Pregnancy & Flamenco – Part 4

Thoughts about the third trimester – Months #7 to #8
Still dancing, still teaching!

By Kasandra “La China”
April 9, 2008

Well, I’m at home in Vancouver, BC again and have been teaching my regular 9 classes a week.  Usually I teach at 3 hours at a time, except for Saturdays when I teach 4.5 hours.  So far so good.  I thought I would start getting tired at this point, but the truth is, flamenco energizes me and I leave the studio with more energy than when I arrive.  I am having a good time with my students who are also my friends.  It is nice having a job where you go into work and hang out with your friends.  Not too many people can say their work is like that.

What “they” say, versus my experience

At 30-33 weeks, this is the middle of the third trimester.  I’m 8 months pregnant right now.  What they don’t tell you, is that pregnancy is actually 10 months, not 9.  FYI:  37 weeks pregnant is term and the baby could be born anytime, 40 weeks is the official due date and 42 weeks would be late, that’s when babies get induced.

I’ve gained about 30 lbs which is above normal according to my doc and the books.  But my belly is measuring the proper length at this time.

I think talking about weight is BS.  Most women are neurotic about their weight as it is, so when books quote women who are 8 months pregnant, “Oo, I’ve gained 20 lbs, I don’t know how this is all going to come off!” I read incredulously and roll my eyeballs.  Fact is, I gained about 10 lbs right away.  I gained 20 lbs by 24 weeks.  And now I’m easily hitting the 30 lbs mark.  I’ve been dancing, walking and swimming regularly.  I can’t imagine having a more active lifestyle than I already do and dieting is out of the question.  So unless you are naturally slim, genetically slight or a triathelete, I think gaining weight is pretty individual and based on the individual’s genetics and diet.   Don’t listen to the books.  You’re going to gain what you gain.  That’s it.

Books say one should be losing a sense of balance about now.  Books say that one should not be doing things that compromise balance such as turning.
I have to disagree.  I can still turn.  Can you believe I am still doing bata de cola?  I think my students are laughing at me when I demonstrate technical lines and wonder how I am still able to do this…but I still turn better than them.  Haha!

On the other hand, bending over to tie my shoelaces is not mission impossible, but mission difficult.  I don’t like doing that!  Also, rolling over in bed from one side to the other is a major production with a lot of grunting and profanity.

Books say that your feet swell and your feet could grow up to a size bigger.

There was a period in the hot weather in Jerez, when my feet were probably a bit bigger. But now that I’m back in Vancouver, I think my feet are the same size as before because sometimes my new burgundy Begonia Cervera shoes are too big.  That bodes well for my dozen regular sized flamenco shoes.

Books say that there is lower back pain due to extra weight in front.

I have NO lower back pain.  I teach at about 3.5 hours at a time in my shoes.  My belly is definitely bigger, but I don’t have back pain.

Other Observations

1.  Sometimes my ribs hurt if I sneeze or cough suddenly. There’s not too much room in there, so if the baby is pressing the diaphragm upwards and one sneezes/coughs abruptly, this means a sharp pain in the back ribs.  For me, I had a cough from a cold and would dread coughing.  I had to suppress coughing, but the more you think about it, the more you have to cough.  So, I found myself on my knees one day after a really rough cough.  I couldn’t do anything for the rest of the day because my back right ribs really hurt.  It was the only time I had to take a Tylenol.  I was very worried about it, but I read on the internet that pregnant women usually have some pain in the right ribs. 

2.  Gravity makes moving hard.  If I am walking the dog or doing footwork in class, I feel like I have weights attached to my ankles.   Everything is harder, slower, sluggish and laboured.   I feel as if I am doing things in slow motion.  

That being said, I’ve rediscovered swimming. Swimming is a lot of fun.  I go to the swimming pool and do laps and generally, I find this exercise very beneficial for breathing/lungs and upper body strength/arms and core muscles.  It seems like better exercise than walking, and the body feels great.

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