How I Turned My Nightmare Into Growth

          I was 36 weeks pregnant and the doctor was telling us that our baby might not make it. Low amniotic fluid levels had led to an ultrasound that had revealed Penelope’s kidneys were half the size they should be. There was talk of dialysis and transplants and preparing for the worst. The year before we had gone through the pain of a miscarriage. My husband and I were distraught and terrified. Our daughter Penelope was born 3 weeks early after a difficult 16 hour labor at 5 pounds 13 ounces. She looked perfect and when I held her in my arms she felt perfect but I knew that her body had not formed itself “perfectly.” The doctors wanted to be safe so she spent the next week in the NICU getting tests and being monitored. The doctors agreed after a week that wait and watch was the best course of action and sent our beautiful little baby home with us.

          So I was a first time mom, dealing with not only my own physical and mental struggles related to creating a life inside me, but also dealing with this looming issue of my daughter’s health. When you think of what it is going to be like to be a new parent, you don’t usually consider what you would do if you received bad news. Dealing with all of these emotions was incredibly trying for us but that wasn’t all of it. We also had to worry about money. How could we pay these medical bills that come from a week in intensive care? We had just bought our first home and we also had student loans and credit cards. At a time when all I wanted to do was put my energy into my new baby, I was forced to worry about how to pay for all of this and what will we do when the medical bills continue.

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Six weeks after giving birth I went straight back to working 50 hour weeks running a Wendy’s, which is a physically and mentally demanding job, because we needed the money. I felt so hopeless and full of despair and I didn’t know how we would ever get out of the situation that we were in. Then my husband told me that I should check out a radio show and that is what changed everything.

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The Dave Ramsey Show had the answers that I was looking for. It taught me exactly what I should do and how I should do it. It gave me the 7 step game plan with the actions you take but it also kept me inspired and motivated with stories from others. I listened to that radio show every morning as I opened my store. I dreamed that I could be like those people who made a plan and worked it through to the end, especially with the end being financial freedom. My husband and I spent the next 2 years working our butts off and focusing on nothing but paying off our $30,000 of debt. We made it to the other side! The road was long and hard and the journey had a lot of ups and downs but we hit our goal. We have since continued working our way through the 7 steps and 6 years later Penelope is still a happy, healthy girl. Her kidneys are still half sized but she has not had any issues so far. We are so truly blessed and also grateful that we were able to learn and implement this plan with our money that has allowed us to retake control of our life.

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There are two things I want you to take away from this. The first is that you can do it. There is nothing about us that makes us special and we did it so I KNOW you can too. Believe in your own power. The second is that when you use the power of focus in your life you can achieve great things. Let the things that are less important fall away in order to focus on the things in life that truly matter to you and you will begin to see the magic happen.

Melissa BlandfordComment