After three months without paddling out, i’m finally back in the water. When Luna was about 3 weeks old I started taking her on beach walks with the dogs in the mornings. I wrapped her up in a sling, covered her head with a little hat and we’d walk down to the ocean with the dogs and look at the waves. It seemed impossible to leave her on the beach and out of my arms for any length of time, but day by day I got more and more eager to catch a wave.
I had planned to wait the doctor recommended 6 weeks, but a few days beforehand the waves were nice and clean and medium-sized and I decided it was time. My mom had come down to Nica and brought a beach umbrella and beach chair – things surprisingly hard to find down here. We walked down, I fed her, waited ’til she fell asleep, then set her in my husband’s lap in the shade and ran out into the water.
The ocean felt amazing but I felt so weak. I had been trying to get in shape – doing some lunges, pushups and situps, but there are few exercises that really prepare you for surfing other than surfing. I felt awkward on my board and kept looking to the beach to make sure everything was ok. I let a bunch of waves go, waiting for just the best ones. It felt like surfing a heat in a contest. Short session, trying to get as many good waves as possible, watching the time, the beach, etc.
I caught about 5 waves but my mind was on the little creature under the umbrella. After about 25 minutes my husband gave me the signal that she’d woken up and I raced in as fast as I could. I quickly rinsed myself with fresh water from a water bottle, and picked her up to nurse. She wouldn’t latch on right away. I think she was confused by the new smell – salt water and sand. After a few minutes she quieted down and nursed happily. I told her, “you’d better get used to this smell little girl!”
My husband paddled out for a little while and then came in to ask if I wanted a second session. “It’s ok,” I told him, “i’m happy here.”
Since that session I’ve been out a few more times. Each time gets a little easier. The muscle memory is coming back and I don’t feel so weak. I also feel more confident that she’s ok on the beach.