Braapin' While Pregnant - By Angelisa Edwards
Well here I am, 6 months postpartum. I still find it hard to believe that I now have two children to look after, but this little addition has made our family complete.
I have been meaning to put together a blurb about my pregnancy with Billie and how it was so different from my first pregnancy with Stella. Time has passed, and today I feel is the day I need to write about it.
For those that have known me during my first pregnancy, know I did not enjoy it one bit. I was miserable. I know everyone experience different pregnancies but I for one hated it (I do not like using the word hate but wow, it was not enjoyable). During this time of pregnancy, a part of me was being stripped away. Almost like my spirit was fading. Let me explain, I was an avid snowboarder at the time, like OBSESSED WITH THE SPORT and have been for many years. I decided to stop snowboarding during my first pregnancy and because of this action, I suffered. I chose not to do the thing I love most because of my growing belly.
Reading about pregnancy, I was absorbing as much information I could. I read books after books, blogs after blogs, talked to moms and more moms, and both my husband and I agreed that snowboarding would be at a halt for the winter 2013/ 2014 season. Growing a human should be your top priority and stopping all extreme physical sports is a fair choice. A lot of people will applaud at this and say it was a great decision but I on the other hand slumped into a place that I have never felt before, pregnancy depression.
The day my first little girl was born, I felt all the negativity and depression slip away and I felt a rush of love and light run through me. I loved that little girl so much it hurt. I got out of that slump of pregnancy blues, thank the universe, however that piece of my spirit and soul was missing from the sport I loved so much. My identity was gone.
I was now a mom and even though I was proud to be a mom, that wasn't a title I was use to at the time. I didn't want to just be a mom, I wanted to be "me" first and a mom second. Call me selfish, because I am. I am selfish because I was so proud of that identity I have created for myself and having that taken away was a huge struggle for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my first born Stella. Everyday I wake up so excited to see what our new adventure is for that day, but what I was lacking in the early stages of mom hood, was "my" adventure in myself love department. What was I excited for to give myself the love and excitement it needed?
My husband and I purchased our first snowmobile the year before Stella was conceived and my winter 2014/2015 was the year I fell in love with "me" again. I decided to take it out a couple times and I started to feel that adrenaline rush I would get from snowboarding. IT FELT AMAZING! Wind in my hair, snow in my face, speed, being in the backcountry with my love was an all time high for me. I found myself again and what a rush it was. My blood was pumping in my veins and the love for snow was coming back to me and I just couldn't stop living off that high. Wowza, I sound like a junky but in all honesty, I am. An adrenaline junky. The love for snow came back, the love for being in the backcountry up roared and the need for speed is the real deal. Life made sense again. I made sense again.
Four years passed, I grew as a new mom and now a sledder (who would of thought hey?!). I have found myself and created a new chapter of identification and I am beyond grateful for this experience. Late October, 2018, I found out I was pregnant with my second. At this time I started Braap Babes, a women's snowmobile social ride group, gathering women together to network, connect and get more seat time in without their male friends and explore new areas in the Sea to Sky Corridor in a safe environment. Because of this, I had to continue snowmobiling. I created Braap Babes, I couldn't just stop everything and hold off till the next season. I put in so much work, so many pre-season events and created so much hype within our community that I had to keep going. My husband, who has been my biggest backbone, greatest supporter and number one fan, told me to keep sledding. I was shocked, I was scared shitless to be pregnant again and I feared I would fall into the pregnancy depression once more, and I am grateful my husband told me to keep sledding. If he didn't say that, I think I would of fallen into that dark place again and we both know that it wasn't a great experience for us both. Because of his encouragement, that is exactly what I did. I continued to sled, I continued to organize four backcountry events for 2019 winter season and raised $1300 for Snowarama BC - a charity for Easter seals, children with disabilities and on top of that, I sledded my little heart out. I can feel some of you cringe at that last part, but don't worry, I played it very safe. I did get myself into some tricky situations but I never once put myself or baby in harm.
How do I describe my 2018/2019 winter season? Rewarding.
I traveled far distances in the backcountry, I rode with people I trust, I slashed so much powder, and progressed a ton. I pushed myself to learn as much as I could, keeping in mind of my growing belly and changing body. I challenged myself to think outside of the box, which paid off tremendously. This pregnancy kicked ass. I fell in love with carrying this babe up to the highest mountain tops, and enjoyed the backcountry with her inside. I continued to sled till I was about twenty seven weeks pregnant (I was really feeling the weight of a 400lb pound sled) and when spring hit, I dirt biked till I was thirty weeks pregnant. I traveled with a couple gal pals to California for the fifth Babes in the Dirt event end of April and I was twenty nine weeks pregnant. That was a fun time and I loved every bit of my days on the dirt bike while pregnant. I ride a kids bike, 85 KTM, so I felt extremely comfortable and my balance and core was very strong. Again, another sport that makes me so happy and I am forever grateful I was able to dirt bike in the desert carrying my little girl.
So why did I share this story? Haters are going to hate and lovers are going to love. Do what feels right for YOU, do not let someone else tell you what to do (Unless its life threatening!) and get creative. I have mentally experienced two different and extreme pregnancies. I am no expert, just a mom who feels love and compassion and hopes to shed some light to the next new mom who might be feeling low. Carrying a baby in the womb is an experience in itself, but I encourage you to continue doing the things you love to do. I encourage you to continue lighting that spark, let it last as long as you can. Pregnancy is a whirl wind of emotions, we all get it. But hold on to that spark for love. Hold onto it for you. Except new challenges and allow yourself to become inventive in what you do. Whatever it is you love to do, if you are feeling like you can't do it anymore, challenge yourself to find a solution and flow with it. This is your time to create, don't hate. Do love, find love.
Hope you feel this was helpful and again, I am no doctor so please, always consult with your doctor, and be mindful of your growing belly and changing body. Trust your gut, listen to yourself. If it doesn't feel good, DON'T DO IT. But if it feels good, then FUCK YA GIRL, go for it.
Thank you to all my family and friends who have encouraged me to do what I love during a time I was very afraid of. And thank you to those who do not judge and accept me for who I am.
(I have never had complicated pregnancies, everything was text book great and these are my own experiences. If you are dealing with any complications, I encourage you to still find the love that fills your spirit and do it creatively while keeping you and baby risk free) xoxo
Live to be a forever Badass