I heard it all … WODing for two will make you stronger … you will fly during pull ups when you get back … the weight will melt off after the baby comes. There were many words people said to me while pregnant and continuing to go to crossfit, but no one prepared me for what would happen once baby arrived and I was able to returned to exercising! OH MY was I surprised!
Let’s start at the beginning … I got pregnant … went to crossfit .. informed my coaches of my new found health status and then was informed to take it easy, have fun while exercising and being pregnant. Well that was difficult! For about 5 years I have been an active crossfitter. From training 4-5 days a week to competing for fun … no I am not a games athlete but I do enjoy competition. I was always striving for a heavier lift .. a faster time during a workout and a good challenge. No one told me once I got pregnant there are certain precautions you should take … like lighter weight lifting right from the start, no more box jumping or extreme heavy jumping rope .. or what about not being able to do gymnastic movements like handstand pushups anymore because your balance becomes really off. It was really hard for me to adjust and understand why my coaches preferred me not to do certain movements. I had it in my head ” I have been going to crossfit for 5 years now why can’t I box jump? ” There were so many questions in my head .. but as my pregnancy went further on I understood how certain movements can affect the safety of the baby developing.
The changes that happened to my body still amaze me and I pushed myself everyday to get into the box. There were days I felt so achey, had much hip and back pain, but once I got moving all the pains went away! I quickly realized that a pull up was not happening after about 25 weeks and the words from my coaches “just have fun” were now an understanding. Crossfitting or even exercising while pregnant is not to set a new weight lift record … it’s to stay healthy, feel good and get a good sweat in! It only took 25 weeks for me to understand that. There were days I was so bummed that I was the last to finish the workout .. or days I would of done anything just to do a handstand pushup again! But I kept clearing my head, went for fun and lasted to 5 days before Cecilia was born. I was not looking for a medal for exercising for so long, I just kept going because I felt better …… but I was NOT prepared for the return!
I had a c-section … nothing went the way I planned for with the arrival of Cecilia .. but hey that’s life. I was told that I had to wait 6 weeks to return to crossfit and those 6 weeks were soooooo long. My body felt ready to return at 4 weeks but the doctors kept telling me I had to wait to heal. All I wanted to do was move again … pick up that 150 lb. clean once again and be the old me …. but that is not reality unless maybe you are a games athlete. I returned to crossfit at the 6 weeks mark .. excited to be back in somewhat of a routine … that first pull up I did … I could not even get my chin over the bar … that first WOD I did .. I wanted to cry … finishing last again … out of breathe. WHY did everything now seem so much harder then before? Why did 45lb cleans feel so heavy? Why am I not stronger now after working out for two for the past 9 months? So many questions and still looking for answers. The BEST answer from a fellow mom, crossfitter and also a doctor said to me was .. IT TAKES TIME TO HEAL. Ahhh yes .. I get it now 4 months post delivery! I feel fine but my body is still healing and will be healing for a long time.
So my personal advise to all you new moms or moms to be is be PATIENT! Be patient while you rebuild your strength up …. be patient while your body tries to remember how to breathe while exercising again … be patient while your body heals and be patient with yourself. Remember exercising is suppose to be fun and something we enjoy! I am happy to say that slowly my body has remembered how to do a pull-up, strength with weights is getting better and I am finally starting to feel like the old me at crossfit. I just keep reminding myself to be PATIENT.