Fear By Megan Ogilvie

It was 3 years ago, I was pregnant with my fourth son James. I was 23 weeks pregnant when my waters started leaking! That was the start of it all for me. Fear kicked in with a strong hold. I went on strict bed rest as every time I moved I would get tightening in my stomach which is what happened when the waters first started leaking. The thought of my baby being born that early crippled me, the fear that he would not survive or live a normal life is what hung over me. I switched my focus completely to the survival of my baby boy. I did what most people do these days I turned to google. Searching every possible cause, outcome, motivation and story I could find on my current situation and tortured myself with possible outcome while praying that it never happened to me! I allowed my fear to take over. Weeks went on, I was so bored, so I started looking for comforts! Starting with my Netflix binge, then little food binges all awhile being terrified that I would gain way too much weight being on bed rest (this angers me the fact we put so much pressure on ourselves with weight and what we look like). I had exhausted all my thoughts with every fear that I was forced to just be in the situation. Every day on bed rest was a win I started setting myself goals if I could just get to 26 weeks then 28 weeks then 30, each week making survival much higher! By this time my poor three older boys had started feeling so neglected and little Luke was only 1 at the time. There is only so much you can do from bed and boys being boys don’t like to be confined in bed for long. I was very fortunate to have my mother and mother-in-law step in to help as well as my husband. I had to let go of the control and realise even though this is not what I desired for their lives it was the current situation and they were surrounded by love and care and that’s all that matters.

It’s only after facing and living in dark times that we learn. If I had not gone through postnatal depression with my second son Daniel I would not have learnt that there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel and that this is not going to be forever, but it is for now my situation. That made it so much easier to focus on what was important rather than losing hope.

Soon to be four handsome boys.

We managed to get to 32 weeks which felt like a huge win, so I decided it was time to start moving around a bit and seeing it was my oldest son Micah’s birthday coming up, I wanted him to feel special. I managed 2 days with a few movements and party preparation but by his birthday I was shattered. I felt so uncomfortable and fearful again. I went into hospital to be monitored! I was told I was a mystery, then told “No it not my waters leaking but me peeing myself” (SERIOUSLY) as they could still see a lot of water in the scan so therefore I’m imagining it. Then I got the question is everything ok at home we have people here to talk to if you need. All awhile I’m feeling so frustrated and uncomfortable. Till two days later the leaking started again and this tiime it did not stop all night. The first few times they come in with the scan no it’s not your water, again no you still have water around baby and again no but then a huge gush of water the bed was saturated, the water was on the floor and I was soaked! That’s when I was told I’m going to have to have an emergency C-section as the baby was breach and most of the water had gone! At this point I was so bewildered with what had just happened. As it was late they put me on the monitor till the morning and I would be first in line for the procedure. So, at this stage I was too afraid to even think of anything else but driven by fear that I’ve been on bed rest for 10 weeks and I could lose him! I watched his heart beat all night calling the nurse at any change. Come the morning I was shattered but was driven by the thought of finely being able to hold my precious baby after so much fear. I did the only thing I knew to do, so I prayed and prayed. I was given the choice that morning to try and deliver him naturally as that is what I wanted all along as I did with my 3 other sons, but I was exhaustion and the fact he was breach made me feel it was impossible. Looking for the easiest and fastest way to the result of me having him safe as soon as possible!

5 soon to be 6

I’ve lived my life like this to, it’s all or nothing in most cases. Which is great in some respects I strive for the best, I go 100% if I’m truly motivated, I’m extremely competitive and aim to win and achieve my goal fast but it also has its down side as I don’t eat just one block of chocolate... I go for the whole slab. It means I throw myself in to the quickest and fastest diet never mind the effect on my body and mind and then only to have it pile all back on as those diets never last and truly make you gain it all back and more. I give everything I have to others only to get hurt then pull completely away but no one can maintain that then end up pulling into myself!

In this current world we are living, it seems we have come to expect this as everything we want is at our fingertips. Express train though life, because we don’t want to walk it. Fast food, pills, shakes, self-harm we are trying it all and failing at it all! We have gotten so scooped up in the ice cream of it all we have missed out on so much and robbed ourselves of faith, in ourselves and in our beliefs. Knowing we can live a wholesome life and believing that through this all we can archive our goals in life, we can succeed, we can live the most beautiful life by taking your time, by stopping and catching our breath, enjoy time with people we love! Enjoying the moments of meeting a stranger and shining a little bit of joy into someone else life. The fear that drives me is not the fair of death (and I’ve been on that door) but the fear of not living! Living a life that makes me happier, healthier, richer in every way! Enriching the lives of my kids and people around me.

