Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Why I Continue to Exercise While Pregnant

Jack is three and with that we are in the "Why?" and "What did you say?" stage. This stage is fascinating, but really stretches me as I strive to explain the world in a truthful way, but also in a way that his 3-year-old mind can grasp. And there comes a point in every day where the questions become a bit mind-numbing.

In addition, his "what's?" can become aggravating. It's more that he is not really listening to the answer as opposed to really wanting to know. After two or three rounds of repeating "What did you say, mommy?" regarding the same topic, I typically I ask him to repeat what I said back to me. He always knows. I started doing this to make sure he wasn't having hearing problems. Anyways, at some point every day these conversations really start to eat away at my patience.

As I become more and more obviously pregnant, I have had a lot of people (friends, acquaintances, people I just met), ask me about why I am still exercising. Most moms I know tell me that they just gave up and wanted to lay on the couch after 6 months (which is cool, everybody is different and have different ways of getting through their pregnancy experiences). And some people make a big deal out of the exercise. It is a weird place to be. 

With my last pregnancy, I lived in a smaller town, knew less people, exercised with a smaller group of those people, and had a lot less explaining to do. Trying to quickly explain the "why" of my exercise habits to a new group of people feels challenging at times. I have been thinking about this topic a lot and it really boils down to three main reasons as to why I keep at it...

  1. Even though it is getting harder to do, I always feel better when I exercise. The exercise brings aches and pains, but it also provides endorphins, keeps my blood pressure and heart rate low, and helps with some of the uncomfortable things that pregnancy brings like constipation, heart burn, and weight gain. If I'm going to feel bad no matter what, I would rather exercise.
  2. Exercise is my personal Mommy Time Out. Per my thoughts above regarding Jack and all of the questions, my workouts give me a break from the "whys?" and the "whats?" For 60 minutes I get to be just another human being with no responsibilities except to myself. Exercise resets my patience and I always leave with a better attitude and therefore am a better mom because of it. Also, I have met some great people through my workout classes and forged some really wonderful friendships.
  3. and finally... I exercised until the day Jack was born and I truly believe that being fit allowed me to have a natural delivery. I had a lot of complications during my labor with him and I really think that if I hadn't been in such good shape, I would have ended up having a C-Section. Knowing that motivates me to stay fit with this pregnancy as well.
I don't know how this pregnancy is going to pan out. It has been a lot harder this time around. Maybe because I'm 34 instead of 30. Maybe just because it's a harder pregnancy. Maybe I'm having a girl??? (we still don't know). I see the high-risk OB this afternoon and for all I know, they may put me on bed rest, but until that time comes I will be at the gym 4x a week, sweating and making sure I'm as healthy as I can be until this baby arrives. Seriously, having a 60-minute break for "me" is totally worth it.

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