Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters to Kayla: 16 Months

Dear Kayla,

I just had a wonderful after work afternoon watching you play and sing with me and thought gosh I haven't written to you in ages. Dad is at Core life group tonight so I have some quiet time to send you a little Kayla love 16 months.

You have finally stopped teething and are sleeping through the night. PRAISE GOD!!! because that week of teething really tested your dad and my patience. You would just moan and moan all through the night. Nothing would calm you down, except when we would tickle your back (a trick I used to use on Nyemu when she was a baby). I got so many tips from my "mommy panelist" these are the mommies at work that give me free advise. Let me just say EVERY MOMMY NEEDS THEM. Turns out Panado is usless for teething ... Whisky, teething jell, ice, ice name it I tried it. Dad and I hardly slept that week ...but we are happy to say you have a beautiful set of teeth coming through.

After Christmas Dad and I strongly believed that it was time for you to go to playschool. You loved being with other kids and were running around so much. There have been so many little miracles that have been happening just in the decisions and plans for you going to creche. God really took something so stressful for me - decision to move you from being with Christine to a creche. And he turned it into an amazing blessing. Christine is now your play school teacher! How awesome and amazing is that?? You get to be taught by someone you love and adore and Christine gets the benefit of having her two boys in school and have a full time job. When I think about the situation I can only owe it all to God. God new all of our needs and desires and met them beyond our expectations. What are the chances that the one creche which we would send you to (after interviewing a number of schools) would eventually have an opportunity for Christine to join their team. The creche is perfectly on route for Sean (Christine husband) to drop them off and pick them up, coz Christine doesn't drive. A believe it is all a real miracle!

On the mommy side of things, I am loving life at the moment and really enjoying the energy and excitement of a new year.I am eating healthy and getting up early for jogs which is just a wave of freshness. Even though work is super busy I feel like I get that quiet time in the mornings just for myself and God. I have started growing random plants and somehow that has helped with me spiritually. I enjoy seeing how far the roots crow and transplanting them into my small pots on the veranda.

I know it is sad to say it ...but I am enjoying work. Eeeek! But seriously Kayla I feel like I am finally getting my feet wet in this whole business development role and starting to see some fruits grow. I used to be so quiet and intimidated in client meetings but I am starting to learn the ropes of how to interact and make business linkages. It is like a game in a to read people, how to find a gap, how to find a solution, how to pitch an idea, how to nurture a relationship. Gosh it is amazing how important relationship building is in business. will get there  one day my angel.

Anyways enough about the boring work stuff...let me enlighten you on some of the cool thinks about you:

  • You love throwing things!! you are going to be an amazing bowler. You love to run and throw balls or oranges or granadillas. And you are actually good at your aiming.
  • You imitate us on the phone and actually roll your eyes and wait for a fake response. It really looks like you are on the phone with someone.(i will try upload a video of you)
  • You like to say lillian because of the way the 'l's roll off your tongue
  • You call yourself Katka
  • You call grandma  and grandpa GaptGa
  • You like to finish off sentences like when I say it is time to go.... You shout out the GO!
  • You love Twinkle Twinkle little star...and you emphasis the ARE!
  • You never get enough of me singing "MISS POLLY"
  • You like to suck on lemons because you are fascinated by the automatic reaction
  • You could turn a lid on and off for hours
  • Anybodies shoes interest you and you walk around calling them out Sooos!
  • You love being in the swimming pool with Daddy or mommy
  • You know what thunder sounds like and you call it Thanda (soo close)

These are but a few of the wonders you are absorbing and sharing about this world and I want you to always know how precious you are. Every now and again I get these moments where I thing GOD you truly are a amazing... because of you, Kayla,  my faith and relationship with God is that much stronger. So thank you. Today I had one of those moments of God you are amazing and Kayla I hope you know that. The sun was shining on your face while you were sitting in your car seat and saying More More to the banana in my hand. Dad was driving around a corner and I just wanted to absorb that moment.  You are so intricately made by God and I never want you or I to forget that.

Love always,


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When the Storm of Life Hit

If you are a sensitive reader (as in don’t like to read about blood, hurt and pain) I suggest you do not continue to read this section as it goes into a bit more detail of my miscarriage. The reason I chose to share this experience with my readers is because miscarriages are hardly talked about or shared yet one in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriages  and over 80% of miscarriages occur before 12 weeks. What that tells me is that there are a lot of women out there who have experienced this and who will experience this and I hope that this blog strengthens them in some way or prepares them for a path that they could journey on someday.  

