Jan 21 2014

Climbing Past My Pregnancy Stigma

I’m pregnant! Wowza! Big adventures lie ahead, along with exhaustion I’m sure 🙂 We’ve got a little boy coming end of April and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

 

When I first found out I was pregnant, I did a ton of research to see what other climbers experienced, and didn’t find a lot out there. I want to help change this in the climbing community, to help make it an open discussion. If you research running while pregnant, the resources are endless from novice runners to professionals; but climbing while pregnant is a topic I couldn’t find much information about. I also want to share some of my personal inner worry and questioning as I think it’s something a lot of women go through, regardless of if they are climbers or not. It feels hard to open up about such a personal topic, but I know it would have helped me immensely if I had found a blog like this.

 

Climbers are perceived by the general public as being adventurous, courageous, fearless. But in fact we climbers are often neurotic and insecure in our own weird ways. And a lot of what we fret about—the couple extra pounds we put on over the holidays; the week we went without training; the tiny tear of skin in our finger; the little seeping pocket on our project; etc.—would probably seem completely trivial and downright silly to the general public.

 

And then there are things that most people in the general public do—getting married, buying a house, making a career, having kids—that send us climbers into a state of mild panic. We are counter culture by nature.

 

When I started thinking seriously about having kids a few years ago, I was excited about the new adventure that it would bring. But I was also left with some of the same questions and worries a lot of women have: How would this affect my time? How would this affect my relationship?

 

I was particularly concerned about how this might affect my career. Would I be able balance being a mom with being a professional climber? I know that I have been a particularly goal-oriented climber for a lot of my career, perhaps skewing my vision of what a “balanced” life actually means.
A friend of mine suggested I watch Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk on women in the workplace. It’s an illuminating talk about women across the board and their roles at work and at home. It highlighted a lot of my concerns and questions about how women go about balancing a career that they are passionate about along with a family.

 

As a professional female athlete in my mid-30s, I’ve always perceived the topic of pregnancy to be taboo. I’ve always wanted kids, and I knew that being a climber and a mother would be a tough balance. But what worried me is that being both a professional climber and a mother seemed out of reach. And who knows if I would even be able to continue climbing professionally after having a child? Perhaps I would want to just focus my time on the child. I know these are questions many women struggle with, regardless of their career path. Being a professional athlete in a pretty niche sport, however, made it hard for me to find many examples of how it all might work out. There are numerous examples of male climbers who do it, but we women comprise a smaller percentage of the climbing population. How would you take the kid to the crag? Who would belay? I also worried that I would not be able to bounce back physically from pregnancy. Would I be able to climb and represent my sponsors adequately after a child? How would the industry take to the news?

 

With these concerns swirling through my head, I’d always told myself that by the time I wanted kids, I’d have long since retired from professional climbing and doing both wouldn’t be an issue. However, as I came into my thirties, I realized that I wanted to achieve both. I love what I do, I love who I work with, and I also really wanted to try and have a family. I just had to get past my fears and this built-up stigma.

 
Last summer I had a turning point when I sat down for dinner with one of my best friends and another professional female climber at the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. We talked about marriage, climbing contracts and food, but the conversation naturally steered toward the topic of having kids. To be honest, it was the first time I had ever completely opened up about kids with another female professional climber, which I suppose is indicative of how deep these fears ran within me.

 

I told her how much I loved climbing, and being a part of this industry and community. I have projects I’m psyched on. I love pushing myself in the vertical world. I’ve been climbing since I was a kid, and I honestly can’t imagine life feeling complete without climbing.

 

“You should do it,” my friend said. “Think of it as an opportunity. You want kids. You want a career. Try to make them both work for you. Look at all the women and moms out there in climbing gyms, at crags, at the boulders. It’s a natural evolution.”

 

It was maybe the final push I needed. I returned from the Trade Show and talked with Randy. He was ready, and had been for awhile. Always the optimist, he had been telling me that we’d make it work no matter what. I knew that our lives would change with kids, and even if my career suffered it would be more than worth it. I thought about what I’d regret more: not sending a handful of routes, or passing up the opportunity to have children. The answer was clear.

