Child #2: Harper Boogaloo

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June 30, 2016 by 8junebugs

Here we go again!

Grayson’s baby brother or sister will join us sometime around January 9, 2017. Absolutely planned, absolutely welcome, and absolutely, in the early days, just like Grayson in terms of my symptoms.

Much like last time, I spent a while feeling tired and battling low-grade, 24/7 nausea. Unlike last time, sleep didn’t reliably address my symptoms.

Rowing did, though. Still does.

When I asked about pregnancy and racing, my OB/GYN’s medical assistant sent me some bland guidelines about exercise during pregnancy, including some stuff about heart rate and body temp you read everywhere, even though there’s no science behind the heart rate thing and the body temp bit is manageable. She even encouraged me to warm up and stretch before I exercise. So helpful!

Fortunately, my doctor jumped in before I could respond hormonally and said they need to adjust their recommendations for athletes. She has no problem with me continuing to train and race as long as I feel comfortable with it, at least for sprint season.

(I love my doctor.) (“Comfortable” is a relative term, here.)

I’ve never been a pregnant athlete. Apologies, teammates! Our coaches knew long before I told you…or almost anyone else. Although I was confident in my ability to continue (and/or bullheadedly determined), it seemed prudent to let people whose job is to push my physical limits know that my body was a little busy. And thankfully, they’ve all coached pregnant women before. Yay! Experience I can rely on! I’m also reading Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, which has been incredibly useful.

Maternity active wear is an overly expensive joke. At this point, my plan is to go ahead and trash the tops and trou that I’ve had forever and save my money for new gear post-partum. I mean, who knows what this body’s going to look like and need after this? And stretched out sports bras worked great for nursing last time. So.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: First race while pregnant at Gold Rush. Also second and third races while pregnant, including Mama’s (and baby’s) first hotseat, in which you finish a race, then dash back to the launch area to hop into a waiting boat for your next race. I was boated for a fourth event, but the coaches decided to seat more of our newer novices so they could gain racing experience. (Very sad about that — we’ve been pushing for a mixed nov8+ or 4+ for a while and I was set to stroke that boat. But they did well and no one really needs a fourth race.)


ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: PRed my 2k with a self-imposed rate cap. I dropped 8 seconds off my previous split and 30.1 seconds off my finish time…which makes me wonder how fast I’d be if, you know, I’d been able to train properly and get more than 5 hours of sleep a night over the last 8 months. But a PR is a PR, and it’s a respectable time, even without a stowaway. Also, first pregnant erg test! BLEEPBLOOP.

My goal is to remain competitive through Southwest Regionals at the end of July, then step it down with the team as they move into more aerobic workouts before head race season. Ideally, I’ll stay on the water as long as I can and erg until, I don’t know, labor? Fitness was a nice idea last time; this time, it’s a lot more important to me.

Besides, staying hydrated and having a snack plan are at the top of my “Pregnancy Symptom Management” task list, which makes it JUST LIKE ROWING. Obviously, it’s the perfect sport for pregnant people.

(Unless you haven’t been doing it a while. Don’t start rowing when you’re pregnant. That’s just bananas.)

I am being reasonable, though. I did skip practice the morning it felt like everything had started to shift up and out — very uncomfortable day. And when we scrimmaged with Lake Merritt last weekend, I opted out of a fourth race in full sun and stuffed my face with food and Gatorade instead.

It’s been a lot harder not telling people this time around, not least because half of my friends see me in spandex three times a week. As well, my positive pregnancy test was the last thing I saw on Mother’s Day — how cute is that, right? LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY BEST MOTHER’S DAY GIFT!!! And it feels like the pregnancy hormones are once again feeding the fibroids, making this a little obvious a little early.

But it’s hard to buck tradition.

Right now, at a little over 12 weeks, I’m feeling pretty freaking great as often as not, which is a switch — last time, the malaise stuck around pretty much until the end. The timing is good, as well. I’m eligible for sabbatical in September and I can tack it onto the pregnancy and paid family leave; as before, my immediate bosses are phenomenally supportive and I’m luckier than most in my options.

So far, my favorite thing about this pregnancy is knowing that this baby will be born knowing its big brother’s voice. That just tickles me.

My least favorite things? I’m managing yet another sober election cycle and it’s exponentially worse than the last round, and Graham says I can’t name the baby Dexter.

Otherwise, though…allons-y!


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