I'm guessing that not everyone has the luxury of an OB who competes in the A/O's - but it's proved really helpful and comforting for me and I've really enjoyed it. Choosing to continue to ride up to this point in my pregnancy is definitely controversial, but like most things that seem to involve kids and parenting, everyone needs to do what they feel comfortable with and become equally comfortable with dissenting options from others.
For me, personally - continuing to ride has been easy. For one thing I feel my best and am the most energetic when I'm at the barn. If it weren't for the barn, my greatest cardio challenge would be climbing the stairs to my bedroom at night. For another, it helps that I'm just now starting to show. For me that means my body still pretty much feels normal, my balance isn't all screwy yet, and also, my breeches still zip (barely, but they do). Since I'm used to my pants pretty much always being tight, this doesn't disrupt me.
Perhaps if this had been a difficult pregnancy, or if even getting pregnant had been arduous, I would be more guarded with my activity, but so far, things have been healthy and my general mindset has been to keep doing-what-I-do as much as possible.
Enter my OB. I really appreciate that she's a rider, because she has a very realistic understanding of what the physical impact of riding truly is. She also understands the craziness that is horse-ladies and can empathize with my desire to stay in the saddle. That being said, she is still a doctor and isn't going to let me run wild or do anything too crazy.
So far she has emphasized that I need to be aware of what the risks are in a worst-case-scenario situation (falling/trampling) and not ignore those possibilities. I totally agree, and as someone who's been riding for 25 years, I suppose I'm maybe too familiar and comfortable with those possibilities.
At an earlier appointment she gave me a stern lecture that it's fine to ride, but I need to be a slightly different rider while I'm pregnant. If my horse is being overly bad/flighty/unpredictable - now is not the time to step up to the plate and battle through things. Now is the time to get off, hand the reins to someone else and watch what happens.
Now is not the time to take risks, move up divisions or anything else where I'm stretching my limitations or comfort zone. Now is the time to drop down a division, scratch classes if I'm not feeling 100% and play everything safer than I would normally.
With that in mind she's given us the proverbial green light for Thermal, which is exciting. The barn that she rides at will be down at Thermal for the same weeks, so I can also take comfort in the fact that she'll be a few barn aisles over should I have any questions, or need anything.
So with that knowledge, and a very good, honest conversation with my Trainer about what I am (and am not) comfortable with for the show, I feel very prepared to hopefully get a couple more weeks of rides in and enjoy this whole process. Of course, I've balanced that with a healthy understanding that there is a chance it won't be smart for me to ride, and I've come to terms with that also.
Mentally I have decided that after Thermal I'll be done riding until after miss baby arrives so I will be shifting into the role of spectator fairly soon either way!
One of the ladies was teasing me that if I keep riding for too much longer I'm going to end up with a kid who needs to be put on a horse to fall asleep instead of in a car... too funny. but fine by me!