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Susan's Pregnancy Journal

Week 26 ~ January 4, 2004
~ Yoga's Relaxation Benefits

I had a great midwife appointment this week. I'm still measuring big, my fluid levels remain a bit high and the baby is also measuring ahead, but my midwife managed to put a lot of my fears to rest. She said that she would definitely not recommend bedrest for me as she thinks I'm far better off being able to exercise and move around. Whew! We also talked a bit about labor and delivery. She is very hands-off during labor and very anti-induction. I had known that already (it's why I chose this practice in the first place), but it still helped reassure me to hear it again. After watching yet another horrifying "you're one day late, we'd better induce; oh, now it's time for a c-section" birth story that morning, I really needed to hear that I could trust her to trust in my body.

She said she has no concerns about me delivering what she suspects will turn out to be a fairly large baby. My daughter was big and I didn't have any trouble, other than a very long labor and more interventions than I would have liked. But she fit through the birth canal, her shoulders passed easily and all in all, those peasant hips of mine did their job!

The only advice she gave me was to continue limiting my simple sugars and to be careful not to overdue while exercising, now that my diaphragm is being pushed up and I can't breathe that deeply. She was very supportive of my continuing to do my prenatal yoga tape every day, which I'm glad about. I look forward to it each day and I can really tell what a difference it makes. When carrying my daughter, I had near constant back pain. So far I've had almost none and I think the yoga is largely responsible for that. It has also left me much more flexible and I can feel it strengthening some of the muscles I will need to make it through labor and pushing. The only benefits I'm not getting from it are the meditative and relaxation aspects, as I do the tape with my daughter each day. It goes something like this:

Announcer: Stretch forward gently and spread your sit bones into the earth.

Susanna: Mom, do you have "sit bones"?

Me: Apparently, I do.

Susanna: Well, spread them into the earth, Mom.

[Susanna turns into a horse and begins galloping in circles around me.]

Me: Can you run a little farther away? It hurts when you step on my hands.

Susanna: Why? Why, Mom? Why does that hurt? Why?

Me: It just does. I have to lie down now, so please don't fall on my head.

Susanna: OK, Mom, I'll try! But I have to run REALLY FAST now.

[She runs fast, trips and falls to the ground.]

Susanna: Mom! Mom! I fell on the floor, not your head! I did great!

Me: Thanks, sweetie.

[I lean forward; she crawls under me.]

Susanna: You're my house! Don't move, this is a good warm place to sleep. Mom, you moved!

Me: Yes, I need to do a different exercise now.

Announcer: Feel the meditative stillness of these forward bends.

Susanna, from the bathroom: MOOOOOMMYYYY!! I need HELP!!

Me: OK, I'll be right there.

[Pause DVD, attend to bathroom emergency.]

Announcer: Yoga is very much like giving birth and being a mother, in that it engages all of your focus on the present moment.

Me: Are you joking? Look at your yoga room with its gleaming floors and tasteful candle and plant displays! Being a mother means sitting here in my husband's sweatpants with a child crawling on my head and me picking PlayDoh out of the carpet between poses! There is no meditative stillness, and absolutely no hope of focusing on the present moment!

Susanna, grabbing me around the neck: Mommy, I need you. Pick me up.

Me, falling over: OK, sweetie, but next time wait until lunge pose is over.

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