This is 36 Weeks Pregnant
Swollen feet, achy pelvis, restricted breathing and I couldn’t even think about picking up anything off the floor. Mentally, I felt restricted and I started to get depressed about being so limited physically as well.
I had been active throughout my pregnancy – hiking, kayaking, skiing, walking, and going to the gym since day 1.
When I was thirty-four weeks pregnant I decided that light walking with the dogs was all I was up for. I was still working full-time at this point and when I got home at night, I was exhausted. Everyone encouraged me to just relax, binge watch TV, eat my favourite foods, and just hang out. I finally decided to listen.
Relaxing helped my body to feel a little less sore and my feet become a little less swollen, but I felt so trapped and stuck mentally. Sitting around waiting for this next chapter to begin without the ability to be as active as I had been is difficult. I am tired, irritable, anxious and on the verge of tears more than I have been this entire pregnancy.
This past weekend I decided to get up, get dressed, and drive two hours to a place in the mountains that I wouldn’t normally go. I was able to enjoy a nice leisurely “hike” to reconnect with nature – exactly what I have been missing so much! I couldn’t have given myself a better day.
After a 2.5-hour drive to the mountains with my stomach contents squished into my rib cage and little Miss doing the river dance on my bladder, going for a hike was starting to seem like a horrible idea. I considered just putting the seat back and having a nap. Nevertheless, we started walking (or waddling in my case). This hike (6km round trip and only about 200m elevation gain) was just the perfect amount of fresh green moss, rushing glacier waters and terrain safe enough that this big mama wasn’t going to slip and fall anywhere! There was not a massive summit at the end but when you’re 9 months pregnant, finishing any hike is still a proud moment. If I can get the mental strength to push through and get moving while feeling this awful, I can do anything! All my pain and worries subsided. I was completely amazed that just doing a little bit of exercise completely offset my bad mood! Maybe #momlife that everyone has been warning me about won’t be so bad!
Why does everyone keep saying “you’re so brave” instead of “that’s so healthy for you and baby”
I had a co-worker tell me yesterday that he was really impressed by how emotionally balanced I have been throughout this pregnancy. He pointed out that I’ve stayed my same happy self the whole time. I had bad days of course, but I had those when I wasn’t pregnant! I feel like maintaining my lifestyle with regular exercise (with some obvious limitations) has been a key ingredient to my happiness throughout this pregnancy.
I have heard people say “oh you’re so brave, I would be very cautious if I were you” when they learn that I have remained active. Not everything has to change when you become pregnant. This is not about being brave, I have just found my balance and continue to do what my body allows me to do. I have learned first hand the impact that maintaining regular exercise throughout pregnancy can have on your mood, your emotions and overall feeling of well-being. Listening to my friends and putting my feet up for a little while was a nice break, but being active and releasing those happy endorphins was best for me! So if you’re able to, I encourage you to go for a walk, continue your workouts, cross country ski or snowshoe, kayak… find an activity that you feel comfortable and safe doing and keep doing it! Think about what 9 months of doing nothing is doing for YOUR mental health.
Life is about balance. Find YOUR balance. Push yourself, but know your limits. The degree of difficulty that you are capable of will constantly change throughout your life. Do not judge or compare your past self to your current self or to anyone else. Push yourself and then be proud of yourself. Balance is everything.
This post is not intended to go against any pregnancy/health restrictions from your doctor where physical activity is not recommended. This post is also not intended to make anyone feel bad about their level of physical activity. This post is intended to encourage those moms-to-be, who are having a regular healthy pregnancy, to remain active! Staying active has helped pregnancy to be a positive experience for me and I want every one of you to experience the same thing! So grab a good friend, someone who is willing to have a chill day waddling around with you, pack tons of water and snacks. And go on an adventure!
Sophie Anne – born at 38 weeks and a healthy 7.10lbs, 19.75inches, healthy and happy !
Just a memoire to myself of all the days I felt like relaxing but mentally pushed myself to get outside and make the best of it! I encourage all of you to try and do the same!