If you have been following along with my journey on the blog, you know that I have a lot of expectations for my life and myself. Those expectations have had to be readjusted over the course of this pregnancy. I was going to say that some important things have been let go of gracefully and others haven’t, but really, I think I would be lying. I haven’t felt good about letting go of many important activities in my life, but some have naturally receded, as I cling to them by the nails.
For example, I took up the cello last summer, something I had always wanted to do. So I started up with a cello rental and lessons every Saturday at 2 pm. Ever since my brain incident that I posted about last week, I have had sleep problems ranging from severe to mild. Sometimes I wake up very early, and it was my pattern to get up and practice the cello for 45 minutes. Well, now, that pattern has changed and I’m not getting up early enough to practice and honestly, my interest is just waning. I feel like if I have time and energy, there are other body-related activities that I need to be attending to, like exercising. So last Saturday, I regretfully put in my two-week notice for cello lessons. I hope to keep the cello and be able to keep playing. It seems like too much to just let it all go at once.
I am proud to say that I have started really exercising again. I have been doing my warm yoga (really to help my hips) and walking again. I believe I got out and exercised four times last week and am on target for this week too. I also reigned in my heavy snacking and cut myself down to one dessert a day (from three!) and was rewarded by not gaining any weight in the last week or more. Of course, then I wondered if I should be gaining weight for the baby, but I’m pretty sure she’s ok and “will take what she needs.”
One of my new research topics, of course fraught with differing opinions among professionals, is pelvic floor strength. My midwife told me I have great breastfeeding nipples (hooray!) and terrible pelvic floor strength (boo!). This was not news to me. I have a mild prolapse, which is not common in women who have not given birth. My issues are either congenital or are due to a life of constipation (or both) and I have been to physical therapy in the past about it. That being said, everybody always says to work on your kegels! Well, the kegel only supports one specific muscle and your pelvic floor is a system of muscles. So not only is it really hard to do kegels, it just didn’t ring true to me, so that got me (you guess it) researching. Also, for some reason, more and more of my friends are also telling unsavory stories of their incontinence and how they wish they had done better preparation before and during pregnancy.
The alternate theory on pelvic floor strength, other than singling out the kegel muscle, is to combine that exercise with squats that lift the whole floor which can then act as a system. I have found a website that is designed for women, both pregnant and post-partum with an exercise program that is supposed to incorporate pelvic floor strength. I am going to purchase their online prenatal workouts. Prenatal yoga just doesn’t cut it for me—I’d rather modify my warm yoga. And I have a workout video for pregnant ladies that goes month by month, but I never cared for it. I’ll report back on how it’s working out.
Further preparations for our daughter are being made. Her baby shower is coming together. Hand-me-downs have been coming my way. These are so fun, but I am somewhat overwhelmed by both the generosity and how much space in our relatively small house all these clothes and accessories are taking up. I still have not fixed on what to do about any birthing classes. It would be unlike me to not be as prepared as possible, but alternately, I feel like women for millennia and all around the world somehow get by without spending $400-600 on birthing classes! I have a few more options to research at this point, including more second opinions from doctors about actually giving birth outside a hospital (I am still waffling about what to do, but am cutting myself some slack on making a decision without further professional guidance). More next week!