Monday, October 6, 2014

Dolomites Trip Part I'll shut up now: Hiking and via ferrata while pregnant

Last post about the Dolomites! Good job hanging in there.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, I didn't plan on being pregnant when we took this trip. I knew it was a definite possibility, since we were talking about IVF timelines, but I couldn't plan one way or the other. When I realized I was pregnant in mid-June, and I figured out I'd be 4 months along when we got to Italy, it was too late to change our plans, and I foolishly thought I'd be 100% ok with hiking and climbing. 4 months is still early! I'll be in my second trimester and feeling great! I'll be unstoppable!

The reality is that pregnancy is stressful for me. I felt amazing on the trip, physically, but it was a little too much for me, mentally. Missteps didn't just mean that I fell, the fetus fell as well. A tumble could mean miscarriage. That weighed heavily on my mind throughout our more technically challenging days. I cried one day because it was just too much- I kept slipping and sliding and my lower stomach muscles ached. I wanted to be on flat, safe ground. I wanted to be home where I knew I'd be safe(r). After that day, I had slight cramping, which freaked me out even more.

The harness strategically avoids the whole uterine area.

Via ferrata were another beast. I was worried about the harness. Luckily, sort of, it sat way above my still-tiny uterus. It was snug around my waist. If I had fallen, it would have yanked my waist and under my butt, but not directly on my belly. I know that if I had really fallen, it still would have jerked on the baby, but I tried to make myself feel better by thinking that the straps didn't cross directly across my lower stomach.

Aside from tiring more quickly than Nick, I was able to get around just fine. My belly was still tiny and unobtrusive. My energy levels were pretty good. My appetite was insatiable so I was able to really throw myself into every huge, carb-laden meal. To be completely honest, if I could do it again, I would not do all these activities while pregnant. The risks of what I was doing overshadowed many of the joyful moments. There were happy, pleasant days, definitely, but there were tense, frustrating days as well. I am a worrier, but even if I wasn't, some of the stuff we were doing was downright stupid for me to be partaking in. I would have skipped the via ferrata and our one riskiest hiking day. I think I could have had an amazing time only doing the slightly more low-key stuff. Lesson learned for the next pregnancy, when I'm pretty sure our circumstances will be less conducive to a two-week overseas getaway anyway. 

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