Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Day I Cut My Own Hair

I did it.

I mustered all my courage.

Ive always admired people who can just do things like cut all their hair off and not care.

I got sick of my hair. Ive wanted it shorter for months. Like way shorter than its been in many many years.

So, I snipped off my pony tail. All 22cm of it...

And I felt more powerful than I have in a long time. Haha!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Hope Out of Despair #2

Grab a drink and get ready to read....

Straight after our last baby, Mr E, was born and eventually came home, I was adamant I would not have any more children.

During my labour I was informed that "you better stop having babies, your babies keep coming earlier and earlier!!!"

I accepted that was true, it was afterall a fact, and I definitely didnt want to do an earlier one next time round.

So I gave all I had away.

All my baby gear apart from my biggest stuff, as I no longer needed it, I gifted it off. All my clothes, as he grew out of them, gifted.  Everything.

Then, a little over a year ago, I felt completely undone. My heart was breaking and I couldnt understand why.

After some soul searching I realised that suddenly my mind was allowing me to feel the grief of the season we had been through.

And I felt like I was falling apart.

And so it was, allowing myself to feel the pain so that I could be healed, overcome it and be made whole.

And I went through so many emotions.

I would feel angry that other people "got it easy" and took their beautiful full term, just born babies home. Full of joy and celebration.  While I got ripped off, had to fight, and home-coming is agonising hard work (more than a regular newborn - which I have had once).

I felt undone and deep regret that I had been overcome with exhaustion at my newly home baby boys and vented my frustration at them in the night... they cried nearly all night long for weeks on end.

I felt pain at the sheer circumstaces surrounding their births, the loss of control and the inability to do things with for my baby that every mother has a right to do.
I was angry that my babies were almost taken away from me.

I faced the fact that twice my life was on the line.

It was NEVER meant to be like this.

Just deep deep pain. Heart ripped open. And bleeding. And tears. Lots of tears.

At the same time, I felt greatful. Almost guilty for feeling grief.

I was greatful for my life (in a new way)!

I was greatful for the lives of my two sons, one of whom should absolutely not be alive today.

I was greatful for the miracle of a beautiful, healthy child. No long term effects, just perfection.

I was greatful for the people I met, the connections I made, the hospitals, free medical care, midwives, doctors, nurses and teams who so lovingly cared for us and helped to save us.
Not everyone gets the 'happy ending' to their story.

I was greatful for our friends and family, and church family, who did more for us than I could ever say.

So, in the midst of that mess I had to let God come and heal my heart. I had to process my emotions and thoughts.

Its funny how you often think youve dealt with something fully and then suddenly your heart is ripped open and you realise that, no, the pain is there buried deep.
I thinks its so we are not overwhelmed by it- if it all came at once we surely couldnt cope.

Anyway, that was the start of this journey of hope. Agonising hurt. Raw pain.

But I let people in. My nearest and dearest knew my agony.

 I asked people to pray for me, and slowly the agony subsided.

Then I had a dream.

The dream was quite symbolic. I had chosen a 99.9% effective form of contraception mostly because I was terrified of pregnancy.

It went wrong in my body.

The dream was about me getting it out. I knew I needed to get it out.

So then began fear.

Fear is UGLY.

And I was terrified of pregnancy. I was terrified of a repeat or worse of what we'd had. All the what ifs came baring down.

I booked to have it removed and I had a month.



Well, I couldnt decide whether to make our three kids a permanent three. And time was ticking.

I ended up seeing my GP amd through tears asking how you "know" when you're finished having kids.

She graciously told me that I clearly wasnt ready to decide.

And we talked babies. We talked how my two premmie situations were freak events. We talked how they dont usually repeat themselves. 

And I had a glimpse of hope.

Over the course of time I started to daydream about holding one more baby of my own. About what I would call her/him (mostly her) and how she would look.

I thought of the implications of four. I weighed it up. But I couldnt get it out of my heart.

Meanwhile Dave was in a similar place. Fear, asking questions, yet longing for another.

A couple of months passed. Armed with a couple of dreams, several scriptures and a few support networks, we decided we would try.

We werent used to this baby business taking time....
And it took time.

I was obsessed. I couldnt get this baby out of my head.

I imagined I was pregnant. I had all kinds if very convincing symptoms. I was jealous of people pregnant. Jealous of people pregnant with their fourth! Not in a terrible jealousy way. I just longed. I took test after test. Nothing.

I got a glimpse of the journey of others, in a very, very tiny way. And had more compassion for them.

And I was sick.

I got diagnosed as underactive thyroid. Seriously under active. I had all the symptoms and now my blood showed it.

I told the doctor I wouldnt take medication. (Im not anti medication - this time Iit was just a real conviction I had).

After everything we had been through with hospitals and medicine, I had some promises that this was no longer my story, it was my history. And so I decided I would fight it.

The doctors said "your hormones are all affected. Fertility is affected. Without medication you probably wont conceive." Even then chances of miscarriage were high. I dont need to go through that again.

That day I surrendered my dream of a fourth child. I couldnt live obsessed. I needed to be well.

I also said "Im not having this. This is not my life. This is not happening to me." I was devastated and worried, yet determined to try to overcome without medication.

I researched a tonne. I changed my diet and dramatically shifted both my intake and schedule of coffee drinking. I used essential oils sparingly to try to aid normal hormone levels. I took a thyroid supplement.

I realised I had complete adrenal fatigue. I made the necessary changes to my stress levels and lifestyle. Treat fatigue, treat the thyroid.

I started to feel better!! I got my life back!

Four weeks later, I was pregnant! Pregnant!?!?! What!?

I had repeat bloods a few weeks after and was told....

"You are still slightly underactive. The specialist recommends medication as underactive thyroid can affect the baby... cause mental retardation, premature birth....." and the rest conprised a list of nearly every circumstance surrounding Mr E's birth.

Suddenly. Fear. Ugly fear.

I didnt want to be responsible for a child having long term effects because of my irresponsibility. Yet, ive been given a miracle when it was meant to be impossible.

Enter Soul searching. Heart searching. Prayer. Lots of talking. Dave and I decided to wait a week and get a repeat test. Pray for a miracle. To not act out of fear.

I rang the doctor and decided id get a second opinion from my usual GP. I asked for the thyroid numbers.

I discovered they had improved so much that they were near normal again.

I went to see my other doc, who was amazed at the results and very interested to hear what changes I had made. She agreed to repeat bloods.

The result, NORMAL. yes, NORMAL!!!!

So now Im being monitored. But not needing medicine.

I aslo discovered Id had glandular fever. No wonder I felt like a depressed, no energy or motivation, train wreck everyday.

So here I am, no longer a hypothyroid (thanks be to God), and a 16 week pregnant mama, my fourth on its way.

Taken from complete despair and brokenness, to complete hope, courage to risk again and face turning our dream into a reality. Now awaiting the arrival of this precious one. 100% confident that EVERYTHING will be ok.

In fact this time, Im believing for a full term, beautiful, healthy baby and a great story.

im confident all will be well no matter what.

Its my turn.

And it can be your turn too. Your turn to hope again and risk again.

More next time xxx