Lessons Learned from 5 Days in Hospital
So. Some news. I’ve been in hospital since very early Sunday morning. This is my little space –
(Should have shot the view, it’s pretty nice :))
I am okay and my baby is okay. We are being monitored and at this stage will be let out tomorrow. I haven’t mentioned this publicly before now because it just didn’t feel right or necessary, and I wanted to kind of bunker down internally as well as not freak everyone else out by saying what happened before I had any answers. Mentally, emotionally and even physically I am doing really well and in fact it’s been a week of positivity and learning for many reasons, which is why I’m now writing this post. As well as, I just feel I need to now; I don’t know why.
Very early Sunday morning I woke up in a flood of blood. I was 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I felt something was wrong, turned on the lamp and stood up, and watched a lot of really freaking scary stuff rush and fall out of me. It was one of the most heart-stopping moments of my life; I remember screaming ‘no, please God, no’ and then freezing, not sure what to do next; barely able to think about how to get to my phone let alone who to call. As luck would (not) have it, it was the one night in my whole pregnancy in which Enzo was away overnight with Alyssa, just an hour or so away down the coast staying with family for a family birthday. I’d been working over the weekend so hadn’t gone.
It was about 2am, but my parents picked up quickly and were straight out the door to come and get me. It hadn’t even occurred to me to call an ambulance, but when I phoned my hospital to tell them they instructed me to do so straight away, which I did. I was practically begging the emergency nurse to reassure me on the phone, which she did a little bit. But there’s not a lot of reassurance to be had at 2am when your body, bedroom and bed looks like a crime scene and all you can do is wait.
I don’t know how long the ambulance took – maybe 10 minutes? – but I was frozen. The only non-terror thought I could think was ‘don’t forget your phone charger!’ I’d been in emergency twice over the prior 3 weeks for small blood loss, both times not admitted just scanned and checked, and the second time I’d ended up with a dead phone and no internet for 6 or 7 hours, unable to contact Enzo or anybody, and my requests for a phone forgotten in the midst of the more serious emergencies which kept coming in. On the flipside, I wrote my entire latest Amazon best-seller (The 5 Minute Weight Loss one) that day. Through a cloud of tears. When I don’t know what to do, I write 🙂
Anyway … the ambulance girls were great. Reassuring without making any promises. My parents met us at the hospital, and I was taken straight through. It had been about 40 minutes since I woke up by then, and the singular thought in my mind was on waiting for that moment when they would check for the heartbeat. You can imagine my relief when they found it quite quickly. This was just the first step of course, I was hooked up to a drop, given some steroids in the butt just in case of early labour, and waited on the doctor to come and do a scan. Around this time Enzo arrived with a sleeping Alyssa over his shoulder; just before the doctor came in.
The good news was she couldn’t find any obvious cause of such a serious bleeed. The disconcerting news was … she couldn’t find the cause.
It’s now Wednesday morning and that’s pretty much still the story. I was admitted to the ward around 6am Sunday morning and at this stage will be released tomorrow. After the big event I haven’t had anything except a little light bleeding Sunday night and Monday morning, which is probably just residual from Saturday night.
The baby is in great shape according to the numerous scans and investigations I’ve had, it’s a good size (we don’t know the sex), and everything looks just as it should.
If you’ve experienced or heard of women who go through something similar, you may have heard of placenta previa. This is where the placenta ends up in the wrong position and it can be high risk of early labour. I don’t have this, which is fantastic news. The general conclusion at the moment is that I must have tiny tears in the placenta which are too small to be seen on ultrasound. It’s just one of those things – I questioned them about everything I’ve been doing and they said unless I’d been throwing heavy stuff around (which I haven’t), it’s not due to anything I’ve done. Again, great news, if somewhat disconcerting as it makes me feel a little bit like I don’t know what will happen next!
What is a very driven and mentally active gal to do when holed up in a hospital bed for 4-5 days plus?
Rest, yes, of course. I’ve been having loads of sleep, reading a great Dan Brown novel, streaming New Girl on my iPad and flicking through some magazines. I’ve had tons of visits from family and some of my closest friends, and I’ve spent more time this week reading Facebook than what I normally would in several months. Alyssa has also been enjoying some chill-time when here!
I’ve churned through copious amounts of my favourite parts of my work, including having some inspiring phone conversations with the health coaches who are part of my new mastermind for those who want to learn from and emulate my online success as well as connecting on and off all day with my own mastermind peers.
And I’ve been thinking. And writing. A lot. C’mon – what am I going to do, watch Dr Phil all day? Not likely!
And this next part will probably come off somewhat trite, but it’s really meaningful to me at the moment and I wanted to share it with you as well in case it gives you good pause for thought.
Lessons Learned from 5 Days in Hospital
If this week hasn’t proven it, then nothing will – I really can work how I want, doing what I want, and from anywhere in the world. I won’t say ‘anywhere I want’ in this case, as a temporary residence in hospital would never be a chosen option! But still. It’s pretty exciting to have it driven home to me just how successfully I’ve created my business so that IT has to mold to me, not the other way around.
(Getting ready to work from the hospital cafe – feel like I have a real routine here!)
I am so lucky – this week has been just as hard on Alyssa and Enzo as it has been on me, and WE are so lucky to have such an enormous and instant support community around us. The offers of care for Alyssa and ‘anything we need’ have come in from everyone who has heard what’s going on, and the amount of treats and entertainment options in my room speaks for itself!
