When it comes to moving oneself and one’s bulk around, all pregnancy books say the same thing: exercise is good, if by ‘exercise’ you mean walking, swimming, or pregnancy yoga. I don’t like swimming much, since my water skills extend to a rubbish breaststroke or, if I really want to put the speed on, a frenzied doggy paddle. Also, I look pretty weird without clothes on at the moment, and swimming is much closer to public nudity than I’m comfortable with. A rule of thumb: if I don’t want to see it, nobody wants to see it, and that’s the end of it.
I’ve done yoga on and off for a couple of years and my instructor is excellent, so once I wasn’t spending my lunchtimes unconscious I went back to classes. Pregnancy-flavoured yoga sounds like it might be a little too concerned with the pelvic floor for anyone’s liking, so let’s not go there till we have to. And normal yoga is fine, if you can a) get your instructor to remember that you’re pregnant (sample conversation: ‘So, when should I stop lying on my stomach?’ ‘Oh. About a week ago’. Brilliant) and b) bear in mind that people shaped like whales can’t do much in the way of contorting. I’m persisting, mostly because my friend yoga-breathed the whole way through her labour recently and I got all inspired, and because, you know, a BABY has to fit through these hips at some point.
Walking has unexpectedly emerged as the pregnant lady’s activity of choice. With TJ still lurking somewhere Way Down Yonder, my insides tend to get very tightly packed indeed once I’ve eaten a full meal. Sitting down helps not a jot. Lying down takes the pressure off, but isn’t terribly convenient in company or at work. And so I walk. And walk. Like the fabled pioneer children, only for everyone’s sake I do not sing at the same time (the only emotion I express in song is that of Trying to Be a Mountain Goat). We just spent a beautifully sunny long Easter weekend with the family, in which many, many things were eaten. I walked for whole minutes at a time to shift it all, and came back with a feeling of intestinal wellbeing which cannot be overestimated.
I have now reached the following profound conclusion:
I need new shoes.