After a short stint as a classically trained singer, Jillian decided to pursue her love of writing by serving a number of publications. She’s an active blogger, traveler, and dog-lover who likes to de-stress by listening to film soundtracks. When she isn’t writing, she’s leveling up her archery and lock-picking skills in yet another video game.
Pregnancy can be a scary time for anyone. There are an infinite number of scenarios where something could go horribly wrong — and what’s worse, you’re not just concerned about your own health, but the health of your unborn child as well.
Sarah Buller, a 31-year-old model hailing from Perth, Australia, was a soon-to-be mom like any other, and yet her first pregnancy would turn out very different than she planned.
“I’m sharing my story because I know there’s a lot of other people out there like me,” said Buller in a touching video posted on her YouTube channel. Perhaps, by courageously sharing her story, others will feel more comfortable opening up about their own struggles.
This has a lot to do with the way we discuss body image in the media.
If beauty standards weren’t so outrageously unattainable for women, Buller and others like her might be able to open up about their visible medical conditions.
All of these stories have a similar theme: perhaps if we create spaces where women can talk about their pregnancy complications openly and without judgment, more women will be armed with much-needed information.
Buller, at least, has certainly become an advocate for empowering moms the world over.
Meet Sarah Buller and her beautiful son Jagger! He’s her second child, the little brother of Charlie, his big sister (who is pictured below). But this proud mom of two is suffering from a condition that she never expected to be diagnosed with.
“I have a condition called primary lymphedema, which is basically a chronic swelling disorder […] in my left leg,” she explains in a YouTube video.
During her first pregnancy, she noticed that her leg was swelling around the three-month mark. That’s pretty standard, right? “I put it down to just normal pregnancy swelling,” Buller said, but it turned out that something very wrong was happening.
“Doctors couldn’t tell me what it was,” Buller continued, recounting how she didn’t seek treatment as a result. But a year and a half later, it was finally time to face facts: she had given birth to Charlie, and yet, the swelling still wasn’t going down. Buller was then diagnosed with primary lymphedema, and her whole life changed.
Since that time, she’s been documenting her journey with the disease through Instagram, and the photos are a bit jarring when you know her story.
“My very first bandage session at the physio,” Buller wrote here, explicitly detailing the process of bandaging her leg and and how her leg “ballooned like a mofo” in the scorching August heat during her second pregnancy.
Progress has been slow-going, but Buller has an utterly indomitable spirit. She will not be broken by this disease — no matter what, that strength will carry her through the long road ahead.
“I started bandaging my leg for the first time two weeks ago and have had some pretty good results so far,” Buller wrote, accompanying her story with more before and after photos.
Isn’t it amazing what a little willpower can help us achieve? Scrolling through Buller’s Instagram offers a treasure trove of optimism and bravery, and even if you don’t suffer from primary lymphedema as well, you will surely find her posts inspiring anyway.
And she’s even getting her kids involved in the process! “Two-year-olds find this whole lymphedema thing very interesting,” Buller explained, snapping a photo with her daughter Charlie during a little downtime.
“The bandages are so long! The bandage clips are SPIKEY! The compression stocking is a special treasure that needs to be stolen every morning and claimed as ‘hers!'”
It’s really lovely that Buller shared these precious family moments with the world. Children have an uncanny knack for reminding us to slow down, take a moment, and enjoy the small pleasures in life. Charlie is certainly taking after her mom in that regard!
As terrifying as this ordeal clearly is, there’s also an uplifting message here, too. If Buller could go back, knowing what she knows about the disease now, she still would have done it exactly the same.
“Pregnancy was the beginning of my #primarylymphedema, but I wouldn’t change a thing if it meant not having my beautiful children with me today,” wrote Buller on Instagram.
OK, how cute is this family? Seriously.
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