“No you didn’t!” you say. “Yes, I did.” I respond. I was still in my first trimester with my first child. My mid-wife gave me the thumbs up, “Plenty of padding” she assured me. “No problem.”
Yes, the baby was fine, but was I? Well, it turns out, not really.
First of all I was in that, “I feel fat but you probably don’t even know I’m pregnant stage.” Meaning my pants don’t fit– but you can’t really see that yet. Whatever, that was no biggie– just the first of many minor discomforts that pregnancy lavished on me. What I didn’t account for, and couldn’t really have known until I got up on the mountain was that my skin and bones didn’t fit either. Or work. At least not the way I was used to.
Now I should mention that in the past I had spent a lot of time snowboarding. I mean I’m no expert or anything– but I have at points in my life spent the whole winter just snowboarding and in the wonder, powder-filled magical place of Wolf Creek in Colorado. (It gets the most snow of any place in Colorado.) Not to mention that I learned to ride while living in Colorado and having a five mountain pass to all the best ski places there. It’s the only sport I’ve ever done that I LOVED– like in my bones and being loved. So I did it, a lot.
You would not have known it that day with me and my babe in tow on the Washington slopes. And neither did the eight other people I was riding with.
I can’t really describe the feeling except to say it felt like looking at down at something (that something being my body) and thinking, “This thing is not working!” It was like I couldn’t balance or move in the way that I was accustomed to. But there wasn’t anything obviously hanging out (like a giant belly or huge boobs) so that I actually knew how to compensate for this alteration. So here is what I did instead:
Tumble down the mountain. Over and over again.
At the bottom of more or less my last ride of that day landing into crowds of “Are you okay!?” my brother-in-law told how he saw this giant snowball rolling down the mountain and he was thinking, “Poor soul!” And then he was like, “Oh my god! That’s AIMEE!”
Wonderfully enough this was also the first time I had ever been on the mountain with him. And I might mention that my niece and three of her (expert skier) friends (ages 12-14) and their dads were also with him. These are kids who skied EVERY weekend. They are all, kids especially, black-diamond-icy-mogels-no-problem-i-got-this, sort of skiers. And here I am, Ms. “No really I snowboarded for years in Colorado. Once practically every day for a whole season!” And I can’t make it off the chair lift right now.
It reminded me of when my best friend and I first learned to ski, also at the age of 12ish. I swear the attendant would have his hand on the “Stop Lift” button the moment he saw us coming. Because pretty much no matter what, we would end up butts on the ground in a tangle of skis, limbs, and poles while the chair lift was still swinging around.
Me, pregnant with a snowboard under foot was almost exactly like that, except the 13-year-olds around me knew how to get out of my flailing way and fast so that just me, and me alone, would stop the lift, or just barely gimp out of the way in time.
Truth be told, even on a normal day these kids were better than me on their sticks. But seriously I can get off a chair lift! And even ride blacks. Just not that day. Or most probably the next.
I tried not to make too many excuses for myself. You know, I already had the glam of I-belong-on-green-hills-but-I’m-trying-to-keep-up-with-these-blackies, which is CLEARLY not working out for me. So I just tried to sort of huff a bit and bear it, without complaining too much.
But the last roll down, the one I mentioned, when I got to the bottom, it wasn’t just the circle of pity looks that took me off the mountain. I was EXHAUSTED! I hope you never discover this but it turns out it is WAY more tiring to roll down a mountain that to ride it. Especially if you’re pregnant?
That day when I said “I’m going in,” what I meant, more accurately was, “I’m going to awkwardly re-cross the mountain through a series of barely making it off chair lifts and rolling down mountains, while still attempting to remain upright in my too tight pants. But no SERIOUSLY, you do NOT have to accompany me. I’ll be just fine without you there to remember it too.”
Just find me in the lodge I’ll be there with my pants unzipped and my hot chocolate sipped.