It is amazing how powerful the mind can be because now that I knew that I was no longer pregnant it was like my body just took over the whole situation. I pictured my internal body cells saying “Fantastic, now that we have the mind on board we can proceed with the evacuation!” Apparently some ladies can carry this embryo sac for months without even knowing they are not pregnant. You experience every symptom of pregnancy from the hormones to the weight gain etc. The only thing that can prove you wrong is the scan! I remember Fransisca telling me a story about a friend who had given birth to water and she had so many questions about how is that possible - to carry a 'child' for 9 months and deliver water. It made no sense to me then...but it makes sense now. It really got me thinking “How far would I have gone if I hadn’t known I was pregnant?”

 I called my friend who had experienced a miscarriage before and she gave me such amazing support and wisdom during this time. I realised that God’s timing was perfect. I was so glad I had told her I was pregnant when I did. She explained to me clearly what my options were and also shared with me her decisions behind what she chose. See if you choose to just naturally abort – as in just wait and see what happens you are at risk of getting an infection. You also experience heavy bleeding for a longer period of time. If you take the abortion pills it forces your body to abort and that doesn’t guarantee that everything has come out. You are given a set of different pills to take over the course of a week. With the D and C option your whole uterus is scraped out and it helps reduce the bleeding. It felt like it was a tough decision to make because I am generally all about the natural way of life but was I prepared to have weeks of heavy bleeding?… the D and C option seemed like a simpler and quicker option…and I really wanted to just put this whole experience behind me as quickly as possible – hence I booked for a D and C for the Wednesday morning.

The whole day Tuesday (next day after the news) I felt like it was just a lousy period day. By 3pm I decided to take it easy and just lie down. Kayla came with me and we had fun hanging out on the bed. She really wanted to be close to me and wanted to cuddle. I, on the other hand was slowly falling asleep as I was feeling exhausted. Avon then came home and we had a small family moment on the bed. Then I sat up and coughed and immediately felt a gush of something come out of me. I stood up fast and ran to the toilet. I wasn’t in pain but there was blood everywhere. I assumed I was naturally aborting but decided to call my gyne because I had booked for the D & C for the following morning. The secretary said as long as you are not bleeding buckets you should be fine but if you do just go to the emergency ward. “What was that suppose to mean…do people really bleed buckets?” I wondered. I was bleeding so heavily I couldn’t get off the toilet….did that count as  buckets of blood?  Avon could hear something flowing into the toilet and asked if I was peeing and I was like no that is just blood. Was this a call for an emergency?

After an hour of heavy bleeding I collapsed to the floor because I felt so light headed. I couldn’t focus or control the blackout moments. It like I was going to die and I thought of Kanyadzo my grandmother who died during child birth at 36yrs of age if I remember correctly it was due to loss of blood. Was this my time to die? Was God finished with me, was I finished with me? Was this really the end of my Rhythm of life? Did I do all the things I was called to do. Just at that thought I said to myself “HELL NO I am not dying today! I am going to fight for my life!” and shouted from the bathroom floor “Babes we are going to the emergencies! I feel like I am dying. Get the car and everything ready and I will run down!” At this point I had managed to get more blood flowing to my head by raising my legs up against the wall. 
Avon got the car ready and thankfully Avon’s mom was around so Kayla was sorted.

With blood still running down my legs onto my bare feet I fled down the stairs into the back seat of the car and lay down flat with my legs up against the window. When I collapsed onto the back seat of the car I really couldn’t understand where that burst of energy came from because I was blacking out again. I had never had a moment like this before and new I needed more prayer than just the ones I was saying to myself. So decided to Facebook “I need prayer now!” No body knew what I needed prayer for and I wasn’t prepared to explain it on facebook....all people needed to know at that time was I needed Help! I was scared!

When we got to the emergency entrance at the hospital I was put on a wheelchair and wheeled to the emergency unit. I covered my face as tears rolled down. I was scared and somewhat ashamed for anyone to see me like this. What would they be thinking seeing this lady in a wheel chair crying,  with blood down her legs. Well they were probably thinking the obvious…she has probably just had a miscarriage. But I felt sorry for myself but I didn’t want others to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want these strangers to see my face.
The nurses at fourways life really took good care of me. Sometimes I don’t know how those nurses manage to keep their cool through everything they see and experience. I was practically a dead weight as the one nurse tried to take off my soaked clothing and put on my hospital gown.  I kept crying just because I felt ashamed, weak and useless. I wasn’t used to feeling like this…I wasn’t used to being the one that needed help that needed the prayers that needed support. It was a horrible feeling. But the nurses were so comforting and sympathetic through it all. I ended up getting a drip put in me which helped with the dizziness and my Gyne managed to see me. She then scheduled me for a D & C for that evening.

