5 Steps To Getting Pool-Ready When Pregnant.

When I tell people I’m due July 31, I get a lot of sympathetic shoulder squeezes and knowing “wow, pregnant in summer” nods. Truth be told, if I’m going to be large and uncomfortable, I’d rather be by the pool than stuffed into some bulky sweater and too-tight maternity jeans (yes, even my maternity pants are too tight at this point).

I thoroughly intend to park myself by the pool like a beached whale as much as time will allow between now and then. But I had to prepare.


1. Maternity Swimsuit.

I actually found shopping for one of these way less painful than a typical bikini season. There are only so many to choose from and you go into it knowing you’re going to look big no matter what. I chose this black one-piece from Old Navy. In retrospect, I should’ve gotten a tankini (multiple bathroom trips in a one-piece is no fun), but, well, hindsight and all.




2. Sunglasses

There are few personal shopping pleasures when pregnant. It always seems that every garment I’ve ever coveted goes on sale at this time, but of course I don’t want to buy anything before getting to know my postpartum body. Feet can change, so there’s no shoe shopping. And buying panty liners for a whole new, fun reason is truly no fun at all. But sunglasses are one thing I can indulge in without worrying about size. So this year, these were my birthday present to myself:


I found these bamboo frames on an ethical deal shopping site. And because there was a delay in shipping, they came with a handwritten apology plus one of these handmade Guatemalan sunglass bags for free! Talk about great customer service.



3. Water bottle

I’m supposed to drink 92 OUNCES of water per day, which is just not going to happen — but that doesn’t mean I don’t try. Because of the no-glass rule at the pool, I go with a classic Nalgene.



4. Sundress

Sometimes you just don’t feel like being in public in a swimsuit. That goes quadruple for when you’re pregnant, which is why about 90% of the time spent by the pool, I’m wearing a cover-up. My sister got me a black cotton dress for my birthday and I’ve been living in it. I can’t find a pic of the exact one, but it’s a lot like this one from The Gap.


For once, I would like to see an actual pregnant person model maternity clothes — swollen ankles, puffy “glowing” sweaty face, pudgy arms and all.


5. Trimming The Lady Garden

Last but certainly not least. I can’t see down there, but I know others can and there was no WAY I was going to attempt this blind, so I enlisted a professional. I just like to think of the pain as a warm-up for labor:)








Going Outside My Comfort Zone

I resisted any New Year’s resolutions this year, as I’ve learned with pregnancy and kids that over-planning and too many expectations only leads to frustration and disappointment.

Photo via Speedo.com. I don't do swim selfies. Plus, do you really think I'd post a pic of myself, pregnant in a swimsuit in January? And I did purchase a pink Speedo Swim cap, which I love:)
Photo via Speedo.com. I don’t do swim selfies. Plus, do you really think I’d post a pic of myself, pregnant in a swimsuit in January? And I did purchase a pink Speedo Swim cap, which I love:)

Right before I was about to start a diet (ordered organic meal replacement shakes from Amazon and everything), I found out I was pregnant with my second child. SUPER excited for the baby, but the baby weight on top of my already fleshier self was hard to swallow. Of course, I’m not going to try to lose weight when I’m pregnant. Add that I only seem to crave complex carbohydrates and sugar, and I’m a gestational diabetes diagnosis just waiting to happen.

So what can I do about this? Well, now that the first trimester nausea and fatigue are subsiding, I can exercise. My gym doesn’t currently offer prenatal yoga classes, but it does have a pool. Swimming is such great exercise, pregnant or not, so I decided to give it a try for the first time ever. In January. In a swimsuit. Pregnant. (In the “she looks like she’s pregnant, but not enough that I feel comfortable asking” phase, mind you.)

I’m happy to report that I swam laps for the first time on Sunday and have come out the other side without any permanent scars, emotional or otherwise. Not to say it wasn’t totally intimidating. A weekend afternoon was probably not the best time to try laps for the first time. Each lane had at least one swimmer already, which meant I had to share. The lifeguard very patiently explained to me the difference between splitting a lane and circle swimming. I’m not sure why she pointed me to fast lane as I told her I was new to this, but that’s where a spot was open so that’s where I got my feet wet, so to speak. I wasn’t five minutes into my workout (my meager interpretation of the breaststroke) when my lane partner hopped out and moved down a lane. We were splitting and not circling so I was pretty sure I wasn’t in his way. But,still, it made me even more self-conscious than I already was.

So, this morning, I Googled “lap swimming etiquette” and learned a couple of things.

1. When sharing a lane, any stroke other than freestyle is frowned upon, as you can accidentally kick your lane partner. I don’t remember kicking him, but I never remember kicking my husband and I apparently do it every night in my sleep.

2. Swimmers are possessive of their gear, even when borrowed from the pool. I may have grabbed and used a kickboard at the end of our lane. He may have gotten pissed.

3.  Some Canadian dude said in one article that everyone pees in lap pools. I really hope this is only true in Canada.

So next time, I will have to get over my fear of freestyle. And wait for a space to open up in one of the slow lanes. And try not to kick anyone or steal anyone’s stuff. Swimming is not a resolution, but I plan on sticking to it. Like all new things, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

Have you tried something lately outside of your comfort zone?