Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks! Lots of fun and family and food, all of which has been wonderful.
For some reason, I had this past weekend in my head as The Last Hurrah. I don’t know why, really – I could keep on being pregnant for another two months before anyone would try to induce my labor.
But this week was earmarked, at least mentally, as the week I start to really slow down and take it easy on myself. I’m still getting baby stuff together and organizing bit by bit, and I’m only getting started on Christmas stuff. For the most part, though, I’m giving myself some space.
This is not easy for me to do, as you might guess if you’ve read any of my posts about the insane projects I take on or how busy I tend to keep myself. But I’m trying to be very intentional about it.
One piece of that is really protecting my yoga time. I take a prenatal yoga class twice a week right now, and although it would be very easy, given how very large I am getting and how very frantic this season tends to be, to start blowing it off.
Yoga was a huge part of how I got ready for labor with Ella. I don’t even think I knew that’s why I was doing it at the time – I just liked the relaxation and the particularly badass group of women I met at my old studio in Salem. Even without my knowing it, all those weeks of stretching and breathing and focusing wound up being critical practice for childbirth.
So that’s partly why I’m making my yoga class a priority. I feel like I’ve done so little to focus on and prepare for this baby. With Ella, I felt like I already knew her by the time she was born – this new daughter still feels like a tiny stranger. Yoga is a way to prepare for having her, and it’s also dedicated time to connect with the little human living inside me.
But there’s more to it than that.
It took almost two years for me to get pregnant with this baby. In the time between, I gained a lot of weight. I tried and failed to breastfeed. I came down with every illness that went through any of Ella’s daycares, whether or not she got them herself. I took less care of myself than I’ve ever taken, and I lost a lot of confidence in my body – the body I was so proud of during my pregnancy with Ella June, the one that amazed me with the way it brought her into the world.
Natural childbirth was, for me (at least last time!) intensely athletic, physically and mentally. The last thing I need going into round two is any lurking doubt about my body’s strength and ability to do something it was literally designed to do.
So yoga is another way to build a little of that confidence back. Hell, if I can stand on one leg and wave my arms in the air without falling when I look a lot like the freaking Hindenburg around the middle, I can do anything, right?
Which is why twice a week, from now until the day this kiddo decides she’s had enough of riding shotgun, I’ll be planning around my yoga class. Because there’s only so much time left before I’m flying solo in this body again, and anything that helps me enjoy that time is worth prioritizing.
Even when I’m tempted to be too busy. And even when we’re on a tight budget and I feel a little iffy about spending the money.
Thank you, God, for giving me this outlet, which is basically the only fitness activity I have ever enjoyed. Thank you for giving us the basic financial stability to be able to continue this sort of thing, even with my current employment status. And thank you for helping me stay motivated to keep this as a priority for the next month or so, so I can be at my strongest when I bring this baby into the world.