Last night I watched the wife (and many other, older women) take part in some aqua-aerobics at our gym. The gym is supposed to have an aqua class for pregnant women but, of course, right after we joined (one reason being this class), the class sort of disappeared from the schedule. It was suggested the regular aqua-aerobics class would do similarly for my wife, so last night was the inaugural voyage into the heated pool to bounce and hopefully not get the incubating baby too seasick inside.
In between my daddy exercises, I went to check out the class (mostly without her knowing, until the end) and saw a lot of bouncing, rotating and the use of the "noodles" for floating. My wife mentioned afterward that she talked to the instructor beforehand to explain her situation, and the instructor was very helpful and would inform her if/when something might be too strenuous for a pregnant women to perform. Wifey was pleased with the class, which pleased me. Side note: she tried roping me into trying this class, but I had caught a glimpse of it when we were signing up for the gym, and I knew I could not hold my head up anywhere in the world had I gotten into that pool to do aqua-aerobics with a class full of older women and a pregnant wife...
Now, I'm not worried that my wife will gain too much weight and I will not be attracted to her pregnant body, thus prompting her to workout to keep the weight gain to a minimum (I got a short glimpse of her after class getting out of the pool and thought she looked really cute with the baby-belly in a bikini!). I am confident she knows that (90% confident). I try not to comment on how much she eats because I understand WHY she needs to eat more, and even more often. Reading books have schooled me on that, which surely helps me keep my foot out of my mouth, for the most part. I do, however, try to limit some of the less healthy choices she might make when satisfying a craving or hunger pangs. I'm sorry, but I don't think pregnancy should be an excuse for women to eat whatever they want and not think this won't impact them or the baby. Yes, I get the need, but if certain things are bad for the baby (wine, raw fish), how good can super-size french fries and milkshakes be? ;)
For me, personally, getting myself back into shape serves several purposes. My parents weren't much older than I am now when I was born but athletics surely weren't part of their lifestyle. I never played catch or ran around with them, and that will be a major part of child rearing for me, so being able to "keep up" with the kid as it gets older is important to me. The past year or more I have sort of "let myself go" and let injuries make me more slothful. Joining the gym, and it being near our place, has been great and I feel more motivated than ever about losing a few pounds (and hopefully the Joe disappearing -- my gut).
I also love the idea, after the baby is born, of baby yoga and other forms of exercise involving the kid. It seems to be a perfect bonding experience for parent/child, and another way for new parents to meet others in the same situation and network. We've already talked about keeping our child involved in athletics for not only the exercise but also the camaraderie with other kids and parents. I'll have to touch upon the 21st Century idea of "everybody wins" in kid's sports for another day, since I think competition is important. But I like the idea of the Little Gym (http://www.thelittlegym.com/) to aid the child develop balance and motor skills. Don't worry, I'm not going to be one of those parents who will try to live my shattered athletic dreams through my kid, hollering at the referees or starting brawls. Though a bad call is a bad call, come on...!