Featured

Autumndaize.

Where it started.

Advertisements

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or 

autumn daize part 1. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

post

A little about me-I am the author after all. My name is Allyson, but most call me Ally, and this is my very first blog-go easy on me ūüėČ

I bet your all wondering about the blog name, so I’ll explain-which should help give away my reason for starting this blog. Autumn is my favorite season for numerous reasons.  To name a few, leaf peeping, crisp air, pumpkins, Halloween, apple picking, my birthday, and when I conceived my beautiful son Jayden. Basically it’s the best season ever,  but I’m a bit bias.

The daize part, well daze was taken so I added the I, but otherwise daize (or daze for all you grammar police) is the perfect description of what my life has been the last 3 years. Hence the name of this blog. So much has happened that I figured it best to put words to paper-well internet paper to be exact. Hopefully my story, which is still being written,  will inspire, make you laugh, or just keep you from boredom.

Succumbing to the intense need to settle down and be a real adult, almost three years ago I started house hunting. In total the process took four months. Shortly before signing the paperwork, my boyfriend of eight years proposed. Talk about hectic. The next year was a whirlwind between being my best friend of nine years’ maid of honor, settling in our home, and planning my own wedding. If I took away one thing from this time it was to take time to enjoy your surroundings; the planning, relationships you build, the big day, everything.  It went by too fast.

Almost a year after I tied the knot, Jayden came along. I literally am just starting to breathe. Despite a terrible high risk pregnancy and a traumatic delivery,  in addition to bad PPD, three months have passed and I literally couldn’t be happier. Word of advice to expectant mommies-do not commit to a new job/promotion upon leave ending. Luckily I’m finally settling in but coming back from leave is hard enough, coming back from leave to a new job is almost impossible. I literally felt like I was trying to run up hill with 20 pound weights; I was so physically drained from training and so mentally overtired that I crashed hard.

I finally feel like I’m in a good spot with personal and professional life. My takeaway from my experiences of a new working mom are simple; Jayden won’t love me any less for supporting him. If anything he’ll love me more. I’m a badass supermom, and I’m living with no regrets.

Stay tuned.

Let It Be.

First, let me start this post off by stating that I am not writing this looking for pity.

My blog is my “safe” haven.

My go – to for healing, stress relief, and to help others who may be in similar situations as myself.

It has helped not only myself in times of need, but others who can relate and sometimes need a pick-me-up.

I am writing this because I am human, and I am feeling weak.

I am writing it as a way for me to vent, whether it is read or not read.

I am writing it to cope.

I am writing it because I am struggling right now, and writing helps to lift me up and feel OK.

I have always loved the Beatles, but during my recent struggles I have fallen even more in love with these ever so relatable verses; “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me – speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be”.

I find myself whispering “let it be” often these days, especially after an event that has resulted in me struggling. I try to move on. I try to change my perception. I try so hard to “let it be” and trick my mind into thinking about something else.

Sometimes it works, but recently most of the time it doesn’t.

2018 has not been kind to me.

Let me start from the beginning, for those whom don’t know me well. We will start in 2016, as one event seems to lead to another, which leads to another-so to get the full picture, you will need some background. It is my hope that with my struggles and how I handled and am currently handling them, someone else can relate and maybe my words can ease their struggling too.

April 2016. Flood of emotions this month. Was set to get married in May.¬†The whole wedding planning process, as it is for many women, was brutal. I was tired, stressed, and anxious for it to be over. I am sure many of you can relate. Sure, it was fun in the beginning when it was “new”. But I was done. I was fed up, and¬†just wanted it to be over. Throughout the month I became increasingly emotional. Almost like I was hormonal from a period. Yet, I wasn’t on my period, so these emotions made me more upset since I had nothing to blame. I went to¬†my primary care doctor, whom I LOVE, and she ran some tests, just to make sure it was just the wedding causing these emotional issues and not an underlying medical issue. Figures that nothing in life can be THAT simple. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a severe vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency. It was so severe that I needed injections and prescription D3. I had never had these issues before-but I didn’t even question it. The doctor told me the symptoms can¬†range from fatigue and muscle weakness to emotional instability.¬†I felt better that I KNEW why I was feeling so crummy, and it wasn’t just the wedding. I finished my wedding planning, started meds, and then started to feel better!