 

My doctor told me a while back that on average it takes about a year to conceive. With that in my head, I figured I had another couple seasons on my project and a few more trips overseas. But, it turns out for us, that birth control stuff really does work. One and done. At the end of August, I took a pregnancy test, then took another one to make sure, and that was that. We were pregnant! It was weird to “try” just one time and have it work. We felt especially lucky as we know so many people for whom conceiving takes time or is impossible. On the other hand, it also provided us no build-up or anticipation. All of sudden we’d crossed that threshold and faced a very different future from the one we were looking at yesterday. We were going to have a baby! Let the new adventures, and exhaustion, begin.

 

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I’m normally a pretty private person, but this new change is something I wanted to talk about with other moms and moms-to-be. To learn from their experiences, and help me with all the different emotions I was experiencing. Randy wanted to tell everyone right away; his excitement poured out of him. But with so many people we know having had miscarriages, and with my still-lingering anxieties over how it would affect my career, we kept the news quiet.

 

Day by day, anticipation and excitement grew and ultimately I overcame all those concerns and fears. We were going to have a kiddo after all! How exciting is that? After the first trimester, I was finally ready to call my sponsors and tell them. Slowly, after each phone call and supportive response, I became less scared. People were very happy and thrilled to hear the news. “Can we post it?” “Will you blog about it?” As I became more open and sharing, I began hearing about all the other women athletes who managed the demands of their careers and motherhood, or who had been happy to evolve into a different role in their careers. Was this apparent stigma, this not-to-be-spoken-about topic of pregnancy among professional outdoor female athletes, all in my head all along? I don’t know, but their excitement and support was so amazing that it made my three months of silence seem silly.

 

I regret not telling people sooner. I’ve realized that I wasn’t trusting enough. I wasn’t confident enough. But after such a positive response, those first three months seemed like a waste of valuable energy, and I could have been talking with friends on how awful the nausea is 🙂

 

So begins my series on pregnancy. Like all pregnancies we have had some bumps in the road, but it’s been such an amazing time for growth and learning.

 

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I researched as much as I could online for other climbers and athletes that had been through the same thing. I found some great stuff, but I also had many questions that I couldn’t find answers to: How does the relaxin hormone figure into climbing? How long can I lead belay for? How long will it take me to get back? And so on.

 

I want to document my pregnancy from the beginning until where I am now and forward. I will also interview some amazing mom athletes to hear their story and learn from them. And if you have any questions, I invite you to contribute to the discussion. Send me a message with the topics that are on your mind.

 

Climbing past my pregnancy stigma was one of the scariest “routes” I’ve done. But, if I’ve learned anything from climbing, it’s that so often the biggest fears are in our head. Once you get past those fears, that’s when you experience some pretty incredible moments of freedom, support and relief.

 

53 Comments
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53 Comments
  • First off, CONGRATS!
    Secondly, I'd highly recommend checking out Erica's blog: http://cragmama.com/
    She talks about all the ways she and her husband navigate climbing with a child. She's currently pregnant with her second, and might have some interesting insight. Best of luck!

    January 21, 2014 at 6:51 pm
  • I am so excited for you guys. I am also excited to read that I am not the only female climber afraid of what having kids will do to me(time, body, climbing, etc) and how I will manage children, a career, and climbing. I look forward to your future posts and wish you guys the best of luck!

