Finding you.

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I really wish people spoke about what happens to mothers once they become a constant to someone else.

Aside from all the other hurdles thrown at me in my journey into becoming mommy.

I have unfortunately lost ME in the process.

Me, that word makes my skin crawl and even the thought of putting me as a priority can make me feel so uncomfortable.

I have no clue who I am.

The truth of the matter is we lose ourselves when we are no longer living life for us. I think of my son before I do anything. Make a decision, eat, plan a day out. Heck, even before showering .. (which is usually only five minutes long) because a two year old demands your full attention.

Now, I’m not saying this isn’t how it should be but two years into this new career path of raising a child I have decided that I also need to put myself first. Right there with my son. I need to take care of me and my needs as equally as his. I’ve been running on fumes for 2 and a half years. I let myself go in more than 100 ways. Mainly because of my mental health and the other half is my son.

So just last week, I had an epiphany ..aside from my dark days (which I still have a lot of ) I want to use whatever bit of progress I’ve made in my healing and find ME again. Not the little me who was constantly hurt or the teenage me who loved all the wrong people…Not 21 year old me who partied and worked her life away (she was figuring life out & from time to time made really poor choices) not 25 year old me who was so weak and fragile from the monster of HG, not 26-27 year old me who’s health deteriorated into the abyss. Heck! not even me from last week ( she was a bit of a bully to herself) but today’s ME the one who realizes just HOW much she’s overcome and is in the process of overcoming.

this me.

I’m proud of her. I love her. I want her to chase her dreams and heal her hurts so that she can live the life she always deserved. & in this process I’ll be able to teach my son the strength it takes to start over and that the fear of failure should never stop you from trying. As women were so quick to tend to the wounds and problems of others and leave ourselves in last place. Or even worse .. with no place at all.

To that I say ENOUGH.

It’s ok to take care of ourselves , to take breaks to decompress, to be the most feared word in the mothering dictionary..

Selfish (gasp)

I want to rebuild the relationship I have with myself , whoever I am now after all that’s happened. I want to rediscover my likes and dislikes. Establish my strengths and weaknesses and do the things that make me feel alive…because in filling my cup and finding what makes me happy and whole I will then be able to give my son a healthy and loving mom.

& there’s nothing more selfless than that.

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Twisted memories

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Let’s talk about ptsd and those awful anniversaries.

This week marks a year since my last inpatient stay and just like clock work today started with crying and tons of anxiety. When you have ptsd and it’s an anniversary of something traumatic that happened to you, your body has the nicest way of reminding you..

“Hey! Remember that awful thing that happened to you this time last year?!Here, why don’t you think about it. Really think about it. I’ll even allow you to feel all the exact same emotions and fears. I’ll send images to you.. sights, smells, and sounds because for some reason I think you NEED it. ”

Thanks asshole brain.

As if I needed a constant reminder of my pain.

Trust me, I don’t.

this week I’ll up my self care. Take my walks. Breathe, cry, yell, and most importantly, up my therapy sessions to get me through the rough patches.

Even though this time last year I was in the midst of the darkness. I was shattered. So overwhelmed…that I started planning my way out. I somehow managed to outsmart those depressive voices that told me dying was the only answer and I checked myself in, I did that.

Little warrior me.

I woke up today to feel the sunshine on my face once more and to hear my sons sweet voice. So even if I feel like absolute shit (mentally) I take with me that I have crawled, clawed, screamed, and kicked my way to this day.

& Maybe next year instead of this pain I’ll remember my braveness and the strength it took to seek help .. with a hint of what depression has done to my life.

To all of you with ptsd:

I feel you, I get it.

I’m with you.

Maybe one day we can reclaim our minds and rebuild or lives

Feel the joy of feeling “safe” again.

Till then, carry on beautiful warrior

Fight for your peace.

You deserve it.

jagged teeth

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I’ve been triggered once again

Held captive by these thoughts in my head…

laying here in my bed

I keep trying to breathe but this pain is suffocating me

can someone please turn on the light?

I seemed to have lost sight,

Of brighter days and happiness

All I hold is emptiness

This glass between the world and I

It’s making me feel dead inside

I pray these images let me rest.

So I can stop being tormented by past regrets

This beast I fight is beating me

Is it him or I ?

I guess In time we will see

Those jagged teeth ripping into me

Laying here while inside, I bleed.

He thinks he’s won

That cocky beast

But he must not know, I don’t accept defeat.

