Thursday, 23 February 2012

Entering The World Of Normal Pregnant Women

I'm well into my second trimester and have been feeling well. All the nausea is gone and the bouts of exhaustion only come ever so often. So I figured it was time to drag my lazy self to pregnancy yoga. It's a big step for me because it's one of the things that I really enjoyed during my last pregnancy. The Hubby is thrilled that I'm doing yoga and also having sessions with my personal trainer again. He's always encouraging me to embrace this pregnancy and sees this as a step in the right direction.

By taking this step I'm not only joining the world of "normal" pregnant women, but I'm also acknowledging that this pregnancy is actually moving forward. I've been in denial for so long about being pregnant, but with my growing bump and all the movement Frostina has been doing lately denial really isn't an option anymore.

The thing about entering the world of normal pregnant women is the fact that I have a different history and viewpoint than most of them. This of course isn't obvious to the casual observer. I'm sure that if you peeked into the room during class you would simply see a group of pregnant women doing yoga. As crazy as I may feel sometimes, from the outside I look like just another pregnant woman. As a result, other pregnant women talk to me like I'm one of them.

This is fine for the most part, but there are times when I'm reminded that my story is not like most. At the beginning of each class the instructor asks each of us our name, how far along we are, and if we are having any aches or pains she needs to know about. My first time there she also asked me if this was my first baby.

Ugh, that innocent question that stabs all baby loss mom's in the heart.

Of course this question was asked in front of all the other pregnant students. My answer, "Well this isn't my first pregnancy." She seemed to get the message and moved right on. Phew!

Then there was last week's class. There was a new woman who announced that she was 8 weeks pregnant. Eight weeks pregnant and already attending pregnancy yoga?? At 8 weeks I was pretty much couch bound fighting waves of nausea and taking lots of naps. It turns out she is a yoga instructor as well and works at the studio. She said she was worried about outing herself but really wanted to get started doing pregnancy yoga. The instructor nodded and said some encouraging words. Everyone in the class smiled and nodded.

Inside my head I was screaming, "You're only 8 weeks and you're already so sure of this pregnancy that you've enrolled in a course of pregnancy yoga classes? Do you have any idea how risky this all is? Not only are you being smug (I'm judgemental in my head) about things but you're also at your place of work. So if things go wrong, then everyone at work will know."

She of course couldn't hear my mind screaming and proceeded to perform all the yoga moves better than the rest of us while flaunting her super slim and bump free body. 

Then there's this little gem. I know a woman through my expat club who I'm attending yoga with. She's 34 weeks pregnant with her third baby. I don't know her very well yet, but I get the idea that she's not had any struggles getting or staying pregnant. The reason I think this is because she was complaining to me that she really wants her body back because for the past 5 years she's either been pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking a break between trying again. No mention of any delays or issues.

She also seemed shocked that I had to do IVF to get pregnant. It must be nice to live in a world where you are surprised that others struggle to get pregnant.

She mentioned in class that she was feeling this numbness in her inner thighs in the morning before class. She told the instructor that she felt that same numbness right before going into labor with her two sons. She asked the instructor what she thought. The instructor said that if that's a sign of labor for her than maybe she should call her midwife.

After class this woman told me that she wasn't expecting the instructor to tell her this. She had been hoping for some reassurance that it was no big deal. I asked her if she was going to call the midwife. She told me that she was going to wait until Friday (our class was on Tuesday) when she had a scheduled appointment. I was shocked at her calm demeanor. I asked her if she was concerned and she told me that she was far enough along that she wasn't worried about going into labor early.

Again my head was screaming, "You're only 34 weeks! That's too early! Your daughter's lungs won't be fully developed until 37 weeks. How can you be so calm about all this? Why are you here at yoga and not at your midwives office getting checked out?"

At that moment I remembered that she lives in a different world than I do. In her world, you get pregnant and have your baby,,,, simple. Things may not go exactly to plan, but they always work out in the end. I didn't share my fear and paranoia with her because she didn't ask and I don't know her well enough to spew my unsolicited advice on her. Instead I told her to keep an eye on things and if the numbness continues or she gets worried to call her midwife.