Facetime is also a blessing 🙂
(Pancake parlour/hospital cafe breaky date this morning!)
The universe will really give you whatever you want, so be damn careful that you ask for what you want specifically. A few weeks ago I added to my dreamboard list to ‘go on a writer’s retreat by myself, somewhere where I can enjoy nature, sleep in, and not have to do anything except write and dream’.
Hmmm. Did I mention the stunning view of nature from the windows of the patients lounge? This photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s really very beautiful.
You can always find a way to make the best of a situation. This is the trite part. Cliches aside, what happened over the weekend was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me, and I know there are many more horrible situations out there so in no way do I want to make light of that.
Right now, I am so proud of myself for knowing what I need to feel sane, happy and whole even in the midst of uncertainty and fear. I don’t know how I’d cope in an even scarier situation, but I know that if I hadn’t had my writing, my business, my support network and my journal here with me this week I’d be an absolute mess right now. Somewhat unsurprisingly, nobody who knows me has questioned why I am working in here. The nurses find it a little amusing, but even then they say it’s a smart diversion. My business is more than that – it’s part of me, and I’m so grateful to have something I make a great living from that I also love and would feel lost without, and don’t have to be without!
You don’t need everything you think you need in life. Yesterday I posted this on Facebook, and it obviously rang true with a lot of people.
When I go home, I have until mid September in which I won’t be able to do much exercise at all, am not allowed to lift my child, and physically have to completely ramp down my normal life. Thank God my physical goals and needs aren’t my only ones; thank goodness I have more to me than that! As we all do 🙂
I had one of the most light hearted and fun nights with my siblings and parents on Sunday night that I’ve had in ages. I don’t know, maybe I was still a bit dosed up 🙂 But really – how often do you just sit around with your loved ones and just hang. And laugh. And do nothing.
#truecliches yeah? We need more of that.
The care here is amazing. And even the gluten-free menu options are mildly impressive for hospital food! I have had a nice ‘roommate’ the past 2 days and before that had a massive room to myself with a pretty great view, and constant care and attention. I’m in a public hospital as well, by the way. We are so blessed here in Australia to have such incredible hospital staff and I really want to commend both the individuals and the system for being so truly compassionate and attentive. I already felt great about giving birth here, but now I have no qualms whatsover.
(Doesn’t look great but honestly not too bad)
(Breaky … less than impressive … this is the scaled down sugary version with additions via Enzo added!)
I feel completely and calmly assured that this baby – and me – are going to be okay. I have a deep sense of peace from all of this and I’m not scared of things going wrong. I’m aware that the road ahead may be a little turbulent, as there’s a chance this could happen again. But really, what road ahead can we ever predict anyway?
The one huge regret I have in all of this is that I’ve been told I’m not allowed to go to Thailand in 3 weeks for my sister’s wedding. This was on my mind ever since the incident, but I was given the hard word on it yesterday and to be honest, it’s devastating. I don’t think it will fully sink in until everyone else is jetting off and I’m sitting here not being there. There’s really nothing else to say there 🙁
So much of the way we fill our time is really not that important. I’ve had to cancel meetings, visits, personal appointments, and even a conference which I was really looking forward to. All stuff I wanted to go to or attend, but at the same time still a great lesson that in order to be successful, productive, happy and whole I don’t need all that stuff in my life. I don’t need to spend my days running from one thing to the next, and in my business I more than likely do not need to try and learn and understand every new facet of social media, or optimisation, or web and product development right now, immediately!
I already know enough. I already am enough.
Stillness is always there, if you seek it. Yesterday I spent 25 minutes doing slow and gentle pregnancy yoga whilst gazing out the window. The madness of the hospital went on around me, including a somewhat bemused 20 something guy cleaning the vent above my head. The madness of the world always goes on. But you don’t have to join it.
Sometimes you really just do need to sit around, eat a ton of chocolate, watch some completely entertainment based TV, and hang out with your loved ones. Next time I’d appreciate not having such a brutal reminder of this of course 🙂
So where to from here?
Nothing dramatic really. Tomorrow is (fingers crossed!) back to normal life, with an emphasis on less physical movement, and with – I hope – the inner reminder to stop and slow down just a little bit from the comfort of my own home and environment. The biggest take home from all of this, purely from a selfish point of view, is that it’s by pressing pause we can so often gain clarity about what we want and who we want to become.
For me there’s been a ton of clarity this week about shedding my label as a ‘fat loss and nutrition person’, and I’ve completely rebranded my website and business in my head as well as sent it to my support team to start planning. I’ve also mapped out a crazy amount of stuff for my new business peeps mastermind as I get ready to step up even more as an entrepreneurial leader and not just an example.
The reality for me of living with passion and loving my world, is that I am at my best when I am mentally active, creative, allowing myself to dream big and enact those dreams. So whilst I value rest and stopping – and have been engaging more than ever in both this week – you will never catch me stopping altogether. Even when it comes to that precious time of giving birth, there will be nothing in my business that ‘has to be done’ but I also would bet my bottom dollar that I will still be doing. Writing. Dreaming. Inspiring in my own way. And communicating and just – living life my way. Happy me, happy baby, happy life 🙂
How cool is it to just know what you need to feel alive and free?!
And then there is the ‘just me’ stuff. The truth is I’m already pretty damn good at making space for my dreams, at journalling and planning and planning the next part of my dream business and life creation. But maybe I’ll now make a little more space for just hanging out and staying more in one place. Time will tell, hey?
Of course there still won’t be any Dr Phil in my land 🙂
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.