Saturday, 18 June 2011

New Beginnings

I should have known that going out and buying a swimsuit appropriate for my 9-months-pregnant body would mean I'd use it once and promptly go into labour. And that's exactly what happened, I went for a swim on Monday night, the day after my due date, and that night woke up in a puddle. Four days of latent labour, full waters being broken, induction leading to the most pain I've ever felt in my life, and a c-section later, we had our little one, a girl we've named Otter. She weighed 8lbs 9oz at birth, but at only 19 inches long it's looking like she takes after short stocky me rather than tall lanky Jim. She was a superstar throughout the entire labour, her HR very steady and showing no distress, and scoring a 9 out of 10 on the one-minute Apgar test (10 out of 10 at five minutes). In fact, she appears to be very strong and fit and the midwives have nothing but compliments for us.

Despite a stressful and tiring labour for me -- both physically and emotionally -- I'm recovering well (something I chalk up to my great fitness going into it) and already looking forward to when I can get on my bike again. I'll give it another week then start out with gentle spinning on the turbo and see how it goes. My CTL has already plummetted to below 50 in the short time I've been off the bike, with more to lose before I can start back again, but that was to be expected.

Otter at 24hrs old
Otter at 24hrs old

Just in case it sounds like I'm bragging or overconfident or anything... let it be known that I'm really just getting through each day as it comes, trying to catch sleep when I can, nursing very sore nipples (and massive knockers, wahey!) and generally letting Otter lead me as to what she needs and when. Having a newborn glued to you nearly 24/7 is quite a bit harder than I imagined. When Jim goes back to work next week it'll be even more challenging. But it seems Otter is a pretty easy baby so there's that to be thankful for at least!

I have no idea what I'm doing!

So over the next little while, I'll be doing more supporting than riding while Jim does a few TTs he's entered. I'll have to live my racing life a bit vicariously through him, though I hope myself to manage a 10-mile TT by end of summer, then a few hill climbs. Racing a crit isn't out of the question but I'm not holding myself to it. Longer road races are quite unlikely as I just won't have the time to train for or race them well. Instead I'll dig out my running shoes again and start to build up the miles there for the autumn cross-country season. Once Otter is big enough to go in a jogger, we'll buy one. But I think a bike seat is still a long ways off!

My favourite view of Jim in TT mode

Sunday, 5 June 2011

June 5

Today was my due date. And I rode 35km in Richmond Park, mostly to say that I did it. Total of 75km ridden this week. Goal accomplished! No pics to mark the occasion but I can verify that I'm now wearing one of Jim's medium-sized KW jerseys, my quads hit the bottom of my bump with every pedal revolution (giving me an unintentional bowleggedness) and afterwards my ribs feel battered and bruised from having a 8-pound baby's legs squashed into them. An hour to 90 minutes is my max these days on the bike then I've had enough.

Ironically I feel fairly fit still -- in fact, I put in the highest peak 1-minute and 5-minute power I've seen in about six weeks, though that was partly due to my annoyance at how many slow and silly cyclists were in my way today! -- but riding a bike is ceasing to be much fun now. Glad to have ridden as long as I did but the time has come to stop I think.

So... the other day I finally relented and bought a swimsuit to fit my giant whale-like shape. Tomorrow or the next day I'll visit the pool for a swim. Looking forward to it actually, as it'll be a novelty to swim with such a huge belly -- will I float more than usual or start sinking? What'll work best, freestyle, backstroke, or breastroke (dare I say butterfly)? All of this will be interesting to discover and it'll give me something to keep my mind and body occupied while I wait for this now-overdue baby to make an appearance.

But sorry, no pics of me in said swimsuit will follow. It was bad enough seeing myself in the changeroom mirror when I tried it on!

For those with no imagination, I'll probably look something like this.