Mom Crush Sarah Cawrse

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Motherhood is not for the weak.  It’s messy, it’s emotional, it’s frustrating, it’s crazy wonderful, and everything in between.  In December, shortly after several women at our gym announced their pregnancies, Sarah Cawrse announced she was expecting “Baby Hiccup” in June.  It came as a bit of a shock to everybody.  Sarah wasn’t married.  She wasn’t dating anybody.  Yet, she found herself in a situation that many women have found themselves in before; pregnant with no plans to be.

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.


Last week when I told Sarah she was on my heart for the Mom Crush post, she responded with,

“I always thought my situation was more of a lesson than an inspiration.”

A lesson, maybe, but I’ve had the privilege of watching Sarah blossom into this new role, and I’d like for you all to see why she has been an inspiration and a blessing in my life and the lives of so many others.

Sarah has ALWAYS been truthful and honest when it came to baby Hiccup.  In a culture that encourages the EASY way out 99 out of 100 times, Sarah rose to the occasion.  When hard questions, doubters, and decisions came her way, she chose the hardest job in the world, motherhood.   

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.

Sarah coaches at CrossFit Apollo and so many times I’d find myself complaining about how hard this pregnancy and motherhood business was.  Sarah would be right there to help out in any way she could.

“Want me to take Ollie for a walk to give you a break?”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, you just had a baby.”

“I’ll hold him while you workout.”

Here I am in my comfort bubble- with my husband and mother that live here, and it’s Sarah encouraging me.  That’s who Sarah is with others.  She is kind, supportive, honest, positive and always ready to lend a helping hand.

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.

I interviewed Sarah, and asked her to share her story because I know there are other women out there wondering if they can get through single parenting.  Whether that’s your story or not, I hope Sarah’s an encouragement to you.

SFM: Tell us about yourself: your job, hobbies, family, etc.

Sarah:  My name is Sarah Cawrse I am an F-16 crew chief in the Air Force. I have been in 12 years and currently I am a flight chief because I am not able to be near or work on the aircraft. Hobbies I would say are obviously CrossFit whether doing it or coaching, hiking, hanging out with friends and traveling anywhere new. I am pretty open to trying new experiences such as skydiving and scuba diving even if sometimes it scares me a little.

My family is not in Las Vegas, I am from Oklahoma and my father and one sister and her family live there. My mother and her husband recently moved to Pennsylvania and the rest of my family is in California. Being stationed here I am able to be close to some of my family and I enjoy being able to go visit them.
SFM:  What did you expect your life to look like before you found out you were pregnant?
Sarah:  I can say I had no plans of having a child at least not in any immediate future plans. I had expected to spend a couple of years here, possibly go back to South Korea and then try to get an assignment back in Europe so I could keep traveling. I have always thought one day I would get married and if we had kids then we did, but due to some medical history I had a chance of not being able to get pregnant very easily so it was something I accepted may never happen a long time ago.

SFM: Tell us about that moment you found out you were pregnant. What emotions were you feeling and why?

Sarah: I was sick off and on all week when a good friend told me to take a test, I took the test and immediately bust into tears. I was in denial, shock, scared… the list goes on. The next day I had blood work done to verify, they called me back about 3 hours after giving blood to verify that I was indeed pregnant and congratulations. My friend was excited from the very moment where I stared into space in shock barely answering the phone and after I hung up I asked her to start our workout because I needed to not think for a few moments.

