Actually, I stopped exercising altogether, but let’s start at the beginning.
The journey so far
I found out I was pregnant sometime in May, day 36 of my cycle. I remember that clearly. At first, I thought that was a nice change from my first pregnancy where I found out about it already two months pregnant. Yes, that can happen. Easily. Anyway, turns out it’s not so nice after all because it feels like the wait is that much longer. In my mind my first pregnancy lasted 7 months (plus the 10 days I was overdue), this one is going to last 8 months (hopefully without additional waiting).
Truth be told it would have been the same had I not taken that test. The sickness that followed almost immediately would have given up the news anyway. As mentioned in my announcement post, together with the sickness came the exhaustion. So I went from running 40km and doing one pole dance session per week to being able to do more or less nothing practically overnight.
Then came the first bleeding and with it an official ban on all exercise from my OBGYN. Not that it was hard complying. At that point, I was already unable of doing any real exercise at all.
Luckily around week 16, the sickness started fading. A week after that I was cleared for moderate exercise and shortly after the exhaustion started slowly fading as well.
But it turns out that after months of “rest” starting a new exercise regime while being 20+ weeks pregnant is no easy task. I definitely go on more walks (courtesy of my activity rings) and I do try and stretch from time to time but I haven’t really figured out a plan for taking it beyond that. I’m pretty sure a little bit of cardio would do me well and would raise my energy levels but I also think I am going to need some strength for the coming months. I did Tracy Anderson’s The pregnancy project throughout my first pregnancy. I think it has made a really big difference in both my overall feeling and my postpartum recovery.
I am definitely not planning on starting running again though. First of all my fitness level has declined so much that I fell it wouldn’t be wise starting again at this point in my pregnancy. This kind of activity is perfectly fine if you continue with it from pre-pregnancy days, but starting any new sport is not recommended. Even though I was a runner before, starting now would be like starting from scratch.
Sadly this part was the same during my first pregnancy. I didn’t experience any sickness and I had no problems with energy levels and exhaustion. I did experience some bleeding at the beginning though, which warranted the prohibition of all sports activities for medical reasons. Luckily it was only for a portion of my pregnancy, same as this time and I was able to get back in the saddle pretty quickly after that. I have to say giving up running wasn’t that hard at the time. I wasn’t so much into this specific kind of activity, all it mattered to me was that I was able to do something. As long as I was exercising regularly and feeling good it was all the same to me what this activity was. This time around I miss my specific activities.
Running used to be my time for meditation. I never run with company, always have my music with me and I use that time to be alone with my thoughts and to process whatever is going on in my mind. I also miss pole dancing.
This is a totally new activity I picked up this year. But it grew on me really quickly and it is the kind of thing that provides a challenge. I manage to do some new move with each new lesson and that fills me with pride. And joy. It also reconnected me with dancing in a way. Sadly this is not the kind of sport you can do while pregnant, no matter how you feel. It can be done if you’re already experienced and you’re able to either do modifications or choose your moves based on your current shape, but it’s almost impossible for a beginner.
But there are still a number of things that I can do. I am definitely planning on prolonging my walks. This will not only help me but also my Frenchie that needs to get back in shape after her summer hiatus. I have also been doing Kegels, which do not necessarily count as exercise but are just as important! Definitely going to keep up with those. And then I could start with The pregnancy project again, slowly. I could also try some kind of prenatal yoga. I haven’t done yoga in years but now I feel like it would be a great time to start again. We’ll see.
I’m neither mentally nor physically prepared for making a more concrete plan. What I can do is starting step by step and trying to step it up as I go along (so many steps already in just one sentence!). I’ll be sure to document my progress and tell you what did and did not work for me and why.
But just as I am writing these words I realize I do need to plan my first step or else it’s never going to happen. Being in week 23 that makes it already month 6! So this evening I have to open up month 6 of The pregnancy project and see if I can make it through. If I can, great! If not, I am going to try it with a few breaks or even cut it short if needed. But I am going to move. Tonight!
Wish me luck!