Busy, busy, busy

Oh, I’m not being slack, I’m just too busy to update on here at the moment. I’m frantically trying to finish a big project before the arrival – 60 meters worth of project, so that’s a lot of drawing! I’m aiming to get the bulk of the work done by Monday so I can begin to wind down. I’m finding I’m getting really tired now and really should be taking it easy (only 17 days to go!) – yesterday I went for a ‘quick lie down’ and woke up half an hour later, all heavy and disorientated.

In terms of exercise I haven’t really done much lately because I’m too busy working, which is annoying because a nice relaxing swim would be lovely. Tomorrow we are off to the ‘Preparation for Birth’ yoga workshop, which I am really looking forward to, so that should make up for it. I’ve been doing my own stretching and flexing anyway, so haven’t been entirely inactive.

I shall let you know all about the workshop…Edward is a little aprehensive, so we’ll see what he makes of it.



I went to pregnancy yoga this morning and found the bump really got in the way for the first time. There was a particular exercise we hadn’t done for a while and I found I was quite restricted in one direction, compared with last time we did it. I measured my bump this morning, just out of curiosity, and it’s now 42 inches at the widest point!

Throughout the class, Eric was wriggling around and really making his presence felt – at one point we were sitting cross-legged, leaning our upper bodies forward and he seemed to push outwards and say ‘Hey! Watch it – I’m getting squashed’ I’ve been doing lots of all-fours poses at home in an attempt to persuade him into the best position and, last night, I could feel something round and firm near my rib-cage – I’m hoping this was his bottom. I love all the movements, they really fascinate me: when I woke up this morning there was a lump just above my belly button, like an elbow or something!

Arriving early

When I went to my pregnancy yoga class today, I was surprised to see one of the women from my class coming out of the mother and baby session…with her little baby – he was born three weeks early! She looked radient and very happy and her baby was gorgeous, of course. I suppose it’s good to know that these things happen but, on the other hand, one of the other women was due on Sunday, so I should keep in mind that Eric might decide to come in four weeks or eight weeks…or more. I felt slightly sorry for the early woman because she’d only had two days of maternity leave before her waters broke!

Our class was a little bit shorter today due to a mix up, but still really lovely, as usual. As I said yesterday, I am taking my baby’s position seriously and trying to encourage him into the optimum spot, so it was lovely to do some relaxation on our front, well sort of – you can’t lie on your tummy when pregnant (obviously) but this move feels very close to it. You are on your knees with your feet together and knees wide and you lean your upper body forward either onto a bolster or cushion or onto your arms, I choose arms because I enjoy the deep stretching. Ahhhh, I could sit like that for ages.

After I had my lunch (yummy still-warm bagels from the big bagel bakery near the tube) Eric was really wriggling around, sort of pushing outwards instead of kicking and I could feel a large hard area, like it could be his back and little bottom. Maybe he’s turned around for me already; that would be good.

A ball by any other name

Until about 33 weeks ago, this was known to me as a ‘swiss ball’ and was used to flatten my (sort of) rippling abs.

Swiss Ball

I would use this after my runs to work deep into my core and for various other exercises such as press-ups and squats. Of course, I have had to put a stop to these exercises during pregnancy and the ball has been gathering dust on top of the wardrobe.

Until now…meet my ‘birthing ball’!

Many women probably only encounter one of these when they go into labour, but for me it’s a whole new role to adapt to, a world of relaxation over exertion, where deep breathing aids in letting go instead of holding on tight. Aparently these balls are really useful for bouncing up and down on when you are in labour and are great for easing tension in your back when the contractions kick in.

Yesterday my midwife came round for a visit and she felt my stomach to see how the little fella is lying. He is head-down, which is great, but his back is against my back, which is not so great. It seems this is becoming more and more common as we slouch in front of the telly and generally find ourselves getting down and comfy on big soft sofas. What I need to do is get on all fours to encourage Eric into the optimum position, so last night I draped myself over the ball, with cushions under my knees whilst watching the repeat of The Apprentice (what a bunch of arrogant muppets they are).