Sitting waiting to go in for a D&C.....still gotta pose!

As I lay in the hospital bed for those couple of hours before I went for the D&C I kept getting reassured by God “My timing is perfect, my timing is perfect!” I thought back on this whole pregnancy. Imagine if I had got for that scan the day of my Christmas party! I wouldn’t have gone to the party and have had precious moments with my friends at work. I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself and created memorable moments.  I also thought about how detached I had been to this whole pregnancy and thought maybe it was because there was nothing there or maybe God planned it this way. Did he keep me so busy to the point where I wasn’t actually embracing the pregnancy? I thought about how fortunate I was to have the support that I had had from my mother in-law to my friend who explained exactly what I might experience. I also thought about the what ifs – What if I had never gone into see the gynecologist the day before and had experienced what I had experienced? I wouldn’t have known the details of the terminated pregnancy. Gods timing was indeed perfect. He prepared my heart and mind for what was to come.

The actual operation was absolutely amazing. In fact the operation was the easiest part of the whole experience. Other than feeling weak I felt ten times better than what I did before I went in for the D&C.  Avon and I manage to get

As horrible as this experience was I really felt Gods presence through it all and even now and I would have changed a thing. God was holding my hand through it all…when I thought I was dying, when I was ashamed and crying as I entered the emergency unit, when I was nervous about the operation, and he is holding my hand now as I heal emotionally. After the whole experience I was amazed at how many women in my network had experienced what I had experienced and I had no idea. Yes sometimes we want to put the bad behind us and move on to a brighter future. But honestly this experience taught me so much about Gods love and his presence through a storm. He brings with him a peace that is unexplained and blessed me with a strength that could only come from Him. I am happy and thankful for what I had experienced. I now understand what my fiend meant when she shared her testimony of her miscarriage with strength.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Finding out I was No longer Pregnant

The very next day after I had shared my pregnancy with my friend and after I had my little one on one with God, I woke up to bright red spotting. I knew this wasn’t normal but tried not to freak out (FYI: brown spotting is okay….bright red means you gotta get checked). So I got dressed for work as usual, whispered in Avon’s ear “Pray for me love, my spotting isn’t normal!” and headed out the door.

On my way to work I got stuck in some horrific Johannesburg traffic and after an hour I managed to reach the cause of the traffic congestion. Part of me wished I hadn’t seen what I had seen. On the hot ground in the middle of the N1 highway lay a African lady with a pool of blood beside her. There were paramedics around and her car was a complete write off. I got that jolting feeling about how life is so short. I thought about how she must have woken up this morning like it was a normal day. I pictured her getting dressed for work and selecting what cloths to wear. I wondered about her children and how young they were …did they know where mommy was now. As I drove the next 20minutes to the office I just cried and cried…It was like God was jolting my perceptions on life. I held my tummy and thought about the life I was carrying ….. “was there life?” Again the strangest of thoughts came to my mind. “Kanya if you had a chance to give this lady life would you give her the life you are carrying inside of you?” Sometimes I make myself sick with the thoughts that come through my head….. But this stranger that lay on the hot morning concrete of the N1 Highway seemed more desperate for life than the baby I was carrying. God was there some strange supernatural way of passing life from one person to another?  What if there was? Would you do it Kanya????? Who’s to say these thoughts are mine or Gods but I drove off with a sense of. “Take this life inside of me….This lady needs that second chance …she needs time. She needs life!”…who knows maybe she wasn’t even dead?? Maybe I was just playing a messed up mind game with myself….or maybe I wasn’t. Either way I was seriously moved by the event.

By lunch time that day I realised that I needed to take this pregnancy more seriously, I needed to be checked. I called 3 gynaecologists in Pretoria and none could see me. I asked them what I must do, I felt normal and healthy I was just bleeding more than normal. They suggested I go to emergencies which I thought was a bit overrated. So I called my gynaecologist in Fourways who said I needed to come in immediately. So I told work that I needed to attend to a personal emergency and headed to Fourways.
Avon was shooting commercials that day at montecasino but again I was so chilled I said it is probably no big deal for him to come for the scan, I mean we get the DVD anyways and he could watch it at home. But I wasn’t prepared for the news I was about to receive.

