I’m going to be honest and admit that I have been finding pregnancy number two a little more, shall we say, challenging, than my first. Physically there is nothing wrong with me: all my blood tests have been A+, my scans have caused no concerns and my blood pressure is always reassuringly one step away from comatose. However, mentally or emotionally I have felt like I am being followed by my own little cloud of Eeyore gloom. This is not because I do not want to be pregnant; I am very much looking forward to producing B’s ‘brothersister’ (although I am afraid I won’t be calling it ‘Baby Po’, despite her insistence) in September. The gooey hormones are starting to kick in as I find myself stroking tiny baby-gros in JoJo Maman and saying ‘look how little they are!’ to no one in particular but somewhere there is a cog that has been refusing to turn to activate the ‘Absolute Joy Machine’.
During my first pregnancy I had the distraction of the new, every experience was happening for the first time. I was working full-time and had daily adult conversations with someone who wasn’t my husband. I took the dog for long walks during my maternity leave and described the things I could see whilst Mini-R worked on developing a massive noggin and an insatiable appetite for cheese inside of me. And now? Now, rightly or wrongly, I have felt like I have done it all before; I divide my time between a computer and a toddler; my moods seemingly shift depending on whether the sun is out when I open the curtains. B wakes up anytime between 5 and 5.45am. 6am is a lie-in. I start the day on the back foot, grumpy and cursing the dark circles that an evil fairy has Sharpied under my eyes during the night. In the first trimester, where I was *lucky* not to vomit but simply feel permanently hungover I would pace about stuffing bread into my face, unable to look at a screen for more than five minutes without feeling nauseous. My husband got the whyislifesounfairtowomen tirade on an almost daily basis. In the past I had joked that I would never have children until you could buy them off the shelf in Harvey Nicks; this time I really wished you could.
Last week I was slipping into automatic biscuit scoffing pilot, creating a Pinterest board for a house that, barring a Euromillions win, I will never live in when I received an email reminding me that the local bootcamp was starting again after Easter. I thought for a moment and then replied: I’m in.
For some people this will be evidence of my hormones orbiting Planet Lunatic but hear me out. It is precisely because I don’t want to get a one-way ticket there that this morning I put on some leggings and the biggest t-shirt I could find (note to self: Google ‘Maternity Activewear’ for the sake of the locals) and went to a field at 8.30am with my very clean and very shiny (read: unused) yoga mat. Having battled/ dealt with/ navigated depression at varying times during my life I know that there is one thing guaranteed to make me feel better about myself: exercise. When I have got myself into an unreasonable ‘poor me’ pity hole I need fresh air. I need to get outside and move, even more so now when I find myself sitting down A LOT. Group activities work best for me; there is something about camaraderie, about not wanting to quit so you don’t look like a lame dick after doing one lunge or get sucked into subtitled Cash in the Attic, pedaling at 1mph in the gym. I can’t run: I get bored, I have all the grace of an elephant trying to tap dance in wellies and I get a stitch when the incline goes above 0.5%. So bootcamp it is.
I’m taking it easy, listening to what my body can do, respecting the fact there is another much wanted Mini-R getting bobbed about in there. Whilst it might be shaking its tiny fist at me in a ‘For goodness sake woman! I am trying to grow ears in here! Do you want them attached to my bum?’ way now, in the long run it, and the rest of my family and friends will thank me.
Today the sky has gone gloomy and B woke up before 6am but do you know what? After bootcamp, I feel bloody brilliant.
*Disclaimer: Image is for illustrative purposes only and not an accurate representation of what I got up to this morning, in case you were worried.