Happy Friday! We just hit 36 weeks, or the 9th month! This means that most of Baby Z’s more important systems are just about finished up, and she’s pretty much just going to chill/grow until she’s ready to head out into the world 🙂
Pregnancy insomnia hit pretty hard this week. For the past 3 nights I have been struggling to fall asleep- Wednesday night it was almost 2 a.m. before I finally dozed off. Fortunately this new development hasn’t affected too much of my day to day since I was already used to functioning at an extra tired rate 🙂 We are still getting asked if we have a name picked out yet…and we still don’t! I have a list of 3 names that are my favorites from the longer list, and am happy to keep it there until we officially get to meet her. One of my officemates told me about a tradition where people keep the baby’s name secret until after the baby is born, because they believe that the baby should be the first one to hear its own name. That wasn’t the most eloquent way of explaining it but I thought the sentiment was really cool 🙂
To combat (and perhaps exacerbate) the insomnia, I have taken a couple post-work naps again this week. Wednesday I fell asleep HARD for over an hour! After waking up I did manage to get out to Eagle Lake for a little over 4 miles of running (and I tried jogging for a minute here and there too, very slow and easy on the flat stretches). It was a great night for it, and things had cooled off a bit by the time I got out there so I didn’t get too sweaty!
Here’s a look at the rest of the workouts for this week:
Monday: Total Body Cardio, Shift Shop Strength (35), 3 mile walk
Tuesday: PiYo Buns, Upper Fix, Aqua Aerobics, 15 minute elliptical
Wednesday: Shaun Week Pure Cardio, 4.3 mile walk, 15 minutes weights
Thursday: Lower Fix, 3 mile walk, Aqua Aerobics
Friday: Shift Shop Speed (25 minutes), 3 mile walk, Dirty 30
The Obsession with Post-Partum Bodies
Even before getting pregnant and following some social media/Instagram accounts of different pregnancy journeys, I noticed a lot of focus on Postpartum bounce-back. Many people will post images like “40 weeks pregnant/40 weeks PP” pictures to show the immense progress they have made. Back then I didn’t pay as much mind to the implications, and just thought “Dang, that’s pretty cool.” However, now that I’m potentially a month away from starting my own postpartum journey, seeing these posts is having a greater impact on me.
How hard is it going to be for me to bounce back after pregnancy? How long will it take me to get my “pre-baby body” back? Self-doubt is already trying to sink its hooks in.\
On the days that I just want to chill out a little longer and maybe watch another episode of something on Bravo, or maybe just want that extra 30 minutes of sleep, occasionally it’s the pressure of “the more I do now, the easier it will be to lose weight after…” that gets me up and going. Sure, 11 times out of 10 I feel better once I’ve moved around a bit, whether it’s an easy walk or prenatal Pilates, but I can’t help but feel a little bummed that the motivation comes from this whole postpartum body obsession.
I get it- late pregnancy things feel unwieldy, I have 3 things that are still comfortable to wear, even my own appetite/sleeping patterns aren’t something I have any control over. It’s not super glamorous and some days I want to rush ahead to having my body to myself again (and I’m sure others have felt the same way).
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s postpartum journey is allowed to take it’s own shape. We shouldn’t feel ashamed if our 1 month PP progress doesn’t resemble something we find on Instagram. If working out is something that makes you happy and feels good- go for it! If not, do you- happy and healthy isn’t a cookie cutter thing. There’s enough judgment in the world in general, we shouldn’t have to worry about facing the criticisms of others. After all, your body has just accomplished something amazing that should be celebrated. Being healthy and happy > looking good for Instagram (and a lot of people confess to “sucking in” or using flattering lighting/poses to make sure everything looks good).
One of the people I started following was Stephanie Bruce, one of Oiselle’s runners, a few years ago. Before getting pregnant, I didn’t know anything about conditions like diastasis recti (where the abdominal walls separate). Stephanie was very raw about her experience with this condition and her postpartum journey was moving, even to a younger/naive person with little to no knowledge on the topic. If you check out #journeywithsteph on Instagram you’ll see all of the posts that she’s shared about this journey. What I love about it: it shows that pregnancy does different things to different people, and everyone’s postpartum journey is going to be a little different. Stephanie uses her position as a runner/someone well known in that community to show “hey, sometimes this thing is tough and not pretty, but it’s all okay.”
I also enjoyed reading this post from Refinery 29 about a new mom who was approached about It Works soon after giving birth and appearing in public. Some people like and want to use post-partum products such as girdles, and again- it’s all about whatever boats your float. I’m all about the “make no assumptions” approach to life in general, so assuming a new mom is going to be cool with the implication that she should care/do more about her post-baby body seems presumptuous and a little insensitive (especially if it’s a complete stranger).
Perhaps I have a bit of a bias about it too, based on history. Soon after I was born, my mom went to the local grocery store solo (I think it was her first “outing” after giving birth). A woman there made the mistake of asking “When are you due??” It went about as well as you’d imagine. The woman probably meant well, but she didn’t know she was talking to a still-hormonal new mom of 1 week.
I know that early postpartum life is going to be tough. I’ll probably wonder why my body isn’t bouncing back as fast as I want it to, and a million other doubts along the way. But hey, pregnancy can be pretty tough too, and I’ve almost made it through that 🙂 Patience and a little bit of self love go a long way, and I’m going to try to make those the focus of my post-partum life.
Do you think there’s a lot of pressure for women to “bounce back” after giving birth?
Any fun workouts this week?