Racing Toward Mommyhood - What's the Journey Like?
Posted: May 23 2016
What's that saying? "There must be something in the water." Here at Team Coeur, we are incredibly excited that a number of our team members are pregnant! Some for the first time, others are repeat customers. Athletes are especially in tune with their bodies, so we thought it would be great to not only celebrate these pregnancies, but to also ask the "moms to be" to share thoughts about the process and experience.
1. WHEN ARE YOU DUE?
Kim Schwabenbauer: July 30th
Liz Cullen: August 28 - a.k.a. not soon enough
Stephanie Silk: October 5, 2016
Lisa Ulrich: July 18
Amanda Stanec: October 15th, 2016
2. BOY, GIRL OR UNKNOWN?
Kim Schwabenbauer: Unknown, possibly alien, but we hope boy or girl.
Liz Cullen: Don’t know, I’ll let you know when he/she is evicted.
Stephanie Silk: t's a BOY!
Lisa Ulrich: We are having two girls! (twins)
Amanda Stanec: Unknown.
3. IS THIS YOUR FIRST?
Kim Schwabenbauer: Yes!
Liz Cullen: Nope, #2. An almost 3 year old boy.
Stephanie Silk: First. We've had 2 previous miscarriages so we are over the moon with excitement!
Lisa Ulrich: This is my first (and second LOL)
Amanda Stanec: Nope, third!
4. HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
Kim Schwabenbauer: Feeling really good! Very thankful to only have had a week of morning sickness and 3-4 weeks of real fatigue during the first trimester. Once I stopped feeling like I had done an Ironman every day, I was good to go. Now it's just getting interesting between clothes not fitting anymore and the inability to tie my shoes as well!
Liz Cullen: Like I have a mild hangover, every damn day. Most of the time I’m completely exhausted, grumpy and hungry. I will say I’m feeling better than a few weeks ago, but that’s like saying I only had a few glasses rather than the whole bottle.
Stephanie Silk: Feeling much better in the 2nd trimester. During the 1st trimester, I had ALL day nausea, dizzy spells, and fatigue.
Lisa Ulrich: So far, so good! During the pregnancy I have been feeling really good, other than overall fatigue/tiredness. I was extremely fortunate to not have even a day of morning sickness.
Amanda Stanec: I felt like I had a college-grade hangover for three months but fortunately that has subsided. I am starting to feel a little better since I entered second trimester very recently.
5. ARE YOU ABLE TO COMFORTABLY WORKOUT? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING? HOW HAS EXERCISE CHANGED AS A PREGGO LADY?
Kim Schwabenbauer: I am and actually getting back to my (light) weight training routine has been a helpful in many ways. I typically work out 5-7 days per week (depending on how I feel and my other work) and cardio (swim, bike, elliptical or run) for 40 mins to 1 hour each day. My cycling is all indoors now and more often than not I'm choosing the elliptical over running since the pounding with a big belly is feeling a little weird. Exercise has just taken the "enjoyment" standpoint now with emphasis on making sure I'm not overdoing it (not hard at 11 minute miles running from 7 min per mile) and seeing how I feel Vs. following a workout.
Liz Cullen: Swim: I still squeeze into my suits and gingerly waddle across the wet pool deck. Swimming is still going well and despite needing a bit more rest, I can still swim a decent speed. I intend to spend my summer in water.
Bike: I teach indoor cycling and ride outdoors although my kit selection is now reduced to one pair of bib shorts that make me look like a chubby wrester. I also have to pee after about 12km and can’t keep up with my uber fit friends, but I’m happy enough to go out and ride around in my little ring. Occasionally I even pass another cyclist, on his 40lb 10 speed commuter bike with fully loaded paniers.
Run: running sucks. I continue to stay optimistic at the start of each run, thinking it might just go well this time. Then I get about 400m in, breathing hard, needing to pee, pain in my hips and barely moving. I guess I keep trying because it gets me outside and might just help prevent Liz-zilla from making an early appearance. Wishful thinking.
