I’ve had two times in my life I have felt scared, lost, alone, afraid, and depressed. They both have to do with the births of my children. The first, the birth of my first child, Lucy. About 20 weeks into my pregnancy I began getting really bad headaches. After a visit with my OB I found out I was in the early stages of preeclampsia. The doctor put me on bed rest and told me to lay low. Seven weeks later my body started giving up. I went into what is called, HELLP Syndrome. At 27 weeks we welcomed our little Lucy, weighing in at only 1 pound 9 ounces. I remember the feelings of hopelessness. I could not do anything to help my sweet Lucy. She was on a ventilator for five and a half weeks. We dealt with pneumonia, heart valve problems, eye worries, hearing tests, lung problems, feeding problems, poor weight gain, and the list went on and on. We had to see an endless amount of doctors and learn so many new medical terms. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I did not think I could ever feel so much worry, loneliness, and sorrow. But, as I relied on my faith in God, and the support of friends and family, Lucy thrived. She started growing, hitting every milestone, and to many doctors astonishment she was right on track with the other children her age. Lucy is a miracle. I felt happy again and truly blessed. Seven years later I had 3 more healthy children and life seemed to be going wonderfully. I was now expecting my fifth child and could not be more thrilled. Around 17 weeks I went to my OB for a routine check-up. Using just the regular doppler I waited trying to hear the heartbeat, but nothing came. The doctor told me I would need to have an ultrasound. That is where I learned, my baby, a precious little boy, did not have a heartbeat. The doctor told me I had placenta previa and had to have a C section later that day. I fell in grief and asked myself, “How could this be happening to me?” I had already experienced sorrow, worry, and loneliness, but it was nothing compared to the feelings I had felt that day, in the following weeks, and even year to come. After I delivered, I left the hospital with all the same side effects of having a baby, but I had no baby. I had to recover from a C section without the distraction of a beautiful baby to feed and take care of. I would dread getting out of bed. I would lay in bed and just cry. I would cry during church. I would burst into tears talking to friends and even strangers. I didn’t know how to answer the question of how many children I had because I did not want to forget him, but I also did not want to explain to people about what happened. It was hard. It was miserable. It was lonely and I was sad. But once again, I turned to my Savior, my faith, my friends, my family, and many others who showed me their love. It took me a long time, but I found joy again. I began seeing life differently. I was enjoying the little things that I had previously taken for granted. I started worrying less about the perfect clean house, perfectly groomed children, and started enjoying my kids and the time I had with them. I enjoyed dancing with them, laughing with them and embarrassing them. I found joy in this life through the small and simple things. These trials were hard, but I have learned to have fun, enjoy life, and be confident in who I am! And this is my, “mybrilliantconfidence” story. By: Kristen Johnson Everyone has a story. We at PMD Beauty want to know your #mybrilliantconfidence story. No matter what you are going through, someone out there has already experienced it or is experiencing it and can relate to you perfectly. We invite all to share your #mybrilliantconfidence story. You have the ability to be a positive influence in the lives of others. To share your #mybrilliantconfidence story and be featured on our IG and blog, please email us at: [email protected] and use #mybrilliantconfidence in the subject line.