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Have you ever thrown yourself into a situation and known almost immediately that it was a mistake to be there? That was me showing up to my first prenatal class when I was barely a week pregnant.
Well, technically I was 5 weeks pregnant, but that's only because the 40 weeks of pregnancy are actually counted beginning with the first week of your last menstrual cycle. So yeah, when I walked into my first prenatal yoga class I was hardly pregnant.
But I was so excited to be pregnant! And because I didn't know anything about being pregnant I thought that I should immediately switch to the prenatal version of yoga, since there might be some terrible pose in regular yoga that would twist my baby right up into my armpit or something.
So I walk into this prenatal class a few minutes before it's about to begin and it's already packed...with extremely pregnant women, like really, really pregnant women. Like women who look like they're about to unload a family of seals from between their legs. And of course the only free spot I can see to slap down my mat is right up in the front of the room.
I'm about half way across the room, stepping carefully over and around these giant bellies, when I realized what a mistake I've made. I should not be in this class yet. But of course it's too late. I've already made it to my spot and I'm laying down my mat and trying to puff out my completely flat belly just in case someone in class sees me and starts yelling, "Not-pregnant girl in the front of the class! Not-pregnant girl!" since you know, that's obviously what would happen if someone thought I might not be pregnant.
Anyway, I throw my mat on the floor and make a hasty exit for the bathroom. I'll just hide until class starts, I think, and then I am again reminded of how I know nothing about pregnancy, because there in the hallway is a line of pregnant woman waiting to use the bathroom, because you know, pregnant women have to pee ALL the time. Duh.
I skulk into the line and stand next to a woman who actually doesn't look all that pregnant herself.
"Phew," I say aloud to her, "I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't look pregnant." She just kind of nods at me and gives me a weak smile. "How far along are you?" I ask.
"14 weeks," she says, and I immediately feel foolish.Thing #43 I didn't know about pregnancy: You don't start showing until well into your second trimester. I hide in the bathroom until just before class starts.
(This is me at 18 weeks.)
Once I'm back in the yoga studio I settle self-consciously on my mat and try not to stare at all the pregnant women around me chatting with each other and methodically rubbing their bellies. I'll just get through class, I think to myself, and then I won't come back until I actually look the part.
Finally the teacher comes in and takes her place in front of me.
Welcome ladies, she says. Let's start by going around and saying your name and how many weeks you are.
Inwardly, I begin to panic.
Now, maybe you're to the part in my story where you're thinking, Big deal, it's not like you're NOT pregnant or something. So you're just a little fresh to your first prenatal class? But folks, if there's anything that makes me insecure it's large groups of women and yoga studios. Combine those into large groups of LARGE women in a yoga studio and I'm officially cowering. We all have our insecurities, right?
So the girls start going around.
Hi, I'm Lisa. I'm 34 weeks.
Hi, I'm Genevieve. I'm 38 weeks.
Hi, I'm Cora. I'm 29 weeks.
There are only like two more women before me. I'm officially panicking. Do I lie? I can't say that I'm only 5 weeks. My cheeks are burning. I feel like a total idiot.
Hi, I'm Jennifer. I'm 33 weeks.
It's my turn.
Hi, I'm Claire. And I'm...I'm...I'm 5 and 1/2 weeks.
There is a wave of sympathetic snickering. The teacher raises her eyebrows and smiles.
I just...I just...I didn't know if I could still go to regular yoga, I say.
Everyone smiles. It's the next girl's turn. My cheeks burn for at least 10 minutes.
Later in class the girl next to me leans over and whispers. I did the SAME thing. I came to my first class when I was only 6 weeks and I felt so stupid. I blush again.
When class is finally over I slither out of the studio and back home.
How did it go? my husband asks when I walk in the door.
I tell him everything and when I am finished I realize that he is smirking at me.
What? What's so funny?
Well, I just thought it might be a little early for you to go, but I didn't want to say anything, he says.
Seriously?! Why didn't you say so?
Oh, like you would have listened.
And he's right. No matter what anyone said (especially him) I probably would have marched off to that first yoga class anyway. One thing is true though: I didn't go back until I was a good 28 weeks with a nice, round belly to show off. And every time a new girl showed up who was hardly pregnant, I made sure to make her feel comfortable.
What about you, Internet? Do you have a funny story for me?
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