Make Way for Baby

This weekend, I begrudgingly took a prenatal yoga class.

Since I’ve had to quit pilates and running, I knew I would have to pick up something else or I would lose my shit. I need to move, but I also have come to terms with the reality that I need to slow down. That is, I think, what my abdominal muscles tearing apart was trying to tell me.

I have resisted yoga my entire adult life. It just seemed so fruity to me. I need exercise where there is yelling, grunting, and the occasional need for obscenities. The idea of being trapped in a room smelling like patchouli sounded like torture.

But my body and my baby are trying to tell me something. This shit is not about me any more. Aaaand as luck would have it, there is a yoga studio right down the street from my place that offers prenatal yoga on Sunday afternoons. I was running out of excuses.

As I prepared for class, I realized exactly zero of my workout clothes fit me any more. None. All the spandex I own has been stretched to their last stitches. The sports bra that had fit just two days prior practically screamed for mercy. I cried on the couch for about 5 minutes because I couldn’t back out– I had already pre-paid for the class.

Decked in Mr. O’s sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt, off to prenatal yoga I went.

I was the first one there and filled with a lot of anxious energy. “I’m going to hate this. Someone is going to read my chakra or something ridiculous and I’ll just have to leave.” And in walks the instructor, Randi, who is the picture of calm, graceful, voluptuous, earth mother. I told her about my injury, and she said she’d suggest certain modifications, but the class should be just what I was looking for.

It turns out I am a yoga natural. Yes, it did take me some time to slooooooow doooooown. There were a few times when Randi had to remind me to “make room for the belly” and this helped me sink into positions and fully experience my body as it is now. As the class went on, I fought it less and something clicked inside me. Specifically, someone kicked inside me.

This body, the one I have today, is something I have never known before. Up until this point in my pregnancy, Chick and I were living like roommates to a certain degree. I wasn’t bothering Chick and, with the exception of some seriously unpleasant constipation early on, Chick wasn’t really bothering me. Then around week 24, Chick literally busted through my abs. No longer roommates, someone is taking over all the communal living spaces. (Hint: it isn’t me.)

At the end of the class, we had a moment of meditation where Randi encouraged us to put our hands on our bellies. Yoga had woken Chick up and sparked a dance party in my uterus. For a little while at least, I started to feel a connection to my child. Me and Chick, we’re in this together.

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14 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown · May 5, 2015

    I loved reading this – you and Chick are absolutely in this together and I think it’s amazing that you are starting to connect in a new way!

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      I wasn’t expecting this from yoga. It really was my attempt to keep moving during my pregnancy. But I was so happy to feel that connection, I practically hugged the instructor after class.

  2. AdoptiveBlackMom · May 5, 2015

    Awww, how sweet. 🙂 I love yoga and yes, you might find that there occasionally is some grunting and only as much “pulling” as you choose to pull. I just started a 30 day yoga challenge. You might look up some prenatal yoga videos on YouTube–you might find some short ones to watch to give you some ideas and make it feel less “patchouli.” 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      There was one point where the instructor said we could make some “Blah, Blah, Blah” noise if it helped us hold the pose longer. Since I am a yoga newbie, I had no idea what was going on. Once I’ve taken the class a few times, I think I will supplement it with some videos– YouTube sounds like a great place to start!

  3. InfertileGirl · May 5, 2015

    Ha, your thoughts on yoga are too funny. I actually have a post drafted about my most recent prenatal yoga class and how it was a little to “granola” for me. I started doing yoga during infertility sort of as a way to gain some control over my body and I had the same reservations as you but my gruff, not-at-all-yogi-looking male instructor was amazing. I don’t love my prenatal teacher and the last class ended with her ringing a bell and talking about blue energy light from the third eye chakra. It was a bit much, but I still do enjoy the physical act of yoga.

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      So interesting- Running became a way for me to connect with my body during infertility, and to prove that it could still perform and be strong. Yoga (or at least my one whole class of yoga) has me thinking about what strength and performance mean now.

      The instructor was pretty cool and keep the crunchiness to a minimum. But when she said “Namaste” at the end of the class, I honestly had no idea what that meant.

      • InfertileGirl · May 6, 2015

        I’ve never been very athletic but yoga definitely made me feel strong and pleased with what I could do with my body. Pretty well every yoga instructor will end with namaste, it’s sort of just a “peace be with you” turn of phrase. I always feel awkward giving the little prayer bow and repeating it back though. I do love how yoga gets the baby active too. I can always feel kicks, especially at the end during savasana (when you just lay on the floor). Good on ya!

  4. hopingforatakehome · May 5, 2015

    New to your blog and I just want to say that I like your writing style! Laughed and then my eyes felt a little watery at the end of this post. Nice to hear real life accounts of how the connection can happen once you’re pregnant after infertility.

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      Thanks for stopping by- I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far. I’ve struggled with feeling connected to my body during infertility, and there is a part of me that thought all that would miraculously vanish once I did get pregnant. Obviously, this is something that I have to work on that other women don’t. I’m happy I am starting to find those moments. If yoga helps me get there, I’ll “namaste” all day long!

  5. Tracy · May 6, 2015

    i love hot yoga. I really can’t get into regular yoga, although at some point I might try again. **i totally don’t get into the whole spiritual nature of it, i just love the work out** I loved reading this post! Way to go you & Chick!! I am proud of you for listening to your body and connecting with her.

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      Oooo, is there yelling in hot yoga?! Because then I can definitely get on board! (Kidding… sorta…) There is something about the act of movement that can be spiritual, in almost any sport. For me, it’s about connecting my head to my body. There is something about it that force me to bring the two spheres together, and why I think it helps me feel connected to my pregnancy.

      • Tracy · May 6, 2015

        You don’t really yell in hot yoga but the instructors do! They are loud and very much about getting deeper into your pose. So there is a lot of “go back, go way back, dig deep, that sort of thing.” Oh I love hot yoga. Definitely do NOT try hot yoga while preggers. They heat the room to over 100 degrees! http://www.bikramyoga.com/BikramYoga/about_bikram_yoga.php (if you wanted to learn about the kind I’m talking about) The feeling when your done is amazing. So clean, and so refreshed. It’s weird but I love it!

  6. Awaiting Autumn · May 6, 2015

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    • thecommonostrich · May 6, 2015

      Believe me- I didn’t see it coming at all! I was so prepared to mock every minute, so I was pleasantly surprised. So much so, I practically hugged the instructor after the class was over.

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