On Sunday, March 25th, I told my fiancé, “Hey, at first I thought my water broke, but I think we’re good…so I am going to head to take class!” He looked at me confused (as he should) because 1. if my water broke why would I be heading to class 2. if it didn’t what the heck was I even talking about?
On my way to class (22 days before my due date)…ok, maybe I did look ready!
I showed up to the studio and tried to play it cool, but by the end of the class (it was a class for just teachers) everyone could tell something was off with me. One of the owners hopped in my car with me to drive me home and another owner followed in her car. I kept insisting that everything was fine and that I would give the doctor a call. I eventually called the doctor, but not before finishing off some Papa Gino’s…just in case baby boy was going to make an early appearance – I did not want it to go to waste. At this point, I still figured it would be at least a few days before my little homie showed up.
I had Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the entire third trimester and as the day progressed I noticed that they seemed a little more frequent, but still had no pain associated with them. Just to be safe I went ahead and showered, packed my bag for the hospital and did some things around the house.
As the evening started, I continued to have some signs (I’ll spare the details) that baby could be coming earlier than expected, but at this point, I think I was still thinking I had at least another week or maybe a few days.
10:00pm rolled around and I started to track the contractions because at this point there was a lot more power and pain coming along with them. During my pregnancy, when I had Braxton Hicks contractions, I would really focus on breathing through them even though they weren’t painful. This proved to be extremely helpful once the real ones started. I would also focus on my breathing (more than usual) when taking Pure Barre and Pure Empower classes. I kept telling myself, and others, that I was training for the big day.
I tracked the contractions, and did not sleep, through the night. Trust me, I would’ve slept if I could but could not find any position to sleep in as I started to get more and more uncomfortable. Tracking the contractions on an app was extremely helpful. As soon as one would start I could hit the button and then hit it again once it ended. That way, I knew how long the contractions were lasting and how far apart they were. For a while, they were kind of all over the place as far as how long they were lasting and how far apart they were. I would have some that the window would get a little smaller and then the next one wouldn’t come for a while. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I started to accept that I would most likely not be going to my doctor appointment in the morning, but would be heading to the hospital instead.
Right around 5:00am, I had two contractions that were about 7 minutes apart, but then the next one would be a little longer. It was back and forth like that for a little bit, then right around 7:00am, sh*t started to get really REAL. I started to think that maybe I waited too long and we should have already been on our way to the hospital. The pain was progressing A LOT and I calmly let Randall know that we needed to leave ASAP, but it was going to take some time for me to get dressed since lifting up my legs to get pants on did not really seem to be an option.
Eventually, we made our way down to the car and the 20-25 minute ride to the hospital felt like it lasted at least an hour. I was holding on to the handle above, blaring gangsta rap and wondering why the hell we were not going above the speed limit. As soon as we pulled up to the hospital, my water broke. We got inside, got situated and confirmed that it was in fact my water (for real this time) and that I was already 5cm dilated.
On our way upstairs, I let them know that I did NOT want an epidural, but needed something. By the time we were upstairs (probably took a few minutes), I remember asking how much longer this was going to last as a contraction seemed to take the life out of me. They let me know it would be at least a few more hours. I was so set on not having an epidural, but then found myself saying, “Ok, I know I said I didn’t want one, but how quickly can I get one?” I had really hoped to power through but after not sleeping through the night and how things were progressing, I gave in. I 100% do not regret this decision. I know every person is different and everyone’s body receives thing differently, but the epidural was absolutely magical. The contractions overrode any potential pain that could’ve came along with getting the epidural and I was pleasantly surprised that I could still move my legs. I was under the assumption that I would basically be temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.
Around 12:30pm, the nurse let me know that we would start pushing in an hour. OH MY GOODNESS, in just ONE hour, I was going to be meeting my son?!?! Looking back the entire 24 hours was so surreal, especially once we got to the hospital on Monday morning. I’m truly blown away at what the female body is capable of and how it just kind of knows what to do.
