Friday, September 5, 2014

Miscarriage, Autoimmune Disease, Faith and Brave

I'm still debating if I will actually post this.. or if it will end up one of the many drafts I have sitting on my blog, deemed too personal or not well written....

But I have thought about this quite a bit and it's a topic that needs to be talked about more.

Today, 14 years ago, we lost our first baby.

I was heartbroken. I had never ever felt grief or pain like that before. It felt like someone reached into my chest and ripped my heart out.

I know my story of pregnancy loss is one many, many women share. Nearly every woman I have known during my years as a parent has experienced pregnancy loss or infertility. It is still so unspoken in our society though.

Autoimmune Disease
Three years before I had been told I would never carry a live baby. So with this loss, came the expectation that this was how it would always be.
I clearly remember sitting in the Specialists office, being extremely ill with Thyrotoxicosis from Graves Disease, and him telling me I needed emergency surgery or I would die, that I had a 50% chance of surviving the surgery and I would never carry a baby. I was 26 years old.
All I heard was, we just moved someones mastectomy until next week. I felt so awful for that poor lady.

Fast forward three years and we were recently married and made an appointment to see the same specialist and talk about our options. I knew going into it that we were potentially setting ourselves up for a lot of heartache.

I wonder now about the faith we must have had to try again, knowing how much our hearts were hurting.
When we were 7 weeks pregnant the second time around, the same specialist, with the awesome bedside manner, told us, you'll lose this one too.

But, we didn't. She is now an amazing 13 year old. And the miracles didn't stop there, we also have our 11 year old and 8 year old miracles. Perfect little miracles.

I can't help thinking, what if we hadn't taken that leap of faith. What if we had believed that miracles don't happen to people like us?? We were so BRAVE.

I've noticed, that as I've grown older I am not nearly as brave as I was then. I have let fear take up too much of my heart and mind. I have lost confidence in who I am and the woman I am destined to be.

I choose to watch my kids zoom around the scary roller coasters, while I sit on the sidelines. I choose to quietly watch the friendships blossom around me too scared to put myself out there for fear of being rejected. I choose to work in a job that is 'safe' and doesn't challenge me, instead of seeking a position I am qualified for that satisfies me academically.
I choose safety every time, over taking a risk.  I have forgotten how to trust, have faith and how to believe in miracles. To be brave.
Post image for Monday Quote: Brave
image from here

Maybe its time to take some steps for a BRAVE future me.


Egretta Wells blog said...

You are really braver than you think! Why, to share that personal story took loads of bravery, as did trying for other children. When I got to that part of the story, I started smiling...big smile! You have been blessed, truly. God is good!

Emily said...

This was a very important post for me to read right now - thank you for taking the brave step of sharing it!

Meghan M said...

You are much much braver than you realise hon. Bravery looks different for every one of us and can be different every day. Even turning up to a job when your health is so tenuous - that's brave. But I pray you find the strength to choose bravely to seek your heart's desires xx

Deb @ home life simplified said...

Not sure if my comment vanished or went into moderation.

"Such a beautiful and important post. Thank you for sharing. You ARE brave xxx"

Fay said...

This post really struck a chord with me. It's been just over a year since I had my third miscarriage (first since R was born). I'm not brave enough to try again (not yet anyway) but you were and that is amazing considering everything that you had to overcome. You are amazing and so very, very brave xx

jacksta said...

❤️ I've been thinking about this too lately... I was way more confident in some areas when I was young with a microphone in hand and now that petrifies me! But I've grown in other areas.., like being able to connect with strangers on daily basis for work or being able stand up for our children . I think we elvolve as women and mothers. I'm listening to this awesome cd by the bethel music team called "you make me brave" it's been encouraging me a lot.

Bron said...

Thank you for sharing your story.....we don't talk about these things very often...but by doing so we inject braveness and encouragement into those who have been brave and telling your story is the first step in your next bt of being brave......look out I feel this is the beginning of some big things for you to come. Xxxx

Jo-Anne M Puggioni said...

Yes. So much of my story here. Miscarriage. autoimmune. Bravery in days gone by. I list my courage and am only now after many years, declaring 'brave' over 2014, finding my courage again to be brave.
PS- you are already brave xo

Jen said...

Leonie, please don't think you're not being brave by protecting your comfort zone. Sometimes comfort zones are a bad thing (when they hold us back) but sometimes they are safe places to heal and it takes courage to form and protect them. But when it's time to move beyond yours, you'll know, and I have no doubt you will be brave enough to do so. I think you are one courageous woman just doing the things you do day in and day out with the trials that you are experiencing. Just getting through each day when you have health problems takes courage - I know because I'm there. Mary Anne Radmacher said, “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” That's so you.

Leonie said...

Go you for sharing! I truly believe that each and everyone of us have a story of immeasurable pain and here we all are - getting on with life one way or another. Keep fighting the good fight and as so many other people have commented just sharing and getting through each day is a feat you are achieving - celebrate life xx

TracyP said...

You, my amazing friend, are one of the bravest ladies I know. Living with the illness you have everyday and still being one of the kindest, most wonderful people I know with 3 amazingly beautiful children. Thanks for sharing xxxx

Hootnz said...

You are still so brave!! Everyday you are amazing as you face day to day challenges that not every other person has to and you do it with the same faith that you will heal yourself and live a life with more energy! And your restricted diet takes a lot of guts to stick too!! I think when the time is right you'll push more boundaries, maybe different ones than the past, but ones that require a leap of faith xxx ps: thankyou for sharing your stories :)) you're helping others by speaking out about the unspoken x

Gill @ Mudbird Ceramics said...

Good on you for sharing, it's good to speak about these things. What you feel as loss is real, even if others have experienced similar it's not the same for everyone! A big smile crept across my face when you started talking of K... You have 3 absolutely beautiful lovely children, you are blessed xx

Jess B said...

I truly believe you are such an incredible woman. Thank you for sharing this post and opening your heart to us. I think of you often, and pray for you. xxx

Melissa @ said...

Beautiful writing on some difficult subjects Leonie x

Alisa said...

First of all XOXO...

Second. Brave is such a hard thing to be. I was talking to a friend tonight about my daughter and how she is naturally this very brave soul. She takes life by the horns and does it all. She leads kapa haka, she decided to start running dance classes for the little kids at school (despite no dance training herself she just loves to dance), she leads and just makes her dreams reality (also with a lot of heard work).. I was saying I want to be more like her. I also want to really nurture her bravery with the hope she stays brave as an adult.

I usually take the safe route, I live a life that is often very lonely, I don't really fully put myself out there as I feel less than others, I hold myself back.

But this year I made a brave choice and stepped up to tutor kapa haka, such a small thing or so it sounds. I have NEVER done kapa haka in my life, I have only watched my children do it.... I have learnt so much this year by being brave and putting my hand up.

I hope I can keep being brave. Because I don't want to sit on the sidelines of my own life.

PS I think you are an amazing soul and I find great inspiration in the things you share and glimpses of you I get to see.

Miriam said...

Leonie xxx thank you for inspiring each of us to leave the side lines of life and get into the arena. Thank you for sharing your life so generously xxxx