After all the excitement, stress, and fun from Regionals 2013 began to wear off, I was about to embark on a new adventure. Pregnancy.
To be honest, I was very scared about continuing CrossFit while pregnant. First of all, it was my first time and second, no one I knew (other than my husband) supported the idea of ANY physical activity during pregnancy. That’s ridiculous and I knew better but it still got me worried. Even though there are millions of moms showing off their baby bumps on social media and CrossFitting, not having anyone specialized in Kuwait or anyone for guidance for my training made things a little stressful. Despite all of this, I continued to CrossFit but very low intensity.
Luckily, during my first month of pregnancy we were visiting the States. There I got the chance to meet Dr. Lindsey Mathews from BirthFit. Lindsey and her team are doing some amazing things for CrossFitting mommas and mommas-to-be with BirthFit. I had a meeting with her and we chatted about my training, my goals, and how my pregnancy was going. With her guidance, she encouraged me to continue CrossFitting if everything was going well and I was feeling good (with a few exceptions: no jumping, maxing out, etc.).
So I went back to my regular CrossFit training with a few modifications. At first I was feeling strong and doing good. But I had a day-job at the time that had me on my feet all day then I would be at the box coaching classes. So by my second trimester my day would end and I would be exhausted, I was feeling heavier and tired all the time. So I stopped CrossFitting and stuck to prenatal yoga classes. I was so upset, but I knew what was right for my body. Everyone’s pregnancy is different. I had to tell myself that. Stop comparing and stressing over the strong momma’s showing off their baby bumps as they clean & jerk their body weight.
A few months pass and I unfortunately had to undergo an unplanned c-section that devastated me emotionally and mentally. What did this mean for my training? How soon could I get back? The Dr. said what?! She said how many months I shouldn’t lift anything heavy?!
As soon as I got home I anxiously researched exercises I can do. I found many great programs to do while lying in bed to speed up recovery. Once I got the okay from my doctor to add in walking and light exercises, I started walking and continued at home c-section recovery exercises, eventually adding in some resistance with kettlebells.
When I was 2 months postpartum, I could feel my body was ready and I knew it was time to get back to training at the box. It was the best feeling in the world to put my hands back on a barbell. To my surprise, my technique was excellent and it felt like I never stopped. But my strength…well that was back to zero and my endurance was even worse. With all my trust in my coach, it was time for the hard work to begin…
Not so fast… Don’t forget all the drama that went down in the first couple of months of trying to train consistently. Planning to get back to training and actually doing the training with a baby are two different things! Lets address some issues that a new mom has to deal with:
First you’re functioning on practically no sleep.
You suddenly have constant back pain (probably from your weak and recovering core).
And if you breastfeed, well, that’s a workout in itself! If you never breastfed you won’t understand how draining it can be. It also meant (for me at least) no caffeine or pre-workouts! I started drinking 1 cup of coffee before training once the baby reached 6 months.
A new mom’s hormones are all over the place. The emotional rollercoaster I took my husband/coach on…I mean…God bless him. I doubted myself every single day if I would ever get back.
I didn’t know anyone around me I could look up to that was going through something similar. I was seeking some reassurance that it’s possible to gain my strength back. So I started reading articles about CrossFit Games athletes and how they returned to training after pregnancy. To my surprise they weren’t superwomen that had it all easy, they spoke about all the same difficulties I was going through! I felt relieved.
I finally got the hang of training in between of taking care of the baby, with my biggest supporter and the only person I could count on for guidance, my husband/coach. Not once did he doubt my abilities. Seeing his faith in me helped me regain my confidence and determination. With him by my side, and putting in hard work, while never losing sight of my goals helped me see that anything is possible.
By 6 months I was back to my pre-pregnancy performance level.
By 9 months I was way past my expectations, even crushing some goals earlier than expected which I had set for 2015.
And I will continue to work hard for myself, for my family, and for our box.
The other day CrossFit Games wrote a tweet:
“The 2014 season taught me ________.”
I tweeted at them saying:
“…that getting pregnant wasn’t the end of CrossFit for me. After having the baby I am now stronger and train better and smarter!”
And just because this made my day:
*Everyone’s body is different and everyone’s case is different. I am not an expert nor claim to be on the safety of CrossFitting while pregnant. My situation is my story. Despite the doctor telling me not to lift weights for up to 6 months after surgery, I went back anyways because I know my own body and understand how to exercise safely. I trained smart and did it under the guidance of a coach.
some online links: