- W31D6 – sunset
I’m watching a beautiful sunset, which is the sunset of my Life so far.
Looking back on the Day brings satisfaction and contentment. I think of all the activities enjoyed and rites of passage experienced which can only come during the daytime. There’s plenty to look back on and smile about, and mine feels like a typical Day. It’s happy, carefree, and full of memories.
Even so I can feel the sun going down. Much as I love the Day and all its joys, something else itches inside of me. I yearn for something that can’t be found in spur-of-the-moment adventures and gossiping with girlfriends. There has to be something more, and I know where it is.
The Night. Full of different joys, harder than the daytime but more enriching. One-way ticket only. I yearn to visit, know there’s no way I can’t not live there. Fearing it, feeling apprehensive of the unknown, feels irrelevant to what I’m sure is my Fate. The Day will finish and I will go to the Night. That’s how it is.
And right now, at 32 weeks pregnant with my first child, here’s the Sunset. The inevitable link between two such different worlds. Beautiful because of its fleeting nature. It’s a celebration of all the color and energy of the Day, mingled with the the vibrancy and mystery of the upcoming Night. The gods must have designed it to grab the attention, compel one to savor what has been and ponder what’s to come.
I’m watching the sunset, and I’m feeling baby girl’s kicks, and I’m reflecting on what Life has been so far.
And I wonder what joys and challenges the Night will bring.
- W31D7 – End of Running
I have a confession to make, and it pains me to say it.
I think I’m done with running for the rest of pregnancy.
I am HEARTBROKEN. I really wanted to keep running until giving birth. But realistically I just don’t know if my body can handle it.
The issue is my hip flexors. I had trouble with “jostling insides” until I started using a belly band, and my feet ache sometimes but the running shoes I wear really help. I’ve gotten good about emptying my bladder right before a run, and always have a small snack and lots to drink so as to not get lightheaded.
But I don’t know what to do about my hip flexors.
It’s those little muscles that connect your legs to the rest of your body. Somehow all the forward motion of running combined with the giant bowling ball in my pelvis really stresses them out. It’s hard to even step my legs forward to walk after just a short 3 miles.
Maybe it’s due to the fact I’ve gained 25% of my body weight in four months. Or maybe the softening hormone relaxin targets your hips and pelvis more than the rest of your body? It’s also possible my body is telling me to just quit jostling around so much.
Running has been my go-to for something like 15 years now. It’s calmed my mind when I’m feeling stressed, traveling in a foreign country, going through a big life change, grieving, cramming for finals, overwhelmed at work, you name it. Running’s always been there for me. So having to give it up is tough.
- W31D4 – ACTION SHOT
ACTION SHOT of me cruisin’ up a 5.10c at the gym! I’ve got my awesome full-body harness, and you can see my belly poking out near the wall.
You know what’s started happening the last couple weeks? My belly keeps me from getting close enough to the wall! On chimneys like this it’s not so bad, but doing a slabby climb has become more difficult. There was one particular route a couple weeks ago where I got stuck on this one move and had to try about four different times before I finally got past it. Then Kelly does the same climb, and she barely notices that spot.
“Oh yea, I had my stomach pressed right against the wall to get past that part.”
Well then, no wonder I had so much trouble 😉
This pic is to show to my daughter one day. She can tell people she’s been climbing since the womb! Maybe she’ll fall in love with climbing one day too. She like to kick a lot when I’m on the wall. My father-in-law’s even making her and her cousin mini climbing walls for babies! They say babies are able to climb before they can walk!
One thing that’s helped me keep climbing is learning moves that are easier with more weight (or weaker muscles, heh). For example, pushing myself up off a downward palm (“mantling”) is WAY more doable than pulling myself up from a hold over my head. My theory is that the latter requires more ab muscle, while the former is all about your lats. Because I used to be able to do several pullups without a problem, but even a few weeks into my first trimester (before gaining any weight!) I was suddenly unable to do a single one.
Blame the Relaxin, I say!
Anyway, here’s proof that it’s TOTALLY doable to continue climbing into your third trimester! All you need is the right gear and a little bit of patience 🙂
- W31D2 – Third tri climbing
Still going strong today with rock climbing!
My harness as you can see is still working marvelously. I will say that I had to loosen the shoulder straps a bit now that my belly is bulging up past my ribcage. And I have had some squishing while getting lowered. Nothing too bad, but I hope in my next two months it doesn’t get too much worse. I REALLY love climbing and definitely don’t wanna give up my favorite sport!
