I decided to start a Pre-Natal Yoga class in my 13th week. Everyone says this is the time you should be feeling good enough to exercise again, so I signed up for 5 classes.
I walked into the first class and was CLEARLY the earliest pregnancy in the room. All these big, beautiful round bellies on their yoga mats started making me feel almost inadequate! Really? Isn’t ANYONE in their first trimester?
The instructor walked in. She’s one of those pregnant women that women love to hate: tiny, pretty little legs, strong but slender arms, beautiful hair, perfect boobs, and a pregnant belly that LITERALLY only gathered into a teeny, tiny ball in the front of her abdomen. I looked at myself in the mirror. A little fat, thighs a little wide, absolutely no waist. So far, Pre-Natal Yoga was not making me feel like a beautiful pregnant girl.
The class started with everyone announcing their month and a miracle that happened that week. “Well, I’m 24 weeks and the baby flipped over in my belly this week!” said one. “I’m 32 weeks and I learned that our little boy is just the right size for his age,” another cooed. When it was my turn, I said, “I’m 13 weeks and this week I didn’t feel like throwing up.” It didn’t get the laugh you would expect.
The class consisted of pretty typical yoga moves. That is, until we started rocking our babies. Yeah. We rocked them. In our bellies. But that’s cute, right? You’d go along with that. Then we started singing to our babies. Out loud. Singing about what a beautiful ray of light the babies were. Hmph, I thought. There was so much estrogen in that room it was suffocating. I’m all for hippy dippy, but even I was feeling like this was a little much. Then we were instructed to speak, out loud, to our babies, thanking them for choosing us to be their mothers. I followed directions, all the while thinking, “I know you chose me because you think this is all just as ridiculous as I do.” As soon as the class was over, I went to the grocery store and bought 5 cans of ravioli.
Begrudgingly, I went to the second class a few days later. I thought, if just ONE woman would walk in looking less that round and beautiful I might feel better. I realize this is a completely egotistical thing to think, but if I was going to sing to my baby that people couldn’t even tell was there, I wanted someone else to look stupid, too. Finally, a tall woman walked in just as the door closed. She looked just like me: a little bit pregnant but mostly like she’d eaten a big piece of cake. I silently rejoiced. As we went around the room announcing our month and miracle, I contemplated sharing the joy of ravioli in a can, but instead chose something about how amazing our baby’s heartbeat is or some crap like that. I also loudly proclaimed my month. “I’m 13 weeks!” I think I said it right to the other woman who looked like me and she smiled. Oh, we are connecting, we totally get each other here. I waited for it to be her turn and for her to say something like, “I’m 13 weeks and I just feel fat.” And then I would stand up and high five her and shout YOU GO GIRL! Then, of course, she stood up and said, “Hi, I’m Mindy and I’m 26 weeks.” Yep. Mindy was more than halfway through her pregnancy and she barely looked pregnant. Awesome. Pre-Natal Yoga just gets better and better.
After we rocked and sang to and thanked our babies, I went home and ate more ravioli. I called the next week before the class was to resume and told them I had a conflict. I decided to use my already-invested money in a pre-natal massage. No singing, no thanking, no rocking. Just making fat mommy feel good about herself.