On a day just like this about a year ago I huffed and puffed my way back up from the beach at Discovery Park. Very pregnant. Dressed in a way too warm outfit after the sun broke through the clouds. I said to myself – if you can do this, you can give birth 1 as I practiced my breathing techniques amid Braxton Hicks contractions.

I have no abdominal strength and I find riding upright bikes, like the bakfiets and Creme can be challenging. I have to use my back much more in order to stay sitting up and I tire quickly.

On the Surly I carry far too much stuff! I fill up my giant panniers with heavy objects (like bottles of champagne and large books). I tow a heavy trailer filled with a baby and everything he may ever need (except I’ve forgotten the essentials, of course).

I’m here, 10 months after having my body cut in half to pull another human out, and while I won’t deny that it gets easier – it’s still hard. Physically my recovery has hit a plateau as the nerves regenerate. My diastasis is still large and hasn’t improved in months despite yoga and physical therapy.

Mentally my perspective has changed. I must push on and continue despite being tired or wanting to stop. I won’t sacrifice a baby nap for a bathroom break unless I actually fear a bladder explosion. Naps are sacred. I’ve also become more flexible, looking for opportunities to stop and take a break more often.

I usually know my limits, like the fact that I dislike baby wearing after a long or strenuous bike ride. Instead I bring the stroller. But sometimes I push them, biking extra laps around the lake for nap (and #bikeeverywhere) points, or go on long arduous and untested camping trips.

Iv definitely been putting my body through its paces recently; I’m riding more than I ever have before, and almost all of it with a baby in tow. And despite my inability to sit up from laying down without using my hands, I’ve never felt stronger. I’m in better physical (especially cardio) strength than ever.

So thanks to all my mom friends who show me every day how lovely this new life is. And shoutout to the moms of grown children who go on amazing solo adventures and prove that life is long and there’s time for everything. I love you all.

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