Pregnancy and Fighting

Back in November, I attended the Bennington fight practice.  I had my newer, lighter armor and was interested in getting back into fighting again.  I knew it would be an uphill battle for me, but was still too stubborn to give up despite the years of damage done to my emotional mindset and my SCA reputation by one individual. Yes, I understand that it was partially my own fault for keeping to myself and being overemotional and prickly by turns as I healed myself and my emotions.  I am also nowhere nearly as friendly as I used to be because I have lost the sense of trust that I used to have for most people, even those I once considered friends.  That is something I still have yet to work on.

So anyway, back to the fight practice in November: I armored up, was chatting a bit, and then I realized that all of a sudden I had to walk away and throw up.  So I did.  I suspected that I might be pregnant at that point, but I wasn’t sure.  I blamed the vomit on the flu that was supposedly going around my school, took off my gear, and watched the fighting.   I went home and took a pregnancy test.  Sure enough, I was pregnant.  There came the age-old question for any female fighter who gets pregnant — to fight, or not to fight?  The answer varies by the individual.  I know of a female fighter who actually managed to fight into her fifth month of pregnancy.  I am by no means saying what she did wasn’t right for her.  However, I decided it wasn’t right for me.    I am now 37 and technically obese, so the chance for miscarriage and birth defects goes way up with that combination.  While there is absolutely no evidence that says fighting while pregnant will damage your child, I didn’t want to take the chance.  I have always wanted kids and didn’t want to fuck anything up.

There’s also the other side of the coin that people don’t consider when fighting while pregnant.  It’s the other party.  Women that fight while pregnant tend to neglect to tell the person they’re fighting about their condition.  Why?  Because they know that almost anyone will refuse to fight a pregnant woman.  There’s also the reason that women tend not to tell people they’re pregnant until after the first trimester and the chance for a miscarriage goes way down.   I don’t believe it is fair to your opponent to omit such important information from them, especially if you think it will cause issues. But again, that’s just my opinion.

So, needless to say, once again when I have determined that I will get back into SCA fighting, life has other plans for me.  However, having always wanted kids, I really can’t complain about this particular life twist!  For the first 3-4 months of my pregnancy, constant nausea kept me from wanting to attend anything.  When I started feeling better, I attended an event or two with my husband, Kitsutaro (we got hand-fasted in December).  The fighting event was the hardest for me because I had no idea what to do with myself.  I mean, yes, I also embroider, but I always thought of it as the sort of thing that I did at home.  Why would I drive however many hours to go to an event to embroider?  Thankfully, I still did have some friends who were willing to pick the friendship up where we left off years ago.  It provided me with the double advantage of learning to get out there and start trusting people again and reminded me that sometimes the SCA really is about the people in it.  I also started to hang out with more women.  It’s not that I have anything against female friends, but I had a bad experience with the types of women who are more “frenemies” than friends in the past, I had more in common with the men in the SCA because of the fighting, and my personality can be a bit tactless and abrasive at times which often deters more females than males from conversing with me.  However, being pregnant was a conversation opener for a lot of women.  Granted, it seems to be all anyone talks to me about these days, like I’m no longer a person just an incubator, but I’m always grateful to have a go-to topic for conversation!

I am due on July 22nd, so I will obviously not be attending Pennsic this year.  It will be an advantage next year because our kid will be almost 1 and easier to deal with at a long-term camping event than a newborn would be.  I intend to be at a few events between now and then, but I will obviously not be fighting.  I have asked around on a Facebook group for female fighters about how long it took them to get into armor again after giving birth.  The average answer was 6-8 weeks.  So, optimistically, I will be back to fighting in September.  If not, later.  My husband is very supportive and we have already started talking about ways we could share the baby responsibilities and still manage to fight.

Some women talk about being able to workout during their pregnancy.  While I have considered attempting pell work, it seems there is always so much else to do with the responsibilities of work, home, and preparing for a baby.  I tried to work out a few times, but I found that I rarely have the energy.  My body is usually just very worn out from growing a tiny human.  I keep telling myself that I’ll really focus on working out, eating healthily, and doing pell work after the baby arrives.  Let’s hope that works out!

So, needless to say, I won’t be writing terribly much in this blog for a while.  I do plan to update my embroidery blog with my attempts at period maternity Viking clothing though!


~ by Gunnvor on April 5, 2017.

3 Responses to “Pregnancy and Fighting”

  1. Congratulations! I have gone through basically the same thing recently, and I also stopped fighting straight away. I’m still going to fighter practices every week though, but am spending my time training other people. You can still be involved in the fighting community, even if you can’t fight! I plan on water bearing for my friends, watching, and continuing to train others while I’m physically up to it. Once the baby comes, it’ll be interesting to see long it takes to be ready to fight again, physically and mentally!

  2. Hi there!

    Do you think there is any reason pell work or slow work would be dangerous to someone who is pregnant? I’ve tried explaining to my doctor etc. what we do, but I more often than not get met with blank stares.

    I would just skip the practices, but my partner still attends and I’m his transport… and his father-in-law runs the practice; and we haven’t yet told him… I’m also itching to keep in shape and keep my technique sharp as I’ve only just started heavy.

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