The Last Few Days of Pregnancy!
Well, I’m here. It’s the last few days of my second full (and final!) pregnancy. I’m definitely too old for this business!
It’s been a tough ride, both physically and emotionally!
I could do with this pregnancy ending pretty soon. Both because it would be blooming brilliant to meet this little monkey sooner rather than later and because it would be a corner turned of feeling like this! Oh I know it’s not all roses on the other side, with sleepless nights, bleeding and cracked nipples, sore girlie bits (or c-section scar) and working hard not to piddle myself when coughing etc. Also I appreciate many many women go through far more than I can ever imagine having to endure both during their pregnancies and after!
Modified Training Plans
I am grateful that I have managed to exercise right up until the bitter end of pregnancy once again. Not quite like last time, where I was able to run until I was 39 and a half weeks. But I have been going into the gym 3 or 4 times per week. My routine has generally become more and more low impact and restorative. Trying to remain mobile and comfortable with the sore back and pelvic floor pressure that has built up as the weeks have passed by.
It’s now more about minimising pregnancy aches and pains, prepping for labor and delivery and making an easier recovery for myself. It’s not about PB’s anymore. I no longer compare myself to my old non-pregnant self. Enjoying and appreciating training in any capacity that I can. I’m OK with my modified workouts this time around.
Being pregnant with a toddler is a different story!
Now I’m full term and simply waiting for the big day to arrive, I am finding running around after a lively toddler very tiring! Unfortunately he hasn’t been sleeping very well so I tend to have multiple get ups each and every night! Then when he is awake and up from 7am-7pm he is simply non-stop!
This morning I went into my private gym to do a session but actually simple lunges are no longer comfortable. I was able to do some general stretches and ball rolling and some upper-body work. Then I gave up and went for a brisk walk for half an hour instead! Actually it was wonderful! Blue skies and a heavy frost made for a beautiful view and a fresh wake-up call!
When baby does decide to make an appearance, this time I hope things will be a little different.
When I look back at my first few weeks and indeed months after having Ronnie just 3 years ago, I feel happy and sad. Happy for the safe arrival of our little boy, who brings a smile to my face every day (as well as the odd tear of frustration and tiredness!) but sad to remember how I struggled to cope with all the changes that suddenly happened to my life.
I definitely had the baby blues but I actually also think I suffered a little with undiagnosed postnatal depression. Initially, I felt weird, abnormal, alone (even though I definitely wasn’t). I felt like I couldn’t say yes to any help offered to me in fear of people assuming I couldn’t cope.
Even though I knew I was so well blessed for having a beautiful baby, I couldn’t help feeling so down for no apparent reason. Reasoning told me I was supposed to feel overwhelmed with happiness and so I actually felt guilty for feeling this way! I was hormonally unstable and very sleep deprived and questioned whether I was actually cut out for this motherhood.
Post Natal Depression
These feelings did finally pass and I began to feel a little more normal. That was until I injured my ankle 6 months post baby and was left on crutches and non-weight bearing for a couple of weeks. This all happened at a time when I had just finished breast feeding and I was actually looking forward to having a little more freedom and ‘me time’ and returning to some level of fitness and training! I think this is when the postnatal depression really kicked in! Maybe I’d had a little straight after birth but this is when I really felt like I was alone and in a dark place.
I think one of the main things I struggled with was the feeling of losing my identity. That my new baby had somehow stolen my life. No longer was I a financially independent career woman with a heavy training diary. I suddenly became reliant on my husbands income, unfit, with no free time to do as I pleased.
Looking back I wish I could have shown myself more grace during this vulnerable phase of motherhood. Just been a little kinder to myself. Simply realising I was actually doing a good job at the time.
Comparing myself to others
I used to (and sometimes still do!) look around at my friends and acquaintances going through the same early post baby stages and seemingly they are coping so easily. Maybe they’re not really? Its hard, it’s blooming really hard. It’s a foggy patch that at the time doesn’t ever seem to get any easier. But now I know it passes. It does get easier. Oh boy there are always challenges with children, just different ones as they get older. And I have no doubt I have barely touched the surface of the real struggles we will endure as they find their own feet in life!
I remind myself I was blessed with a new incredible baby. Even now everyday I fall more in love with him. Having him has changed my life, my mind and my body pretty dramatically and I wouldn’t want it any other way! It took having Ronnie for me to be truly grateful for my body and to be proud of myself and what I’m capable of!
Shortly this will happen all over again with baby number two.
This time I hope things will pan out differently. I have little expectation on myself to get that “pre-baby body back”! I won’t feel like I need to rush back into anything. This time I am willing to take the help from those family and friends around me that are offering a helping hand.
Don’t forget, we are more capable than we think we are. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. We are not alone in this new journey! Happy and healthy pregnancy and post birth ladies!