September 27, 2009

The whale is back

Yesterday was Malo's first month "birthday". I had to celebrate in style, so I decided it was the perfect timing to start sports again. Obviously, if I had had it my way, it would have been with an 8-mile run. Even a 5-mile would have kept me happy. But I had a cesarean only 4 weeks ago, and no abs whatsoever, so running did not feel like a very smart thing to do (how boring to have to be reasonable, but here you go).

Short of being able to run, I settled on swimming. Swimming, have you read? Yes. I know, surprising, coming from somebody who would not go close to a pool unless she was injured and unable to run. But things have changed. For a start, Martin called me The Whale throughout the nine months of pregnancy. First, it was "Little Whale", but from the 7th month onwards, I became a plain vanilla Whale. Somehow, it must have sunk in (I know, not the best pun ever, but I could not help it), and I discovered during pregnancy that, for my sins, I actually enjoyed swimming. Turned out that in the last four months before giving birth, I ended up doing more miles in the water than on firm ground... maybe something to do with the fact that I felt less like being the weight of a double-decker bus in the water.

In August, 2 days after Malo's birth, I got for my own birthday a voucher for a wetsuit (Martin's attempt at convincing me that I do want to do a triathlon next year). Being lucky enough to have been back at my pre-pregnancy weight for the last fortnight (and a bit below as some of my muscles seems to have mysteriously vanished over this past month without exercising), and therefore with no excuses not to try one of these utterly unflattering neoprene things, yesterday therefore saw me going shopping for a wetsuit. On a side note, running/triathlon stores are clearly not meant to get the custom of women still in the post-partum period: again, it did feel like we were trying to fit a double-decker (or a whale, your choice) in a match-box, only this time the double-decker-cum-whale was not me but little Malo and his baby-jogger.

By the end of the afternoon, I was the happy owner of a wetsuit of the inappropriately-named brand Aquaman, and we were by the Annecy Lake. I breastfed Malo while Martin went swimming, then it was my turn. I got my wetsuit from under the baby jogger (perfect to get people's attention), got changed and jumped in the water.

I quickly realised something was not quite right. Then I got it: I had lost my integrated airbag, and could not see my belly while swimming... weird feeling...

Swimming was blissful. Of course, that could have been because the water was warm. Or because pretty much the only sport I did for the past 4 weeks was carrying Malo, and walking him back and forth in the corridor to try and calm him down. and any form of physical activity would have felt like the perfect workout. But actually, there was more to it: altough if you ask, I will swear I have never said this, I think I have actually started really enjoying swimming over the past few months. That must be Martin and all his whale-talk acting as brain...-washing. Another bad pun intended.

September 24, 2009

Malo's Marathon

I know, I have been a bit silent lately. But, as I said in my previous post, I have an excuse (hey, hey, never come unprepared). I gave birth to a tiny, wonderful, ├╝ber-cute (add any over the- top adjective you may think of here, and there is 99% chance it will describe spot-on how I feel about him) baby-boy, Malo.

We have now been home for three weeks or so, but before that, I had to give birth in style. And, knowing me, you should know what "style" means. It had to be a marathon birth. Although, if, when it comes to running marathon, I am a true believer in the saying "it does not have to be fun to be fun", in the particular instance of Malo's birth, I would not have minded being spared, not so much the pain, but a bit of the drama.

I started feeling the contractions at 7pm on the 25th of August. On a side note, may I say here, pregnant-women-to-be, that you should NOT believe anything you hear about how you will just know when the "real " contractions start: this is just a whole bunch of rubbish.

As far as I was concerned, it was not painful, it was no different than any contractions I had felt for the last three months, and so I had no idea whether I was about to give birth, or not. So, just in case that was it, knowing that walking is what you should do when labour starts, and because I felt like running (surprise), Martin and I went for a two-hour walk by the lake. This did not speed up anything, so by 2am on the 26th, we were back at it. This time, it worked a bit better (sort of), and at 4am my waters broke. And it still did not feel painful at all. No drama, nothing... As a result, by 5am, Martin and I were still joking along in our living room, with me doing a bit of yoga in case things were getting tougher. By 6am, we went for yet another walk, (amazing how empty Annecy can be at night) hoping this would help speeding things up, but clearly Malo-to-be was in no rush.

By 7am, I thought it was about time to go to the hospital, so off we went.

We had time for one happy photo, before it all started to go wrong. Very wrong. To make a long story short, or rather a very long delivery very short, Malo's heart did not deal very well with the contractions, and as a result, the natural birth I wanted, without peridural, or inducement, or, obviously, caesarian, ended up being all of the above. Even more traumatic was the fact we thought for hours, hearing Malo's heart fainting on the monitoring device, that our little boy would not make it.

So an eventful birth it was, a fulfilling experience it was not. But in the end, after 16 hours of labour, Malo was born, and in good health. I just wonder if the length, if not the drama, was Malo's attempt at pleasing his mum by showing he was keen on endurance sports... in which case my son has clearly still one thing or two to learn about women, because this one is a marathon I may as well have liked to avoid...

September 08, 2009

This is Malo, the little one with the crazy Mum

I have not posted for a while, but this time, I have the excuse of hell: I have given birth to a beautiful little boy, Malo, on the 26th of August. I know I could be considered bias, but he really is beautiful.

We have now been back home for a week. Baby Malo is doing great, his Mum a bit less, but getting better (that's my second excuse for not posting since I came back).

More soon, but in the meantime, please post your comments, we'll give them for him to read as soon as he is able to (couple of months?)!