Yesterday at my non-stress test (a complete oxymoron, BTW … ) they saw more contractions — erratic contractions I don’t feel but we see on the monitors.
What I do feel is a tightening (called Braxton-Hicks contractions) in my uterus when I exercise, walk, get up the wrong way, etc … and while those are very normal for the third trimester, the nurse warned me to essentially stop doing the things that make me tighten up.
While a baby could survive outside the womb at 33.5 weeks … I don’t want to incite that by any means, and so if it means cutting back even more on my activity levels, so be it. I do NOT want to end up on bed rest … and it’s a very real concern.
Because of travel and evening commitments this week, I didn’t do any formal exercise, save for walking. And surprisingly, I felt zero guilt. Which is beyond weird for me, the former exercise junkie, cardio queen, workout-a-holic. I think I’m slowing down but instead of feeling upset about it, I’m almost welcoming it. There’s something nice about going home when it’s dark and cold and not rushing out for a workout. It means more time with my hubby (when he’s home) and my puppy. And, soon, my baby.
Now before you think someone snatched me and brought me to Jupiter for some serious examination and suggest calling the authorities … this isn’t to say I don’t believe fitness is important or that I will maintain this more casual attitude toward exercise forever. The truth is, I need to be realistic. Once Maya comes, I will not have — nor will I want to have — hours to spend each week at the gym. I realize I might not get there for a while, and, in fact, might need to start exercising at home — concentrating on walking and lifting weights for fitness. So the sooner I ease out of my activity level, the better.
Up til now, I strongly believe keeping active throughout my pregnancy has been a positive thing; I haven’t gained a ton of extra weight (though who knows how much I’ll be left with after baby is born, time will tell and I’ll deal with it then in a healthy manner). I also know it’s been a great stress-reliever, in addition to giving me endorphins and just making me feel committed to my health.
But I think this is an example of the “law of diminishing returns” … too much of a good thing can actually be detrimental to progress and at this stage in my pregnancy … I’m just not feeling it. In general, I feel less pressure to work out now, with only a few weeks to go … and to be honest, I kind of want to just ENJOY … and that might mean spending more time cooking at home, or organizing the nursery, or simply curling up on the couch listening to the silence — because in a few weeks, all that will change.
The other thing is I just don’t care about burning X calories at the gym right now; I just don’t have it in me. Weird to admit it, but it’s true. Since I know the “laws” of weight gain/loss/maintenance, instead, I’m willing to be more cautious with my food choices to compensate for the lack of activity.
Which is a complete 180 for me, because in the past, exercise was always a way to “combat” over-eating. Unhealthy, disordered attitude for sure, but it’s the truth.
So I guess the moral of today’s post is: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t always mean you SHOULD. It’s advice I’m taking to heart.