I am not a good pregnant person. I hate it to be honest. All those women who say they “loveeeed being pregnant”, I want to punch in the throat!!
Call me selfish, but the fact that I have now made the decision to stop riding (with about 6 weeks to go) has really chapped my ass. It isn’t necessarily because I feel as though I have to stop…it is more because I know I should.
That, and I have been tipping forward. Not that I have anything close to what is supposed to be the ‘perfect’ position, but at least now, I have an excuse. The turning point for me, was when I was at bootcamp and couldn’t do crunches because it was causing me a little bit of pain. Ladies and gentlemen: I have been defeated…by a baby!
In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that big of a deal. Colby normally gets the entire month of December (and the first week or so of January) off. Who really wants to ride anyways when it is a) pitch black at 4:45p.m. b) it is minus a million with the wind chill and c) you get a death stare from your horse when you show up because there are icicles hanging off their muzzles. Colbs will get started up again in the New Year with Kelly (my coach’s daughter and eventing partner) getting on her to
(tame the wild beast…haha, good luck) get her back in work.
The difference this year is that she has had some time off in November as well while my amazing farrier and I worked on Operation Fix Colby’s Cracked hoof. The crack in her hoof (which is a mystery as to how it showed up in the first place) never really healed over regardless of our efforts to fix it. We think that there was bacteria in there, which wasn’t helping with the healing..so, we treated it, she popped an abscess out of her coronary band and has been on the mends ever since.
I honestly don’t think there is anything worse than seeing your horse in discomfort/pain. She was absolutely crippled when she had that abscess and it shredded my heart into pieces. She is now in fine form (although her neck muscles have completely disappeared and she looks like she did when I bought her as a 3.5 year old) and walks around like she owns the place. I watched her as she literally pranced in from the field the other day and then proceed to trot a 10 around the indoor with her tail stuck straight up in the air. Last time I checked, she was an OTTB, not an Arab. Mares. Chestnut thoroughbred mares. Sigh.
I am being cautiously optimistic that I will be back in the saddle by the middle/end of February. This will give me 3 months or so to learn how to ride all over again before the season starts up and we head out on what we like to call Tour Ontario. The good thing, is I am hoping I have enough muscle memory left in me that when I do get back on, it won’t take very long for me to get with it. I have also been offered the job of ‘cool out rider’ by some of the people at the barn. Just so I can stay in the saddle and not lose my mind mentally…and by cool out rider, I mean at a walk, being led around by a lead rope a la pony ride. Hey, it is better than nothing right! The even better thing, is I decided to take my maternity leave in parallel as the Ontario eventing season!
Originally, I was only planning on taking 6 months off and Hubbs was going to take the remainder (which, we both think is important). Then I started thinking about it a little more and went, wait a second, when will I have the opportunity to be off at the same time as a full season? Probably never! So, the 6 months got extended to 8 months…selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Not really! I am extremely grateful for the situation that I am in which will allow for me to ride during the day while I am off. My in-laws who all live within a 10 minute drive from us, are all either retired or working part time and said they will be able to watch the new arrival for me during the day when I am headed to the barn. The other bonus, is my coach works 4 minutes away from my barn and either finishes work by 3 or, goes in for 3, meaning I will be fortunate enough to be able to take lessons during the day when the barn is quiet. That makes me want to do a happy dance as the barn is extremely busy in the later afternoon and early evening.
I have not had it very easy and let’s just say that at 34 weeks – I am still puking, have no desire to eat any sort of meat, eggs, fish or ketchup, most smells make me want to barf, brushing my teeth makes me gag and I am wide awake from 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. nightly.
The kid’s latest trick, is kicking the crap out of my ribs at all hours of the day & night. He (yes, HE!!), is an active little bugger with a massive jungle gym or disco in there. Not having any control over what my body does and physically not being able to do things like I normally do – like riding and crunches – has been really hard for me to adjust to. Mentally, that has also been pretty tough. But, like my coach said to me the other day: ‘How many other pregnant women do you know, who at 34 weeks, have just stopped riding and are still going to bootcamp 4 times a week?” Good point coach…as always.
The best thing throughout all of this, has been the support my husband has given me. With me continuing to ride, with him ‘dealing’ with my emotional outburst (read, crying hysterically) when I told him I was done riding till after baby, him supporting my decision to keep riding while pregnant and telling people to back off. In addition to that, my coach and her daughter have been instrumental in keeping Colby going for me. To top that off, my family and my barn family in general have been overly supportive (read, sympathetic) to my somewhat unpredictable moods.
Oh – and I am planning on writing a book called ‘The Stupid Stuff Your Husband Says to You When You are Pregnant’.