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My Trainer (Every Girl Needs One)

I went to go and see a personal trainer yesterday evening, as my parents agreed to look after Henry for an hour or so while I nipped down to the gym. She specialises in pre and post-natal fitness, and words cannot describe how great it feels to know that what you are doing is beneficial rather than harmful to your recovery.

I, like a lot of women out there, didn’t have a clue where to start on getting back the tone in my stomach muscles. I also didn’t know what I could and couldn’t do in regards to which exercises I could safely participate in. Apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong. But better I know now then a few months down the line when I’ve done serious and permanent damage.

It makes me wish that I had kept up doing something like swimming or antenatal exercise classes (such as pregnancy yoga) so I didn’t have to fight so hard now. But finding the energy and the time is rather difficult. Especially if you had every pregnancy symptom under the sun like I did. Being sick, having horrendous heartburn and falling asleep constantly doesn’t really leave you in the best mood to go for a workout.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt though, it’s that all the images you see in the media are ridiculous. You know the type; the celebrities that have had a baby two weeks previously and are back in the gym, or in a bikini on the beach being idolised for returning to a size zero so quickly. It’s dangerous, damaging, and completely unnatural.

I will get back to how I was, eventually, but it will take time and hard work, and I will just have to make peace with the millions of stretch marks and put up with the jelly tummy for the time being…

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Busy Bees & Eager Beavers

I feel so drained, but in a good way. It’s as if we’ve crammed in a massive amount of activities in a very short space of time. It’s been a long day, but at least I know I’ll sleep well tonight. We took Henry swimming again today – another successful session! Seeing him splashing about all happy and having endless amounts of fun makes it all worth it. He doesn’t even cry when we’re getting him dressed or anything. He just falls asleep after.

We’ve gone and booked our wedding reception too. It’s all very exciting! I love all the planning of it, and thinking about how Henry fits nicely into our plans for the day. He’s going to look so handsome in a miniature suit and little waistcoat… not that it will stay clean for long!

I have also, for the second time this week, managed to make it to the gym! It was my first time back in over a year on Sunday, and then again today. Juggling work, relationships and pregnancy all took over my already bursting schedule. My filofax is well-worn and well-loved. I do really enjoy going for a nice workout though, and a relaxing swim afterwards. It makes me feel a little more human, and it is very much ‘me-time’. I have to make the most of that when I can. Two swims in one day though! I never thought I’d see the day.

It’s unbelievable just how much of a toll neglecting my health a little and the pregnancy/baby has taken on my general fitness. Twice a week though, and I shall see improvements.

Henry will thank me for it, when he’s a little older and wants to run around the park and do all those things that children want to do. I just need to stick to it, like I have with taking Henry swimming, and to his little rhymetime mum and baby sessions.

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Swimming Success

We took Henry swimming again this morning, and with a friend joining us too. Henry adores other children and babies. He finds them fascinating and stares at them, attempting to copy their actions. He’s a baby with an inquisitive nature, and he learns so well in these situations. I really relax around other mums too. It’s nice to be with someone who knows exactly what it’s like.

And this time, unlike the less successful swimming session we had pre-wetsuit, Henry had so much fun! It was by far the happiest he’s been in the water so far, and the most animated he’s been. We held him on his back, floating in the water, and he splashed his little, podgy arms and kicked his chubby legs making massive splashes and laughing and smiling all the while. He loved it. He splashed himself with water then laughed about it. He’s never been like this before. It makes it so much nicer that he’s clearly getting a lot of enjoyment out of it, and it makes it far more rewarding for me. My persistance is finally paying off!

I don’t even dread going back next week. I want to go, I’m actually looking forward to it. Wow, I never thought I would say that.

And Henry didn’t even cry when we were getting him changed. A few little grumbles as he was being manouvered back into his clothes, but what baby doesn’t prefer being naked and free as nature intended? And nature obviously intended for Henry to be a little water baby… eventually.

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Swimming Fun in a Wetsuit

We took Henry swimming again this morning. Yes, I braved it after last time (see Crying in the Swimming Pool)… but it actually went very well.

I invested in (quite an expensive) baby wetsuit for Henry from the Splash About range, in a bid to make the whole experience more enjoyable for the both of us. I am pleased to report that it worked better than I’d ever expected. He stayed in the pool for fourty minutes before I decided to quit while we were ahead and slink on back to the changing rooms. On removal of the wetsuit, which was quite a challenge as it only has velcro down the back, I noticed that the inside was virtually dry! I couldn’t believe it. No wonder Henry was nice and warm and happy that whole time.