    January 21, 2014 at 7:43 pm
  • Dear Beth, I follow you on Facebook and I'm reading your interview inside Chris Noble's book! I'm an italian climber, I climb in spare time and absolutely it is not my job…but climbing is a fundamental part of my life. I'm pregnant too and our baby is planned to come at the end of April, like yours. Reading your post I found a lot of familiar emotions (surprise for the sudden come, the terrible nausea, the fear of how climb and how much in safety conditions and so on). I love acquagym too and during the last weeks, that the baby is growing, I find more comfortable to do that instead of going to climb outdoor. Anyway I'm always involved, in different measure, in the activity of our friends out and inside the climbing gym. Thanks for the nice idea of the blog. I'll follow your posts for sure. Best wishes for each next days…they will be a continuos surprise for both of us! 😉

    January 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm
  • Hi Beth. Congratulations on the little one! I just had my second baby in October, and I climbed throughout both of my pregnancies. It's an interesting process, and I, like you, found very little info online about climbing and pregnancy so I felt like the whole experience was one big experiment! I regretted that I didn't write much about my first pregnancy, so I blogged much more throughout my second pregnancy. You can see it here: http://andrewchristensen.blogspot.com/. Let me know if you have any questions!

    January 22, 2014 at 12:29 am
  • yay Beth, love you!

    January 22, 2014 at 2:41 am
  • Hi Beth, Such exciting news about your pregnancy! Congratulations! I've followed your career for many years and think although blending motherhood with any career has its challenges, the rewards far outweigh them. You may even find a new source of inner strength in motherhood. I climbed through my first pregnancy, and managed some alpine climbs and even a couple big mountains when my kids were little (thanks to incredibly generous grandparents!). And now that the kids are 9 and 12, we all love cragging together. I look forward to reading your blog and wish you all the best with your pregnancy!

    January 22, 2014 at 2:56 am
  • Hi Beth, congratulations and all the best for your little family, Thanks for this motivating blog. I have two kids (3 and 5) and since they can crawl they know what a climbing gym is. Finding time for kids, career and climbing is a challenge but I am greatful for this big adventure. Most of my friends with kids stopped climbing, a little sad. I wish there would be climbing gyms with childcare and climbing camps for climbers with kids, that would make it so much easier :).

    January 22, 2014 at 3:28 am
  • Hi Beth! Congratulations to you and Randy! I too had the same concerns/feelings about pregnancy and climbing, but all of that disappears once you meet your little one! You'd be surprised at how quickly you'll be wanting to climb again. Here's a little video I made at 8 weeks postpartum. http://climbonsister.blogspot.com/2013/06/climbing-and-motherhood.html
    Wishing you all the best and looking forward to reading more entries about your new adventures!

    January 22, 2014 at 4:41 am
  • Congratulations! It's going to be a wonderful journey because you're so positive. I'm glad you're open to sharing your thoughts and experiences – many people, women in particular, will benefit from your voice. Like the others who commented above, I climbed through my pregnancies and have never looked back. I wanted to be in the best condition possible during and after pregnancy so what better way than to continue walking the steep approaches and doing all that I could indoors and outside, until I couldn't anymore as my due date neared. After both c-section deliveries, I was back at it 5 weeks later after the 1st, and just 3.5 weeks after the 2nd. And we're still at it! My blog where I write about climbing, connections to professional life, and my culture is http://www.hafaadaime.blogspot.com. There are a few narratives there about climbing with the fam. May your journey be open, safe, and filled with wonder!

    January 22, 2014 at 7:46 am
  • Congratulations! A fellow climber has this blog to share her climbing during pregnancy and training after baby is born – http://mamaclimbs.com/.

    January 22, 2014 at 8:25 am
  • Congratulations! And thank you so much for blogging about this! I am an avid female climber and my husband and I have been taking about having kids in the future. I'm personally terrified for multiple reasons, but one of my biggest fears is climbing. Like most people here, I can't imagine life without it. I can't wait to follow your progress. And thanks again for sharing!

    January 22, 2014 at 9:05 am
  • Congrats!! Really cool read and very interesting read 🙂

    January 22, 2014 at 10:08 am
  • Congrats, Beth! I can appreciate your desire to find information about climbing and pregnancy (and beyond!) I wanted to point out two websites to you. One, you probably came across already is cragmama.com. Erica does an amazing job of documenting her climbing through pregnancy and also through motherhood. The second one is adventurousparents.com. I live in the Canadian Rockies, where many outdoor adventurers and climbers struggle with the idea of having a child, afraid of how it will impact their lifestyle and careers. I have been exploring the transition to parenthood on that site (I have a 10 month old now). This post might be a good place to start: http://adventurousparents.com/2013/02/16/the-ultimate-alpine-start/

    All the best!

