the days to it. Initially I thought I would hate an evening class (it’s from 5:30-6:45pm) because it’s during dinner hour and means Matt’s the solo cook, but I sort of like unwinding from my day with yoga. It’s much more fun to look forward to than if I had to run 5 miles in the evening!

During the final meditation tonight, I kept talking to the baby [in my head] and urging him to do some awesome roll or kick, but no dice. Maybe next week!

I skipped last week, so today I shared that I was 18.5 weeks along (and still counting half weeks!) and that I had just started to feel movement. The woman beside me was 19 weeks and her bump was much bigger than mine. I know better than to compare apples to oranges, but I felt like my bump disappeared in that class!

When I got home, I passed by a mirror and noticed that I don’t give it as much credit as it might deserve – it is still there!

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Already excited for next week’s class! If there were two a week, I would be there.

9 Weeks: Itching To Tell The World

I told a few more friends our news this weekend – one said she totally called it 3 weeks ago (based on “alcohol props!” and the other said she was totally surprised. I guess the clues must depend on how well you know me ; ) I think my foods seem totally weird, but I’ve also been able to play off cravings and things to an abundance of leftovers and wintertime blues. In many ways, this has been easier to hide than I thought. Although if I hadn’t been able to get help from medicine, you would have found out long ago. Do I look sneaky!?

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How about this beer teaser. I thought I did a pretty good job pretending we got too tispy together for dinner : )

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I really had a hibiscus soda to drink that night!

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I’ve definitely felt a surge of energy this week. I felt alive enough to go to Chris’s Body Pump on Monday, although I kept my weights a little lighter than usual. I have no problem challenging my biceps and tris (I’ve kept my same weight for those) but I’ve lightened up squats significantly and totally skipped abs this time. Anything that uses my whole body/core strength I feel needs a little lightening.

I actually went for a run and it felt great! My pace has suffered – from winter, from lack of running and probably from pregnancy too. I averaged about a 9:15 mile. I hope I can continue to run for a few more weeks – it will be so much more appealing when spring is here!

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I skipped my lunchtime dose of my B6 + Unisom cocktail yesterday and felt pretty yucky by dinnertime. I think the all-day sickness is still there in full swing. THANK GOODNESS FOR THE MEDICINE! It has been the ultimate lifesaver to rescue this first trimester and allowed me to live a pretty normal life – including getting those important nutrients to the baby.

I think it’s funny and weird that even though I have the nausea under control, I am still having tons of food aversions. For some reason all soups sound gross to me – especially thick ones like lentil or butternut squash. Still have no desire to eat salads!! However I’ve been getting in veggies like spinach, tomatoes, some Caesar salad, and fresh veggies on a Great Harvest sandwich last week. And I did my best to open a can of salmon for some good omega-3s. It tasted pretty good, but I mixed it with all these weird foods! But I want nothing to do with pumpkin, blue cheese, big raw salads, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots (yuccck!) and all of my old favorite foods. I really would love to ask my body what it’s thinking…

The rice cooker has been SUCH FUN! When I wake up all groggy and hungover on HCG, it has oatmeal all ready for me. It really helped me get back into oats after a long cereal/yogurt stage.

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One Becomes Two

Ever since my 7.5 week emergency ultrasound, I have been thinking of myself as two people. I even said to Matt “WE don’t like lettuce right now” as a joke when we were talking about meals this week. Makes me smile. I can’t wait until the day when I can feel the baby inside of me! I keep thinking about newborns and holding babies and dreaming about them. I think I have hit a turning point where I’m worrying a little less about miscarriage and thinking more and more about the fact that I’m not just pregnant, I’m [probably] going to have a BABY! A tiny squirming little one who needs me all the time. I played with dolls a lot when I was little and loved the feeling of holding a doll. I can’t imagine what it will be like to hold my own baby for the first time.

Making Room

My stomach is starting to feel like a memory foam mattress. I think I am in the full swing of 9 week bloating. I haven’t been eating that well either, so that might be contributing.

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But this pooch is poking out most of the time! My abs are still relaxing.

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What’s odd about the nausea (what I do have of it) is that I don’t really want to eat, but eating makes me feel better. It’s the ultimate catch 22 of pregnancy. So I find myself at times having a few crackers here or a cookie there just to make me feel better. They DO make me feel better. I swear cookies and sweets make me feel better and vegetables make me feel worse. I think overall I’m doing a pretty good job letting myself enjoy what I crave while having small portions and eating a pretty normal 3-meals-a-day diet. I’d guess I’m up a few pounds – mostly concentrated in my middle. I have no idea what is bloating and what is any real weight gain, but I think it’s a good sign that it’s mostly in my middle. All the doctors tell you not to gain too much, but how are you really supposed to know if you’re gaining the right amount until it’s too late? I know I shouldn’t be eating ice cream by the gallon (and I’m not) but when it comes to the smaller stuff that adds up – portions, bites, etc – it’s hard to know. I don’t weigh myself at home, so I’m just trying to follow my hunger cues and keep craving portions on the small side. Although if you brought me a slice of chocolate cake right now I would love you forever…

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You know how we all have pants that are on the bigger side and pants that are on the tighter side? My tighter pants still fit, but they are very uncomfortable. So much so that after a miserable day in a pair of tight cords, I went to Target and bought a BeBand. SO much more room! I still have several pairs of bigger pants that button and fit no problem, but I’m wearing the BeBand around just for fun. It’s comfy and might even help me with better posture. And it just tucks everything in!

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Caitlin says you can’t suck in a bump, so I’ve been sucking in in my photos to see if I can. It appears my stomach can still go back inside –

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I also bought my first pair of maternity jeans on sale at Kohl’s! [Clearly those tight cords had me thinking I had outgrown all of my pants.] The maternity jeans actually look really cute. They’re cool flare on the bottom and elastic on the top – and only moderately high so I don’t feel like I’m wearing yards of fabric around my waist. I haven’t worn them yet, but I think it will be fun to do so. [Edited to add: end of the week and those maternity jeans are sounding better and better…!]

I’m doing tons of walking and loving it!! I know I can still run, but walking is just so much more enjoyable in both the cold weather and warm. We’ve been hiking too!

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I’m getting SO excited to share my news!!!!!!!!

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6 weeks 

7 weeks 

8 weeks