Water baby!

I only found out about water exercise in my 36th week of pregnancy and it has been the best thing I have ever done in my pregnancy. Now, I know what to do in my next pregnancy - it's amazing! Throughout my pregnancy, I have been continuing my yoga practice, attending only prenatal classes and continuing my pre-pregnancy ballet bar workout (although with increasing modifications) and in the past few weeks (despite my modifications) my joints started aching after both. It's fairly common for your ligaments to loosen up due to the release of relaxin and for your joints to ache in pregnancy and I was not surprised when it started to affect my old knee and wrist injuries. Water takes the pressure off your joints so you can have a great workout without any pain. What's more amazing is simply just being in the water when you're pregnant - or like me, very heavily pregnant (38 weeks and already 2 cm dilated!). I am so buoyant in the water now, due to to all the water in my body and it's a fantastic feeling. I also feel more connected with my son, with both of us immersed in water. When the class ends, I don't want to leave the pool! The other benefit of indoor pool classes, is that the temperature is always just right and you're out of the sun - I for one, found a day in the sun insufferable throughout my pregnancy, even though pre-pregnancy I craved the sun and beach.

I had to fight to get into the workout however. In fact I have never had more difficulty trying to throw money at someone before. I suppose it's a faint glimmer of what lies in store, since if we continue to live in the city, we're not only going to be forking out our income for good preschools (what's going on with your plan there, De Blasio??) but enduring a series of waiting lists and tests. Enrollment in New York starts as soon as you dip that stick in and see red. I've heard stories of preschools accepting DNA tests from foetuses for early enrollment. Apart from the waiting, there is of course the dire scrutiny of both you and your child. Many parents leave in a deluge of tears after being told that their John or Jenny just didn't make the cut - either their temperament didn't fit the school ("I'm sorry, he just appeared to act like an infant") or they didn't pass the test ("she just couldn't get the pattern right - it's obviously the purple trapezium in the black checkered background that slants to the right that comes next!). I decided to try one of these tests for kicks. It may be pregnancy brain, but even so, I even found some questions required strict concentration and I'm nearly 32. It was more than a little embarrassing to discover that while I have my undergraduate and graduate degrees from two of the top ten universities in the world, I most likely would not be able to enter an elite New York preschool. I'm going to keep that little fact to myself. The harsher afterthought was that if I couldn't make the cut, how could my two year old?

I could of course always beg and connive my way through - just as I did with my water workout.

I spent over forty five minutes on the phone trying to convince the owner/instructor to let me enter. She wanted to know about my health, about my exercise routine, about my career, my personality and how I found out about the program. This is one business that does not covet clients (we come grovelling!). They do not advertise and keep their classes small (max 10 to a class). I started perspiring when I was asked how I found out about the classes- friends can let friends in but how wide was their definition? Is a girl I've spoken to only a few times in my prenatal classes sufficient to encompass the "friend" that holds the key to the most amazing workout ever? I floundered when I was asked her name, wondering whether I had it right. I knew I was being assessed when I was asked to describe her. Luckily, my description fit and I was allowed a coveted pass into this pool paradise. Each time my class approaches, I go through a blitzkrieg of nail biting wondering whether the instructor has spoken with E and asked about the "friend" whom she recommend the classes to, resulting in a confused expression and my quick expulsion from the group. So far, this hasn't happened and the main threat to my weekly joys seems to be giving birth itself (I am nearly there!). But then again, I would not crave the classes so much then.

Go out there and immerse yourself in water! You will feel amazing. And if you're in New York and pregnant - book those preschool prep classes.


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