By Suzanne Pescod
At around the 14-week mark of this pregnancy I was at my doctor’s appointment and answering another round of questions. They were easy enough – she asked me what I did for work, in my free time and some general questions.
Then the doctor said “And what about dad?”
I answered “Well his name is David, and he was a stockbroker – but he’s retired now so he spends a lot of his time at the dog park or travelling.”
She stared at me – “He’s retired?”
I answered – “Well he’s in his late 60’s….”
As soon as I said it I realized she was asking about DAD for my baby! Not my own dad!
I hope you got a chuckle from that – my doctor actually asked me if she could share it with her colleagues.
But why am I sharing that story – it’s to show you how new I am to this whole pregnancy thing! It’s our first baby, my first pregnancy, the first grandchild on either side of the family and WOW there is so much to learn!
But before I get into those details about all the new challenges – the biggest one has definitely been on the physical and emotional side of things. We are excited to start our family and feel very grateful that it happened relatively quickly for us, but I was ill-prepared for what would happen to my body and to my emotions.
The first thing that hit was nausea and it was almost immediate. I spent many weeks trying to find something that would put my nausea at bay – Looking back I should have bought stock in ginger ale.
Exhaustion was the second thing that really knocked me off my feet. I have always enjoyed having a full schedule and being involved in the many things my profession and Edmonton have to offer in terms of volunteerism and activity. And now – here I was in bed by 8 pm every night, canceling event invitations, and only staying awake long enough to need another nap. It was the worst possible timing for the Oilers playoffs and 8:30 pm games. As an avid fan I, might have been the only one who would wake up the next morning and need to find out what the score was from the night before.
These two very common symptoms started to take a toll on my emotional well-being. I didn’t feel like myself, I wasn’t acting like myself, and it was sending me into a weird sense of identity. I knew these were just symptoms of pregnancy, but it didn’t calm my anxieties and displeasure about how my life seemed to halt.
I was feeling too sick and too tired to try out prenatal fitness classes, and there were so many things that I used to do to relax that were now off the table (wine, massage, etc), but I knew I had to do something to practice some self-care – so I booked my first ever float therapy experience.
I had a Groupon for Reset Wellness on Whyte Avenue – so at around my three and a half month mark, I had my first visit. Not knowing at all what to expect I was welcomed into a very calm space. My nerves did start to pound though as I looked at the float tank – a very big, very dark (I can’t lie, almost coffin-like) apparatus in the corner of an otherwise serene room. After a quick orientation, I got undressed and showered and entered into the tank for my first experience.
I didn’t end up shutting the lid, but it didn’t really make a difference. If you suffer from claustrophobia I would suggest maybe just bringing something to cover your eyes like you would when you go to sleep, but I found just shutting mine was fine.
The weightless feeling of floating was incredible. The pressure from an already forming baby bump was eased immediately – and it was FUN!
Admittedly I did not experience any epiphanies – I’m not even sure I meditated on any topic, but after a few minutes of adjusting to the setting I started pushing myself around the tank, bobbing here to there, and all the worries and anxieties melted right out.
It was 60 minutes that I am so glad I took for myself. On my drive home I felt relaxed and confident – and the best part was my sleep that evening. For the first time in years I, was relaxed enough that as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out.
There are many float therapy opportunities in Edmonton, and I look forward to trying a few different settings and maybe trying some more focused meditation while in the tanl. I do recommend this for anyone with nagging aches (pregnancy related or not) or if you just need to calm a worried mind.
Until next time! And if you have any suggestions on how to relax while pregnant – please share them in the comments section!