For Christmas this year, Stella received an animal board puzzle where when you put the piece on the animal, it makes the animal sound. The sound is activated by a light sensor on the board- when it no longer has light hitting it, the sound goes off. It has helped Stella’s dexterity and coordination, but created a lot of issues in our house. You see, if you put all of the pieces on at the exact same time, the pig noise always goes off. It is not a cute, cartoon pig noise, but a legitimate pig squealing at you. Turning the lights off initiates the same response from the puzzle. I noticed my husband suddenly being more helpful taking Stella up to bed all of a sudden and was curious as to why. As I happily ground my coffee for the next morning and waited for our dog to come in to head upstairs to bed, I was completely clueless as to why he was suddenly being so helpful. I let our 100 pound dog, George, in the house, and upon shutting all of the lights off to walk up the stairs in the dark that damn pig started squealing at George and me. It might as well have been a bear chasing both of us up the stairs. You would think a dog of that size would be a little more protective, but you are wrong. He charged right through me to get to the safety of the bedroom first, as I was left stumbling up the stairs behind him. Tanner did not say a word, but when I walked in, catching my breath and pretending like nothing had happened, I saw a slight sparkle in his eye. One that told me he was not turning off the light anymore, as the pig scared the crap out of him too. I promise this story has relevance to pregnancy. This happened in my second trimester, so I was still very capable of running up the stairs like a mad woman. However, now in my 35th week of pregnancy with a belly measuring a clear 39 weeks, there is no way I am running up those stairs! I have had to teach myself to remain calm, and anticipate that damn squealing pig.
My second trimester this go around was a very busy one. After competing in the CrossFit Challenge in Casper, I returned to our current home in Bakersfield, CA to immediately start our preparation to move to Denver, CO. Two weeks later, our house was sold and packed tightly into a moving truck, and we were on our way back to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. After 18 hours of driving, listening to “The Little Mermaid” play in the backseat about 7 times (which I, um, did NOT sing along to), we arrived in Denver. We closed on our new house in Parker, CO December 22, when I was 23 weeks pregnant, right before heading north to “God’s Country”: Northwest Montana, home. Upon our return, we immediately had our things delivered to our new house and started the fun adventure of unpacking.
We completed all of this before beginning the third trimester of pregnancy and it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. My belly was still a manageable size where I could move boxes and bend over to empty them without choking on my heartburn. Really, my second trimesters have been three months of bliss as the morning sickness and food aversions of the first trimester have diminished, and the super-sized KJ waddling around with heartburn of the third trimester is yet to arrive. My jeans still fit comfortably (though not buttoned, thank god for belly bands), and all of my coats still zipped up. Now let’s talk training.
I won’t lie, with everything that was going on with the move, house searching, and my garage gym being packed in to a giant wooden crate, my strict workout regimen I had maintained up to the move was halted dramatically. I had to get creative with workouts requiring no equipment other than pushing my daughter around in her jogger. I won’t share with you all of the scary details, but here are some rules I added for working out in the second trimester:
-Just like the first trimester, keep work levels where you can maintain a conversation at all times comfortably.
-Change all movements where a barbell or kettlebell are crossing your belly to using dumbbells instead. For example, a clean and jerk- just use a dumbbell in each hand. This will prevent you from possibly bumping your baby with a loaded bar. I have cleaned and snatched thousands upon thousands of objects in my life. You would think this would provide me with the ability to move a barbell around a changing body, but you must remember that you have programmed your body to move a barbell a specific way thousands and thousands of times. It is not worth the risk of potentially hitting your belly. Plus dumbbells are way harder- you will not regret hanging out with them for a while!
-Now that your belly is starting its long journey to being super-sized, pushups and burpees are going to get weird fast. When your belly is starting to show enough that you can no longer complete a full range of motion push up, use parallettes (if you don’t have parallettes, here is a great PDF from the CrossFit Journal on how to make some for under twenty bucks: http://journal.crossfit.com/2003/09/really-cool-homemade-parallett.tpl) or place your hands on bumpers, a bench, or box to elevate your upper body. For the burpees, you are going to have to slow them down to a slow push up each repetition so you won’t slam your body on the ground like we all like to do!
-Don’t do anything lying on your back like bench press or sit ups. Your ever growing little bean in your belly will not receive as much blood supply, AKA oxygen, and it will slow yours down too!
-Quit jumping on things! You don’t want to potentially fall off of a box. I don’t care how awesome you are at landing on a box, there is always a first time to fall off, and you don’t want it to be when you are pregnant. Jump rope is ok as long as it feels ok (which it won’t for long). As soon as you are uncomfortable, substitute something different, like walking, jogging, rowing, biking, have fun!
-If you are going to be doing pull ups, muscle ups, or anything where you will be suspended from a bar or gymnastic rings, make sure they are at the lowest height possible for you. This way you won’t be repetitively dropping off of something higher than you need to. Also, make sure you stop executing said movement two to three reps before you normally would- you don’t want to fall of the bar, and even though you may be able to do larger sets, you now have a permanent weight vest.
-Just be smart! If the workout of the day is 16’ rope climbs, running, and box jumps, you might consider scaling the rope climbs to where your feet never leave the ground, rowing, and lunging. You are working out for that baby and need to protect it with all your heart and soul. Remember to not be competitive with other athletes and to always listen to your body. Feel like you need to shorten the workout a bit? Do it. Need to go lighter or change up the movement? Do it. Need an extra rest day? Please do it! Always error on the side of caution and talk to your doctor before making any changes in your routine.
I really hope this is helping everyone out there! If anyone, athlete or coach, has any questions about working out or coaching someone while pregnant, please contact me, I would be more than happy to help you out in any way I can. If it is a question I can’t answer, I will get you the contact information for someone who can. Also, if there are any topics you want me to talk about, please shoot me some ideas, I would love your input!