Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kilimanjaro vs. Childbirth: A Poll

In August 2010, Rayne and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. To say it was challenging is a gross understatement. Perhaps some people (Germans) can run up the highest mountain in Africa in their hiking boots. Perhaps other people (Germans) can carry everything on their back and smile as they leave you in the dust.

I am not those people (Germans).

Whereas Rayne is from Oregon and was trained as a Wilderness First Responder in college, I am from a Brooklyn family transplanted to the suburbs. I hadn't ever even hiked until college, let alone camped in the wilderness.

In fact, before Kilimanjaro, I had only camped out for sequential nights one other time, during my college's freshman orientation trip 18 years earlier. And we stayed in cabins. Not. The. Same.

Our program included five-and-a-half days up the mountain and a day-and-a-half down. We woke up at midnight on the fifth day and spent six hours climbing the last of the 19,000 feet in the freezing cold, pitch black. I was dehydrated from having been sick and utterly confused as to where I was and what I was doing.

I definitely hallucinated. (And I definitely cursed Rayne under my bated breath.)

Here is a photo of Rayne at the top. I'm not there, because three-quarters of a mile back I had passed out. Yes. I made it to the top. But not the tippy top. Not the photo-op top.

You can imagine how well that went over with me.

Fast forward a lifetime one year and four months to December 2011, when I gave birth to Henry. If you are so inclined, you can read the full story of Henry's Birth Day here: Part I, Part II and Part III. (Focus on Part III for the purposes of this post.)

After a quick and delusional labor that involved me leaving the house without our hospital bags on purpose, I was unceremoniously rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section. The anesthesiologists prepped me for surgery; I was high as a kite, completely numb from the sternum down and asking the nurses questions about Battlestar Galactica.

Then my OBs arrived and decided I had dilated enough to push. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Here's a closely cropped photo for your comfort. I'm excluding Rayne from the photo, because this time it was he who didn't make it to the metaphorical tippy top.

(Not that he could have, obviously, whereas I could have/should have made it to the tippy top of Kili. See what I did there? I'm infuriating. How does he stay married to me??)

Someone once asked me if running a marathon was harder than climbing Kili.


No. At no point during any marathon have I felt like I was going to die.

So we know marathons are in third place for most-difficult-life-experience-thus-far, but which takes gold and which takes silver?

Poll is open until Sunday at 10 p.m. EST. I'll write a post about the results and my thoughts next week.

Which do you think was more difficult?

Which do I think was more difficult?