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Week 19

May28

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pregnancy calendarYour Baby:

  • Is about 5 1/2 to six inches long and weighs around 7 ounces.
  • Although your baby will weigh more than 15 times its current weight by the time it is born, the rapid-fire growth portion of pregnancy is over. Thus, I have nothing else interesting to say up here. Baby is fully assembled; just needs some fattening up and lengthening out.

You:

  • May be able to feel your baby’s kicks from the outside of your belly, if you’re lucky. My husband, Jason, felt his first kick last night, and it was pretty cool and rocking and all that. He only remembered the later, third-trimester wallops from last time — this was the first time we were able to catch one of the gentle, early kicks.
  • How are your moods doing? I’m not about to tell anyone what’s “normal” at this point, except to say that whatever you’re feeling? Whether it be fear or worry or impatience or rage or weepiness or ecstatic joy or maybe a combination of all of the above in the span of 10 minutes? Yep. It’s probably normal.
  • The moods are normal because things are probably becoming a whole lot more “real” right about now. The belly is undeniable, the movements are steady, perhaps you know whether it’s a boy or a girl and are deciding on names and picking out room decor. So maybe you ran out of the room crying during a movie where something bad happened to a small child. Or to an adult! Because THEY WERE SOMEONE’S BABY ONCE TOO! Congratulations! You’re officially bonding.

A couple weeks ago I was casually reminded by the powers that be over here that I have yet to utter a single word about pregnancy fitness.
Um. Yeah. I promised to get right up on that, just as soon as I did anything remotely fitness-related.

Um. Yeah.

So I…took a really long walk around Target the other day? I cleaned the house real good and made several consecutive trips up the stairs? We took the firstborn to a neighborhood festival and I’m sure I did some walking in between all the sitting on all the various benches?

I’m not very good at the pregnancy fitness thing, to be perfectly honest. Both times I have celebrated my positive pee stick with the purchase of a single prenatal fitness DVD, and neither of these DVDs have ever actually been used. In fact, I don’t even know where they are. One was yoga and the other was just a general fitness/cardio/workout thing. Jason keeps telling me that if I got more exercise I wouldn’t be so tired all the time. I think he is probably right, but also that he needs to shut the hell up and bring me some pie.

I am not proud of this, by any means. Staying fit and active during pregnancy is a GOOD THING, do not let my sarcasm make you think I am saying otherwise, and has a buttload of benefits. Delivery is tough and taxing, and women in better physical shape quite often have an easier time. Hell, PREGNANCY is tough and taxing, and the stronger your legs and abs and back muscles are, the better you’ll feel.

Obviously, you want to stay away from anything that could be dangerous — any sport that has a high risk of falls or collisions should be avoided, but stuff like walking, swimming and even running are great ways to stay in shape during pregnancy. Provided, of course, that you know your limits and stay aware of your changing shape and balance and energy levels.

(I am highly amused by the number of pregnancy books that specifically mention BOWLING, as in, yes, bowling is okay but you need to be careful in later pregnancy because of your balance and the strain on your back. I don’t know why this amuses me, except for the visual I get of me, with my giant beach-ball belly, hurling a bowling ball down a lane and launching into an epithet-laced tirade when I get yet another gutterball.)

(Nobody ever wants to go bowling with me anymore. I really don’t know why. It’s not like when I was losing at Clue and threw the board on the floor or anything.)

I try to walk regularly, though, and I am serious about all the stair climbing. We lived on the top floor of a walk-up condo building last time so I got LOADS of exercise that way, and now that pregnancy brain has fully kicked in I feel like I am constantly climbing stairs at my house only to forgot why I went up them in the first place, only to walk down and then remember. I do squats and leg lifts while I brush my teeth or before I get into bed — the extra weight around my middle actually seems to make squats even MORE effective in toning the problem upper-thigh area, and of course I do my Kegels. Which, while not “pregnancy fitness” exactly, are essential nonetheless now that I live in fear of every cough and sneeze and what they do to my bladder.

