I’m not the type of person to write a letter to my children on their every birthday, and post it on the blog.
I’m not the type of person who loves to share her birth stories or read others; mostly because I had so much pain from my own, and I find it hard to do.
I’m not the type of person to mark every moment of my life online, despite what it looks like; I actually stay silent most of the time.
I am the kind of person though that looks back, in order to look forward.
I am the kind of person who sees the moments that were hard, and glories in their redemption.
I am the kind of person that thinks that triumph’s should be shared, because they are so few and far between.
It’s been three years today (Monday), since my littlest princess entered the world.
Three whole years.
Three years of cuddles and sleep training.
Three years of laughter and tears.
Three years of incredible highs, and the most debilitating lows.
The 29th of July is so much more to me than the day my youngest was born; it was the day I was set free, only to become so much more bogged down than I ever knew I could.
On the 18th of April, 2010 at 26 weeks gestation, I began to go into preterm labour, and was admitted into hospital in order to monitor me and the baby. Thankfully, the contractions eased on their own, but then I was put on strict bed rest for the next ten weeks. With three other children, I was limited to two activities; school drop off and pick up (on the proviso I park as close as possible to the classroom to avoid walking too much), and taking Bailey to his swimming lesson, so long as I did nothing else that day.
That was it.
No shopping, no cooking, no cleaning, no visiting friends, no attending playgroup, no standing at church. It was me and the couch, or a chair on the back verandah, watching 1 year old Bailey playing outside.
I didn’t cope with that ten weeks so well. Or at all really.
I became quite depressed in hind sight, though I never admitted it at the time. Every day I woke up and faced a day of nothing again, praying that God would keep my little girl safe inside me.
Thankfully, He answered my prayer.
36 weeks came and went, and finally I was allowed to move! Thankfully it coincided with the start of the four week holidays, and so the kids and I went walking every morning, and played hard during the day.
And each time we did, my irritable uterus (IU) would reward me with painful, consistent, regular contractions. That didn’t do a thing.
That’s the beauty of an IU. Just because it tightens, doesn’t mean it’s causing changes. Doesn’t mean it’s not either.
On the 28th of July, 6 days overdue, finally, I felt it change. The pain intensified, lengthened and started doing what it was supposed to do.
25 hours later, after a grueling labour that tested every single part of my body, soul and spirit, Ava came into the world in a posterior position with an APGAR score of 3.
I know that I am so lucky she was doing so well. Or maybe lucky is not the right word; blessed beyond comprehension comes closer.
As if she didn’t have enough to deal with; a uterus trying to expel her far too early, and a mother that completely shut down during labour and refused to push, things were still not easy for that little girl. The antenatal depression, the birth trauma, and the stress of life broke me. Anxiety became my constant companion, and it was almost a relief compared to the mind-numbing emptiness that filled my every waking moment.
I was a shadow of myself; not even that. A shadow of a shadow. Jess was gone; lost somewhere in the wilderness of pst natal depression, and for all intents and purposes, it appeared she was never coming back.
I stopped dreaming in those days. Stopped believing in joy or anything beyond the mundane; I gave up on being me. I just was.
I don’t know about you, but I believe in Heaven and Hell. In light and darkness and a supernatural war that is fought all around us, as God and his Angels take on the devil for the right to our souls.
Three years ago, my enemy came pretty darn close to taking me out.
Three years later I stand tall and strong, because the One who I’m fighting with, never loses a battle.
I’m not the type of person to push myself on anyone.
I’m not the type of person who likes to go where I’m not asked.
But I am the type of person, who cannot contain their fire; whose passion must speak and declare it’s words.
It’s been three years since the hardest time of my life.
Three years since I broke and wished I’d never been born.
Three years since all hell broke loose….
And three years since I was put back together again.
Better, stronger, more beautiful than ever before.
Thank God for three years.