Getting Back to Exercise

Stress at the pregnant womanIt has been 6 months since I stepped foot in a gym, having stopped going to the gym due to my pubic symphysis pains. For the last trimester, I napped and walked mostly. Yesterday, I went back into a class for the first time, right after my baby turned 3 months old. In fact, I signed the papers on his 3 month birthdate!

Because my old gym does not have child care for babies younger than 6 months old, my husband and I decided to plunk down extra money for a family membership at a very nice gym well-known for its wonderful childcare. They provide for 3 hours of childcare per day and, unlike my old gym, also changes diapers and provide feedings. The timing worked out well, since later this week will be end of the school year as well, and this club offers a lot of kids activity.

The first 6 weeks after giving birth, I enjoyed having a relaxing postpartum month. My in-laws, my husband, and my sister took time to come and help out, giving me a whole month to focus on rest, giving me a modern version of the Chinese “sitting the month.” I had given birth to a larger than expected baby, so my recovery was also a bit longer than what I was used to. For some reason, in the 3 years since my last baby I had managed to forget about how out of it one feels down there after birth. It took 2 weeks before I felt like I recovered and can pass for normal.

Even after the first 6 weeks, I couldn’t really bring myself to go back to the gym yet because I was really focused on my baby. The other thing is that I really couldn’t quite fit in to my old workout clothes – my post pregnancy breast prevented me from going back to jogging so in spite of having a nice jogging stroller, I stuck to walking. I have an easy baby but it is still an adjustment to juggle 3 kids, so I gave myself some time to get that together and run the mothers club, maintain a household, and see people socially after my postpartum 1 month where I pretty much stayed in.

Baby Growth Chart 1My baby is quite an impressive grower, and at 2 months he already weighed 17 lbs. I had to scramble and get him new clothes that quickly became like sausage casings on him. I struggled (and still do struggle) to keep up with carrying him around in the infant carseat. On the plus side, he was a great sleeper and had an easy and chill personality. I was getting enough rest and feeling pretty good, but I know I really missed the gym for the last 6 weeks. Now, I am sore all over and my first day back at the gym was a humbling experience. I enjoyed feeling quite weak through a strength training class (like Bodypump but not BodyPump), and I had to skip on a few of the ab exercises because I still had a 1.5 finger separation in my abdominal muscles. I stayed for U-Jam and was winded by 40 minutes so I cut out at the 45 minute mark. Being back, I really feel how I am out of shape! Today I gave myself a recovery day but will be going back for more tomorrow. I hope to get my body back but more than anything I need to rebuild my strength and stamina to keep up with my kids!

 

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