Pregnancy Blog: Three Months Post Partum

It only took a couple of weeks for my breasts to feel okay in the Cobra series. I spent a week or two just working around them and kind-of half-lying on them in the belly-down Savasanas, but as soon as my milk supply regulated and I got used to it, it was fine.

I have gotten my strength back in my arms, too, and can actually get my feet off the floor in the last part of Locust again. My first class back, I literally could not get my toes off the floor in the double-legs.

I don’t quite feel like my flexibility is back where it was, but 24 hours a day spent hunching over a baby will do that to you. Also, I know that the relaxin hormone stays in your body for up to nine months after delivery and I can definitely feel it. I still have that weird loosey-goosey feeling in my pelvis and strange discomfort in my sacrum. I spoke with another woman six months post-partum and she said she still doesn’t feel quite the same especially in her pelvis.

My strength, on the other hand, is building steadily. I am heartily impressed by the human body’s ability to adapt throughout this process. For the first five days after the birth, I could actually feel my stretched-out rectus abdominus fold over when I sat down. After a week, it had shortened to its original length, if not quite strength, at that point. Amazing.

Just like most of us, Bella hates to do Cobra, too, but she has to.

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Pregnancy Blog: First Class Back

Oh Mama! Too long without yoga. I felt like the tin man. Like Monday morning at teacher training. Tight from the first Half Moon. Ouch, but so good.

I got to experience a yoga high again…something I haven’t felt in years. Just like the first time. Kicking out in Standing Head-to-knee: hurts so good. Can you say “therapeutic”? Bikram always said to us that a pregnant woman could come back to class and do the regular series as soon as she was out of bed. He never touched on what to do about the lochia. You can’t wear a pad under a pair of side-string shorts!

I was supposed to wait another week, but my sister was off to class this morning and I just couldn’t resist. What a great feeling to sweat, lay on my belly. I got my payback for all of those years of saying, “Your arms are supposed to hurt,” in Locust. Son of a blank! Pain! Just like my first class. Come to think of it, I hadn’t done Locust in seven months. No wonder.

For the nursing mamas, the Cobra series was uncomfortable to lay on my breasts. I kind of did a half-roll to the side to take some of the pressure off. B-cup to a D-cup makes a huge difference. Now I can see (feel!) why the bustier women can barely get their heads to touch the floor in the belly-down Savasanas. Locust was a joke. Boobs everywhere and so much pressure. Forget about arms underneath you like you’re bumping a volleyball. How about do Locust while you’re balancing on two volleyballs? It’ll work itself out once my breasts aren’t quite so sensitive and new to nursing.

One other thing I noticed it that I was THIRSTY in class. Makes sense with the nursing, but I definitely drank more often than I was used to drinking. Afterward, too, I drank another liter in the next hour easily.

What an endorphin rush! I’d been walking all along, but nothing as whole body as a good Bikram class. I felt good, high, alive all over. Great way to battle any baby blues.

And being a mom. I had no idea. No one can ever explain what it feels like, what takes and what it gives you. It’s the best and hardest experience of my entire life. Jaylon and I keep saying to each other, “Now I understand…”  I look over at her sleeping at night and think, “I am so lucky.”

Pregnancy Blog: Baby #1 is Born!

The Next Day

After writing how comfortable she was in there, I woke up the next day (my due date) at 6 am. My husband was up too, so we got up and went for an hour walk to see if we could get her to come down and out.  I had a regularly scheduled midwifery appointment that day. She thought I’d lost my mucus plug. There was a lot of fluid, so she couldn’t check my cervix in case my amnoitic sac had ruptured. She advised me to come in if I thought I was leaking fluid or at least by Monday to see if I was dilated. I went home disappointed thinking I’d have to wait another four days to get a check on what was going on and steeled myself for a weekend without a baby.

When Jaylon got home that night, we went for another hour walk and had eggplant parmesan again for dinner. Anything to get her moving out.  Jaylon fell asleep at nine, but I couldn’t. I was too restless, amped up. I turned on the television watched ER and whatever comes after that.

I went to lay down at 11:35 pm. I was uncomfortable and crampy. I snuggled up next to Jaylon, hoping it would go away and it did. I started feeling crampy again and looked at the clock. It was 11:45 pm. The wheels started turning…pre-labor, I guessed and started getting excited that I might be able to wake Jaylon up in the morning with some real contractions. I made it until 1:30 before they started getting intense.

Jaylon rolled over and half asleep said, “How are you doing, babe?”  “I think I might be having contractions,”  I said. In 2 seconds he was up, stopwatch in hand, ready to time contractions. By 2:30 am they were five minutes apart and by 3:30 am we were on our way to the hospital to meet the midwife.

At 5 am and four centimeters, my midwife, Mary Ann, ruptured my membranes. I had a little snack and promptly puked it back up. After 15 minutes of walking and I was ready for the tub. I labored for a good three hours in the tub, eyes closed. I remember thinking, I can never fall out of standing bow after this; one minute of standing bow is nothing. I am so thankful for cat and cow pose…they got me through the morning.

It was incredible how distinctly I felt transition. I’d read tons of stories of women getting a new attitude or a second wind. I had had my eyes closed for three hours. Suddenly, I opened them and felt like I could talk to Laura and Jaylon. My arms stopped shaking during contractions (low blood sugar) and I felt like the contractions were productive.  That’s when the midwife let me know that I was fully dilated.

