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Marathon Mama

Gabriele Ayres
St. Louis MO USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 19 No. 3, May-June 2002, p. 89

When I discovered I was pregnant two years ago with my son, Wolfgang, I had to stop marathon training after some complications in my third month. My doctor recommended a low-impact exercise program, so I began swimming to stay in shape. I swam a mile the morning my son was born.

I attended my first La Leche League meeting when Wolfie was just nine days old. I have not only found a support network of mothers, but also many women I now call friends. I was fortunate enough to have been able to quit my job and I've spent the last year enjoying the special bond that Wolfie and I have developed as a result of our breastfeeding relationship.

Six weeks after delivering Wolfie I resumed my marathon training. I started off very slowly and built my strength and endurance up over the last year. On October 7, 2001, I ran in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. My husband, Rob, Wolfie, and my mother were there to cheer me on. I ran 26.2 miles in 3:39:39. When I crossed the finish line, I hugged my family and then sat down to nurse Wolfie. I sometimes just stare at him when he is nursing because I can hardly believe how perfect he is. What a wonderful experience it has been.

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