Oh Yeah, THIS: Nesting! Already. God. I am filled with a myriad of overwhelming compulsive tics to rearrange furniture and finally frame those photos and I reorganized the DVDs and the silverware drawer and the other day I leafed through an Elfa catalog and nearly passed out from all the delicious, heavenly organization.

New This Time Around: I’m at just under the halfway point and I think I already have names picked out, both for a boy and a girl. Jason won’t fully commit to either but we’re in pretty good agreement about both. This is…not right. This is…too easy. This is…a sign that at next Wednesday’s ultrasound we will get the news that we are not having a boy OR a girl but some other previously unconsidered third option that will somehow send us back to the names drawing board altogether.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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12 Responses to “Week 19”

  1. Aimee May 28 at 10:41 am Reply Reply

    I’m so glad you mentioned the pregnancy fitness issue. I’m not pregnant, but very curious about everything, as it will likely happen in the next 2 or 3 years. I work out most days of the week with a combination of running, lifting weights, and yoga and am concerned about what doctors will tell me when I’m pregnant. I hear that many doctors strongly recommend against any exercise beyond walking, but I read an article recently about a marathon runner who trained while pregnant and ran the marathon just a few months postpartum. Are doctors getting wiser about exercise during pregnancy? Is the general consensus that any exercise you were doing before getting pregnant should be fine during pregnancy? (not starting an exercise program once pregnant)?

  2. oneluckymommy May 28 at 10:57 pm Reply Reply

    I LOVE your comments on pregnancy fitness – I too used stairs as a major form of exercise. Parking far away from the door of the store was also common.
    Now that I am a new mom, I feel that *real* pregnancy exercise should include some sort of “carry 10 pounds while doing everything you do” should be included in he first 6 months. My knees and arms and lower back complain on a regular basis as I get up from the floor or couch with her in my arms or lift her out of the crib. Arm strength in general does not seem to be a focus of published pregnancy fitness programs – and BOY do you need it!

  3. Victoria May 31 at 4:21 pm Reply Reply

    Aimee: as a bit of minor fitness freak myself, i was very interested in this topic when I first got pregnant earlier this year. I found James Clapp’s Exercising Through Your Pregnancy (http://www.amazon.com/Exercising-Through-Pregnancy-James-Clapp/dp/1886039593) to be very interesting and reassuring on that score. It not only explains the many benefits to mother & baby, it also explains a lot of fascinating physical adaptations that the body goes through to protect the baby while you’re working. His conclusion (and that of every other book I’ve read so far) is that most of the old recommendations are entirely too cautious, esp. for people who were active before getting pregnant. Basically, if you feel good, there’s no reason to hold back. Just be careful if in the past you’ve been the type whose enthusiasm sometimes leads to overtraining and injury… and don’t push too hard. totally not my problem! When I get tired, I’m happy to quit, I just start again later on or the next day. So far (20 weeks!) I’ve been *very* happy and comfortable continuing my 5-6 days per week regimen of weight training, NIA dance classes, elliptical machine work and lots of city walking at around 80-90% of the intensity I used to be able to muster.

  4. rachel Jun 02 at 1:09 pm Reply Reply

    aimee –
    i think i read that same article lol, i forgot what magazine it was but i remember that it said she ran 5 miles the day before the baby was born and thinking that was amazing considering how huge her belly had be. and from everything i’ve read (i’ve never been pregnant but i read a lot online, like this website), you can keep exercising during pregnancy and just be more cautious about injuries and such. i read somewhere that machines are safer than free weights and thus better for pregnant women. and i think you’re not supposed to let your heartbeat get above a certain amount but i don’t know what it is. i know that if somebody told me to quit exercising and lay on my couch when i get pregnant i’d probably shoot them. i get cranky without my workouts. hope this helps a little bit! :)

  5. Stephanie Jun 03 at 12:33 pm Reply Reply

    I have my 20 week sonogram tomorrow (Wednesday) as well. It will be nice to be able to refer to the “baby in Mommy’s tummy” as “your new brother/sister” to my 26 month old daughter. Good luck and I hope he/she cooperates!

