When I got pregnant (I know I’m supposed to say when we got pregnant) I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief from parents on both sides. Opinions and advice flowed freely from friends, family and total strangers: “Maybe now they’ll slow down (well, they’re going to have to).” “No more triathlons for them.” “Having a baby is a life changer,” (true, but usually said with a slightly ominous tone). “Enjoy it while you can.” “When are you going to buy a house?” “You shouldn’t run/bike because your ligaments are loose/it makes your heart work too hard/ your body temperature will get too high/ your centre of gravity is different/ you might fall / it’s hard on your joints / you need to rest up for the delivery. And so on.
Luckily, being new parents-to-be, we didn’t have much concept of what we were supposed to do and kept up our running, swimming and biking, albeit at a much lower intensity on my part, and we had to do workouts separately more often as I could no longer keep up with my husband.
Eventually I almost felt I had to sneak in to work on my bike because the pressure to ‘take it easy’ was increasing. Looking back on my diary, my last run was at 32 weeks (a walk-run) but I continued biking regularly (if not quickly) until 38 weeks, swimming until 41 weeks (one week over-due), hiking the local “Grouse Grind” weekly until 4 days over-due, walking and upper body weights. Still, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. The curse of a triathlete, I suppose.
In the end, keeping relatively fit during pregnancy (except the first trimester, which was a complete write-off) kept me sane, and set me up for labour. Although I had to have an emergency C-section when Hannah wouldn’t tolerate the contractions, I believe staying fit helped me recover from the surgery much faster than I would have otherwise.
3 days ago