On Wednesday nights, G and I go to yoga class. We try to make it three times a week, and Wednesday nights just work out well for some reason. Plus the instructor is pretty consistent, we know we’ll get a good work out plus a lot of stretching, not too hard and not too easy. We started going to yoga classes a little over a year ago, and I’m pretty impressed with myself that I’ve kept it up this long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m terrible at it. I’ve only improved very marginally over the last year, and I’m still the worst one in every class we go to (it doesn’t help that I’ve had a series of injuries that I have to work around). The only other kind of exercise I’ve done consistently for a year or more is walking, which is only because you can do it pretty much anywhere and it’s easy enough that I don’t try to come up with excuses to get out of it. Yoga has been like that too, it’s tough during the class, but then you end by laying flat on the ground practically passed out for 5 minutes, so you can’t help but leave with a positive feeling about the whole experience.
It just so happens that right before our beginner yoga class on Wednesday nights is a prenatal yoga class. We’ve known this for a while now, so we usually plan to leave at the last minute, and rush in after all bumps have cleared the room. Given all the other factors involved, it hasn’t been enough of a motivation to avoid this class. But, if we plan badly, or if there’s especially light traffic, we get there just in time for the slew of preggos to spill out of the studio.
Much worse than the pregnant chicks themselves though is the instructor. She doesn’t teach our class, I’ve only ever seen her teaching prenatal classes. She says things like, “great job mommies!”, and “you’re all such strong mommies”, and “don’t worry mommies, I’ll get everything picked up”. Now, infertility aside, I’m pretty sure I would not want to spend an hour listening to this woman. This instantly became a running joke between G and I. “oh goodie, we get to see all the special mommies today!” (to be read in the most high pitched snarky voice you can muster). “look at all the special mommies, in their special mommy outfits, doing their special mommy yoga!”. Thank god G comes with me to this class, if I couldn’t mock them beforehand I don’t think I’d manage to get inside.
Seriously though, I wonder if I could actually ever take a class like this if I somehow end up miraculously pregnant some day. The annoying instructor aside, I always figured I’d be in the prenatal yoga class eventually. In fact, the first time I ever did yoga was during my first pregnancy. I was feeling so horrifically sick I couldn’t seem to do any regular exercise, so I borrowed a prenatal yoga video from the library to see if it might be a good alternative. I only managed to get through the video twice before I wasn’t pregnant anymore and didn’t have any need for prenatal yoga. I’ve hidden two pregnancies since we started going to our current studio. I couldn’t possibly come out and tell the class I’m pregnant like everyone else seems to do (at six weeks??) because I knew I probably wouldn’t be pregnant for much longer.
If I was magically 4 months pregnant tomorrow, I don’t know that I could go to prenatal yoga classes, and make baby registries, and do all the normal things you’re supposed to do. As much as I’ve been dying to be admitted to the club and finally get to do these things, I’ve built up so much hostility and put up so many walls against anything and everything pregnancy related. I march past the baby section in Target with my head staring straight down at my shoes, and I immediately scroll past ‘maternity photo session ideas’ and ‘what to pack in your hospital bag’ posts on pinterest, as if I might get burned if I peek. I’ve made these things completely off limits to myself, I can’t even start to think about them or I’ll crack. How could I suddenly be expected to love these things if I got pregnant? I would feel like I was some sort of imposter, or a traitor.
I’m sure part of the answer is that it happens gradually, as you start to trust that the pregnancy is real. The anxiety might pass, but the feeling of being an imposter who doesn’t belong in the club, or a traitor to the version of myself that I am now probably won’t pass easily. I’m not sure I want them to. Ultimately, it probably doesn’t matter because I probably won’t ever be in a position to find out. I can play the games in my head, pretend that one day I’ll make it to the other side, but I don’t really beleive I’ll ever by one of ‘the mommies’.