I was seconds away from being wheeled into surgery to have a C-section. My saving grace? Grip socks + Bar Method, who knew.
My pregnancy was standard. Some morning sickness cravings that took control and drove my car to McDonalds a few times for a 4pm pre-dinner Happy Meal… the elated day I found out I was having a boy… hair pulling moments of stepping on the scale and seeing a 7 in the center number slot despite a solid workout schedule through the bitter end… convincing my husband that yes, the ENTIRE house required a redecoration… and the final weeks of waiting, waiting, and waiting. And then, voila. The long days, but short months were over. The day before my due date, I went into labor. We arrived at the hospital at midnight, I was breathing through the pain, got my epidural and it was going to be smooth sailing after that. So I thought.
My little guys’ heart rate started dropping, and was getting lower with each passing contraction. I was dilating fast, and the doctor and nurses were getting visibly more nervous with every contraction. I knew where this was heading. My husband, mom and sister were all in the room, quietly panicking as they watched the baby’s heart rate on the monitor have a harder and harder time coming back up. The nurses tried all they could, flipping me from side to side, and finally putting me on all fours to try and relieve some pressure for the baby. Nothing worked.
Once I was fully dilated, the doctor and head nurse watched my baby’s heart rate fall one last time. He was in danger, and he needed to come out. The decision was made and a C-section was the new plan. Tears rolled down my face but I nodded through my oxygen mask that I was onboard with whatever needed to be done. Baby. Safe. One-track mind.
I rolled onto my back as the team to take me to surgery came in with the gurney to wheel me out and into the OR. As the doctor sat down next to me to quickly explain what was about to happen, she noticed my socks: my grip socks from Pointe Studio.
In an attempt to quickly get me to stop crying, she said she took Bar classes too and what a great core workout it was. Jumping into the conversation from the corner of the room, my sister piped up – “She’s a Bar Method Instructor.” The doctor froze, looked at me and asked if I had done Bar consistently through out the pregnancy. I answered with an affirmative nod, and that was it all it took.
She barked her orders quickly and told the gaggle of nurses and doctors to prep for delivery, I was strong enough to push this baby out. Not more than 15 seconds later, she had me in stirrups, gave me stern instructions, a pep talk and told me I had to be stronger than I ever had been, and to get this baby out as quickly as possible. We were told he wouldn’t be breathing when he made his entrance to the world, and we wouldn’t be able to cut the umbilical cord. Shit. Got. Real.
And with everyone in the room yelling at me (as kindly as nurses and doctors can) to push, I have never dug that deep and used all my strength to do anything. It was primal, it was instinctual, and I was certain all the blood vessels in my eyes were going to burst. But within 3 minutes, the little bundle of joy that would change my life forever came out screaming his head off.
The best sound I’ve ever heard.
Needless to say, I owe a lot to the Bar Method. It gave me the knowledge to workout effectively my entire pregnancy (and yes, you can do ab work, damn it), kept me strong, and allowed my body to do the seemingly impossible. It also helped me drop the 40+ pounds postpartum in just a few months time. Is there a secret? No. Eat well, work hard, it’s that painfully simple.
Why am I sharing this story? Because my doctor should have known what my body was capable of. I should have told my doctor from the moment I knew she was the one that would be delivering my baby about my exercise regiment and my strength. She found this out by dumb luck because I was wearing my Pointe Studio socks, and had she not, I would have ended up in surgery.
So speak up, ladies. Be an advocate for yourself. Push yourself to work hard through your pregnancy if you’re able to. Know your strength, and TELL YOUR DOCTOR. Could it save you from a c-section? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s certainly worth a shot.
xx – Iva
Side note: I’ve been an instructor at Bar Method in Newport Beach for almost 3 years, and a bar addict for a few more than that. When I found Bar Method, it became a stress reliever that I desperately needed in my life of running a start-up business. It changed my body, helped my mind and I found an incredible group of ladies to call allies in life.