Fast forward to June 2016. I was finally married to my best friend and we were so happy and relieved that the planning was over! Like many, we decided that¬†we wanted to start a family right after the wedding, so we began the TTC journey! Month after month passed of negative pregnancy tests. I became emotional, though I knew that many many women suffer with infertility and try for so much longer than I did. I felt guilty for feeling this way¬†and in August, gave myself a pep talk. I told myself that it can take up to a year and that I just needed to relax and enjoy the process. So I did just that. My deficiency levels were stable, I was eating well, so all that was left was to just relax and let¬†whatever was going to happen, happen (no matter how true that statement is, I hate it!). September rolled around and we could barely baby dance. I had a work trip so time was limited. We did what we could and off I went on my trip, where I indulged in some wine and relaxed even more! When I came home, 2 days after my birthday, I found out¬†I was pregnant. I¬†was ecstatic. That feeling slipped away soon after I found out, however. See, I am a constant worrier, and was POAS every day for extra confirmation everything was ok. I tried during this time to “let it be” and be happy with being pregnant. I tried to tell myself that many women do not conceive as fast as I did (4 months)¬†so I needed to relax and be grateful. But nothing helped my anxiety. I was¬†constantly in the bathroom checking for blood, even though I had never miscarried. Which is¬†ironic in retrospect because as most know I did miscarry¬†in April of 2018 and I did the same silly checking for blood-which was clearly a waste of time because if it was going to happen it was going to happen and I would have¬†never been able to prevent it.

As I neared the 2nd trimester I began to feel myself get excited for the baby. I felt less anxious as more time went on. Then, from 13 weeks on, everything went downhill. I encountered numerous issues during pregnancy and eventually became high risk. As many know, I also had a very traumatic birth and  recovery.

June 2017. My baby was doing well despite the issues he had during and after pregnancy. But I started to feel “off”. I was emotional, but disconnected and distant. I felt sad and angry and guilty all at once. I felt like I did not love my baby like I should, but then a minute later felt a love I almost couldn’t contain. It was confusing to say the least. I was anxious about going back to work. I felt that these feelings were normal from what everyone told me, as my hormones were still regulating. But I still had this gut feeling like something else was wrong. It was then that I¬†was officially diagnosed with PPA and PPD. I was immediately put on meds and began weekly therapy (as opposed to my normal bi weekly scheduled sessions).

I began to feel better with the medication and therapy combined. I started to feel like myself again. I had gone back to work at this point and was really starting to feel more settled and ok with being a full time working mother. I felt more connected to those that I had previously felt distant from prior to being diagnosed. I felt well enough to start this blog, which was a huge step for someone whom has NEVER had one or written for one.

November 2017. Bad decisions – but the best intentions. The biggest mistake of my life at the time was inviting family to move in with us. At first, it was nice. I felt compelled to help my husbands nephews girlfriend, who was a recovering addict and had two small kids. I took her to her meetings, helped write her resume, got her involved with the local recovery center. I gave her advice, I let her use my car-and sold it to her eventually for like 300 bucks. I helped her with the kids. I felt a deep need to help her become better. Almost like when you find a scared lost animal. I felt compelled to help her and show her I cared. As time went on I started to notice that I was becoming increasingly resentful toward her and my husbands nephew. See, we had given them a “list” of things we wanted them to accomplish and in turn they could stay until March. They had to give us money for utilities. They had to save money-which I opened an account for them to do so and always deposited the money so they wouldn’t spend it. They had to stay clean. They had to help around the house. And the girlfriend had to get a job. As we neared the new year, I started to realize that they didn’t want to change-¬†and that you cant help someone change if THEY don’t want to change. We tried talking to them. They said they would improve. But things only got worse and my anger and resentment grew. Things ended pretty badly in March of 2018, when they were required to move out (which they’d known about for months!)-but I came home to a house full of their items-and their bedroom was¬†a disgusting disaster. What did the girlfriend do ALL DAY LONG? She should have been packed by¬†now and started to move out. Their move out date was the first of the month, and I’d be damned if they were going to stay any longer. So-whether voluntarily or not-out they went-and lets just say we are no longer on speaking terms and I want nothing to do with them. I feel terrible for their children, and hope one day that they truly do change for the better, but I wont hold my breath. Sure, this event in my life taught me a lot about decisions and family, but it also caused marital stress and my own well being to be jeopardized.

December 2017. Jayden had been in and out of doctors offices at this point for months. He was always ill, it seemed, with something. His immune system, like most babies, was weak. But my gut was telling me different. We were referred to a pulmonologist (whom I LOVE), where he was diagnosed with RAD and put on a daily inhaler. At this point we were told he would have an ever weaker immune system because of this medical issue. My poor baby had struggled so much in his short life, but as I would soon learn, he was a warrior and so very strong.

February 2018. It is literally the saddest thing to have your baby, especially first baby, hooked up to O2 and machines. It is so sad watching him wail because the nurses couldn’t get blood from a vein, so they¬†had to try a finger then a foot. It is heartbreaking to see him get an IV-repeatedly. I had seen enough with him in the NICU and wanted him to be healthy and like a normal baby. But my son became a pin cushion. From February until today, he has been seen by multiple specialists. He has had 5 ear infections in 2.5 months. He has been hospitalized for the Flu and RSV AT THE SAME TIME. He has had 106.4 degree fever that scared the ever loving shit out of me. We are 3,000$ in medical debt because my little boy is always so sick. Just yesterday I brought him to speech therapy and he vomited as I was pulling into the lot. He cant maintain weight because of the vomiting, and has been referred to OT and PT for a list or various other issues. He wakes up in the middle of the night choking and coughing, so we are terrified for him to leave our side. But through it all he is strong. He¬†is almost always happy. ¬†And don’t even get me started on his flirtation with nurses – he is quite the charmer. He has taught me so much about pain, love, struggle, and strength. Imagine that, a 1 year old teaching his parents when normally it is the other way around. I cant imagine going through what he has gone through and continues to go through.¬†One day I hope to be as strong as he is.