A little after 1:30pm, the doctor and nurse came back in as promised…and Braylon Kirk Thompson made his debut at 2:04pm.
March 26, 2018
I vaguely remember having a conversation with the doctor and nurse letting them know that what they were asking me to do during the delivery was basically a “tuck” that we do in Pure Barre. I really had been training for this for years! The doctor said it was one of the best deliveries she had seen and had no doubt that me taking Pure Barre consistently during my pregnancy played an incremental role in that.
I took my first official class exactly six weeks after having Braylon. I had went to the studio a couple times prior to that and marked through a couple of classes, but given the distance I am to the studio, lack of sleep and everything going on, I didn’t take an actual class prior. For most women, it’s the norm to wait six weeks after delivering – sometimes more or less depending on a number of factors. While I do think I could’ve taken a class before the six weeks, taking class this past Monday night felt perfect.
I found out I was pregnant in August, so for about eight months, I had a workout buddy with me no matter what. At first, it was not known by most and I loved keeping my little secret. Right at the end of the first trimester, I let all of the clients at Pure Barre Cranston know that I was expecting. I remember heading to the studio and made the decision I was going to tell my classes that night because I was really starting to show. Looking back, I kind of just looked like I went to town on a dozen donuts, but whatever.
I didn’t anticipate that I would go through so many emotions during my first class back, but I did. So many things popped into my head. First, the majority of the Pure Empower classes that I had taken, were done while I was pregnant. Early on that didn’t mean that I was modifying too much, but as it became harder and harder to engage my core, I had to modify a number of things throughout class. I had to remind myself that I would not be back to pre-pregnant Danielle instantly and should still modify as needed in order to avoid overstraining anything. I like to think of pregnancy modifications like a slow climb up a hill and then you have to make your way back down. Basically at the bottom you don’t need to modify and then at the peak of the hill (aka the end of your pregnancy) you are modifying the most. After baby, you’re not automatically back down where you started from, but you need to work your way back down the hill. Some people get there a little quicker and others needs a bit more time.
I’ve always loved how strong Pure Barre makes me feel. It’s a different type of strong than any other workout. I’ve felt strong running, strong doing yoga, strong in cardio dance classes, strong doing CrossFit, but have always felt a special type of strong in Pure Barre. Taking class while pregnant introduced me to a new type of strong. For years, I had suggested and explained things to pregnant clients, but until experiencing it first hand on my own body I never truly understood it to the level that I wanted. Basically, I got pregnant to become a better Pure Barre teacher…just kidding. But seriously, I remember seeing clients opt to do certain things while pregnant, that I eventually opted out of it — remember, everyone (and every day) is different and that’s ok.
Now, post pregnancy, I’m so excited to see and feel the changes that my body goes through as I got back to the barre. It’s like Braylon has instilled a whole new level of strength and empowerment in me. It’s literally mind blowing what the female body is capable of.
So, that’s my story in a nutshell. My attempt was to make this a short post, but I failed. I could honestly go on and on for days, but don’t want to scare any of you away. Now, a little over six weeks postpartum, I am learning so much about myself and Braylon every minute of the day. This first month and half of motherhood is everything that I dreamed it would be and then some. I know everyone says it, but until you are “in it” and experiencing it for yourself nothing or no one can truly prepare you for it. You’ve just got to take each day as it comes, find a balance of taking advice and not taking advice and knowing that being imperfect is in fact perfection.
The majority of my days, as the sun is setting, I look at Braylon and think where the eff did the day go?! I know they tell you that it flies by and I have no doubt that it does. Some moments I feel like a rockstar and others I want to throw my computer and phone out the window so I can’t google anything in regards to what I should and should not be doing. In just 46 days with Braylon here, I feel like I’ve already learned so much…and I know the journey has just begun. As I write these last few sentences, I look at him and start to tear up.. partially because he just started crying and partially because I still can’t believe that this little human is really ours.
April 26, 2018
Right as I was about to post this, my best friend, Ashley, sent me this video and I just had to share…
…now Braylon and I are both crying.