Biking with a Bump

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CyclingWhilePregnant

At my first midwife visit, I asked if it would be all right if I kept riding my bike while pregnant. My midwives said that as long as I felt good, didn’t push myself too hard, listened to my body, and felt safe, cycling was a great form of pregnancy exercise.

I’m currently in my 32nd week of pregnancy, and I’m still loving my bike. Here’s why:

Even though I’m in my third trimester and feeling tired, heavy and achy, cycling still feels good. It’s low-impact and (miraculously) makes my back feel better. It makes sense, when your back is being pulled forward all day by a heavy load, spending some time in an opposite posture (with a curved back) is a relief.

There is also something amazing about being able to zip around on a bike when I’ve become used to lumbering. I’m still able to move at a normal human speed on a bike, as opposed to when I’m waddling around on foot. Although I haven’t been swimming much, I imagine it’s the same sort of freeing feeling of being lighter and more agile. It feels wonderful.

Some drawbacks: I have to be much more careful about falls. This means that I find myself getting off my bike a lot more often, for safety’s sake. The people of Collingwood generally will not keep their dogs on leashes, and I have to be careful that no one darts in front of me while I’m riding. One woman actually told me, as I was slowly approaching her off-leash Weimaraner “Watch out, because she WILL run out in front of you.” So, maybe keep her on a leash whilst on this busy, multi-user trail?

Also, as the baby grows, we’re both running out of room and leaning forward is becoming difficult. I suspect that sometime soon the baby will just refuse to cooperate, and I’ll have to give it up. But until then, I’m going to enjoy this as much as I can.

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Scaring Pregnant Women: A National Pastime

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When I was pregnant with C, plenty of people issued dire warnings from the other side (of parenthood). I’ve mentioned them here before, but I was regularly told that my life would never be the same again (and this was always said in an ominous tone of voice). I was warned that I would never have time to read or even to take a shower. This all turned out to be complete nonsense. Although I was very sleep-deprived for the first three months of C’s life, no amount of “enjoying my sleep” while I was pregnant could have helped me to avoid it. People who tell pregnant women to “sleep now!” seem to think that sleep is something you can stockpile, like a squirrel hoarding nuts for winter. It just doesn’t work that way, folks.

So you would think, having been through this once before, that I would be immune (or at least resistant) to the fear-mongering that people seem to enjoy when they interact with the visibly pregnant. Nope. I still regularly get anxious after talking with someone who says something like “Whew, you’re going to have your hands full soon. Good luck.” Uh, thanks? Or “So this is your second? Get ready for life to get crazy.” Um, okay? How do I do that, exactly?

Luckily, once in a while, I’ll bump into someone who is reassuring. I met someone last weekend who has two little girls (only a year and a half apart) and she asked me a few questions about my situation.

“What will the age difference be?” – 26 months
“Do you have any help?” – My parents live an hour away, but are able to help sometimes, and my husband works a lot but is super awesome.
“Will your older daughter go to daycare?” – Yes, two days a week.

Her response? “Pfft. You’ll be fine. Don’t even worry.”

Now that is what I needed to hear.

It’s not that I think having two kids will be a walk in the park. I know it will be difficult, particularly for the first year. But there isn’t much I can do now to prevent that. Worrying won’t make the transition, or the exhaustion or the craziness any easier. That is why I’ve decided to hold onto that lovely woman’s response and dismiss any negative comments I might hear in the next three months. Because worrying will get me nowhere. And besides, I’m pretty sure those people just want attention, and I’ve learned from my toddler books that conscious ignoring is a great strategy for dealing with that sort of behaviour.