Being pregnant is one facet of my life and it is something that will be my life for a relatively short period of time – 9 months out of 35 years is nothing really. I have been at school for longer, I have danced for longer (even if you just add it up into hours i’d imagine as I danced 5 times a week for 15 years) and I have had shorter relationships which have helped change my life. However it does feel like it has taken over my life. There are the appointments, there are the tests which feel invasive (bloods, weeing, being weighed, your height taken, the constant seemingly never ending questions about your history, your parents, your partner), there are the guidelines, the things you can and cannot do, the waiting for results of all the tests which sticks with you until you get the all clear, but also the physical effects. My body, mind and hormones are all changing and i’m only 15 – 16 weeks in. I was sick (thankfully that’s now passed), I was tired etc… but it’s the little things that have changed as well. My trousers not quite fitting, my pants not quite fitting, me having to wear a full body harness if I go climbing which is essentially a massive billboard with an arrow shouting “this one is pregnant!”, my boobs being sore and none of my bras fitting, the nose bleeds, the bleeding gums and so forth.
People’s opinions of me have changed – I am now the pregnant friend. It’s the first thing I get asked about, it is part of many conversations and it is on my mind.
It’s like nothing I have experienced before and in all honesty it is not something I am sure I want to do again. I am missing running, I am missing climbing, I am missing yoga, I am missing rowing, but most of all I am missing the options I had before. Yes, I can still climb, but now it’s in a full body harness so my pregnancy is displayed. Yes, I can still run, but i’m more tired, i’m short of breath and I cannot for the life of me find any good pregnancy running clothes. Yes, I can do yoga, but it’s now pregnancy yoga. Yes, I can still row, but again I cannot row as far, I cannot do as much and, pretty soon, my bump will be in the way. This is not fun. Yet.
The topic of other children has already come up. My husband would like more (up to two apparently), but I’m not happy about going through this again and, while he’s supportive and his life has changed, it’s not changed on the same level at the moment. I feel alone.
Of course, this is from the perspective of someone in the pregnancy bit rather than in the bringing up the child bit (which everyone assures me is worth it), but at the moment going through this again seems like total lunacy. Why would I want to do something that has made me feel so ill, so isolated and so unhappy again? I want my life back. I want the other facets of my life to reignite. I appreciate that I am also being incredibly naïve and that my life has now changed – forever. I will now forever have another person attached to me. However, not got my head round that yet bit yet so lets quietly ignore that! 🙂
Other facets of my life are my husband, my friends, my family, my passions and my Tribe. Oh, my Tribe! I love my Tribe.
My Tribe – Tough Girl Tribe from Tough Girl Challenges – have been a huge part of my life for the past 6 months or so and they continue, every single day, to inspire and motivate me. Not met a single one of them and they are from all over the world, but they are friends. They are the reason I took the challenge of the ultra on as they voted for me to be one of the 7 women doing 7 challenges for 2017 and when I found out I was pregnant I felt like I had let them all down. I had to skip one of the podcasts as we couldn’t tell anyone I was pregnant so for 3+ months I had to keep quiet about what was going on. I was gutted. It was another element of my life, something I had been so proud of doing, being taken away from me and I couldn’t even talk to them about it! The only ones who knew where Sarah (the creator of Tough Girl Challenges) and Jo Jo who’d been coaching me. I could not tell the rest and I felt like I was lying. I felt like a total fraud.
Well, this weekend I braved it and told them and they were as supportive, inspiring and loving as ever. Noone felt betrayed, they all understood why I couldn’t do the podcast and were kind enough to say that they had missed me and were looking forward to tracking my journey moving forwards. There are even a few new mums and a few pregnant ladies on there who got in touch to share their experinces and offer a hand. I have my Tribe back!
I honestly feel that women need other supportive women. Yes, we do also need supportive men, but a Tribe of supportive women is invaluable. They will tell you the truth, they will inspire you, they will help you, they will lead you, they will pick you up when you have had a bad day, they will tell you to sort yourself out when you need it. The Tough Girl Tribe and Tough Girl Challenges feels like home to me and I highly recommend anyone reading this to get involved.
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