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‘Seasons of You’ – planning our family

It’s quite interesting how, in hindsight, we often realise what truly mattered the most. I remember when I was in my mid-20s, deeply obsessed with planning my wedding to the man I was incredibly eager to marry. We had just moved into our newly built home, bought an adorable puppy, and couldn’t wait to begin our shared journey together. Some might have considered us a tad young, but here we are, still together and going strong after 26 years.

The exciting part of life is that you can never predict anything with certainty, can you? Sometimes, you simply have to throw caution to the wind and see where the wind takes you. During that time, I was beyond consumed by wedding preparations. The hue of the bows, oddly enough, held the utmost importance; they had to be that perfect shade of purple, preferably a pastel lilac to match perfectly with the bridesmaids’ dresses. I can recall my obsession with matching the exact colours, even going so far as to order four distinct shades of purple ribbon. If only I could transport myself back and gently shake that version of Kelly.

What happened next would shift my entire focus; it was the moment that I grew up. A mere five weeks before our wedding day, I began to feel unwell. The bridal shower was just around the corner with all my girls that I couldn’t wait to hang out with. Amidst the preparations, I decided to take a pregnancy test, and to my surprise, confusion, excitement, and every other emotion that comes to mind, it was positive. I mean the timing was a little out of whack, but who was I to argue?

Suddenly, the wedding planning took a back seat and I went into mother mode. What wedding? I told those close to me and continued wedding planning, but with a little less focus. It became more about becoming a family than that purple ribbon issue. It was a lesson learned.

Friday crept up and, it was in preparation for the bridal shower, I remember having a vivid dream that night where I was handing a swaddled baby in a pink blanket to a light. I woke up and realised I was in absolute agony and was experiencing a miscarriage. I didn’t know this at the time; I was young and naive. My soon-to-be husband was amazing. It was there and then I knew that walking with him down the aisle was the right choice. We were rushed into hospital and days passed. It ended in a loss and it took me a very long time to pick myself up from it.

The wedding was amazing and everything went back to normal, well, not really for me. I was a changed person. I had gone from being a naive girl to a strong, fierce woman with walls up, hurt but determined. It made me grow and change, it made me stronger but vulnerable. It changed me.

I kept a diary. I would write in it on my way to work while catching the train. It was my thoughts and feelings, my inadequacies, my feelings of failure, the why’s, the how’s, the “why me’s”, and everything in between. I felt trapped in my own body. I knew it was not my fault, yet I felt alone and felt sad that it might not ever be. I wanted to call it quits with the man I loved because he deserved a child. I berated myself to the point where I spiraled into a dark place. I had to pull myself out of it. My diary helped me recover my feelings and then I began buying baby clothes. It felt insane and I knew it. I thought if I manifested it, it would happen. We sought doctors’ advice and started the medication.

After 12 months, on the same day as the miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant. What were the chances? I transformed into a protective and nurturing mother bear, fully immersed in the realisation of impending motherhood – but it wasn’t over yet. Fate wanted me to fight harder for it. At six weeks I began to bleed again, but after my amazing doctor’s care we made it past all those little milestones. My belly grew and it was time for a check up.

Laying on the table there was absolute concern in the sonographer’s eyes. The silence was frightening and it wasn’t something I’d been used to as our previous encounters had been small banter and laughs.

My husband and I held hands as she said, “You need to head to your OBGYN now”. It was a whirlwind and before I knew it my premature little man was born and whisked away to the special care unit where he would spend weeks fighting. He is now 18. We were one of the lucky ones. I have met women who were not, and they are inspirational to me. True fighters.

We are now blessed with four sons and each pregnancy was high risk, which is where Seasons of You stems from. Each pregnancy was so precious. I can truly say even after having three boys and waiting to find out the sex of our fourth, the gender of the baby was never an issue for me. I was just so grateful.

I have met so many women who have shared their darkest moments with me, so here’s to all those women who have had tough family planning experiences, no matter how you ended there in the end. Seasons of You is for you. This is just my story, one of millions out there.

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Seasons of You is a children’s book about the journey a mother takes during her pregnancy through the seasons. During the month of September, $2.00 from every sale of the book will go directly towards Miracle Babies.

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