How's that for a sensational post title?
You may have been wondering why my blogging got a little sparse and my adventures got a bit tame this fall. That's because in early August we happily found out, after a year of trying, that I was pregnant! I'm currently at 13-weeks (4th month) along and this is my first pregnancy. It's pretty exciting, but at the same time a little nerve racking. Of course I found out when I was only 3-weeks pregnant, because apparently I am a great HCG hormone producer. I immediately became freaked about about the controversial complications that come along with the combination of being a riding addict and pregnant. Also, the fact that it took so long to get pregnant had me worried about loosing it during every stride of sitting trot or spook. As a result, in the first few weeks I irrationally cut back on my riding and cancelled my fall showing and hunting plans. I also stopped exposing Rose to any new things that might pose a falling risk.
So far, I have not suffered from anything remotely related to morning sickness. It is a big relief to not have to dismount mid-ride and vomit all the time. I know that I'm in the minority and I count myself very lucky in this regard! Oddly, I've spoken to a few equestrians who all said they never had morning sickness and rode through their pregnancies. Maybe there is a connection there...and riding is actually good for pregnant women? Research paper anyone? I'm sure every doctor in the USA would cringe!
When to Stop
I know that many equestrians ride right up until the day they give birth and prior to actually getting pregnant that was what I always imagined that I'd do. However, regardless of how mature Rose is most of the time she remains an unpredictable 4-year old. For instance, recall our recent longeing incident? I was 10 weeks along at the time, and it definitely opened my eyes to few good realizations. I'd never heard of a pelvic girdle before, but at that moment as I lay face down in the sand with a bloody elbow, I was really happy to know that the baby was still protected by it! Had I been further along it could have been a bad situation. I realized then that Rose just isn't the right horse to ride long term during pregnancy. Transversely, I don't want to give her a full year off either. I don't think that I could physically or mentally handle that, and she likes having a job to do. So what should I do? This is a question I asked myself a lot in the beginning. I came to the conclusion that I would allow myself to wuss out come winter and stop when it got too cold to ride comfortably...or maybe abide by doctor's orders.
No More Jumping
Regardless of my nerves of steel and riding addiction, I did stopped jumping Rose when I was around 5 weeks pregnant. She was doing well and I didn't want to take any chances with her suddenly deciding to stop at fences. Plus it was getting really tempting to put the jumps up...and teaching her to jump bigger would likely be a BAD idea while pregnant. If she were more experienced with jumping I would likely still be jumping her.
The Dreaded Doctor Visit
I was looking forward to our first 8-week ultrasound and seeing if there was really something in there. Sure enough, there is a healthy little "peanut" in there waving it's stubby hand. It certainly looked like it was practicing a dressage salute to me! However, I was greatly dreading the "I am addicted to riding horses and I turn into a sucky person without my fix" conversation with my OB. I fretted over nothing. It turns out I have an awesome and understanding doctor who was happy that I voluntarily stopped jumping. As such, she threw me a bone and said that I could absolutely keep riding until I am 20-weeks along without any argument from her. That means I can ride until the beginning of December, coincidentally when the cold season arrives. Since Rose is due for her 4-year old vacation this winter anyway that works out well. She'll just get to relax for a few months longer than originally planned. It does however mean, 5½-months of no riding (including the 6-week post-baby recovery). That's a thought that doesn't sit to well with my "riding fix", but I figure I can still sort of get my fix by spending the time honing Rose's groundwork and teaching her a few pointless but highly entertaining tricks. Although after that longeing situation, I am re-thinking ground work. Maybe we'll just stick grooming until baby is born?
So, what about the other half's opinion on my continuing to ride? I know that many non-horsey husbands and family members make foolish requests that their baby carriers immediately stop riding "those dangerous animals". Like we haven't already given up all the fun vices of life, not to mention just some basics (I very much miss roast beef sandwiches, sushi, and oil painting...acrylics just aren't the same), so why not just pile one more on the heap? That is just adding insult to injury (or pregnancy) if you ask me. Lucky for me, I am blessed with a non-horsey husband who fully appreciates how horses keep me "sane" and from day one has encouraged me to keep riding. Best husband in the whole world!
Anyway, that's my big news that I've been dying to share with you all for months now. Fear not however, unless there is an interesting topic that pertains to training/riding Rose while I'm pregnant, I won't be boring you with discussions of onesies and organic diapers. First and foremost, this blog is and will remain about Rose and our training adventures.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!