The beginning

A majestic mumma – Where it all began.

2014 – The birth of our little miracle baby

April 10, 2014, Our last born Hezekiah entered this world 7 and half weeks early. It was the scariest and most traumatic experience in all my life. I had my usual check up the day before where I raised concerns about baby’s movements being minimal. Turns out, we had a True Knot in our umbilical cord. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalpathy (HIE), and baby had to come out straight away.

I was prepped and rushed in for an emergency C-section. Because I was so overweight, the spinal they were trying to administer was difficult and extremely painful. It was too dangerous for them to put me to sleep so they kept jabbing me in the back with long needles for what seemed like hours. That took more time than the cesarean itself and by then, I was cold, alone and so afraid.

When they finally got him out, he was so tiny, weighed just 1kg. I remembered laying in the bed while they stitched me back up, in tears and praying to hear that sound, any sound of life from my son. My husband wasn’t in the room with me this time and I could just imagine what he was going through, not knowing if baby and I was ok, if baby and I had made it. Then I heard him, a tiny little chirp, then a little cry. Relief swept through my body and after that, I fell asleep.

Waking up in recovery, all I wanted to do was hold my new son. I also knew, that by this time, my husband would be with him, and that God answered my prayers. My baby is alive, even though I hadn’t seen him yet, I was grateful that he was alive and well.

I was taken into the ward and given strict instructions to rest and recover. My husband came in and just held me and we both cried in each others arms. I told him I’m fine and sent him back to the special care nursery and just stay with our boy. I said to him ‘stay with him babe’ don’t leave him all alone’. I stared at my feet like Uma Thurman did in her movie Kill Bill, and said ‘move’. Over and over again, ‘c’mon feet, move’. My last 3 Cesarean birth’s left me numb for over 8 hours. This time, I was determined to slash that in half. A few hours later, a nurse came in, and told me that they will be getting someone to come and take me to the nursery to see my baby. My heart jumped and leaped in joy as I thought, finally. The look on her face however, told me that something was wrong. “A Doctor will be in to see you soon”. And just like that, my heart just dropped. Fear set in, and that made me even more determined to get up and walk. My husband had gone home to freshen up and organise with family to care for our 3 boys at home.

Doctor came in and said, ‘we’ve had some issues with your son, and because this hospital is not equipped to deal with these issues, we have to transfer him to another hospital. It’s absolutely crucial that we do this as soon as possible. He asked if I had any complications during my pregnancy? and I said ‘yes’. I was morbidly obese, I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. He then said that Hezekiah’s sugar levels were low and while trying to get that to a normal level, his organs are shutting down. We need to transport him quickly, and the closest hospital was a 30-min drive.

The orderly arrived to take me to the nursery to see my boy for the first time. 4 hours after his birth to be exact. I was able to wriggle my toes so I knew that it wouldn’t be too much longer before I could get up and walk. I felt embarrassed because the orderly was a small older man. And I’m pretty sure that I was 3 times bigger than him, and he had to push me all the way to the nursery.

We arrived and the tears again flowed, and stung my eyes. Here is my baby boy, all alone, fighting for his life. Seeing him like this made me angry, angry at ME, angry for not taking better care of myself. I looked at my baby and all I could do was cry. I couldn’t talk. I wanted to touch him, to hold him close to me, so he can feel and hear my heartbeat, a sound that would be familiar to him. Instead, I’m tapping on the plastic wall of his incubator, as they’ve already prepped him for his trip. Away from me, all alone. My heart started to ache because my head was telling it all sorts of crazy shit, like ‘what if he doesn’t make it’, ‘what if dies on the trip’ ‘he’s all by himself and I can’t go with him’. All those crazy ‘what if’ negatives that drives women crazy. But I knew I had to pull myself together, I can’t fall apart now, my baby needs me, so let’s get up and walk.

Another 4 hours later, I was transported down to the Griffith University Hospital on the Gold Coast where I could be with my baby. They had a brand new NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) there and the Doctors and nurses were working round the clock for our boy. I was met with my husband who had arrived a few hours before. I knew in my heart that our miracle baby was going to be ok.

We spent 2 weeks down the Gold Coast before we were transported back to Logan hospital where we stayed for 3 weeks in the Special care nursery. Taking him home was the best feeling ever.

Reality

Most mums gain weight during pregnancy. Hormones are all over the place, cravings kick in. Most mums would agree that our bodies are never the same again after having children.

