It's been a while: a move back to England, a baby on the way & a flat renovation!
My last blog post was on 12th May, which feels like a lifetime ago. It was the first day out of French lockdown, when after eight weeks I finally got in a car and went to the shops!
A lot has happened since then. We had another two and a half weeks in France, in which the last week I started to feel really ill - extremely tired, sick, cramps, some spotting and couldn’t stand the smell of certain food cooking. Sound familiar to some of you ladies? Well, I told my Mum and straight away she said have you done a pregnancy test? I said I couldn’t be pregnant because I had already had (what I thought was) a period.
Anyway, we got back to England a few days later and all of the symptoms above were still there so I grabbed a pregnancy test from the local pharmacy and lo and behold, the positive sign. I couldn’t quite believe it, so did another one! That was positive too! I had an early scan to check everything was okay at St Thomas’ hospital and found out I was 7 weeks pregnant!
The rest of the blog I want to share my experience of the next six weeks of my pregnancy with you. How can the most joyful thing you can imagine, particularly when you have been trying for a while, turn into the hardest six weeks...HORMONES!!!
I had it really bad: all day sickness, fatigue like you cannot imagine (unless you have been pregnant!), cramps, migraines, everything! I spent 12-16 hours in bed. I am very lucky in the fact that my amazing husband does my live classes so I don’t have to actually move during them and other than that I haven’t been working. He has been incredible, not only does he have his own job, do my classes but the other massive thing he was doing was a complete refurb of our London flat! Thank you Jack! I’m not a particularly chilled person at the best of times so being forced to be in bed while he was so busy made me feel so guilty. A big thanks to my Mother-in-law too who came round (socially distanced) every day for two weeks and basically painted our entire flat.
Apart from all of the challenges above with the symptoms I had, it was also mentally tough for a couple of other reasons - exercise and diet. Two things I usually pride myself on.
Firstly, when you are pregnant you are told you can continue with most exercise you have done previously, as long as that’s not something like martial arts or scuba diving. Don’t start rigorously training when you get pregnant if you haven’t done that type of exercise before. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to hold a conversation whilst exercising, so no 90% effort sprints/rows etc. The biggest piece of advice is listen to your body.
Listening to my body
Given the advice above I thought my reasonably rigorous but very varied workout routine pre-pregnancy - strength training, HIIT, running, walking and yoga would be a great setup for training during pregnancy just toned down slightly! How very wrong I was…!
I thought I was quite good at listening to my body, but I’m not sure I actually ever have before, until now. Over the last seven weeks I can count on my fingers the workouts I have been able to do, they have all been under 30 minutes and nothing like my previous workouts. Sometimes I have felt anxious that I couldn’t even bring myself to do 30 minutes of yoga but a lot of the time I have had no choice. I have had to accept slowing down. Walking has been good whenever I have been able to (although walking in London isn’t the same as walking in the countryside in the South of France)!
Here’s an example of one of my workouts:
4 x rounds
8 x DB ground to overhead
12 x DB Romanian Deadlift
12 x Suitcase Reverse Lunges
At least 90 secs, usually more between sets
4 x rounds
10 x Kneeling Push Ups
10 x DB Bent Over Row
At least 90 secs, usually more between sets
3 x rounds
30 sec x Knee Hover
30 sec x Bear Crawl
30 sec x V-Sit Reach
60 sec rest
Now I am entering the second trimester, I am slowly and surely building my energy back up. I have managed four workouts over the last four days and am feeling a lot stronger.
After eating healthily for a long time, I have had a real problem with food over the last seven weeks. Firstly, the food has had to be plain (I feel like I’m back at school!) Secondly, any foods I have fancied have generally been beige in colour. There is nothing wrong with beige food in a balanced diet, in fact they are really important in pregnancy - but choose whole grain or high in fibre beige. However, I can’t eat gluten so sometimes that has meant processed gluten free bread. I have found this really difficult, particularly when reading that now is the time to eat an extremely healthy and balanced diet for the baby. I just hope I had built up enough nutritious reserves for it and luckily I am starting to fancy healthier foods again - just not roast vegetables, particularly aubergines!! Yuck! The other thing I have been telling myself, something is better than nothing. It is definitely better to eat the foods you fancy than not eat at all when you are growing a baby, just try and disguise some nutritious food in there!
All the advice I have read has said it’s much better to eat little and often rather than big meals that can give you those ups and downs in energy levels so I have tried to follow that - also better for the sickness. My Mum said to me right at the beginning, if you feel hungry, eat, otherwise if you go past the hunger stage you will just feel sick. That has been invaluable advice for me! Now I can’t leave the house without a ginger oat biscuit in my bag!
I am now 13 and a half weeks pregnant, starting to get a little bump, although it definitely looks more like a food baby at the moment! I am writing this from bed at 9am, but I am starting to feel alot better. I still need an afternoon nap but the sickness has died down alot. I am starting to feel more excited, I was very anxious before the 12 weeks scan and now all of our loved ones know it’s so nice to share!
I am pre and post natal trained with Jenny Burrell and looking forward to applying the courses to my own pregnancy and postpartum training. Now I am starting to feel better, I will share some of my workouts with you. Just remember to listen to your own body. Please get in touch if you are pregnant and would like a consultation and personalised training programme - firstname.lastname@example.org
The last thing I wanted to just touch on is changing plans. Something I’m sure most of you have had to face in one way or another over the last four months. As some of you will know, Jack and I had dreamed of setting up a fitness retreat in the South of France, hence why we moved there in January. With Covid-19, it wasn’t quite the experience we had imagined. We decided to come back to the UK to renovate and sell our property in London with the view of going back out. After finding out we are pregnant, we realised how much we love the UK and how much we want our friends and family to be a big part of our babies life! We tried France, for the most part under lockdown but it has led us to change our priorities. Our dream is still to set up a fitness retreat, just in the UK now - maybe we’ll have the baby first but watch this space!