March 2018. I had been seeing a diabetes doctor because the GD had turned into actual diabetes. I was one of the unfortunate moms to keep good ole diabetes around after pregnancy. My sugars were not lowering with weight loss and I hadn’t been ovulating for 7 months, which was upsetting as we were TTC #2. Non ovulation, as I found out,¬†can be caused by insulin resistance. The decision was made by my team of doctors to start me on Metformin. I started it right at the start of the month. 2 weeks on it, I ovulated. 2 weeks after that-BAM-pregnant! I assumed the Metformin helped lower my sugars which resulted in ovulation. But per my doctors, we cannot confirm or deny. This point will be important for a event in my life later on in the post.

As most know from my miscarriage series, I was much more anxious this time around, and subconsciously I truly believe I knew something was wrong and that was why I was so stressed out.

April 16th, 2018. The worst day of 2018 so far. Loosing my 2nd pregnancy. I wont get into too much detail as most have read or can choose to read my miscarriage posts. What I will say is I learned to true meaning of loss. I learned how it feels¬†to have¬†your best¬†dreams ripped out from under you. I¬†felt empty inside, like I was a shell.¬†Physically, it wasn’t so bad-the recovery that is. Emotionally though, I am still dealing with the emptiness. I see pregnancy announcements or pregnant friends and feel a surge of jealousy, constantly wondering why that couldn’t be me. I try to be happy for these friends, but all I feel is sad for myself.

May 2018. My sons medical complexities at this time hit an all time high. He began more testing and saw more specialists. His weight was unstable. He was always sick and had hives 24-7 with no known cause. I began to take more time off of work. Our pediatrician even asked if I would consider taking an intermittent medical leave. I found myself late for every appointment because I was trying to squeeze it all in; work, appointments, stuff with the house. At this time we decided to list our house for sale so we could buy our forever home. Terrible timing, I know. But I figured it would help distract me from my emotional state. If anything, the issues with selling our home have done the opposite and I am more stressed now than ever. Who knew selling a house could be so difficult? I sure as hell didn’t. This month my son also turned one. It was a sad and happy day for me. Sad because my baby was growing to quick, but happy because, well he was growing. Confusing, I know. I was excited for what was to come for him. Walking next? maybe words? It was just so exciting, scary, and sad all at the same time!

June 3rd-4th, 2018. I had planned to visit my Nana this day. I visited her often, both with and without my mom. I used to joke that¬†she liked when I came so she could see Jayden, but never so she could see me. He lit up her life. Her smile when she held him was heartwarming. She was in her late 80s, but still holding onto life strong, as stubborn and sassy as ever. She loved games, and though the running joke was that she cheated sometimes, she was always damn good at them, cheating or not. I grew up visiting her often for family holidays, sleepovers, and vacations. After my fathers parents died, she was all I had, and when she moved to NH a couple of years ago I made every effort I could to see her. I visited on average 2-4 times a month. We enjoyed lunches together, activities at her assisted living home, play time with Jayden, mothers days, etc. It was always so fun to hear about her latest “gossip” of the facility. And she loved hearing about my life. So, when I was driving to see her as planned with my mother that Sunday afternoon, the 3rd of June, I expected the same thing I normally do. A smile when she saw Jayden. The humor I found when she called him “her baby”. Maybe lunch or a card game. What I didn’t expect was to hear that she was rushed to the hospital. As I drove to see her at the hospital I was just so confused. My mom made it sound serious, but how could it be? She has been fine for the most part. When I arrived at the ER we couldn’t see her. My hope was that I could bring Jayden in to see her before she was moved to the ICU, since babies cannot go there. Maybe he could help her feel better. But that never happened.

Nana lasted overnight, but was touch and go. My mom told me they had hope to treat the double pneumonia and maybe her kidney function would get better. As Monday came, that hope dwindled, and by 5pm, any family that could make it was bedside in her room. At this point she was in a medical coma, but I know she could sense and hear us. I came in with Rob around 6, and it was then that I was told that the decision was made to take her off of the machines. While her death was peaceful, surrounded by love, it was one of the most difficult things I have been though, and I am heartbroken for my mom. She passed within minutes, which made it even more clear that it was time. A good friend told me that the machines were not life saving, they were only¬†keeping her alive. that gave me some comfort that she was ready – I have never heard a truer statement. The services and memorial lunch were amazing. The weather was beautiful and the memories flowed like the tears that rolled down everyone’s cheeks. It was hard to accept, loosing her so suddenly, but I am so grateful for the time we had together, the time she spent with Jayden, the memories we made, and the 100’s of pictures I have of her, especially loving on “her baby”.

