Saturday, August 14, 2010

If I could do it again, I would...

9 weeks in...

I look back over my pregnancy and the first months of being a mum and these are things I would do differently:

1) Have dealt with my reflux better
I gained a lot of weight while I was pregnant because I mistook reflux for hunger. I constantly felt sick and only felt better in the process of eating extremely unhealthy food. If I had joined the dots more I would have been more pro-active about dealing with reflux - when I didn't know what it was at the time. Now I have a lot of work to do to regain my fitness and get the weight off so that I can be healthy enough to have a second baby and just to enjoy running again!

2) Found more exercise alternatives
I still exercised pretty regularly, but as I have loose ligaments and flat feet I found it painful to walk on hilly areas. As where I live at the time was flanked by hills I found it impossible to get any kind of decent walks in - so I worked out in my garage doing mostly strength training which was good but not quite enough. I couldn't swim strokes other than breaststroke which is not recommended during pregnancy. I did Aqua until my stomach muscles started separating and I had to stop. Real cycling is out once you reach the 2nd trimester...whats a pregnant lady to do! Next time I will rent an elliptical machine or something... Exercise is crucial for labour fitness, good sleep and keeping mood stable. I was fine this time but will need to up the ante next time - coupled with less overeating ( see previous point).

3) Worked less
I worked from home up until the day I went into labour because I was anxious about post natal finances. My job was casual and hence provided no maternity leave. I kept working because I wanted to stay cashed up for as long as possible to cover the time after I stopped. In the end, the family tax benefit, although small, is enough for our purposes. I would have stopped work sooner and collected my thoughts, slept, dealt with my reflux, got more exercise, organised the house and hung out with more mums.

Things I would do the same

1) Exercise
I'm glad I did it despite the difficulty I had finding ways to exercise. I am very thankful for my Jillian Michaels circuit training DVD which gave me a way to keep up my fitness and strength despite being unable to do so many other types of exercise. I'm glad I forced myself to stop working for an hour and make myself do exercise. As it was I had a quick labour and recovered quickly. I am running again and doing higher intensity circuit training and starting to feel fit again.

2)Spend time with Luke
I'm glad Luke and I had time to hang out, watch DVD's and have morning coffee together most days. We are a team who love each other and are ready to support each other in whatever the other person is going through. Team Lamy is tight!

3) Go natural
I'm glad I went for midwife based care. I think this was good for anxiety as the midwife didn't weigh me every visit or check my urine for sugar, she just took my blood pressure, listened to the baby's heartbeat, made sure I remembered when my scans and tests were on and asked me if I had any questions. I'm glad I read Naomi Wolfe's misconceptions and saw the importance of avoiding medical intervention if possible.
When I arrived at the hospital already 5 cm dilated and was directed to a delivery suite rather than a birth centre suite I refused to enter and insisted upon the birthing suite. I am glad I felt strongly enough about this as my labour was so fast all I really needed was a shower for pain relief and a skilled baby catcher at the end. I was very anxious that I would have my 'choices taken away' and be talked into labouring on my back which would lead to needless extra drugs and intervention.