Sunday, 23 November 2014

That one time I went to prenatal yoga

I am not a bendy person.  Despite many years of dance and martial arts classes, I have and never will be able to do a split.  While other girls were extending their legs up by their ears, I was struggling to get mine to 90 degrees.  As a result, yoga and I have never been friends.  I've tried a couple of different classes, but while everyone else is smiling contentedly and breathing into their poses, I'm huffing and puffing and sweating and shaking as I fight frantically not to topple over.  I've never found anything even remotely relaxing about it, so despite how good it's supposed to be for you, I gave up trying.

A little while ago my work friend Maya signed up for a new yoga studio close to our office.  She started bugging me about coming to a lunchtime prenatal class with her as a way of using up some of her free guest passes, and after a few weeks of putting her off I finally ran out of excuses.  I figured it had been a couple of years since I'd last tortured myself with yoga, so I was due for another round.  (Side note:  No, Maya is not pregnant, although her partner is currently in the middle of a 2WW after their most recent FET.  The prenatal class was just conveniently timed.)

In my limited yoga experience, I'd discovered that the stereotype of the crunchy granola hippie yoga instructor was usually a myth.  Not this time.  Either that, or the universe had just been saving up.

The teacher started off by introducing herself as a former finance professional who'd given up the rat race to become a naturopathic doctor, yoga teacher, and lactation consultant. 


Then she casually mentioned that she was a mom of two, and that she was still breastfeeding her 4 and a half year old daughter.


Look, I think it's really great that there are so many different parenting choices available today, and I plan on trying really hard not to judge others just like I hope they won't judge me when the time comes. But this?  Fuck this.  I'm totally judging this.

Just...no.

With this horrifying image still fresh in our minds, we started class.  And it was actually ok.  Tougher than I thought it would be for a prenatal class, but definitely not the worst class I'd ever done.  I was even starting to think that I could actually see myself doing it again.

And then we got to the cool-down meditation.  Rather than the usual "concentrate on your breath, clear your mind, connect with your baby" relaxation that I was counting on, the instructor walked us through some top-level hypnobirthing earth mother goddess stuff.  Amongst other things, we were encouraged to "feel the beauty of each contraction" and envision our cervixes "opening like a flower to the warm rays of the sun".  Now, I know I haven't given birth yet, but I've read an awful lot of birth stories and for the life of me I can't remember any of you guys talking about how beautiful your contractions felt.  So clearly, you were all doing it wrong.  I'm also pretty sure that "cervix opening like a flower" is code for "3rd degree perineal tear", in which case I'll pass.  

Either way, at that point I had one eye open scanning the room to see if anyone else was trying as hard as I was not to laugh. 

Cervix opening like a what now?

So yeah.  I don't yoga so good.

Otherwise, there's not much to report around here.  I hit 22 weeks on Friday, and I'm feeling good.  Chalupa Batman has begun regular disco sessions in my uterus.  And yet we've still made no progress on names, or the nursery, nor have we bought anything or really done a single thing to prepare.  Eep.

29 comments:

  1. Hey there you are with a new post! I was laughing out loud just reading. I am quite sure that if I were there I wouldn't be able to keep myself from laughing. I am really not so sure about breastfeeding beyond at 18 months.... Maybe it's just me. Anyways, loving it that you're 22 weeks already!

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    1. Yeah, somebody harassed me about not posting... ;)

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    2. Happy that you listened to that somebody :)

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  2. I certainly can't do splits, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying yoga... although admittedly my shoulders are quite flexible. I never went to a prenatal class though (largely because I was too lazy, there was none in my usual gym) so I can't comment on the cervix flower.
    Also, we hardly bought anything for Strawberry Baby until thirtysomething weeks. No rush. They don't really need that much when they're tiny (although you may be in less of a furniture assembly mode when busy with baby ;)

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  3. Yeah, totally with you on the whole breastfeeding a 4 year old. If they can actually say "hey mom, give me your boob," I'm over it. I would have been looking around at everyone else to see their reactions as well to the whole cervix opening like a flower. That's just weird.

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  4. Haha yup it did not feel like rainbows and butterflies! But I now totally get why people keep nursing - it's free and there is no cleanup and the bonding has been awesome for me - I am totally gonna be one of those ons with a kid who can unbutton her shirt lol! I am so glad you are feeling movements! Hopefully soon you will be ready to start the room and accumulate all the stuff. So. Much. Stuff. Lol

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  5. I don't yoga very well either. I fart far too easily.

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  6. I couldn't still nurse a 4 year old, but I'm hoping to make it to 18 months! I am so not a yogi either. I have heard really good things about hypnobirthing from a few (hippie) friends so I plan to try it out if there is a next time. That being said, I'm sure I will forget it all during labour!

