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The Birth Marathon

October 11, 2011

I just read this outlandish bit of news about a 39-week pregnant women who ran a half marathon, ate dinner and then went in and gave birth to her baby.  Crazy right.  Well as I went about thinking about this event, I was struck with how many times I’ve referred to childbirth as a marathon event for women.  Are any of you women out there runners?  Have you experienced the runner’s high?

What greater high is there  than that of a women who has just birthed her child naturally.  The chemicals, hormones have to be wild.  I mean we guys can’t really compare anything to what it is like for a woman to birth a child.  We can run mathatons, but not survive 36 hours of labor.

It does seem like a plausible metaphoric analogy of the experience, but what do you women think?  Explain it to use guys in the comments here.  Have you done the 26 miles and have you had a natural childbirth?  Tell us of the similarities and the differences.  Men want to know.

Those who I have known to run these long distances never talk about the event like they enjoyed it.  But they didn’t end up with a child at the end.  No they usually just crash at the end, and a day later their out running a 5 k or something.  They love the runner’s high and are addicted to it.

So do women get addicted to bearing children?  Is it that the bigger the triumph is, the more natural the birth, and the more they want more?

What kind of woman were you?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2011 2:19 pm

    I LOVE giving birth! I truly do!
    The 3 natural births I decided to have sent me on an amazing high immediately after the birth which helped me to bond with my baby as well as a great start to breastfeeding!
    Our 2nd baby was a planned natural vaginal breech birth (after being told I could NOT birth a breech baby vaginally by the hospital, I proved them wrong).
    My 2 Midwives supported vaginal breech birth and they were amazing!
    First birth was in a hospital, 2nd and 3rd births were in a Birth Centre. If there ever was a next time I would birth at home for sure! For me personally, I don’t see any point to being in a hospital.
    Giving birth definately can be a beautiful, positive and empowering experience if you let go of the fear and see it as a privillege and a God-given experience!

    • October 11, 2011 8:57 pm

      love your comments — they had feeling and were thrilling to read — I’ve never birthed a child, and thought from hearing women talk about it as a liberating experience. My wife of course had a vbac after a c-section and it really changed her life. I’ve never run any marathons, but have won a couple or so tennis tourneyments, that’s as close as I get to the high of the marathon runner. You do get the second wind and the same basic flow of endorphins when playing tennis — I wonder how many marathon running women could tell us about their experience — just hard to connect to teh whole world of 4.3 million birthing mothers each year. Birth is just out of reach for us guys, but it is an amazing thing to observe and support! Why else would I spend 7 month researching to write “Men at Birth.”

  2. Amanda permalink
    October 12, 2011 7:12 am

    I think that there are many similarities. I have only run a half-marathon, but it was hard. I undertrained. At mile 10 was hurting. Now, for most people who trained, it would not have been hard for them at mile 10. But I did not train well enough, and to top it off, it was winter, and cold, and wet and the course is VERY hilly. So I was done. I wanted to quit with everything in me, but I only had three miles left. It felt impossible, but most of it was behind me. How could I give up? I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. At this point in my life I had given birth 4 times without drugs (now I have had 5). It is a hurdle, it is hard work, it is hard, it does hurt, but it is also an accomplishment that I have never been able to say “no, I quit” to. I also love to labor and birth. I think it could be something women “crave” to do. To be completely honest, I love giving birth, and I love my newborns, and I love my children, but parenting is harder, longer work than giving birth. I would gladly give birth more times than I would raise children – which, in my opinion, is the much harder task.

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