In my last post, I was all excited about feeling great after a longer hike. I must have jinxed myself. The following weekend, JK and I hiked Teanaway Ridge in search of shrooms and blooms – we were too early for both, but what I did find was that walking hurt. A lot.
In the following days, so did little movements like getting up from the couch and turning over in bed. I tried to rest and not do any exercise for most of a week, but, as always, that led to lower back pain and severe down-in-the-dumpsiness.
My yoga teacher told me to make sure I keep my hips level and legs together whenever I change positions (like getting off the couch), which helps a lot, and I also bought this maternity support belt to wear when I walk. It’s a minor miracle worker – when I wear it, I’m able to walk without feeling like my pelvis is being ripped apart by a thousand monkeys. The only complaint I have about it is that it takes what is normally a rather cute baby bump and squeezes all the extraneous blubber up, transforming it into a most impressive muffin top. Oh well, there’s no place for vanity in hiking (or in pregnancy, as I am learning).
After testing the belt on Cougar Mountain and in the Redmond Watershed with great success, I felt ready to try a “real” hike again, especially since summer seems to have arrived very early in Washington this year!
I picked Twin Lakes near Lake Wenatchee, a new trail for us but one that was reported as being snow-free. I refuse to hike on snow these days, since I worry about slipping, falling, and smushing my belly. Even if I just slip and don’t fall, it’s going to hurt like the dickens, thanks to that delightfully unstable pelvis of mine.
Anyway, back to the trail. Instant favorite. There was so much variety! Wildflowers, open viewpoints, riverside walking, a surprisingly pretty marsh, giant cedars, a stretch of forest that reminded us of hiking in the tropics, two different (but somewhat similar, being Twin Lakes and all) lakes, and, at last, shrooms!
The only parts I didn’t like were the ravenous mosquitoes (the price you pay for the pretty marsh) and the log crossing. It’s an easy crossing and I wouldn’t normally give it a second thought, but given the baby-smushing risk, I’ve decided to not cross another slick log like that this season. It’s just not worth it.
By the time we made it to the lakes, I was both happy and tired – a little too tired. JK had brought a full-length sleeping pad that I could stretch out on, and I did my best to rehydrate and eat everything in sight.
Luckily it wasn’t such a bad place to spend an hour or two!
This was the hike that made me realize that my body is calling the shots from now on, and it’s not something I can just mentally push through – an unfamiliar thought for someone who struggles with always feeling like she’s too lazy. Staying active during these last months is good (for body, mind, and baby), overdoing it is not.
What really brought it home was how I felt the next day. Ever since my pelvic issues started, I’ve felt awful the rest of the day after a walk or a yoga class, but then felt a million times better the next day. This time, however, it just got worse and worse, and by late Sunday afternoon I couldn’t stand up without wincing or walk without a significant waddle.
Then, aaahhh, Monday morning brought relief. JK has helped me out with this exercise whenever the pain has been bad, and when we tried it on Monday morning, I heard a loud popping/clicking sound, and suddenly the pain was gone – I could walk like a normal person! I could even get up from the couch with all my weight on one leg!! From what I can tell, my pubic symphysis must have been way out of alignment, and the sound I heard was of it popping back into place.
As miraculous as it felt, I fully expect this pain to come back throughout the rest of my pregnancy, possibly getting worse and worse (based on the horror stories I’ve read on the internets). It doesn’t seem like anyone knows how to prevent it, so I’ll just keep my movements controlled, do my kegels like a champ, use my belt, and find a list of nice, short, well-shaded hikes to go on this summer…and, when hiking FOMO inevitably sets in, remember that this is but one summer out of my life, those mountains aren’t going anywhere, and what I am doing is way, way more important to me than trail time.