Sophie Carter inspired us during her twin pregnancy with her incredible commitment to running, cutting down her ultra runs to regular jogs of around 12 miles ‘to provide some time for myself and my babies’.
We caught up with Sophie to chat about her final trimester, the birth of her twins and to find out how she’s been coping since their arrival.
At 36 weeks Sophie was still lacing up her trainers, pulling on her FittaMamma gear and heading out for a run, saying cheerily, ‘I was only managing five or six miles and I did have to stop more frequently – but nothing hurt or felt uncomfortable so I simply carried on running.
She continued, ‘Having previously experienced two miscarriages I was careful to ensure that nothing jeopardised my pregnancy, listening to my body and only doing what felt right for me and my babies. With two babies there was more pressure on my bladder but I believe running and working my muscles kept my core and pelvic floor strong. I really felt good!
I kept an open mind about how long I’d keep going but towards the 37th week I started having contractions and at that point I thought I’d better stop.’
Baby Jaxon, was delivered naturally, a relatively easy birth with not so much as a tear. Baby Isla unfortunately needed more help and Sophie was rushed to theatre for an emergency C-section, even more distressing with the COVID-19 restrictions on birthing partners being there to support.
Sophie lost a lot of blood and Isla spent several days in intensive care. ‘It was three days before I could hold Isla,’ said Sophie. ‘I was up and walking on the day of the C-section and expressing milk for her but I wasn’t able to take her in my arms until the hospital was sure she was stable. Luckily, she is really strong and despite Isla’s difficult start in life she pulled round quickly and we were all back at home within a week. The midwives said it was a good job I was so fit and healthy as the outcome might not have been so positive. Both babies were a good birth weight (Jaxon was 5lb 10ozs and Isla a tiny bit smaller at 5lb 6ozs) and the medics agreed that my regular exercise throughout pregnancy had had a positive benefit on them, improving the blood flow through the placenta to nourish them.’
So how is Sophie managing life with two older children and newborn twins?
Unsurprisingly, Sophie’s postnatal journey is progressing exceptionally well. When we spoke, just five weeks after their birth, Sophie had already resumed her role as a child-minder, saying ‘Their parents rely on me and provided I’m organised with the routines of changing, feeding and sleeping it’s really not a problem!’
She has also resumed teaching her outdoor circuit classes, with a small group of mums who have regularly exercised together. With the twins asleep in their buggy Sophie demonstrates the moves as much as possible, modifying where necessary but enjoying the chance to get out, exercise and see everyone again.
And ….Sophie has already started running, tucking the twins up in a double running buggy and heading out for short postnatal runs of just five or six miles. Her twin bump split her tummy muscles and weakened her core but despite the pressure of two babies she has not had any postnatal issues with her pelvic floor saying ‘I honestly feel that running during my pregnancy kept it strong – it feels fine!’
Sophie continued, ‘Running is how I deal with things, it helps me to cope with the sleepless nights and endless feeding. Running is my therapy, it makes me feel better mentally and keeps me feeling like ‘me’. I stay completely within my levels of capability and truly believe it makes me a better mother. I’m just so grateful that everything is ok and I’m able to run again.’
Her FittaMamma maternity wear is still in regular use as postnatal running gear, holding and supporting her mummy tummy whilst it knits back together. She has also found it comfortable for breast feeding, commenting that it’s easy to pull the bra bit up to feed during or after a run.
Congratulations to Sophie and her family and thanks for looking so good in FittaMamma gear.
Sophie Carter Personal Trainer