parents

What have been your watershed moments?

This post is brought to you by Lifewise

I was one of the most excited pregnant people you could imagine. Especially after I got past the dreaded three month mark. Many miscarriages had left me wary, okay petrified, and when I felt him move and saw him fully formed on the scan it set the agenda for much excitement. This was the baby that I was going to bring home.

I spent hours choosing a colour scheme for his room – I knew he was a boy and I knew I wanted wallpaper, yes I was obsessed with wallpaper borders! I pored over magazines, catalogues and online shops trying to choose the perfect cot, the most comfortable pram, the sturdiest rocker.  The most calming wallpaper borders. You name it I was expert in it.  I had visions of bringing home my baby swaddled in soft blankets, I could picture the soft lighting, hear the lullabies that would fill the air and I could see in my mind’s eye the perfect contented baby.

When I wasn’t choosing baby products I was working. Making the most of the final months that I was able to work impossibly long hours . I knew that things would change after he was born and that my return to work would be different, I wouldn’t be able to do the long hours and so I was super organized in putting structures in place to make an easy transition from working fanatic to working mother.

At 24 weeks I was having problems getting into my work clothes. Hell, I was even having trouble getting into my pajamas. It wasn’t my stomach – that wasn’t even that big. But Lord my ankles were huge.

I went to the chemist to get some pressurized stockings and by some strange twist of fate the pharmacist said I needed a doctor’s letter to get the stockings. You should have heard me curse. What a ridiculous waste of my time. Not to mention the doctor’s.

I stomped into the doctor’s room’s to get the note. I REALLY REALLY needed the stockings and when he took my blood pressure and balked I wasn’t that surprised. I was fuming, of course my blood pressure was high.  But when he calmly told me that I had to be admitted to hospital immediately I thought my fury was interfering with my hearing.

I couldn’t even contemplate going to the hospital. It wasn’t in my plan and my plans were watertight. I had to go to work, I had so much to do, there were meetings that needed my input, not to mention wallpapers and linen that had to be picked up from the baby shop.

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But my doctor knew better. I had preeclampsia and my baby was in danger. Even I was.

Ethan was born at 30 weeks gestation.  The soft, calm surroundings of the nursery I had planned were replaced by ventilators, machinery, weekly brain scans and 4 hourly cares. Blood tests and infusions, drips and surgery replaced cuddles and lullabies.  The soft lighting never came. In fact 2 months into his life my little boy had never even slept in the dark – it never gets dark in the intensive care unit.

My life had changed. Completely and irreversibly.

I never went back to my job.  Never even packed up my desk.  Never wall papered Ethan’s room.

My plans of returning to the work that I had loved weren’t even shelved, they were binned.

In those very difficult days of sitting next to my tiny baby on a ventilator, of seeing him come through surgery, of watching him fight to survive I never thought I’d look back and be grateful for that experience, for the new perspective he placed on my life and what I want from it. But all those moments were watershed for me. They made me take stock of what really matters to me and how important the family that I created is.

10 years later and I am in a job that I love, as vastly different from my previous career as could possibly be. My son has brought me more pleasure than I ever thought possible and my little family of three– well we’re pretty near perfect.

I am not a religious person, and nor is my mother but she always said to me “Man plans and God decides”. I think she may be onto something there. Nothing is as we planned it. But sometimes in the end it turns out better that way.

Some life events or ‘close calls’ make us stop and wonder, what if?

What if something happened to you?  What if something happened to your husband? Who would look after your children? Could you afford to live the lifestyle you are now accustomed to? It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but not thinking about it – or doing something about it… is worse.

Find out today what you are covered for.  Go to the Lifewise calculator to see ‘how much is enough’ at Lifewise.org.au.  Then do something about it.

If you think back on your life, what have been your defining or watershed moments?  For better or for worse what events profoundly changed you or the course of your life?

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