Up to the 26 week point, I felt like folks were just seeing me as an out of shape American versus someone who is pregnant. I do actually feel a lot like an out of shape person. I have not been able to lift weights, do Pilates, or ride the elliptical as I traditionally do 4-5 times per week. With my blood pressure still running low, the dizziness seems to over come me and I just cannot work out. However, I have finally found an activity which does make me feel great and I am hoping I can regain some of my lean muscle mass and strength.
Swimming. It has been wonderful. That awesome hormone "Relaxin" has really been kicking in and giving me a lot of hip pain. I found that doing stretching in the pool has made it so I am not hobbling around like an old lady. Plus, I've also been getting some aerobic exercise as well and I have not been getting dizzy in the pool. I have always told patients that swimming is a perfect exercise but I never actually subscribed to doing it for myself. With the kids being at the pool 3-4 times a week I have been getting in lots of laps and exercise. My hip rarely bothers me now and I am finally starting to get some strength back. Although, I have been getting some strange looks when I get out of the lap pool at the YMCA. Oh well, I might look odd but the laps sure do make me feel great.
Here are some photos of me about to get in our friend's pool. I am still pretty self-conscious of my body. We went to the swim and run shop this week for me to get a new suit. The floral pattern one is my new one. My other one still fits but I think I am stretching it out too much and I'd really like to be able to use it next summer. This new suit is actually a lap suit so it really stretches and gives. It was pretty funny at the swim shop when I was selecting my suit. I was in the size 40 section (normally size 32/34) and I was going through the clearance suits there. The salesperson came over and said, "Excuse me, but are you sure you want that size?" I assured her it was what I wanted. Then she politely said, "Maybe I could offer a fitting for you?" I then turned around and she saw my belly and we both got a good laugh. I'll never fit into this suit again but at $22 for a $90 suit. I was happy. And I don't have to spend $60 on a maternity suit. Honestly, I think it will get worn out in the next few months as much swimming as we're doing. T has 3 suits and they are all starting to look pretty worn.
By the way, both kids are still doing incredible at swim lessons so I will post some videos on their blogs. Just click on their individual photos on the left side bar and it will take you to their blogs.
So, I am finally feeling like I've hit the second trimester of feeling decent just to be done and moving into my third trimester. To put it in perspective, a bad day now is like a good day during my first trimester - yes, it was that bad. I am optimistic that things will continue to progress normally and uneventfully. Now if I can just stop feeling so grumpy. I think I need to make more time for my relaxation exercises as those seem to make me very calm and relaxed. It has not helped that we launched a new electronic medical records system at work this past week.
As far as our birthing class - we loved it. Honestly, the pressure of knowing I am not going into child birth with the looming thought of lots of drugs is somewhat empowering to me. Did I even mention how much needles scare me? I know, and I'm a nurse. The last couple epidurals I had to request the nurse anesthetist not even show me what the needle looked like. For now, we are still planning drug free including no pitocin (hopefully) or membrane stripping or amniotomy (breaking water). Because I have always requested pain meds and epidural I was not able to move around and had to be constantly monitored. I am actually excited at the thought of being mobile during child birth. We are still going to keep pain management as an option as it truly was a saving grace with the birth of our son but for now, we are quite dedicated to going as all natural as possible in a hospital setting.
I may discuss our preparations further as labor and delivery time gets closer. For now, I will post these photos as farewell second trimester...
The first three are 26 weeks (with and without suit) and the latter two are 28 weeks.