Woman gives birth after marathon

BY foxsports • October 10, 2011

A Chicago woman who ran a marathon just hours before giving birth revealed Monday how her contractions began before she had even finished the 26.2-mile race.

Amber Miller — who also ran a marathon earlier in her pregnancy and another while carrying her first child — said she began to experience contractions in the final stages of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, but thought they were "Braxton Hicks" contractions that would go away.

"I didn't know for sure if I was in labor yet right after the race finished," she told msnbc.com. She said she lay down and realized the contractions weren't stopping.

The 27-year-old and husband Joe — who also took part in Sunday's marathon — were going for lunch when she realized that she might already be in labor.

"I was still having the contractions," she said. "I kind of thought, well, maybe this is real labor."

When she reached the hospital around 5:30 p.m., she was 2 inches (5 centimeters) dilated and five hours later the couple welcomed daughter June.

Miller said she did not decide to take part in the marathon until the night before, and even as she lined up to start the race she did not plan to finish.

On doctor's advice she alternated between running and walking every 2 miles, but as she got closer to finishing — leaving Joe in her wake after he injured his knee — she decided to keep going. She said by mile 18 or 19, "I'm thinking: You know, I'm going to do this."

The race was Miller's third pregnant marathon. Three months ago, when she was 17 weeks pregnant, she finished the Wisconsin Marathon in 4 hours, 23 minutes — two hours faster than her Chicago marathon time. She also ran the Indianapolis Marathon when she was 18 weeks pregnant with son Caleb, now aged 19 months.

Of her decision to compete at such an advanced stage of pregnancy, she told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I really don't take risks. The baby comes first. I know what I can handle."

Meanwhile, an autopsy on a firefighter who collapsed and died about 500 yards short of the finish line during Sunday's race has proven inconclusive, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

The family of 35-year-old North Carolina father-of-two William Caviness was hoping a toxicology report might shed light on the reason for his death.


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