So round and round the fighting goes.

But this girl won’t quit

Cause this girl has soul.

 

 

 

The first year. 

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I woke up today after only a couple of hours of sleep. That awful feeling in the pit of my stomach in full blast. I am having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that my sons first birthday is only a few days away. 

For the longest time I’ve been convinced I would not make it this far. It feels so surreal to grasp that for 365 days or since the birth of my son I’ve been in the most horrendous depression of my life. I’ve made it through some excruciating days. Days where I had to keep forcing myself to choose to continue living.  Ive fought thoughts that no human being or new mother should ever have to wage war against (but many new moms sadly do) I still don’t understand what has happened to my life…or most importantly my brain. Why did this have to be my journey? It is so painful to have to come to terms with being robbed of a full year with my baby. Day after day has been a fight for me but yet, I’m still here. 

I pictured motherhood as this time of pure bliss. I thought seeing my baby would consume me with this intense love and happiness. That life would feel complete. I thought my fight with Hyperemesis was the end of my suffering  but once I went into labor I knew that just wasn’t the case. In my sons first year of life I have endured 5 hospitalizations, two stroke scares, an emergency appendectomy, one procedure, a two month intensive therapy program, session after session of trauma work, and a horrible debilitating mental illness. I think I’m having ptsd from having ptsd. I’m still afraid to be alone. I’m afraid of being around people I feel as if there’s a sign on my forehead that reads “this one is crazy, stay away”  I’m terrified of driving so I don’t. There’s still some days where I need to be distant from my baby but I can’t have him too far away from me because it hurts me. Physically and mentally hurts me. I still have days where I battle severe intrusive thoughts. Some days I feel a little normal I can manage to function ok I’m able to get ready and interact with my son. Others, getting out of bed is an uphill battle. That feeling of impeding doom still greets me every morning. I haven’t seen much progress in myself (though there has been some) and sometimes the guilt of that kicks my ass. The best way to describe the pain I’m in is to compare it to a third degree burn that life keeps pouring alcohol on. I feel that burning and pain in my mind and body almost every day, literally. I know now that there is no timeline for my healing. I have continue to chip away at my trauma and anxiety session after session. I know that years of abuse and neglect in my childhood really did affect me even though I never knew it until now. I know that if I had listened to those shitty voices in my head I would have missed my sons first laugh, first crawl, first tooth, and first walk.                                 Those moments are what I breathe and live for. 

Today, like any other day. I’ll make the choice. The choice to continue to breathe against all odds. The choice to believe that one day my nightmare will end. The choice to believe that I will be the mother I always dreamed of and have a bond with my son that is nothing short of amazing. I choose to believe that I am worthy but most importantly over my terrible pain and my irrational anxious thoughts….

I choose my son. 



Postpartum Care

Life, motherhood, Parenting, postpartum, Uncategorized

A change in scenery from previous posts. 
Let me begin by saying WOMEN are MAGICAL creatures

This is going to be a postpartum care 101. I’m highlighting the most important parts to me.

The shit I wish people would have warned me with. 

After birth.

First off, Your lady flower (vagina) is going to feel as if someone has released a village of fire ants on you. Peeing and walking are going to be SUPER unpleasant. For about, 6 weeks or so. More, if you tore. (That will involve stitching and lots of ice for you)                   

your first poo (bowel movement) after baby will feel as if you are giving birth to a pine cone through your butt. 

I am not exaggerating on that one.

You will be shedding blood at the rate of that one scene on the shining. You’ll be going through many pads and beautiful mesh underwear. (I personally bled for about 3 months) But everyone is different. Your body is going to feel as if you got hit by a bus. You can expect A lot of soreness and weakness. My back was where most of my pain resided. ….If your supply comes in or (lactation) your breasts are gonna swell up like balloons and be as hard as rocks. ( it seriously hurts) engorgment is TORTURE. Your baby might have the suction of a giant whale and twist the living daylights out of your nips. & someone might really have to help “milk” you. So your poor nipples may crack and bleed. Hot compress, tea bags, nipple shields, and nipple ointment will be your new best friends. Breastfeeding is a JOB all on its own. Sometimes it’s too much work  and that’s ok! 

Your human will survive on formula or breast. 

Your mind literally changes at birth. That’s a whole other subject I will touch on. Be patient. If you’re concerned with your emotions or thoughts seek help or a trusted person you can confide in. 

