Thursday, September 15, 2016

I am currently 31 weeks pregnant. Two weeks ago I started having a few pretty serious complications with my pregnancy and if I were to sum them up in one word, that word would be: TERRIFYING.

The thing about parenting is that fear and guilt become your resting emotions. There are seldom times when you don’t feel scared and hardly ever when you don’t feel guilty. The past 2 weeks have been like a master class on both fear and guilt. Facing the prospect of delivering my baby at 29 weeks was unfathomable. How does anyone come to terms with bringing a 1.4-kg infant into this world… knowing that she won’t be able to breathe on her own, knowing that she won’t be able to see, knowing that the chances of her developing a brain bleed that leads to cerebral palsy are very high, knowing that she might not make it home… TERROR.

Add to that the bubbly, gorgeous, innocent 3-year-old I have at home, oh hello guilt! Every second I spent worrying about the baby in my belly was an extra second of distraction from time Sophie was so desperate to spend with me. Every day in the hospital was a day away from my little sausage who is still very much a baby herself.

Crying, stressing out about my pregnancy, stressing out about work, fighting with Regan… the past 2 weeks have featured it all.

Now that we’re out of the woods and I’m not having premature contractions or bleeding (TMI I know) anymore, I can tell you two things with absolute certainty:

1] I am exhausted in a way that I have never been before. Mentally, physically, emotionally… I have nothing left.
2] I feel like through the fear and the guilt and the exhaustion, something wonderful has developed, and it’s called perspective.

Why is it that we can motor through life without stopping to take stock until something happens that forces us to stop? This whole experience has cleared the cobwebs from my brain in a way that nothing else could. Yes I know you only have to swing a cat on the internet to hit a post by a mom blogger blagging on about how family is everything. This is not that. This is me realising, for the first time since becoming a mother, the importance of my role in my family and how up until now, I have been running on a kind of parenting autopilot.

If I had to sit down and try to define what makes me the person I am, being a mother would feature among many other things, but it stands out as being the biggest, most important job of all. It’s simple to get caught in a wave of useless (life-shortening) stress that doesn’t matter, and it’s only when you face the kind of stress that does matter, the kind that makes you sick with worry and fills your whole existence with fear, that you realise how much you’ve wasted on the background noise.

So with all this fear still fresh in my mind, I am making myself a huge promise: DO MORE OF WHAT MATTERS WITH PEOPLE WHO MATTER.

Life is long and pretty fucking straightforward. We get so many chances to make mistakes and veer off course, but we get just as many opportunities to fix it all.

What have the past 2 week taught me?

It’s simple: don’t wait for life to scare you back on track, in our hearts we carry our hopes and dreams and passions and they’re ready and waiting to be pursued right now. You don’t need to go through a terrifying experience in order to realise how important the important stuff really is. 


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