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Pregnancy is not a handicap

Several years ago, some good friends of ours (the couple who introduced me and the Hubs, in fact) informed us that they were expecting. The topic came up over a discussion about summer golf. When Zeb asked if they’d be doing any couples golf that year, the response was,

“Well, she’s going to have a little handicap – got a bun in the oven.”

I remember this vividly – probably because of how thrilled I was for the couple (they are wonderful parents and their little girl is too cute to be mentioned here).

I also remember this vividly because I remember thinking about pregnancy as a handicap. Having not experienced it for myself at the time, I could still see how pregnancy and an enlarged belly region could indeed contribute to errant golf swings, so in terms of golf handicap, the terminology is quite appropriate.

Today I played a little preggers golf myself.

The Walla Walla weather has decided to acknowledge that it is, in fact, March, and today we enjoyed 60+ degree temps and sunshine. The Hubs and I headed out to Wine Valley for 9 holes of ecstasy or misery, depending on the wind.

It was quite windy, in fact.

And at 22 weeks preggo, I will not pretend that I was looking particularly attractive in my golf attire. I have one pair of golf khakis that is missing the top button. Add my belly band and we have reasonably acceptable bottoms – if you consider high-water khakis acceptable.

Normally I do not. But today I worked with what I had.

I also have an oversized Oregon Ducks polo that doesn’t reveal an obscene amount of belly. Again, with the assistance of the belly band.

Needless to say, my confidence was not high upon departure.

Setting fashion statements aside for a moment, lets talk technique.

I am carrying some extra weight at the moment. To put it gently, “Baby got front”.

So gripping a golf club and swinging it in a manner that doesn’t make me look like “an octopus falling out of a tree” takes some effort. Making solid contact with a golf ball, also important, is a challenge as well.

As if the ill-fitting attire and awkward golf swing weren’t enough, I cannot say that I was feeling great about having to play with a couple of strangers for our first golf outing since I have become so visibly with child.

I don’t like to swear in front of strangers.

We got out to the course with enough time to play a few range balls and putt around on the practice green before our tee time. Somehow I figured out how to swing around the bump. And the two strangers we were joining were a couple of delightful older gentlemen who immediately took some of the pressure off by playing the white tees (and jokingly asking if they could join me at the red tees).

I strung together a pretty decent round for barely being able to bend over to tee up my drives.

Three pars. A few double bogeys and bogeys. No triples. All in all, a respectable final score of 45 for 9 holes.

I imagine that with my golf handicap (not my pregnancy handicap), even my brother (who is a golf pro at the local country club) wouldn’t have minded me as a partner in a pro am. I probably would have helped out quite a bit in fact.

I hadn’t expected to string together such a nice round. My expectations were for a nice day in the sun and a little exercise with the Hubs. What I got was a nice score and bragging rights around the house for a few weeks. I hadn’t felt great going into it, but instead of lowering my expectations for myself because of my “handicap”, I went all in. High-water pants and all.

I gripped it and ripped it.

Which brings me to the point of this post. No, I did not write this blog post solely to brag about my epic round of golf in the monsoon-like Wine Valley winds (am I making this sound better than it actually is? Good).

There is a tendency to treat pregnancy like a handicap, and not the golf kind. There a limitations placed on what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t do.

And this all makes sense in certain instances. I want my baby to be as healthy as possible, so I’ll be avoiding alcohol, and horseback riding, and raw eggs, until the 4th of July and probably beyond.

Let’s face it. I don’t do a whole lot of horseback riding or raw egg eating, pregnant or no.

But what about non-health related things –

Like being a working mom?

Or a stay at home mom?

Making a career change?

Asking for a raise?

Taking on a new hobby or a class (and not a birthing class)?

All my spare time has not been dedicated to baby-centricness, and perhaps this isn’t what I should do.

I want to do work that is important. I want to be an excellent parent.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

I won’t treat pregnancy as a handicap, as my scapegoat for not trying harder, not dreaming bigger.

“I would have, but I had a baby on the way.”

I want to be the type of person who just gets s*** done. Goes big, dreams big, DOES big.

Grips it and rips it.

And I hope that our daughter will be the same way – times a zillion.

Gut to Bump, Round 2 – the Explosion

I didn’t even button my pants this afternoon.

These are the same pants that I wore just out of the wash on Saturday without any noticeable discomfort.

The Belly Band is a beautiful thing. But my “grow-with-me” wardrobe strategy isn’t going to cut it anymore. I’m not sure it is professionally appropriate to spend the work day with your pants undone.

The Swoosh – hearing Baby move

One of the highlights at Monday’s appointment was getting to hear Baby Dub’s heartbeat and occasionally, “the Swoosh” – the sound of Baby Dub moving.

It turns out that our baby is a total athlete. Every time we’d get a solid beat on that little ticker of his or hers, SWOOSH… Baby would move out of the way. Our little onion was bouncing from one side of my tummy to the other, never letting us get more than 5 seconds of that 150 heart rate.

We’re not trying to trace a call here, Baby Dub. You can hold still.