It’s been one week since I returned to work and said goodbye (for a few hours a day at least!) to the world of nappies, puréed pear and hour-long, often unsuccessful, attempts to leave the house. I enjoyed my maternity leave – it was busy, with a big move in the middle of it that I still haven’t entirely unpacked – but I was ready for it to be over. My tiny baby is now a big thumper of an almost-toddler, and he’s ready for more people in his life than me.
As for going back to work, despite some exciting changes to the schedule at Cork’s 96fm and a couple of different faces around the building, it’s like I never left. I have a new, lovely commute by the sea and a new routine (does anyone else love a good routine as much as I do?).
It’s like I never left, except, that is, for the physical reminders of nine months carrying around another human inside me and another nine months carrying him around on the outside. I. Am. Broken. Babies break you.
I love this artwork by Ciara Chapman – it’s exactly how I feel about managing my pain. Just as soon as I get to a level I’m happy with, something – a fall, a busy period at work, a baby! – sets me back. Time to dust myself off and start again.
This is a thing that I knew in theory but couldn’t have imagined in practice. The tiredness is overwhelming, although it’s incredible how you get used to thinking of four hours in a row as “a great sleep”. But unfortunately, while my old hip problem was thankfully not a major issue during pregnancy (mainly because I spent most of said time on the couch drinking milkshakes like a dairy-obsessed beached whale) it has come back with a vengeance. Added to that I have enormous joint laxity (pregnancy hormones are magic in many ways, this isn’t one of them), carpal tunnel syndrome, and a very sore, and weak, back. I’ve been warned to take it easy on the yoga, after I greatly overestimated my strength and flexibility because of the laxity caused by hormones.
So… my usual solution of ramping up the yoga isn’t going to fly this time. After a couple of weeks of intensive physio, regular swimming and some pilates reformer work with my physio, I’m starting a new regime.
The crew at Elite Pilates have recently opened a new studio in Carrigtwohill, and, after seeing me post on Instagram about my problems with joint laxity and getting back to fitness, they have invited me to try a series of seven reformer classes. I’ve been for an initial consultation with the lovely Lee at their Douglas studio, and I’m looking forward to my first class this week.
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After my recent (self pitying) post about my atrocious physical state post-pregnancy and harsh words from the physio about over extended joints and lack of muscle mass, I'm over feeling sorry for myself and back in the saddle, again. Back to square one seems to happen about every two years so I really should be used to it by now. Anyway! The lovely people @elitepilatesstudios contacted me to offer their help and today I did a one to one assessment at their Donnybrook centre. It went better than I expected (I can still plank! Take that pregnancy and breastfeeding – there's still a core there to work on!) and I'm really looking forward to starting regular classes nearer to home in Carrigtwohill. I'll be combining it with regular swimming and a *little* bit of gymming (is that what they call it?) @metropole_cork once I'm back to work in two weeks time. FYI my sessions at @elitepilatesstudios are complimentary so I'll be tagging these posts #spon in the interests of transparency. #fitness #pilates #pilatesreformer #cork #fitness #postbabybody #postpregnancy #imbroken #babiesbreakyou #theboomisback #backinthesaddle #jointhealth #relaxinyoubastard #activewear #corklike #didsomeonesayactivewear
I’ve also started a series of physical therapy with Lorraine Blackshields at Procuro Clinic in Douglas. Lorraine has magic hands and she is really experienced with post-pregnancy injuries. After a good pummelling and some dry needling from Lorraine last week I had a few days of blessed relief. I’ll be back with her this week as well for some further bodywork.
Last but not least, I’m going to take advantage of being back on my old stomping ground of MacCurtain Street and rejoin the lovely pool at Leeside Leisure in the Metropole. I love how convenient it is for me at work – it’s right between the studio and the train station, so I really have no excuse. When you’re as lazy as I am, that’s the only way! I *may* even venture into the gym, but that might be a step too far. No guarantees on that one.
This isn’t about looking in shape. Thanks to my energetic, hungry small boy, I’ve actually never been thinner, but I’m never going to be skinny and that’s not a focus for me. (Kate Moss was wrong… skinny could never taste as good as, well, loads of things I could mention, but I’d make myself hungry!)
It’s about managing the chronic condition I’ve had for years and getting back to the level of ‘manageable’ that will let me fulfill all of my new and old roles… early riser, commuter, busy radio producer, writer, blogger, and hopefully a stronger and faster moving mother who can catch up with a small boy who is just about ready to run before he can even walk.
Wish me luck… I’m going to need it. I won’t be blogging about this again until my sessions at Elite are done, but you can follow more regular posts on Instagram.com/deshocks if you’re so inclined.
Also – have you been there? Do you have advice for me? I want to hear it!
Disclaimer: As I’ve mentioned in the post above, my series of seven classes at Elite Pilates are complimentary as are my series of three treatments at Procuro Clinic and my two months membership of Leeside Leisure. I have previously been a paid member at Leeside Leisure (and will be again when the two months are up). I will be truthful about what works and doesn’t work for me in these posts.