I'm sure all will be well with her and her baby. As they do with most pregnant women. Because in the world of normal pregnant women things always go well. Perhaps not exactly to plan, but tragedy doesn't touch them. So she won't have to be worried. Oh how I wish I could go back to that world.


  1. Great post! Having a child does not "cure" infertility. We will always live with the struggle that was put infront of us to create our family. It's like battle scars.
    Congrats on the pregnancy and hang in there :)

  2. Um, interesting in a frustrating way. I'm surprised by that woman who came to yoga only at eight weeks, and being a teacher herself. I have been doing a lot of yoga and most teachers say you should wait until at least week 12. Many doesn't even allow pregnant women to class until then.
    And yes, if I'm lucky to get pregnant again I will never take anything for granted, my perspective of when you are 'safe' has changed drastically. You don't know it until you have lived it, even if you have been through fertility treatments. I get that now.

  3. oh man, enrolling in prenatal yoga was scary for me. I had enrolled in a class with #1 and had to go in a few days after my D&C and ask for a refund. It was so awkward. I was so scared of that happening again with #2...I haven't had to struggle with infertility, but my miscarriage has definitely changed my perspective on pregnancy. So many people I know have gotten pregnant and had a baby nine months later, no problem. For me, I know that pregnancy does not always equal baby and so I have had a harder time believing this pregnancy will equal a baby. I wasn't even 100% confident I would be bringing home #1 at the end of nine months, and sadly I was right. I'm envious of women who are so confident in their pregnancies. I'm in awe of them and terrified for them at the same time.

  4. Oh fertiles! I can't imagine how that feels to start attending a prenatal yoga class in week 8. Ignorance is bliss, and I envy those women.
    I'm really glad that you've gone back to yoga and training. It's wonderful that you have found the confidence to go back to these.

  5. I wish you could go back to that world, too. In reality, there is less than a 5% chance you will lose your baby after the first trimester. In this world, though, it seems to happen all too frequently.

    I can't imagine doing anything at 8 weeks pregnant other than praying to make it to another week...then another...then another.

  6. You are brave. I worry about this. About the integration and the flippant attitudes and conversations. I always think. It won't happen to them, to the normal preys at women ...but that was me last pregnancy until my daughter died at full term. Your normal until you life blows the fuck up.

  7. Your instructor sounds like a savvy lady. First, she recognized by your answer that there was something back there that you weren't ready to talk about and moved right on. Second, she had the sense to tell this other woman to go talk to her midwife. Smart smart smart. I'm so glad you have reached a point where you are ready and able to move around as a pregnant woman. It can't be easy. But you and your husband deserve a celebration of your progress. :)

  8. Wonderful news that things are progressing great and are attending a class to keep yourself well. As the weeks go by perhaps perhaps, occurrences such as these be less alarming, as you too are having a normal pregnancy. Sounds like you are in good hands at that class :0)

  9. A friend of mine had asked me to go to prenantal yoga with her. She to has been through a "normal" pregnancy as I am sure the rest of the women in the class would have been also. I had to decline. The idea of being around all those happy naive pregnant women freaks me out.
    Good for you though that you are doing this and I hope things continue to go well with frostina.

  10. I enrolled in a prenatal yoga class too and I feel like an old wise woman compared to these sweet young fertiles. I am struggling to open up and let in their fertileness.. LOL. But it's a step into their world and I suppose I'm not really sure that I want to step into it, although I've struggled for so many years to do so. Funny how life works that way.

  11. Sending positive thoughts your way. Glad to hear you are starting to feel comfortable.

  12. I think the question 'how many children do you have' is the worst possible question we can be asked. I can't even bring myself to write it down on any paperwork that I have zero babies. I have a baby. She is in Heaven.

    Big hugs to you! I wish you nothing but the best with your rainbow baby :)

  13. Sometimes it's just terrible that we know so much about loss and we can't turn it off... Wanting to warn that woman about her changing symptoms/etc... I struggle with that too. I still cringe when I hear people make flippant remarks about delivery/caring for a newborn... LIke, hi! We're not all that lucky.

  14. Hi There! Saw your blog on the PAIL list. I totally agree with this post and really appreciated you putting it into words. Truth is, I'm jealous of these "normal pregnancy" women. I can't imagine what it must be like to fly through 40 weeks without a worry in the world..Must be nice...I wish I was that lucky!