15 weeks pregnant

15 weeks pregnant

I made it past 1st trimester for the first time ever, it’s time for me to celebrate.

The last Monday couldn’t have gotten any more real, I not only turned 35 but I was also going in for an ultrasound to check on my high-risk pregnancy on my birthday, nervous and excited all at the same time.  I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant with my first child, though it’s my 7th pregnancy.

For me Pregnancy hasn’t come easy, to start off with I was one of those women that we’re afraid to touch babies because I thought they were so fragile that I could break them.  I was always career-focused and living for fun moments like travelling, booking adrenaline deals such as rally car driving, building myself a house, and having casual drinks with friends. Living for the moment and setting myself up for the future was my goal because I had such a scare at 23 and another at 26.

At 22 the doctor prescribed the Gardasil vaccine for me as the government was giving these out for free to help stop Cervical Cancer in the younger generation, though I had no signs of having such a thing.  At 23 I went for my pap smear and was told it came back abnormal, I really didn’t understand what this meant, it didn’t help that the doctor struggled to even speak English, I thought I was never going to be able to have children, I was told I could still have children, there will just be some minor complications.

I went for some more tests and was rushed through for surgery, I was close to having cervical cancer!  They burnt my cervix to try and prevent this cancer and found traces of Cin3, stage 4 is cancer, after surgery, I needed pap smears checkups every 6-12months I fell within the 5% of people where the surgery didn’t work, I then needed another surgery in 2018 because it wasn’t looking good, Cin 3 again, with finally being told I’m clear 6 months later. 

Finally, I felt freedom, I could breathe again, I was told I could still have children, there will just be more complications than before. 

Keep up to date with your smears ladies – You can find out more about this at the Australian cervical cancer foundation.

Our German Shepherd

Our German Shepherd Girl

I first fell pregnant when I was 26, this ended with a nasty 11-week miscarriage, the nurse in the hospital was to busy to help me, she was overwhelmed with patients, my boyfriend at the time was also working away, luckily for me, his sister was a student nurse at the hospital and came in while off duty and helped me through. I was in so much discomfort I didn’t know which way to position myself, once the fetus passed my body I started to uncontrollably tremble, I went in for a DNC.  5 weeks later I could feel something wasn’t right, I was even vomiting and nearly fainting at work, they flew me home urgently. I had an ultrasound, they wouldn’t let me look at the screen and was put in for another DNC. This was enough to frighten me. I was too scared to ever fall pregnant again.  Our relationship didn’t last long after this.

Since then I had fallen pregnant to boy-friends along the way, unplanned, out of fear I terminated one of those, and miscarried with the others between 8-11 weeks, my last attempt the doctor referred me to a local gynecologist and was put on the progesterone pessaries and still miscarried.

Now happily 15 weeks pregnant to my Fiance, this our third attempt and very planned with the help of our gynecologist.  My Fiance and the doctor encouraged me to quit my job, I hesitated a lot because I’m the stubborn independent type, I sold my house, then quit my well paid 6 figure income job, because a high-risk job doesn’t work well with a high-risk pregnancy, the hours were too much for this sensitive girl so I forfeiting my well-earned maternity leave take another attempt on pregnancy. Not only that but I learned that working night-shift can really mess with your hormones, and I had done this every 3 weeks for 8 years, doing a 86 hour week.  

To help move forward we sold my car and traded in his for an automatic, as I was told I can’t drive a manual vehicle when pregnant and we both had manual vehicles.  I had to let go of all the stresses as for the last 3 years I had also been working on setting up an online business so I could work from home eventually, that came sooner than expected.

Enough was enough, some things had to go.

Hormone Injections

Hormone Injections

Next week will be my last week of having to inject myself with Pregnyl hormone replacement twice a week (it is so NOT fun), I have my cervix measured every 4 weeks via an internal ultrasound, insert a progesterone pessary every night, and take Aspirin every day.  I have a student midwife wanting to follow my pregnancy for a case study and want to come to my appointments, which I’m ok with but I haven’t met her yet.  Monday I sat at Dome after holding back the happy tears because I’ve never seen my pregnancy reach this far and on my 35th birthday too, even though they were measuring the cervix I seen a big head, long legs, confirmed there’s a little doodle between them, he looked like he was sucking his thumb and most importantly a strong little heartbeat, I always ask them to check I can’t help myself, I can just need that confirmation.  We had the Nipts test done to confirm the babies health and sex at 10 weeks, due to all my complications and medication, of course, I want to get everything checked.

