You can try and plan for everything, but it will never prepare you for everything.
Since I was very young people told me that I will never be able to have kids. I am not really one to listen to people and if I can’t have something, chances are I will even want it more. I knew God placed a dream in my heart from a very young age to be a mom. Dreaming of a big family and picking out names was something that made me very happy.
I was diagnosed with a life threatening condition named, Esophageal varices, because of thrombosis in my liver after I had a blood exchange at birth. This is a mouthful… basically I struggled most of my life with this condition, loosing great amounts of blood at a time. My older brother Cilliers had cerebral palsy. He was completely paralysed and passed away at age nine. So our family had a medical history with my parents having extremely sick kids.
When I was 13 years old I lost 24 units of blood and this is were it all started. For the next few years I would have a incident almost every month and ended up in ICU having to get endless amounts of blood. My parents took me to every doctor and they tried everything. From glue, burning of the veins and considering doing a shunt to my liver. My amazing Doctor, Dr Bester, gave me the best advise. Whenever my mom would ask me what we should do, he just said I should live! Not do anything different and live my life to the fullest. That is exactly what I did. I would get straight out of ICU and ask my mom to bring me my school uniform (AKA beautiful pumpkin dress… hehe Oranje Meisieskool) So I would put on my dress and go from the hospital straight to school. obviously when I was in my teen years I struggled trying to be a normal teenage girl and did not really see my value in God yet. This was a very difficult time in my life, trying to not feel like a freak in a demanding upscale all- girls school. I remember thinking that one of the things I would teach my kids is having confidence and knowing their value. Not to define themselves by things, what they have and do not have enc. But rather to find their value in God.
By the time I turned 16, God saved my life again. I lost 27 units of blood and doctors told my parents that I will only have a few months to live. My dad committed suicide that same year. He was a minister and I think that really changed my relationship with God. I have to say that even though I questioned God’s love for me, I never questioned his existence. When you face death as many times as I did and dealt with alot of pain, you can not- not know for sure that there is a God and that Jesus Christ carries you, when you don’t know how you did it and manage to get trough it. So writing matric was another miracle. Being in hospital most of my high school career.
I met my husband that December after my matric year and knew that he was the one (bring on the cheesy love story!!)
We had just gotten engaged and I had a little art school for kids. I remember teaching my class of 5-7 year olds and feeling like I was going to faint. I went to the bathroom and blood started streaming out of my mouth. So I pushed trough the class with no one knowing I was sick and when the last mommy picked up their child, I rushed home. Started packing my hospital bag and calmly told Hugo he need to take me to the emergency room. It was raining that day, Hugo was carrying me and I remembered he slipped and fell on the wet pavement. That was a terrible day and again lost alot of blood and the doctors put me in an induced coma They told Hugo that I was not going to make it and he later told me I was speaking to my late dad.
Again God’s grace was bigger and we got married on the beach a year later.
We tried for about a year to get pregnant and I was feeling a bit discouraged and thinking maybe the doctors were right. I fell pregnant and lost the baby at almost twelve weeks. By this time I was very discouraged, but I still held on to the dream God put in my heart all those years ago and Jax was born a year later!
I had an amazing pregnancy and loved every second of it. For the first time in my life I felt truly beautiful and could see my value in God and start loving myself. At the end of my pregnancy I got another rare condition, cholestasis. Cholestasis, a common liver disease that only happens in pregnancy. It is a condition in which the normal flow of bile is affected by the increased amounts of pregnancy hormones. At 36 weeks pregnant I had a emergency C section. I went in for monitoring and 15:00 they told us that I would be having a C-section at 17:00. Jax Kaleb was born just before 18:00 on the 12th of August 2015. The paediatrician rushed him to the NICU and I only saw him for a second. Hugo went with him to the NICU but we did not knew how serious it was and just thought it was a normal procedure. The next day, our most amazing paediatrician, Dr Reyneke, told us that Jax did not breathe and his lungs had collapsed. He had put him on three different ventilators and he still did not breathe. So Dr Reyneke took him in his hands lifted him up, went on his knees and started praying for Jax. (I can not tell this story without crying). A few days later Jax started breathing on his own. I would have to say this is were Hugo and my relationship with God grew so strong and the next 11 days changed our lives completely. A sick child just gives you a new understanding of faith and God’s faithfulness. After 11 days we took our beautiful, perfect little boy home! Hallelujah.
