8 WEEKS PREGNANT // The Things I Never Knew

Dealing with strong climbing moves far better than lifting babies  //  photo by Ali McMillan

Dealing with strong climbing moves far better than lifting babies  //  photo by Ali McMillan

I didn’t look different but I certainly felt it. I was getting increasingly tired from baby building but also broken sleep from having to get up and pee in the middle of the night. I thought this was a joy of later pregnancy, turns out I knew nothing.

Like myself, a lot of women choose to keep mum about being pregnant until they get that first scan in their hands – I couldn’t have faced the sympathetic head tilts if it had been bad news at twelve weeks. This does mean, though, that you very rarely hear about the first trimester ‘wonders’. 

I was floored with tiredness and increased blood volume(!). Every time I dragged myself to a climbing gym, I’d have to struggle to not just curl up and sleep on the padded floor. Trying to hide the fact that I was housing a tiny human took its toll too, when I actually hauled myself onto the wall. I tried to carry on as normal but a freak out on lead made it clear my tired head was no longer in the game... or at least it was in a different game.

Although attempting my normal sessions leading and bouldering at this early stage in pregnancy was perfectly safe, there was always a little voice in my head saying “look after yourself”, “don’t fall”, “should you be doing this?”... Already a jittery climber, it was pretty clear I’d have to dial down my sessions to lower grades and top rope soon.

However, I decided how to deal with the shift in how to continue to climb, it was clear, I’d still have to keep up some kind of training just to cope with life as a new mum. A visit to friends with a six-month old that weekend, revealed that babies are really heavy! I thought I was strong but lifting this guy was like cuddling a huge squirmy kettlebell. Time to work on my arm strength if I want my baby to sleep anywhere other than the floor!

Jen Slater