Fit Pregnancy: when sleeping is the enemy

I hate to admit it, but lately I’ve been too tired to maintain my commitment to exercising every morning. Not only is it hard to sleep when pregnant, even if I get a decent night’s sleep of eight hours I still seem to wake up exhausted. It’s almost as if sleeping is making me sleepier, and less interested in doing anything else. It could be constantly waking up to use the bathroom, a natural side effect of pregnancy, or eating bigger meals (enjoying this immensely) which sends me into a tryptophanic haze, or cramming a puppy, a full-time job, exercising and trying to have a social life (OK, eating takeout and watching Netflix with my husband) in to each day. Given that I’m also in the third month of pregnancy it’s no wonder I’m exhausted.

The fact that I’m up at 5:45 AM each day and it’s no longer light out doesn’t help. Luckily, once I’m up and get going I usually feel better: Suddenly I’m awake and ready to go, any traces of tiredness gone as my body registers what is in store. I quench my usual AM thirst with a bottle of water and my general yuckiness seems to fade. I have yet to feel nauseous, which I guess makes me lucky, just hungry for more sleep.

Once outside you’d never know I was so exhausted. I hoof it for at least a half hour as recommended by the March of Dimes and take in some pretty good hills, hills I used to run but seem to enjoy trekking up even more. My energy seems to be up for the rest of the day instead of lagging off around 4:00 PM on days I don’t exercise. This shouldn’t surprise me — both my body and brain reacted positively to exercise before I was pregnant; why should things be different now?

I struggle to remember these rationalizations when the alarm sounds and all I can think about is turning over and falling back into a deep sleep. If I’m this tired now I have no earthly idea how I’ll handle a baby later. At least I currently have the luxury of going for a walk when I want. I can just pop on a few clothes, do a few stretches and head out with little more than a stop watch and a bottle of water. In less than seven months, if I can even think about walking, I’ll need to grab the stroller, the baby and my sanity before I even think about negotiating the hills of Prospect Park. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, which probably adds to my exhaustion. Better to focus on the task at hand, which is keeping myself and my baby fit during our nine-month stint together.

I was happy to read on that sleep returns during the second trimester, as does energy. (Apparently the third trimester takes me back to ground zero for tiredness, but, again, I’m jumping ahead.)

Moral of the story: Even if you feel like the slime on the bottom of the ocean, try to get up and get moving. You may just feel better. I know I do.

Author by Jennifer Jordan