My advice for you. 

1) REST: you did a miraculous thing and a 6 week time span for healing is BS (according to new studies it takes around a year before your body is “recovered” )

2) ASK for help: it’s ok to need assistance with meals, cleaning, laundry, the baby, or emotional support. 

3) GIVE yourself time and love: Healing is solely based on time. Accept your new body and all that has changed. Yes, you’re allowed to cry about your losses. Loss of Freedom, loss of sleep, loss of your body, loss of yourself. Identity will be lost and regained ( I haven’t reached that yet.) 

4) mom guilt: as long as you and your baby are alive, fed, and cleaned. You are doing the best you can! So don’t buy into all the bs people try to feed you or compare yourself to someone’s else’s story. This one is yours to write! 

5) Babysitting: do not feel forced to allow people to watch your baby unless you are comfortable or need the help. If people try and step into your lane shut it down. You are mom that is your baby. No one else has the say but YOU. (Separation anxiety is real) same goes with visitors in your time and at your pace. There’s no rush!

6) Replenish: eat healthy foods consistently throughout the day drink PLENTY of water especially if you are BF. Vitamins. Supplements. Take iron if necessary. Probitotics to help balance you out. Do a zits bath, ice, perineal sprays, and ease into exercise and sex. 

7) Acceptance: please don’t do what I did and decide to get a pocket mirror to look at what was left of you after the atom bomb was dropped on your who haa. But if you get curious consider the fact that I warned you and that too, with time will heal itself. If not, there are things that can be done to help put it back together again to your liking 🙂 As for your body, don’t buy into having to be “fit mom” right away. Own those stretch marks and saggy tits. You earned em. Let your body relax and put itself back together before straining it. It deserves that much 

Remember this is your time to rest and relax. A happy mom will equal a happy baby. & You just can’t pour from an empty cup trust me, I’ve tried. 

Also, You got this! =)

the inner workings of postpartum ptsd

anxiety, Depression, Hyperemesis gravidarum, Life, mental illness, motherhood, Parenting, postpartum, Uncategorized

Story time Tuesday. I will be sharing bits and pieces of my journey it’s a lot for me to process and it takes a lot for me to recall and put things into words. But it all needs to be said to gain understanding of where I am today …

The day is August 12. We woke up to take my son to his first check up.

I had just given birth that Monday with a 3 day hospital stay. As soon as I arrived home I started feeling really off. I was so extremely dizzy I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Every time I tried to breast feed my son my heart would race and the room would spin. I didn’t know what breast feeding should feel like so I just kept doing it and dealing with the really uncomfortable side effects …

that morning I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked like a ghost. There was this emptiness inside of me. I was happy to be home, happy to know kai and I had made it through the birth (which was a miracle)  There was a sense of pride in my heart. But I felt EMPTY.

We showed up at my sons appointment that Friday and I started feeling worse. I started feeling really hot and nauseous on top of my extreme dizziness. His pediatrician offered me water then asked me if I felt ok. I told her what had been going on the past couple of days. She looked at me and said “I think you should head back to the hospital. You don’t look ok.”

( looking back now nothing up to that point had been ok. It was silly of me to think the storm had passed)

I arrived in the ER they rushed me back. My blood pressure was 170/122. Normal range is 120/80. With my background in health care I knew that kind of reading was not ideal to say the least. They ran a few labs and sent me home with blood pressure medication (they had decided I was safe to leave)

On our way home we had to make a quick stop. I sat there in the target parking lot waiting for my boyfriend to run an errand when all of a sudden this rush came over me. Like a cold chill. My hands and face started getting sweaty I could feel my heart racing and literally see it pumping through my shirt. I knew something was terribly wrong. I called 911 and shortly after the paramedics arrived.

I will never forget that ambulance ride.

I don’t remember what my readings were when I was picked up. I remember the paramedics asking me questions. I was answering them back then I slowly felt my foot go numb.. then my leg.. then my left hand.. and my arm.  I remember asking him with what little voice I had in me still (fear was coarsing through my veins) “I can’t feel my left side is that ok?” He stared at me and starting doing tests on my legs and hands but at this point I couldn’t move my left side at all. Apparently, I had failed his exam.  All I remember him saying to the driver was…” I need you to hit the lights she might be stroking out” 

Those words…. I can CLEARLY  hear them in my head even 8 months later. They fell on me like a giant boulder. At that moment through the sirens and the rush of getting poked and prodded I remember looking out the window of the ambulance in complete shock. 1,000 questions running through my mind..Was I seriously about to die? I hadn’t even been home more than a week with my baby? How the hell is this even fair?!