After what felt like the longest hour before heading into theatre. I knew everything would be ok, I believed it! The moment they pulled him out, foot first and put him on me was a moment I had been longing for only a split second before he was whisked away again! The joy I felt seeing him, so tiny, frail I will never forget that moment. He was here, he was breathing even though it was through a tube! I would not look at it as anything but positive! I had faith he would pull through it with me by his side! As I watch this tiny little boy’s chest struggle, working overtime I wondered would he have a normal life! I longed to hold him to feed him, but I could not. He had to get stronger. It was not long till I got to hold him. Even though I had to express milk, then syringe feed him I was not going to let that stop me! Day 3 they moved all the premature babies down a level due to work being done in the room. Which meant I needed to get a nurse to wheelchair me down due to just having had surgery just so that I could hold him and feed him! As at that stage it was every 2 and half hours it was not becoming possible as the nurses were stretched as is. I was forced to find my own way down. In so much pain with each step and so tired from only sleeping for an hour every 3 hourly, I soldiered on focused and on a mission. If I missed a feed they would give him formula which I hated as he was so little, and I had perfectly good milk myself and I wanted the best for him (not that Formula is the wrong choice, it’s just not my choice).

Welcome baby James

I pushed myself and fortunately when my milk came in and I had enough to last two feeds so I could rest again! But once again giving up control for I knew he needed his mom but mom would be, no good to him if I could not even stay awake for more then ten minutes. Sometimes we just need to let go and trust everything will be ok!

A year went on and James was doing so well in fact he was thriving. I had survived a hard year being fully invested in him. But I was so hard on myself, I was unhappy because I had put on weight, I was unhappy because I put all my values into what I looked like and let that dictate how I felt about myself! I throw myself back into running! And with a week out decided I was going to run the 12K in the sketches run to try prove to myself that I could do anything that I put my mind to, so much pressure on myself. I was not up for it nor was I feeling well but my fear of failure and wanting to strive for the best is what led me to go for it and give it my all. And so, I did, I ran hard, I was going to beat my time and achieve this for myself. I had to really push myself, my body wanted to stop, every thought in my mind wanted me to stop but I was almost half way. I started to feel unwell and dizzy I was forced to stop and walk! Meanwhile every person overtaking me was one more failure, but I would not be a quitter. Just over half way I could not stand being over taken anymore more. I started running again, sprinting at times to get ahead of a few more people I pushed myself to almost the point of throwing up. Right till the end. I did it, my best time yet! 52 minutes, much better than my time the year before. Walking around proud like a male peacock flashing my 12k medal around all awhile feeling like shit! I went home with a feeling of pride. Thinking I am invisible, I can do anything I set my mind to! After my ego had settled and I had proudly shown off my medal to my boys I knew it was time to rest, my body was screaming at me and my heart was still racing. After a few hours of rest and my heart still not settling down, I got up to go get a drink. Feeling suddenly extremely dizzy and like I was about to throw up almost passing out. I went back to lay down I started getting squeezing pain in my chest followed by pain down my arm and through my neck and under arm. I knew something was not right and called my mum to drive me in to hospital just to get checked out! Once arriving at hospital, I still was not feeling the greatest but decided to still get seen. I was taken in straight away they took blood test and put me straight on the monitor. The nurse said not to worry as I was young, and I was going to be fine, but they just had to wait for the bloods, so I was ready to go home even though I was not feeling well. I got up to go to the toilet and overheard the nurse talking to my mom. He said, she will not be going home! I ignored the conversation as I was led with the burning urge to go to the toilet after being on the monitor for so long. I got back only to be told by the nurse I’ve had a heart attack! A heart attack, what I’m only 32 years old! The doctor then came in and said that there had been some damage to my heart and that I would need to stay in and have further tests. The fear all came rushing back, followed but all the stages of grief. Denial-I’m too young surely, which from that came fear then anger, bargaining (mainly with God), depression (the thought of not being there for my kids) and after a long while acceptance all awhile being now driven by fear again of this happening again of never running again! After a week of feeling so out of place in the Cardiology ward being the youngsters by far, I found out it was in fact Myocarditis which is a virus that attacks your heart and mimics a heart attack. I also found out that one in five people died from it. You can imagine my thought, I was dumbstruck. The thought of just having a common virus that just over exerting yourself could cause an attack was scary. I could have died trying and pushing to prove to myself I am worthy. I was reassured that It should never come back but I needed to allow myself time to heal as your heart muscle never stops pumping, you’re forced to have strict rest again. So, for three months I could hardly do anything and could not drive for six weeks. I was forced again to rest and face my fears.

Don’t be so hard on yourself we all fail we all are human. I do every day, but I’ve learnt to just live each day, each moment as it if it is my last! I’ve made bad choices, I’ve made many mistakes in life, I’ve failed time and time again. I’ve been judged and laughed at ( one example is - I was told by a family member that a person from my community they had met and my family member asked if this person knew me, this was the persons response “oh Megan yes, I hate her” just like that, I continued to tell my family member that this was so odd as I had never even been formally introduced to that person or ever had a conversation with them. I mean how could I let that get to me knowing this. People will judge without even knowing a thing about you. Don’t put your value in other opinions) but I learned from it. I choose to live a positive, healthy life, to enjoy my family, to accept that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be but I’m happy. I will take life at my own pace and I will not be defined by what happened in my life nor will I live in fear. If there is anything I could leave you with it would be this. No matter how hard your situation currently is or how many times you have failed all that matters at the end of the day is you and to live your life wholeheartedly. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are beautiful, accept yourself as you are, and you have so much to give in this life, so live your best life!