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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mom biked to hospital to deliver baby

From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Tess Weber, just 3 months old, already has been out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with her parents, Paul and Susie.

That shouldn't come as a surprise. She enjoyed a bike ride the day of her birth.

Susie Weber, an active 41-year-old, shared her story of biking to delivery - a one-mile ride from her home in Menasha to the Theda Clark Medical Center - in the January issue of Silent Sports Magazine.

"On the day my daughter was born, I stayed at home until my contractions were about three minutes apart and increasing in intensity. When it was time to go to the hospital, the last thing I wanted to do was get on a bike. But my husband had the bikes ready, my doctor was expecting to see my bike in the lot, and my own internal voice was telling me I couldn’t give up now.

"I somewhat reluctantly got on the bike and, to my surprise, enjoyed every minute of the ride, even when I was having a contraction. Despite all the dire warnings that I would crash my bike when the pain hit, I found that I could power through it. In fact, the contractions on the bike were the easiest to bear because I was distracted and doing something I love."

While biking to birth would be an extreme example of maintaining fitness during pregnancy, Weber's piece provides excellent advice for expectant women (and their partners).

Her pregnancy was high-risk due to her age and previous miscarriages, but she kayaked, skied, swam and biked from start to finish. She biked to her first appointment in March, and that day "set a goal of biking to every appointment," including the delivery.

"I think it was better for me overall and I recovered quickly and was down to my pre-birth weight in three weeks," said Weber, who is on maternity leave from her job as a pilot for United Airlines. "My doctor was a great person to work with.

"I think people treat pregnancy as a sickness; and you're not sick. You just have to be reasonable, I think."

Tess was born on Oct. 7 and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches. On Thursday morning, Weber proudly reported that Tess had rolled over, apparently starting her own fitness regimen.

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