May 10, 2013

On The Bike


I continue to be humbled by my body's limits while pregnant. Now that I'm feeling great, I have been determined not to slow down, and actually often forget that I have this big beautiful belly until I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflection and think, 'oh wow- you're quite pregnant there!'. I'm usually also carrying an enormous diaper bag and a toddler so it's quite the sight.

We had so much fun biking as a family all through last summer and I imagined that we'd do some even more adventurous rides this year now that Little Smith is older. I know that I've seen lots of pictures of pregnant women biking, so I figured it would be no problem. We all geared up and set out for the park, which mercifully isn't too far from our house. 

Immediately it was just really tough, not painful certainly but awkward. I have a mountain bike and need to hunch over pretty far to reach the handle bars, which meant a whole lot of belly squishing and baby kicking. I also had to splay my legs out really far so that I didn't keep jostling the belly and apparently my legs aren't in tip-top shape because in no time they were burning. The trip home is almost all uphill, and I somehow willed myself to the top, refusing to slow down or take a break. I pulled into the driveway and James and Little Smith were all smiles, congratulating me on my speed on the hill and ready to keep going... I mumbled something about water and rest and stumbled into the house while they took off for their next destination.

It's tough for me to admit that I can't do everything, especially when I know there are plenty of women even more pregnant than I am who are more capable. But I am learning that I really need to listen to my own body. I'm growing a whole new little person, and just as every child is different, every pregnancy has its own unique opportunities and limitations. I will do some more biking this summer... but probably stick to flat  paths and leisurely rides. 

It's great to stay active and participate in everything, but sometimes it can also be pretty great to watch from the sidelines... in my nightgown.

*last year's biking, my little munchkin!

19 comments:

  1. These pictures are adorable! If there are plenty of pregnant women more capable, you can bet there are plenty more that are less capable. (I was one of them. I never would have went on a bike ride while I was pregnant.) Go easy on yourself girl! ;)

    Jo

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  2. Ohh... sorry you can't bike ride anymore:( I was hoping to do lots of family biking this summer too, but I didn't even think about the difficulty bending over to reach the handle bars. We will see. Look forward to next summer - when your family bike rides will be with four!

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    1. Thanks Erika, hopefully you have a little more success than I did!

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  3. This made me smile. I biked throughout my pregnancy and have the most unattractive picture of me on my bike at 9 months. it is a good thing I didn't see a picture until I was at the very end! In any case, I loved it as soon as I got a bike where didn't have to lean so far forward. Like you I had to listen to my body and have new expectations for myself. Some days me and the bike just weren't going to happen:)

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    1. I think my style if bike really is part of the problem. I'm impressed you were able to ride at nine months, and sort if happy there were no photos snapped of my ride (yet) ;)

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  4. I cycled through much of my second pregnancy, complete with a 3 1/2 year old on the back and must recommend cycling on an old fashioned lady´s bike...that is how we keep cycling in Europe! It is also so much easier to keep your balance with a child on the back on that type of bike.
    I am interested in hearing how you find the kangaroo seat - I have been thinking of getting one for my second child...and that helmet is simply adorable!
    I have been following you for a long time but never commented before, I so enjoy it!
    Una, mum of Iðunn 5 years old and Gerður 20 months.

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    1. Wow, I'm so impressed that you were able to ride with the child seat on through your pregnancy, such a fantastic way to stay fit! I think you're right that a more upright style of bike would be better suited, I may look into renting one (my bike was pretty expensive so I'm not sure I could justify buying another just yet).

      I've actually never tried to ride with the kangaroo seat, but James loves it. He has a mountain bike too and says that having the weight up front is actually better for him and more stable than the back. He claims he doesn't have to change his pedaling position, although I wonder if it would be the same for me with my shorter legs.

      Thanks so much for saying hello!

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  5. Love the helmet to protect his little melon- so cute! Like Una, I'd love to find out how you find the front seat on the bike.Rx

    http://sandersonsmithstory.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Rachael, the helmet is fun and we really like the front mounted bike seat (although I've never been the one to ride with it).

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  6. Such adorable pictures! You are absolutely right-- listen to your body. Every woman is built differently & carries their baby differently!

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  7. Ha, ha! Oh, Lilly. You've painted quite the picture! I know what you mean, though. I thought it was harder on me physically with each subsequent pregnancy. By the third, I was so easily exhausted that just a walk would have me winded, and I consider myself a pretty in-shape person. I think taking care of a toddler is so much physical work as it is, you don't even realize how much energy you are expending by caring for little W.

    Take it easy, and Happy Mother's Day!

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  8. Nothing wrong with the sidelines every now and again- and look at those awesome pictures you have to show for it! You're absolutely right about listening to your body... I rode my horse (leisurely, of course) until I was around 6 months pregnant. My midwives always told me, when its time to stop riding your body will tell you and sure enough, it did. Good for you for listening to your body and that sweet little baby of yours- you'll be back on your bike in no time I'm sure :)

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    1. I feel like the big take away from this pregnancy is to listen more to my body, it's such a challenge. My cousin is a big horse enthusiast and she also rode through much of her pregnancy which amazed me (I don't ride). She even got up there and was just lead around the ring when she was a couple weeks over her due date to try to induce! Thanks so much Tisse.

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  9. Sounds like a fun time! Enjoy your pregnancy, even if you have to take it easy. The time goes by so fast! :)

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    1. I know you're right Tiffany, I remember that I kept wishing I had appreciated everything more when my last pregnancy was over. It can be difficult in the moment, but it is so very fast!

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  10. I am so impressed that you even attempted bike riding while pregnant. High five for that! And your bike seat for W is so cool; I'd really love to get one like it for our own biking adventures.

    I understand your frustration at physical limitations. Although I'm not pregnant and dealing with a constant belly to be conscious of, I found myself crying in the back yard a few weeks ago because I don't possess Man Strength and wasn't able to do the hole digging/garden tilling/carrying heavy stuff that I wanted to do in the yard, without help from Wade. A little ridiculous to admit out loud, but it was so frustrating. :)

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  11. The physical limitations can definitely be tough but it is a great reason to slow down sometimes. I'm super impressed you rode a bike!!

    LOVE that pic of you and W.

    xo
    cortnie

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  12. It's so true that it's hard to admit you can't do everything, that was my biggest challenge in pregnancy, having to slow down and let others do certain things for me. You sure do look gorgeous on the sidelines...just think, next year at this time there will be another one to join you on these adventures.

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