The Lamoureux sisters both gave birth to baby boys.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando have done just about everything together. At the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the 29-year-old identical twins helped Team USA beat Canada for the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey in 20 years. Lamoureux-Morando tied the game 2-2 in the third period, then Lamoureux-Davidson scored the game-winning shoot-out goal.
This past winter, the hockey-playing twins who each own three Olympic medals and six world titles had baby boys within six weeks of each other. Monique and husband Anthony Morando welcomed son Mickey on Dec. 11, 2018. Exactly six weeks later, on Jan. 22, baby Nelson Davidson came into the world and met his parents, Jocelyne and Brent.
The two women live about two minutes from each other in their hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and in mid-April, they watched Team USA beat Finland in overtime for its fifth world ice hockey title while their Little Lams slept. At least until overtime. Then Lamoureux-Davidson had to bounce and shoosh Nelson during the shootout.
If all goes to plan, it’s the last women’s game the two will watch from the sidelines. Or from the living room. At least for a few more years.
“I told Joce, after going through that, I need to go play for a few more years before I can put myself through that again,” said Lamoureux-Morando.
Through pregnancy and the early months of parenting, the two have been on maternity leave from USA Hockey, and they began training to return to the national team within two weeks of their sons’ births. The first team camp is slated for August 2019, and their goal is to make the national team this fall, then play in the Four Nations Cup in November.
“A timeline that we’re both confident with is that it’s going to take us about a year to really be where we want to be from a physical conditioning standpoint and from a preparation on the ice standpoint, which would set us up hopefully for world championships next year,” Lamoureux-Morando said.
If they make the team, they will be the only women on the U.S. ice hockey team with children.
But neither identical twin started from ground zero fitness-wise. Both worked out through their pregnancies, even though they experienced different symptoms. Lamoureux-Morando was nauseous for eight of the nine months — vomiting multiple times each day — and Lamoureux-Davidson had trouble sleeping.
Besides these differences, what surprised them the most during pregnancy?
“We were surprised at how much we were able to still do and the intensity that we were able to maintain up until the end of our pregnancies,” said Lamoureux-Morando, whose husband Anthony developed training programs for them during pregnancy and post-partem recovery. “Obviously, we had to modify as our bellies got bigger and depending on how things felt. But there was so much that we could still do from a strength perspective and a conditioning perspective. It definitely prepared us for child birth and set us up to continue to stay fit and healthy even after we had the babies.”
The two regularly posted videos on social media of their workout routines as an inspiration to other pregnant women.
When it came to post-partem training, the Lamoureux sisters found less information on how to recover, particularly for elite athletes. They reached out to their Twitter followers and asked what surprised them after they had had babies. Responses included the exhaustion of caring for a baby on little sleep, adjusting to the all-consuming nature of motherhood, breastfeeding problems and feelings of incompetence.
Again, they shared a video of a post-partem workout.
So what surprised the Lamoureux twins the most in their own post-partem recoveries?
It came back to fitness. Lamoureux-Morando was surprised with how much fitness she had retained when she resumed training after Mickey was born. She started slowly — a walk was a workout in the beginning. But five months later, she is feeling closer to her normal elite-athlete self.
“Once we got into the swing of things, I was surprised at how good I felt and how much better I felt when I started moving and training again,” she added.
Beyond the weight room, Lamoureux-Davidson feared she would feel rusty once she was back on the ice. She had not skated in over a year. Nelson was about six weeks old when she laced up her skates and hit the ice. Again, she did not push it and was relieved that the old feelings returned.
“I felt pretty good, my skates felt good, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was going to be,” she said with a laugh, “so that was refreshing.”
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, what did each twin learn from their mom, Linda Lamoureux?
Linda raised six kids — the sisters have four older brothers — and she herself was one of six. She has been babysitting her grandsons when their moms need to train or run errands, and Lamoureux-Davidson remembers the first time she left Nelson with her mom. Linda’s mom – Nelson’s great-grandmother – showed up too, and Lamoureux-Davidson was pointing out everything that Nelson might need.
#week6 of Mickey’s life was a memorable one! We welcomed his cousin, Nelson into the world, so now he has a best friend for life. He got an unexpected morning bath, but we are sure more of those will happen. His dumbbell rattle toy is a fav right now. He loves when grandma gives him back rubs, and when dad watches football with him, and most importantly, he had his first play date with Nelson. They are a cute pair! #babyboy #Mickey #Nelson #momlife
“Grandma goes, ‘We had 12 kids between us, we’ve got this,’” Lamoureux-Davidson recalled with a laugh.
Motherhood has given Lamoureux-Morando new appreciation for her own mom. The six Lamoureux kids were born within five years of each other. After giving Mickey a bath, she texted her sister, “I can’t imagine doing bath time with six kids.”
Monique and Jocelyne are also appreciative of how much Linda has helped in the past few months. She’s “really hitting her Grandma stride,” they like to say.
“Our mom sees our passion to want to get back and sees how much we love being moms,” said Lamoureux-Morando. “It’s just been awesome seeing the support she’s been giving us to help us get back to where we want to be. Female athletes, we don’t get to where we are without a great support system, having great people with us.”
A freelance writer based in Vermont, Peggy Shinn has covered five Olympic Games. She has contributed to TeamUSA.org since its inception in 2008.