Come on Eric, you know you want to.

Busy morning…

…and now I’m knackered! We went for a swim when we got up (I didn’t manage it yesterday, too busy, then Edward went really late and by then I was too tired). The pool was lovely and quiet and Edward and I shared the fast lane: we have a good understanding – I let him go ahead then, when he catches me up again, he overtakes (although he did say I was going quite fast!). We were kicked out of the fast lane towards the end because there was a school lesson…goodness knows what the ‘teaching pool’ is for.

Now this ‘lesson’ was really sad. The kids were about 14 years old, so at that awkward, self-conscious age, and it was a mixed group. The teacher would shout at them to get into the pool in pairs, then swim a length. One girl just stood at the edge in hysterics, laughing at her classmates then, when it came to her length she only managed a little splash then broke down in hysterics again. This went on for a while and the teacher seemed to be just taking notes but not giving any advice or feedback. There was one girl who was quite tall, with amazingly long limbs and she was quite a strong swimmer: I thought, if only she had some technique guidance, she could be amazing…but sadly I don’t think this will ever happen.

After some breakfast, I headed off to my lovely yoga class. I’ve not been for two weeks, so it felt great to be going again (I have done bits at home though). Today there were ten of us, which is busy, and everyone was at different stages, so all shapes and sizes. We did an introduction thing, so we got a sense of where people were at and any problems they were experiencing. It was interesting to hear how difficult it is for some women, with two suffering from the thing that separates your pubic bone and causes terrible pelvic instability (I can’t remember what it’s called) – it sounds horrible and really painful. Another woman is having to go for a c-section because she has placenta previa (sp?) which means the placenta is over the cervix and blocking the way; she could be having her baby tomorrow!

The class was great, as usual, and Tara had her hands full making sure all the different needs were catered for and everyone was comfortable. Eric was very quiet throughout the class, I think he was having a nap.

I’m afraid I undid all the good work by going to Tesco and the bank on my way home: the bank is rubbish, with the queue always stretching right to the door then back on itself and only one cash machine out on the street (I feel a bit vulnerable using it). It was also pretty clammy out there, so I was glad to get home 🙂

Ms Energetic

I’ve been super energetic today and been for a swim and to yoga. I was feeling a bit crappy this morning after a rubbish work day yesterday…I won’t go into it, but I wasn’t happy. Yoga was just what I needed. There were a couple of new people in the class today, and one who is behind me – she still seems bigger though! I looked around the room and decided that everyone is just different. It felt great to stretch out and breathe deeply, but I felt a bit fidgety and impatient to be honest, like I’ve got a bit too much energy at the moment. I guess I’m just at that special stage in my pregnancy, better make the most of it!

When we did our ’round the room, tell us how many weeks you are’ thing at the beginning, one of the new women said ‘I feel fine, but I’m REALLY IRRITABLE – even the birds singing are annoying me!’ There were knowing nods and agreeing sounds from everyone; it seems I’m not the only one who feels a bit on edge – it’s the hormones!

This afternoon Edward and I went for our swim. It seemed like rubbish timing at first because the queue was out of the door, and it was ‘Splash and dash’ time, or whatever they call it. We decided to get our ticket and pop to the library until the sugared-up kids had done their splashing. Turned out to be quite quiet by the time we went in, and I did a lovely 40 lengths. I like going swimming with Edward: we do this nod and smile thing whenever we pass each other in the water.

Contract and release

Ah, lovely yoga day 🙂

We did some delicious new movements that involve twisting the hips and moving around the spine, doing a kind of contract and release sort of movement in the pelvis (sorry, I’m not describing that very well, but it’s hard!). I felt like I was in a Graham technique class all over again, and slightly yearned to do some of those amazing moves that I used to find so challenging. One thing that I really enjoyed about these movements was that I could feel my abs working – ‘they still work!’ I thought to myself. When your stomach is pushed outwards and rounded like a ball, you start to wonder if you will ever recover any strength in this area, so it was reassuring to engage the muscles and know that all is not lost!

I think I will have to do these ones at home as well.