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Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Hello especially to the female coaches who have worked while pregnant. I am currently 7.5 weeks into my first pregnancy (YAY), and we just got our schedule for state in two weeks. I am coaching 9 sessions over 3 days (5pm Friday, 11,3, and 6 on Saturday, and 8, 11, 3, and 6 on Sunday). I am already nauseous and exhausted - I am the gold bars (and vault) coach so I do 3 bars rotations a night and am barely making it through that right now. Coffee makes me feel sick and usually I nap during the day, but that's not going to be an option at state. There are things that help a little.with nausea (sour gum, peppermint tea, bone broth, peppermint candies, small snacks), but I just feel kind of bad all the time. I coached my way through intense chemo two years ago, which was definitely worse, but there was only one meet before I finished - most of it was during pre season. I did one day of 4 sessions last year, and then the other level was a different weekend and only had 3, but I was absolutely wiped after just one day and I wasn't even pregnant! Now I have to do it in back to back days.

I am so lucky to work with amazing people, and we won't be responsible for that many kids at any given time, because they all compete by age groups. There is one other silver coach with me, but I am the "head silver coach", and this is her first season coaching team, and then two other very experienced gold coaches, so I know they will be able to help as much as needed.

Is there anything I'm missing that might possibly make things a little easier for me? We do have a bit of a trial run this weekend, as I have two back to back sessions late on Friday, and then two early Saturday, so I could try somethings out if you've got any suggestions.
 

mommyof1

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Jan 31, 2012
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Congratulations! I am not a coach, but as someone who had a rough pregnancy (hyperemesis), I would strongly advise you not to try to coach multiple meet sessions on consecutive days. I would choose a maximum of one or two non-consecutive sessions, not early morning or late evening, each day, or (even better) opt out completely.

Tell the kids and parents ahead of time that you will be unable to coach but they will be in good hands with Coach Susie, then have Coach Susie take the lead at the last practice before the meet. There were several meets over the years where my daughter was coached by someone other than her primary coach, and it was always a non-issue.

If you push yourself too hard, you may end up having to pull out at the last minute, and a last-minute change will be much more disruptive to your athletes than a planned substitution. If you're experiencing nausea you also risk dehydration and other complications from overexerting yourself. This could end up in a situation that is embarrassing or even dangerous to you and/or a child you are spotting.
 

Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Congratulations! I am not a coach, but as someone who had a rough pregnancy (hyperemesis), I would strongly advise you not to try to coach multiple meet sessions on consecutive days. I would choose a maximum of one or two non-consecutive sessions, not early morning or late evening, each day, or (even better) opt out completely.

Tell the kids and parents ahead of time that you will be unable to coach but they will be in good hands with Coach Susie, then have Coach Susie take the lead at the last practice before the meet. There were several meets over the years where my daughter was coached by someone other than her primary coach, and it was always a non-issue.

If you push yourself too hard, you may end up having to pull out at the last minute, and a last-minute change will be much more disruptive to your athletes than a planned substitution. If you're experiencing nausea you also risk dehydration and other complications from overexerting yourself. This could end up in a situation that is embarrassing or even dangerous to you and/or a child you are spotting.
Thank you so much for your straightforward advice. The subject had been broached by my boss - the gym owner and the gold floor coach. I am definitely going to try to back off and let the other silver coach try to take the lead this weekend and see how it goes, especially because she will likely be the head silver coach next season. The other coaches I work with had to know, because I started puking during a meet a couple weeks ago and I didn't want them to think I was sick/had covid. She also knows all of our silvers pretty well, and has said she can step in for them too. It's so hard because I want to be there, and she said that she knows that as well. I was in the hospital with neutropenic fever for one meet at the tail end of my chemo and it was such a bummer, but everyone did just fine! It feels a little tricky to me in terms of explaining to the kids because I don't want them to know about the pregnancy until the season is over, as I will be stepping away from coaching entirely at the end of the summer, and we still have regionals at the end of the month. They just ask so many questions!

I am looking over the schedule and thinking about all the kids and trying to come up with something that will work for all of us! There is one silver session with only 2 kids, and a gold one with just 3, so those seem like obvious choices to skip. We are all staying in a 3 bedroom air BNB 3 minutes from the gym, so that part is nice. And I know for a fact that I will be able to duck out on awards.

Basically I'm just thinking with an audience right now.
 
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PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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Congratulations to you! I agree, please don't over-exert yourself, you have a very important job outside of gymnastics now, LOL. It sounds like you already have a foundational plan in place, so hopefully the other coaches will be able to work that out with you. I'm sure they're willing to help you and your team. I'm so excited for you and wish you all the best! I had colleagues that experienced hyperemesis and I know it was hard, but workplace flexibility (and understanding coworkers) can make the road a little easier, I hope.
 

pt coach

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Dec 23, 2009
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I coached through 2 pregnancies both with pretty awful morning sickness. It was not fun, but I survived. Basically, the other coaches stepped in to make sure I was not moving equipment, mats, or spotting so that I could conserve energy and make it through the sessions. However, I could have easily skipped a few of the sessions, but I was too stubborn to do so as I hated the idea of missing out. Maybe in 2 weeks your symptoms will have eased up a bit!

