After the day I had yesterday I was practically dying for my yoga class this morning (there is something incredibly comical about 10-15 pregnant woman doing yoga, by the way. From the back of the room you can’t tell the difference, but look in the mirror and you’ll notice how modified the poses are to accommodate those big low hanging baby bellies! Everything has to be done with a very wide-legged stance). Yoga is a life saver! On Wednesday I had pain so bad in my left side that reaching out to close the car door brought tears to my eyes. After stretching it out in yoga and getting a nice massage with cooling gel afterwards, no more pain (for now)!
So why did I need yoga so bad this morning? Yesterday started off with me fleeing the apartment. 43 degrees celsius with the humidity and no air-conditioning? Yeah, I wasn’t about to stick around to see how that turned out, so I packed the doggie into the car and off we went in search of relief (it was 8am and already nearly 30 degrees). The dog’s name may be Punky Brewster, but we call her Pukey Poopster for a reason. Her first name was in full effect on that car ride and by the time I arrived at my destination I was already completely strung out and covered in guck. Prep for baby indeed… This set the tone for my day and I couldn’t wait for serenity.
Yoga is my serenity. It’s the one place where everything else just shuts off and I can close my eyes and just focus on me and the baby. No stress, no distractions. Just us. Even the thunder couldn’t break the peace this morning! It was actually kind of cool to be moving through the poses with the sky threatening to crash down outside. Even during savasana, the final relaxation pose, the thunder just made it all the more special. Our regular instructor plays the Dixie Chicks’ ‘Lullaby’ during this quiet time. The first time she did it I got so overwhelmed with love for the bébé that I teared up and then stupidly got in my car to drive home and almost got into a horrendous accident because my brain had turned to mush and I forgot how to drive. The song still makes me bawl (oh hormones -I’d probably cry if I put my shoes on the wrong feet), but now I know to take my time before leaving.
Anyways… I’m rambling. What I really wanted to write about today is the wicked book I’ve been reading by Jenna Pincott called ‘Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies’. A lot of the information is similar to what I read in Moalem’s ‘How Sex Works’ a few years ago. Both are great books that I’d highly recommend to anyone that is interested in the science behind sex and/or pregnancy, but I have to say, being pregnant and reading Pincott’s book is pretty fun, so if you’re preggers or planning on getting preggers go for that one. I haven’t finished yet because let’s face it, during the day I have to read much duller more academic things, but this book is in my hands every night before bed. So far I have learned some interesting and scary things. Here are my favourites:
1. J’s DNA is controlling how much I eat! How friggen weird is that!? Because the placenta is what regulates the nutrients that baby needs, and because that part of the placenta is ruled by daddy’s DNA, it’s daddy’s DNA that is making me stuff my face with Haagen-Dazs’ Cookie Dough Dynamo. And should I be surprised? Mister can down two pints a sitting if he wants!
2. Moderate exercise, such as my twice a week yoga practice, or the walks I take with Pukey (uh… I mean Punky), is good for my baby’s brain! Excessive exercise can cause more harm than good because it eats away at fat stores that the baby needs for brain development. Not only are babies born to moms who exercised too much often born underdeveloped and underweight, their children are also more likely to have developmental issues. So, your actions can influence your future grandchildren’s development. Crazy, non? (NOTE: ‘too much’ is defined by what your body was used to pre-pregnancy, not any one particular level of exercise. So, if you were a long distance runner before getting knocked up, carry on! It’s just us couch potatoes that shouldn’t start training for marathons during pregnancy).
3. Men who smoke heavily are more likely to have daughters. Why? The ladies will like this one. It’s because those Y chromosomes are smaller, less complex, and weaker than the X chromosomes. So, when toxins from those nasty smokes damage a man’s semen, it’s those XY bearing, male determining, spermies that are hard hit and the heavier more resilient XX female sperm win the race. The weaker sex indeed! Pffffft. (By the way, J is a smoker, so these are not hard and fast rules! Just patterns proven through scientific studies).
4. Being on the pill affects who a woman chooses as a partner. This is because the pill makes the female body mimic pregnancy and men smell differently to women when on the pill (not that they smell smell, it’s just that women are attracted to different pheromones when pregnant). Some women lose interest in their partner when coming off the pill because he is simply not someone whose pheromones would have drawn her in under different circumstances. Women are more likely to be attracted to men with a different smell from her own when not pregnant and not on the pill. Why? Because that difference in smell also means that we are genetically more dissimilar making the chance of birth defects in our offspring go down. Super cool.
5. TMI WARNING! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you): There is an actual genetic/evolutionary reason behind oral sex. Yes ladies, it’s true. When I first read that in How Sex Works I thought it was interesting, but I also knew that book was written by a man and suspected it might be a ploy to get us ladies downstairs more often (okay, not really, but it just got to me that it was written by a man). Reading it once more in Pincott’s words was a little easier to take! Basically, the proteins from daddy’s DNA in the placenta can be read as foreign objects to be attacked by the female body should it not have been regularly exposed to daddy’s proteins pre pregnancy. Huh… Women who have not been with their partners long (according to Pincott, less than 4 months) and women who always use condoms and never or rarely engage in oral sex are at higher risk for miscarriage or preeclampsia because their bodies are more likely to attack the foreign proteins in that ever so important placenta that’s in there taking care of baby. WHO KNEW!? Also fascinating is that if a woman conceives by a man who is not her regular partner, someone whose proteins her body is not familiar with, she is also at higher risk of these things even if she’s regularly exposed to her own partner’s proteins. This is considered evolution’s way of protecting men from raising another man’s child. Because really, mama’s baby… daddy’s, maybe (another gem from the book). Of course, please don’t think that all cases of miscarriage or preeclampsia are caused by infidelity or an unwillingness to preform oral sex! That would be ridiculous…
Anyways, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! So off I go! Happy reading friends. Hope you all enjoy(ed) your Saturday :)
*DISCLAIMER: Don’t take my comments for fact please. I’m not a medical expert, this is just based on my understanding of what I read. Ask your midwife or OB if you have questions… I know you know that, but just in case! Got to protect my fat-storing, baby brain developing fat butt!