Three years ago I shared my very first blog post. I decided to revisit that time and reintroduce myself to those of you who have yet to be acquainted with me personally. There are many reasons to use social media. I choose to use it to made an impact and difference in the lives of others in the most positive way that I can. For those of you who don’t know me allow me to introduce myself and my reason to you.
Have you ever felt like you were on a carousel at a funfair. That life was so perfect that you could get giddy from all the joy and happiness and fulfillment you felt.
Now imagine losing all that light in just one moment and becoming a broken woman, having to take over a decade to rebuild and find a reason to shine again.
That’s my story in a nutshell. If this catches your attention please read on and if it doesn’t then read on just to understand how fragile life is and how a single moment can define, reset and light up your pathway.
My name is Riona. My alias is CrazyRio, but we will get back to the current day once I tell you my story. It’s with intense pain that I write this to you but I do understand the reason to share my story over and over in order to help others on their journey to cope and heal.
I have been a tomboy for all my life , however saying that there was nothing I wanted more than to grow up and have babies of my own. Being a mother was my career goal! I got married at 24 and we wanted a family immediately. The universe aligned with our wishes and a few months after marriage we made our pregnancy announcement. According to my doctor everything was going well and it was a textbook pregnancy. Until it wasn’t.
At 20 weeks I found myself living out my worst nightmare. I started getting a shooting pain up my back that was unsettling. I was admitted to hospital with the suspicion that I had gallstones and possibly had to remove my gallbladder. I was booked in for an ultrasound to confirm if I had gallstones. I remember asking the lady doing my scan if she could let me see my baby on the screen, she started to scurry and called her senior to do the scan for me. The next moment I will never forget for as long as I breathe. The doctor came into the room and asked me if this was my first baby, which I nodded to. He then said these precise words to me “there is no heartbeat”. I was alone in the room, because I had no cause for concern before that moment. My husband had just arrived at the hospital and was waiting for me outside. He remembers hearing me screaming ( a moment I do not recall) and with that sound he realised what had happened.
I was immediately wheeled to my gynaecologist’s rooms, full of trauma and shock. He did another scan and confirmed that we had suffered an inter uterine death that could have happened up to two weeks before. I had no idea. My husband is a medical doctor as is my father in law, my gynae is world reknown. Everyone was dumbstruck. This could not be happening.
This may just be my interpretation but the way I understood that things happened was that my gallbladder had exploded and shot poison through my body ending my pregnancy. My unborn baby had saved my life even though at that point I was a walking time bomb.
The next few days were a blur. The plan was to induce labour naturally and once I delivered to book my surgeries for a d & c and to remove my gallbladder. It took three days before my body allowed me to deliver my sleeping baby. I was not allowed to see my baby. It was a decision made in my best interest and I am grateful but I often wondered what that moment would have felt like. I was broken. Emotionally I was a just going through the motions of life. The only thing I could feel was numb. Three days later the universe decided to make a bigger fool of me when I began lactating. It was the most humiliating moment of my life. My baby had died and here I was producing milk to feed him.
I come from a relatively conservative Indian family. We are there to support one another but we often don’t talk about the way we feel.
After a week in hospital I was sent home to pick up the pieces of my very hollow life. I became obsessed with redecorating our little flat. It gave me something to keep my mind occupied. I desperately longed to be pregnant and become a mother.
My story may be a dark one but it was the beginning of my evolution even if I didn’t even know it then.
My first baby was due in June, We welcomed our first daughter into the world in November that same year, followed by a second daughter seventeen months later and our third beautiful girl and final puzzle piece just two years after that.
However after having my three beautiful and perfect children, the darkness of my past still haunted me. For all this time I had all this buried up emotionally trauma, anger and sadness living within me. My life appeared perfect on the outside but I was empty . At the age of thirty depression took over my life. I experienced weight gain. I was present in my duties but I self destructing on the inside.
Eventually I decided to see a psychologist, I told no one. I was put on antidepressants. I am an interesting creature. I don’t like rules. The antidepressants made me feel like I was a spectator looking in and watching my life. I began to flush them and I decided at that point that I was going to regain my power and take control of my life again. It was a work in progress that took two years. I began moving more. I ate better, drank water, went to the gym even. Gradually the weight started falling away. I began to feel more confident. I had more energy. I was more tolerant of everyone in my home.
At thirty two, I was in a decent mental space, I decided that it was time I shared my story and help other women who shared a similar experience heal so that they could save themselves from the darkness that I lived in for so long before dealing with things. I decided to start a blog. Nothing fancy, the idea was to create it, share my story and then be done. I bought a laptop. I created www.crazyrio.com. CrazyRio was my first email address and I quite like it because it describes me perfectly as I was never meant to fit into a box. I then did everything else under the sun except write my blog post. I procrastinated like you would not believe ( much like I did when asked to write this).
About two months later on an August night, I was restless and could not sleep. I knew it was time for me to share my story. In the early hours of the morning while lying in bed , I cried my eyes out while typing out my story on my phone on my blog. It was not perfect. There was spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and other defects. I poured my heart into it. It was raw, it was real and it was a genuine piece of me. I literally fell asleep from exhaustion the moment I published that post.
I woke up a few hours later to my phone making a repeated buzzing sound that I was not familiar with. I woke up to four thousand people having read my post internationally, I woke up to messages from people who could relate to me and who were going through similar experiences. We were not alone. I felt like the dots were being connected, like all the pain and suffering that I had encountered had brought me to this moment. I had a voice. I had a story. I had a purpose.
That same week I had also realised that I had also managed to shed nearly thirty kilos of weight through a healthier lifestyle and exercise. I had another story to share. I could use my voice. I had purpose.
I continued to achieve little goals and share my story in the Hope’s of encouraging others to keep going and to not give up. I started getting invited to speak at events and share my story. People listened. It was bizarre and overwhelming but I felt it was exactly what I was meant to do.
Three full years later and I stand before you as a whole person after being broken for many, many years. Yes I have suffered loss but I believe it was part of my purpose. I still remember, I still love and I still cry over it but I have healed. My heart will also ache when I think about.
I have learnt to live in the present. I am immensely grateful for all I have . My family, my life, my career and all the people that add colour and sparkle to my world. I am not perfect but I am real. I can’t be bought and with me it’s what you see is what you get.
CrazyRio is now a full on marketing and advertising consulting agency. I have three members in my team and together we make magic. We have incredible clients all over the country.
To my sleeping baby who I was not fortunate enough to meet and walk this earth with as your mother. I was so wrong when I thought I lost you then. It is because of you that I have built all I have today. It all began with our story which developed into our success. I feel you in everything I do because as a woman, I am a mother first, in life and in death that will never change. The question I get asked the most is how I started my business, I don’t answer in a hurry because it’s difficult to put all this into words. Here is my story. Raw and uncut and firsthand. My darkness eventually lead me to find my light again.
In the depths of pain is where I found my strength and once I had a taste of how fulfilling helping others, lightening their loads and accepting myself for who and what I am , I decided to change my outlook on life. A very negative experience that crushed me to my core has turned positive with the impact that one tiny soul made in my life.
I may not be the most religious or sentimental person in the world but I begin each day with a heart full of gratitude for all that I have.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope to one day read your incredible story too.
Love and warmth always