Dr Brink asked me a whole lot of questions about how far along I thought I was etc. She didn’t do a urine test which I thought was weird but just went straight to the scan. The room was dark and the gel she used was cold on my stomach. The screen was up and I got excited thinking about all the times that I saw Kayla on that screen and how she was now a real kid now…she was a real life! Dr Brink moved the scanning device around and I couldn’t seem to see anything noticeable. She calmly said “It was what I thought, there is no foetus.” Did I hear correctly? Is this a dream? What does she mean? She continued by explaining that it is quite common during the first trimester for the fetus to stop developing . Dr Brink “From what I see the embryotic sac has developed but there is no fetus in it. It probably stopped around 8 weeks.” The empty sac appeared on the screen. It looked lonely and odd. Nothing like the recent video I had seen of Maita’s little one moving around in the sac, nothing like the wonderful videos of kayla….no this was just a hollow dark hole.

My heart sunk and I almost felt like I didn’t hear what I had just heard.  Dr Brink said “I will give you a little moment to get dressed and we can have a chat about it!” I was now alone in the room and I felt cold. I am not sure that I was expecting this but then again I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. Suddenly I wished Avon was with me. Tears swelled up in my eyes. Lord was this really happening to me am I not in some sort of a strange dream. I was so sure I was pregnant, what had happened, what did I do wrong?

I slowly sat down at Dr Brink’s desk and spaced out as she went through what she had observed and what needs to happen. “Kanya snap out of this,” I thought. “You need to pay attention there are some tough decisions to make here” my mind continued. As Dr Brink listed my three options: Natural abortion where your system just tries to get rid of it itself; Oral abortion pills; or D and C. I don’t’ even know what a D and c was? Dr Brink “this is where we put you in theatre and scrape out your uterus!” Oh Lord! Theatre? I have never had an operation before and only been in hospital once for pneumonia when I was 14yrs old. Dr Brink “I am going to prescribe you some pills for anxiety. I have been through this before and it was also during my second pregnancy. The anxiety pills will help you sleep and help with those recurring thoughts. I understand that this isn’t easy for you but I am here to help you through this. You just need to tell me by tomorrow morning if you want to have a D & C. Then you will be scheduled for Wednesday morning surgery.”
Everything seemed to be happening so fast yet so slow. I went from thinking I was pregnant and alive to nothing….just an empty sack of water.

I smsed Avon to come meet “Not good news, need you now.!” my text said. I walked out of the hospital and the day seemed to have stood still. The sun was blazing on me…. people were walking around but I felt like I didn’t exist.  This day all seemed so strange…was this the same sun that shone on the lady on the pavement this morning? Was it a different day? Lord are you there can you hear me…can you see me? I have just been bashed with bad news…were you in the room with me? I know bad things happen to people all the time but would I get through this bad news? I sat in the car and cried while I waited for Avon. That was probably my lowest moment and I hated it. I don’t like moments like this and I didn’t want it to continue.

I recalled a Youth lesson I taught on How Jesus is in the boat with us when the storms come. I was in a storm and I needed to believe that God was right there with me! Gosh it was so hard! But I wasn’t alone and I needed to be strong. I needed that courage that filtered to Katie…I needed my prayer which I prayed the night before…I needed it to come to me and now!!!! This was a perfect storm designed just for me and God was and is going to carry me through it.

After that moment I felt stronger and better. Sharing the news with Avon wasn’t easy. He was just quiet after I said it all. Then he wanted answers. “What did we do wrong? How could we have prevented this? But sometimes life doesn’t give us those kind of answers we just need to move forward trusting that God is guiding our every step and is equipping us with everything we need to get through it.
I wasn’t going to let this miscarriage destroy me or my family. I still was going to be Kanya!  I wasn’t too sure what the next couple of days had in store for me so I decided that I would tell as many people as I could while I was still okay. I made it a priority to tell all my pregnant friends. I wanted them to know the details and to reassure them that I was okay. I also wanted them to know that I was glad that it was me that was going through it and not them. My blessing was Kayla and I was going to hold on to that strongly. It seemed to have hit my friends a lot harder than it had hit me.
I can’t explain how the knowledge of this miscarriage strengthened my bond with Kayla. It was like she knew I needed her love. She would follow me everywhere I walked in the house. She would kiss me and hug me and in her own way tell me that she loved me. I cherished every second and held on to her so tightly.