My advice is to listen to your body and have a plan to leave the meet if you are feeling sick, or too tired to continue!
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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Oh, and my nursing background just kicked in - make sure you are consuming enough electrolytes. Also, do you find ginger to be helpful? I didn't have nausea during pregnancy, but it helps me with any other type of "tummy issues".
 

Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Oh, and my nursing background just kicked in - make sure you are consuming enough electrolytes. Also, do you find ginger to be helpful? I didn't have nausea during pregnancy, but it helps me with any other type of "tummy issues".
I do use electrolytes in my water all day every day. I like the IQ or LMNT ones when I can handle a flavor, but I also have some flavorless ones that I can put in teas too. Ginger helped so much when I did chemo, but it has no effect with this, which has fascinated me.
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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I do use electrolytes in my water all day every day. I like the IQ or LMNT ones when I can handle a flavor, but I also have some flavorless ones that I can put in teas too. Ginger helped so much when I did chemo, but it has no effect with this, which has fascinated me.
You're on the right track then. :)

Oh, and do you find smells to be triggering? I know most meets sell concessions, and I'm personally not a fan of the smell of nacho cheese and hot dogs - and I'm not even pregnant. So that could be something else to consider, depending on what's going on at the meet venue...
 

Coach Kate

Coach
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Oct 13, 2021
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I coached through 2 pregnancies both with pretty awful morning sickness. It was not fun, but I survived. Basically, the other coaches stepped in to make sure I was not moving equipment, mats, or spotting so that I could conserve energy and make it through the sessions. However, I could have easily skipped a few of the sessions, but I was too stubborn to do so as I hated the idea of missing out. Maybe in 2 weeks your symptoms will have eased up a bit!

My advice is to listen to your body and have a plan to leave the meet if you are feeling sick, or too tired to continue!
I have been reading conflicting things. I will be 10 weeks exactly on day 2 of state - some reports say that's the worst and others say it should be improving! So I guess we will find out.
 

Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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You're on the right track then. :)

Oh, and do you find smells to be triggering? I know most meets sell concessions, and I'm personally not a fan of the smell of nacho cheese and hot dogs - and I'm not even pregnant. So that could be something else to consider, depending on what's going on at the meet venue...
Good thought. As far as smells, it kind of depends. I do have a stronger sense of smell and had to do a reminder deodorant talk with one of my groups last night because one in particular smelled so bad, but she definitely was not the only one! Most of our meets don't have many concessions on site, or else they aren't that close to the actual competition area. We have never been to this particular venue before, so I really don't know what to expect!
 

pt coach

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Dec 23, 2009
191
I have been reading conflicting things. I will be 10 weeks exactly on day 2 of state - some reports say that's the worst and others say it should be improving! So I guess we will find out.
It definitely just depends on the person! I felt sick through the second trimester with both, but I have friends who just had it for a few weeks. I hope you have the shorter version!
 

Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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Ok, so I did my four session weekend, and after the fourth session on the second day, I needed a three hour nap. I sat on the ground for most of the second half of the last session, but our two other coaches were great and just handled it!

Plan for state:

Email is ready to send to parents next week giving them a heads up about what is going on and what the plan is.

I will do the Friday session, and the first and third session on Saturday, taking a break for the middle one that only has two kids in it (and they're both second year silvers who did state last year too!). We are staying less than 5 minutes from the venue so I can pop in for a rest.

Sunday, I will do the first and fourth sessions for sure, and see how I feel in the middle. Gold is easier because we have three coaches, and we event coach, so I take a back seat during beam and floor anyway. The other two coaches will be in charge of setting bars and vault, which we practiced this past weekend, so they know everything and I also have a spreadsheet with all the details.

And then Monday morning, I subbed out my preschool classes in the morning to give myself a little time to recover.

My bag is already stocked with peppermint tea, tummy drops, tummy friendly snacks, and electrolyte mixes.

Thank you so much for all your advice and encouragement.
 
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Coach Kate

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Oct 13, 2021
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My wife says bring lots of snacks. She says she used to love Sunny D bottles and sour candy!

Apparently the sour candy helps if you get sick.
I literally just unlocked the sour candy hack this week! Trident sour gum and sour patch kids. My coworkers are floored because they have never seen me eat candy before.
 
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QuietColours

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Nov 10, 2008
85
Lots of good advice in here. I just had to roll with the fatigue--nothing really stops it. Rest when you can, sit when you can, accept any and all offers of help. At 21 weeks, Trader Joe's cheddar rockets are the only food that have helped the nausea for me. The only thing that has actually gotten it to stop is the Zofran prescription I got a couple of days ago--the first day of work with it was a huge improvement. Hopefully the nausea won't last nearly this long for you.

Smells are the most common thing that get mentioned as triggers, but mine have primarily been visual--artificial lights, backlit screens. Blue light glasses and sunglasses help, and I can see perfectly fine through them (although I have the settings on all my devices set so bizarrely that while I can see things perfectly clearly, no one else can use them). It took me a while to figure it out because those things were so universal and constant it was hard to identify them, and it wasn't something I initially thought to pay attention to because of all the focus on smell and taste.
 
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