feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Life is Beautiful!

May 5th, 2011

Hello everyone! First off, a HUGE thank you to you all for all the good wishes!

Spending time at home with the baby has been lovely and overwhelming and I’m just now catching up on things. I’ve got some photos of chic cyclists to share with you, though I’m slower on the draw these days, but first I wanted to share a little about my current favorite project…

Future Cyclist was born four days after those bike date photos were taken. My mother in law said he’d arrive with the full moon, just like his daddy, and he did. This year that day was also the spring equinox, which I think is a nice day to be born.

You can’t see it in this photo but his eyes are the same blue as his bicycle hat (printed on the hat is a thought bubble with a bicycle in it!) He had dark hair which is falling out now. He is very strong, he lifted his head up the day he was born, and he has five fingers or toes on each hand or foot. In short, we’re thrilled.

My labor was completely drug-free and relatively short – 6 hours of active labor – which I attribute to my mental game. I tried to welcome each contraction as my body doing what it needed to do, and so I wouldn’t fight it, just keep moving. Cycling training was invaluable for both overall strength but also for breathing appropriately at each stage. I was just doing what I was supposed to but the hospital staff was impressed with me. It all seemed simple to me based on cycling but perhaps it isn’t?

I was impressed with the hospital as well. We delivered with just a midwife and a baby nurse. Most of the time it was just us ladies chatting as I relaxed in a jacuzzi tub. Rather enjoyable, all things considered. But our boy arrived a whopping 8 lbs 13.4 oz (4011 g) with broad shoulders. At one point at the end they urgently called in a SWAT team of highly trained OBs and nurses who averted disaster and then left us to our privacy again. I respect what Giselle Bundchen is trying to do with her homebirth advocacy, but I’m very very grateful we had that SWAT team available to intervene only that one necessary minute.

I’ve been on the bike once since delivering, but will be riding more and more. I can’t wait for the day when I get to bring him along. Until then we’re just practicing pedaling his legs (best way to help with tummy gas!).

Oh, to put it into cycling terms, I had thought that labor couldn’t be much worse than the Boston Brevet Series 400K (253.5 miles and 14,951′ of climbing). In the end my labor was more like a 200K for which I hadn’t adequately trained. Doable, but you certainly felt it the next morning! Yet we were walking around town by day three. Hurray for bicycle training!

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