I'm considering a timeline change in THE IGNORED PROPHECY. It would move the climax forward by several months.
Now, in the original version, one character cannot take part in this climax because she is very pregnant. In fact, she gives birth just a few days later.
In the revision, she would only be about six month pregnant. She's small, so that probably means she's already more than just showing. But, is that enough to make a plucky character stay home and not join in the running battle? Or does this create a bigger issue in my plot and I'd be better off just leaving it alone?
Definitly not a problem if she was acustomed to physical activity beforehand. I ran 10k regularly until I was 4.5 months and cycle-commuted until past my due date. I stopped running at 4.5 months due to round ligament pain (a very common uncomfortable sensation caused by the extra weight of your uterus tugging on the large ligaments in your pelvis), but I'm a novice runner. Many many fit women run long distances into thier 3rd trimester, albeit more slowly. Here's a link to some pregnant runners discussing how far/often they have run at different stages. http://www.runningroom.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=38158&sid=fc45e3d609c1c3462f3ce9c5ba468b65
Running is by far the most challenging physical activity while pregnant because of the up and down motion and anything else is easy by comparison. I enjoyed badminton, hiking and an attempt at surfing in my 3rd trimester.
Personally I found the more active I was the better I felt during pregnancy.
Well, that depends a great deal on how miserable you want to make her. My cousin is at home with an IV the entire pregnancy. Others are much more active. 6 months is generally when you are over morning sickness but before you get so huge you are awkward and miserable. She is going to be aware of baby (like feeling kicking and those around can too) so the idea that she might not want to risk the baby could work for many characters because the whole feeling life thing- it makes it less abstract. Right now, I am 21 weeks pregnant in Houston. We walked about 1/4 mile to class and 1/4 mile back this morning and I sat while bin played in the park next to class. I did take a nap when I got home, but it is hot and humid. I also find if I carry Bin around a lot, I get extremely sore. After moving a bookshelf, I hobbled a bit. Since I end up carrying Bin a lot more than I should, I end up waddling a lot. Center of gravity is going to be different and so she might not want to go into battle knowing she is going to be off. She also could be very frustrated at this point because she will be feeling the differences (I am constantly annoyed that I can't carry bin around without paying for it when she hasn't gained any weight- she is 30 pounds). It isn't strength that is the issue exactly since carrying a kid should be arms, but it is my stomach that hurts when I cart her around. I believe at the last few Olympics there were 5 month pregnant women- in the winter, a pregnant woman did the weird shuffleboard on ice thin- can't remember actual event. In the summer, a pregnant woman competed in archery.
Posts: 232 | Registered: Apr 2010
| IP: Logged |
Yeah, I agree that the mental aspects of pregnancy could potentially be bigger barriers than pure physical limitations (risk to baby and feeling less than your usual self as mentioned). There can also be a lot of guilt trips from both strangers and genuinely concerned friends and family. I took a lot of flack for cycling in traffic, but I kept it up believing the excercise would really benefit the baby. Would your character be more likely to protect the baby from the danger of battle, or would she fight to protect the baby's future? Would she be likely to listen to the people who told her not to fight, or would this make her more determined to do it anyway?
Posts: 291 | Registered: Jun 2010
| IP: Logged |
A lot of your answer should also be based on the world you character lives in. In one of my favorite books, Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones, a heavily pregnant woman is barely holding on, trying to get to the relative safety of a city in the far north. She is struggling through snow, across a mountain and she falls. She delivers the baby as she dies. The baby is "rescued" (if you can call it that) by someone, but the mother doesn't know that. She risks everything because her child's life was in danger.
I read another book, Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, where a Picti woman goes into battle knowing she is pregnant. That is the way of her people, though. It is how their culture lives. Women, even pregnant women, go to battle.
So yes, you face some difficulties with a woman entering her 3rd trimester going to battle. But only if it's totally against the nature of her culture. In my first pregnancy I was scared to drive in my third trimester because I was worried I'd get in a car accident and the steering wheel or air bag would hurt the baby. Then again, the second pregnancy I knew better than to waste time worrying about little things like that.
Anyway, good luck. I'm sure you'll figure out how to make it work.
Meredith, is it the character's first child? That would change their motives and feelings towards the pregnancy. With my first pregnancy I was completely obsessed with the child's development, safety, gender, name, future, nursery, you name it, I thought about it. I counted every week, and it seemed like the child would never be born.
With my second, I didn't have as much time to think about any of that. I took more risks, (and baths) then the first pregnancy, but I also was a lot sicker than with my first and a lot more tired.
One quick question, is the child's father the kind of person who would let the wife be anywhere near danger. How does his behavior shape her actions?
I would buy her being involved, but at a distance, like if she could shoot a bow, or throw magic lightning from a high tower or something. That would be cool.
I would have a difficult time believing a very pregnant woman engaged in hand to hand combat.
When I was 6 months pregnant, I felt great, but was a bit emotionally unstable. I got angry very easily. My poor husband. And I cried over dumb things and worried more than I do now.
One thing you may want to explore is the mother bear concept. When my son was three months old, a dumb doctor hurt my son because of her lack of knowledge. I still can't think of her without anger, but at the time that it happened I was LIVID. If I was a warrior chick, and someone threatened my child...
Anyway, good luck with it. ~Sheena
[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited June 11, 2010).]
My wife was doing garden work the day she went into labor with our first child, and it was actually 3 days after her due date. Physical activity is certainly not outside the realm of possibility for a pregnant woman.
Posts: 1528 | Registered: Dec 2003
| IP: Logged |
Another thing to consider is that for some women (if not all), their joints loosen up, especially through the hips and pelvic region, to help facilitate birth. The loosening affects the balance (along with the effect of a different center of gravity, of course), and also the way a woman moves. Most important of all, the loosening affects the way a pregnant woman's body feels after almost any kind of exertion.
A friend of mine did a lot of walking during her third pregnancy, and it made her joints hurt. She did much better on the fourth pregnancy when she didn't walk so much. (She realized that she was pregnant with her fourth, because of the way her joints felt, before she knew she was pregnant any other way.)
I think one thing to keep in mind is no pregnancy is the same. Some women spend the entire pregnancy puking, some never do at all, majority feel bad for the first trimester and then get better. And then the next pregnancy, the reaction might be totally different. So, you can get away with making her heavily impaired or not. She will not be at peak for sure. Also, a good assumption in real life. I want o kill my mother in law when she tells me about her pregnancies and how easy they were and why am I complaining because pregnancy is at worst mild discomfort (she also would never dream of using an epidural or inducing like I did). The funniest blog I saw was a woman whose blog was linked to the local paper. She was convinced she just had to be having twins because she was working out, eating healthy, all that stuff and yet she was still tired and really pregnancy wasn't supposed to be this tiring if you do all the right stuff. Which meant there had to be something more than just normal pregnancy- therefore twins. She found out just one baby- she was just tired.
Posts: 232 | Registered: Apr 2010
| IP: Logged |