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My daily life has been all about fly fishing for a while.  My dreams, my plans and my energy have all consisted of fly fishing.  Happiness has come from every single cast and the rivers have been the road I walk.  I have seen, felt and heard just for myself.   But when the colors of autumn were behind and the whiteness of winter was landing on the rivers, one season of my life was getting to the end.  Since that moment, everything in my world has been different.  I am not living only for myself any longer.  This is the time when I am two.

I know that everyone is not able to fly fish as much as I have been fishing during pregnancy.  I am one of the lucky ones who have gotten quite easy with this part of life.  I have only a couple of weeks left now before giving birth to my baby and I am still wearing my waders and hooking fish.  From my point of view, fly fishing has been a part of why I have been so well during pregnancy.  Keeping moving and outdoor life itself can help to avoid some of the pains and problems that the body is going through.  But obviously, fly fishing during the pregnancy has not always been the easiest thing to do.  Some days have not been good for fly fishing with this huge belly and clumsy body.

photo courtesy of - Antti Takaniemi
photo courtesy of - Antti Takaniemi
photo courtesy of - Antti Takaniemi

The first obstacles that I faced were continuous sickness and tiredness.  I felt swollen in my body and I had a bad headache all the time.  I had to focus just to stay awake while fishing, with a body that tried to force me to sleep at all hours. Once, when I was fly fishing in the middle of the backwater area in the winter time, I felt very dizzy.  That was the moment when I realized that I was afraid of being in water for the first time in my life.  It was not that safe to fish alone anymore like I was used to.  I would have to listen to my body more seriously in the future.

After three months of pregnancy, I finally started feeling better and I could make a plan beyond one day.  My mind ran fast and there were thousands of questions about what I would be able to do or not.  The truth is that there are never the right answers waiting for you.  You have to take every single day as a step and keep your eyes open every new morning.  There were too many worries and too much brain work because of the things I couldn’t know in advance.  Maybe my own mind has been the biggest limit when being pregnant.  It was growing even faster than my body and sometimes all those emotional changes drove me crazy.  One moment I was pissed off and a few seconds later like sunshine.  Some days I just wanted to cry without any good reason.  But we all have the right to this mind racing when we are pregnant, have we not?

Even if I had to give up with some of my fly fishing dreams and cancel a couple of great trips in this year, it was worth all the of sacrifice, for these nine months, which have been definitely the most amazing journey of my life!  Honestly, fly fishing has actually never felt this good, emotional and exciting.  It has been so incredible to feel the little human growing inside of me and know that he can already live the experiences through me.

I still had a chance to make a couple of trips abroad with my baby bump.  The first one was to Gotland in the middle of my pregnancy that was the best time to travel because my belly was still quite small and easy to carry on with.  What made me nervous were the weather conditions, hard waves of sea and the level of my physical health when we were travelling to Gotland to fish for sea trout.  What if I could not fish as much us the others or would they see me as a problem on the trip?  The problems I had were created by my mind and the reality was waiting at the destination.  Of course, I was exhausted after all that walking, wading, casting and catching.  Not because of my pregnancy but  because of the flu I got at the first day of the trip!  Wading in the sea actually felt much more safe than walking on the ground.  If I fell down in the sea, as I did, the water would hold me up. The first fall was like a wake up call which told me to be more careful.  My body control was not the same and I needed to think more about every step I took.

The second trip was to Slovenia when I was eight months pregnant.  Baby was coming soon and it made me ask myself how good or bad an idea that trip was. Traveling to Slovenia was something I was wanting for such a long time and finally I had a chance to make it come true.  Still, I couldn’t be completely excited because I was thinking too much that something could happen to me or the baby far away from home.  I am quite sure that pregnant women face a new kind of fear and see more risks than possibilities in some stage of their pregnancy.  It is all needed and totally normal when your priorities have been changed.  The hugest thing of your life is around the corner so it would be strange if you would not feel tense at all.

The way I chose to cope was to focus on the positive thoughts and try not to stress too much about the upcoming things.  Of course, I tried to avoid all the real risks and do only those things that my body and mind would allow me to do. Our trip to Slovenia went really well at the end even if my belly was getting too heavy sometimes.  I needed to have breaks on the rocks, drink a lot of water and remember to eat snacks all through the day.   Some things are easier to do than to think about, and this trip was one of those.  Sometimes things don’t go like you have planned, but they can also go even better!  Pregnancy was that kind of experience for me.  In the beginning, I was ready for everything.  I was waiting for the long rocky road with all the bad symptoms and ready to leave fly fishing for a while.  I thought that the next time I would use my waders would be next year.   Well, now I notice that everything that I faced on this journey was totally different than what I thought in advance.  Every day taught me to trust my body and mind more and more.

At the end of it all, I want to say that there is not any short cut or the pen with which you could write the story of being pregnant.  There are bad days and good days, like in your normal life as well.  Something that felt good yesterday is out of the question today.  Tomorrow is a mystery that you should take with an open and curious mind.  If the body was the reason to slow down today, tomorrow your mind might tell you to stop.  Know the risks and make compromises.  See the problems and find the solutions.  Remember to share your feelings and do not forget to enjoy them.  When you are huge and clumsy, remember that this is just an adventure into your body, as it  is working hard at creating a new life.

photo courtesy of - Antti Takaniemi

However crazy it is, there is a kind of relief when you start to live not only for yourself but also for someone else.  The experience of fly fishing is no longer just the things you will always remember but also the world you can show to your upcoming baby; this little human who has no idea about the world yet.  There is not just the mirror with your own face and your own dreams:  there is a window into the environment that you can share with someone else.  No matter if my boy will ever choose to live this fly fishing lifestyle, I am grateful and blessed that I am the one who has a chance to offer this option to him.  Opening that door is a huge pleasure and a gift that I can be proud of.

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