    January 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  • Congrats! I look forward to reading your thoughts on the topic. There definitely needs to be more discussion and information-sharing on this topic–it's not necessarily just climbing-related, as you pointed out–but any woman with a career and/or passion/sport that they want to stay committed to after having kids can relate!

    January 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm
  • Hi Beth! Huge congrats on your pregnancy! I don't know if you remember me, I am the graphic designer at Outdoor Research – I met you once. 🙂 Anyways, I wanted to thank you for posting your story. This is a topic that I battle with constantly. I am a mother of two amazing girls (Amalia – 6 and Mila – 2), I work full-time and I climb! 🙂 I actually didn't start climbing until after my youngest was born. I dabbled a bit in college but life got in the way and I didn't pick it up again until two years ago. Climbing for me has been a lifesaver – something that gives me immediate satisfaction when stressed or just needing a pick-me-up, and to get me back in shape. Even though I am not a professional climber, I believe that if (after having 2 kids) I can pick up the sport and succeed the way I have, then you can definitely carry on with your career after having a baby. Having the proper support is key, though. I hope you have family close by and friends to help! I don't know what I would do without mine! 🙂 Good luck to you in your upcoming delivery!

    January 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm
  • Hey Beth,
    Congrats on your pregnancy! As many others have echoed, my feelings about starting a family were similar to yours. While logistics definitely changed (very rarely do we get to multi-pitch these days), we get out just as much if not more now that we have a child (and one on the way, due in 6 weeks!) My biggest piece of advice would be to utilize your network of partners, b/c you will be relying on having a third partner the majority of those first few years. A couple of previous commenters mentioned my blog – http://cragmama.com . There's a lot of resource posts on logistics of craggin' with an infant from back when my son was born (and more to come in the next few months with baby #2). There's also some interviews with lots of inspiring mamas who have made it work. Best of luck with your pregnancy and I look forward to reading your updates 🙂
    Erica

    January 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm
  • Congratulations, Beth! I'm so excited for you & your new adventures!

    You're definitely not alone – I shared many of your pregnancy & having-a-kid concerns, and like you, craved info and stories of women kicking butt and having babies.

    I'm no pro climber, but climbing is my passion. I wrote a post on my pregnancy & climbing experience, too, and even just writing about it helped ease my mind: http://magicalthinklet.com/journal/posts/climbing-for-two

    It's so important for us ladies to tell our stories, and lend support – it's so awesome that your voice will now be in the mix!

    Thanks so much for your candor – good luck and have fun!!!
    betsy

    January 23, 2014 at 2:58 am
  • Thanks so much Claudia! I'm heading over to check it out now 🙂

    January 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm
  • Thanks Toni!

    January 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm
  • Congratulations Irene! Our kiddos should get together 🙂 And thank you for the tip on the acquagym, that sounds very gentle and a great way to stay active – I'll check it out 🙂
    Best wishes on the last trimester and the rest of your pregnancy!

    January 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm
  • Hi Susie –
    Wow, thank you so much for the blog reference, it's great! So wonderful to hear/learn about other moms that have been through it.
    Best,
    Beth

    January 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm
  • right back at you 😉
    xoxo

    January 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm
  • Thank you so much! And so wonderful to hear that you were able to do a bunch after the kiddos were born….I too am hoping to lean on the grandparents 😉 we'll see how much bribery it takes 🙂
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm
  • Thanks so much Micha, and a huge congrats on your kiddos! I know some of the gyms out in the bay area are starting to have child care options – I hope they make it to your local gym soon!
    Thanks again and all my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm
  • Thanks so much! What an awesome video!!! It's so great to hear from so many women that I'm not alone, really appreciate your comment.
    Thanks again and all my best 🙂

