But what I was NOT prepared for was the complete and utter lack of ab strength. I didn't really know how much I depended upon my core until I lost it. I guess it is one of those things you don't realize how great you have it until it is gone. Like when you get sick and you wish and hope for the day you can breathe out of at least 1 nostril. Or when you have a kink in your neck and can't remember how awesome it felt to turn your head more than 40 degrees.
Things I am unable to do:
- Roll over in bed (must use a crazy leg whipping movement to swing my arse over)
- Sit up from a lying position (forget about it...revert to the leg whipping thing)
- Bend over with straight legs and pick something up (almost perfected the perfect squat)
- Lean over the back seat of the car and get something out of my bag (not happening in this lifetime-I just get out of the car and open the back door)
It really has nothing to do with my belly getting "in the way" but rather a complete and utter lack of core strength.
The other day we were reupholstering 6 chairs for the HUB (Andy's new location for GAIA Fitness). It was a pretty lengthy process, but well worth it. The chairs look great! But after bending over for 7+ hours, my lower back was on fire. At first, I was like ok manual labor = sore back, I get it. Then, after we got home and finished watching a movie...holy crap! My back had NEVER hurt that bad. Not even when I had to vacuum for 2 hours straight then go up and finish cars for an additional 6 hours at my Uncle's car wash, THAT was the hardest physical job I have ever had.
I couldn't move. I am not exaggerating. I was frozen. I had no strength left in my back (plus it hurt SO bad) and since the abs are not working these days...thank God Andy was there.
I asked my doc about it and she said that if I wanted to do ab work, I could, but it really wouldn't help me the way I wanted it to. When you do ab exercises, or any type of exercise for that matter, you pull and strain your muscles to the point they will need repair themselves. During the "repair" they become stronger. If I were to to ab work now, I would only be speeding up the process of my slowly progressing separating abs. Also known as diastasis recti -- separation of the recti muscles. If you want to read about it in more detail click HERE.
The above is a "before" and "after" depiction...now imagine when the muscles are stretched while there is a baby in there. :o
Not to worry, my doc says as long as I take it easy during my pregnancy and wait for at least 8-10 weeks before even thinking about ab work, I should be ok. But in the mean time, it is a stinker to have lost ALL ab strength. I now realize why the pregnancy posture exists...
Well here is my 20 week picture... (yea that is the Punisher in the background ;-)
Not too much different from 16 weeks, except the little bulge above my belly button...hmmm wonder what organ is trying to poke its way out there.