June 6th 2018. Dogs are truly best friends to their humans. When I woke up the morning of the 6th, I was motivated to go to work and push my sadness of my Nana’s passing away for a while. Around 10am I called our vet, to try and get my pup in sooner than his appointment the 22nd. He had been acting increasingly “off”-weak, tired, uncoordinated. Not to mention the vomiting and red in the corners of his eyes. I got in right away and went as fast as legally possible from Needham to Manchester¬†to pick him and bring him to Londonderry. My dad met us there. He helped us raise him, so his support was appreciated.

We were brought into a room that appeared to be the “death” room. I say that because it was full of things for pets that would make their last moments on earth amazing; a comfy bed, cookies, plants, etc. My dad tried to prepare me for the worst. I didn’t want to listen. He stated he believed our pup had cancer and it didn’t look¬†good. I responded that he didn’t know that was the case and changed the subject.

We were moved to an exam room, and with a doctor whom myself and my dad knew well from our other pets. She was kind and calm. That helped. She looked at his eyes after getting his weight and told me it was blood. My heart sank. I asked what caused that. She responded that it appear he was bleeding internally, and that his eyes hemorrhaged because of it. I felt guilt.¬†How could I not know this was happening? I have had this dog for 10 years! I heard her say that it likely is a spleen tumor, and she could run an ultrasound to confirm. 2 minutes later she confirmed that she believed there was a large mass on his spleen and that at his age and with his heart troubles, it was unlikely that he would be a candidate for surgery. I was devastated. I felt myself tear up. I called Rob and he was seemingly in denial. We went back in forth, the three of us (myself, Rob and my dad). Could he get another year? I was terrified to come home to a dead dog. We decided to do an X-ray to confirm extent of the tumor and thus make the decision based on that. The result were not good. Rob rushed to us from work. There was cancer everywhere. Lungs, spleen, everywhere. There was no coming back from this. The chances of him lasting much longer were very little, so we made the decision to put him to sleep. Rob and my dad stayed with him as he passed. I cuddled him and gave him treats and loved on him and left. I couldn’t bare to watch someone else I loved¬†die this week. I felt sad but angry leaving him. I didn’t think it was his time. On my drive home I was pretty much numb. Cried out. Unable to feel anything. Did I deserve these misfortunes? Why was this happening to me? My stages of grief seemed all screwed up. I couldn’t stick to one emotion.¬†But I didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep and forget it all.

June 11th, 2018. A new week. A better week. Or so I thought. House troubles continued, combined with more issues and specialist referrals for my son and more medical issues that arose with me that are preventing me from conceiving baby #2. Earlier this week I felt like my world was crashing. I felt suffocated by bad news. I felt mad at God for allowing 2018 so suck so bad. I thought 2016-2017 had its struggles, but 2018 was in a league of its own.

Which brings us to today, June 15th.

I am feeling oddly at peace today, having cried as much as my body would allow yesterday and the day before.

This is one of the few days lately where I am feeling able to “let it be” and move on from the worst 8 months I have had in a long time.

I am feeling positive. Not just thinking it, but for once in a long time I am physically feeling an emotion OTHER THAN sadness and pain.

I am feeling confident that mine and my sons medical issues are being handled by the best of the best and we will both be feeling better soon. We have both been through the ringer, but every hurdle we pass makes us stronger.

I am feeling OK about my decision to let family live with us. We knew the risks. We did what we could and failed, lesson learned. I am feeling a closure on this specific struggle that I no longer felt before. I am also sure it has something to do with a comment the girlfriend made to me when we changed the locks; ” your not even a good wife-you cant even cook for your husband”. Those words burned me. See, she doesn’t know our dynamic. She doesn’t know I bust my ass taking Jayden to all his apts., handling the financials, and cleaning the house and that Rob is in charge of the cooking. She also doesn’t know that I proved her ungrateful little ass wrong. Not only do I cook now, but I cook damn well.¬†I needed to prove to myself she was wrong, and I did. So this whole unfortunate event I am “letting be” and putting behind me. All adventures, good or bad, teach us valuable lessons with which we take through life and can pass on to our children. This was just one of those lessons.

I feel content with the fact that I have one beautiful baby, and once my fertility issues are resolved I will have another. I still feel sad about loosing #2, but God needed him or her more than I did. I still feel a pang of jealousy seeing friends pregnant or seeing pregnancy announcements, but I am trying my best to be happy for these friends and “let it be”. I am not a fan of the “whatever is going to happen will happen clich√©”- that is hard to hear in my situation-although very true. What I will say is that¬†God has a plan for me, and anyone else struggling with this particular issue, and one day, hopefully soon,¬† those struggling to conceive will be blessed with another child.

