Thursday, 28 September 2017

Second trimester: Adapting to an ever growing belly

It’s odd, on the one hand it seems like so much has changed since my last blog, but on the other it feels like little has. Starting with the things that have changed during the second trimester:

  • My diet is pretty much back to pre-pregnancy. I can think about, and even eat, green foods without turning green and I’ve not touched a cornflake for months! The only exception is that I’m still off coffee, but it’s definitely sounding, as well as smelling, more appetising so perhaps soon I’ll be ordering cappuccinos with my cake once again. Let’s hope so.
  • My bib-short straps will not reach up and over ‘Bump’ so I simply wear them around my waist. It works.
  • My belly engages in involuntary night-time ‘belly dancing’. Very odd but also quite amusing.
  • My growing belly means I am welcomed into almost any establishment (as a non-customer) and granted use of the public conveniences with a knowing, happy smile. This is actually pretty useful because I seem to be frequenting the bathroom more often than normal and especially when ‘Bump’ kicks me in the bladder!
  • I have one speed and that’s pretty slow. Sadly, I’ve had to concede that Dave is now faster than I am. Every day is different, some days I feel strong and other days I feel like a snail. I just listen to my body and adapt accordingly
  • My growing belly occasionally makes me ride like John Wayne walked, especially when ‘Bump’ wakes up and starts wriggling around. Raising the handlebars and flipping the stem from a negative to a positive rise has helped somewhat with this unusual looking gait.
  • I have gained about 7-8kg
  • Bumpy trails make me need to pee. I spend my time cycling on quiet roads or smooth trails, always on the MTB.

Things that have not changed:
  • I still love being pregnant.
  • I am cycling 3-4 times per week for between 2 to 3 hours and typically climbing 1000m each ride, though I have had to become content with anything over 700m per ride since moving back to the south coast of England. My rides are not what I’d call training as such, but more a means of getting outdoors and keeping some fitness. Although my pace is slower and power is massively reduced, I am riding between 130-150bpm. This is simply because it is what feels right rather than some stipulated guideline. Apparently, as pregnant women we have 50% more blood and consequently our hearts have to work harder to pump all of that extra blood around. So while I’m riding slower than pre-pregnancy, I am still working reasonably hard. Medical advice from various midwifes and doctors has been pretty consistent: continue doing what you did pre-pregnancy but avoid becoming exhausted and dehydrated.
  • On days I don’t cycle I like to hike for anywhere from 1 hour to 3-4 hours. Mountain hikes have now given way to the footpaths along the Jurassic Coast which involve less altitude gain but no less beauty.
  • I am enjoying pre-natal yoga. At the beginning of my pregnancy I started doing a 1hour pre-natal session guided by Tara Stiles (you can buy it online). Starting with this session from the beginning means I can be conscious of how my body is changing and adapt to each pose as the pregnancy progresses, this is especially important as the hormone relaxin starts to affect me. If I suddenly become super flexible then I know it’s probably time to ease out of a pose!
  • I am not eating for two; in fact, since I stopped structured interval training I am eating less. Apart from my growing belly I am still pretty lean. However, I must stress that I am not in the least bit concerned about weight gain and I am not making any effort whatsoever to lose weight.
  • Other than a growing belly that moves on its own volition, I have no other symptoms of pregnancy: no heart burn (except when I indulged in traditional seaside fish and chips), no sickness, no swelling etc etc. I do occasionally get some ligament discomfort as everything stretches but that’s about it.

Soon I’ll enter the third trimester. It’ll be interesting to see what changes are in store! I’ll keep you posted.

Spend a little time each day outdoors exercising - it’s medicine for body and mind 😃