Pregnancy

Anonymous Mom: I Was A Pregnant Rock Climber

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pregnant full body harnessAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

When I first found out I was pregnant, my husband and I had just gotten home from an eight day rock climbing trip in Utah. A couple days during the trip I had felt sick and not like myself. I assumed it was heat stroke. We had actually been trying to get pregnant for almost a year but, for some reason, I didn’t connect the dots. We were both thrilled that we were going to have a baby.

Rock climbing has been a huge part my life, as well as my husband’s life, for the past four to five years. When we met, he had been rock climbing for a while but nothing too serious since he didn’t have a steady climbing partner. The first time he asked me to go I was absolutely terrified, but wanting to be the spontaneous girlfriend, I said yes. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. Climbing made me feel strong and capable. I loved the feeling of using my muscles and mind on a tall cliff. I loved going higher and challenging myself. I loved the exhaustion at the end of a long climbing day.

The summer before I got pregnant, most of our weekends were filled with hiking and climbing. We both grew as climbers and were leading harder routes. I was in the best shape of my life when I found out I was expecting. I figured I would just keep climbing throughout my pregnancy.

My first trimester, it was easy to keep going. I was tired and a little nauseous, but getting outside really helped. I didn’t have a belly to contend with yet and, for the most part, I felt really great. At this point, it was autumn and we continued climbing pretty heavily until winter. Unfortunately, winter here really puts a damper on the majority of outdoor climbing. We still had a couple spots where we would go and a climbing gym a few hours away that we could go to when the weather was really bad. Luckily winter is ski season so we did have something to keep us in shape and get us out of the house.

By this time we had started telling family and friends about the pregnancy. I was surprised by the amount of people that said something along the lines of “oh good, now you can quit that crazy climbing thing.” I knew climbing, when done correctly, is safe and I felt safe doing it. I didn’t think about how many people didn’t feel the same way. They thought I was putting myself and my baby at unnecessary risk by continuing to climb. Most of the people who said this had never been climbing and didn’t know the safety precautions that we take before we even start. A lot of people assumed I was hanging by an unsecured flimsy rope 60 feet in the air. Of course, this wasn’t true.

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