ooh… pretty flowers!

Most of my friends are no longer showing up in yoga (due to having their babies) and I was the most, um, maturely pregnant lady in class this morning by four weeks! The one perk was that my mom is now in town so I got to bring her along like I’ve seen so many other 40+ weekers do in the past. If I make it to 41 weeks, class is free. (Don’t get any ideas Baby! That is not my goal). Class felt wonderful, although every time I went into a squat I was sure I might need rescuing out of the pose. Luckily it didn’t come to that but by the end I was tired enough to fall asleep during the five minute sivasana!

Yesterday, my swim class buddies were thrilled to see me and also tried to sympathize that I was still there, not in labor yet. We had a sub who encouraged socialization, which was a relief to everyone, since that’s what we’re there for anyway. The workout was good and I found plenty of energy but immediately lost it the second I climbed out of the water. Save my acupuncture appointment, I spent the afternoon resting in bed! I was tempted to do the same today but thought a walk might encourage Baby to move in the downward direction. I think the walk was a good call and thoroughly enjoyed the de Young museum’s annual flower exhibit. I soaked in the beauty and scent, all the while thinking this would be a perfect way to have spent my last afternoon before giving birth!


luxuriating in the feel of water

I absorbed the final few laps of my swim today as if they would be the last for a while.  Who knows at this point??  Breathing has become remarkably easy now that Baby isn’t taking up all of my lung space and although my 1000 yds seemed to take a long time, I swam each 100 yds with energy and determination.  As I hauled myself out of the pool a man in the hot tub motioned me over to inquire about my due date and share with me that his daughter had been born one month ago.  He said he and mom were making a point of giving each other workout breaks to maintain sanity.  Sounds like a good idea to me!

On Tuesday our prenatal water instructor was sick and couldn’t find a sub so five of us showed up to run our own class.  Everyone was committed to being there because we’d planned lunch afterward!  As soon as we started warming up one of the girls commented that she’d just found my blog, then asked me what we should do next.  I took over instructing the moves for a while then a few others joined in.  We did a fun 45 minutes of work then decided it was time to stretch in the warm pool.  I wanted to be horizontal for a few minutes so I jumped back in to help the lifeguard reset the lap lanes.  I made it to the other end and moved my side but he dropped his.  I kicked my way back, holding the lane line to keep it slack so my end wouldn’t sink, then retrieved his side.  After it was re-hooked I did a quick 200 yds then joined the girls for a little relaxation before lunch.

I’m sure going to miss swimming but can’t wait until I can take Baby to the pool with me.  After all, he/she will be a Pisces, just like Mamma!

jiggle butt

Yesterday in yoga I realized my rear end had become jiggly.  This is something I’ve worked hard to avoid my entire adult life and a quality my yoga teacher praises as being essential for childbirth.  Well, looks like my body is ready for having this baby!  In every class we do juicy hips- hip circles, figure eights and samba-like shaking to become soft and supple.  She reminds us frequently not to clench lower body muscles during standing poses.  Flowing squats (starting with arms high in the air then squatting and bringing hands to the ground or bolster)  are used to strengthen and tone the pelvic wall instead of traditional kegels.  In Jane’s classes we strive to be comfortable in our new bodies and quiet in our minds, plus the beginning is like therapy as we go around the room introducing ourselves and mentioning anything we’re concerned about or would like focus on.  We do what feels like hours of shoulder strengthening exercises (which I’ll get around to posting one of these days!) to build strength for hours of baby holding.  And after class my friends and I round it out with Arizmendi Bakery‘s pizza of the day.  What’s not to love?

This morning I decided to take the bus to the JCC because free parking has a 2 hour limit and I didn’t want to pay for the garage.  I had scheduled my morning with water running, Hebrew lesson and a massage!  I saw my bus coming so began running and waving my arms, but it drove away without me.  I was indignant that the bus driver didn’t wait for a pregnant woman but still made it to class on time via another bus and a slightly longer walk.

Today and also on Tuesday I felt strong and motivated in the water.  Tuesday’s class was crowded with girls I knew so naturally I focused more on chatting than exercising but still got a good workout.  Today the instructor didn’t show up.  She’s a doula so we all know that she often doesn’t have time to find a sub.  Six of us were there so we ran the class ourselves, moving up and down the pool in pairs, remembering what exercises we could.  This suited me just fine since I needed to leave early.  After 40 minutes I moved to the warm pool to stretch, then took a leisurely shower and hurried upstairs to my Hebrew lesson.  My Hebrew is actually improving since I’ve been doing my homework lately and I was able to read and make sense of a couple paragraphs before going back to writing and verbs!  The reward for exercising and studying today was a wonderful prenatal massage.  I’m so glad I purchased the Yelp JCC deal when I saw it  (a cheap month’s membership and a massage) and am sorry my month is ending soon.  Back to paying for water classes next week!

not just eating

I haven’t written for almost a week but despite how it might appear on my FB page, I have been doing more than just eating!  I continue to love the water even though being on land isn’t horrible right now since hip stopped hurting and my back isn’t usually tired until the evening.  Perhaps I’m in the final stages of a blissful pregnancy and my hips have done most of the shifting they’re going to do??  My belly is getting heavier (and huger!) by the day and Baby’s movements are quite distracting, especially in the middle of the night.  We didn’t sleep much last night but despite waking groggy to a grey morning I hauled myself to water class.  There were eight of us in attendance this morning and I was pleased to already know a little about each girl.  Class was total social hour- didn’t seem as though I worked at all!  This felt great compared to last Thursday’s class when I could barely move in the water and exhausted every muscle in my body.  Sunday’s swim was a middle-ground water day.  We’d spend the entire day sitting in our final hypnobirthing class and I could hardly wait to swim.  However, once in the water I was having so much trouble catching my breath and getting enough air that I quit after 1/4 mile.

