Diary of a pregnant yogi, round II…

I never imagined being nervous about having a second child but with baby boy #2 on the way I’ve realized that fears of becoming a mother for the second time are very different yet just as real.

When we first found out I was pregnant again I only imagined how wonderful of a big brother Beau would be. He is kind, loving, inquisitive, helpful, and just a bright soul all around. I know he will be amazing and at the same time realizing that he will not quite be 3 years old when the new baby comes so there will be times when he acts… well, like a 3 year old.

So far, he’s very sweet about “baby brudder” and started to kiss my belly when I was barely showing. He went to our first ultrasound appointment with us and was unsure of me being on the table but when he heard the heartbeat a few minutes later he was very focused and quiet and said, “Baby?”

Celebrating after a healthy 20-week check up on baby brother!

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The what-if’s…

In my case, with my first birth I had a wonderful labor and birth and bounced back immediately and was feeling great. One of my biggest fears this time around is if that doesn’t happen again. What if I’m laid up in the hospital bed, relatively helpless when Beau comes to meet his baby brother? Will it upset him? How will he handle the hospital even if I’m walking around and full of energy like last time? How will he handle being away for 2-3 days?

What if I go into labor while he’s home and he sees me in pain? Will he be helpful? Will he be scared? What if I’m alone with him? Will I be able to care for him?

What if I go into labor while he’s sleeping and he wakes up with Mommy & Daddy gone and my parents have to explain to him that Mommy went to the hospital while he was sleeping?

So many questions… I’ll let you know the answers after we live through it.

The labor…

With having gone through a natural labor and birth one time I feel prepared to do it again. However, the fear if it being different, medical interventions, and an overall not as wonderful of an experience as last time is very real.

We are planning a natural/unmedicated birth in the hospital just as the first time. Two things that I feel confident in from my last experience are that I have a wonderful doctor that supports my choices and a rock solid birthing partner in my husband.

We also had an amazing labor & delivery nurse for my first birth who has since retired. We were connected on Facebook so I reached out to her and she is going to be our doula for this birth! We are so excited to have her wisdom, experience, and loving spirit on our team again!

The childcare…

Most of my worries seem to revolve around my first born this time around. How will he react? Will this completely rock his world? One thing that puts me at ease is that we are very lucky to have family live close by. We have been practicing Beau spending nights away with my parents for most of my pregnancy. We have worked our way up to a weekend away (2 nights) and while it’s hard for me he absolutely loves it. I am so relieved that we have been able to prepare him well for nights away from us.

The resources…

I found The Second Baby Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith to be very helpful. A lot of my “what-if” questions were eased by this book. The biggest one being that our bodies tend to know when it is “safe” to go into labor (i.e. when your first baby is safe, with someone you trust, and/or asleep).

The yoga…

Here it is! The yoga section. So, my practice since becoming a mother has not come back quite the same. I never went back to teaching yoga and I rarely make it to a yoga class. My practice consists of nap-time practices (when I choose yoga over household chores) and trying to practice with a toddler on top of me… or asking me to get a toy from under the couch, or asking me to get him a snack, or just plainly requesting me to, “Get up, Mommy.” What I’m trying to say is, yoga doesn’t happen as long or as often as it used to. But it’s good in its own delightfully fun way. We have also planned for me to attend a prenatal yoga class once weekly at my local beloved Villager Yoga.

The asanaPoses that feel wonderful this time around (in no particular order).

Virasana & Supta VirasanaHero pose is my favorite pose. The thighs, the knees, the feet… feels so good all over.

Virabhadrasana I & IIThe Warriors to strengthen the legs for labor. {It feels good to move and flow in these poses. Inhale to straighten the bent knee, exhale deep bend back into the knee/full pose. Repeat.}

Pranayama… Lots of deep breathing at the beginning and end of a practice and anytime I have a quiet moment.

Surya Namaskar A & BSun Salutations fill me with energy and make me feel like I can take on the world (or nap time).

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (variation)… My hips have been very tight this pregnancy. Pigeon pose hits all the right spots. Every. Single. Time.

BalasanaChild’s pose with wide knees and deep breaths. Take a break, mama.

VrksasanaTree pose for balance, grace, and stability.

Adho Mukha SvanasanaDown dog requires its own mention outside of the Sun Salutations because I hang out here for long periods of time. Moving my hips and knees, stretching, breathing (and it’s Beau’s favorite).

MalasanaGarland pose to release the lower back and hips. This yoga squat stretches in all the right places for a pregnant yogi. {Just as in the warrior poses I move and flow in this pose. Inhale reach up, exhale deep squat down, inhale and exhale in the pose, inhale and rise to stand tall, exhale hands at my heart. Repeat.}

Bundles of love,

Stay tuned for “Another birth story…” coming sometime in November!

Related post: “Diary of a pregnant yogi…” (round I)

Yogini mama…

I finally posted a statement on my ‘yoga classes’ tab: “Currently taking a sabbatical from teaching to spend every moment possible with my toddler.” I realized that it’s been 15 months and I still can’t stand to be away from him. It was time to make my non-return to teaching website official.

I planned to return to teaching when he was 8-12 weeks old but I felt this overwhelming pull to spend as much time with him as possible. Especially after returning to work full-time when he was 5 months old.

We practice here and there together and it’s a blast. We have even made it to a few ‘mommy and me’ classes. And every once in a while I’ll squeeze in a home practice during nap time. It’s always exactly what I need.

I don’t see myself going back anytime in the near future but I do miss teaching. I miss the dedicated yogis that I saw every week. I laughed with them, cried with them, celebrated with them, and saw their yoga practice grow and transform their lives. I’ve made so many great friends through yoga.

