I found relief and reassurance from sport and I am very grateful to have it in my life.
I have been involved in sport my whole life. From competitive swimming as a child to show jumping and more recently racing with the GB age group triathlon team.
I rarely stopped and was used to pushing my body hard. But when I fell pregnant with my daughter, I was blown sideways by how my body reacted.
I had morning sickness for what seemed like forever, it was relentless and the only relief I got was going to bed. I had a constant headache for the first 8 weeks and on top of that, as the pregnancy progressed, I suffered from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I could hardly walk and relied on crutches in the final weeks until I was induced. I found the entire pregnancy so hard and honestly felt depressed because I just didn’t expect to have such limitations and discomfort. I assumed because I was fit, I would breeze through and enjoy my pregnancies.
Despite all this and maybe because of it, sport remained so important to me and helped me mentally through both of my pregnancies.
After a lot of feeling sorry for myself, I realised that the morning sickness was there whether I exercised or not and that I could sit on a gym bike without pain. I could also swim as long as I didn’t kick my legs.
I found a way to keep active within the limits of what my body would allow.
I swam with my master’s group right up until the day before my delivery using a pull buoy and a band around my ankles.
After my daughter was born, (rightly or wrongly) I was on a mission to get back to competitive sport as fast as I could, and I was back cycling within the week. I spent hours at home while she was napping on my bike in the living room and would get to the pool before my husband left for work.
I was desperate to get my identity back and was racing in Turkey when she wasn’t much more than a year old.
Looking back, I am so thankful that my body took such good care of my babies and I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful children. On reflection, 9 months isn’t very long at all and my body was mine again very quickly, but it was hard to see that at the time – hormones are crazy things! But I think every pregnancy is different and everyone deals differently. I found relief and reassurance from sport and I am very grateful to have it in my life.
I still train every day and it is just part of our life as a family. We are all very active and both our children are brilliant little swimmers. My daughter is competing regularly, and she isn’t far off beating me in the pool.