Friday, February 25, 2011

Tired belly dancer, and other random musings

After a week off last week for my birthday dinner, I'm back to dance class. My pregnant shape has caused me to modify my dancing a bit, but I have to say, so far it's been pretty decent.

When I'm pregnant, I have to be honest and say that my body feels like a bit of an alien lifeform to me. It's not my own. I'm not complaining, I know that it's only temporary, but I'm just callin' 'em like I see 'em. :) I'm reading Stephanie Meyer's The Host right now for my book club, and that's sort of egging on my host/parasite feelings just a tad bit. The main difference being that Baby CL is a very much loved and wanted little parasite.

And while it's very much worth it, I totally understand what one woman wrote about on the other day: feeling "trapped" in your pregnant body. That kind of looks like me, at least the face does, but who is this large, swollen creature?! In both of my pregnancies, my body didn't change too much until 20 weeks, so that's only 20 weeks total of the alien thing. But still, that's 5 months of looking like a pseudo-you. It's kind of weird.

If you can believe it, I am actually still circling my way back to dancing. This is also what it's like to talk to me in real life. The train gets derailed sometimes, but it always gets back on track... Anyway, I'm only now starting to get more uncomfortable, and by this point, I have a mere 12 weeks left. I can do it! On Monday, I begin THE DREADED THIRD TRIMESTER and I'm bracing myself quite nicely. I know what it's like, I know the challenges that lie ahead, and I'm up for them.

I remember taking a shower after delivering Hank, looking down, and nearly weeping with joy at being able to see the tops of my thighs, and you know. "Other things." I'm not saying those other things are normally all that exciting, but how nice to see them again after such a long hiatus! They certainly hurt enough, so I knew they were still there, and although my belly was still very much weaker than it's pre-pregnancy state, I looked much more like *me* again. It was a wonderful feeling.

And as a word of encouragement to all expectant mothers on their first baby: your body *will* recover. It may not look *exactly* like it did before you conceived; I mean, how could it? But it will look GREAT! I promise. Give your uterus time to shrink back down, and your hips and all that to move back. It takes everyone different lengths of time depending on many factors (including genetics; totally out of your control), but if you dedicate yourself, you *will* get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight. You'll look like you again, a new and improved you. And remember: stretch marks fade with time. I promise. They're genetic too, sigh.

Anyway, with this pregnancy, I actually feel a tad better than I did with Hank at this same stage. With Hank, I gained 29.5 pounds. As an average weight woman, that's a perfectly acceptable amount. With this little babe, so far at nearly 28 weeks I've gained 16 pounds. I'm on track to gain 25-30, so very similar. But overall, I feel less sluggish than I did with Hank. Granted, I'm not in the evil zone yet. That's still another month away. However, my sciatica isn't nearly as bad as last time, and my legs are definitely stronger. I credit dancing with that. Dancing! See! I knew I'd come back on track.

Dancing has really helped me this time. Aside from fighting tiredness come class time, I've kept up real good. I can tell that my abs are stronger too. When I undulate, I can actually pull my whole belly right up inside. :) I'm praying that this muscle memory is helpful come delivery time... But we'll see. So, I'm glad that I'm dancing tonight. People also tell me that my "butt hasn't gotten bigger!" Don't you just love the comments on your personal anatomy? Someone actually told me last time that my butt *had* gotten bigger. I wanted to slap that person. I mean, you do need more fat in your lower half in other places besides your belly to support your new frame, it's just a biological fact. And personally, I think a curvy butt is a heck of a good thing. Some women exercise to *achieve* this enviable butt, so there rude person!

Maybe not by a lot, but I'm certain that I've got a bit more junk in the trunk than usual, and even though I'm loving my dancing legs, they're not as thin as they usually are either. And that's just a part of being pregnant. How many weeks? Right. 12 WEEKS TO GO. I can do it. And I'm once again publicly belly dancing, this time when I'm 8 months pregnant. No bare belly this time though. Not that it isn't cute, but this time, it would be *way* too distracting. I'm a bit crazy in my belly dancing ways, but I love it. And it's helping me hang in there this pregnancy. Can't ask for any more than that.

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