9 Months Off Skates: The Derby Pregnancy Blog, Part 3
Knocked Up and Laced Up
Even if you know you are trying to get pregnant, most women (and other uterus-havers) don't know the second they are actually pregnant. I spent the first weeks of my pregnancy playing in a tournament. After that, I dropped in as a guest skater at a neighboring league's practice while my league was on break. There are lots of derby skaters who continue to skate during their first trimester, or even later.
One of the first things I did was look up how long you could theoretically play while pregnant. Google, the source of all knowledge, said there should be no problem with contact sports through the first trimester.
Now, this is great because you can keep skating and acting like everything is normal while you're trying to get pregnant, instead of taking off every other two weeks a month while you wait to see if you were successful.
This is less great if your OBGYN is anything like mine, who will tell you to stop skating the moment you find out you're doing crossovers for two. "Avoid anything that could make you fall down," she said. My friend was told by an OB to also avoid driving on bumpy roads or over potholes. Overprotective? Certainly. But 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage anyways. I knew for my own sanity that I couldn't keep skating and, in the event that something happened, wonder if I had done something to cause it.
I know other skaters who choose to keep skating - and even playing- after they find out they are pregnant. Sometimes a big game is just a few weeks after a pregnancy starts, so a skater will wait to hang up her gear. Or, if giving up skating is too much to ask, skaters will move down to non-contact only. One of my old coaches skated and trained incoming fresh meat up until the end of her third trimester. Believe me, nothing makes you feel inadequate like a 9 month pregnant lady skating circles around you as you try in vain to perform a plow stop.
What's important is listening to your body and your mind. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you are healthy and happy during your pregnancy. You get to decide what that looks like. I have heard other derby moms-to-be say that they were going to step down to non-contact skating but got too dizzy to continue. Other moms didn't mind a light amount of contact in their early pregnancy weeks.
I had still been skating full contact in the first few weeks. Before I even took a pregnancy test I found that I couldn't handle full contact on parts of my body that had suddenly become incredibly sensitive. Getting checked in the chest made me want to take my skates off and cry...which made me want to buy a pregnancy test on the way home from practice. After I found I was pregnant, I decided the best thing to do was stay off skates. What came next is the first mistake of my derby pregnancy: being too inactive. Read more next time!
#96 Susan B. Slamthony
Photo Credit: WFTDA.TV still