    How exciting you are more than halfway there!!

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  7. That is a hideous picture. I do not get breastfeeding a 4.5 year old. Has she read Song of Solomon? She's only a few years away from having her own Milkman! I am so not crunchy and in touch with my inner goddess. It goes against the yuppie trend, but I don't want a natural birth, part of me even wants a scheduled C-Section when the time comes (I won't do this, but it has its appeal). I certainly don't want my cervix to open like a flower. I know, I should be exiled from all trendy mommy clubs everywhere. I'm glad that CB is dancing like crazy in there. 22 weeks! That's amazing.

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  8. 22 weeks! Wow! Clearly I labored all wrong because I don't remember anything opening like a flower. Don't worry too much about not having ALL THE STUFF yet. You still have plenty of time before CB's arrival, and he's not going to need much more than boobs (or bottles), a bed, and diapers for the first few weeks anyway. You've got this, mama!

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  9. This post is so great (love Stefon!). I mean, it'd be pretty nice if my cervix just opened like a flower, but I kinda don't think it's going to work like that. Um...long-term breastfeeding...I judge that hard. I have memories from when I was 2.5-3 - and do you know what I do NOT want to have memories of? Being breastfed. Pretty sure nobody wants that. Other than a few bibs and socks we've been gifted by the grandparents, we have no baby stuff. We managed to clean most of the junk out of our "nursery" a few weeks ago, and I considered that a major milestone. Congrats on 22 weeks!

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  10. Haha. This post was hilarious. 4 1/2!? Is the woman planning on going to kindergarten with her child and nursing during lunch and recess? I mean seriously, that's ridiculous. And no, contractions are not beautiful, I don't know what she was smoking during her labor but it must have been good stuff if that's what she thought contractions felt like!

    Don't worry or panic about nursery or names. We didn't get our nursery finished till I was like 37 weeks. We didn't even paint till like 33 weeks. Your baby won't spend much time in there the first several weeks if you are planning on baby being in the room with you.

    Hope you are feeling good!

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  11. hehehehe! Hey, if your yoga class made you laugh, I think that counts as relaxation!
    For what it's worth, I did do some envisioning of flowers during my prolonged early labour. I imagined a flower opening and used my hands to push the petals open during the peak of the contraction. It wasn't about being beautiful though; it was an image to focus the mind (in the moment you go with whatever presents itself - there were flowers on the curtains by my bed and staring at them helped.) AND I had a 3rd degree tear (but survived - and apparently a tear is better than an episiotomy - so counting myself lucky) Ha - you haven't started the nursery/shopping/prep but you are THINKING about the fact you haven't started - That's progress hahahaha! Finally, for what it's worth - I'm with you on the breastfeeding of (much) older children. My thought is that by the time they can talk in actual sentences, they should be weaned. Enjoy 22 weeks and onward. xo

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  12. "Cervix opening like a flower" would have cued me to start screaming. I was terrified of preterm labor. Seriously would have punched this yoga instructor.

    With any of this stuff, I think its a matter of finding something that works for you. I loved my prenatal yoga class, but my instructor wasn't anything like this woman. Plus it was something I was really hoping would work for me.

    Glad you survived. Wondering now if there's a prenatal Crossfit class.

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    1. If there is, Jane Allen will find it.

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  13. And this would be why I have not attempted prenatal yoga. Ick. And breastfeeding a FOUR and a HALF year old?! Noooooooooooo. I would have left at that point :-)

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  14. Giselle Bunchen said that she enjoyed her contractions because she knew that with every one, her son was that much closer. Apparently her cervix is far more floral than mine because when I was in labor, each contraction made me think that I should quit and call it a day, that maybe I didn't need that IVF-baby after all. (I stuck it out and am not currently 18 months pregnant. It was a good choice.)
    Maybe before your next class, you can ask the teacher if she can introduce Giselle Bundchen's cervix as your chosen relaxation imagery.

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  15. I am not bendy, either, but I really enjoy yoga. Not all earth-crunchy-chanting yoga, but I have found a studio I really like by my house. That being said, I hated the prenatal class I went to (which was not at my normal studio). At the end of class she did a full half hour of some sort of meditation. she probably talked about cervixes opening like flowers but I wouldn't know because I fell asleep - in both of the classes I went to. I was done after that.
    This post really should have come with a warning. Thank god I was done with lunch before reading this. I am with you, I am judging that. There is nothing good about nursing your kid as you drop them off at kindergarten. Sorry not sorry.

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  16. This cracked me up. Your yoga instructor sounds, um, interesting. But they all are. I used to like going to prenatal yoga because I met some other moms to be (and we're still friends now that we had our babies!). But the instructor... Mine is a doula and likes the au naturel birth with no drugs and breastfeeding forever. I went back to postnatal and was tired of the "I'm so sorry you had a c section" and "why was nursing so hard for you" stares and stopped going! So ... You aren't alone!