I arrived at the hospital to officially be put on stroke alert. I was put in a room with maybe 4 doctors and 3 nurses. All My clothes were removed I had blood being taken from both arms. At this point I could see what was going but I had mentally clocked out. I saw my boyfriend arrive, I remember staring at kai in his car seat so innocent and small I remember thinking “I’m sorry you’ll never get to meet your mom” ..”I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough for you” .. “I guess I won’t be there to watch you grow up”  

The reality of that set in and a sadness so incredibly deep swept over me. A gigantic wave of pain flooded my heart. I was then wheeled away to the CT scan where two neurologist poked me with needles on both arms and legs. Still nothing from my left side  it was completely lifeless. At this point I guess I had reached an epiphany.  I remember thinking to myself  “ok, this might just be my time to go” all the fear in me subsided completely, I decided To just breathe, relax, and let it happen. If this was Gods plan than what can I do?

I guess that wasn’t his plan. It took 3 more days in the hospital a lot of therapy, crying, yelling, panic attacks, praying, magnesium sulfate drips, medication I don’t remember,  numerous ekg’s because my standing heart rate was 188 and higher (I couldn’t even walk without fainting) and a few MRI’S to come to the conclusion of 1) An Acute migraine 2) preeclampsia or 3) an adverse reaction to the blood pressure medication I had been given that made my blood pressure drop too suddenly. I was eventually discharged that Monday night. (The strength in my left side eventually came back over the course of a week and a half)

Those were the scariest 3 days of my life. When I got home from that hopsital stay I knew mentally something was really off . I would see kai and I felt like there was a huge wall between us. I couldn’t really recognize him or myself anymore. Those 3 days away from my newborn did so much damage. Damage I’m not even close to fixing yet.

So, at this point one week postpartum I had racked up an illness that lasted 9 months, a birth that left me scarred, and a scary terrible event that left me completely shattered.

This was the straw that broke the camels back.

The event that sent me into the abyss.

This is the moment PTSD came Rearing it’s ugly head into my life

My first night back home

where it all began 

anxiety, Depression, Hyperemesis gravidarum, Life, mental illness, motherhood, Parenting, postpartum, Uncategorized

Where it all began….

As my pregnancy progressed so did my emotions.. I journaled my whole pregnancy. A journal that ended up being thrown away because reading my entries left me so choked up.
My mental stability started to plummet at 3 months into my pregnancy I was riddled with anxiety…..and depression slowly followed.

For someone who has never suffered from these issues it came in hard and it cut really deep. Back then I didn’t understand what was happening or why I couldn’t just accept my new reality.

After my traumatic birth and postpartum complications things got even worse the outgoing, positive, happy woman I once was had vanished completely.

My head got filled with dark thoughts mainly about myself and the notion of not being able to handle life anymore and most importantly I couldn’t handle anymore pain.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was plagued by all the thoughts in my head. I was convinced that if I didn’t stay awake my baby would die of sids or something terrible was going to happen. I had nightmares that were so gruesome in nature I would wake up in panic and not be able to go back to bed in fear that the images would return. I felt completely crazy, alone, and confused.

Then, things started progressively getting worse so I reached out for help. My therapist. Who is a godsend diagnosed me with postpartum depression, complex ptsd, and generalized anxiety disorder.

This is my path to healing, to closure, and  to finding the meaning behind all of this. Lifting the dark clouds that hover over me so I am once again able to enjoy my life but most importantly enjoy my biggest blessing……..

My beautiful son.

This journey has been the hardest thing I have ever endured. It has gotten so very dark at times. But I made a promise to myself a long time ago.

I have to survive. So that my baby can know who I am. He deserves that much. So I can hear his first “I love you mommy” I deserve that. And for every mother that has had or has PPD so she knows she’s not alone. That I’m here to trace the darkness with her in hopes that we once again find the light.

This is for you Kai.

I love you so much it literally scares me.

& for my fellow mamas

I feel every ounce of pain. I’ve cried the same tears. I’ve suffered daily with those unnerving scary intrusive thoughts. I’ve yelled at all the wrong people. I’ve questioned why I even bother anymore. I’ve felt it ALL. We can do this, we have to do this. We deserve light..we deserve compassion..and we deserve love.

