Breathless …

Pre-pregnancy, even when I hadn’t run in months, if I felt the urge to do it, I’ve always been conditioned enough to go out for a 3-mile jog.

And though I’ve had to cut my workouts in half (from 60 min to 30 min, plus walks with Rocco when I can) I have still managed to work out most days throughout my pregnancy.

Well, those workouts are getting progressively harder. As much as I hate admitting defeat, it’s really been tough lately. Some days, I’ve flat-out had to stop. Which is totally unlike me.

Though Maya’s “on the small side of normal,” and I won’t know an exact uterus measurement until tomorrow’s OB appointment, it must be growing and inching up further into my ribcage/lung area because it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. This is totally normal for the third-trimester, but it’s scary.

I’m winded talking … walking … climbing stairs … getting out of bed. All things that have always been simple for me and required zero amount of thought … now are perplexing me to the nth degree. (Surely carrying the extra weight isn’t likely helping, either! But it comes with the territory ya know?).

And though I know that old wives’ tale about not letting your heart rate go over 140 when pregnant is BS, I still wear my heart rate monitor when I exercise just to keep an eye on it. But then adding to my breathing discomfort, the strap has felt like a noose around my back and chest lately. 😦

It’s like I can’t win.

Inherently I know exercise is inherently good for my mind, body and soul. I know it keeps me in shape, limber, strong, will help with delivery and recovery … and I also know I will not be able to devote the same amount of time (if any!?) to the gym once she’s born — realistically, I’ll need to do workout videos at home, etc., once I get my doctor’s OK) so part of me wants to take advantage of it now, while I still can.

But the other part of me doesn’t want to push myself, period. That part of me just wants to indulge myself and throw in the towel for the next eight weeks and be the girl who can go home after work and curl up on the couch with a book and just work out if she feels like it … not because she feels like she should simply because she “can” right now. As it is, I’ve chosen social activities over the gym two nights this week already–something very foreign to me. And you know what? It kind of felt GOOD!

What’s ironic is I often say (with respect to lots of things in life) “Just because you CAN, doesn’t always mean you SHOULD.” Yet it’s hard to talk myself out of working out when I know the benefits it will give both Maya and I. (Yes, rest has benefits too; there needs to be a balance). So I guess the best I can do is listen to my body and accept that some days I won’t make it to the gym and some days a walk will suffice. It’s hard not to feel guilty though, knowing how much things will change in a few months.

This pity-party is partially because today I genuinely FEEL 7 months pregnant … (read as: big, bloated, uncomfortable, tired, moody). And disjointed, disruptive sleep patterns don’t aid the situation, that’s for sure! It’s not like I have time to catch up on rest, either, because this weekend, we’re flying to N.J. for a family wedding (can’t wait!) so I’ll be on-the-go … and so it goes!

Anyway, I don’t share all this to whine or complain, only to express the realities of pregnancy that I didn’t know or understand before, but am now experiencing. I know it’ll all be worth it when she’s here … and that’s what I need to keep in mind.


8 thoughts on “Breathless …

  1. Yes, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 🙂 You have every right to TAKE IT EASY during these last 2 months.

    My son was due in August (born in July) and the heat was brutal. There were some days that I could barely climb upstairs to take a shower. But you will be really surprised at how fast you get your fitness and strength back after Maya is born!

  2. Wow, that sounds really tough. I didn’t feel anything like that until the last two weeks and at the time I thought a lot about how most women feel it all throughout the third trimester and I couldn’t imagine how they would deal with that. It’s so frustrating to feel incapable of your simple, normal things, especially for us Type-A gals. 😉 Just hang in there and, like you said, trust your body. It will tell you when to slow down and when it does, it’s doing so for a reason.

  3. Lissa,

    Have you considered doing a form of meditation instead exercising? There are many types of meditation…you don’t have to sit in a pretzel and say OM.

    Studies have shown that meditation has tremendous health effects, and activates the endorphin makers in the body that promote feeling good and healing…much like exercise.

    God bless, keep listening, feeling, enjoying, and loving!

  4. When you want a break (especially at this stage in your pregnancy) take it! I would even say to stop wearing your heart rate monitor. It seems like its a nuisance and you don’t really need it; you’re probably in tune enough with your patterns. Maybe at this point exercise should be considered more like a short walk or playing with Rocco in the back yard. It will get tougher as you get closer so don’t beat yourself up. You’ll get back to exercising soon after she’s born (even though you’ll probably then just want to spend all your free time with her). 🙂

    Have a great weekend in NJ!

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