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  17. OMG, this totally made me laugh. Judge away, Judgey Judgerson. We got your back on this.

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  18. Hahaha this makes me so happy I never tried prenatal yoga!

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  19. Hilarious! I do regular yoga at work still and our instructor is a 60-year old man and is so not like your typical yoga instructor (which is why I continue to go and actually like it).

    As for buying things, we just started and I am 33 weeks so you have plenty of time!

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  20. hahaha! this post makes me laugh. i'm doing hypnobabies and there's lots of "your beautiful birthing time" and "with each pressure wave, you become more and more comfortable" and "after each pressure wave, you smile." the "you smile" part almost always makes me laugh out loud. mmm...okay that's going too far hypnoladyface. (but for the most part it is awesome.) i think it would be great if some instructor out there gave a yoga-for-cynics class, overtly advertising a kind of anti-yogi philosophy. it'd be an interesting alternative! of course, i'm way into the yogi philosophy myself---but i do love it when my instructor drops an F-bomb here and there.

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  21. This post was hilarious. I tried to go to prenatal yoga a couple of times- my teacher was not as crunchy as yours- but it was just okay. And breastfeeding a four year old? Umm I will totally judge that as well. If a kid can talk and ask for milk then there is a problem. Yikes.

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  22. Thank you so much for the wonderful information .This is really important for me .I am searching this kind of information from a long time and finally got it.

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  23. Hi, please don't judge until you've been there. You don't even know yet what it is like to nurse a child, how can you say it's disgusting to nurse a 4.5 year old?! Nothing is disgusting about it - seriously, that is very harsh. And how do you think this mom would feel to know that you think this picture is horrifying - seriously 'horrifying'?! Ugh, you would think she abusing her child or something the way you talk about it. That is disgusting - judging someone for making different choices than you - especially when you have NO experience on the subject.

    Congratulations on your successful pregnancy btw. I too suffer from dor and am 38 like you, hence why I'm reading this blog. But I am trying for my third, and am currently nursing my 3.5 year old son. And I don't believe it is 'disgusting'. I understand extended nursing is not for everyone, and believe it or not before I had kids, I never thought I would nurse past 1 year old. But things can change once you are actually in the situation. And regardless, there is really no need to judge others who make different choices than you.

    Btw, I think that picture is very sweet.

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    1. So.... Good for you for being able to successfully breastfeed, but I must ask, at what point is it not okay? Is it okay for, let's say, an 8 year old to still be breastfeeding? How about at 10? 15? I would take a guess that not very many people have "been there," (breastfeeding at that age) but would still say it's inappropriate at least at some age. To each his/her own though.

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  24. Each child is unique and will wean whenever they are ready - at whatever age that may be. And there is nothing inappropriate about that. What is inappropriate is how our society (the U.S. and I suppose Canada since that is where the author is from) has put such a stigma on nursing past a certain age. Why do we have to put an age limit on nursing? Isn't it best to let the child nurse as long as he or she needs? Or let each family decide what they believe is best for their family? There doesn't have to be, 'yes you can do what you feel is best for your family/child, BUT if you nurse your child past -whatever age society has deemed inappropriate- well, then that's just crazy/disgusting/whatever!' Animals, such as cats, dogs, gorillas, nurse their offspring until they are ready to wean - why can't we as humans do the same? There are some societies that don't have this stigma, and most children in those societies self wean between the ages of 3 and 5. But there are some individual cases where children do nurse much past that age, and even up to 10-15 years old. There is nothing wrong with that, and I'm not going to judge families who do that because they are doing what they believe is best for their child/family. I am also not going to judge the mom who does not breastfeed at all - I assume she is doing what she believes is best for her child/family. What I have a problem with this post is that the author is clearly judging these women - how would you feel if someone called what you were doing disgusting? And I have an even bigger problem with our society as a whole that this judging of women who nurse their child past a certain age has become the norm. That's what I hope to stop,and I believe we need to teach our children differently. It's so hard though to change your minds, because it has become such the norm that you just think I'm the crazy one. Because as you said 'not many people' are going to agree with me, or see my point. Anyway, just please do some reading/research. And if any of you do end up nursing your baby, I can only hope that you might see things differently as he starts to approach the age that you think you should wean him (and to clarify, I'm not saying that I hope you don't wean him at that age, just that I hope you will stop believing that nursing a 3,4,5 year old is disgusting or inappropriate).

    I wish the best for you, Aramis. I do understand how hard this horrible infertility journey is. You are due in March right? I was due in March with my last miscarriage, so reading this blog (at least your pregnancy journey) has been somewhat bitter-sweet for me.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!