Getting ready for babies arrival… And my climbing decline

Jemma here. Since my last post, much has happened! All of this is on the baby blog in great (and probably boring week by week) detail. But to summarise:

  • I’ve sprouted a BIG belly and it still has 7+ weeks left of growing to do, I’m 33 weeks pregnant now (well, tomorrow…)
  • We’ve been planning for our future, sorted a few financial things out, the main one being a good mortgage deal for our house.
  • I’ve been talking Taz into travelling one way or another with our baby when she’s 2 or 3.
  • I stopped climbing and I’m ok with it!

When I last posted I was a newlywed, and I felt like morning sickness had completely taken over my life and would never subside. Thankfully it did give up at around 13-14 weeks and I’ve been quite comfortable since. I’ve been very active and feeling “normal”. I did get back into climbing in my second trimester when I wasn’t sick any more, I swam and did yoga and also did kettle bells, went to the gym etc. Here’s a summary in photo’s of the “second trimester”:

I just about got used to the idea of being pregnant when the third and final trimester rolled around. This is when the heaviness and sleeplessness started to set in and my exercise is now limited to swimming, yoga and walking. This was a good time to go to Tunisia with Laura and Lily! So we went for a week of sunshine and all inclusiveness. It was really nice.

So here’s the climbing story: I stopped bouldering immediately, stopped leading at 20 weeks and stopped roping all together at 22. Traversed up to 26 weeks:

  • 5 weeks – Emotional and crying on the lead rope that I was going to lose my climbing ability forever, shaky and weak. My head had gone, I was scared. So I stopped bouldering and leading because I was scared of falling. I’d heard about the placenta being ripped away from the uterus wall through sport and this terrified me (irrationally) although there wasn’t much of anything even there yet.
  • 6-10 weeks – No climbing, very sick, exhausted and weak.
  • 11-18 weeks – Back from 5/6 weeks off. Weak from time off but motivated, not scared. After a few weeks back I can still flash my usual 6b+ level, still trying harder routes on the top rope. Leading confidence back. Full body harness from 15 weeks. Presuming the crying and fear of the earlier days came from initial baby hormones! And shock. Now feeling unstoppable.
  • 19-20 weeks – Only leading the easiest of routes (Up to 6a+). Can still do 6b+ level on top rope but anything harder feels impossible, probably down to loss of strength through not bouldering, and not pushing myself as much.
  • 21 weeks – Just top roping now but the downside is the top rope walls are slabby and my bump gets in the way so routes feel harder, I’d still be able to top rope lead walls but have no-one to put the rope up for me – injured partner!
  • 22 weeks – Last top roped climb. The small foot holds scare me as if I slipped there’s a good chance I’d land belly first on the wall.
  • 23-25 weeks – No climbing, partner still injured and no motivation for slab walls.
  • 26 weeks – 15 minute continual traverse on the steep wall. This was possible, extra weight is obvious in how hard it feels. lots of rests and shaking off on the wall. I could keep this up a while longer but it’s boring and seems pointless, also hard to find a quiet time when I can traverse.

I thought I’d be flying up routes at 40 weeks but this isn’t how it happened for me and I’m ok with that. It felt pointless after 20 weeks really because I couldn’t put the effort in that I wanted to without compromising myself and my bump. I’ve found other things to do that are insanely boring (apart from walking the dogs, I like that) but keep me active. I plan on using some maternity time to take the baby to the wall during the day, which in my experience in my student days means I’ll have it to myself probably.

The third trimester (so far) in photo’s:

We’re in Germany for Taz’s 32nd birthday this year while we’re over for Craig and Doerthe’s wedding. We are on our way there now, going for 4 days and staying in Doerthe’s mums b&b. Should be a really nice break together and I’ve no doubt the last before the baby’s here 🙂

So here’s me a few days ago. I don’t know what I’ll look like in 7 weeks time!