We all have a purpose in God. I believe our only true purpose is saving souls for God and we have different ways and situations that God uses us to do this. If being a mom and raising two beautiful boys is my way of building God’s kingdom, then I would be so happy and complete. I absolutely love motherhood and am so grateful to God for all his grace and the gift of my children.
When I found out I was pregnant with Kai, it was a pleasant surprise for Hugo and me. We didn’t think it will happen so soon and I was prepared to wait another year. So we were overflowed with joy and by the first doctors visit I already had a feeling it was going to be another boy. I pictured myself having two boys and saw myself as a boy mommy… (if that’s a thing?)
Having had an amazing pregnancy with Jax, we were not really worried about the pregnancy and we had a lot of faith that God had healed me and that everything was going to go perfect. Again…You can try and plan for everything, but it will never prepare you for everything.
I had an amazing new gynaecologist, Dr Jaco Smith. We told him about my medical history and I remember he was very worried, but he really was so wonderful to Hugo and me and went above and beyond to be certain everything was ok and that I am doing ok. This pregnancy was totally different. I still felt good, but the cholestasis started earlier and luckily Dr Smith was familiar with this condition so he looked after me and did declare me a high risk pregnancy. By week 33 the itching of the cholestasis was driving me mad so he admitted me to hospital to monitor the baby. I am so grateful that he acted so quick and he gave me cortisone injections, to help with baby’s lungs… this was truly a blessing. My bile levels was fine and the Dr decided that he would try and keep Kai inside of me as long as possible so we agreed on a date… 2nd of February 2018.
I was about to be discharged from hospital when I started to get contractions and went into labour. The nurse told me to phone Hugo and tell him to come immediately. Kai Jonah was born an hour later on the 18th of January and luckily daddy made it. Through all the chaos of that morning, Dr Smith and his amazing staff (Thank you nurse Elme) was really calm and the C-section went well. Baby Kai was perfect, born on 34 weeks. He was in NICU for a week, Dr Reyneke just wanted to be certain everything was fine!
Jax one month old. Photo: The Green Studio
Kai two weeks old. Photo: TruReflection Photography
Thank you Thank you God! We were so grateful and now we had two beautiful boys! I felt so lucky and could feel Gods grace and love for us. From being told I would never have kids to having to two beautiful boys, was just beyond amazing!
Kai was about two weeks old and I started having severe stomach pains. My stomach was swollen and Hugo took me to hospital again. Dr Fichardt admitted me and so the worst two weeks of my life started. At first they couldn’t find the cause of my pain and I went for every test available. Then they diagnosed me with ascites and they saw that the blood clot in my portal vein behind my liver has moved down and blocked out the blood flow to my other organs. The pain was unimaginable and again my life was at risk. My heart was broken so bad that I could not be with my family. I had a beautiful little boy and a newborn at home that I couldn’t be with. This was the darkest place in my life. My most amazing husband and super-dad Hugo took care of them. This was just a terrible time in our lives and I felt so sorry for Hugo, my heart ached and then the guilt and depression started. I have never been a depressed person, but I could not understand why God will allow this to happen. Hugo kept me sane and kept on reminding me of God’s wonderful grace and the blessing he gave us of two beautiful boys. So I kept on fighting and just focusing on getting back home to my babies. I could not imagine getting this far and then the boys would have to grow up without a mommy. No, this is not the way it will end. This is not what God wants for us. He wants us to have an amazing life and victory once again!
After two weeks with alot of pushing myself and getting my mind in the right place, the doctor said I could go home! (The best day ever!)
So God saved my life once again. The journey is not over yet. We truly believe that we are going to win this fight and the blood clot is going to disappear in Jesus name. Amen.
Grace upon Grace. God gives second, third and even more chances. Remember that. Our God is a God of love and Jesus died for us, so that we could have grace and live amazing and blessed lives. Don’t ever give up. Do not listen to the world. Get your mindset in a positive place, live your life to the fullest, be thankful and have faith in God no matter what is going on around you. Most importantly, believe in miracles, I have seen and experienced them more than once and I think life is just a miracle and a gift from God, Abba Father.
“Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.” (John 1:16)