Hey mamas and potential mamas! Here’s my take on pregnancy, training, and hauling your butt back up into the air after The Blessed Event – three part series. Hearing the pitter patter of little feet? Let’s get started!
The First Trimester = Your Head in the Toilet
In 2009, I got to
suffer through enjoy the miracle that is pregnancy. My pregnancy was super healthy, but my body reacted STRONGLY to the hormones, leaving me with a condition called hyperemesis. This meant that I had the delightful experience of vomiting 6-12 times a day for nine months. FUNZIES! The likelihood of you having a similar experience is very small, but rule #1? Expect the unexpected. Pregnancy is WILDLY different for everyone. Having said that, let’s chat about the changes you can probably expect in the first trimester.
- Nausea! Around weeks 6-8, you can expect to feel anything from a faint nausea to full-blown head in the toilet fun. The downside? Obvious. The upside? This is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, and 100% normal – it means your body is cranking out those hormones!
- Swelling! You may start to notice a general “puffiness”, and even a little tummy pooch as your body retains fluids and the uterus expands rapidly to give the fetus room to grow without squishing it.
- Exhaustion! Your body is working double time to increase your blood volume, and progesterone soars. This means fatigue, and often a general feeling of malais.
- Super sore boobies! Seriously – like glass. Hormones again!
- Lots of trips to the potty! You pee a lot, even in the first trimester.
- Food aversions or cravings! Things that previously smelled or tasted wonderful may now send you running for the loo. I gave up coffee (coffee!) in the time it took to walk into the kitchen and moan, “Ugh! Coffee! Nooooooooooooooooooooo!” I craved anything in a cream sauce. Oh dear….
- Heartburn & constipation! The peristalsis muscles that move food through your digestive track are affected by hormones too – they slow down, often resulting in more digestive fun.
- Crazypants emotions! I was completely psychotic – crying over toilet paper commercials, screaming at my husband because he “forgot to put the seat down and does he really want me to fall in and get stuck and be there for hours and lose circulation in my legs and have to have them cut off and then I’ll be the mommy with no legs and…” You get the picture.
- Happiness! Through all the barfing, peeing, cravings, and crazy, the most wonderful knowing that you will love this little person to distraction, and that you will never be the same.
Training Through the 1st Trimester
First things first! You and your midwife or OB/GYN need to have a frank discussion about your training. This blog post is in NO WAY meant as a substitute for medical advice – I am not a medical practitioner, and I am not advising you to pursue any course of action. What I can do is tell you about my experience, and share what helped me along the way, but you’ve gotta check with your doc!
I was able to train safely throughout my pregnancy (I went into labor while teaching a silks class!), and many, many aerialists with healthy pregnancies have been able to do the same. Here are some things which you may find useful:
- If you are part of an aerial or circus duo, have a conversation with your partner (ideally BEFORE you get pregnant) about your plans and how it may affect your work. It’s great to have a person in mind who can take your place during your absence so your partner doesn’t lose too much work.
- To combat nausea, you’ve got about 1000 options (Google it!). Snacking FREQUENTLY on crackers and other dry, tasteless foods may help. For me, the only thing that really did it was acupuncture – worth a try if your nausea is severe!
- If you’re swollen, but have to perform, Spanx to the rescue! Use two pairs if you need it. 😉
- Actively schedule more downtime – rest is your best friend.
- Plan your potty breaks before a show – try to wee 10 minutes before you go out so you don’t encounter any surprises.
- Find the softest bra you can – try to avoid padded, push-up, or underwire contraptions.
- Cry whenever you need to. Get crazy, get happy, get dreamy – it’s all part of the ride.
And there you have it! First trimester fun! You may have all of these symptoms, you may have none – it’s just one big guessing game. You may find that you feel fantastic! You may find that you feel like you have the flu and have no interest in training whatsoever. Just keep in mind that your body is REALLY good at setting limits now – respect them. Now is not the time to push hard (that comes later), just take really, really good care of yourself. Tune in next time for the 2nd trimester – the happy zone! Love and pull-ups, Laura
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