I feel comfort in knowing my Nana had a long, beautiful life. I feel comfort knowing she died among those who loved her so much, and were there to help her pass peacefully. Though still hard to accept, I feel good knowing how many people loved her. I will continue to visit her best friend at the assisted living home. She too was devastated in Nana’s passing and I just know Nana would love to see her smile ear to ear when she gets to see Jayden. Death is an unfortunate event, but if I have learned anything from loss it is that with memories, we can continue to allow those passed to live on in our hearts and minds.

I feel comfort that my pup lived a great 10 years with me and he is no longer in pain. I still have his blanket, which I can still smell him on and weirdly that also provides comfort. I get sad sometimes, but I am so grateful we could be with him before he passed and get pictures with him and love on him. The memories I have of him will forever be with me, and one day I will see him again. Animals, like humans, hold a special place in our hearts, but with the memories created, you can always have them close to you.

I feel positive that one day soon, I will feel strong enough to completely “let it be” and let God guide me to the happiness I crave.

We all have struggles. Mine are different, but not any less important than yours.

We all feel pain. Yours may be for a different reason than mine, but it still exists among us like a dagger to our heart.

We all feel weak. We feel out of control. We feel anger. We feel resentment.

We feel all things humans should and do feel, because we are human and none of us are perfect or lead perfect lives.

But we can all eventually let the struggles that hinder us, be. We can move on. We can forget.

And the next struggles that we encounter will be easier to handle, because we are that much stronger.

So the next time your heart hurts – the next time your mind hurts-try to remember how loved you are.

How many people need you in their life.

Remember the memories that you hold within.

Remember that is ok to grieve. It is OK to vent, like I have. It is OK to be angry or sad.

Remember that you are not alone and that these feelings are OK.

Eventually you to will be able to “let it be” and move on-but allow yourself to feel in the moment.

After all, struggles may make us fall down momentarily, but getting back up again makes us stand that much taller; always remember that the struggles you feel today may be your strengths for tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration.

Sometimes writing comes best to me when im sitting in traffic at 5am.

Other times it comes during an especially busy day at work.

Still, other times it comes when all of my world is quiet. When I’m alone, no distractions, no problems, no fires to put out.

I must say, it is heavenly. It offers a rare opportunity for uninterrupted reflection.

I decided to go for a jog at 6am this morning, because, why not?

I haven’t told many but hubby and I started to try to conceive again. It took almost 8 months of disappointment and finally realizing that something wasnt right before we conceived and lost my last pregnancy.

I know, it isnt nearly as long as others try for. But when you want something so bad in life, length of time becomes insignificant. Whether trying for 3 months or 2 years, it is an emotional rollarcoaster.

Every negative test becomes another month trying. Every random pregnancy announcement becomes so painful, even if your so happy for that person.

So once I miscarried, my disappointment became that much worse. I had to unfollow friends. I even deleted social media for a while.

I blamed my health for a long time. My insulin restitance was bad. I blamed my weight. I blamed a lot of things.

But the reason why it happened doesn’t matter anymore. The last 8 months doesn’t matter.

I’m alive. I’m in a successful career. I have a loving husband and adorable 1 year old. I have supportive friends and family.

It’s been 1 full cycle and now half of my second since losing the baby and emotionally and physically I feel ready.

Physically, when I lost the baby I promised myself and my next baby that my body would be ready. My sugars would be good. My weight would be ideal. So that’s what im doing.

I’ve lost 3 lbs since the miscarriage, and to some fitness fanatics that may not be enough fast enough. But this is my body. Therefore, it’s my choice how I loose, as long as it’s healthy.

My sugars are great, the best they have been since the miscarriage, due in large part to healthy eating.

I am still struggling with water intake and exercise, so this weekend I decided to start to walk/jog again. Afterall, if I lost 3 lbs without much exercise, imagine what exercise could do?!

What’s also helped me to reflect? The support fron my close friends and family.

Last week, instead of saying “if we conceive” (I’d been really negatve about getting pregnant again-always using the term “if”), I had said to one of my closest friends “when i conceive”. The monent I said it, she told me how proud she was of me. That’s all it took to push me further into positivity.

Yesterday, I was complaining to hubby (I have always been self conscious) that I looked so fat. His response? “No you don’t. Your beautiful”. Simple but powerful. I put on that dress and ROCKED IT.

Everyone faces struggles in life to varying degrees. That’s life.

Some struggles are small, and some are life altering.

I struggle with many things. My sons medical issues, my medical issues, currently buying/selling our house, work, trying to conceive, the list goes on. And on. And on.

But I am inspired. By the support I receive on a daily basis. By the desire to have another baby. By my career and achievements. By my wonderful son who remains happy throughout all if his hardships and medical poking and prodding this last year- a true reminder of incredible strength. By my jog this morning. By the beauty of silence and nature.

The list of what inspires me goes on and on. And today, as I walk – alone – and take in the beauty of the mountains that surround me, I reflect and feel content.

I may not have everything I want in life, but in this moment I have everything I could possibly need and more.

I have an infinite amount of love and light in my life.

What brings you out of the darkness and inspires you?

The best mothers day present.

Mothers day 2017.

