Monday, September 24, 2012

Actively Pregnant

It occurs to me that I haven't provided many pregnancy details. While I don't really believe in due dates, I'm more than twenty weeks along now, meaning that this babe should arrive in February, perhaps closer to the beginning than the end. We don't know baby's gender, although we're debating whether or not to find out at our next ultrasound.

While I'm feeling great now, the first trimester was definitely tougher than any of my previous pregnancies--much tougher. While I know it's normal to feel gross, the constant nausea was new territory for me. I'm a terrible wimp, but after a while I lightened up on the complaining because even I was sick of listening to me whine. And so, to all of you women for whom this is the norm, may I offer my sincerest condolences and deepest admiration for your endurance. Had my first pregnancy started off as such, Brooklyn might have ended up an only child.

During the first trimester, a great number of things ceased to happen as I moped on the couch: housework, meal preparation, grocery shopping, you get the idea. However, I found surprising relief from an unlikely source: running. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't run far and I never ran fast. Getting off the couch and out the door required every ounce of willpower. Yet once I was going, I me again. I'm not sure if I felt normal because running always makes me slightly queasy, making the nausea was less noticeable, or if the endorphins masked the symptoms for a while. Either way, the time I spent chugging along the pavement was welcome relief for both body and soul.

Now that the morning sickness has passed, I'm still trying my best to stay active. I confess: at the beginning of my pregnancy, I hoped that moving more would magically transform me into one of those women at the gym who gain minimal weight and magically conceal their pregnancies until their final month. You know, the ones who squeeze back into their skinny jeans after only a week and look like they never had a baby. The ones we all love to hate--you know the type.

Well, now that the babe is half-baked, I've come to accept the fact that running isn't likely to transform my pregnant body shape. With little space for baby to hide in my torso, I'm big already and will certainly be huge by the end. Taking off the baby weight afterward will still require plenty of effort and patience. But that's okay. When I move, I'm stronger, healthier, and above all, happier. So never mind the strange glances, I plan to run/jog/waddle for just as long as I'm able. Trust me, when you factor in maternal sanity, it's certainly better for the baby.

And just to prove that pregnancy doesn't mean you have to set aside an active lifestyle, here are some pictures from a canyoneering expedition two weekends ago. Jason and I found teamed up with another couple and two experienced canyoneers who led us through Yankee Doodle Canyon, quite close to St. George. We had so much fun!

Here's Jason at the top of the first rappel.
We paid very close attention to all of the safety knots, just in case we ever dare to venture out on our own.
Jason, looking like a pro.
My good friend Heather was quite nervous at first, yet zipped through the rappel in no time at all. Even though this canyon was a first for us both, we thoroughly enjoyed our "extreme Relief Society" experience.
Proof that Jason and I made it safely to the bottom... did baby.
Here's a peek at our second rappel. We chose to divide the descent into 25' and 75' sections, but you can see a canyoneer in the background who opted for the single 100' drop.
Here's Thad, Heather's husband, making his way down the second major rappel.
Even though there weren't any other major descents, the canyon was a string of challenging downclimbs that ended in a myriad of pools. Our fearless 70 year-old guide, David Brown, was extremely skilled at traversing the gap.
Such style!
Of course, being great with child, I opted for the safest route--straight through the water. Jason fortunately followed suit--after all, we're equal partners in this parenthood gig.
So was canyoneering more difficult for me than for the rest of the gang? Probably. But not because I am pregnant; because I am short. After all, no matter how far I stretch, I can't span the same distance as one with long arms and gangly legs. The pool that approaches another's waist easily tickles my armpits.

But am I glad I went? Absolutely. The canyon was delightful and in my opinion, quite safe when approached knowledgeably, respectfully, and responsibly. In fact, I can't wait to canyoneer again--the sooner the better, since I'll soon be latched to a nursing baby.


Susie said...

It's amazing what beauty and fun is hiding just off of that freeway! Glad you had a good time. Looks amazing!

michelle said...

Yay for you! Is this the expedition you were thinking about on the 8th?

Julie L said...

You are one impressive person! What fun. I loved the canyon shots. And loved the belly shot.

You and Tonya are really due close to each other. She just had her ultrasound today and they're expecting their second son. We're delighted. The girls are starting to outnumber the boys in our posterity so it's fun to have another little guy on the way! This has been a harder pregnancy for Tonya, too.

I remember the ones where I was due in February were also the hardest on me. I decided it's because in the heat of summer all smells are extra amplified. That's never good on a morning sick tummy.

You look like you're doing wonderfully well, however. Good luck with the second half.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kara McCall!

Brittney Richards said...

I'm impressed that you were able to run during your first trimester. With Eliza, I did a bit ofr exercise since I was still coaching volleyball, and it did help with preganancy sickness. With this little guy, I haven't been able to exercise like I wanted to because of the placenta position. Now that it's corrected, I'm too out of shape! :(
As always, you look fabulous

jennybhill said...

Sorry for such a miserable first trimester! You are looking great and I love seeing what you can do during your pregnancy.