Dragging myself up the wall // photo by Andrew Slater

Dragging myself up the wall // photo by Andrew Slater

I lived up to the studious new parent stereotype and bought all the books and filled my phone with pregnancy apps. I figured if I read more, I could piece together the different sets of information so I’d fully understand ‘What to Expect whilst Gently being Mindfully Better’. Plus I didn’t want to bore my friends with preggo talk, and seeing as it was all I could think about, I needed to get my daily hit of baby facts.

Ignoring the information I didn’t like was easy, I’d just switch to a different book or app. So when one book suggested staying in bed to recover after labour for two whole weeks, I set it aside to read more about how little sleep I’d get and how many baby fluids I’d be coated with.

As an active person, two whole weeks just lying in bed sounded like punishment not relaxation! I could fully accept I’d not be back on the climbing wall for a while after giving birth and I had no grand plans of taking our newborn on big trips in the early days but should I really be bed bound for such a long time?! I’m fit and healthy, surely I could manage the odd walk around the block after a few days’ rest?

And then I wasn’t so healthy. I caught the mother of all chest colds, with a head full of cotton wool and a violent cough that really tested my pregnant pelvic floor, I got a taste of being bound to my bed. Well, sofa at least. For ten days, I barely left the house because I felt so terrible. I couldn’t take any medication of course, so put my faith in honey and lemon and vitamin C. It was a bit of a reality check that I wasn’t super human after all and rest was, in fact, very important.

Whilst the two weeks still sounds like a lifetime of rest, I guess now I’m more open to seeing what my body needs when the time comes and not ignoring the signs that I really should just lie back and relax (...and not force myself to go bouldering when a giant cold is imminent)!