Waking up, hubby and I felt so much more positive. We had two good draws, and overnight Jayden was off of machines and had his car seat test.

The nursing staff had made us these cute mothers day cards since our babies were in the NICU. It was heartwarming. However, reality that we may spend my first mothers day in the hospital was upsetting. I tried throughout the day to stay positive and keep my mind off of where we were. I held, cuddled, dressed, changed, and fed my sweet 4 lb 9 oz baby boy.

Afternoon rolled around and we got the news we had prayed so hard for-we were being discharged. After paperwork, meeting with the doctors, etc, we were finally on our way home.

On the way home, I thought about how my experience had changed me. Sure, we weren’t in the NICU for as long as some others. Sure, my son didn’t have life threatening complications. But a NICU mom is a NICU mom, no matter how long or what the situation. We all deal with the guilt of not being able to be with our children 247. The sadness we feel when we are away from them. The anxiety about leaving. My experience made me realize how precious life truly is.

Leaving the hospital, still feeling the emotional roller coaster caused by post partum hormones, I decided to live. I decided to not let my emotional state control me, and to allow myself to be excited for the future and raising my precious boy.

This past year, my life has continued to be a roller coaster. I battled PPA and PPD, I started a new job – farther away – that I knew nothing about, and had to leave my baby boy only 3 months after he was born. I watched my son get poked and prodded as a result of his medical complexities. I felt the sadness when he did not pass his NICU assessment and was scheduled for another this coming August. I felt the pressure of our increasing medical bill debt from hospital visits. I experienced frustration with my sons doctors. As a family, we dealt with so much heartbreak and emotional turmoil between Jayden’s health issues, my health issues, and then loosing Jayden’s little brother or sister that I am surprised we are still holding it together. But despite the challenges my family faced this year, we are stronger than ever.

My baby is fighter. My baby has taught me how to live, love, laugh, and let go in his short time on this earth. He has taught me that no matter the struggle, we are a family and we will stick it out together.

I will always remember every mothers day as the day we officially started our lives as a family of 3 in our home. It was the most amazing present I ever did receive ‚̧

The pain, physical and emotional.

18342456_10213317719406570_3944644034245600455_n.jpg

No matter if you have a C-section, planned or unplanned, or a vaginal birth-for most the aftermath is terrible physically and emotional for most.

I felt like I got hit by a bus. Or 10. Physically I was in pain, I was dizzy, I was hungry but couldn’t eat. I was wobbly, and crampy.

Emotionally, I was a mess-like most mothers after meeting a baby that lived inside them for so many months.

I felt like I had been robbed of time; my baby needed another 3-4 weeks inside.

I felt like I missed being pregnant, despite the complications I faced.

I felt sad. I felt upset about being sad. Why was I sad? My baby, who struggled inside and who scared me half to death, was alive and I was his momma.

None of these questions were ever answered, because to put it bluntly, hormones post partum are a bitch.

I didn’t expect to feel these things but they were normal, at least from what I was told.

I initially thought they took Jayden so I could have some time by myself after surgery to recover. I found out, however, that he was cold and bluish-and was very underweight with low blood sugar. He needed more care than the maternity team could offer. So he was taken to the NICU.

The first day wasn’t bad. I was excited to have to walk to a different floor. I was tired of laying in bed. I needed a change of scenery.

I went up and saw my sweet boy and cried. Damn hormones. The hardest thing I ever saw was him hooked up to IV, monitors, and under a heat lamp in the “spaceship” looking thing. It didn’t look real. Like he shouldn’t be there. He seemed fine to me when we were in the OR.

18619917_10100866198363657_5673873372700769342_n

I soon learned that his low blood sugar was common for GD babies, and that he had stopped growing the way he should in utero, thus causing him to be so underweight. I blamed myself. My body.

He was instantly put on formula due to weight issues, and though I tried, he wouldn’t latch.

Days passed and his blood sugar numbers would stabilize, then plummet. We were told he wouldn’t leave until he had 3 good draws.

Emotionally I was at my breaking point. It got harder to leave him and go to maternity.

Thankfully the nurses let me stay at the hospital with him night and day, and even gave us a room at one point in the NICU.

Compared to some other NICU cases, his seemed much less severe. It wasn’t that he wasn’t 100% healthy that upset me the most-I knew he was getting there. It was day after day not being able to bring him home. I was heartbroken every time I had to leave him.

Finally I met with his team of doctors and got the news I had been hoping for. He could be discharged with a couple more good blood sugar numbers.

We prayed and prayed each draw would be what they were looking for. I have never prayed so hard for something in my life. We were ready to start our life-as parents-at home with our baby.

18447092_10213329736466989_6166703034528952835_n

It is time.

“Your baby is in distress. He needs to come out.” Those are words I thought I would never hear. Slowly, as more time passed, my birth plan began to disintegrate.

I made it to L & D around 4pm that day-right from the doctor.

I was calmer than I thought I should be. I was almost too calm-like everything was normal and this was just a silly scare.