  6. Anonymous Jun 03 at 2:46 pm Reply Reply

    I am no longer pregnant (proud mom of an almost 5-year old) but have assvice (of course :)). When I was first pregnant, I could care less about fitness (too busy sleeping), but then at around 12 weeks got horrible sciatica. I thought I was crippled. I eventually found that pregnancy yoga and light walking did wonders. I was not pain free, but this helped keep my muscles stretched and capable of normal existence. The sciatica subsided somewhat when I entered 3rd trimester, but I continued with the yoga just for fun. My $.02.

  7. From Dawn Till Rusk Jun 07 at 3:37 pm Reply Reply

    Great post. I have a really good friend in Scotland who is pregnant with her first and she is a fitness instructor. Am very tempted to direct her to your site – just not sure if it will comfort her or make her wish to god she hadn’t got pregnant in the first place!

  8. Lizabits Aug 21 at 9:31 am Reply Reply

    Check out http://www.xfitmom.com
    If you are physically active before becoming pregnant, you can typically continue along the same lines throughout your pregnancy. The thing to avoid is suddenly starting something brand new and a whole lot harder. I found in my first trimester (I’m now 15 weeks), the only time I didn’t feel nauseated was during/just after exercising quite vigorously. Walking is great too, of course, but keep those muscles stronger than you think you need to!

  9. erin Sep 05 at 4:08 pm Reply Reply

    oh dear! I just joined a bowling league and I’m 18 weeks..will be rather rotund when the league actually starts!

  10. Sarah Aug 24 at 1:05 pm Reply Reply

    My doctor told me to keep my heartrate under 140bpm. This is not widely accepted as necessary anymore – I think doctors say it because people like to hear a nice firm number. From all the reading I did, it just said to keep your exercise to the intensity that you feel fresh and energized afterward, not completely drained. That’s different for different people – you might feel that way after a 5 mile run while I feel that way after a 2 mile walk! If you’re a runner, just pay attention to your changing center of balance, don’t run on uneven surfaces or in bad lighting, to help reduce your risk of falling.
    Of course, if you have any complications, these rules totally change! I had a subchorionic hemorrhage my first tri so by the time it went away I had lost some of my fitness and wasn’t really up for running anymore. So I walk, do the elliptical, and swim laps.
    Just some more assvice for those who come along here later!

  11. Cara Jan 30 at 8:50 am Reply Reply

    So, I’m not one of those fitness enthusiasts, but I’ve always needed to exercise a few times a week to feel good (aches and pains wise). My first trimester was for sleeping and I really couldn’t drag myself to the gym after work, but in my second trimester I’ve found my groove again. After speaking with my doctor and having a session with the trainer, I have a routine of cardio and light weights (on machines) that I should be able to do late in to pregnancy. And the days I go? So much more energy and so much less back pain. So, not to be annoying, but even for those of us who can’t say we enjoy the exercise it might be worth getting there… And the idea of pushing this baby out of my body and then carrying it around for months (I am so working on my upper body strength) turns out to be all the motivation I need.

  12. Di Apr 26 at 12:07 am Reply Reply

    I so love this blog!!! After 2 kids I needed something different from the the usual” what to expect when you’re expecting” mode … At some humor to it …thank you! So ,  I have not ever been a fan of exercising… Not when I was 5 and we had to sing “Head shoulders knees and toes” while bending and touching all of the above , Not. When I had to fit in the bride’s dress, Not when I was expecting my first,  My second… Or now my third …  I have never been to size 0 but I am not overweight either- i am not a health freak- I eat what I like in moderation … But with these ideas and trends of pregnant women having to exercise I wonder …. How am I supposed to fit that with a full-time job two kids under 6 and a belly that is getting bigger by the minute??? ….   I do my share of walking, bending and picking up toys and clothes from the floor, Grocery store trips dragging two kids Aside from the everyday chores and working …. I think I got my workout routine down Even if I don’t Pay a private trainer to get me in shape! 

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