She was only a month old at press time, but Carmen Noel Canales — daughter of Olympic gold-medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu and her husband, Cleveland foot-and-ankle surgeon Dr. Michael Canales, is already demonstrating her athleticism.
“She’s very strong for her age,” Moceanu, 26, reports excitedly. “She can lift up her head already, and she can roll onto her side.”
Moceanu needed all her strength to give birth to the couple’s first child on Christmas Day. Her contractions actually started on the Friday before Christmas and continued through the weekend before they got close enough to warrant heading to University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning with Canales and sister Christina.
And yes, ladies, she took the epidural, along with hits of oxygen. Although Moceanu’s experience as an elite athlete helped her remain focused and positive, she says the intensity and duration of pain was far greater than anything she ever trained or competed with during her gymnastics career.
“Literally, I was out of breath and getting lightheaded,” she says. “It’s no walk in the park, that’s for sure.”
The new mother is taking off the spring semester from the University of Akron, where she’s working on a business degree, and Gymnastics World in Broadview Heights, where she works part time as a coach, to stay home with the baby.
“Motherhood suits me really well,” she enthuses. “I don’t get many hours of sleep, but that’s OK.”