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Bump and ride diaries | 19 weeks

By Megan Craig

Surfing and the ocean have been two of the biggest influences in my life. Growing up I was surrounded by a family who, despite being in possibly the most landlocked location in England, embraced the sport from afar. It was for this reason that I made the decision at 18 to move out to Australia in pursuit of every surfer’s dream.

So, here I am now! Four years later and I am living in Coolangatta, married and oh, yeah – five months pregnant.

19 weeks and counting…

19 weeks and counting…

In the four short years since I left the UK, a lot has changed in my life. I usually spent my days making coffee, bobbing around on my 9ft4” or lying in the dunes. Well, that was before I found out I was pregnant anyway.

I find that my relationship with surfing has become mellower, softer.

See, in my naivety, I honestly believed that (like Bethany Hamilton) I too would be able to live out these nine months like nothing has changed; that I’d just be able to paddle on my knees and the rest would come like normal... Right? Wrong.

Pregnancy wasn’t easily achievable for my husband and I. After 14 months of trying with no success, I was diagnosed with endometriosis which was impacting my fertility. Luckily for us, one surgery was all it took to fix our issue and within one month I found out we were expecting. I can honestly say, at that moment, my total outlook on surfing changed.

Pre-baby sunset logging session

Pre-baby sunset logging session

In the last 19 weeks, my whole body has changed completely; not just my ever-growing bump. I spent the first few months of pregnancy either nursing a headache or hugging a toilet seat. I can’t say that these two things (especially when combined) equalled any desire to leave the house, let alone throw myself onto my log.

My connection with the sport is as strong as ever but in a more basic way.

Whilst I still loved going out for that golden hour glow at Kirra, I was suddenly very much aware of how important it was to take myself out of harm's way. As you can imagine, living in an area like this, the surf is one thing – but the crowds are another. I instantly wanted to sit as far to the shoulder as I could. Away from anyone who could potentially flick their board at me or mess up a duck-dive.

My relationship with surfing has become mellower, softer. Just being in the ocean is enough. I don’t feel the drive to get the longest ride or sit out there for hours in wait of that one perfect wave. My connection with the sport is as strong as ever but in a more basic way.

I honestly feel like it’s like I am resetting into those first days of surfing, where it’s more about the feeling than the action.

Follow Megan and baby Craig’s story exclusively at Women + Waves