Who Would have Thought that at 38 Weeks Pregnant Kayaking was Still an Option?

Being in your ninth month of pregnancy can be draining. You reach a point where you ask yourself, is it worth it to do ‘x’? and the answer is usually a big NO. With my husband working during the day and my energy levels at an all time low during the evenings, we are often left watching television or for a big hoorah going out to a movie or to dinner. Today, I felt an energy burst and I woke up with an excitement to get out and enjoy the beautiful, sunny California weather that brought us here in the first place. Since our favorite pastime of bodyboarding is not a viable option (I can’t exactly ride the waves with my huge belly against the board), we leaned toward kayaking, and I again found myself asking, is it worth it? Well, I thought it out logically…. Our AdveancedFrame Convertible Kayak by Advanced Elements is an easy to set up, fifteen foot, inflatable kayak that can be paddled solo or tandem. One person, Darren per se, can transfer the kayak from the car to the water, unfold, inflate, and attach the seats. Although we rigged it for tandem paddling it was most certainly going to be paddled solo; I really had little intention of doing even a quarter of the work. All I really needed to do was convince Darren that going kayaking was in fact a good idea considering he would be kayaking for three (or two and a half depending on how you look at it) and possibly carry the paddles and maybe the pump. This was all starting to sound really doable! I was more than capable of kayaking in my ninth month of pregnancy. 

Off we went to Dana Point Marina for a relaxing afternoon of tandem kayaking. Although the bag was heavy, it weighs 56 LBS, we were grateful for the inflatable kayak. It took no time to get it to the sand and set it up. I was able to carry the paddles and the pump while Darren did the heavy lifting. Without breaking a sweat, he had it pumped up and ready to go.

While we were setting up, we ran into another Advanced Elements kayaker who offered encouraging words about her kayak and her constant use of it for over four years. We chatted as if we were long lost friends and made plans for next weekend to get back out on the water with her and her husband. She may have been old enough to be my mother or even possibly my grandmother, but her zest for life and water adventures were strong enough befriending elements.

I may have needed a little extra help getting into the kayak, but once we were in the water, it was surprisingly simple to maneuver and it provided an enjoyable afternoon of bonding and working together to paddle around other kayaks, paddleboards, and boats. Darren and I look forward to a long life together where we participate in experiences as one. With the AdveancedFrame Convertible Kayak, we were able to spend the afternoon free of other distractions while being on the water together. It gave me a sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt in months.

The high support, adjustable padded seat provided comfort for my back and the D-ring tie downs and deck lacing allowed me to bring a camera, water, and a few snacks; after all, there is no way I could go a full afternoon without having a bite to eat and lots of water. The only problem was, and if you are or ever were pregnant, I’m sure you already know what this is, I didn’t have anywhere to pee, which can be a serious issue during pregnancy. Luckily, we paddled for two full hours before I needed to return ashore for a bathroom break.

I was most surprised at the end of our adventure that I wasn’t wet at all. Maybe it was the calm waters of the marina, but I was impressed that we didn’t collect any water during the entire afternoon of paddling. It wasn’t like we were graceful getting in and out of the kayak either. This far along in the pregnancy, I don’t even know what it means to be graceful anymore, yet the only water that even came close to me was the constant splashing from Darren’s paddle. I couldn’t complain, though, since he was doing most of the work.

As my daughter grows, I’d like to have similar experiences with her and teach her the importance of working together. We’d like to make kayaking and other water sports about family, cooperation, and fun all within a physically active lifestyle and the Advanced Elements products and customer service are the perfect juxtaposition of those values.

I’m exhausted from a day of getting back on the water and paddling around the marina with my unbelievably supportive and loving husband, but it has brought an almost euphoric state. Even in the last weeks of pregnancy, we still have an untouchable bond and a passion for life. As the arrival day gets closer, I know that we can instill that same love for life in our daughter. It won’t be long now before she is the one paddling us around at Dana Point Marina or even out on the open waters.

Check out other interesting articles and bucket list adventures on our online magazine, Bucket List Publications. Be sure to submit your bucket list for a change to have one of your dreams come true.

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79 thoughts on “Who Would have Thought that at 38 Weeks Pregnant Kayaking was Still an Option?

