Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Waiting for Godot

I'm in that strange state of waiting. Waiting for my body to go into labor, for this baby to emerge and join us, to meet this child, to see how life unfolds with a new addition. To say the least, it's a strange state to be in, and I feel like it's all a bit abstract, surreal.

Some women can run eight or 10 or whatever miles the final days of their pregnancy, forever holding the badge of honor that allows them to say, "I ran 12 miles the morning I gave birth!"

Not me. My activity, these days...now at 40 weeks and five days pregnant, looks like this:

- Yoga: I do some light, prenatal yoga poses in my living room while watching the Tour de France. I have a routine, pulled from this great Prenatal Yoga Deck, that takes me about 20 minutes. And I usually combine this with one of the following activities. (It's rarely the only exercise I'll do in a day.)

- Aqua Jogging: I grab my blue foam thing and do 30-40 minutes of aqua jogging in the deep end of an outdoor pool, looking for drowning bees and lady bugs to toss ashore to dry land.

- Swimming: I'm swimming laps every few days. While I used to do sessions that totaled 2,000 to 2,500 yards, with hard interval sets within, these days I'm swimming a mellow 1,100 to 1,300 yards total. I alternate between swimming freestyle, pulling with a pull-buoy (which is easier on my round ligaments and supporting abdominal muscles than swimming without the buoy), swimming about 100 meters breast stroke (which doesn't always feel great on my adductors and hips), and kicking with the kickboard for 100 meters. It's the last 100, with the kickboard, that I think I need to stop doing. I'm having a hard time getting out of the pool at the end of my swims. My round ligaments/supporting muscles contract and ache when I'm trying to scale the ladder to get out.

- Prenatal Pilates:
For months, I was joining a few other pregnant moms for a great, 60-minute prenatal pilates class. I'm a little too uncomfortable getting into positions to continue the class right now, but did it up to my 39th week.

- Elliptical/Gym Workout: For the last few months, I was doing 30 to 40 minutes on the elliptical, once and sometimes twice a week. I'd do five minutes on level 1, resting my hands on the bars, 5 minutes using my arms (like taffy). Five minutes on level 2 while resting my hands, 5 minutes being a piece of taffy. Five minutes on level 3, no arms, five minutes of taffy. Cool down. Then I lifted 8-lb. free weights, doing bicep curls, upright rows and shoulder extensions. Then using one weight for tricep extensions. I do my 20-minute yoga routine, and do squats against the wall leaning my back against a fit ball for support.

- Recumbent Bike/Gym Workout: Yesterday, the 8-minute walk to the gym didn't feel great, so when I got there I opted for the recumbent bike over the elliptical. The seated position cramped my low-lying baby just a tad, but it seemed more comfortable that sitting on a bike seat. I did that for 25 minutes until the baby shifted and I had to pee so badly I made a mad dash for the Ladies'...then I did the weights and yoga like in the above workout.

- Hiking. My husband and I hit a local, semi-steep but totally emergency-vehicle-accessible (just in case) trail over the weekend. I waddled slowly, he walked next to me, carrying my water. We were out about an hour, but probably hiked 45 minutes.

- Walking. We take walks around the neighborhood, though this doesn't feel as good on my body as getting in the pool.

- Weeding. I've been working in the garden quite a bit, imagining being a farm worker 100 years ago with one baby on my back, one in my uterus, tending to the fields until my water breaks. It's hard work, but it hasn't made labor happen yet.

So you see, I'm not one of those women who can claim to have run miles the morning of giving birth. While I'm trying to stay active for the sake of my body, and my mind, my activity is a little more...on the light side.

But staying active in these ways, however random—aqua jogging, pulling weeds and Tour-de-France yoga—definitely helps me stay a tiny bit sane as I wait for baby Godot.

1 comment:

  1. First, congratulations : you are a beautiful very pregnant woman! I know it is not always easy, as an athlete, to accept a pregnant body, but if it may be the last time, enjoy the last days of looking this way!

    Second, thanks for being honest about not being able to run a marathon til the last day! I think that, although it is good to stay active, running until delivery may not be for everybody, and accepting this is probably (harder?) as hard as running-while-pregnant itself!

    Enjoy the last few days, and looking forward to seeing photos of Baby Godot!