“So be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life”

-nayyirah waheed

A walk with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

anxiety, Depression, Hyperemesis gravidarum, Life, mental illness, motherhood, Parenting, postpartum, Uncategorized

Wait,

Before you read my story I want you to get a background on what I’m about to share with you. No, sometimes pregnancy is the worst thing to ever happen to a woman. Sometimes moms get sick, I mean really fucking sick.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum has robbed me of what was supposed to be the greatest chapter in my book. It was the thief in the night that came in and stayed robbing me and my baby for 9 months. The one that almost robbed us of our lives. The one that stole my mental stability. The thief that kept taking till until I was left weak and completely broken. (Mentally and physically)

Now, I’m just here to tell my tale.

It all started in December of 2015. I had felt really off and nauseous. I thought I was suffering from a never ending hangover. Low and behold on December 6 I peed on a cutesy little stick that read the words “way to go fertile murtle!!”    Yes, There was a little bundle on the way! 👶🏻

A week from the moment I found out I was pregnant I started having really strong food aversions. I remember going to my doctor at 6 weeks then at 8 complaining of how sick I was and how much vomiting had been going on. Even with just smelling certain things I’d vomit. Changing positions would make me vomit. EVERYTHING would make me vomit. I was told repeatedly I had a “virus” of some sort. This went on for 4 more weeks. At that point I couldn’t even hold down water. I was throwing up so much that I eventually just threw up my own blood. My throat burned, my stomach hurt, I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without my boyfriends assistance because every time I stood up I felt like collapsing. My showers had to be me sitting on the floor in tears because my legs couldn’t hold up the skeleton of a body I now had. When Week 12 rolled around I decided to change clinics. My first visit with my new Obstetrician was pretty long, he told me he thought I had a condition but was going to give it another week to see if I got any better on its own.

Did I forget to mention by this time I had racked up about 6 ER visits in just 2 months? I knew something was wrong, very wrong. The next week rolled around and I was officially diagnosed with Hyperemesis. To recap, I began my pregnancy roughly around 130 pounds. That day almost 4 months pregnant I weighed about 96 pounds. I looked like the corpse bride. Technically, my body had been malnourished those first few months and all the food I was able to keep down was going straight to my son. I felt like I was dying. Come to find out, you CAN actually die from Hyperemesis and 1 in 3 babies pass away from it depending on severity. The diagnose hit me like a ton of bricks. This was after all my first pregnancy and this is how it was going to play out?!

My OB saved our lives. The next few weeks were me on bed rest and a lovely nurse that came and gave me IV fluids every 3 days. Ultrasounds about every two weeks to make sure my baby was ok. I was on numerous nausea medications and I slowly became an empty hole of who I once was. There was no joy, no mommy glow, no happy plans of any sort. Just pain, isolation, and anger. All I resorted too was crying, yelling at God, bargaining with him, and praying extra hard that if push came to shove Kai would make it even if that meant not being able to save me. I lost my job. My ability to go to school. The happiness any new mom deserves.

Hyperemesis took it all from me.

My pregnancy came to an end and birth rocked my world. Not in a “oh my god I can’t believe I did that” but in a “holy shit, I almost died” kinda way. The theory I hold in my head as to why I went into a shock is:

1. I had NO strength

2. 25 hours of labor and all the medical interventions was way too much for my fragile state and body

3. You can’t live in starvation mode and be expected to labor and push out a human with 0 reserves. (It’s like running a marathon after not eating for months)

I still had a series of terrifying complications even after I gave birth to my son. I blame HG for that too.

This illness robbed me of my ideal birth it left me with an emotional wound so deep I’m still trying to recover from it 8 months later but I won’t let it win. I vow to always talk about it and make sure people know how to treat any woman with this awful illness. HG warrior moms are nothing short of AMAZING. I have fought the hardest fight in my life and now I have to heal from the after shocks it has left me with. Including ptsd and a non existent appetite.

but….in the end I also thank HG for my beautiful intelligent baby boy and for the bad ass woman I know I am going to be once it’s all said and done.

(4 months pregnant)

 

My HG baby 💚💚

To all my hg mommas:

You are a rockstar & even on days when you feel you can’t go on.. you can and you will! I know the pain.. I know the resentment .. I know how weak and misunderstood you feel. Please remember you are stronger than you think. & most importantly remember that I love you and I am here for you.

#hyperemesisgravidarumsurvivor