Here I am, raw and exposed.
I am not the same woman I was a year ago. I am not the same woman I was six months ago.
I am a woman that now falls to my feet more than I stand high.
‘I am a woman that is immersed in a pain so deep but yet I still find a way to shine.’
If you don’t know my story, you are about to find out. It started almost this time last year when I found myself peeing on a stick and getting two solid lines that confirmed I was pregnant. Fast forward two months, six months, nine months. I had a picture perfect pregnancy. Every time I sat in the midwifes office I heard the words “You have fantastic blood levels! You’re the healthiest pregnant woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving feedback too!” Aka, everything just appeared perfect.
It is almost the flash back to the appointments which leaves me with one of my biggest triggers. At thirty-seven weeks, the midwife asked me how my pregnancy was going. In the lead up I had had sleepless nights, painful back aches and immense hunger but in the last few days prior to that appointment I was feeling great! I remember saying “everything is going really good, almost too good”. Those words still haunt me to this day, was that my first sign?
On that same appointment, I did a swab for the bacteria Group B Step. It is optional, it is told to not be a big deal but I did it because I had read something about it being fatal to newborns. My results came back negative. Yet, a week and a half later I went into labour and gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy. Five hours following birth is when our world changed. He got diagnosed with Group B Strep – sepsis infection, treated with antibiotics and placed into a coma. His little body fought harder than anything. He received transfusions, faced seizures and yet still had fighting feet that would kick me as I touched them. His little face filled out with shape quickly and his six pound twelve body almost looked like a twelve week olds with all the fluid he was pumped with.
My mind is imprinted with memories that are almost like I watch a video of my own life every week or sometimes everyday. The best way to describe this pain is that it feels like I am no longer here, no longer the same present person because the depth of this pain and journey just almost doesn’t seem survivable. I feel like I am my own angel, watching my own life from the outside up above. Like I have a double vision where I get to choose between the inside world and the outside world and come into each as I please.
I am learning that time flashes before our eyes. It doesn’t wait for anyone and as quick as I would love to have another baby and grow our family I realise that time is going to pass anyway and that I just need to focus on making my heart whole again.
In the midst of my pain I began finishing an e-book I started four months prior to my due date. This e-book originally was being created for myself. I was lacking inspiration and had major baby brain that my ability to cook delicious and healthy meals was going sideways and I seemed more appealed by Nando’s, smoothies and brownies for late lunch. Myself and Ted always said we would love a family of four children! So in the thought of being pregnant again I thought creating my own recipe e-book for myself to document my favourite easy recipes I cook would inspire me to keep up my good health throughout future pregnancies too! In the midst of this journey is when my friends really pushed me to do something more with it. They loved it, so it then felt silly to not share with other pregnant woman or new mums who may be suffering the same “lack of brain”. My eBook is available now and you will find it at www.wholeheartedly.com.au
Finishing the book has been a great healer for my mind. It has given me some focus, reignited my passion for life and I know it will also benefit me in the future. I also got a job at the same time. I am not working full time as a Marketing Coordinator and I am loving the role.
Sometimes, I think people think I may be doing too much and eventually I will burn out and eventually my world will feel empty again and I am going to have to deal with those thoughts and emotions head on. There is a lot of truth to that yes. I do owe my positive outlook and confidence to move forward and embrace as much of a normal life to my amazing partner. Without him, I don’t know if I could stand at all.
The ability to talk, write, do. All of those things are my way of coping. I have got to just keep moving. I have had my days where I sat there in the shower on the floor as the water runs over my bare body where I feel trapped in a shell of asking myself why me and immersed myself truly in my own pain but every time I fall, I am able to fly again.
I will never have an answer for why, I will never know. The best I can do is just take the bad with the good. I am so lucky to still have so much hope. I choose to have gratitude and give thanks for the good in my life that still does exist. The hope I have is the youth on my side, the amazing partner with me today, the family and friends that surround me, the passion that still lives in me, the career opportunities and the ability to pick myself back up again.
With all of the good though, there will always be bad days. This is where a conscious decision has to be made that sometimes we can’t concur it all on our own and sometimes we do need to seek help. With such great pain comes new journeys in the future and I am able to recognise that I can’t always be my own strength and sometimes I do need to lean on someone. A way to share, a way to let go, but also a way to gain strategies and to move forward and sitting down with a counsellor is sometimes just what is needed.
Through the flashes that my life is right now I am able to see myself in ten years’ time, again I will be a very different woman than the one I am today, but what I can see is that that woman is still living life strong, happy and achieves all of her dreams. Has the family she wanted, marries the man she admires, holds close the family and friends she loves. At the end of the day all that matters is our state of mind. If your mind isn’t where you want it to be, then don’t ever be afraid to admit it, don’t hesitate to reach out. Sometimes I look at my own journey and wonder how I am even surviving it but I choose to not ever let myself believe there is no light at the end of a dark tunnel.