Mum Blog: Oh Baby, Baby...

By 2020-08-26 15:40:17

The idea of having baby number three is daunting and having a baby over forty even scarier. So, when we found out we were expecting, a million thoughts filled the crevices of my mind. Typically, these would creep into my mind when wide awake and unable to sleep, at the witching hour of 3am. When worry, self-doubt, and a little madness appear, all the crazy questions begin to repeat: ‘would the baby be ok?', 'would it be healthy?', 'would I have the same energy levels as I did in my 30's?', and 'will I still be able to give my other two children the love and attention THEY need?'. And, of course, 'with each passing week and scheduled prenatal checkup weigh-in, would my body ever be the same again?!'

After the very sedentary and nauseating first trimester, and a rather unsuccessful shop for flattering maternity clothes, I was determined that this pregnancy would include the much needed, and practical, prenatal exercises. I enlisted the help of a good friend, who also happened to be a qualified pilates instructor, for a weekly personal training session and pregnancy safe programme. I have always been a fan of the Joseph Pilates movement, and as my abdominal muscles began to separate and the progesterone loosened my ligaments, I thought that a daily or, at the very least, twice or thrice weekly routine of some mat work on all fours would be extremely beneficial to regaining an echo of my former shape. It was great for arm and leg toning, and the focus on gentle flexibility is perfect for pregnant back health and easing of any pain.

As my belly continued to grow, so too did the feedback from my OBGYN on my weight gain – from comments around being slightly above average weight to me perhaps lessening my intake of carbohydrates. Although, being a five foot eight tall pregnant foreigner amongst the generally shorter, more petite expecting local ladies, was never going to fare well for my position on the 'average' chart, nor for my morale and self-image. I then decided to move the elliptical cross-trainer into our bedroom with the full intention to gently stepping for 10 to 15 minutes a day, while catching up on a bit of 'telly'. But this didn’t last long… and by that, I mean the cross-training of course. I did get really good at the telly part, and managed to binge-watch a whole number of Netflix series!

As the baby bump grew and my lung capacity, now squashed into a third of its normal space, shrunk, I realised that cardio exercise would have to be a kept for the POSTnatal regime. And at eight months pregnant, this beached whale would only be able to cope with a 20-minute waddle-walk around the block. Walking, when the Shanghai AQI permitted, is not only good for the limbs and waistline, but also for the mind and soul too. Each venture seemed to lighten the load (a load created by the panic and planning that goes into having a baby) while offering a much-needed escape from the kids house.

Despite the feeling that the aching hips and uncomfortable sleepless nights seem never-ending, and the waddle, belly-embracing walks have slowed down into a shuffle, each walk has the desired outcome. For brief moments, the pregnancy fog is lifted and my poor stressed-out brain is afforded the time to notice recently bloomed flowers and rare blue skies. Sigh

A short time after writing this blog, Angeline gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Georgina.