So here’s a little post about my personal experience with CrossFit and exercise during the first trimester of my first (surprise… but not surprising!) pregnancy at the ripe old age of 29!
This is the first picture I can find of myself at a couple weeks pregnant. I had no clue.
First, a few little stats to put this into perspective:
- When I got pregnant, I had been doing CrossFit since March 2013, so about 1 year and 2 months.
- Prior to that I had been a mediocre runner and dedicated cardio queen for about three years. This is purely anecdotal, but I do think I have endurance in my genes. The first time I tried running, I ran a 5k without stopping, no problem (in about 95+ degree heat & humidity in the DR).
- Before becoming pregnant, I could do a few strict pull-ups, front squat 180, power clean 135, and deadlift 255. I could do 100+ unbroken double unders and my best 1000m row was 3:46. A lot of room for improvement in many areas, but I’d definitely made some progress in my first year. You can see all of my stats on my CrossFit page.
I had pretty much ZERO symptoms in the first 6 weeks. I do remember feeling “lazy.” I think it was probably less noticeable since I work from home and hours that are later in the day. So if I was tired, I’d just go back to bed!!! I didn’t really question it because it wasn’t anything too crazy. Plus I was still medicating a little bit with coffee!! I did the incline (pictured above) at about one month, feeling happy & feisty.
Here I am at the Wod 146 fundraiser, at about 5-6 weeks pregnant. I still had no clue. In fact, I was nervous that I might get my period that day (sorry, but I promise that’s as gross as I’ll get). I’ve never done a good job tracking that, but it wouldn’t have been fun to do all those double unders and hspus if I had that going on. I remember thinking that day, daaaang, I’m going slooooooow. Partly because I accidentally did an extra round, but maybe I was feeling a little early fatigue? I’ll never know, haha.
Sooo… we found out for sure right before Kevin’s birthday. But that didn’t stop us from getting a barbell for his gift. :)
We took it pretty easy on ourselves that day, just trying to burn off some of the cake!!!
Of course, the first day I knew I was pregnant, I sat on my Macbook for a solid two hours and read every. single. thing. there was on the internet about what I should/should not be doing. So so sadly, the first thing I did was cut back on the coffee a little bit. I also read a lot about CrossFit and exercising because that was one of the first things that was going to immediately impact my life. You know that I waited over four months to share the big news with the whole wide world (and the world wide web), and I wasn’t overly eager to share in my little corner of Colorado either. I don’t know why, that’s just me!!! Plus I was still kind of in denial.
But it was still important to me to be cautious and not do anything crazy. I read through these basic guidelines from CrossFit Mom and made some goals for myself. I pretty much decided not to do any benchmark or super super challenging workouts until I told my coaches and my wod buddies that I was pregnant. I didn’t want to even be tempted to go to that dark place since I was pregnant and that really isn’t ideal. I was bummed to miss both Cindy and Jackie during that period of time, but did it really matter? Nope.
I made it my goal to stop during workouts and drink water (which I would never do except during maybe Murph), and I was just careful not to get too out of breath or overheated. That said, I will admit that I did not really back down on weights. I am honestly super conscious of how I’m feeling, and I would’ve backed it down the minute I felt off. But I’m a scaredy-cat and rarely do true 1-2 rep maxes anyways (except maybe deadlifts), so it’s all good.
Here I am at about two months pregnant on our third anniversary! I was terrified this dress wouldn’t fit because I was feeling chubbbbbby! I was blessed not to really struggle with morning sickness, but I think that meant I started thickening up sooner!!!!
I continued to go to CrossFit 4-5x/week while being very conscious of my choices, breathing, and not overheating. I was feeling extra tired for sure in the second month, and I was having a hard time with my teaching schedule. I typically start teaching at around 3PM, just in time for an awful afternoon slump. To combat this, I started taking long walks to try to perk myself up. It was really the only thing that helped!
In the middle of my second month, we climbed our first 14er! I was super whiny and grumpy that day. Haha. We hadn’t told our friends yet that I was pregnant, so Kevin claims that he was trying to keep a good pace so it wouldn’t be a giveaway. Hahaha. We hustled up that thing. I have no idea if being pregnant was affecting me or not, sometimes it’s just my general dislike for the outdoors & unpredictable elements. Haha. But still it was fun, and I’m glad we did it!
Also, on the 4th of July, we did a fairly difficult hero wod. I was on the fence about doing it at all, but my CF BFF and me decided to do it side by side. She has a little asthma issue so is sometimes forced to take breathers, and it was good for me to do the same! She laughed later when she found out that this was part of the reason I wanted to rep it out with her.
Right before we went on vacation, at about 10 weeks, I went to see a midwife for just sort of an introductory appointment. She confirmed that I was pregnant, and basically told me to keep on doing exactly what I was doing as far as exercise. I honestly think she had no clue what CrossFit was, but she said as long as I had been doing it beforehand that I should go for it. The only thing she told me was that I shouldn’t risk falling (rope climbs), and I had already decided that on my own so that was good with me.
I spent the last part of my first trimester in Minnesota with my family. Before leaving town, I spilled the news to my coaches and my CrossFit bffs because I knew it would be getting really visible and obvious by the time I got back. Plus, I’m not ashamed to admit it, it was hurting my little pride to be slacking left and right without anyone knowing why. Haha, but you know, people really aren’t paying attention to you as much as you’d like to think, and nobody noticed. The nice part is that now my friends are pretty watchful of me too (plus Kevin is usually there) and demand that I don’t overheat myself. CF BFFs can be pretty bossy. :) :)
I didn’t do anything too crazy while on vacation, just ran and walked a lot. I did do a few short wods outside our cabin, but we didn’t make it to visit another box. Hbear and I also did the fun 400m of walking lunges at the high school track. My sister laughed that I took this pic above with my back facing the camera to look less pregnant. Haha.
So that was my experience, I know it could be totally and completely different if I have another baby someday, but that’s how it was this time around for me. I’m planning to post some more details on my eating habits and how I spilled the news to everyone sometime soon! By the way, I know exercise and pregnancy is a weirdly controversial subject. It doesn’t really make sense to me because women all over the world have been doing life forever while pregnant, and we’re just in a weird place and time where we’ve managed to reduce natural forms of exercise in our lives. So I think it’s best for both me and the baby that I continue to exercise in a way that suits my abilities, skills, and lifestyle. The midwifery where I will be giving birth also encourages active pregnancies and even called out squatting as something important. Yay. If I ever felt like I was putting the baby in the danger for the sake of exercise, I would plant myself on the couch in a heartbeat, but I highly doubt that will happen and I’ve even found exercise to be extremely helpful in combating fatigue. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you know of any great CrossFit/paleo/pregnant resources!! There aren’t enough of them around which is part of why I’m unloading all of this on you guys. Sometimes it just helps to read other peoples’ experiences.
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