All in all, exercise is going ok. I get in 6-8 hours as week of aerobic “training” and it might be the only thing keeping me sane and remotely tolerable to be around.
Stephanie Silk: When I do have energy, I found swimming and riding my bike on the trainer are personally my best options. Swimming is very relaxing! When trying to slow jog, my heart rate was still really high, causing me to feel faint and out of breath. I ended up doing a fast paced walk to be comfortable. So now, I just go on long walks with my dog.
Lisa Ulrich: I have been able to continue working out during the entire pregnancy so far. During the first trimester when I thought I was carrying just one baby, I was aiming for about 8 hours of exercise each week (including easy/slow running, swimming, cycling on the trainer, light weight training/core strength). Second trimester I reduced that to 6-7 hours a week (more often closer to 6), all easy pace/effort, and stopped running at 16 weeks, replacing my running with power walks with hills on the treadmill. Now that I'm just about to start the 3rd trimester, I've reduced my exercise further, aiming for about 5 hours a week (and sometimes up to 6), including more walking, and swimming 3 times a week, and light weights once a week. Once I hit 30 weeks, I will be switching to only swimming and some light walking, as per the doctor's recommendations.
Exercising while pregnant has been quite different from what I was previously able to do. Going from training for an Ironman 15-20 hours a week to exercising 5 or 6 hours a week is a big change! My main goal has been to try to stay consistently active. Now I consider walking as a workout, and I get out of breath way more quickly than pre-pregnancy, especially climbing stairs. It feels like you lose your fitness so quickly! Since I found out it was twins, I have kept the intensity really low and comfortable, and wear a heart rate monitor while walking and cycling, not letting HR creep up above 125-130.
Amanda Stanec: Yes, but it's adjusted. I don't train in a high zone at all during first trimester because that raises fetal heart rate to dangerous levels. Folks say "you can keep doing what you did" but they don't always know how hard you trained when they say that. My OBGYN has qualified and competed in Kona, Boston, etc. and she told me to back off any high interval training stuff, so I did immediately. Thus, I am running, doing Stairmaster, riding spin bike, yoga, etc. Admittedly, this one has made more tired than last two - I think because work is so busy and I am cooking, taking care of the other two, etc.
It's changed in that it's harder, really. You exert more effort, but it's hard to be comfortable. At least for me. I am grateful I've been here before - I know I'll come back stronger if I am mindful of prolapse prevention, etc. More people need to talk about long-term health when speaking of female reproductive health. Sometimes athletes want to be "the tough" mom and get back asap. But, if you are knowledgeable about the body, etc. you'll realize this really isn't' the best route for most.
6. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE EATING DIFFERENTLY? ANY CRAVINGS? MISSING ANY FOODS IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU ARE NOW AVOIDING??
Kim Schwabenbauer: The basics of my diet have not changed! I've still kept the focus on spacing high quality protein throughout the day at meals (20-30 grams per meal), fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, but I've certainly indulged a bit more than usual since you know.. we have to gain weight an all :) ha (ok, I've had an excuse to eat more ice cream!). I was on a real olive kick there for awhile going through almost a full jar a week. Figure that one out! I definitely miss sushi and wine, but I can live without both of those for nine months. Don't send baby gifts to the hospital though on July 30th, just a nice bottle of Shiraz should be fine (KIDDING folks, kidding.. sort of!).
Liz Cullen: I am eating like someone that is used to training 12-20 hours a week. I like carbs, mostly in the form of Shreddies or Cheerios. Peanut butter continues to be a food group and thankfully my earlier aversion to coffee has subsided. When I’m not eating, I’m thinking about what I’ll eat next. Status quo for me really.
Stephanie Silk: With being so nauseous the first trimester, I tried eating every 2-3 hours, but that didn't help. All I wanted was pizza or grilled cheese! I've started drinking a glass of milk everyday which helped curb those cravings. I have lost my sweet tooth, which is not all bad :) I will miss grilled hotdogs this summer, and my favorite sushi place.
