{blake’s tLm pregnancy journey}

by | Mar 20, 2019 | Blog, TheLONDONmethod | 0 comments

For the past three years my body has gone through some crazy changes as a result of having two kids in that short period of time. Everyone says that your second pregnancy will be significantly easier because your mentally prepared and your body knows what to expect, but round two for me was a breeze. Don’t get me wrong, my first pregnancy wasn’t especially difficult. I did experience the typical nausea in the first trimester, some significant weight gain in the second and third, and the aches, pains and swelling throughout that come naturally when you’re growing a human inside of you. I tried my best to exercise, go on walks, and I even managed to teach one or two barre classes a week at my old studio. Nevertheless, I was still pretty miserable towards the end. I had gained almost fifty pounds, my ankles were so swollen I was embarrassed to wear leggings, and my back pain was horrible. And don’t even get me started on my “birth story”. It was a traumatizing day. I don’t want to scare anyone with the details, but let’s just say that after three hours of pushing, I was pretty sure my firstborn, Lou, was going to be an only child.

Fast forward to thirteen months later and BAM, pregnant again! Only this time it would be a completely different experience. I was now consistently teaching and taking class at The London Method and had been doing so during my year off from being pregnant. I had unwittingly set myself up for success. Not only was I physically stronger this time around, I had already established a great workout routine and was determined to keep it going throughout my pregnancy. I still felt nauseous during my first trimester, but when I was teaching or taking class, my nausea would subside, and I would feel normal for at least that one hour. I still gained weight, but this time I only gained what I truly needed for a healthy pregnancy because I was making better food choices due to my daily workout regime. And because I made better food choices, I didn’t experience the intense cystic acne outbreaks like I did when I was pregnant with my first. I also managed to avoid swelling. My face didn’t blow up like a balloon and my ankles and feet stayed the same size. I still had trouble fitting behind the wheel of my car, but I felt like my belly was the only part of my body getting bigger with each passing week. Overall, I felt pretty darn good.

I know some may think I’m biased because I work at The London Method, but I knew that we were on to something special when my diastasis recti (abdominal separation) completely healed just six months after giving birth to my first. This is a very common condition that typically worsens with each pregnancy, but thanks to the core work we do in this class (especially the “feet under the barre” exercises) I didn’t have any abdominal separation occur the second time around. In fact, during a detailed ultrasound I received in my 38th week of pregnancy, I asked my doctor if he could see whether or not my abdominal wall was beginning to separate. He responded with this: “Do you do a lot of crunches? Because you have such a strong abdominal wall, I’m having a hard time finding your baby under there.” I was shocked! I don’t have a visible 6-pack or anything remotely close, but my inner core was on fire. In addition to my intact abs, my baby bump was significantly smaller this time around, my maternity clothes were fitting better, and I felt much lighter on my feet.

At 39 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, Vada, my doctor and I made the decision to schedule an induction for the following week… and I was terrified. I had heard plenty of negative induction stories and having gone through a difficult birth with Lou, I really couldn’t imagine things getting much worse. But I worried and lost hours of sleep over nothing. Vada was born five minutes after receiving an epidural and on my second push. The entire experience could not have been easier and while I do think the odds were in my favor that day, I did give myself a little pat on the back for taking such good care of my body during those ten months of pregnancy. Getting up every day to teach or take class at The London Method was my first step in taking control of my pregnant self and everything else naturally fell into place.

The day after Vada was born, my doctor stopped by my hospital room to check on me and said, “you look like you’re ready to hit the gym”. Almost true! I was dressed and walking around, and ready to go home with my baby. The recovery time after my second pregnancy was minimal. I started teaching and taking class three weeks after delivery (with my doctor’s permission), and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight eight weeks postpartum. The London Method’s original class is a pregnant woman’s dream workout. It gets the blood flowing, it includes a hardcore abdominal series that can be easily modified for every trimester, it connects mind to body, and it works every muscle (even the pelvic floor!!). It still surprises me that my body was able to grow a human for ten months and then come back stronger than ever. Vada is now four months old and Lou just turned two. I stay at home with the girls and I feel so fortunate to have this time with them. But everyone needs a little break, and the one hour a day I spend at TLM is the perfect dose of self-care. When taking or teaching class, I get to focus on mastering the tiny movements in each exercise and I know that when our hour is up, I did something really wonderful for my body.

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