portrait of Meg when 35 weeks pregnant
The bump at 35 weeks

While I enjoyed a wide range of activity during the second trimester, including BJJ training, the final stage of my pregnancy presented greater challenges to staying active; by the start of the third trimester the bump was becoming extremely unwieldy. During the final phases of the pregnancy I found my mobility went way down as I lost more and more core control. The last 9 weeks also saw me short of breath and by week 31 my exertion levels had to be reduced further from an already modest point. I did hit twice weekly gym sessions and short daily walks pretty consistently during the last weeks. This included weekly personal training which focussed on conditioning. We used bodyweight exercises, work on the suspension trainer and with cable machines; cable machines are great as they require more core activation than conventional weight machines but less than free weights, so a safer alternative in my distended state. We worked upper and lower body which benefited my overall fitness, my preparation for the birth as well as my knee recovery.

While I’d been swimming a lot through pregnancy I stopped this at 30 weeks. Up until this point I’d been able to whack out 30-50 laps of front crawl (with flip turn, cuz I’m bad like that) at a decent clip without feeling run down or out of breath. Suddenly, at 30 weeks, I felt really out of breath during my swim and reduced the intensity and the number of laps. Nevertheless, when I got out of the pool and the warm air hit me I felt very dizzy and nearly fainted. I recovered quickly and felt fine after some cold water, but felt uncomfortable getting back in the pool after this incident so I restricted myself to weights and walking from then on. While my weights sessions alone and with my trainer were at a good level of intensity, my walks were very slow and short as by this stage walking could cause a reasonable amount of pain and discomfort.

My last weights session was on Thursday 16 August as my little boy was delivered safely into the world on Friday 17 August after 37 weeks + 2 days of pregnancy, but more about that in my forthcoming posts on birth and post-partum rehab.