This week I want to take some time out to talk to all of you about some of the deeper issues that often motivate my Bootcamp ladies to show up to every session and commit to the best version of themselves there is. At my Bootcamp although we do focus on improving our fitness, toning our bodies and looking great we also place a significant emphasis on the mental and emotional aspects that can influence and affect the overall lifestyle change that we offer and encourage.
This is Ruth Warr’s story.
Ruth is the proud mother of two beautiful kids, a loyal client of Belinda Carusi Bootcamps and has been training with me for the last two years. She shows up to every session, has committed to changing her diet for the better and is proof that hard work really does pay off.
Six years ago Ruth fell pregnant with her first child. Overjoyed at what the future held Ruth was healthy and well throughout her first 24 weeks. However, at just 28 weeks and 3 days (a normal full term pregnancy lasts up to 40 weeks) Ruth had an unexpected eclamptic fit in her own home. Fortunately, her partner was home at the time and was able to call an ambulance, if not the risk of survival for Ruth herself and her unborn child would have been dangerously high. Her family had even been warned that despite her partner’s quick reactive action that there was a chance she would not make it. Three days later Ruth awoke in ICU surrounded by photos of an unrecognisable little baby girl and no memory of anything after her fit. Ruth soon found out that the photos that littered her bedside were pictures of HER little baby girl, born 3 days prior at just 749 grams.
Even though she knew it was her baby Ruth had no memory of actually giving birth to her creating an obstacle in her ability to bond instantly with this new little face. All Ruth could think was that she wasn’t meant to be here and that she wasn’t due yet.
Scared and confused Ruth was wheeled down to meet her little girl for the first time where she was being looked after in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit. Never had she seen such a tiny baby, her tiny baby.
Ruth later found out that what had happened was part of a condition called HELLP Syndrome, a pregnancy complication usually considered to be a variant of pre-eclampsia. Ruth was unaware that this syndrome even existed let alone that she herself was at risk. Since, she has found that many others who have experienced it or know someone who has have also not known of any of the warning signs of such a life-threatening condition. Luckily for Ruth her daughter Chloe, 6 this year, was born without any long-term health complications and she has since given birth to Chloe’s brother Chase issue-free. But some women aren’t so fortunate and it’s because of a lack of information that fatalities have occurred. According to the Pre-Eclampsia Foundation babies born at under 1000 grams are statistically proven to be less likely to survive and will need an extended period of hospital care, a scary reality for such an unknown yet common condition.
It is our job as women to help others who may be at risk by spreading awareness.
Some of the physical symptoms that occur can seem similar to preeclampsia and can include:
– nausea/vomiting/indigestion with pain after eating
– epigastric (abdominal) or substernal (chest) tenderness and right upper quadrant pain (from liver distention)
– shoulder pain or pain when breathing deeply
– visual disturbances
Signs to look for include:
– high blood pressure
– protein in the urine
Although Ruth’s commitment to Belinda Carusi’s Bootcamps has come from a desire to tone up and increase her fitness it has simultaneously emerged from a deeper urge to prove to herself that she can beat anything that may come her way and to build herself as a strong and stable role model for her beautiful children.
We think she’s doing an absolutely brilliant job; as a mother and as a woman.
Keep it up!