While third trimester has unceremoniously dumped on me many of the pregnancy symptoms I’ve missed out on so far (namely heartburn, backache, leg cramps, and odd cravings and hunger) I still count myself fortunate that the major symptoms seem to be considerately taking turns. First trimester was the raging fatigue and second trimester was a complete lack of immune system, both of which seem to have resolved themselves. (Hallelujah!)
The upshot of this is that I’ve been able to exercise more in the last month or so than I have for the first two-thirds of my pregnancy, which is probably the opposite of what most women go through. And let me tell you, it feels GREAT, both physically and mentally.
For the record, by no stretch of the imagination am I an athlete. I am fully convinced that I missed the developmental window for learning how to throw, catch, or hit any sort of spherical object; or move my limbs in anything but the most primitive quasi-striding motion. I hated gym class as a kid, partly because of said lack of rudimentary ball-handling skills (also applicable to my pre-Science Guy dating life) and partly because I was plagued by mild to moderate asthma for the better part of ten years.
I started to enjoy exercise, however, my junior year of high school and it’s been an important part of my life ever since. (At times too important, but that’s a story for another time.) Before our wedding last summer, I was probably in the best shape of my life thanks to six months of weekly sessions with a trainer and the free time to exercise 5-6 times a week in the month leading up to the wedding. I was on a very slightly dialed-back version of this schedule when I got pregnant.
First trimester fatigue was hard physically but also emotionally draining because suddenly I wasn’t able to be as active as I was used to being. I wasn’t running marathons or anything pre-pregnancy, but I definitely missed the feeling of accomplishment that came with exercising. (Maybe that was the endorphins, who knows.) When my energy levels improved in second trimester, I was ready to start exercising again but then I kept catching the 10,000 strains of cold circulating through my population of minions.
I finally seem to have turned a corner, just in time for my body to actually start feeling really pregnant. But I am still scheduling time to exercise about 4-5 times a week and my FitBit provides plenty of external motivation to move throughout the day. (Never underestimate the power of committing goals to calendar and programming a small electronic device to provide judgmental encouragement.) I also feel good that I’m strengthening my body in preparation for a hopefully healthy delivery in less than two months.
Sweatily yours (I’m typing this on the bike at the gym)