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We had a sub come in that day, a sub I’ve worked out with several times.  I was busying myself with getting my mat out while the sub asked the class if they would prefer to stick with basic yoga, as that is what the class is, or try piyo, which is what she regularly teaches, a class normally offered on a different night.  A few people were new to the room and asked about what piyo actually entailed.  The instructor finished her description and from the back of the room, where a few new women were huddled, one smugly said “Well, is that something the pregnant chick can actually keep up with? If not, we can just stick with regular yoga.”  The same one who eyed me funny since I had walked in the door.  Something I have gotten used to at classes and at the gym as my bump has grown.

The room fell silent.  I looked up, knowing all eyes were on me, the regular class participants had looks of horror on their faces and I met the instructors eyes in the mirror.  She smiled largely and enthusiastically replied, “The question is, can you keep up with the pregnant chick?  Let’s compromise with half yoga and half Piyo for the evening!”  With that she started class and I gave her a small nod, thanking her.  I feel horrible admitting this but I had a chuckle to myself when we were halfway through sumo burpees and that smug lady had stopped, hands on her knees, to catch her breath, while I kept going.

When I became pregnant, I had a long talk with my OB about my workout schedule and staying fit through out my pregnancy.  Quite honestly, my biggest fear was having to quit any of my classes and having to go to prenatal workout classes instead.  I’m not knocking them at all, they are great if you would like to stay fit during your pregnancy, but for a person who regularly works out, I felt like I was taking 10 steps backwards and knew I would quickly be frustrated.  My OB assured me that she had dealt with all levels before and it would actually hinder me to just give up my workout schedule for prenatal workout classes.  I was so relieved.  I promised her I would listen to my body, modify as need be, and would be realistic.  We discussed how staying fit while pregnant would likely make labor easier, keep the chances of a c-section down, would mentally keep me sane during the pregnancy and would help my body bounce back better afterwards.  I had my marching orders from my OB, fit to me and I was going to stick with that, screw what anyone else had to say.  After all, I am only pregnant, not disabled and I couldn’t picture myself sitting around on the couch for 9 months.

In the beginning, nothing really changed but then slowly things have.  My regular instructors and I used to take classes at random studios, trying out new things.  At around 15 weeks I did quit doing that figuring it was safer to stick with what I knew.  Slowly I have noticed how much more bump gets in the way.  It will take me longer to get into a groove or position while I adjust to whatever works that day.  Sometimes the baby just has no desire to cooperate and will kick me or move me around herself till she is comfortable.  Obviously, anything lying on my stomach is out but I’ve just modified and some days my balance feels more off than others. Yes, I have continued with core and ab workouts, some even done on my back. (Approved by the doc)  We have been chugging right along though, yoga classes, piyo classes, pilates classes, home practice, elliptical, hikes and walks.  My main goal is to just get off my ass and move each day.

Fast forward to this week and I felt like it all went to hell.  My tailbone is literally being more of a pain in the ass, my feet have been killing me and I struggled more than I have ever struggled in class this past Monday.  I felt like I didn’t know my body, that everything was giving up on me and I felt huge, fat, you name it.  I had weighed myself that morning and was shocked that in one week I had gained 2lbs.  The most in one week yet and I think my body was trying to adjust. I came home from that class and announced that obviously I was done, couldn’t do anything else and would remain on the couch, crying till the day my water broke.  Slightly dramatic much?

Then I went to class Wednesday night and nailed it with a few modifications that did not require tears.  I also had a come to Jesus discussion with myself (again) that this is the time the baby has to start putting on the pounds which in turn means I have to as well.

It is hard, don’t get me wrong.  There are some days I want to talk myself out of working out.  I want to use pregnancy as an excuse.  I want to throw in the towel.  There are days I feel I know nothing about my body.  I will get the judgmental looks and comments from people at the gym or on the streets.  The comments that I should be at home, with my feet up, not shaking my baby around in utero through class.  But you know what, I feel better afterwards.  It has kept me sane, it has kept me moving, and I know it has been what has been best for baby and I at the end of the day.

I have at least 9 weeks and some days left to go and my plan, as long as I can do it, is to keep working out and modifying as need be.  Even if it is just walking around the block it is something.

So if you are debating on what is safe or not during your pregnancy I strongly urge you to talk it over with your doctor.  Once again, the important thing to remember, is everyone is different.  Sure, if you have never been a gym rat before, now is not the time to take up crazy classes but there is still plenty that you can do.  Your body and sanity will thank you.

As for that smug lady that came to class last week, I haven’t seen her back at the gym since.