Getting back to work was wonderful. I had been so early in my pregnancy when I switched to the desk job that most of my coworkers had no idea why I'd had to change. Going back and announcing my pregnancy to the students and my coworkers was exciting. They were all so wonderful and supportive! Going back to exercising though.. That was another story. As an athlete you learn that it only takes three days of inactivity to start losing muscle, and at that point I hadn't been able to do anything but sit at a desk or on my couch for three months. Three months! Not to mention I was still puking my guts out multiple times a day. Oh yeah, and growing two babies. No big deal. Needless to say, my feeble attempts at working out at that point didn't last long. I pacified my conscience by considering my work as my exercise for the day. And it was! Until I was 28 weeks and I started having contractions. A lot of contractions. I had contractions about every 6 minutes from 28 weeks until I delivered. So I stopped working at that point and again tried to limit my physical activity.
And then, of course, despite all the concerns about preterm labor, the weeks went on and on and I was still pregnant. I did ok until I was 36 weeks and still huge and uncomfortable. That's when, for the first time in my pregnancy, I started exercising. Forrest and I walked. And walked. And walked. I went to the mall on my own and walked. We lived on the top floor of our apartment building, so I would go outside and run up the stairs. I mean actually run. I did standing squats every day. I did lunges. I tried everything! And I made it all the way until 38 weeks, when they induced me.
I was extremely fortunate to avoid a C-section. I owe it all to my awesome doctor, who also happens to be my cousin. (Technically, my dad's cousin - either way, she's amazing). So since the delivery went so well, I recovered quite quickly. 4 weeks after the twins were born, I went on my first real run in nearly a year. It felt amazing and super awkward all at the same time. Those first few weeks I did some casual working out, trying to get back into shape. But I felt like I was progressing so slowly. Then at 6 weeks post birth, one of my friends invited me to go play soccer with her. I was excited, but hesitant. I hadn't played soccer in years and I knew how out of shape I was. But I decided to go and give it a try anyway. I kept telling myself that no matter how out of shape or how bad at soccer I was, I could run fast. I'd always been able to run fast. Even when I was out of shape. So I thought I was good.
Ha! Ya right. Stepping out onto the field, seeing the ball zoom past me then turning to chase it.. I kept waiting to feel that adrenaline rush, the gears that click in your muscles and brain that tell you you're back. Back doing what you love and being great at it. But it never came. Instead, I took two steps toward the ball, tripped over my own feet and fell onto the turf. So embarrassing. I don't think there was even a person within 10 feet of me, so there was no disguising it as me being tripped by someone. Nope. I just had to face the fact that I didn't have much control of my body anymore. I honestly felt like a 13 year old that just grew 2 feet over the summer and hadn't quite gained control of their gangly limbs yet. That first game was awful. Just awful. I couldn't play for more than 3 minutes at a time without wheezing uncontrollably. I couldn't make the soccer ball go where I wanted it to go. But worst of all, I couldn't run fast. I was incapable of doing the one thing that I'd always been great at. The one thing that I knew I could do better than most. It was a shocking and even heartbreaking realization. I think I might have secretly shed a tear or two in the shower after the game that night.
Every game after that got better. Not a lot better, but a little bit every time. And I was at least having fun exercising and being around other people. I can't play soccer now because of Forrest's work schedule, but I do still try and run once or twice a week. And I have just started doing workout videos with my sisters once a week (they kick my butt and I'm always so sore after - but we have a blast!)
So no, I'm not in great shape. I'm not even sort of to the point I'd hoped I'd be 6 months after giving birth. But quite frankly, I'm ok with that. I'm ok with slowly working my way back into being able to run more than a few miles. It's ok!! Because I'd rather spend my time with my kids. And I'm alright with that.