Bump&Taryn - Weeks 18-22
It's a Boy!
This was a big 4 weeks... and when I say big, I mean big eventful and big like I'm feeling humungous.
No sooner had I written the previous blog post about feeling mildly guilty that I had nothing to complain about, that the big growth spurt hit. And then I remembered all the times I've had exactly this conversation with so many of my patients... "So this pain started at about 20 weeks? Yeah, it's so often the 10 week, 20 week and 30 week marks when big hormonal and growth spikes happen." And boom - there was my 20 ish week growth spurt.
I've now put on approximately 5kg, and at least half of that was between weeks 18-21. I don't think I've had a conversation in the past 4 weeks that hasn't started with 'Wow, you've really popped, haven't you?". Well meaning, of course!
Dealing with Pain
But unfortunately this correlated with the onset of night time back pain. Nothing sinister, just a deep ache in the kidney regions that woke me each night after a mere couple of hours sleep and often didn't allow me to get back to sleep again. Great preparation for sleepless nights as a new Mum, I'm sure.
I definitely correlated the worst nights were after my more physically strenuous days of teaching clinical pilates - being on my feet for 5+ hours at a time and moving equipment around the studio etc. These few weeks have spurred me into putting some finishing dates in place for work... and I have made the tough decision to stop one of these two clinical pilates shifts as early as 28 weeks. I think my body can handle one of those shifts per week until 35 weeks, but two shifts is pushing it!
The only reprieve from the pain seemed to come on the nights when I prepared for bed by leaning against a tennis ball on the wall and running it all the way up and down the muscles between my spine and my abdomen. Obviously these muscles were very unhappy about the sudden changes that were occurring to allow my unborn son to venture out of the confines of my pelvis and well and truly encroach on my torso.
Digesting Big News
Yes that's right... a son! As I announced via Facebook earlier this month, we found out together with our families via a beautiful 'Gender Reveal Cake' made by my sister (yes, we were strong-willed enough to not open the sonographer's envelope ourselves and let my sister be the first to know the baby's gender!), that in October we will become parents to a bouncing baby boy. My husband is ecstatic and I feel like for the first time this has moved from abstract into reality for us both - we can now truly picture what the future might hold for us. He is no longer an 'it', he is a HE, and I am well and truly in the swing of decorating my navy and grey 'adventure' themed nursery! (and that pink and grey Pinterest board with the beautiful butterfly mobile has just been pushed to the side for now...!) Not to mention that our little boy will only be about 7 or 8 months younger than my sister's son, and it is so exciting to picture these two little rascals growing up together...
And he's a mover now! My anterior placenta meant that I didn't feel any movements until almost 19 weeks, but from about 20 weeks they've been so obvious I can see them, Alien-style! He's a sly one though... as soon as I call my husband over or get my Mum to put her hand on my belly to share the experience, of course he goes dead still and makes me look like a liar. I'm trying (very unsuccessfully due to his sneakiness) to capture the movements on camera.
I'm usually managing to practice what I preach and get the following done:
- at least 30 minutes most days of low impact cardio exercise that gets my heart rate up (but so that I can still hold a conversation). As an example, last week this was three morning walks by the river, one aqua aerobics class, two FitRight Baby&Me Advanced classes where I incorporated an interval session of squats/lunges/punches etc that got our heart rates up, and one brief session of interval training on the exercise bike in the pilates studio while waiting between patients!
- 2-3 sets of pelvic floor muscle exercises per day. I am lucky because all the FitRight classes that I take remind me to do a couple of sets each, but I am also remembering in the shower most mornings, and I've downloaded the 'Squeezy' app from the NHS which goes off 3 times per day (usually at least one of which I actually listen to and don't ignore!) and talks me through my individualised program. Obviously it is highly recommended to have a pelvic floor check with a physiotherapist during pregnancy to make sure that you are performing these important exercises correctly. Good news - one of the FitRight instructors did a real time ultrasound assessment on me today during our training course and I am in the 50% of people who are doing it correctly. Phew.
- Toning and strengthening exercises a few times per week. I get this from the FitRight and aqua aerobics classes that I teach. I am loving that I'm still feeling strong and toned in my arms and legs from my theraband and water resisted exercise routines, and I'm confident that if I maintain this strength I will be decreasing my risk of musculoskeletal pain and complications during this pregnancy and beyond. The FitRight Pregnancy DVD outlines a 40 minute pilates-type toning program that you can do at home.