Monday, August 30, 2010

Climbing pregnant: The first trimester

During my first pregnancy, my doctor told me it wasn't even safe to ride a bike so I chose to wait till the baby was born to tell her I climbed while I was pregnant. Most people, doctors included, don't understand rock climbing. But all risks being assessed, and being smart people, we can continue to climb through pregnancy.

Here's the truth:

1. Not every pregnancy is the same.
2. Not every woman will handle pregnancy the same.

For me, the first trimester entailed a lot of nausea, and episodes of extreme fatigue. I found an unusual way to deal with both of these hurdles.

1. Fight nausea with food! The moment I woke up in the morning I went straight to the kitchen and ate a bowl of cereal. I did not say good morning, I did not stop to pee, I did not collect $200. Food FIRST!!! I made the mistake with my first preg. of indulging in my sleepy state and hanging out in bed while the nausea worsened. BAD idea.

2. Climbing was the only time I didn't feel nauseous. If it were up to my body I would have stayed on the couch and ate food but thankfully my will was taking notes. Activity fights the nausea, and holds the fatigue at bay.

There are a few catches. I was able to still climb v-hard till I was about 3 months pregnant. My core was still good BUT I had to climb in the morning AND schedule a nap almost directly after. I don't remember being this tired with my first pregnancy but I'll refer to truth #1.

We all put pressure on ourselves to achieve and/or to live up to expectations. Like the co-worker who tells us about the woman he knew that ran 20 miles up until she was due. Or that one woman who worked 40+ hours a week till she popped. These sorts of stories are not inspiring to me and I wish these people (men who are sans children usually) would recognize that the true bad ass is the one who chose to even attempt the feat of growing a child in her belly and enter the journey or parenthood.

Why am I ranting? Well, it's hard to know what and what not to do during pregnancy in the first place without someone making you feel inept.

SO.... Do what makes you happy!!!!!!

Rock climbing makes me happy but it is a tiring activity. I climbed when I felt the most fresh and energized taking into account that I had to have enough energy to pay at least a little bit of attention to my daughter. ;) Not to forget work/study and whatever else occupies your day. Budget your energy. Recovering when your pregnant takes longer. Your body isn't just funneling it's efforts to maintain you. In your first trimester your blood volume is increasing which takes up a lot of iron. Protein Protein Protein! All that fatigue stems from the fact that your extra energy stores are going to help create the placenta, which is completed by the second trimester.

I eat a lot while I'm climbing. I think of the placenta as the baby at the moment, taking up it's own weight in food. So, start eating for two! Especially when you are expending calories in an activity like climbing. And lots and lots of water!

If you feel twinges in your belly while you are climbing, especially if you are on overhangs, stop doing that motion. As you get bigger, your ligaments stretch and it can be painful at times. But don't worry if it starts to ache a little, just take note and don't do that exercise any more. Now, I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure that if you have aches in your belly followed by spotting you should probably contact your DR who will then yell at you for climbing. Just so you're warned.

For me, the harder I tied to climb and the further along I got, the faster I got tired. And this truth will lead me to my next post: Week 16. Stay tuned.

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