I had convinced myself that I wasn’t really that big. Kept telling myself that I’m happy the way I am, and if people don’t like it, well that’s their problem. Being heavy nearly all of my life, I was just use to it. The nasty comments, the fat jokes, the dirty looks I would get. I just got use to it. It hurt, and many times I would cry in the shower and feel ashamed. But I always picked my self back up, and pretend that everything was ok. I got so good at pretending and lying to myself, to a point where I really didn’t think I was that big.

Reality set in after I had Hezekiah. I struggled to walk, so I had my husband push me around in a wheelchair while we visited Hezekiah in the hospital. And I had to wait in the car until he found the biggest wheelchair because I couldn’t fit in a standard one. My back, knees and ankles hurt, every time I walked, I struggled to breath and it made me feel so depressed and hate myself even more. I turned to food for comfort, and made all my problems worse.

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you have baby, but this didn’t. It turned into Type 2 Diabetes, and I had to stay on insulin. We ran into more problems with Hezekiah. The first year of his life we spent in and out of hospital, tests, xray’s, surgery s, and lots of medication. When he turned 1, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

I felt robbed, my heart was so heavy and I didn’t know how I would cope. My Doctor told me that I was morbidly obese, My health was declining, and it was getting worse. He told me that if I don’t start losing weight, I won’t make it to my 50th birthday. Reality… came crashing down like a tonne of bricks. Who will care for my family? who then will take care of my son. They told us that Hezekiah will be wheelchair bound. How can I care for him and give him the best of quality of life if I can’t barely move? I had to do something about it, and I had to act fast.

A Family that trains together, stays together

January 2015, My nephews decided to get the family together, to train, every afternoon, 5 days a week. Our whole family got behind it and supported one another, holding each other accountable, and encouraging each other to stay with it. Push past the pain and keep moving forward.

From here, a whole new world of health and fitness opened up for me. There were so many community groups offering free training sessions for mums during the day. Our local council offered health programs and free fitness. So I threw myself out there, wherever there was a session, I was there. Zumba, Hot Hula, Crossfit, Circuit, Zuu. As time went on, I got stronger, and it felt so good. For the first time in years. I felt good.

Accept it, forgive…And let it go.

I was so caught up in all my training and wanting to lose weight so bad, that I didn’t even realise that everything around me was falling apart. I was giving all my time to everyone else and neglecting my own children. So self-absorbed that I didn’t’ see the distance that I had put between my husband and I. We were drifting apart and it was affecting our children and everyone else around us. There was no one to blame but myself. So I did the only thing I knew how, and that was to run. I ran away. I packed my children in our car, told my husband we were going on a holiday to Bundaberg Queensland, Which is about a 4-hour drive from Brisbane. We went, and we never came home.

Fast forward to 2018, and we now live here in Bundaberg. My husband was furious with me, my entire family was so angry. But as time went on, they started talking to me again, and now they realise, I did what I had to do, to make things right with my children. 6 months after I left Brisbane, My husband moved here with us. Hezekiah gets more support for his disability here than he was when we were living in Brisbane. We accepted all the trials we went through, forgave each other for the heartache we caused one another, and we simply…let it go.

Where to from here???

Our journey to a better, healthier lifestyle is still in progress. We still train together every day. We are learning more and more about good healthy nutrition. What’s important is that we are growing together as a family, a strong family unit. It’s something we never had before, we are growing in all aspects of life. Making the most of whatever time that we have. We live each day like it was our last, because we know, that one day, it will end. We’ve had ups and downs, all families do. But we are grateful and blessed that we have each other, and nothing can ever take that away.

<==Read how I got started==>

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Till next time

Patty

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4 Responses

  1. Lesley says:

    You, my girl, are a rock for your family. Between yourself and Wayne, together you can tackle anything. Your family have come together and grown together so much in the last 12 months and the future has so much to offer you all.. Love you all precious soul.. <3

  2. Karen says:

    Patty, you and your family are amazing! You have really “put yourself” out there, and I imagine have given so many people hope that they too, can come through something like this, and become strong. Hezekiah couldn’t have a better Mum & Dad and whanau. Kia kaha my friend, keep asking for help if you need it! ❤

    • Thank you so much Karen. Really appreciate your kind words. It’s been a blessing for us to be surrounded by so many wonderful people throughout our journey and have made life-long friends. So grateful that our paths crossed.

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