As I look back on all that my body has been through, I have to say that pregnancy is an amazing process. An extremely hard, yet amazing process. The female body is a brilliant thing, really. To be able to grow another human? What! Fascinating. My pregnancy was wonderful, my recovery...annoying. I tell people that I prefer labor and delivery over recovery. It's true. Labor is manageable, full of excitement and anticipation. Delivery presents your child, the one you already love more than you ever thought you could. Recovery is annoying and just plain painful. At least it was for me.
They say, "oh...you'll be sore."
I was. I'll spare you the details, but I was.
They say, "oh...you'll have to take it easy for a while."
I did. But mentally, I wanted to do more.
It was hard not to.
But I really, physically could not do more.
And then you start to feel better.
And then you don't feel better.
But what you're feeling really doesn't matter because you've got your little bundle of joy. So all of that, that's what I wish they would have told me during our birthing classes. But life continues once you come home, despite of what you've been through. And it continues to change by the minute, amazing you more and more by the second. Until one day, you've got the whole mothering thing down. And you feel like yourself again.
Well, mostly like yourself.
If you're breastfeeding, as I am, recovery...rather, your weight loss is hindered by your body's need to produce food for another. No, it doesn't make you lose weight fast. It helps, but it's not a quick fixer-upper. You have to work really hard to shed that baby weight. But, don't forget, nine months on and nine months off. So they say. That's why prenatal fitness and health care are important.
But that's another post entirely.
What I'm here right now telling you is that at some point you'll be ready to work hard again. And I know you'll want to focus on that core, specifically. But until then, take it easy and enjoy your new bundle of joy. Meet with your doctor at your six-week checkup, then proceed as he/she tells you.
That was about 15 weeks ago for me.
Here's my core today (yeah, stomach in your face):
(Note: If you're pregnant, get some Cocoa Butter. I swear that's part of the reason why I don't have stretch marks. That and my over consumption of water while pregnant.)
Here's what I looked like before I got pregnant:
But I have been hitting the core pretty hard lately. Because 1) core strength is important, 2) it's fun tow work, 3) and I wouldn't be a human woman if I didn't want my stomach to be toned. So I brought an oldie-but-goodie to Circuit Sculpt on Monday and it seriously made me sore! Scissor kicks:
Give them a try. I felt it particularly low in my abdominals. See if you feel it there, too. Just be sure to keep that low back pressed into the ground as shown above. You don't want it creeping up into an arch. That's stress on the spine you don't need.
With that, I'm off to play with my sweet precious little bean of a girly girl. God, I love her.
Question: What's your favorite abdominal exercise? And if you've ever had a child, tell me one thing about pregnancy and childbirth that surprised you the most.