I got into a room and the nurse hooked me up. I made a couple of jokes after about 30 minutes like “hey, I can leave soon right?” and “I need to get my lunch ready for tomorrow for work”. My nurse laughed, as if this was funny. But it wasn’t really funny. It was my way of coping. Of convincing myself everything was fine.

After 2 hours, and not much info on my baby, the nurse came in and I asked again when she thought I would be leaving. I playfully joked, again, that I needed to get home to feed the animals. The nurse, maybe in an attempt to keep things calm, said “I am not sure your leaving honey, little man is being stubborn.”

At shift change, I jokingly asked when I was leaving again to my new nurse. That’s when I knew I wasn’t leaving without my baby being born. She simply said I would have to stay and the doctor would be in around 7pm to discuss what would happen next.

Prior to the him coming in, an ultrasound had been ordered for the doctor to see the baby’s size. In the ultrasound room I began to panic. I watched as the ultrasound tech prodded my baby and he seemed lifeless. He literally wouldn’t move at all. We tried different positions, pressure, everything. He barely moved an inch. When I asked the tech if something was wrong she quietly said “he is just not moving as much as I hoped, so we cant get a good measurement.” That was it. No further explanation. My calm demeanor was now gone at this point. I tried to think positive. Maybe he was REALLY stubborn. Maybe he had no room to move..after all-they had previously estimated him as being 8 lbs.

I was wheeled back to my room, only to see my parents and Rob had arrived. I updated them on what was going on and we all prayed and waited patiently for the doctor to arrive.

7:30 rolled around and finally the doctor came in. He looked somber. I knew the news he was about to deliver was not what I was looking for.

According to the doctor, my baby was in distress still and it was getting worse to the point where now he had fluid around his heart. They had no choice now but to induce me. “Your baby is in distress-he needs to come out” the doctor said, very calmly.

Hundreds of questions flooded my brain. Why was he in distress? He still had another 3-4 weeks to cook, this cant be right! I was confused, scared, and angry that my body was failing him. That he was unable to stay in.

I got induction medication around 8pm that night. It was a brutal 12 hours. No dilation. No progress whatsoever. The pain was unbearable. The panic was real and increasing. I was so uncomfortable and worried about the baby. I wasn’t ready.

In the 12th hour it was decided that the baby was under too much stress and it was time to intervene. I was given the news I had prayed I wouldn’t hear. I needed a C-section. My fear of this type of surgery was almost too much to bear. In addition, emotionally I was a mess. I wanted to give birth naturally. This wasn’t natural. This wasn’t “giving birth” (see my post on C-sections for more on this topic). I felt guilty my body had failed me and my unborn son. I was a nervous wreck and filled with anxiety of what was to come.

The procedure itself was quick. I didn’t feel any pain, and it lasted only about 45 minutes. Jayden did not scream right away but once the cord was unwrapped from him I heard the best noise in my life: my son cry for the first time.

I got a brief 1.5 minutes of holding him before he was whisked away and I was taken back to my room. He felt smaller than they had estimated. Wasn’t he supposed to be a big like I was told he was when he was inside?

In my room, once settled, my family could come in. I was grateful for the support and excited to hold my new son.

I held him for about 5 minutes before the nurse whisked him away again. I was confused to say the least. Why was he being taken from me? Was something wrong? Unfortunately my traumatic journey into becoming a mother didn’t just end when Jayden was born.

It was to continue and all my fears about not getting to take my baby home after a couple days became true.

One year ago today, where it all began.

A year ago today was just like any other day. I got up, got ready for work, and began my commute into Massachusetts. I was excited because I had a doctor’s appointment for my weekly stress test which I had been having twice a week. That meant that I got to hear the baby!

Hearing the baby on this specific day was pretty important to me because I had felt some lack of movement the last several days so I was anxious to get seen. I worked most of the day and then made the commute back to New Hampshire to get my stress test done.

I arrived at the doctors still feeling very anxious. I sat in the normal couch, with my usual nurse. By this time, because of being high risk and basically living at the doctors weekly, all of the nurses and doctors knew me by name. I had created relationships with many of them and looking back, I am so thankful to have had them during what was considered by me to be a very rough first pregnancy.

I got set up for the stress test and I was just telling the nurse how I had been feeling a lack of movement when all of a sudden I heard on the monitor my baby moving around inside. I breathed a sigh of relief and told myself that everything was fine. Having an anterior placenta there was many times where I didn’t feel the amount of movement that I thought I should have, but I had had so many appointments weekly that I always was able to breathe a sigh of relief when things turned out normal. Normally, the baby passed the stress tests with flying colors and after 20 minutes we were done.

On May 9th, 2017, 20 minutes into my weekly stress test, I was getting my mind prepared for what I would do when I got home. Laundry? Dishes? Maybe a nap?

25 minutes passed, and my nurse came in, looked at the paper coming out of the machine which monitored my sons heart rate, and left after writing something down.

I remember thinking that maybe they were busy, and the doctor who “releases” us after the test (once they see results) was tied up with a patient.

