returning to pure barre

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I first started doing Pure Barre classes in my second trimester. I loved feeling active again after an exhausting first trimester where my fatigue knocked the wind right out of my sails. Once the third trimester started though, I was no longer able to exercise more than a brisk walk in the park. With a bigger and bigger belly and a little hip joint pain it was hard to maneuver about at the barre. I knew though that once Henry arrived I would want to return to classes to bounce back from baby. Today was that day.

At 3AM, while I was awake feeding the little guy, an intense wave of guilt and the sleepies hit and I thought it would be best for everyone if I cancelled my appointment with Pure Barre. What was I thinking?  How could an exhausted first time mom with little sleep really tackle a class like this? How could I leave my 5 week old baby? Unfortunately, with less than 24 hours to cancel, I would be charged for the class regardless of my attendance. David was super supportive and truly encouraged me to get going. He said, “You will be a better mom, if you get to have a little personal time.” Still feeling guilty, but at least encouraged by David’s support, I headed to my first class post-baby.

Sitting on the floor waiting for class to start, I felt so awkward. I wanted everyone to know somehow that this was a special and hard moment for me. The ladies surrounding me all chatted about their lives and I sat there thinking: This is a HUGE moment, here I am a little shell shocked but still here. It was like I needed someone in the class to acknowledge this.  Then a lovely woman asked me if this was my first time and I was finally able to say, “Yes, my first time since I had my baby.”  And, as a fellow mom, she wrapped me up in warm encouragement and told me it was going to be a great class. We chatted a little about our children and about our summers and I felt like the snowball of guilt melted away a bit.

I was surprised how strong my arms felt in class while we did our push-ups and weights. Carrying around my 11lb baby definitely is helping to tone. This section of class used to leave me winded as my arms felt like jello beneath me as I “planked” for 90 seconds.  Now I felt rock solid.  But my “weakness” is now my stomach. Having been a gymnast in high school, I never really had to worry about my core strength. Somehow those years of core work held on through my post-gymnastic years. Well, that is all different now post-Henry. Yes, I know it was totally worth it to have my bundle of joy but it is amazing how different my body feels after baby. It took 9 months to grow this little one so I am going to be gentle on my tummy and give it the time it needs to tone and tighten up (and hopefully it can at some point!).

Feeling good after class, I immediately checked my cell phone to see if David and Henry had reached out. There was a text of a picture of Henry snoozing away in his Mamaroo and I felt perfect. I had done something for myself and Henry and David coped perfectly well without me.

I tried to call David on my way home to check in and share my positive feelings about class. He did not answer. I was little nervous but thought that he might be napping along with Henry. When I walked into the house, David looked a bit tense and Henry was grief stricken. Crying and crying for 20-30 minutes, David had tried everything: diapers, bottle, singing, bopping, dancing, walking, etc. etc. But Henry was not content. I scooped up my little guy into my arms and he settled down. Sometimes when you are that little you just want to cuddle your mommy. David did an amazing job and I am so appreciative of the time he gave me and the love he gave Henry, but does Henry’s reaction mean I left too soon?

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