    January 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm
  • Thank you so much for the wonderful comment and direction to your blog, I really really appreciate it! It's amazing to hear about all the women out there who have gone through similar things – I think that collectively it will make a difference!
    Thanks so much again and all my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm
  • Thanks Wing! Wonderful blog, really appreciate it!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm
  • Thank you so much 🙂
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm
  • Thanks Dani for the great comment! My posts definitely follow my true ups and downs through everything with worries, concerns, excitement, etc. And I really hope that it helps open up a discussion for the topic! I know all the blogs/stories I read and have read help me immensely, so the more we can get people talking about it, I think the better it will be.
    Thanks again and all my best 🙂

    January 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm
  • Thank you so much for the direction to those wonderful blogs. It is amazing to read and learn about how other women have dealt with it. I really really appreciate it!
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:07 pm
  • Hi Alison! Wonderful to hear from you!! And congrats on your two kiddos! Thank you so much for sharing your comment, it is awesome to hear that you are able to make it work. I'm hoping that my parents and in laws are psyched on watching the little one so we can have some adventures too 🙂
    I'll keep you updated, but I really appreciate your words, and I hope to cross paths with you soon!
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm
  • Thanks so much Erica! And thanks so much for the wonderful blog! I wish I had found it sooner, but it's wonderful to have now! It's so great to hear about how other women have made it work and how they felt as well. And big congrats on #2 in 6 weeks! I hope you are feeling okay and looking forward to meeting them soon 🙂
    Thanks again and I hope we can cross paths!
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  • Thanks so much for the wonderful comment Betsy! And thanks for the link to your blog, it's great!
    I really appreciate it and hope that together we can all get more conversations about this going 🙂
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm
  • Beth, congratulations!! I am a boulderer with an almost 1 year old daughter. Jeff Sillcox and I can share so many stories with you on the ups and downs of climbing with a baby. I will be totally honest, it can be very hard and very exhausting. It is also so amazing!!

    You will want to learn all about your transverse abdominis muscles and how they work, and how to gently rehab them post baby. Another very important part of being a climber during pregnancy and post pregnancy is learning about diastasis recti (separation of the "6 pack" muscles), how to check it, and how to know when it is healed enough to climb hard again. That amazing little baby will stretch out your abs and make them paper thin..which is awesome that the human body can do this, and terrifying.

    I climbed until I was 8 months pregnant and then it honestly wasn't fun anymore. Relaxin hormone can do funky things that are not compatible with climbing. I saw a prenatal chiropractor once a week and she would re-align my hips every single week…more specifically the pubic symphysis is the one to watch out for. Also, the relaxin stays in your body after delivery if you are breastfeeding for a few months, and up to a year!

    I wanted to blog about all of this while I was pregnant, but I didn't think that anybody would really care. I am glad that you are starting an open dialogue. You will be, and already are, an inspiration to so many women and mamas out there!

    If you want to chat more about the wonderful muscles and bones of the female anatomy that can go awry during pregnancy and climbing, or just being a mama climber… my email is kellyjanemcbride@gmail.com

    Enjoy the journey 🙂

    January 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm
  • Kelly! Thank you so much for the comment and all the amazing information! I've seen pics of your adorable little girl – you've got a really really cute one 🙂
    I'll definitely email you with questions, sounds like you have a great wealth of knowledge.
    I totally vacillated about blogging about this or not, fearing that people wouldn't read it, or care, etc. But, I figure if it can help just one other person then it's worth it! Hopefully that works 🙂
    I hope to see you guys in the boulders soon!
    All my best!

    January 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm
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    January 24, 2014 at 12:07 am
  • Beth,

    First of all, congratulations! I think you made an amazing decision, and a life long one that you never regret, to pass on a few redpoints in order to experience bringing a little one into the world to enjoy it with you!

