– ‘It was the longest day of my life’: Pregnant woman runs a marathon… and then gives birth (Daily Mail, Oct. 11, 2011):
At 39 weeks pregnant most women would only be thinking of racing to hospital.
But not Amber Miller, who — while expecting her second child any day — set off to run the Chicago Marathon.
As she neared the final stages of the race, contractions kicked in.
But the extraordinary mother-of-one from Illinois continued the race regardless, half running, half walking.
The determined athlete managed to cross the finish line in 6 hours and 25 minutes.And just a few hours after completing the 26.2-mile race on Sunday the Chicago woman gave birth to her daughter, June Audra.
The new mother told the Daily Herald: ‘It was the longest day of my life.’
Incredibly the Chicago race was not even baby June’s first marathon — Miller ran the Wisconsin Marathon earlier this year, four moths pregnant.
She also ran another marathon when she was about four months pregnant with her son, Caleb, 19 months.
Despite the extra weight, the veteran runner’s time was just three hours off her personal best.
Miller began having contractions near the end of the race, but says she is not sure if it was labour, because she typically feels some contractions when she runs while pregnant.
Starving after her mammoth exertion, the 27-year-old even found time to stop for a snack on her way to the hospital.
She said: ‘I thought I should probably get some food first.’
‘The contractions became regular after we finished, so we stopped and grabbed a sandwich and then went to the hospital,’ she told the Chicago Tribune.
She and her husband drove to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield where she gave birth to the healthy 7 pounds, 13 oz baby.
Even so, the marathon was the easiest part of her day, she said.
‘The race was definitely easier than labour,’ Miller said.
Miller decided to run because she and her husband had already signed up for the race.
The athletic mother got the OK from her doctor and says she experienced a enthusiastic welcome from crowds as she ran along.
She added: ‘Lots of interesting comments. It was fun for me to get everyone’s reactions.’
But the dedicated runner, who has completed eight marathons, admitted that she did get a few strange looks along the course.
She told WGN-Channel 9: ‘I got the OK from my doctor to run half, and my husband ran with me and supported me along the way,’
‘I ran half and walked half, that’s how I finished. Everybody just kind of stared as I’m running by.’
Miller said she had ran regularly throughout her pregnancy and marathon organisers had not interfered in her decision to run.
‘I just take it easy. I drink lots and walk lots so it’s not too bad.’
The experienced marathon runner said: ‘I know what I can handle. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time, the Chicago Sun Tribune reported.
‘I have been running all the way up until this point anyway so I’m kind of used to it.’
June was born at 10:29 pm on Sunday night after seven hours labour.
‘She’s absolutely perfect,’ Miller said. ‘We are extremely happy, but very tired.’
Baby June is in ‘excellent’ shape, Dr. Jeffrey Loughead, a neo-natalogist at the hospital told the Chicago Sun Tribune.
The greatest risk to mother and baby was dehydration, which could have sent Miller into premature labour Loughead said.
But Miller was in excellent physical shape when she ran — and had already carried the baby full term, he said.
The extraordinary ordeal has also taken its toll on husband Joe Miller.
The 32-year-old told the Sun Tribune he didn’t train hard for the marathon because he thought baby June would already have arrived, so Amber wouldn’t require his support on the run.
He said: ‘I was completely exhausted. I was placing my bet on June being here already.’
After her remarkable double achievement Miller says she is planning to take some time off to concentrate on being a full-time mom.