Caroline Baby Update!
Sweet Caroline arrived into our lives on July 18th at 8:27pm! She was already showing her personality by arriving eight days late, but she was born healthy at 7 lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches long. The night before Caroline was born, I started going into pre-labor with my water breaking at 11:30pm on July 17th. I wasn’t in active labor at that point, so I attempted to go back to sleep. I only managed a few hours of sleep; mostly due to me being anxious about what was more than likely going to happen the next day. At 6AM the following morning, I called my doctor and he advised me to head to the hospital. I still wasn’t having any strong contractions, so my husband and I took our time packing for what we anticipated to be a long day ahead!
I arrived at the hospital and was advised that this baby should be born within 24 hours of my water breaking to avoid infection. This would mean that the baby would be born before midnight. Around noon, I started going into hard labor and later that evening, she was in our arms! My labor experience was more painful than any triathlon I have ever competed in from the hours of 2pm to 5pm (I received the epidural just after 5pm and it made the labor experience amazing…thank you to modern medicine!).
Caroline had the cord wrapped around her neck, just like her mother when she was born. She had to have the cord cut a little early, so that she could make her way out into the world. Since Caroline has been born just over five weeks ago; she has been eating like a champ. She gained 3.5 lbs in her first month of life and grew 2 inches. It is amazing how much little babies learn in their first month of life and what they continue to learn. She is already more alert, smiling, and cooing. Soon enough, she will be talking her Daddy’s ear off! When we put Caroline on her tummy, she likes to lift her head briefly and try to crawl.
After two weeks, I started back into light exercise. I was not ready to attempt running, but swimming was a great activity to get back into. The first swim felt amazing, even though I was sleep deprived. It felt awesome to move the body, since I was so tight from the hours of breastfeeding and from labor. I also felt amazing moving the non-pregnant body through the water. I was used to swimming with an extra 15-20 lbs. in my belly and it felt weird to have instantly much less drag! I also forgot how much my aerobic capacity was compromised during pregnancy. From six weeks of pregnancy onward, it felt as if I was always training at 15,000feet above sea level. It was refreshing to have my normal breathing back in place! Just after two weeks, I was surprised how comfortable my ISM bike seat felt. I wasn’t sure if I would be sore, but I have been able to consistently ride since day 16 post delivery.
The run took a little longer than the swim and bike, but I suppose that is to be expected. I had not run close to 16 weeks, and I started off the running much like I finished the running during pregnancy; running only uphill. Around four weeks, I felt recovered enough to resume running on a flat terrain.
Training between breastfeeding and taking care of Caroline has caused me to use my time management skills to the max! I am now very focused when I have the moments to train and even more so enjoy the moments with Caroline after I have completed my work (workouts) for the day.
My rate of training improvement over the past two weeks has been the most significant in my career! I suppose when you start at an unfit state you have lots of room for improvement. I am looking forward to building my fitness and getting back into the routine of training. Caroline started sleeping better around one month of age, so that has greatly affected how I feel during my workouts as well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that her great sleeping keeps up! She typically goes to bed at 9:30-10:30pm and wakes up between 1:30-2:30am for a feeding and then wakes up again between 4:30-6:00am. I think that’s pretty good for a one month old!
We headed up to Chicago last weekend to represent Toyota and hang out at the expo. Thankfully, Caroline enjoyed her hotel room and slept well! It was great to be back to Chicago, as it is such a beautiful city. It was strange to be there without the race jitters, but I hope to be back racing in the Windy City next year. We stopped to buy a baby carrier at Babies “R” Us on the way up to Chicago and I was pleasantly surprised there was a private nursing room. Good to note for our next trip….map out the Babies “R” Us on the way!