Please join us in welcoming our younger sister, Sarah, to our website. Sarah will be joining us a regular contributor and will be the voice behind Athlete Moms. A freelance writer, mom to three little ones and an avid runner, Sarah will be offering her expert advice and firsthand experiences in staying fit as a mom.
Today Sarah fills us in on the events of the last week and talks with Bec about what her plans for 2013.
It was a script that seemed likely to emerge only from Hollywood: Two sisters, two babies, seven hours apart. Although we typically shy away from drama, we provided plenty of it when both of our babies decided to make their entrance on the same day. At one point, our labor was progressing almost identically, with Bec ensconced at Lenox Hill hospital in Manhattan's Upper East Side while I, Sarah, holed up in George Washington as President Obama--and 500,000 spectators--celebrated his inauguration mere blocks away. Among all of the what ifs we pondered throughout the past nine months...what if we have babies in the same week? The same day?...I don't think either of us thought that would actually happen.
But it did.
After spilling the beans about our “baby race” to the various doctors and nurses who checked on me throughout the day of the 21st, I think I let our team down when I received word that Amy Frances emerged just before 6pm. Without batting an eyelash, one of the attendings said, “Well, you can still have this baby on the same day as your sister. Why not?”
Things didn't progress as quickly as that earnest young doctor had hoped, but Nell Cathryn did debut rather swiftly at 12:39 a.m. Technically, these cousins will have different birthdays. But they will share one amazing story.
So, here we are, one week in, awash in the exhaustion, elation, and excitement that a baby can bring. And as we adjust to life with a new little one, as true Athlete Moms we're also focusing on getting back to pre-baby fitness and, eventually, racing again.
But let us back up a bit and share a little about us. In some of our rare periods of downtime, Bec and I chatted about our back story and thoughts on what lies ahead.
Sarah: Hard to believe our babies are finally here! Was pregnancy as much of a blur for you as it was for me?
Bec: Now that the baby is actually here, the last nine months do seem like a blur. Before Amy arrived, I was watching the calendar as the days dragged on. To be honest, I was not a fan of the weight gain or inability to workout and race, but now that I have a cute little baby, it all seems worth it.
Sarah: The toughest part for me was not being able to run in the third trimester. I had to stop after in early December after I had some serious Braxton Hicks contractions and pelvis pain after runs. Considering I ran almost the entire way with my first two pregnancies, it felt like a defeat, but since the pelvis pain actually worsened as the weeks went on, I know it was a smart choice to stop.
Bec: You're lucky that you kept running as long as you did. I did not run past 20 weeks, but stayed in shape by swimming 2-3 times a week and going on LONG walks or hikes. I tried to walk at least a 5K every day and on some days walked up to 10K. The walks would tire me out just as much as run normally would.
Sarah: I bet you're still in great shape, then. Because it's been months since I've run, I am more eager than ever to get back out there. I figure I'll start up in a few weeks but slowly. In the meantime, I'm breaking out the double stroller and going to try to go for some long walks myself. What about you?
Bec: Since I had a c-section, I won't be able to think about running for another 6 weeks or so. As much as I'm ready mentally to get back out there, the smart thing to do is take the time to let the surgery heal. Once I get cleared to start working out again, I plan to start with some really easy and short runs, mixed with strengthening exercises. I'll have to build back the muscle I lost over the last several months.
Sarah: I'm sure you are excited to race, too. I'm registered for a half-marathon in April, so that'll be my first one for 2013. I know I'll be far from hitting a PR, but the goal will be to finish. Any plans to race soon?
Bec: I want to enjoy the process of getting back into shape and I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's been so long since I've had that feeling of doing a workout and really pushing myself further than I thought was possible. I definitely miss that. As far as racing goes, I would love to race again in late May at the Columbia Triathlon. It'll be good to test things out on a familiar course with our parents living just 20 minutes away, I'll have a babysitter! After that, I plan to build fitness with each race and by the second half of the season be back to full strength. My ultimate goal is to get back to challenging the top ladies in the sport.
Sarah: Hmmm, maybe I should join you in Columbia! Although my focus will probably remain on running. I had been chipping away at a sub 1:30 half-marathon and had just run a 19:30 5K last spring when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, I figured the reason I was so exhausted all the time was because I'd been training so hard! Being so close to my goals and now so far away is motivating me even more to get back to that level of fitness. What's motivating you?
Bec: I'm motivated to see what I can do this season. People say you come back from having a baby stronger than ever. I'd like to make that happen!
Sarah: Well, hopefully we'll be able to get back on track soon.. In the meantime, I hear a baby crying...
Bec: Me too...