I am sure that few mothers would deny that pregnancy, with its 40 long weeks of growing a baby, feels like a marathon. But Amber Miller of Westchester, Illinois, gave that simile a literal twist: on Sunday, with a little more than a week to go before her due date, she ran — and walked — the Chicago Marathon, beating her husband’s time and welcoming her new daughter seven hours after crossing the finish line.
It wasn’t supposed to pan out this way apparently. Miller, 27, had registered for the race before she knew was pregnant. Two days later, she found out she was expecting her second child and so by Sunday morning, with baby still on board, she decided not to forfeit the registration fee. Her doctor gave her permission to run half the race and walk the rest, so she did, with a time of 6:25:50.
Despite not really expecting to finish the race, Miller’s story ended happily when her contractions at the conclusion of the race produced a 7lb 13oz daughter called June. Plenty of people have been quick to condemn her actions with one paediatrician being quoted in the Chicago Tribune saying“Are you people familar with the concept of a stillborn? Babies not infrequently die in utero right at the end of pregnancy, presumably at times from lack of adequate blood flow to the placenta. I think it is highly irresponsible for any physician to recommend such a long and strenuous course of action at 39 weeks, where blood clearly must be diverted from the placenta to her muscles. No one, I repeat, no one could assure her that this was a safe choice.”
However, further research has led me to find out that this is not the first time for Miller to take this extraordinary course of action! Last May, she did the Wisconsin Marathon in 4:23:07 while 17 weeks pregnant with her daughter and two years ago, she ran the Indianapolis Marathon in 4:30:27 at 18 weeks pregnant with her son Caleb and also hiked up Machu Picchu.
We all know that exercise is good for you during pregnancy but a marathon is pretty extreme and not to be recommended for anyone how isn’t extremely fit and well monitored by their doctor. Crikey, I almost sound like this is normal behaviour when we all know that clearly isn’t the case! It’s better than sitting with your feet up on the sofa watching TV while stuffing pizza and chips but really – do you know anyone who would do this? I most certainly don’t!!!