Four happy ducklings marching in a row.

Attaining the Unattainable

My oldest son turned 5 in August, and ten days later, our triplets turned the big ONE. On October 17th, I also turned 30, which feels so surreal to say! Never would I have imagined I would have four kids by 30. It was a year full of big things, that is certain. I cannot even believe how quickly the last year flew by. I feel continuously full of gratitude for this life I've been given, MS and all.

Questioning my ability to mother with MS

To this day, I still question why I was given an MS diagnosis at such a young age and why with MS, I was given four beautiful children, three of whom just happened to be born at once. It's not that I question my love for them because they are my world. I have questioned my ability to handle mothering four children with MS since I found out I was pregnant with three. I watched This Is Us the other day, and one of the characters said something that stuck with me. He explained that he didn't know what it felt like to live with a disease, but he did know what it looked like to look at everything you want for your future, and it to all seem unattainable.

Is this a miracle? Or a joke?

It hit me because since becoming a mom of four, that is how I have felt. Having MS causes my future to be unpredictable and uncertain. I never know when my disease will progress, and as a young mom, that is a tremendous fear of mine. There are many moments that just the day to day process of caring for four little humans seems unattainable. I remember the overwhelming fear that wrecked my body when the ultrasound tech told me she saw three on the screen. Having three babies at once seemed unattainable. Finding the finances and resources needed to support them seemed impossible. Growing three humans in my body that already struggled with pain and immense fatigue seemed like a joke. A miracle of a joke, but I seriously questioned many times if God was laughing at me. Why, of all people, would I be capable of such a huge life change? I don't have a lot of help or family close by, so the thought of staying home and raising four kids by myself while my husband worked felt daunting. Could I do it all and manage my MS without breaking?

Challenges show us what we're capable of

The past fourteen months have repeatedly shown me that all of those fears and time spent worrying was a waste. Everything I once feared is now everything I fear living without. It wasn't God laughing at me after all. I like to think that maybe He was showing me what I was capable of on my own. I've been shown that often since my diagnosis at fourteen, but this past year was the highlight. You truly never know what you're capable of until you're faced with challenging situations.

Never felt so tired or so full of life

The babies are now a little over a year old, and somehow we have made it! I have survived many long days of motherhood this past year. Days of constant diaper changes, making bottles, and soothing babies. It was days of trying to keep a clean house, making meals, doing endless piles of laundry, and washing dishes. These days it's chasing toddlers, cleaning up messes that get destroyed again in seconds, and taking my son to and from school with a car full of little ones. Somedays, I feel utterly defeated, while others, I feel like I can conquer the world. It is constant exhaustion paired with an overly full heart. It's feelings of never getting a moment alone to breathe paired with sweet cuddles that fill my heart to the brim. I am more physically worn down by the end of each day than I have ever been, yet I've never felt so full of life.

What MS and motherhood have taught me

My world has never felt so chaotic but so full of worth. What MS and motherhood have taught me most over this past year is that life is tough, but I am tougher. It has taught me that I have a lot of fight left in me and that when put to the test (daily), I can and will get through whatever the day brings. It has given me patience and resilience as I've never had before. It has shown me that I will always struggle and always worry about my health. I will always fear that the things I want most may become unattainable. The future of my health is a big unknown, but so was my journey over the past year. Every day was full of wondering how it would all get done. Yet, it was also full of sitting down at the end of the day and saying, "I did it." I try to be full of optimism for my kids. I want them to see that even on the days mom felt her worst; she didn't quit. On the most challenging days, I have learned that if I don't look for the one good thing, I will not make it.

Glass half full mentality

I don't live every day looking through rose-colored lenses, but I do live each day with a glass half full mentality. It is what keeps me balanced. I wasted too many years in the past clinging to negativity, and I refuse to be that person again. This disease, among other things, may make everything I see for mine and my family's future seem unattainable, but for now, I want to take it a day at a time. I was given this imperfectly perfect life, and I am the one in charge of making the most of it. For now, in what may seem like never-ending, mundane days, I can confidently smile and say, "It's all worth it." Thanks to MS, I see life in a different light, and it inspires me to persist and hope that I can attain the unattainable.

XOXO,

Calie

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