If I had known earlier, I would have just taken the plunge and bought the wetsuit earlier. The size is 3-6 months, and it is quite snug fitting on him, so we will probably have to fork out another £25 for another before long. It does work really well though, and for little babies like Henry who get very cold very quickly, it is amazing.

I would recommend it, despite the cost and the drawback of it’s tricky removal. Also, you still have to use a disposable nappy (or swim nappy with a liner which I’ve heard doesn’t work so well) but I’d be using those anyway so that doesn’t really bother me.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take him every week from now on!

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Crying in the Swimming Pool

I took Henry swimming again this morning, on my own this time, and he hated it. I don’t really know why, but he was fine while I was getting him into his swimming nappy. He was even giggling at me, and I thought that maybe he actually knew what was coming and was even looking forward to it. I was wrong.

As soon as I dipped his little body in the water, he screamed and screamed. I managed to calm him down a little - just long enough to have a lovely conversation with a grandma and another mum taking her daughter swimming – then Henry decided enough was enough and wanted to get out. We had only been in the pool a matter of minutes. He got himself in such a state that the lady that worked there advised me (politely but leaving no room for debate) that I should just try again with him next week. I know I shouldn’t be, but I was so embarrassed. It is going to take a lot of courage to go back again, because every single set of eyes in that crowded swimming pool was on me as I took my screaming baby on the ‘walk of shame’ out of the pool and back into the changing rooms.

I had to feed Henry in the changing rooms, not because he was hungry but just to calm him down. He went bright red in the face, and I’m sure that he hurt his little throat from all the screaming. It was quite a challenge trying to get myself dressed while holding him as he just wouldn’t let me put him down. Anyone would think he was really in pain or something by the way he was crying the poor little baby.

I’ll just try again next week I guess, except I will take my other half with me for moral support. I can’t be put off by one bad experience. I’m also going to buy him a little baby wetsuit so he doesn’t get so cold. The water did feel rather chilly compared to last time, and my Henry does love his little luxuries… I think that might be why he was so awfully upset. Hopefully it will be warmer next time. If not, I’m going to a different swimming pool.

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Do You Agree With Dunking?

We took Henry swimming again this morning. They informed us that there will be a photographer in the pool in a few weeks to take underwater pictures at the baby swimming club. I had a chat with one of the ladies that worked there. It was the dunking that frightens me. I always grew up thinking it was quite cruel to dunk a baby in the water all the way. My instinct keeps shouting at me, ‘how does he know to hold his breath?’.

The lady at the swimming centre seemed sure that it was a natural, built-in reflex that all babies are born with.

She looked at me and said, ‘well, they are in fluid for nine months before they are born’. All I kept thinking was, yes, but that was before they took their first breath, filled their lungs with air instead of amniotic fluid, and when they still got all their oxygen from the mother’s blood supply. Surely it is different now?

I don’t want to shock Henry. I want him to like water, and get used to it in his own time, rather than throwing him in at the deep end. It would be a lovely photo opportunity though. The three closest swimming pools to me all don’t allow the public to bring in cameras of any kind. The only way we could get a picture of Henry swimming is to do this, or go on holiday. I can’t see that happening for a good few years now.

I’m sure they wouldn’t do it if it was going to harm the babies in any way. I am still very undecided at the moment though.

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First Swim

We took Henry swimming for the first time today. He didn’t like it in the beginning, but I think that it was because the water feels really cold at first.

After he had gotten used to it, and that didn’t take too long, he was smiling and chuckling away. There were some toys left out that we played with like a plastic watering can and some floaty balls. It was so cute when he was wiggling his legs to make a splash and I think he really did enjoy it.

He was so worn out afterwards that he was all sleepy when his dad was getting him dressed and he fell straight asleep in the car.

I really want to take him on a regular basis, hopefully once a week if I can manage it. There’s so many aquababies clubs and mum and baby sessions on at various swimming pools near us so I’m going to try one of those out next week!

And he looked so adorable in his bright green swim nappy covered in sharks and fishes and other sea creatures. Lots of people in the pool came over to ask questions about him; about how old he is and his name, the usual. He attracts a lot of attention. I’m so proud of my gorgeous little bundle of cuteness.