Story of HOPE
Kathy ~ Runner
Mom to Sebright babies: 3-1-10 and 5-21-10
My two babies were first trimester miscarriages, due to very low hormone levels. They were very loved and very much wanted.
I have channeled my grief into running, sharing my story, and reaching out to others. It has really saved me during the aftermath of my miscarriages. I've always been a runner and have loved it, but it became even more important to me after my losses. I have also been encouraging other women to run and not be afraid to talk about their own losses. In addition, I have spoken out very publicly about my miscarriages.
Running has helped me feel normal again. I can return from a ten or fifteen mile run, feeling like I brought back a piece of my old self. Running has been a constant in my life for many years, and really gave me something to focus on and throw myself into. I started training for a 50 mile ultra-marathon after the second loss. I also was chosen to be a fitness ambassador for our state recently and during the interview, I brought to light the story of my miscarried babies and how hard it was, how I consider them my children and that they count. This in turn, translated into my article being printed in the local papers with a good size paragraph about the miscarriages. I have had a few people that tell me it was a very gutsy thing to do and they were proud of me, to put myself out there in a running interview and let my real life be shown. Miscarriage is so taboo for some reason that I just cannot understand. I want to change that.
My inspiration was loud and clear. I've always wanted to run and encourage others to become runners. But now I found an even larger group of people I want to help ~ other women that have lost their babies. I speak with many women - women I see on a daily basis - that tell me of their losses after mine went so public. I just knew I wanted to do something to help, so I started talking to people and telling them the truth. The more I talked, the more other women talked to me about what had happened with them.
I am running pregnant right now. I am pregnant again for the 3rd time this year, but this time it all seems to be going well. Right now, I am almost 5 months along and still happily running. Considering the past, I didn't think I'd ever get here. I thought something was broken and wrong and I wouldn't be able to carry a baby for 9 months. I believed if I were to become pregnant again, I'd have to be strapped down to the couch.
My inner critic can sometimes get in the way. But more often, it is 'other critics' who get in my way. Yes, I've experienced some negativity. There are people that believe running caused the miscarriages, and I somehow deserved it because I was too selfish to stop running. These are the same people that believe I will surely kill this baby too by running. My doctor has reassured me that my losses were caused by a hormone deficiency, which is now under control and has told me to run to my heart's content.
I have run many races. Women who have seen my face and heard my story always tell me their own. It is heartbreaking to hear how many women suffer in silence. They don't tell friends or family because they feel ashamed and like a failure. You'd be surprised by what a complete stranger will tell me! I always encourage them to talk about it if they feel like it, and point them towards support groups, helpful books, and websites I've found. If they want to talk about their loss, they should be able to without being judged and that is what I want to help change.
I am inspired by my son. He is just two years old, but seems to understand more than he should. While I cried at home after each loss, he would periodically come offer me a hug, which in turn would make me cry harder because I was so thankful to have him. Knowing how great he is and how wonderful our lives are because of him, I knew that we had to keep trying to have another baby.
You can read more of Kathy's story on Faces.