Yogo Syringe

Chocolate Yogo Syringe with my nephew, Jaw recovery.

Post Jaw Surgery

Post Jaw Surgery

This year I’ve also dealt with the recovery of Jaw reconstruction, I was born with an underdeveloped Jaw and needed it broken in 3 places to have my teeth line up and in hope that it would stop dislocating daily, a miscarriage, 2 dislocated feet, a broken middle finger, the Pandemic, the sudden death of a younger cousin and some other dramas along the way, so forgive me if I look exhausted, it’s because I am. Some good things have come out of this year like becoming engaged and having a wonderful German Shepherd by our side.  Now I’m in Perth full-time, I have pretty much housebound myself to be on the safe side for my pregnancy and to concentrate on my business, Fembuiz Directory with recently joining Chambers of Commerce Kwinana and Rockingham to help reach out to other female business owners and create awareness for fembuiz.com.au.

Winter beach walk at Point Peron

Winter beach walk at Point Peron

To keep my spirit high I believe things are possible, if you can dream it, you can achieve it, just one step at a time in the right direction and asking for help along the way.  We hope and pray every day that I’m going to make it full-term so our little boy can say hello.  There’s no better feeling than getting those butterflies and getting those first real food cravings, even if I am eating weird combinations such as stuffing my Kalamata olives with nerds haha.

I feel that the discussions around miscarriages get buried and this is an area that should be more openly spoken about, there are more people out there going through these troubles then we know.

High risk pregnancy journey

20w

Week 20

It’s time for the big scan, the one where they measure all the ligaments, head and sizing of the baby through Ultrasound, this can take up to 1.5hours but the amazing thing was that my Fiance got to be home for the Ultrasound this time.    Everything is looking great and my Cervix is also holding.  One small hiccup is that the placenta is at the front and Low, 6mm away from my cervix. It needs to be 2cm away before birth, hopefully, as the placenta lifts as the Uterus grows over the next few months. If bubs head would rub up against the placenta or get stuck, it could cause a lot of bleeding from the placenta and then this would cut the oxygen supply to the baby turning and moving forward with an emergency C section.  More monitoring now required.

On the plus side, I’ve now started to feel little kicks, it’s the best feeling in the world, it brings so much reassurance that everything is ok in there, even if I’m not getting as much sleep at night and I’m getting up for midnight Nutella sandwich snacks.

I know that he is moving around in my belly and it brings that feeling of “everything is going okay“, so keep kicking little buddy.

 

To be continued…

 

Transitional story

I grew up in a relatively normal household. Mum and dad were both working-class and owned a small business in Adelaide for 30 years. They were Christians and took me to church every Sunday.  Once I turned 16, I decided that I knew everything, so I dropped out of high school before completing year 10, took on a job at the local supermarket, and moved out of home 6 months later with a man who was much older than me.

Depression

“There has to be a better way to live”

For the next 4 years, I found myself trapped in a domestic violence relationship, drugs, alcohol, and parties occurred regularly. He would regularly drink a full bottle of Jack Daniels in one night, smoke marijuana, and take out his hurt and anger on his friends and me. Drink driving, license disqualifications, drug convictions, and a stint in jail, were part of his life during this time.

After 4 years of this, I thought “There has got to be a better way to live!” I was depressed, broken, hurt, angry and fed up with this lifestyle. I had debts, loans, and fines totaling about $8000, and back in the 90s as a teenager, that was quite a lot of money! On my 20th birthday, my mum brought their van to the house while my boyfriend was out at work and helped to remove all my belongings. I had been planning this for some time and was so fearful of the repercussions and had replayed scenarios over and over in my head. But I just knew I had to change my life and get away from this person who was destroying me and controlling it.

After all, it’s my life and I’m the only one who can change it.