I haven’t attended an adult yoga class in over a year. I know one day I’ll return and I’ll wonder why it took me so long to go back. And then I’ll remember that I was doing the best teaching of all. Teaching my own little human to be a positive force in the world. To shine bright on someone’s cloudy day. To love and be kind to everyone no matter the circumstance.

Making memories with my little guy

If you’re in a yoga-lull and miss the good ole days when you could attend a 2 hour class at 6pm I’m right there with you. But I challenge you to be in the present moment. Do what life calls you to do right now. Be a mom, be a dad, be a student, be a friend, be whatever life is calling you to do even if it means you miss your yoga practice. You’re doing important emotional growing and you’ll be a better person for it. Yoga will be there when you come back to your mat.

Yoga will wait.

Peace,

A birth story… 

14 hours of labor starting at 10:00am, ending with 3.5 hours of pushing and the most amazing ending at 11:57pm on February 25, 2017.

You should know that the majority of this post comes from writing on my wordpress phone app during 2am nursing sessions. I apologize in advance for typos and grammatical errors… let’s just call it baby induced insomnia writing.

My due date was Monday, February 20 and this magical thing happened… pregnancy became unbearably annoying. I was cruising along loving pregnancy except for the occasional ache and back pain. But on Monday my body decided to rebel against being pregnant and I was miserable. My back hurt constantly, I couldn’t sleeep, and I just felt enormous. Four days of this and I was ready to get this baby out! Maybe that’s what the third trimester is for… mentally preparing you for the next stage.

On Saturday morning my husband, Darren had gone to the office to get a few things done and I was hanging on the couch with my heating pad trying to get comfortable. At about 10:00am I started to have intense period like cramps but didn’t think they were contractions. As they got more intense and seemed to come in waves I called a friend for advice. I invisioned contractions being this whole-belly tightening like I had experienced with Braxton Hicks but for me that wasn’t the case. My friend said it sounded like early labor to her and so I started timing my contractions.

I was sitting on an exercise ball and leaning on the couch for support during the contractions and thought I had it under control… until I called my husband. It’s like hearing his voice made me realize how much I needed him and I broke down in tears. He rushed home and started packing the car, completing his list of things to do, and cleaning up my vomit (yep).

After talking with the doctor we headed to the hospital at about 1:00pm. I rode to the hospital in the back seat on my knees hugging the head rest. My water broke in the car and it wasn’t like I imagined either. There was no gush of fluid, just a feeling like I had just accidentally wet myself.

When we finally got to the delivery room I was freezing. I had been cold most of the morning and had a blanket around me and it definitely didn’t get better in that paper gown. As soon as they finished my hep lock IV port I got in the labor tub. The warm water felt amazing. I stayed in the tub for a few hours and it made the contractions much more bearable.

Labor tub

When I got out of the tub I had progressed from 3cm to 6cm dilated. Once in the bed I moved from my hands & knees to laying on my side to squatting to standing… whatever worked. I was constantly moving.

You hear about women cursing their husbands during labor and I’m happy to report that I had exactly the opposite experience. We had this unspoken communication during the whole thing. He gave me water, put a cold cloth on my head, held my hand, told me how amazing I was, squeezed my hips for counter pressure… he was completely amazing. I’ve never been more in love with him.

In the end I ended up on my back for delivery because that’s where I made the most progress with pushing. I had an amazing labor & delivery nurse that recommended me pulling on a towel “tug of war” style while pushing. She looped it around and I pulled on one end while she pulled back. In between contractions it was so uncomfortable to lay on my back that I stood up on the bed using the squatting bar for support. When I felt another contraction coming I would reach my hand over to Darren and he would help me back down. That was the most intense part of my labor. My doctor liked this up and down movement because the baby’s heartbeat dropped slightly between contractions when I stayed on my back. When I stood up his heartbeat returned to normal. I think it’s amazing that my body knew what I needed to do to keep myself and my baby healthy.

After 3.5 hours of pushing he was finally on my chest and just like that all the pain and intensity was gone. The next few minutes were scary and seemed to last forever. I noticed that the number of nurses in the room had multiplied and they were all looking at my baby. My doctor quickly explained “I know you wanted to delay cord clamping but we need to get him…” then it became a blur. I shook my head enthusiastically thinking “yes, do it!” I could feel the worry in the room. They took him to the warmer and suctioned, rubbed, and gave him the APGAR test. Darren stayed by my side and I assured him that I was fine and to go get a closer look. After what seemed like an eternity I saw his little arm move and heard a little cry. A few minutes later he was back on my chest and we spent the next 2 hours skin to skin. It turns out that my doctor called in for extra support when he was in the birth canal for so long. She was worried that he might get stuck at the shoulders and need assistance coming out. He came out on his own but I am very thankful for the help of the NICU nurses in that moment.

We arrived in our hospital room around 2:30am and the most amazing thing is that I, who can’t even stay awake during a movie, wasn’t even tired. I think women’s bodies and brains are wired with this survival/nurturing/protecting instinct that can run on literally no sleep. I stayed wide awake with him skin to skin, completely in awe of this tiny little human, for the rest of the night. I got approximately 5 hours of sleep in the span of our 2 day hospital stay and still didn’t feel tired.

The next morning I felt wonderful. After refueling with a big breakfast (hospital food is surprisingly good) I took a shower while my little man spent some  skin to skin time with his daddy. Going through labor and delivery without medication was definitely worth how good and energized I felt the next day.

And then there were three…

And now, 5 weeks later I still remember the events that transpired, but the memory of labor and pain has faded. And I’m left with this amazing little dude to love and care for. Darren asked me after that experience if I would go natural and unmedicated again. Absolutely. Labor is supposed to be shorter the second time around, right?

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2 weeks old, Ann Wade Photography

Lots of love,

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