Having a baby rocked my world—and not completely in a good way. My daughter sat very low during my last trimester, like zero-station low. I was already slightly effaced and showing signs of dilation. Since it was my first pregnancy, my midwife wanted to be cautious. She put me on bed rest until I reached 36 weeks to give my little one more time to finish developing. It was only about 2 ½ weeks, but I kept a low profile even when I was able to resume a fairly normal schedule. That meant staying out of the gym and taking it easy when I could.
My stress level and depression skyrocketed during my last trimester as well. A lot of it was probably hormones, but it was also the fear of the unknown—about birth and being a mom.
When our little one was ready, she came full force. My labor was fast but incredibly intense. It was about six hours from start to finish, but I didn’t experience the gradual wind-up that a lot of women go through. My contractions were rough and about three minutes apart when they began. Although I was grateful for the education I received at my Bradley Method classes, I’ll admit that I didn’t utilize many of the relaxation techniques I learned. When we got to the hospital, I sat in the tub for a bit, but it wasn’t long before I was pushing. And once I was in the bed, I had no urge to leave it.
I had a couple of complications to deal with, postponing my return to the gym. Plus, an erratic sleep schedule and learning how to be a mom has left me exhausted much of the time. As I write this, I have yet to go back to the gym. I’ve been given the OK to ease into my fitness routine (no squats yet), but, honestly, I lack the motivation. I’m sure sleep deprivation has a lot to do with it.
My birth experience was a lesson in accepting life’s imperfections. It didn’t completely go the way I wanted it to, but I was surprisingly OK with it (a big deal for me). My husband said he could see an immediate change in me after having our daughter. I was more relaxed. I’ve definitely had my new-mom meltdowns, but I tend to handle difficulties and derailments better.
Currently, I’m just having fun in my home gym. I don’t have a lot of gear, but I have enough. Along with alternating between the bench press and deadlift, I do a circuit or two of accessory exercises and conditioning work, focusing on a full-body workout. I pick the movements I enjoy and do what I feel like doing that day without putting pressure on myself. And I think I’m almost ready to go back to the gym. When I do, I’ll be in the mindset to hit the iron hard, and, hopefully, get ready for my first powerlifting meet in the spring!