Before the baby



Stunning photo of me – by Dani Salmon Photography – more to follow soon hopefully

My pregnancy yoga classes are roughly split into three parts: the introductions, where we go around the circle of mats, say our names, how pregnant we are and a bit about how we’ve been feeling lately. Then the actual yoga bit, which is (just about) the longest section. Followed by a blissful guided relaxation close.

Having come from dynamic ashtanga yoga classes into pregnancy yoga, this was quite the pace change for me. No more sweaty mats and frowns if you stop for a sip of water.

Surprisingly, the intro section has proven to be one of the most helpful parts of the classes: a mini counselling session for everyone, where no one minds if you want to spend five minutes lamenting your pregnancy insomnia / SPD / how much you’re counting down to maternity leave. Everyone always listens and sympathises, with the added bonus of actually being interested, as they’re pregnant too. 

Anyway, today we discussed the strange transition stage between becoming a mother and being heavily pregnant with your first child. A strange no man’s land where you’re on the cusp of something that you know will be life changing: but you just don’t have a clue how it’s going to be. My mind seems to have opened up to these thoughts during the past week or so, after a couple of weeks of maternity leave feeling just like a standard two weeks off work.

Of course, there’s not much that I can do about this feeling of unsure in-between-ness. It’s just a case of waiting for this baby to turn up and dealing with the aftermath. But as my lovely yoga teacher reminded me this morning, that’s ok. I don’t need to feel incapable about not knowing how to feel. It will happen. The world will go on and I’ll cope.

And I’m sure that when it does, there will be aspects of pregnancy that I’ll miss. As an antidote to the seriousness of this post, I thought I’d document a few of the positive things that have come to mind when I think about not being pregnant any more. Things to look forward to after the baby, so I can’t forget that it wasn’t all sweetness and light these past few weeks:

  • being able to get out of bed without making ‘heave ho’ noises
  • going for more than an hour between needing to pee
  • shopping for some new gym wear and going for a run in the sunshine
  • getting back into spinning and body pump classes (eventually!)
  • starting mum and baby yoga
  • having a couple of glasses of wine/cocktails with a meal out
  • getting my non-pregnancy clothes out of storage and doubling my outfit options
  • my appetite getting back to normal, so I can enjoy a proper evening meal again, without wanting to just eat a packet of Refreshers instead.

All quite superficial things, but hopefully stuff I can embrace over the coming months to enjoy the new stage of my life.

Did you feel/are you feeling the same towards the end of your pregnancy? Have I missed anything off my ‘after the baby’ list? Any tips for avoiding the potential for baby/missing pregnancy blues – or is this just part and parcel of pregnancy ending and motherhood beginning?

Plodding along


I wanted to pop up a couple of days after my last post and get into regular blogging… but then I got distracted by Twitter and cups of tea and browsing ASOS, and… it really doesn’t take a lot these days to distract my already attention deficit brain. 

This is likely to be a pretty rambling post as I don’t have a specific topic or annoyance to rant – sorry, write about. But I wanted to keep writing, so all of those exciting blog post ideas that I did have last week come flooding back to me: so here we are.

Surprisingly, at 33 weeks I’m still feeling pretty good – despite the post-Christmas return to work. Maybe I’m over dramatising this late pregnancy lark and imagining it to be worse than it might be? I just keep expecting that any day I’m going to wake up knackered and finally unable to haul myself out of bed. That day might be on its way, but I’m just about managing to roll my bump and (increasingly lardy) bum out of bed to work in the mornings without too much hate. Yes, there are plenty of weeks still to go, but I’m very grateful to have made it this far and still feel healthy and energised.

That’s not to say I haven’t been huffing and puffing around lately: I have to stop myself from ‘heave ho’ sound effects when I get up from the sofa or the office chair. They aren’t really necessary, but seem to make the effort a little easier somehow. Climbing the stairs at work now feels like the last leg of a fast 10K, where your muscles are burning and you have to open up your lungs to find extra oxygen. But I’m stubborn and still do it, if only for my withering gluteus maximus.

These past couple of weeks, I have been really grateful for the pregnancy yoga classes that I’ve been taking since early on. The small pronounced ‘pony steps’ that we practise are slightly ridiculous, but a wonder for avoiding the dreaded pregnancy waddle. I don’t know what I’d do without some cat stretches when my back pain gets really irritating (document courtesy of my lovely yoga teacher). And the relaxation bit at the end is a lovely, guilt-free nap. 

One final thing: I think I’ve found my ideal pregnancy jeans. I don’t say this often, but thank you Top Shop. Nearly too late, but I got there in the end. They are skinny, but not too thin of leg. They’re a nice stretchy material with a generous waistband – and are just the right length. Miraculous. And definitely worth £38 which I was trying to avoid shelling out.