  1. This very much touched my heart. I have borne 5 children and remember so well the lack of energy in the 9th month. I also remember that sudden burst of energy that came just before a total apathy that meant delivery was nigh! So be ready. 😉 I had my fifth child at age 42, and it was a piece of cake. After having to escape a mentally abusive marriage at age 45, I finally remarried after a few years of being alone. I married a younger man who has no children. He is perfectly content with that, but I desperately want another child–yes, even at my age in my late 40’s! Reading your post strengthened my determination to live life fully, to trust in the beauty of love and to savor this beautiful creation we have been given! Thank you.

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    • I have three brothers and two sisters; the youngest girl just turned 10 years old today! My mother loves being surrounded by children and she still has that passion for life and “childish” adventures. She will forever remain young through her children and it is beautiful!

      I wish you a lifetime of happiness and strength 🙂

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  2. Lovely post, Lesly! I’ll try and dig through my old pictures. We have a similar story of going skate sailing at midnight on black ice at Lake Dillon in Colorado. I was also 38 weeks pregnant, but the conditions were rare-rock solid, snowless beautiful black ice under blazing starry skies. My late husband, brother, father, sister and I put together our sails, and raced around the lake most of the night. It was glorious! Probably not the brightest move at 38 weeks, but hey, I figure with so many people around, my son and I would be just fine, just like you and your daughter! And we were!
    Keep it up! Much love,
    Victoria

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    • I feel very in tune with my body, and my baby’s needs, at this point. I know when I need to rest and when I can go a little bit further. We stayed close to shore the entire time and I rested comfortably in the kayak while my husband happily did most of the work. At no point was it a dangerous situation. I feel more nervous about getting into the car and driving on the highway than enjoying the waters from the comfort of a kayak.

      I think that people will always judge pregnant woman for a lot of their actions. From walking too much to eating fast food, there will always be glaring eyes, but things like spending the day on the water in a kayak provide far more good than bad.

      I hope that your son has the same adventurous spirit and I wish you both, along with your family, all the happiness in the world.

      🙂

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      • Good for you, Lesley. I’m sure you did. Really, isn’t it funny how judgemental people can be? We used to catch so much flak when we started the kids on bike races, for example. Do you two have a Burley trailer? They are AWESOME. Colorado has Ride The Rockies, a seven day affair covering some of the most beautiful territory, about oh, 60 to 100 miles a day, and many other wonderful multi-day tours.
        We used to Burley the kids up and down the passes. Then we started them on their own bikes at about age 8. Sure, it’s a pretty demanding route, but
        we let them set the pace, and they loved it! People would rag on us constantly about doing extreme rides with little kids. Well, guess what, they’re in their teens and twenties, and would much rather spend their time on a bike or outside than in front of a screen. Surprise! 🙂
        Keep up the good attitude, and watch those dangerous cars! Much love, Victoria

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  3. Wow! You were so brave to get in the kayak being 9 months pregnant! Good for you. You remind me of me, when I was younger and full of energy, even pregnant. I remember those days if they were yesterday. My three children are grown now. The older two have children of their own. Between them I have five grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter Zoey, turned seven yesterday; her cousin Kennedy, turned six, one week ago. My daughter is not in the process of potty training her youngest, who will be two on May 1. How the time fly’s by all too quickly, a constant reminder to always live life to the fullest. Enjoy life, enjoy the journey, and look forward to your impending new path and the journey you are about to embark. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures upon the birth of your daughter. 🙂

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    • I can’t wait to experience new countries, cultures, and adventures with her, and my husband, at my side.

      The marina waters were calm and I didn’t push my activity level. Although I don’t know if Ill get back out before she is born, it was a prefect day.

      It sounds like you have a beautiful family who have lots of adventures just around the corner. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

      🙂

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    • I can’t believe she’ll be here this month! I couldn’t be more excited to see her tiny little fingers and toes and have the house smell like a baby, although that is not always the best smell 😉

      As for the excessive peeing… I actually went to the bathroom when I got home and by the time I changed my clothes and walked back to the livingroom, I had to pee again. All I could do was laugh. 🙂

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  4. Good on you girl!! Enjoy the last days and the birth, if that is at all possible. 😉 Hopefully that little one will be fortunate enough to arrive under the great sign of Piscis!! 😀

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  5. Well done! And then I thought – burst of energy, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear very soon that your precious daughter has arrived already! Having had four myself, I recognise that surge of energy good luck to you all, with love, Sally x

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  6. Wow this is really courageous! I remember going on a 13 hrs flight in my almost seventh month. All my family told me not do it. In the end of the day it’s a mother’s intuition and her instinct that counts….

