“The Purpose of Life is to Discover your Gift. The Meaning of Life is Giving your Gift Away”-David Viscott
About a year ago, when I was pregnant with my third child, Leonidas, I had the worst time of my life. I learned after the first trimester that I had placenta previa and since the doctors were unable to make the bleeding stop, I was placed in bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. During my first pregnancy, I suffered from the Preeclampsia HELLP syndrome where you begin having liver failure.
Thankfully, my son Demitrius and I recovered. The pregnancy caused extreme swelling and on a Friday when I was 32 weeks along, I began having preeclamptic symptoms (extreme headache and nausea). My mother came and picked up my sons Demitrius and Kyros. Kyros was crying and asked me not to die. We all knew something would definitely happen that night.
We got to the hospital around 3:30 am and they ran routine tests, I had an ultrasound done and the nurse just asked me to rest. Around 7:30 in the morning, I began feeling nauseous and asked my husband to help me to the bathroom. I had nothing in my stomach and just threw up bile. My sweet husband walked me to the bed and I told him I had blurry vision. My blood pressure had been normal until then. I laid down in the bed and all I can remember were my eyes rolling back. When I woke up, I was in Intensive Care (ICU) and had no idea what had occurred.
Apparently, I developed eclampsia and started seizing. It took about 10 nurses and doctors to stabilize me; the anesthesiologist joked that he had to give me 5 times the amount of anesthesia to calm me down. My husband also had a rabbi and a priest come and speak to him because they did not know if I would make it. He also informed me that I stopped breathing for a whole minute. Leonidas, was born with very low APGAR scores and had to be placed in a Level 3 NICU.
During my stay in the ICU, the neurologists told me that I most probably had brain damage from the seizures and the level of toxicity I had in my body. I can tell you that it was one of the scariest times of my life. I prayed to God to help me through this process and cried thinking how I would take care of three children with brain damage. I joked around telling the doctors that I was still crazy, so my brain was probably fine. I was walking around the next day, hoping to meet my baby for the first time. At first sight, I just cried and I prayed for my little boy. He was able to graduate to a Level 2 NICU and began drinking mommy’s milk. I pumped every 2 hours until Leo learned to breastfeed on his own. We spent 3 weeks in the NICU and were able to leave when he reached 4 lbs.
After going through that horrible period of my life, I knew that if God kept me alive, it was for a purpose. I died for a whole minute, but I am still here, blessed with a second chance at life. I know that I want to live a purposeful life to spread love and compassion to the world. There are so many people out in the world that need kindness, that yearn for someone to look at them and help them. Life is too short to place our energy on things that don’t matter. I see the blessings that I have in my life, there are so many to count.
Ever since I was a small girl, my heart was giving and full of love. After everything I went through, counting my blessings and finding my purpose to love, I realized that the meaning of life is to give that love to those who need it. Self-love is all about loving yourself and finding all the gifts that were given to you in order to share with the world. You are more than you think you are, you have a purpose in life, we all do. You have value, you have worth, you are beautiful and so special, the one that has to realize that is you.