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The Most Important Mile of my Life: Michelle San Antonio

Michelle running an especially memorable 5K.
Michelle, running an especially memorable 5K.

Today's Most Important Mile comes from Michelle San Antonio, a BAMR from Rhode Island.

I didn’t run through my first two pregnancies, but when I became pregnant with our third, I had become a diehard runner, and knew I’d continue running for as long as I could. Unfortunately, I miscarried at 7 weeks. I didn’t blame running, and neither did my doctor, and thankfully neither did my husband, family, or friends.

Several months later, we got pregnant again, and I continued running. It was essential for my mental health, especially as I struggled to enjoy the pregnancy, thoughts of the miscarriage still so fresh in my mind.

Unfortunately, at a six-week checkup, I again found myself looking at an ultrasound image that told me everything I needed to know. I was heartbroken, and in disbelief, but mostly numb. At a followup appointment two days later I learned that for the second time in less than a year, I’d need a D&C.

This was three days before a 5K I had planned to run, and as I sat there feeling like my body was completely failing me, I decided I needed to take at least one small step to regain some control of the situation, and asked if the D&C could wait until after the weekend. I needed to have some say in what was happening to me, and was thankful I got the ok to wait.

When I lined up at the race three days later, I was already near tears. And as we started, I found myself running faster than I had in months, and I knew it was the anger finally rising to the surface.

Over the course of 3.1 miles, I experienced all over again the emotional roller coaster of both failed pregnancies, and felt so many negative feelings falling away behind me as I ran.

But in addition to running away from all the bad, I knew I was running toward something better. As I neared the finish, I was overwhelmed with the thought that it was all going to be ok. I was suddenly more sure of that than I had ever been of anything.

The final mile of that race was one of the most cathartic experiences I've ever had. Despair was replaced with hope - and I had running to thank for it.

And to end on a happy note - I became pregnant 6 weeks later, and our third baby boy (now almost 4 years old!) enjoyed a very healthy 42 weeks in my belly (I ran for 30 of those weeks) before joining us. He was definitely worth the wait.

Sweet little boy #3!
Sweet little boy #3!

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

We’re going to make this an ongoing feature on the website (and potentially include some important miles in our yet-to-be-named third book, out in spring of 2015). 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!

20 responses to “The Most Important Mile of my Life: Michelle San Antonio

  1. Thank you for sharing…I found out at my 12 week appointment just this week that I miscarried and had to have a D&C procedure. Running has been my therapy for the last 3 years, and I desperately want to get back to the pavement but am worried about how my body will react. Reading your story gives me a glimmer of hope that I will run again…and a healthy pregnancy may once again be in my future.

  2. Thank-you for being so open about this very sensitive topic. I recently miscarried after a road race and as much as I love to run it feels a bit scary to get back out there. This certainly was a memorable mile for you.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. My first run after my miscarriage this summer was one of those runs where I just needed to reconnect with myself. So grateful for what this story gives to us.

  4. I had a similar experience as yours Michelle although I turned my back on running. Even though I knew it wasn’t running that caused my miscarriage I still blamed it since I started to bleed after a run. I hung up my running shoes for years after that and only found them again after my twins were born over 3 years ago. Now running is my happy place again!

  5. Michelle – Thank you so much for sharing. I love, love following you. You are so inspiring and so helpful to so many runners. This hit home hard for me. I have had 3 miscarriages and the loss of my 1st daughter. Running is my everything…my glue…my hope. Thank you and hugs from Maryland.

  6. I’m so touched by your story Michelle. You inspired me all the time and I NEVER knew this part of you. It would have been so easy to blame running, but instead you used it to push your forward. Your story is amazing! So proud to know you!

  7. Wow, I know too well the flow of anger, tears, and triumph that can come when running. After having two miscarriages (also trying for our third child) running has been my saving grace this past year. It’s healed me in so many ways. Thanks for sharing your story – and giving me hope too!

  8. Thank you for this! I found the love of running after experiencing 3 miscarriages in a little less than a year. While I am still trying for a successful pregnancy, running has helped me to stay strong and keep my mind clear.

  9. I just can’t imagine how you felt in this picture, it’s heartbreaking. I do know that you are an obviously wonderful mother to your three boys. Glad you came out stronger on the other side. XO

  10. Sharing this story from a difficult time of your life has given even more reasons as to why I admire you and why I truly believe you are a BAMR!!!

  11. Michelle, thank you for sharing this. There is a bravery in being open and candid about both suffering and joy, and in recognizing the threads that join them. I wish you the best.

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