Thursday, February 17, 2011

Training While Pregnant

I love stories about people who train while they are pregnant. I saw this article and thought I'd share:

A Modest Master

"I actually started a club up here before I got pregnant and taught all through my pregnancy.”

Oh yeah.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We did this!

More updates will be coming soon.  Man, even if I claim I was on blog "maternity leave," it's been a little too long.

So, I saw this picture and realized that the baby and I did our own version of this.  You know, with the addition of a diaper and modern clothes.  I didn't really think you could nurse with the baby sitting up, but it worked.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Ugh.  My cankles have grown in.

They suck.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Birthing Class

My husband and I officially started our birthing class last month.  We are required to take what is called a Bradley class by our birthing center.  Bradley classes promote non-medicated births/natural child birth and also advocate fewer hospital interventions.  I know at least half a dozen people who've had babies in the last six months or so, and out of all of them, only one couple actually attended a birthing class.  Now that I've been to a few of them, I don't understand why more people don't do it.  They are great.

On the surface, it seemed like an expensive investment -- almost $200.  It's probably not that much in the big picture of how much babies cost, but I'm sure we could have happily spent that money on something else.  However, our tuition included a $100 gift certificate to Gymboree.  I know for a fact we'd never spend that much money at a place like Gymboree (do we really need someone to teach us how to play with our kid?  does anyone?), but at least it feels like we are getting half our money back from our birthing classes.

The information we are learning is fantastic.  When I talk to my other pregnant friends now, I'm the one full of weird factoids about pregnancy and child birth.  I feel knowledgeable.  Plus -- and maybe this is the biggest benefit -- a LOT of what we are learning is massage and comfort techniques.  Let me rephrase that: my husband has to learn how to make me feel better.  And we are required to practice.  We are learning things like back rubs and massages.  Even the labor positions we are learning feel good right now, even though I'm nowhere near going into labor.  It's great.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Persistence or 100%?

The other night, I apologized to my instructor for skipping class a few times in a row (I always try to go once a week, sometimes more, but sometimes even once a week doesn't quite work out) and admitted that sometimes lately it's been hard to push myself to come to class.  For one, I can't always participate in everything anymore, and that can make me feel left out.  Also, I often have to dial back or stop early when we are working on something particular -- if we are in the middle of a highly aerobic exercise, for example, or if we are devoting an entire night to kicking routines -- and that makes me feel like I'm not trying hard enough.  I'm also taking more breaks: snack breaks and bathroom breaks.  I swear, this week, every time I stand up, I discover I have to pee again.  It was funny for about ten minutes, then it became super annoying.

My instructor told me that every time I come out onto the mat, I am an inspiration to the other people in class, because if I can come to class pregnant, then everyone else's excuses for missing class seem lame by comparison.  I was surprised to hear this.  First of all, it's not hard to COME to class as a pregnant lady -- showing up is the easy part; it's doing my best that's getting more and more difficult.  Or, perhaps, my "best" is just less and less as the weeks go by.

This brings up a lot of issues and ideas for me.  First, let me acknowledge that the standards for my performance are stunningly low compared to anyone else in class.  If I'm working out with everyone and an instructor is walking around offering tips or corrections, they never tell me anything anymore.  It's as if they pass me over as long as I'm still upright and breathing.  I realize that it might be a little harsh to tell the pregnant lady she's not kicking high enough, but I didn't expect the standards to be SO LOW that I could basically perform like a buffoon and everyone would just pretend they didn't notice.  Some of the male instructors, quite honestly, still ask me every time they see me if I'm OK doing the stretching exercises or the warm-ups.  I don't want to be snarky, but YES, I'M OK and if I'm not, I'll stop, I promise, you don't have to check in all the time.  Maybe this is because my gut keeps getting bigger and, as guys, they are all waiting for it to explode into labor at the drop of a hat.

Second, before I got pregnant, I never really wanted to go to class if I didn't feel my best.  If my muscles were sore from a previous workout or I had a cold or I was tired, I would skip class thinking that I needed to save it for when I was in peak condition.  I'm still not sure how I feel about this on the other side -- since, now that I'm pregnant, every time I go to class I'm not in peak condition.  Which one is more important, giving 100% or simply showing persistence?

My instructors have been pushing hard on the persistence angle recently, possibly because the classes have been smaller over this past winter.  They want us to come no matter how we feel.  They tell us that, for example, if you've hurt your knee or ankle, you can still come to class and do arm workouts.  The idea seems to be that skipping is for sissies and that real martial artists would just come to class every night no matter what.

But, the other side of that is that those same instructors hardly ever want to hear about excuses or injuries when we come to class.  If someone shows up with an injured wrist, it's pretty likely that an instructor will ask, "How bad is it really?" or "But you can still do self-defense [or whatever the workout is for the night] anyway, right?"  I'm not sure they understand that when we come to class feeling less than great, we feel bad when we have to bow out of an activity, especially when they are pushing us to do everything anyway.  Sometimes skipping class when we are injured is the only way to gracefully opt out of these weird, uncomfortable conversations.

I've discovered my own voice in this since I've been pregnant.  I don't feel so bad standing up to the instructors anymore, but I know it's entirely because I can "blame the baby."  Technically, it's someone else's fault that I can't hold the kicking pad today.  But even so, sometimes I'm still super uncomfortable saying what I can and can't do to someone else, especially someone else who outranks me.  When there are exactly enough people in the class for a partner drill, but I have to opt out because I can't hold the pad, I feel like I'm ruining class for everyone.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Review: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

A lot of different people recommended this book to me, and I'd heard of Ina May Gaskin before, so I was excited to read it.  I figured it would be somewhat along the lines of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth, but maybe more from a midwife's perspective.  But actually, I found this book to a lot more involved.  True, it does have some of the same information as Thinking Woman's Guide, especially about interventions at the hospital, but half the book is devoted to the stories of natural childbirth, and that was something I hadn't seen before.

I like the idea behind it.  We are exposed to so many stories about birth from our family members and friends, movies and TV shows, that we think that labor has to be excruciatingly painful and full of danger.  The birth stories included here dispel some of that -- these births are sometimes painful, but also very joyful.  Some of them don't seem to hurt at all.  Overwhelmingly, the feeling of confidence and accomplishment from the mothers is what comes through.

The second half of the book explores why hospital settings can be so irritating to laboring women.  My husband especially liked the description of the "Sphincter Principle," which states that there are similarities to being able to give birth on command in a room full of strangers with being able to pee on command in a room full of strangers.  To make it easier, you should be in a quiet, private space where you feel safe and respected and among people you trust.  Gaskin gives plenty of scientific backup, but my reaction after reading it was, "DUH."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No ID?

A few nights ago, my husband and I met downtown for happy hour.  For some reason -- let's chalk it up to the Pregnancy Forgetsies -- I didn't have my wallet.  I guess I'd taken it out of my purse for some reason and didn't put it back.  The guy at the door asked for my ID and I scrambled around, feeling really embarrassed and hopeless.

Then I stuck out my giant tummy and said, "Well, I'm pregnant, it's not like I can drink anyway."

He waved me right in, no ID needed.  Then I had a German non-alcoholic beer that tasted like ass.