I have 4 kids. 3 boys and a girl. The girl came last. She is spoiled rotten. That is not the point of this story.
I'm not going to regale you with labor horror stories, but I am going to talk about the process. I had healthy pregnancies, long labors and typical deliveries. I had to have Petocin in varying doses with each kid. On the first three deliveries, I had an epidural. On the 4th, while in the process of having the catheter put in, my water broke, I became fully dilated and it was time to push. No epidural after all. 5 minutes later I was holding my baby girl.
I delivered naturally with no pain meds.
I had always feared this.
I had always felt those who delivered naturally were just showing off.
I wasn't strong enough, brave enough or tough enough to even attempt a natural delivery.
For years I had dreaded the thought of giving birth without pain killers. It was this huge unknown. I had long labors with babies that were comfortable where they were, so they needed some incentive to come out. I would go 12-24 hours with hard contractions 2-3 minutes apart...therefore an epidural was always part of my plan. I didn't even want to consider, ponder or contemplate how painful the actual delivery would be. It was a looming wall that I had no desire to peek over. EVER.
What I never realized in those hours of strong contractions before the epidurals were administered in my first 3 pregnancies...is that I had already felt that pain. The worst of those pains was as bad as it got. I had already seen over the wall. Every 2-3 minutes for 12-20 hours.
I'm not saying it was pleasant. I'm just saying that I had already gone through it, and shouldn't have feared it.
Why am I telling you this?
Last month I completed my 2nd 70.3 race. It hurt. The bike course felt like it was either uphill, on gravel or into the wind the entire way. The heat and humidity felt like I was running through soup. But somewhere along the way the memory of giving birth to Grace popped in my head, and I found a new mantra.
"It won't hurt any more than this. Keep going. You got this."
I repeated it to myself over and over and over. It won't hurt any more than this. It won't hurt any more than this. It won't hurt any more than this.
I've repeated it again in the middle of training rides when my girly bits hurt and my shoulders were cramping and the wind seems to be coming from every direction.
I've repeated it on runs when the only thing I want to do is to stop and take a nap.
Ironman is my big unknown. It's the wall I need to get over. There is no way to make it more comfortable or hurt any less.
I'm just hoping that next month I'm strong enough, brave enough and tough enough to remember that it won't hurt any more than any of the training I've done...it's just going to last a hell of a lot longer.
On November 7th I'm racing in Ironman Florida 2015 on behalf of the Ironman Foundation. Any donation big or small is appreciated! Check out the "Donate" page above, or click on this link to contribute! THANK YOU !