“I don’t think you should be swimming so ‘professionally’ ma’am,” comments the man in the pool as I rest after my 30 steady laps of front crawl. “Especially when I think you must have only a week to go.”
“Actually I’ve four weeks left and for me, swimming feels good. I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t,” I reply as politely as I can to his ‘well meaning’ advice. “I mean, you need to be careful…it’s twins, right? …what?…just the one? But ma’am, your belly is sticking so far out!”
Feeling a surge of pregnancy hormones threatening to bring on the water works, I signal to the husband it’s time to go. You see, that day hadn’t been the best day. I’d been at an antenatal class and eaten something that didn’t agree with me for breakfast. The result being my stomach (located somewhere in my left upper ribcage) bloated out so much the whole day, that I felt like baby was boxing for space in the other three quarters of my belly. The words ‘beached’ and ‘whale’ could easily be inserted here and it didn’t help that someone else had seemed to notice!
At more than 36 weeks, what can I expect? Baby is in the so-called ‘fattening up’ stage, and it definitely feels like there is not one iota of space left inside! I can almost see every sweep of tiny limb, every kick of miniature foot, as they skirt their way around my ribcage. As I step gingerly on the scales at the doctors, she jovially notes down another kilo or two. (Why do they always weigh you after a big lunch, and surely my fit flops and light summer clothing must account for at least half a kilo?)
But who cares! If you know me, when it comes to my weight, you’ll know I’ve struggled with the practice of santosha (that’s yoga for contentment). Somewhere along the line, however, I’ve stopped worrying and started embracing my swelling belly and all that it means. If it’s a sign there’s a healthy mini (or maybe not so mini) Parsons in there, then it’s all good!
With just over three and a half weeks to go now, my regular waddles around the mall are coming to an end and I’m trying to conserve some energy, just in case today is the day! But I’m still on my yoga mat and still swimming those lengths! I can honestly say it feels so good to move! Not only has my continued practice helped to keep the elephant feet and back pain at bay, it has filled me with mental strength and peace about all that is to come. Baby Parsons, we are waiting for you!
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” (Rajneesh)