That’s the thing I’ve really loved about climbing while pregnant – it seems like the one sport that’s been least impacted by all the changes to my body. I mean I’m definitely weaker than I was pre-preggo (or maybe it’s the fact I’m carrying an extra 29 pounds up the wall), and I have to go slower and take lots of little breaks the whole way up.
But my body still MOVES the same. It’s incredible! All the intuition my muscles have learned in the however many years I’ve been doing this… it’s still there. And being pregnant is just another challenge, like I’m trying harder routes than normal. My body figures out how to make it work. No achiness, no pain afterward, no wistfully watching everyone else do what I wish I could. No ma’am, I’m up there with everyone having a great time 🙂
Feeling so blessed to keep doing this. Here’s to finishing out my pregnancy strong!
- W30D6 – Body acceptance
It’s been a while since I wrote about aerials.
Well, that’s because something happened.
I took a fall.
It wasn’t from very high up, and that’s why aerialists always have a thick pad underneath. But I became unlooped from the fabric in a way I shouldn’t have and hit the ground very unexpectedly.
It freaked me out!
I was totally fine, except for a small headache. Baby girl kept kicking as usual and I felt nothing unusual or painful. Physically, I was completely fine.
What freaked me out was the realization that I wouldn’t have fallen if I hadn’t been pregnant. My body is simply weaker and less coordinated than usual, which is what both 1) caused the fall and 2) prevented me from catching myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen before! I’ve come out of holds that should’ve been secure and found myself grabbing the fabric before even realizing what was happening. My reflexes and strength have always let me correct any mistake in mid-air, and I’ve been lucky to never have a significant impact.
It’s been about a month since I last did aerials. I went to a few more classes after my fall to prove I wasn’t afraid.
The fear was the wakeup call, but my ever-slowing body was the nail in the coffin. I found myself struggling to climb the fabric, unable to finish an entire warmup, and needing to sit out more moves than not.
I wasn’t myself, but I didn’t want to admit it! So I kept going to aerials, kept trying to keep up when I knew I couldn’t.
And…. didn’t write about it. Suggesting I might not be as strong would make it the truth, right?
Maybe it’s being in third trimester and feeling like an absolute whale, but it feels easier to accept that now. My body is slower and softer, telling me in every way to take it easy. Rest. You ARE doing a lot. Your strength will return.
If first trimester is a blur of excitement that carries you through the nausea and exhaustion, second trimester is the exhilaration and energy that convinces you anything is possible. Third trimester is the insight and patience to understand that pregnancy is both finite and difficult.
So I’m *officially* not doing aerials anymore. I miss it, but know it’s not for me at this time. I’ll get back into it when my body’s ready. Or find another fun and awesome hobby instead 🙂
photo credit: https://homethods.com/
- W29D7 – Run and Bike
I’m a little nervous because I’m usually pretty tired just from one of those. But I’d like to try for both – after all, I’m not one to turn down a workout 😉
So here it all is!
– My bike shoes, which I’ve had for years
– My super cushy running shoes
– A belly band for running while preggo
– Some maternity workout leggings
– A supportive sports bra
– An old T-shirt (yes, my belly sticks out from under it 😉 )
– My fave road bike (not pictured), tuned and prepped for me at the subway station
Prepping my gear reminds me of so many other times I’ve packed for an epic adventure day. I love the night-before anticipation, running through your day, picking out all your favorite gear.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes! My energy is definitely low, but I’m committed to working out and staying fit.
- W29D3 – Braxton Hicks
Had my first labor dream last night.
Also my first Braxton Hicks contraction!
Kinda freaked me out TBH. It felt like a low-level menstrual cramp but was strong enough to wake me up. From said dream of being in labor!
So *of course* 2am me started worrying about going into labor early. I got a snack and hung out for a bit before going back to bed. Pregnancy insomnia is real! I have been lucky that this was my first real night of it.
Unfortunately when I fell back asleep, I then had this terrible nightmare that my little girl was born at 6 and a half months! And I saw her little underdeveloped body and was crying and telling her she still needed to be in my belly growing. It was AWFUL.
Needless to say I have been a bit tired today!
I read up on Braxton Hicks contractions, and it turns out they can start as early as second trimester! My doctor told me I’d likely start feeling them around 7.5-8 months which is why I started freaking out last night. Hearing that it is completely normal to feel them earlier is so reassuring!
I came home early from work to take a hot shower and nap, and rest a bit. Tonight: early tuck-in!
- W28D6 – Tired
I’ve been reading a few other blogs from super outdoorsy ladies keeping up their fave sports while preggo.
And something happens right around the third trimester in every. single. one: they tone back their exercise. They quit writing as much. In a nutshell, they take a giant step back from Life.
