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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Hiking My First Mountain was like Giving Birth to a Baby

(I should preface this with the reminder that I gave birth to both girls without any medical intervention.  Should help the points of this analogy make more sense!)

1.  No matter how many stories you hear about how hard it is you still underestimate how hard it's going to be.  Baby: when the real contractions started happening during labor with Lily I was like "oh crap.  I can't do this." Mountain: when we stopped to catch our breath at the base of the first huge incline of rocks to climb I was like "oh crap. I can't do this."

2.  You need support from someone who's been there.  Baby: even if your husband is a fantastic birth coach, consider hiring a doula.  Mountain: my Brother led the way while Steph and I struggled along... with Bethany shouting periodic encouragement from the rear.  I don't know what I would have done at points without seeing Brother go first so I would know which part of the path was best.  And once Bethany physically pushed my tush right up over the edge of this huge rock.

3.  You will feel like throwing up at some point.  Baby: transitional labor anyone?  Your body kind of gets to a point where the stress of labor makes you want to hurl.  Mountain: I've been exercising pretty regularly for a few months now but that didn't prepare me in the slightest for a three hour cardio workout.  I obviously couldn't breathe and definitely wanted to throw up a couple times.  (mountains have childbirth beat in that you can take breaks as needed.  Like every five minutes)

4.  You lose track of time.  Labor: it's best not to look at the clock anyways, but when you do you can't believe you've been pushing for XXX hours.  Mountain: I can't really remember the hour and a half between the "I'm gonna throw up stage" and the "hey we're almost to the summit stage".  Coming back down was weird... I was like "we climbed UP this??"

5.  When someone tells you the end is near, you get really excited... especially if you can see the end.  Baby: when you can actually touch the baby's head coming out of your body.  Mountain:  when you see the first "sneak peek view" and see the trees changing around you.

6.  When you get to the top it's like your adrenaline and sense of accomplishment completely make you forget all the pain it took to get to that point.  Baby: when you hold that tiny person in your arms you almost forget you just pushed it out of your body!  Mountain: when you reach the summit (and after you eat a sandwich) you forget about how you almost turned around halfway up.

7.  You feel kindred spirits with everyone who's ever experienced the same thing.  Baby:  I still want to high-five every mom with a new baby.  I don't care it you had a scheduled c-section, you still gave birth and that's HARD and I salute you!  Mountain:  I wanted to high-five everyone on the summit of Algonquin.  But I'm new to the hiker-club so I refrained from embarrassing my siblings.

8.  There comes a point when you realize you have to leave "the summit". Baby:  you can't stay in the hospital snuggling your baby... have to take it home and do your own laundry.  And those first few months of sleepless nights are kind of torturous.  Mountain:  you can stay on the summit for as long as you want, but it gets a little cold. So you have to drag your tired legs back down.

9.  Getting back to reality is hard... really hard.  Baby: you just push through those first few months in a blur until all the sudden your baby sleeps and you become human again.  Mountain:  you stumble and trudge down the mountain... no one takes pictures or makes jokes or even talks.  You finish your water and you have to pee but you just keep plodding till you reach the car.

10.  You completely forget all the previous things I've said... pregnancy amnesia is very similar to mountain amnesia.  And it's awesome.  Otherwise I wouldn't have Samantha!  And I certainly plan to hike another mountain someday!


  1. I climbed a mountain with your brother a month ago and I can definitely relate to a lot of your points (like wanting to throw up a few times). Didn't think to compare it to child birth. Guess it would be kind of weird if I did though ;)

  2. Just to be certain, you did intend the last sentence to be literal. Right?

    1. This was Jesse accidentally posting under my profile. Though we share the same google account, so I guess he has no choice ;o)

  3. I am so incredibly impressed. Seriously chica. You're a rock star. That is amazing and definitely on my bucket list to do someday. Who knows, maybe you'll be my experience climber... eh????? (:

    1. YAY! Let's climb a mountain together!!!