Her father and I were not together and he actually does not live here so I had to call him the following day and tell him the news. Neither of us were ready or thought the situation was very good. I talked to a couple close friends who told me they supported me in any decision I made. I considered my options and even drove to an abortion clinic on a Sunday to see how I would react to the thought. I burst into tears instantly and cried the whole time I sat in my truck outside, It was closed and I couldn’t handle the idea of being near that building. I knew that I could not go through with it and going there confirmed what I knew from the beginning. I knew there was no way I could forgive myself. I made the decision that regardless of her father’s decision I was keeping her and gave him the option to be in her life, which he chose to do. The following months had a lot of emotions still of me freaking out, crying, trying to decide how and what to do. I am very blessed that from the very beginning I have a great family and amazing friends that helped me when I had panic attacks, helped me figure out how to get my life in order and get ready, and just had faith when I did not. I could never repay or thank them enough especially in those first few months how much their support meant to me and how I don’t know how I would have survived without them.

SFM: I have had the pleasure of working out beside you for the past 9 months, and I get to see how strong you are on a daily basis. But what ultimately made YOU realize you could do this (raise baby Ali with or without her father’s involvement)?

Sarah:  Family and friends. I knew from the beginning that with or without his involvement I wouldn’t be raising her alone. He isn’t in a position where he is able to move and I am not guaranteed to stay here so physically we won’t be in the same location. When I made the decision to keep her that was always part of the equation. The family and friends I have supported me and gave me faith in being able to raise her when I had none. I was given constant support and reassurance that even if he isn’t in her life and my family doesn’t live down the street I will never be raising her alone.

SFM: What are you most looking forward to on this journey of motherhood?

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.

Sarah: Honestly? I can’t wait to see her smile and even though I know she is going to have a BIG personality and make my life difficult with a sassy little attitude I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. I also hope she is really cuddly and snuggles with me..

SFM: What have you learned from this experience? Were there ever moments when you thought you wouldn’t be able to do this on your own?

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.

Sarah: I have learned to trust in God and He has a plan even though I had a different one. I have learned to trust in the people who love you, they are really gifts from Him and my guardian angels in life. I have learned that what I thought was a wrong turn may end up leading to the best thing that would ever happen to me. I also learned that you can’t plan your life, you have to just have faith and trust things will work out in the end.

There was many times I thought I wouldn’t be able to do this, luckily at those moments I was reminded that I am not alone and never would be. The love and support people have for this little girl is unreal.
SFM: How has CrossFit played a role in your pregnancy?
This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.
Sarah:  Working out for me has always been an escape. CrossFit has helped me through tough times and not just that but the amazing people. Being able to do CrossFit throughout my pregnancy has helped me mentally and physically cope with everything. The days when I felt overwhelmed I showed up and did what I could do and left feeling like I accomplished something. Other days I have showed up and made jokes about my ever-growing belly and I am able to laugh and make a couple other people laugh, I mean honestly who doesn’t like to laugh?? I do know that while pregnant I had some shoulder issues that were getting bad and I took a whole week off to rest. During that week my body ached and my hips hurt when I walked out of work, the following week I returned to working out and I didn’t have the aches and pains I did on my week off. My body needs movement and CrossFit has been great mentally and physically for me. The community came around me and also shown me how I am not alone and I have many people I can turn to if I needed help no matter what. Again, that is a debt I could never repay any of them and I am extremely grateful for. I also have to add during the open I was put on a team of all pregnant women. These women were all on their second or third pregnancy, they became a backbone for me with anything pregnancy related. The group chat was full of workouts and pregnancy things. I have seen these ladies fight through things, struggle through others and genuinely support one another. It was such a learning experience for me to listen to things in motherhood that I never knew or could think of. During each of their labors they were there supporting one another talking the other through it, I never imagined that type of support would exist.

SFM: What advice do you have for other women who might find themselves in a similar situation?

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.

Sarah: The best advice I can tell other women is you are not alone. No matter what you think and how you feel people around you love and support you more than you could ever imagine if you just give them the chance. If you don’t believe people are there for you then remember God loves you and will always be there for you.

Baby Aleina Marie made her appearance (after Sarah’s water broke during a workout, of course) on Saturday, June 11, 2016.  She is 5lbs 10 oz and 19inches long.  Mama and baby are doing wonderful.

This mom discusses the emotions that come with single mothering.


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