This year I learned so much about this body of mine. I learned to love it, respect it and use it to help my baby grow.
It’s pretty amazing, really, what we can make our bodies do, and what they’re meant to do.
At the beginning of 2014, I was about 14 weeks pregnant. I had just finished a December run streak, and we had just started to share the news with family and friends that we were expecting a baby.
I tried to keep running as that baby bump grew. With such a snowy winter, I continued with most of my runs on the treadmill, at the gym. I kept going until my hips started to hurt. By that time, I was about 28 weeks pregnant. I actually kept running longer than I expected I would.
After that, I tried to stay fit by doing spinning classes, walking and doing strength exercises.
Throughout my pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds. I tried to find a balance between listening to my body and nourishing my baby and not giving in to every craving. I was really lucky to have a healthy pregnancy and a normal childbirth (although “normal” is actually crazy, intense, PAINful! And yes, I had an epidural!)
On June 27, 2014, our baby boy, Silas, was born. And oh, how our lives changed. He filled us with immense love, happiness and, well, fear.
My expectations for getting back into running after hitting the traditional six-week mark flew out the window. Every moment was consumed by caring for our son. I don’t think I really understood how life-changing having a child would be until it happened. He needed me all the time. For months, his only naps were in the cozy arms of mom or dad. Nights were tough at first, then better, then challenging again. I had to learn that getting stuff done could wait. Baby was and is priority no. 1.
Unexpected challenges with breastfeeding ultimately lengthened my recovery time until Silas was about three months old. Only then did I start feeling like some semblance of my old self. Except now, it’s April, the Mama. And I love it. It feels like the person I was always meant to be.
My first post-partum run wasn’t until mid-September. At that point I still had nurses coming to change my dressing every couple of days. But I couldn’t wait to get outside.
Those first few runs and workouts were so hard. But gradually they became a little easier and I realized I wasn’t completely starting from square one again (probably thanks to my fitness during pregnancy).
In late October, I decided I wanted to sign up for the Santa Shuffle. It’s just a fun run, but I needed a goal. It turned out to be a good decision. The registration forced me to get out for three runs a week. Not only were those runs good for my sanity, but they helped me get some confidence back.
I’ve kind of let my running slip over the past couple of weeks, with the hustle bustle of the Christmas season. But yesterday I signed up for the first run of 2015: the 13K Lorneville Loop! So things are about to get real!
This year, my running all but came to a halt. But I’m picking it up again. I’m learning how to juggle motherhood and fitness, and admiring all those fit moms out there who manage to make it work.
Hope you all can take time to acknowledge your own accomplishments of 2014 as we look forward to another year and whatever challenges and blessings it may bring.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!