I’m officially half-way through my pregnancy this week! We are excited for our upcoming ultrasound and I’m hoping it will make baby’s March arrival seem more real. A few weeks ago I discussed climbing in regards to early pregnancy, and things are changing as my belly grows.
Thankfully my new CAMP body harness arrived a month ago. I can certainly tell that it was NOT designed for a woman’s body, but I didn’t want to stop climbing until January when the Mountain Mama pregnancy harness comes out. I’ve been able to adjust it for the most part, and it takes all the pressure off my growing belly.
Two things surprised me when I climbed the first time with the body harness. 1) With the belay loop being higher, the stopper knot ended up being close to my nose during important parts of the climb. Three fourths of the way up I’d gotten slapped in the face by the extra rope one too many times and decided to come down. Thankfully my friend Eliz taught me how to do a Yosemite finish so I don’t have the rope trying to pick my nose as I climb. 2) I like to climb in tanktops, but the harness straps coming over my shoulders began to rub my skin raw. The first night I had to finish out my climbing in my husbands fashionable white undershirt just to save my skin. We’ve considered adding some flair to my climbing harness (yes, this is an Office Space reference) because its just that fashionable.
As for the actual climbing, I can tell that my center of gravity is shifting and the weight gain makes it a bit more challenging to pull certain moves. However, it is forcing me to climb a bit more creatively (which is a good thing). My husband teases me that I only used to climb with my hip into the wall and I’m now having to climb in a position that more resembles a frog. I was particularly proud of myself for pulling a modified layback move to get through the crux of one of my climbs. Sometimes I discover that my depth perception is off in regards to my belly and I have to shift my body to avoid knocking it on a hold.
Also, my husband has been losing weight and I’ve been gaining it; so I’ve started belaying him with only one twist in the rope instead of two. It can be difficult for me to smoothly belay with the twists in the rope, which at one point a while back had ended up knocking his glasses off during a climb. However, the weight gain has been to my advantage in this scenario and (I hope) I’m a better belayer for it.
I also had the joy of meeting another pregnant climber at the gym. She says I’m only the third pregnant climber she’s seen in our area over the last few years, and she’s been climbing much longer than I have. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks my harness and my belly are conversation starters. People are curious and supportive.
One last thing, I’ve started reading Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, which I would recommend as a great resource for women looking for scientifically sound advice for activities in pregnancy. It’s great to see the research and the wonderful impact of fitness for mother and baby.
So until next time, climb on!