3 months ago I ran my second marathon…giving birth! They say it is the equivalent. My first child was delivered at hospital where things didn’t quite go to plan. It started with an induction, a “suggested” epidural that went in the wrong direction and after 36 hours of labor my beautiful Amelie was born. I hardly remembered any of it because it was intense and my mind simply checked out.
With my son, I wanted the experience to be different. I had wanted a natural home birth with Amelie but it just didn’t work out. This time I knew better and everything looked as though that would happen. At 1:30am on March 20th 2007, I began to feel consistent contractions and realized that this could be it. It was perfect. My sister just happened to be staying the night so she stayed in bed with my daughter. I called my mum who came over to help out and warned my husband that this was it. My wonderful midwife came over and soon enough there I was experiencing my home birth. It was quiet at home. Amelie and Auntie Caz asleep, dimmed lights and me working through my contractions. I was tired and it was hard but I was coping. Then the real pain kicked in..BACK LABOR. Oh my goodness!
I recently watched a British tv show called “Being Human” which features a Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost trying to be human. In one scene they showed George transition from human to werewolf. As his bones cracked, snapped and shifted, the screams of pain rippled through his body as he shatteringly transformed into an animal. I turned to my husband and said..”Hmm..that pretty much explains the pain of back labor”. And so after 7 hours of no medication, plenty of pain but amazing support in a nurturing environment I ran my second marathon and my amazing boy Edmund was born.
Now I do not write this note to tell you about my labors and how I compare them to a marathon but to tell you that I am actually going to run a Half Marathon in September 2011. I’m crazy, I know I am but I also know I have to do it. Just a few days ago I was eating cakes and chocolate and realized that I’ve had enough of a break enjoying my junk food and that its time to shift this baby weight. Then on Sunday at church a good friend of mine told me she was running in a half marathon along with many other women from church. I asked her what for and she warned me that I may not want to know. Women were running in efforts to raise money for reconstructive surgeries for the women in Africa whose faces had been mutilated by child soldiers.
On Watoto’s Living Hope Website it reads:
“Some of these women have been brutally tortured – both mentally and physically. Lips, ears, noses and even genital parts severed from their bodies. The wounds and scars are a constant reminder of their past and they’re also part of the reason for the harsh rejection they receive from their community and family.”
I already knew about this cause and my heart was already in. Immediately I knew why my friend had warned me. How could I say no to a cause like that. My heart would instantly overrule my head.
I told my husband about it and with his full support decided to start training. Train for a half marathon. How on earth do you do that? Before I move on with this story you have to know that I do not exercise..like at all! I think the last time I went to a gym was back in University and even then it wasn’t much of a workout. I hate running. I did run the other day, playing with my 4yr old daughter and her friends. I said I’d tag them but when I ran as fast as I could I couldn’t catch the little monkeys. “You’re too slow” they said….. I know. I’m not a fan of walking and I definitely didn’t do much exercise during pregnancy. But then again, if I can go through childbirth I should be able to do this.
Tonight began my first jog..my first real physical movement in some time. I bought an armband for my ipod this afternoon and selected the running app. With my app and my music ready I put on MUSE and started with a walk before turning it into a jog. I can do this. 2 minutes later… arrrrghhhhhhh. I was smiling radiantly from excitement of being able to help out with such an amazing cause but boy was this foreign. I turned down one street and began to notice all the cute houses and the beautiful view dreaming of living in such a luxurious home with my family. Shift your focus. I pressed on as my heart rate increased and so did my breathing. Well spluttering and panting would probably be more accurate. Thank goodness I couldn’t hear myself over the music or I would have been really embarrassed when I passed the many people I did.
It hurt but thinking about those women pushed me forward. My heart was pounding out of my chest, I struggled to breathe. Everything was stopping me from catching my breath and relaxing. I was pretty sure “the ladies” were crushing me at this point – (note to self, need a better support system). I reached the end of the quiet rode and sat on the ledge of a small pebble wall. I leaned my arms over my legs, tried to remember to breathe slowly and deeply; leaned my head into my hand and felt the beads of sweat dripping. I looked at my iphone and saw that I had been running for 17 minutes. Yes only 17 minutes! Deep breath. A slower song, “Unintended” played. I began to wipe the sweat away from my face brushing my hands over my nose and across my upper lip. I felt my nose again and thought about how easy it was for me to breathe. I licked me lips. I have lips that I can kiss my husband and children with. I have a nose to breathe well with. It dawned on me that many women who we are all raising money for don’t have that. How we can take so much of what we have, complain about it and take it for granted? I have to do this for these strong women who have endured so much. I have to do this to draw closer to God because it WILL require Faith. I have to do this for my family; to push myself beyond the comfortable and be a role model to my daughter. On a side note, when I told Amelie what I was doing and why I was doing it her way of understanding this was to say “You’re going to be a superhero and help people. That’s what I want to do when I grown up. I want to be a superhero and help make people better.” Heart melt.
As the song ended and my heart rate slowed, a still calm washed over me. Through the headphones I heard Muse shout “COME ON!” as they began their next song. I said “Okay” and I got up and Ran.
Day 1. May 28, 2011 ~ Jun 27, 2011
Running Report Generated by Run Training
Distance: 0.80 km
Calories: 50.7 cal
It was a good start…for me.