I packed up my car, and drove to Melbourne, living in a caravan park and working at a bakery for the next 6 months, paying off the debt, I escaped the people and poisonous lifestyle back in Adelaide.

Fast forward a few years, I met my first husband and we married in 1999 and had two beautiful daughters, they are both adults now but with no career prospects, no education, and little experience, I decided I needed to go back and study. At 23, I enrolled in TAFE and started my Advanced Diploma of Accounting. I finished my degree in Accounting over the next 6 years, whilst my children were still young, and I found an accountants position in a small Adelaide firm.

After about 8 years my 1st marriage started falling apart and the pressures of work, home life, and young children seemed to be so stressful, I thought my head would explode! I just wanted to run away from everyone to a deserted island. It seemed worse than before when I suffering the abuse in my teenage years. Because now there were 2 other little people in my life whom I loved so much and didn’t want them to be affected by my breakdown.

I knew my life needed to change AGAIN. So I went about seeking help and made some tough decisions. I attended counseling, changed my living arrangements, expelled negative influences and people in my life. This brought me some well-needed relief from the emotional weight I was carrying. I learned to say NO to the toxic thoughts and people in my life.

Consuming Thoughts

Am I the only person that has these thoughts?

I often tell or ask myself, “I am the only person in the world that has these thoughts. These negative emotions are consuming me. They are overwhelming. I hate my life. When will this anxiety end? I can’t handle this anymore! GOD where are you and why have you forsaken me?  My gut feels sick every day.  I am just going through the motions. One day blends into the next. I have no purpose in my work or life. Am I going insane?! What is the point of being here? … I want to die!”

These are the thoughts, feelings, and dialogue I had going through my head for the best part of 3 years. In 2010 I had a nervous breakdown. I was never medically diagnosed and did not take medication to treat it, but I knew I had hit rock bottom. Crying most days and struggling through work and home duties with 2 young children. I thought I was the only person in the world that was plagued by these negative thoughts and emotions. So I pushed away friends and family that were close to me because I didn’t want them to know how I felt and what I was going through.

You know the old saying…. We all have bad days. Well, back then I used to wake up each morning wondering if I would have a good day. Good days were rare back then, and I even used to mark them on a calendar, so I could look back to see if I was improving.  I’m sure we all have bad days. But when we think and feel these things on a daily basis for extended periods, it is usually a sign of depression or anxiety and perhaps some external help is needed. For 3 years, I suffered this deep dark depression. I had a good business and was earning good money, a nice car and a nice house. But none of that mattered, I just wanted to end my life and for the depression to leave me!

THE 5 F’s as I call it that helped me turn my life around;

Sarah Reimann

Sarah Reimann, Business strategist, and Financial expert.  “Don’t let life’s hiccups stop you from being the real you and chasing your dreams”.

1. FRIENDSHIPS – For years I kept to myself, pushing others away, so I made a deliberate effort to build relationships and confide in others.

2. FORGIVENESS – I realised that holding onto unforgiveness and bitterness of what others had done, only hurt me not them.

3. FAITH – Prayer and meditation and my belief that God only had good things for me.  Knowing His love and reading His word, the Bible helped me change my mindset and thinking patterns to positive ones.

4. FITNESS – I started exercising and joined a running group. I completed some marathons and events. This helped me confront my demons, as there was plenty of time to think, on long runs.

5. FOOD – I went to a nutritionist to get help with the gut issues I was having, which evidently were linked to my anxiety and depression. This was a major wake up call for me, as I learned of the foods that I actually thought were healthy, were causing inflammation in my body. Eliminating processed foods and turning to the whole, fresh, and natural diet.

These 2 significant but very different circumstances and periods in my life, taught me that life is not only short but also our time, our health, and our resources are precious. And we should protect and look after them with deliberate intention.

As bad as these experiences were, they have enabled me to better help, understand, and show professional empathy to my business clients and colleagues, which I believe is crucial in a world where business can be a dog eat dog environment at times and people are only out for themselves.

A transformational story won’t happen overnight, that would be a miracle if we could change our lives from one circumstance straight into a better one, but it can be done, with time, patience and a good strategy.  I hope my story may be the start of your transformational journey, and we hope to read your story on this site one day.

~Sarah Reimann.