Defining Moments

My Topic Thursday post… on Friday 😛

Some moments deeply impact the way you view life and react to it… some completely alter the path you had set for yourself and others shake you to the core and change who you are.

These are my defining moments:

– Saying to Michael (my now husband) “I can’t do this anymore. It’s too hard. I really really like you” on MSN as a 15 year old who was trying to help him get with a friend of mine who he liked. He then admitted that he had always liked me to and 6.5 years later – here we are!
– My first anxiety attack (as a 16 year old). It is hard to describe… that realisation that your mind is so powerful and fear can be all-consuming. I had anxiety attacks surrounding my intense want to achieve good grades.
– Seeing that I got an OP 2 on the computer screen. I realised that I was capable of more than I had thought.
– Breaking down and chosing to leave University (I studied Pharmacy for 1.5 years). My life did a complete 180 after this. Mike and I got engaged, moved out, we got our gorgeous cats and planned the very life we are leading now.
– Getting my first job as a nanny for a beautiful Down Syndrome baby girl. This taught me (in a nut shell) that life is precious and beautiful. I was so caught up in ‘perfection’ that I didn’t realise that imperfection is what makes life worth living and teaches you more than you could ever learn if everything went ‘perfectly’.
– My little sister giving birth to her first baby. I remember wondering how I could love someone so fiercely who I had never met before. Makes me cry even now. I remember thinking I cannot wait to do this.
– Chosing to start doing video blogs on Youtube. The huge amount of beautiful people I have met through my TTC vids, loss vids, pregnancy vids, etc has been overwhelming. All the emails of people opening up to me in such raw, lovely, heartbreaking and heartwarming ways changed how I feel about humans in general. Before that I really found it hard to connect to people. I now love to help people and inspire people.
– Falling pregnant for the first time, seeing our babies heartbeat flickering on the screen at 8 weeks gestation. Feeling the sheer enormity of the situation, that fire that ignites as you realise you are now a mother. Seeing Ollie absolutely blew my mind. That was my baby… our love made this beautiful being.
– Seeing our baby, lifeless on the screen at 14 weeks. Pain. There was nothing but complete naked emotional pain. September 15th will forever be a painful day for me. It really didn’t teach me more than how much it hurts to have something precious taken from you.
– Chosing to wait to miscarry naturally and birthing him unassisted at home after an 8 hour labour and birth process the day after our wedding. I would have never healed how I did without this decision. I would have never learnt what I did or grieved how I did or reached out and helped others how I did. The processes of birthing, seeing, holding and burying Oliver all taught me immensely powerful lessons.
– Our wedding day… The love I feel for Michael was transformed throughout this experience into something beyond me – beyond us.
– Falling pregnant with Cameron. This taught me how to combine sheer fear with unmeasureable happiness. It also surprised me with how strong hope is.
– Giving birth to Cameron. It was a blur of pain, confusion, fear, numbness, shock, relief, strength, awe and overwhelming happiness and possessiveness. It taught me the true meaning of losing control and surrendering as well as just how strong I am. It gave me this huge respect for mothers of all kinds that I never had before.
– Suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety attacks. I feel it has robbed me of so much and pains me more deeply than anything else ever has. It has taught me how strong my love is, to find and create beauty and inspired me to reach out to help in whatever small way to break through the stigma attached to mental illness.

What has helped shape who YOU are?

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4 thoughts on “Defining Moments

  1. Wow… Thank you for sharing those parts of your life. It is really amazing, if we allow ourselves to think about it, how much our lives are shaped by past events both happy and painfully sad. If I were to reply with all of the events that shaped my life it’d be three pages! LOL
    I would say the top 5 are:
    1) my depression – I’ve had severe depressive episodes since the age of 15. It has and continues to change my perspective on the world and also the way I view myself. Each time I am able to overcome one of these episodes I realize how strong I am.
    2) 9 years ago I was engaged to a man that was controlling, emotionally and physically abusive, and intimidating. 5 weeks before our wedding I found the strength and courage to leave him. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I can honestly say, I never looked back. He taught me so much and I wouldn’t trade the experience, however painful, for the world.
    3) The birth of my nephews. My sister and I lived together and co-parented her first two children. She was not with the father. When my first nephew was born I was so thrilled and absolutely in awe of this new life, I cried and cried and cried for hours after his birth. She has 3 beautiful boys now. Those boys have taught me what true love is.
    4) My pregnancy with PJ. The actual defining moment is when I got to see and hear her heartbeat. It is amazing to me that all your life you hear about what a miracle it is and how beautiful it is but you never truly knew until you saw your own child’s heart and realized it was beating in YOU!
    5) the day I found out I would miscarry. February 16th of this year I went in for a routine ultrasound at 9 weeks pregnant and found out my precious baby had died. I had a d & c three days later. This taught me that pain could be more intense than I ever thought possible. It has been a lonely journey. A song I heard compared it to this: “having the sacred torn from your life, and you survived” That’s exactly it. I feel robbed and angry although as more and more time passes I’m learning to except the loss and move on. I will be beginning fertility treatments again in July or August. I’m remembering now how to hope.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that Charity – you are beautiful! I will be thinking of you in July/August and cannot wait to continue to follow your journey.

  2. Thanks, Rachel. I think you are beautiful too… and truly inspiring. You were one of the biggest parts of my healing process. I am forever grateful. I will begin a new blog when I finally get back on the TTC wagon. 🙂 I’ll let you know when the new blog is created. Thanks again for everything!!

  3. Hi dear Rachel,
    I wanted to express my admiration to you. You are trully a big inspiration and thank you for your sharings! I spend my afternoon today, watching your videos on you tube:-).How you started the process to conceive, about your miscarridge, grieving, putting up with it and hope.. And most of all i was thrilled to hear and see, you gave birth to a beautiful son Cameron. Congratulations!!!
    Me and my husband are trying to conceive about a year and a half. I feel I also have been pregnant, but it has gone away with MS, maybe few times..I went through many “hard months of sadness, frustration, grief, guilt, anger”..etc.. i guess you know what i mean. But I do believe our child is on its way to Us. I have hope and seing story like yours supports me too.:-) These last two months i feel more optimistic and at ease. I know it is very important to take care of myself, so that i feel happy and content with my life, as much as I am able to. I have a wonderful, loving husband and many, many other blessings that iam grateful for in my life.
    Have a wonderful day and happy Mother`s Day.. i loved reading your sharing and your thoughts about it! Keep shinning and enjoy all your days with your two loving, dear men in your life!
    Hugs and greeting Zaneta

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