Fifteen minutes of pushing and Bella Angelina Curry was born at 9:50 am on November 10th. Seven pounds, 14 ounces and 19.25 inches long. A few lusty cries and she was nursing within 20 minutes. I had no idea I’d be in love so quickly with my entire body, mind and soul. She’s perfect.

For the mamas: one stitch, pushed a little to hard, too fast! They were saying blow, but I was pushing my heart out…and groaning so loud I couldn’t hear them. Who am I kidding? We all know I was MOOOOOOOOing!

Pregnancy Blog: 40 Weeks

…and the little lady seems a little too comfortable.  She has always measured a little bit on the small side, so maybe she’s still cooking in there. Trying to keep myself occupied so I don’t spend every day waiting, analyzing every twinge.

Yoga still feels great. I have actually had a little more energy in the last week. It is not quite as hard to get through the series and I have been enjoying the postures more. I can finally breathe in Pranayama. It makes a big difference to be able to start the series off on the right foot. My body feels good. The back bends feel awesome. My hips and hamstrings feel like they just keep getting tighter and tighter. I am sure it is just my body reacting to all of the changes in my pelvis as things shift and she drops.

It’s a cozy, rainy day today. Good day to have a baby!

Pregnancy Blog: 39 Weeks

Yes, I’m Still Here

Where does everybody think I’m going? I’ll keep practicing and teaching until the little papoose comes out. Everyone says exercise helps to bring on labor, so I am all over it. I can only imagine that yoga is even better. If I can do something to help facilitate this process, I’m there. Just this week I have been struggling to get my head to my knee in the final Janushirasana. My uterus starts contracting and I can’t get the big bulge out of the way enough to touch it and keep breathing. I am just doing my best (If you can you must. If you can’t, try, right?), although it makes me laugh every time I attempt it.

I have a little more room to eat and less heartburn this week, so I think she’s making her way down into my pelvis. What a nice relief to be able to eat most of my dinner without wanting to throw it back up. At this point, any sign is a good sign that things are progressing.

I’ve heard everything to get the baby ready to come out: walking, yoga, a bumpy ride, a cheeseburger and a beer, sex, a hot bath, lifting heavy furniture, walking up stairs. I’ve tried as many as were reasonable, but no baby yet!  She’s a Scorpio.

Pregnancy Blog: 38 Weeks

Let the Countdown Begin

Any time in the next month is considered normal and healthy. We are in serious countdown time now. Trying not to spend EVERY day waiting, but it’s hard. At this point, Jay and I are both so excited we could bust. The clothes are washed, the diapers are ready, her bag is packed. I’m trying to find more projects to help the days pass faster. Physically, I am pretty much the same. She hasn’t dropped yet, so there’s still a ton of pressure up under my rib cage. That makes it a challenge to breathe in for the full six seconds in Pranayama. There’s just not much more room for anything to expand past the first few seconds.

I find myself doing Fish and Half Tortoise at night when I can’t sleep to relieve the pressure on my ribs. The midwife thinks Tortoise and a little Cat/Cow will help to get her to drop out of my chest and away from my ribs. Fish Pose feels great because it gets my rib cage off of my uterus for a few moments.

I went swimming at the Portsmouth Pool for the first time this week. It felt great to lie face down and float around.  It’s incredible to me how much swimming actually works your whole body. Just a few laps and my heart rate was at 70%. There was so much less pressure in the water. Even when my uterus was contracting I didn’t feel the same pelvic pressure and need to pee. It took a good bit of will power not to jump into the hot tub, but I restrained myself.

Pregnancy Blog: 36 Weeks

Ready to Rumble

Everything is right on track. She is head-down, measuring well and still kicking like crazy. All of the pregnancy books say to expect a decrease in movement in the last month. Not this little girl. She’s more active for longer periods of time and her movements have gotten stronger. It’s so crazy to watch an elbow or a knee slide across my abdomen. There’s a little alien in there.

Did someone slip a sleeping pill into my food? I can’t believe how tired I am. By 2 pm everyday I am ready for a power nap. My husband, Jaylon, and I were getting into bed a few nights ago and I said to him, “Can we really go to bed at 9 pm?”

I lost weight this week, so I am back to trying to pump up my meals. There’s just so little room in there. I eat half my dinner and I’m done. I am back to eating every 2 hours like the first trimester and trying to pack in the calories and nutrients. She measures on the small side of average, which isn’t bad, I just want to be sure she’s getting everything she needs. Given all of the watermelon babies with gigantic heads that have been born into my family, I’m not too sad she’s going to be an average-sized peanut.

Yoga wise, let’s see…One of the hardest things for my ego to stomach throughout this pregnancy has been my loss of strength. I’m just not as strong as I used to be.  Once I hit the third trimester, my abdominal muscles were so stretched out, they are pretty ineffective. I can’t really get up into Headstand because I don’t have the abdominal control to pike up there. I remember when I started the pregnancy modifications thinking that Hand-to-Big-Toe was such an easy replacement for Standing Head-to-Knee. Now it is getting harder to hold it the whole time. I am just more tired in general in class. I feel worried that I’ll never get it back.

Oh, I almost forgot. I remember asking my friend and fellow yogi, Jenn, when she stopped doing Savasana on her back. “You’ll know,” she told me. Now I know what she meant. When I try to lie on my back during class, I feel too much pressure, like I can’t get a breath in. So, it’s strictly pregnant lady Savasanas on my side for now.  Also in Eagle, I have had a harder and harder time getting my foot to wrap around.  I feel it all in the ligaments in my groin and it just won’t go.

Four weeks to go…maybe… Smile