Apr
04
2011

  Monkey Feet

I remember heartburn creating a fair amount of discomfort during my last pregnancy, so I've been successfully taking steps to avoid it this time. I do try to limit anything tomato-based in the evenings, but rather than change my diet, mostly I just don't bend over.

During the day it's easier, since I have a little helper by my side at all times who is generally glad to pick up and hand me whatever I ask for. In the evenings, once W has gone to bed, I'm more on my own, since T doesn't like to be interrupted to pick things up for me unless he's already right in the room with me, which is rare since he likes to work in his studio at night.

Rather than risk heartburn, especially as bedtime approaches, I've developed monkey feet. I can pick up a lot of things with my toes now. Then I just raise my foot high enough that I can pluck the item up with my hand without bending over.

I think I can thank ballet for this. I've been trying to think why I hadn't thought of this for my first pregnancy, and one of the reasons is that I probably had a harder time lifting my leg up in this particular way. But I have both more flexibility and strength in my legs now than I did two years ago, for sure. Dancing with turnout (legs rotated outward from the hip socket) has increased the amount of rotation I have in my hip joints. We also do a fair amount of work to strengthen the metatarsal muscle which controls the toes (in order to get and maintain a proper "point" to our foot as it moves from position to position). And I'm not sure which muscles are involved exactly, but I know that I can raise each of my legs higher off the floor now, even in my 3rd tri, than I could before I started ballet. Not kicking, but just standing on one leg, and slowly raising the other and holding it in position.

So chalk up yet another pregnancy health benefit to ballet. Who'da thunk?