Monday, November 24, 2008

Closing the circle

Casting my eye back over my blog I realised that I have never written about how I found out I was pregnant. Yesterday the story came full circle, so now seems an apt time to tell it.

I have always wanted to do something that is physically challenging (as if being pregnant isn't challenging enough). I toyed with the idea of rowing the Atlantic (too far and I get seasick), running a marathon (too dull and my knees wouldn't take it) but nothing had grabbed me. That is until a very good friend of mine, D, sent me an email about a crew who were going to paddle an outrigger canoe from Singapore to the equator. As he put in his email, I am one of the few people fit enough and mad enough to be able to do it. I was keen. I had discussed getting the time off with my boss, the Boy wasn't overly chuffed but understood why I wanted to do it and said I could go, I could afford it. I had told sufficient numbers of people I was going to do it, which is my sure fire way of making sure I don't back out. I just had to pay the deposit on Monday morning.

The Boy and I had been trying, a bit half heartedly, to get pregnant. I had come off the pill two months previously but that was about the extent of our efforts. I woke up on the Monday and thought it would be a terrible shame to pay the deposit and find out I was pregnant. So, preparing myself to pop back onto the pill until after the trip, I took a pregnancy test we had lying about in the bathroom from a false alarm a couple of years ago just in case. I didn't entertain the possibility I actually could be.

About 9 months later along came Eve.

I have always felt a bit short changed about the timing. The trip was, by all accounts and photos, amazing and I didn't get to undertake my mad challenge.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I spent just shy of 5 hours of my life in a double scull with an incredibly good rower and all round top lass, A. We rowed the whole way around Hong Kong Island in the aptly named Around the Island Race - which happens once a year. To say we were ill prepared for this would be an understatement. Our training had all been for the 2k sprint the previous week and A had only been in an ocean rowing boat twice before, one on a one hour training row with me 2 weeks ago and once for a 15 min paddle. We had only thought about doing it at all 3 weeks ago and in our ignorance decided it would be fun to do. This is one of the toughest rowing races there is and we had done, well, no real training for it.

We rowed through one of the busiest harbours in the world (and nearly got hit by a jet powered ferry), surfed up and down 6 ft swells, and A was seasick for about an hour. However one looks at it, the whole thing was insanely stupid. I got out of the boat swearing I would never do it again.

However, today, although I can't really sit down and still have no intention of doing it again, I feel insanely proud. Firstly, proud of A for managing to push through the sea sickness - although I may have mentioned that she merely felt like I did for about 6 months of pregnancy. Proud that we did it with such good humour, in fact proud that we did it at all. Proud that we broke, nay, smashed the previous record for a boat of our class.

But I am most proud that I did this only 10 months after having a baby.

I also don't feel at all bad at missing the paddle trip anymore.


LottieP said...

And you have a shiny silver cup to prove it!

The equator trip had its fair share of near-disasters too: they weren't supposed to mention that to anyone but somehow it leaked out...

Anonymous said...

You are barking mad, god bless you.
Makes doing the Dragon Run seem rather inconsequential.

Sabina said...

Hmmmm.... makes my effort in the WHoRR nine weeks after a c-section pretty bland in comparison! Well done you (nutter)!! xx

Mummy said...

I freely admit to being a couple of sandwiches (cucumber with the crusts cut off) short of a picnic.

After all, it does take a certain level of insanity to think pregnancy is a good idea.

Sabina - you did it three times! What does that say about you? :o)

Sabina said...

Takes one to know one!!