“Are you not going to have a 3rd child?”

It’s time to let off some steam… As more and more of our friends are going the “third child” route I find myself overwhelmed with all those horrible thought and feelings that are so tabu to talk about.

First of all, we HAVE a third child already and our number three is called Victor. The next time someone asks why we don’t want to have a third (generally someone I only know from the play ground) I’m going to SCREAM! Second, IT’S SO F**ING UNFAIR that we don’t have all three children with us physically to stop all those who wonders why we don’t want to have a third. And third, I went through THREE pregnancies, THREEx8 months with sleepless nights, THREEx8 months of diaper changing, feeding, weighing, playing, singing, cuddling, loving… and I need to get that straight once and for all, most importantly in my OWN head because I don’t feel like I have the evidence that we have a third.

I confess, whenever I hear about yet another “third child” I cringe and feel this big wave of sadness. It’s no ones intention, it’s no ones “doing”, it just is what it is and I’m responsible for these feelings. Even if we would have liked another kid I just can’t bear the thought of going through a 4th nerve wrecking 11 weeks of pregnancy, then the genetic test, and if it has SMA we need to go through an abortion and try again.

So please, for all of you who tells me the good news that a third is on it’s way, I’m really happy for you, I truly am, but also bare with me if I act a bit weird afterwards, I’m working on it. Just needed to vent.

How we dealt with the terminal diagnosis of our baby daughter

This post is mostly for you that might be in the same situation that we were in 5 years ago. I just want to say, although you honestly don’t think you are going to survive – I mean, how can you when your child dies – you do survive! Somehow you do.

We decided on creating this “fairy tale” about Ingrid being a very old soul that only needed a huge boost of unconditional love to rise to the next level, and that we had to respect Ingrid’s life journey. She had chosen us as her parents because she counted on the support and unconditional love she needed to survive as long as she could. The diagnosis was what it was and we couldn’t change that, so we might as well do the very very best we could, and I’m SURE that every parent would. For us it was pointless to start asking “Why us?”, “Why her?” etc. You are never ever going to get a satisfying answer.

The hardest part was that we felt so alone, abroad without our relatives and close friends close by for support (however, a lot of new, beautiful people stepped up and helped us!!). That we just got sent home after getting the diagnosis, without a follow up plan or support system in place made me feel so lost and helpless.

We found ourselves standing outside on the pavement outside the hospital in a dark, wintery Zürich, not knowing if what just had happened was was real or not. It all felt so surreal. I just wish that there had been someone there to offer us a big hug or hold our hand for comfort, but there was no such person. So after Ingrid had passed away, I swore that no one should have to feel that lost and lonely so I volunteered as support family both with Kinderspital Zürich and Kinderspitex (home care unit for palliative care at home) in case anyone else would get the same diagnosis and asking for support. I received a phone call from Kinderspitex last week again, and although it brings back very raw memories, there is no way I’m going to step away from that responsibility.

So here is my offer: if you have just gotten the same, shitty diagnosis SMA type 1, and you are “Googling” (as we did) after what on earth just smashed your life in to tiny tiny pieces, PLEASE contact me! I’m here, I can listen, I can take it!

Lots of love, Karin

The post I’ve been scared of writing

I just watched one of the latest videos by my friend Niall at Disrupting the Rabblement (go check his site out, it rocks!!) where he is calling bullshit on on your invulnerable self. It’s basically writing/telling about the stuff that you are scared of writing about, that makes you vulnerable and that means opening up with the true story even if it makes you feel insecure.

So here is one of the posts that I’ve been holding back with and that I now feel the need to write. Firstly because it might just help someone in some weird and wonderful way and secondly to put things in perspective for myself. Because what I do now is also scary. It’s scary to decide not to go back to the corporate world, it’s scary to start something new and see what the reactions from others will be, if any at all. But as you shall see, there is “scary” and “scary”. First I thought about doing this as a video, but it’s now after midnight and the whole family is sleeping! There will be other opportunities to talk about this in videos later on, I’m sure.

It’s about the scariest thing that has happened to me to date. The date was the 15th of December 2006 and we had been called back to the Children’s Hospital here in Zürich to get the results from the tests made on our first born daughter Ingrid, three months old. I can recall that I had even dressed more “hip” than normal as a protection I guess, because bad things don’t happen to “hip” people, right?

We were called in to see two doctors and one of them started telling us that Ingrid had been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1, a genetic disease. She went on to tell us that those children rarely live much longer than 8 months. By this time I’m sitting with Ingrid in my arms, rocking her and myself, whispering to all three of us “this is not happening, it’s not true” like a mantra, over and over and over again. They then gave us a list with phone numbers in case we wanted to get help in any way and then we were sent back home with our terminally ill baby girl.

This story changed our lives, and it has given me the strength to go out and find my life purpose. There are no coincidences in the Universe and I believe that Ingrid came to show me that I can do more with my life than hang around in a 9-5 job. What I do now, I do thanks to her and thanks to her sister and brother. I need to pull more strength from that story in order to help and inspire others, and telling it like it is is necessary in order to do that. I just can’t let what we went through, and survived, go to waste behind a desk in an investment bank.

Ingrid 5 years

Today we are celebrating our angel Ingrid’s 5th birthday. Elin is all excited and she wants to send a cake and balloons up to heaven, because Ingrid likes balloons she says. Elin speaks a lot about her big sister, “Mommy, when Ingrid is done having her angel wings, she can come down and play, right? I will lend her all my dresses.” It’s so very cute and I have to laugh every time at her wise thoughts about life. But it also hurts so much when I have to tell her that angel wings don’t go away, once you have them you keep them forever. I miss her so much and I so wish that she was here and played with her siblings, but maybe she is anyway, in her own way?

We have a neighbour kid that was born 11 days after Ingrid, we were walking around with our big bellies together, pushing our buggies together, and one day I had to tell the mom that Ingrid was not going to be with us for a lot longer. Now her boy just started Kindergarten, and he’s so big already! I know it wasn’t Ingrid’s plan but I can’t help wondering how she would have looked like, what she would have been like, what she would have liked and disliked….

I miss you my little angel. Much love from mommy <3

Here we go…

The corporate job is no longer, a coach has been hired, a Facebook group page has been created, a blog is taking it’s first staggering little steps, an action plan is being sketched upon and the whole kitchen door is full of Post-Its. Now, to set up a blog was a bit more challenging that I had thought and then mix it with the new experience going from PC to iMac in the process did not make it less challenging, but absolutely doable. The list is long for tomorrow and I want to get some meet up events started for next week already, want this to be the pilot run for the “real deal”. The blog is going to be my way of keeping record of what’s happening and when, help me keep track on my progress and reaching of one goal after the other. I read somewhere that Goals are Dreams with a dead line, and that is now plastered over my computer as I write. So please feel free to join me on my journey from corporate stress to entrepreneurial bliss (?). Soon two little kids will be picked up from day care and the entrepreneur will put on the mommy hat for the evening, which is a very nice hat indeed! Let’s see where it all ends!