45 minutes had now passed. I was getting anxious, not understanding why my normally 20 minute long session was closing in on an hour.

Finally, at about 50 minutes the nurse and doctor came in. In my mind I was trying to tell myself everything was fine. But I knew. I knew there was something wrong. The doctor never actually comes in, and the sessions never lasted more than 20 minutes.

I prepared myself for the worst.

“Your baby¬†failed the NST-and seems to be having a difficult time. We are sending¬†you to L & D”

Those words, while frightening, were not AS bad¬†as I had thought. Maybe he is just being lazy, I thought. Or maybe the machine was off today. Calmly, I got up, got ready to leave, and headed to the hospital. I remember calling Rob and calmly saying the baby wasn’t cooperating and failed the NST-so I’m on my way to the hospital-but don’t worry-its standard procedure and everything is fine.

But everything wasn’t fine. I would soon learn that all my anxiety and nerves during pregnancy didn’t even compare to how I was about to feel once at the hospital.

Those two pink lines.

Clear as day I can remember the excitement when I saw those two pink lines on a pregnancy test in September of 2016.

We hadn’t been trying for very long, maybe 5 months at most. But it has felt like an eternity. I have had some medical issues going on but once those stabilized we finally got pregnant! We were Beyond excited. Feelings of nervousness and excitement clashed together on a daily basis. At first hubby didn’t believe it, but with the amount of tests I took, which could have filled¬†a full¬†Walgreens shelf, there was no way he could deny it.

First trimester went by with minimal issues. I had some morning sickness, and the frequent and common anxiety about something bad happening. At 8 weeks I saw my baby for the first time, and that solidified things for me more. I instantly felt in love with the idea of becoming a mother and dreamed about what it would be like when my sweet baby arrived.

My first scare during pregnancy presented itself around 13 weeks. I remember I was teaching a horseback riding lesson when I got the call from my doctor. He had said that he wanted to call me before the Thanksgiving break so that I didn’t panic. Figures, when he called me I panicked more. He gently told me that though my ultrasound for down syndrome was normal, my blood work was not and that I had an abnormally high risk for my baby having down syndrome.

Emotionally I knew that this was not the end of the world however I still was extremely upset and anxious not knowing what my future with my baby would be. To put it bluntly, I was in a panic. They told me that I would need a blood test but that I could find out the sex through the blood test if I wanted. That was a consolation prize, right? I did the blood test and unfortunately had to wait an additional 7 to 10 days to get the results. During that time I tried to stay as busy as possible, but fear of the unknown flooded my mind.

One day during the following¬†weekend, hubby and a friend were working on the renovations upstairs in our home and I was just hanging around the house. That’s when I got the call. I had imagined multiple different ways of surprising hubby with the sex but all of that disappeared when I heard the words “you’re down syndrome test came back normal, and you’re having a boy!”. I wasn’t necessarily excited that my child wasn’t high-risk¬†for Down syndrome. Like I said, either way I would have loved him. It was more of the not knowing that I was scared of. But knowing that he was a boy and that everything was okay definitely made me feel less anxious.

A couple weeks passed and I had to get an early gestational diabetes test due to being pre-diabetic. Once I passed that test I figured it was clear sailing for the rest of my pregnancy! Boy was I wrong.

Around 20 weeks my blood pressure started to spike. I was a little confused by this because throughout my whole pregnancy my blood pressure had been perfect, despite having hypertension when I was not pregnant and being on medication for it. The doctor told me that sometimes this is normal at the gestation I was at and they started me on blood pressure medication. Unfortunately my blood pressure kept rising so I ended up on a much higher dose of the medication than I had hoped for. My wish throughout the pregnancy was to stay medication free, but unfortunately that was not an option if my baby was to stay safe inside.

Around 27 weeks I got my second and final gestational diabetes test. This is when things changed for the worst for us. I unfortunately failed that test so they started me on a pregnancy meal plan that was low carb that would help decrease my blood sugar numbers. After 3 weeks on the low-carb diet, my numbers were actually rising so I ended up skipping the normal medication and going straight to insulin. I was heartbroken. So much for no medication right? I ended up having to give myself shots four times a day by the time I was 33 weeks. Having to take my blood sugar 4 times a day was also a little bit rough, my fingertips had seen better days.

Around this time I also started to have severe cramping and back pain. It was to the point where I thought I was in labor so I rushed all the way from work one day to the doctor. Turns out, as if my pregnancy wasn’t complicated enough, that I had kidney stones. Luckily those went away about a week later.

I began going to the doctor multiple times a week for stress tests due to my diabetes being uncontrolled and my blood pressure remaining high. There was talk of a C-section due to the babies estimated large size. There was talk of inducing early due to all the complications. But that was all talk, because as I was going to find out soon, my son had other plans

So much for my birth plan, huh?

Cute picture, because –¬†well, he was so cute inside!

17545187_10212872228789583_4783610735506830073_o

**See next post for more**