    We met a few years ago when you came to Knoxville and shared some stories about climbing in Cali. I am a Red/Obed/New sport climber, been climbing as a weekend warrior for about 11 years, with one year of climbing on the road thrown in there (ahh the good ole days!). Unless it was snowing and 12 degrees, or 100 degrees and condensed, we were climbing (my husband Craig and I). Obviously, we aren't professional climbers, but we train hard and do our best with the time we have on the rock.

    We had Riley in December 2011. She just turned 2. I can still remember taking her to Lily boulders when she was 5 days old (I just had to get outside!!!). I didn't boulder for obvious reasons (um, childbirth), but just walked around the woods with this new little wonder of ours. I was so nervous to take her out! But honestly, I was nervous to take her anywhere!

    It's been a journey, and along the way, things are always changing. We've done all kinds of things to keep her safe/happy/entertained/well-napped at the crag!

    Something that I found helpful: a couple of years ago, a friend of mine and I realized the same thing that you have – that there isn't a lot of info out there about climbing while pregnant, or being a true outdoorsey climbing mama. So… we made a facebook page called Climbing Mamas. It's a closed group, there are about 30 of us across the country.

    This small group of mom's has been a huge help for me. You can post up questions about pregnancy, tips for at the crag, or even try and get a group of moms together to climb. I've met quite a few mommy's on there!

    Look me up on facebook, or look up the group, and I will add you. Climbing Mamas.

    Again, congrats!

    Noell Lewis
    PS- Other climbing mamas that have posted up are welcome to ask to join too.

    January 24, 2014 at 2:15 am
  • Hi Beth! So cool to see bad ass climbers get pregnant and get on the baby journey thing. Not sure if you know who I am, but both me (Chloe) and Brendan (my husband) have climbed with Randy in the valley. We now live in Colorado and have two little boys. Climbing with kids is totally possible! Plan you trip, get out there, and just add baby! Sounds easy, doesn't it? It takes more time and more effort, but it works just fine! Pregnancy destroys your body, but the body is amazing at putting itself back together. When you get back to training and it feels like it is taking forever for your body to feel strong again, just keep in mind, it takes 9 months for your body to make this baby, and it's about how long it will take you to feel back to baseline. You can climb much sooner before that of course, but it takes time for your core to heal. Just make sure you read up on what to do and not to do for your abs. The skinny is if you work your abds too hard too early, your abds might not get back together, and you'll be split. But if you give yourself time (ie: no crunches, no plain straight abs until you abds are fused back), you will feel just as strong after baby is out and about. Here is our website: http://www.aclimbingpartyoffour.com/
    Be well mama, say hi to Randy for us!
    -Chloe (and Brendan)

    January 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm
  • And of course CONGRATS to you two!!!

    January 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm
  • Thanks so much for the comment Noell! I'll definitely look it up on FB – seems like a wonderful way to get everyone together to share information 🙂
    Thanks again for reaching out! All my best.

    January 28, 2014 at 7:07 pm
  • Hi Chloe! Thanks so much for posting and great to hear from you! I remember seeing Brendan at Movement a few years back with your first one – congrats on number 2! And thank you so much for the helpful advice on abs – I had heard briefly about that from someone else, but hearing the extent of it is super helpful (hopefully to others as well).
    One thing I've learned about my body is that I am a super slow healer, but not good about accepting that 😉 …. hence all of my injuries! So it's good to be reminded not to dive head first back into climbing after the little guy is born.
    Thanks again and I hope we run into you guys at the crags or at the boulders!

    January 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm
  • Hi Beth,

    Congratulations! On your pregnancy, of course, but also on your courage to write about it! I am climber but have no children and don't want to have children. But I still value it so much to read about the unique female experience in climbing that is so dearly missing. And your voice is a wonderful, honest one! So please keep it up!

    Stay active and healthy! I look forward to reading more about your new adventure!

