GRACE LOVES LACE DESIGNER MEGAN ZEIMS | Pregnancy Story

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Megan tugs on our heart strings as she tells the tale of a traumatic pregnancy that took her in a direction that she definitely didn’t plan for. She speaks about her loving relationship, business venture that has become more successful than she ever could have imagined and of course, her pregnancy.  Megan is a force to be reckoned with, her positivity is powerful and so vibrant it is almost impossible to envisage her ‘defeated’ although this time, she came very close.  Her story is heartbreaking, powerful and so inspirational I was fighting back tears as I typed. Connect with this wonderful woman and take with you her bravery, willpower and positive nature, it will forever do you a favour, i’m sure of it.

MEGAN ZEIMS: GRACE LOVES LACE (DESIGNER)

It started out as a love affair that began in 2008 with my partner Wade.  We met out one night at a point in my life when I was feeling very unsettled.  I’d been travelling up until that point, and had moved what felt like a million times but was sort of brought to a halt as soon as I met Wade.  It all kind of “just happened”. I loved the way he was so different, very quirky, funny, super intelligent and the loveliest person you could ever meet.  It was pretty much on from the get go, we got engaged around 2 years after we met and then married a year and a half after that.

It was during the time that I began planning the wedding that the business plan for ‘Grace Loves Lace’ was thought up.  I couldn’t for the life of me find a wedding dress that I fell in love with.  I wanted a very untraditional dress that was still ‘special’ and found that there was either the very structured princess dresses or the polar opposite (hippy & not great quality).  The odd dress that I did find and fell in love with was in Europe and cost upward of $10,000.  That kind of blew the budget so I began searching for alternative methods of creating the perfect wedding dress.

Luckily my Mum is a designer herself and over the last 20 years she’s managed to become extremely successful overseas.  She predominantly works with French laces and Italian silks so for this reason I not only had access to the fabric I needed, but also the manufacturing and design process.  My background was actually in branding and sales so not before long we became the perfect team, along with my sister in law Tara who also works in the business. Though, we’ve managed to expand since then and are currently a team of nine.

Over the last 2 years the business has become quite successful which has been amazing for all of us involved.  I honestly believe that Grace Loves Lace has taken off for three reasons; I had a very clear vision of what I wanted right from the beginning, I worked my butt off and I’ve got an incredible team who each have different strengths, talents and experiences.

Grace Loves Lace has offered us (thank god) a sense of security.  Wade is actually a qualified lawyer but has recently moved over to work in the business development and accounts side of Grace.  It was a big decision for us but we got to the point where we had to either hire another person or have Wade do it.  At the time the obvious answer was to have Wade do it since we have a baby on the way and it will be nice for him to have a bit more freedom and down time.  Being a lawyer generally means long hours and weekend work, plus a ridiculous amount of stress so this is a breath of fresh air for him.

Backtracking a little bit, Wade and I started talking about having a baby about a year and a half ago.  I’ve never been one to desperately want kids but out of nowhere the thought began to really appeal to the both of us.  As soon as we made the decision I basically went on an intense mission to get pregnant! Wade is extremely laid back and I’m full steam ahead when I’ve got my mind on something, so it was a funny dynamic but eventually we managed to fall pregnant.

We found out in November and were both thrilled.  The pregnancy ran smoothly up until the 20 week mark when my scan detected a possible issue with my cervix.  At 23 weeks I rushed from the Grace office to a specialist scan, and it was during that scan when my entire world turned upside down.  I will never forget the doctor telling me that I had what was called a “short cervix” meaning that I didn’t have the right support for the baby to stay inside and was at serious risk of losing this baby of mine.  Instead of having a normal cervix measuring 3cm-7cm, mine was 5mm and funnelling.

I was instantly put on emergency bed rest, progesterone medication and had steroid shots to boost the baby’s lung development in case of early birth. Before that appointment I was unaware that a baby is not ‘viable’ until at least 24 weeks, and the risk of birth defects is very high.  So as you can imagine, my obstetrician and I had heart wrenching conversations about what may happen to my baby if she was born before 24 weeks.  At this point I suffered terribly from shock and for the first few weeks I couldn’t even bring myself to talk, watch TV or use my laptop.  I literally lay there like a zombie doing absolutely nothing.

At 27 weeks I was transferred to the Mater hospital in Brisbane as they are one of the top hospitals in Australia for premmie babies.  Week after week went by (VERY SLOWLY) and finally I reached 28 weeks (my first goal!).  My obstetrician was originally not expecting me to reach 28 so this was an exciting milestone.  Then 30 came by and the mood changed slightly (with regards to the doctors and midwives), everyone seemed a lot happier.  When I reached 32 weeks it was a massive celebration.  I was finally allowed to sit up a little bit and was able to go for small wheelchair trips around the hospital.

No one could believe it but I reached 34 weeks and when I did, they let me go home! It was the most amazing feeling after 11 weeks to finally be able to walk and start being excited again about life! Aside from being extremely weak and not able to stand for long, I was managing just fine.  The funny thing is, as I stand here right now I am currently 37 weeks (today!) so technically I’m at the start of being considered ‘full term’.  My obstetrician has been joking that I will probably go past my due date and saying that even though I have hardly any cervix, what I do have must be made of steel.  Can you believe I’m actually feeling good, although I’m huge and extremely tired? I still get nervous about the birth but am also so incredibly aware of how lucky I am.

megan baby belly

The whole experience has completely changed my mindset with regards to so many things. It really puts things into perspective and has also made me appreciate my closest friends and family who have been so amazing to me throughout this time. Some of those people saw me cry for the first time during those scary weeks so I have become even closer to them and have definitely learned to let other people (both personally and in business) take care of things for me rather than constantly being in control of everything non-stop.

I know this story makes me sound very unlucky but it actually opened my eyes to what’s happening around us and how LUCKY women are to have a pregnancy without any dramas.  My section of the hospital was all “pregnancy problems” so it really opened my eyes to other peoples situations.  Some women in there are on best rest from extremely early on with waters that have broken, open cervixes, bulging membranes, preeclampsia, the list goes on.

Looking back I actually consider myself lucky.  I had private health cover, meaning I had my own room and was able to get the extra scans which detected that I had a problem.  I was also lucky that my business and staff allowed for me to literally go MIA without any warning and for such a long time.  There are women in the Mater from all over the country (lots from the outback) without any friends or family who are in there for months unaware of what is going to happen to them or their baby.

I’m proud to share that we are expecting a little boy and although we’re not sure when he will grace us with his presence, we’re SO excited and very ready to be his parents. Wade and I have a really rock solid relationship so this whole process hasn’t changed a thing, if anything it has made us closer which I’ll be forever grateful for.

megan ziemsAs told to Sophie Gidoomal.

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