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  7. I really enjoyed this post. Having children does not have to mean an end to the activities you love doing. You may adjust some of them at times to make them more manageable… But good on you for continuing to do that which brings you joy. Your kids end up much happoer. i was actually out on Sydney Harbour today with my 3 year old son… On a motor boat not a kayak, but still had a lovely day. One thing we saw that may give you a giggle was a couple on paddle boards, each with a little puppy in between their legs. Very cute. Blog posts coming. Best wishes for the road ahead.

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  8. Being from Huntington Beach and now transplanted in Minneapolis, I loved your pictures. Today is my son’s 13 birthday and tomorrow is my son’s 3rd. We will try to do something adventureous today with the two other siblings and dad out of town 🙂
    Thank you again for your story and the great pictures.

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  9. Congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck with your upcoming delivery! I remember 38 weeks very well in the summer heat. You’re beyond a trooper.. PS – thank you for my first ever “Like”!

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  10. Good for you, that is fantastic. I was active right up until delivery, there wasn’t much I wasn’t able to do, although, at times I could have slept mid hike zzzzz.
    We canoe a lot with our son, it is actually really safe (depending on where you canoe), and there are some great products out there (babysplash.org) I believe – but we have every last piece of outdoor equipment if you have any questions!

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  11. At 38 weeks pregnant, I’d worry about where I was when the first labor pain hits. However, I wouldn’t be surprise if your baby is able to swim upon arrival. 😉 You are a true marvel, Leslie. I wish you an easy delivery when the time arrives. In the meantime, go for the gusto!

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    • I had just been at an OB appointment a couple of days before and she assured me that it was ok to be out on the water or travel as far as Santa Monica, which is an hour away. We were in the marina the entire time as well so I could have gotten out of the kayak at any point 🙂

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      • I figured you would stay close in, just in case. I take my hat off to you for having the energy to keep going the way you do. I imagine you are carrying a heavy load right now. Good for you! 😉

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      • I figured you would stay close in, just in case. I take my hat off to you for having the energy to keep going the way you do. I imagine you are carrying a heavy load right now. Good for you! 😉

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  12. You make it all look so easy. I travel to Maine every year with a group of single ladies…all in our 50’s/60’s…and we want to learn to kayak! You make me think we can do it….as none of us would be graceful at this point. Ha! I am glad you enjoy life the way you do.

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  13. Congratulations! I think you should attempt a kayak birth – it would be relaxing And make wonderful photos, plus clean up would be super fast-just roll into the lake and have a lovely first swim with baby! I am a huge kayak/strong momma supporter so good job!! Have you read drmomma.org ? Great intuitive parenting advice:) Can’t wait to see first photos of baby and Congrats again!

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  14. I was in the midst of a Chicago winter during my ninth month and I had to take leisure walks everywhere because I didn’t have any patience and couldn’t sit still! I think your baby will appreciate that you are taking care of yourself and living life to the fullest. Thanks as always for the inspiration!

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  15. Being notified of Lesley Carter liking a post on my blog, was truly prestigious.

    I adore how you pen you thoughts down and make them seem interesting to even a 14year old. It’s amazing how a teenager like me was able to relate to your write ups!
    Going through your blog ha come about as turning point in my life. It gives me something way beyond inspiration.
    I hope you can take some time out and go through my blog – http://yellowgreenbarbarism.wordpress.com/
    Though this is utterly shameless, It would be appreciated if you could help promote it (only if you like it)

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  16. You seem to enjoy every minute of every day, keep going, life is short and so full of opportunities, I am unble to do much now and love to read what you are up too, so much hope for so much people, you go girl enjoy it all. good luck with your baby, I am mum of 5 and grandmother of 6 so some experience.

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  17. As karcherry said “Holy smokes, you rock!” I entirely agree. What a wonderful post. Energy bursts are good. They are an indication that delivery is around the corner. I am so impressed and happy for you that you were able to enjoy time with your beloved on the water. Well done! Good luck for the next little while! 😉 And thank you for the blog follow. I shall be popping in regularly to see how you are doing. Hugs xx

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  18. Thank you for this post. I just recently got in to kayaking (2 times total) and I love it. However, I don’t have the type of car that can carry around a kayak or even the storage space at my tiny apartment. This inflatable kayak might just be the answer.

    And I’m glad you got to get out there in the nice sunshine. I was just in San Diego and it was so sunny and pretty.

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