I have this weird theory about my insides… I don’t like to think of myself as having organs. I prefer to think of myself as a steak. No lungs, no intestines. Just a filet mignon on the inside. There’s far too many ways my organs can screw up. So sometimes, I look down at the little baby bump and think, “Where is that kiddo?!”
Here’s what babies are doing at Week 15: “Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She’s busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she’s likely to move away from the beam.” (Source)
I had so many potential topics to discuss this week – pregnancy body image, The Happiest Baby on the Block, my pregnancy small group (our discussion on Monday was AMAZING) – but I thought I’d stick to something many people have asked me about: exercise!
For many years, doctors recommend that women just spend the entire 9 months on the couch, but now, we know that there are many benefits for mom and baby. Safe,moderate exercise improves mood/body image, helps maintain a healthy weight gain, and strengthens muscles and prepares the body for childbirth. Some studies have demonstrated a link between exercise and a lower risk for complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Furthermore, “Previous research has indicated that exercise in the first trimester, when the placenta is formed, helps forge extra blood vessels so that there is more opportunity to exchange nutrients between mom and baby” (source). And last, but certainly not least, when the mom exercises, the baby’s heart benefits, too – resulting in a lower and more efficient fetal heart rate (source).
I never thought to myself, “I MUST be a pregnant runner.” I always admired women who ran throughout pregnancy but didn’t want to pressure myself to keep up with my beloved sport if it was too much. All I knew was that I wanted to stay active throughout the experience. I resolved from the get-go to just play it by ear and exercise when and if I could and wanted to.
Going into pregnancy with flexible expectations was really, really helpful (actually, I think this is a good attitude for exercising through all stages of life). It kept me motivated to do what I could do and not harp on what I could not do. I’ve been able to maintain three workouts per week, exercising for about 90 – 110 minutes a week. When I add in time spent walking James, I am probably hitting the CDC’s recommendations for pregnant ladies (sometimes, we walk pretty slow to allow for ample sniffing time). Generally, I’ve ran 2 times a week and did some sort of cross-training, like swimming. I would really like to add in an extra swim day or prenatal yoga – we’ll see if I can fit it in.
Running does wear me out faster than swimming. I’ve noticed that my legs and knee feel sore (in an unusual way – not related to shoes); I think it’s because of the pregnancy hormones that relax your joints. I’m planning to do a 5K on New Year’s Eve and hope that I can continue running/walking/wogging for many more weeks, but honestly – I think it’s a wait-and-see thing.
Here are my Babble posts from this week:
And here’s Week 15 in a nutshell:
- Total weight gained: Unknown – no weigh-in this week.
- Workouts: Three – a 5K run, a 3.5 mile run, and 1,000 meter swim. Keeping up with my planks, too!
- Coolest Symptom: I can officially feel the baby moving around; it feels like a baby birdie fluttering his wings. I’ve only felt it twice but while trying to fall asleep.
- Most Unfortunate Symptom: I’m breaking out like a 13 year old boy.
- Scariest Symptom: On my swim, I coughed in the middle of a stroke, and it felt like my uterus was going to fall out. It was incredibly painful and scary.
- Cravings: Christmas vacation.
- Aversions: Work. Oh, wait – you meant food aversions?
- Fun Coincidences: This week, I found out that not one… but two friends are also pregnant!
- Heartbeats Heard: We listened once on the Doppler. The heartbeat was harder to find this time… seems like the baby was lower and hiding under my pubic bone.
- Waiting For…: The day the Husband can feel the baby moving, too!
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