Lisa Ulrich: I have been eating all of the typical foods I normally eat, although once I found out it was twins I made the effort to eat even more than I usually do! I haven't had any particular cravings or aversions. That said, I definitely have a sweet tooth (exactly the same as pre-pregnancy) and I indulge probably more often than I should!
Amanda Stanec: I miss enjoying a glass of wine here and there but really wanted steam beets on all my salads. Otherwise, since I felt hungover, I (unfortunately) wanted more salty foods and that never leaves anyone feeling well.
7. HOW HAS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE CHANGED?
Kim Schwabenbauer: I'm really focused on sleep and making sure I get enough so I (we) don't get sick. I'm traveling a TON right now speaking on nutrition, motivation and endurance activity lately, so I'm trying to keep my stress level in check and hydrating well. Other than that, not much as changed besides not having to fit in 25+ hours of training a week as a professional triathlete! It's been a good year to take on other projects like my masters in exercise science and teaching my first college class (professor Kim, humm.. nice ring to it).
Liz Cullen: Now that I have an extra 6-12 hours a week in my schedule I spend it doing very productive things, like lying in bed. Mornings that I’m not teaching, I shove my husband out of bed at 6 when our son wakes and lie there for another 2 hours. Then, at 1pm when the little guy naps, I look around the housework and promptly ignore it all to climb back into bed.
Stephanie Silk: Since I'm not physically able to be as active as I was previously, it's been an adjustment. I try to get at least 30 minutes of some exercise everyday, and I try not to feel guilty if I don't. Not having any races scheduled has been a mental struggle, but I just keep telling myself to enjoy some time off and there's always next year!
Lisa Ulrich: My daily routine so far is pretty much identical to what it was pre-pregnancy, with the exception of reduced training load and hours. I am still working full-time as well as coaching on the side. This will change in June as I will be stopping work at that point in order to get more rest and prepare for the babies' arrival. I will continue to coach all of my one-on-one athletes, though.
Amanda Stanec: It really hasn't although I love being signed up for a race and having that purposeful workout planned. But, it'll be there for me when I'm back at it - always is. :)
8. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PREPARE?
Kim Schwabenbauer: Great, now I feel guilty. Isn't that part of parenting- to feel guilty! Again, kidding! We've bought a rad running stroller, have collected a few diapers and have read a few parenting books, but other than that, we are totally unprepared. We're not doing a whole lot of decorating the nursery or that kind of thing. We're busy folks. The room is yellow - perfect! I'll have a baby shower in June which I hope will semi-prepare us with a few things we need. I hear we have to one of those things to suck the snot out of the baby's nose with a tube. I hope we really wanted to do this?!!? Yikes! Kidding. We will be ready when the time comes and I am really looking forward to it.
Liz Cullen: To prepare for an infant? Haven’t really thought about it yet. I have been planning my 2017 race though. Anyone want to come race IM 70.3 Hawaii June 2017??
Stephanie Silk: I'm eating healthy, taking care of myself by resting when needed, and enlisting my spouse to help more around the house. And I'm reading a couple of pregnancy books and getting plenty of advice from friends and family. We are first time parents so we will take all the help we can get!
Lisa Ulrich: My husband and I are moving houses at the end of May (we need more room!) so a lot of time recently has been focused on a search for a new home and keeping our current home clean and organized for showings. Once we're settled in the new house, there will be some time to organize the nursery. We also registered for a pre-natal twins class at the hospital, and have been learning a lot from that, which has been helpful. There is a lot to learn!
Amanda Stanec: Nothing yet. :) Might I add - If a teammate is currently in a place where she wants a baby but doesn't have one, please know that I think of you and keep complaints close to myself when pregnant. It's a rollercoaster, but one I realize many women would do almost anything to have to navigate. I think in the spirit of sisterhood that we must acknowledge there are many types of mothers, and may ways to mother. I know I am extremely grateful to the women in my kids' lives who mother them with love, education, and mentorship even though they may not have children of their own.
Please join us in wishing these soon-to-be mamas all smooth sailing and congratulations! If you have any questions, reach out to them on social media.