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The Most Important Mile of My Life: Katie Garrett

Katie with her daughter Seraiah and her best friend Emily at the Hoosier Half Marathon. Katie ran while pregnant with Seraiah, and then during this race when she was 4 1/2 months old; Katie pushed her in a stroller.
Katie with her daughter Seraiah and her best friend Emily at the Hoosier Half Marathon. Katie ran while pregnant with Seraiah, and then during this race when she was 4 1/2 months old; Katie pushed her in a stroller.

December 28, 2012 marks my most important mile. As a mother runner, each mile of pregnancy is a mile shared with my child. I ran all through my first two pregnancies and loved it. As I was training for my first marathon, I was excited to discover I once again had a running buddy on board. With the go ahead from my midwife, I carefully continued my runs and anticipated crossing the finish line for two.

On Dec. 27, 14 days before the race, we found out that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. While I was comforted that my midwife did not believe my running (or anything else I had done/not done) had caused the miscarriage, I was still devastated. I was scheduled to leave for Israel six days later, so she scheduled a D&E for the following day.

I woke up the following morning and had a few hours before surgery, so I did what I would normally do -- I went running. Despite the fact that I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight, and the nurse who would later attempt to start my IV was not altogether fond of my choice, I went out for one last three mile run with the baby I would never get to hold or push in the jogging stroller. As I circled the park, I thought about our miles together—the first terrible run I had when I didn’t yet know I was pregnant, the evening runs past houses covered in Christmas lights—and I smiled at happy memories.

As I turned the corner and ran the final mile, I said goodbye. I would never get to talk to this child as the miles ticked by, or feel him settle into the spot that all of my babies kick when I’m pregnant, but I could be at peace. I was able to have one last run with my baby, and for me, there would have been no better way to say goodbye.

What was (or will be) the most important mile of your life? We want to know.

This is an ongoing feature on the website. Best way to submit is to email us your story with a picture: runmother {at} gmail {dot} com with “Most Important Mile” in the subject line. Please try to keep your mile stories under 300 words. Thank you!

17 responses to “The Most Important Mile of My Life: Katie Garrett

  1. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I was told on this past monday 9-26-16 that at 10wk 5 days my beautiful child no longer had a heart beat. Over this last week waiting for a nmc I didnt know what to do with myself and well not running all week hasnt helped either. I decided to go for a run today Sat. I came home feeling like myself again but with the underline thought did i just make an unhealthy choice. That is when i came across your blog. Thank you!! Your story has given me reassurance that its what was best for me. I will be going to the ob on monday for a D&C. How soon can I run again?

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  4. When I found out I was miscarrying our third child in 2010 I called my BRF and asked her to book a nursery spot at her gym next so that we could have childcare and have a hard 5 mile run on the treadmill. After being conservative in my pace the previous 4 months I took a brief intermission from my tears and ran until my lunges burned. As a mom, running is an important part of my life-emotionally, physically and spiritually. I’m so thankful to be able to read other posts from other women and to know I’m not the only Mother Runner out there!

  5. Thank you all for your support! You are a wonderful community and I’m honored that I was able to share my story with you.
    P.S. For a little humor in the story: After finding out about the lack of heart beat, we had to tell our two kids (ages 1 and 3). Immediately after sharing the news, Joshua (the 3-year-old) went to watch the movie “Robots.” Watching the opening scene, he turns to my husband and quotes, “It’s ok, daddy. ‘Making the baby is the fun part.'” We cracked up laughing.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also had a miscarriage, and it is a devasting experience. I get frustrated by the lack of sharing early pregnancy news for fear of miscarriage, when in fact if a miscarriage happens the support network of friends and family becomes so helpful. It’s good to know running and mother runner friends will always be there for you for the next mile. Thank you again for having the courage to speak up about something that happens all too often, and is constantly the white elephant.

  7. What a heart-breakingly beautiful tribute to your little one. I was not a runner when I suffered my miscarriages but the babies I lost are always with me during my runs, especially during those quiet early morning miles when the rest of the world is still asleep. I was never able to carry them in my arms but I will forever carry them in my heart. Peace and love to you, my friend. <3

  8. Katie, thank you for sharing your story. Like several of the previous posters, I had a similar experience. We found out at the 18 week ultrasound (where we would have found out if the little one was a boy or a girl) that our second child no longer had a heartbeat. I had two days to make peace before I was induced. During those days to take long walks (this was before I took up running), to take comfort in knowing my baby had never been alone, and in knowing that I wasn’t alone on those walks. They are some of the most comforting memories of that time.

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Katie, and I’m so sorry for your loss. Had a similar experience with my third pregnancy as well, heartbeat stopped 5 weeks after the Nov. 2013 marathon. Your writing pulled me right back to that moment.

  10. Oh Katie … Thank you for sharing this. I too had a similar experience (with my third pregnancy)… And, like you, I too shared a similar last run with my baby. The run comforted me in a time nothing else could .. And it was sacred time for me. It will be four years this November and i will continue to commemorate that day each year with a special memorial run.

    We Mother Runners can understand in a way no one else can.

  11. Katie, I had a very similar experience as you. Reading your story took me right back to that place. It helped me relive a lot of what I was going through that same day…but you said it much more eloquently than I ever could. Thank you so much for the gift you gave me this morning, and I am terrible sorry for your loss.

  12. Wow, Katie… I’m so sorry for your loss. I also had a miscarriage between my two girls and running definitely helped me grieve and work through it. A good run can be such a healthy way to process all those emotions.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story Katie! Watching your updates as you ran for two over the years has been so inspiring for me, but I didn’t realize you had gone through this. You are a wonderful mother and I’m glad you were able to say goodbye with one last run.

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