After Thursday’s class, I took a total rest day Friday and was recovered enough Saturday to fit a very brief spin in before brunch at Nopa.  I had 20 minutes and made the most of it without exhausting myself.  Yesterday was another tired day so I called it quits after a 30 minute walk in the park with LP, then thoroughly enjoyed my massage as a reward for getting out of bed and moving!

a week of workouts:

wed- Jane’s yoga class!  thurs– 1 hour water class,  fri– rest day,  sat– 20 min spin (5 min warm up, increase weight on wheel & spin 2 min/ climb :30 X 4, decrease weight on wheel & increase RPM 100-105 for 3 min, 2 min cool down), stretch & bird-dog,  sun– 450 yd swim mostly freestyle w/ occasional back or breaststroke,  mon– 30 min easy walk, tue– 1 hour water class

water rockets

We did a new exercise in the prenatal water class this morning.  Along with the usual across the pool and stationary drills, we added water rockets.  No, that’s not the technical name, just what I’ve labeled it for sharing purposes!  We had water belts on and lined up along the wall in the deep end.  We crouched into the wall as close as bellies would allow, then shot backward, using arms and legs to help launch.  We kicked on our backs to the next lane line then “sprinted” back to the wall.  The exercise was repeated several times and each time I realized my momentum decreased and my sprint was a little slower.  Whew!  Good workout today… of course followed by stretch and chat in the warm pool.  My hip feels a little better each day as I get out of the pool and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s massage.  Last time I saw Joanna at Presidio Sport & Medicine, my pregnancy sciatica totally disappeared, so I’m hoping for a similar miracle this time.

the workout:

1 hour water class

easing back pain

Everything I read says back pain is an inevitable side effect of being pregnant.  Coming off the past couple years of PT for slipped and torn discs in my lower lumbar, I’ve been pleasantly surprised during most of my pregnancy that my back pain has actually diminished.  Unfortunately it does flare up occasionally and, unlike before I had extra baby weight in the front, sitting feels better than standing.  This is not conducive to physical exercise and I find it slightly annoying when people ask if I’m exhausted that I have to admit my body is giving out before my physical energy.  It’s new for me to get used to resting frequently throughout the day in order to carry on with my daily activities, but at least I have the luxury of doing so.

I almost skipped water running this morning because sleeping gave me no relief last night and I was feeling plain weird in my body when I woke up.  I decided to drive, park in the JCC garage, and give myself permission to quit class at any time.  Fool proof plan. Miraculously, the minute I was in the water I forgot all of my aches and pains and thoroughly enjoyed the entire hour of class.  Being around other mommas-to-be and feeling weightless does wonders for a pregnant girl!  The substitute instructor today was unusually good, dancing as she demonstrated our moves on the pool deck, and allowing us time for socializing mixed with working.  I pushed myself to the point of breathing hard a couple of times and went directly to the warm pool, skipping my usual laps after class.  As soon as I exited the pool, my feeling of bliss disappeared, but I’m already looking forward to Thursday’s class!

the workout:

1 hour water running, time split between stationary, moving across pool, arm weights

a day of decadence

I went to my usual prenatal water class this morning and we had a different sub than I’ve seen so far.  She encouraged us to use webbed swim gloves (like a wetsuit for hands!) and beside the usual crossing back and forth across the pool running, biking and skiing, we did quite a few arm strengtheners.  She told us that water resistance when doing curls and tricep presses was similar to a 30 lb weight.  I find that hard to believe but I enjoyed the exercises anyway.  The only think I found disagreeable about this teacher was that she didn’t want us doing a particular exercise “all the way” because of our “condition”.  Working obliques during pregnancy is not only okay, but a good idea!  After the class, I swam a very slow 300 yds then took a leisurely shower.  I had an hour before my massage so I treated myself to a lunch around the corner of mac & cheese, kale salad and pineapple chunks.  Yum!  My massage was blissfully relaxing with a perfect blend of deep tissue work on my low back and attention to the rest of me.  I took two buses home instead of my usual one bus plus walking several blocks.  Why didn’t this route occur to me before??  Now I’m debating whether I’m going to pick up my violin and play a few notes or take a nap before I meet the girls at Samovar for tea.  Tonight we’re taking a break from social activities to relax at home.  I’m looking forward to plugging in the Christmas tree, lighting the first Hanukkah candle and sitting in front of the fire with a glass of eggnog.  Ahhh…

the workout:

1 hour water aerobics, 300 yd easy swim