Hey Lovers!
My name is Marlina and I am one of the co-founders of Own Skin.
It’s funny, I have had blogs and newspaper articles written on me, but when I sat down to write this blog about myself, I didn’t know where to start.
Which brings me to a thought…
Why is it difficult to write about our accomplishments?
A bit about me;
I’m 27 years old and was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. I have always had a love for the outdoors and a love for work. Yep, that was not a typo. Along with studying full time, I worked full time from the moment I finished high school. I worked at a company where I stayed for 10 years! I sacrificed weekends, family holidays, birthdays and pretty much every significant milestone in my life. I was determined to show my loyalty and work ethic, as well as succeed in my university degree. 
I worked tirelessly in an industry that was male-dominated and made it my mission to prove myself as I rose up the corporate ladder. After eight years, I finally reached the position I had been striving to achieve. I was the only female at my level in Sydney and the youngest in my position at the time. 
Then one day, everything changed.
I found out I was pregnant!
Although I was excited, I also felt an overwhelming weight on my shoulders. 
What about my job?
What a horrible thing to have to think about at a time like that. I instantly knew that I would have to fight even harder to prove my worth in my workplace, given my “competing priorities”. My pregnancy was unpleasant, to put it nicely. 
I found out I was pregnant at four weeks, yet by eight weeks pregnant I started noticing dramatic changes in my body and knew something wasn’t right. My stomach was measuring at 18 weeks and I had to get an emergency ultrasound. I knew something wasn’t right when I was called in to see the doctor that same afternoon. I was told I had a 9cm fibroid, which is a benign tumour, growing in my uterus. 
From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I bled every day for 4 months. It meant I had to rush from work to get emergency ultrasounds to ensure the baby was okay, returning to work immediately after. I would throw up 2-3 times a day (before, during and after work). I had no appetite and was not able to gain weight in the first five months of my pregnancy. By five months I had lost 5kgs, and due to my gestational diabetes and low blood pressure, my pregnancy was becoming even higher risk than it already was. Work was becoming quite stressful to maintain during this time and after numerous discussions with my husband, we decided it was time I gave up my job and focused on my health and the health of my baby. The hardest thing I had ever had to do up until that stage was resign. 
However, I kept trying to look at the bright side:…
12 weeks of FREEDOM !
This was the first time in 10 years that I would have longer than 2 weeks off (including my honeymoon, much to my husband’s dismay). 
I was planning to do everything and nothing. I couldn’t wait to sleep in for two consecutive days, to read a book or know what it felt like to be bored. 
I finished up work on Tuesday, 30th April at 26 weeks pregnant.
.  .  .
I went into labour on Wednesday, 1st May. At 26 weeks pregnant.
That’s right - I went into labour the very next day. I drove myself to the hospital after my husband left for work at 5am (not wanting to worry him, and thinking it was going to be nothing). I was having contractions that were 3 minutes apart, which is how they stayed for 3 days! I was given steroid injections for my baby’s lungs in case they couldn’t stop the labour, morphine injections while being on a drip, and was rushed into the birthing suite three times during my stay! The doctor was able to settle my contractions and he finally agreed to allow me to complete my pregnancy on bed rest at home, as long as I went into the hospital three times a week to check on the baby.
At 34 weeks, the pain was unbearable and I was in constant fear that something was not right. I was told that my baby was only 1.8kgs and would not be able to breathe on her own if she came before her due date because she was under 2kgs. I was only able to gain 4kgs during my pregnancy which made holding her in my body feel almost impossible. 
The morning of my 37th week, Elena was ready to arrive - for real this time. It was the best morning of my life. I went into the hospital, ready for my planned c-section. Within half an hour, she was out. She was 2.5kgs. The best news I had heard in a long time. 
That was just over a year ago. 1st July, 2019. 
I wanted to post this on her 1st birthday to celebrate her life, and how far I have come as a mother and as a woman. I’m a little late to post because I was enjoying celebrating my beautiful baby girl and taking a moment to be grateful for how far we’ve come.
It shouldn’t be difficult to celebrate ourselves and talk about what we have accomplished in life. Which is why I decided to start these blogs. I want people to feel proud of themselves and let the world know their strength and their story. So, come forward and share yours! 

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