Wow, third trimester sounds brutal!
Of course I’ve wondered this whole time, will I follow the same fate?!
I can tell you now my energy levels are definitely declining. And it’s not just that, I have less desire to even try to be active!
Hanging at home resting, eating, and sleeping sounds great. Basically all the time. Ha!
I know labor’s going to be rough. And being super active has always been a part of my identity! It’s one thing that always makes me feel me.
So I’m trying to stick to my goal of exercising every day, with break days after particularly hard workouts. Here’s what counts as exercise for preggo me:
– Biking to or from work (6mi, 35min)
– Going to the climbing gym
– Going for a run (at least 3mi)
– Going for a walk (at least 45min)
– Going to an exercise class (my fave is aerials)
– Doing a simple home workout (or squats, assisted pullups, etc)
– Following a yoga routine, either in class or at home
– Wii dancing
It’s definitely not as much as non-preggo me would do, but if I can get my heart rate up and my muscles tired that’s a win! I’d love to at least keep writing throughout third trimester as a memento of what pregnancy has been like.
- 10k @28 weeks
I ran a 10k today! At 28 weeks pregnant 🙂
It was awesome. The first two miles, my feet and hips were achy and I was worried about running the full 6.2. Was I stressing my ligaments? Would my pelvis become injured? Were my feet getting stretched out? Do I really need to run this far? Should I stop early?
Around two miles, I finally hit my pace. I was achy, but not getting more achy. My belly band was tight but not too tight, preventing any “internal jostling” or cramping. My heart rate was steady, and my lungs and muscles were telling me: let’s go faster! It was really only the achiness that felt uncomfortable.
So I pulled a trick from high school cross country:
“The faster I run, the sooner the pain will be over.”
Picked up my pace steadily the last four miles. I felt great! The achiness in my feet and pelvis even went away. For the first time in a couple months, I felt like I was running, not just a lady with a big belly pretending to run. My body was a dog just let outside, a kid out for recess. All the joy of movement had returned!
My original goal for the race was just to see if I could run the whole thing straight. Now, however, my old cross country brain emerged, competitive and calculating:
Mile three of six: steady push just til exhaustion. Maintain.
Mile marker four upcoming, breath is steady and body feels good. Ignore weariness, don’t slow, keep pushing. All is good.
1.5 miles to go and it’s a cool day: you’re not too hot, just pushing hard. Up the pace for last third of race.
Mile five, feeling uncomfortable but too far in to slow now. Less than 1.5 miles left, that’s nothing. Keep pushing.
Bridge marking half mile left, increase speed. Push through til end, this is last chance to funnel energy and cut time. Rest very soon.
And I finished! My time was about 1 hour, 10 min, only about 1.5 min per mile slower than a typical 10k time. Seeing as the first couple miles were such a slow jog as to almost be a walk, I kicked butt on the last four miles! More importantly, I got my faith back that I can still continue to run while pregnant.
To any other preggos out there who’ve had a few discouraging runs, keep at it! One off day doesn’t mean the next one will be worse. Invest in some good gear and get back out there 🙂
- W27D2 – Trail running
Went for a 4-mile run today with a Belly Band.
It totally helped!
The last run I did (couple weeks ago) was a bit tough. I made it maybe 1.5-2 miles before getting some awful side cramps. It felt like my insides were jostling together with every step. I ended up having to stop and walk for maybe half a mile before I felt better. Even once I started jogging again, it was super slow. Every step had to be cushiony and easy.
To be honest, I didn’t run again for a couple weeks. The experience was a little disheartening! I read a bunch of online forums for pregnant runners and finally decided to buy a belly support band.
Today’s run was a lot better. I still had a lot of pelvic achiness and hip pain, but at least no cramping or “jostling insides”. And of course I had to take it slow to not get too winded. I made sure to use the bathroom before going, and ate enough to keep my blood sugar high enough for the whole run.
I am pretty pooped right now. A hot bath and lower back/hip massage sound perfect! My hip flexors are super tight and achy – even walking hurts! I’m really happy I went running and definitely have that calm, peaceful feeling you get after a good workout. My only mistake I think was going in the middle of the workday, when I still had several hours of sitting in an office chair…
I’m signed up for a 10k in two days. That’s about two miles more than I did today. I’m going for it! My goal is to run the entire thing with no walk breaks – normally no biggie for me but hey, being pregnant is hard! If I absolutely need to stop and walk then so be it.
Really happy to still be active even if it is exhausting. I know I will be happy in the long run that I kept at it! Just gotta find the right gear and make sure to take it easy 🙂