    Sabrina
    (from Seattle)

    February 1, 2014 at 1:00 am
  • Welcome to the party! So glad to see someone other than us amateurs walking the cragmama road. For me, motherhood has definitely been the scariest route ever. But also the most growing. Just the fact that you want to remain climbing and active (and believe you can) means you have fought the majority of the battle. We see lots of friends stop all their outdoor pursuits when they have kids… and it is sad. That is largely why we started our blog. Hoping to inspire someone! And I agree with Erica – work that network of climbing friends and keep them close. 🙂 If you are ever in Utah and need a belay/ baby watching partner, give us a call. We'll bring our crew (ages 3,5,7) and have a blast. 🙂

    KidProject.org

    February 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm
  • February 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm
  • A2K

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm
  • A2K

    Hi Beth Congratulation!

    I am Adeline a French/Spanish climber…
    I am not famous! And I don't climb more than 5.12 a! Or 7b+ in Europe…
    But I consider myself as a fanatic climber and my husband too.
    I was pregnant last year of my twins Enzo and Darío.
    I climbed leading until month 4 (We climbed in California; in Spain; Mallorca, Murcia… in France…).
    Then I did top rope; (even long routes 300m in Murcia….) until the month 6.
    With my twins moving a lot in my tummy off course!
    When I was 7 month pregnant I had a huge tummy! So I stopped climbing and walked a lot…
    I was always careful and listened to my body…
    My twins were born on the month 8!
    Robyn Erbesfield was always there in my mind as an example of a wonderful Mum and Climber!
    Here in Spain I met Berta Martin and Pati Blasco two wonderful Mums and climbers who were another good example…I met them when I was climbing 2 or 3 months after having my babies… I remember my twins were playing in their little tent while I was climbing with my husband or with some friends… and they told me to be patient… that in a few month I would feel stronger then before!.. So it was really encouraging!
    We talked about breastfeeding as well… I breastfed my twins 9 months.. They both breastfed their child longer.
    So having a child or two at a time in my case! is a wonderful experience, even if you have moments when you think you are not what you used to be… your body feels different… blablabla!
    Things doo change… You have more responsibility… but you get used to it.. and time goes by so quickly! The best is to make the most of it; travel and climb as much as you can!
    I had my twins last year end of March and it was such an amazing feeling when they came to the world that you forget the world and you float on a little happy cloud!!
    I started climbing again one month after having my twins in May… Little by little of course!
    But quickly 4 months later (In July) I was climbing routes of my former level quite well… doing abdominals.. Running…etc
    When my twins were 5 months I run a Half Marathon and felt quite good.. good feeling
    Now 10 month later, climbing, I feel even stronger than before having my Babies!
    We go climbing nearly every week-end and every holidays with our twins… we travel a lot!
    So I would say to all future climbing Mums; be PATIENT, LISTEN to your BODY…. and if you breastfeed your baby you will quickly be back to your level and feel even stronger than before!
    It is such a wonderful experience.

    Good luck!

    adeline.komen@gmail.com

    February 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm
  • Thank you so much Sabrina for the kind message! I really really appreciate it!

    February 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm
  • Thank you so much for the message and link Alyssa, it's so wonderful to hear from you! And I really appreciate the information and advice – it's great to hear about other women out there making it work 🙂
    We are looking forward to the new adventure ahead and I'm sure will have many more questions!
    Thanks again, and all my best!

    February 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm
  • Hello Adeline and thank you so very much for your message! It is wonderful to hear your experience and story through having your amazing little boys! I really appreciate all the insight and I know that many other women will appreciate it very very much as well!
    It is great to hear that you are able to get out there and climb now with the two little ones in tow – something that I'm sure we'll be learning about this summer!
    Thank you very much again and I wish you all the best!

    February 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm
  • A2K

    It´s a pleasure, all the best to you Beth!

    February 6, 2014 at 9:07 am
  • Congratulations Beth! Carrie Cooper had similar discussions during both of her pregnancies and not sure if you have seen this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV5fRqgCBOw

    February 11, 2014 at 1:32 am
  • I loved your post.Much thanks again. dddgfdddddefeeee

    November 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm