Denial Pt. 2 Motherhood

When Angel was born it changed everything. I thought I was ready for her since I had read every baby book I could get my hands on, but of course I wasn’t. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for being a mother. It’s not that the physical part was hard. That was the easy part. No, what was hard and still is, is the emotional part.

Her first week I tried to breastfeed, but had to give up when I started having muscle spasms in my legs. They were so bad that they would almost throw me out of my chair. So I had to get back on my medication. I knew I had to be on it, but that still didn’t stop me from feeling like I was a failure. I made Jake give her the first bottle because I couldn’t bare doing it myself.

Having to ask for help was very hard for me. I am a very hands on person. I felt like if I asked for help it would make me less of a mom. Of course I had to ask for help. Like when Angel got colic. The only thing that would help was Jake walking her around the house, bouncing her up and down and talking to her. I tried everything to calm her down but the rhythm of walking was what she wanted and needed. So everyday at 6p.m Jake would start the routine of walking her around and I would sit there berating myself on how I couldn’t give her what she needs when she needs it like someone who can walk is able too. It soon became apparent that when she would get hurt or upset the only thing that would calm her is someone walking her around.

The feeling of helplessness started to slowly disappear the older she got, with Jake’s help. He would work with me on finding easy ways to take care of Angel. We kept a bassinet by the bed that I could get her in and out of during the night, and during the day I used it to transport her around the house. I also had a baby sling I put her in when we left the house. Then, when she was to big for those, we used a belt to strap her to me as she sat in my lap. But with the helplessness disappearing it was replaced with something much worse. Possessiveness and anxiety.

I have always had anxiety in the car since my accident, but it got worse after Angel was born. I started having full-blown panic attacks if it was raining or snowing. Or if Jake was driving to fast, which was anything over 40mph. I also had anxiety that if I wasn’t there, Angel would get hurt. I think every mom has that fear but it kept me from being able to go on dates with Jake.

The possessiveness came in the form of me not wanting anyone taking the first milestones Angel went through in life. I’m not talking about her first words or her first steps. I mean yeah I wanted to be there for those, but I knew that there was a possibility that I might not be. I’m talking about someone giving her, her first food or taking her on her first trip to the park. Just random silly things. I didn’t want to miss out on anything new she went through. So that made it hard for me to let anyone watch her. I mean what if they gave her, her first cookie and I wasn’t there! I was pushing people away from me and driving Jake insane.

So when Angel was six months old we moved to Jake’s hometown to be closer to his parents and for better job opportunities. It was supposed to be a time for new beginnings, but my anxiety was at an all time high. That’s when I finally decided to get help.

After I got diagnosed with PPD ( postpartum depression) everything changed. I finally had the energy and willpower to get up and do things. I became more active and my stress and anxiety was finally manageable. I can let family members watch and enjoy Angel as well. But most important my relationship with Jake improved.

I finally realized that I had been in denial for four years. I could let myself grieve the life that I wanted, and appreciate the life I now have. I wanted to be a massage therapist, but instead I became a mentor, and stay at home mother. Who knows, maybe I will find a career later when Angel’s in school. But 2015 is a new year and I will make the most of it. I will live in the here and now and finally enjoy my life just the way it is. Imperfectly perfect.

Angel and Me

Angel and Me

Angel and Jake

Angel and Jake

Family Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Family Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

First Birthday

First Birthday

Annual Pumpkin patch trip

Annual Pumpkin patch trip

Denial Pt. 1

For three years after my accident I was in denial. I fooled myself into thinking I was ok. That I was happy. I’m in a wheelchair, but at least I’m alive right? I wasn’t crying constantly, or blaming God, so I can’t be depressed.

Sure I missed walking, and being able to feel. I missed going anywhere at anytime without having to worry about if I can get into the building. Most of all I missed being able to slow dance with my husband. Not that I’m any good at it.

I would stay in one spot reading all day long. I didn’t like talking to people on the phone or going outside. But I figured I was just lazy. I had nothing to do but read. I had nothing to talk about because I didn’t do anything. And I’ve never been an outdoors type person. Plus every time I got in the car I felt like I would wreck.

A few months after I returned home, Jake and a physical therapist talked me into going to vocational rehab. I needed to get stronger and pursue my goal of being a massage therapist. I had finished school a month before my accident and graduated after. I just needed to pass a test and get my licence.

I did get stronger and more independent. I was able to go to church more and I got baptized. I studied and I passed my test. I felt like something was finally going right. But when I would actually try to massage someone, I could never do it right. I couldn’t get close enough, and the table wouldn’t go down low enough for me to actually massage like I needed to. I became so frustrated that I gave up.

So I went back to how I was before rehab. I had nothing in life to drive or motivate me except one thing. I wanted to be a mother. Ever since I was little I have always wanted children. I told Jake when we got married that I wanted five kids.

So we tried. And tried. Every time the test came back negative I would be heartbroken. We tried for two years before I gave up. I knew we couldn’t afford fertility treatments or adoption yet, so I had to take my mind off of being a mother.

That’s when I decided to volunteer at Vanderbilt Hospital. I had two wonderful people come to me and talk about what life was like in a chair, and to answer any questions I had when I first got injured. So I wanted to do the same. I had everything set into motion. The first visit was a success, even though I was nervous. On the second visit though I got sick. I could barely make it out of a patients room. I figured it had to be the heat. It was the middle of summer and our cars air conditioning didn’t work. So I went home and laid in bed for the next few days. But I wasn’t getting any better.

That’s when Jake asked me if I needed to take a pregnancy test. I really didn’t want to because I didn’t want to go through another negative test, but I did it anyway. When it came back positive I couldn’t believe it. I made Jake go out and get another test before I could believe it.

I spent the next few days trying to find a obgyn. I had a maternal fetal doctor, but needed a obgyn to refer me. Finding one that wanted to take me as a patient was hard. When I found one though, the only open appointment was two weeks away. I was a nervous wreck. What if something was wrong with the baby? It took me two years to get pregnant, what if whatever kept me from getting pregnant kept me from keeping the baby?

Finally the day of the appointment. It was pretty much routine. I asked a bunch of questions. They took my blood pressure and my blood. Then the end of the appointment I asked if there was anyway I could get an ultrasound. I knew I wouldn’t be able to believe everything was ok until I saw the baby. Fortunately they was able to do one.

The first time I saw my baby on that screen my heart leapt. The baby was so tiny but we could hear the heart beat. We could also see two dots, but the doctor reassured me that the second one was a yoke sack.

The rest of my pregnancy was hard. I wasn’t able to continue volunteering because the morning sickness was horrible. I lost twenty lbs. those first few months. Then after it went away I became weak and dizzy very time I got into my chair. A couple of times I passed out.

The doctors did all kinds of test on me to find out what was causing it. They tested my heart and lungs but couldn’t find anything wrong. So they determined it was just a symptom of being pregnant.

The day we found out I was having a girl, Jake had to work. So I took our mothers with me. My mother and Jake wanted a boy while my mother in law and I wanted a girl. So when the ultrasound tech told us it was a girl I had to call Jake to pick on him.

That night was also the first time I felt my daughter move. I really was worried that I wouldn’t be able to feel her moving, which I shouldn’t have been. The rest of the pregnancy she stayed lodged up in my ribs, kicking and punching them. Which really hurt! My ribs where still sore from where I had broken them in my accident. But I loved every minute of it.

When I became 34 weeks pregnant I started having contractions. They wanted me to last until I was 39 weeks pregnant but I knew I couldn’t. On top of the contractions, I was passing out more and more. I was afraid I wouldn’t even be able to make it into the car to get to the hospital, which was two hours away. The doctor finally agreed to induce me at 37 weeks.

The night before I was admitted into the hospital I could barely sleep. I was so nervous and scared. My mind would constantly go over everything that could go wrong. So when it was time to leave that morning I was an emotional wreck. I snapped at Jake about anything. It didn’t help that it was raining and I am terrified of driving in the rain. So on the way there I tried to keep myself occupied with my phone. Anything to not have to look at the road and other cars.

So we get there and I finally get some sleep after they hooked me up to the pitocin and monitors. I wanted to be able to have my daughter vaginally but during a contraction my daughters heat rate dropped a little and so we decided on a c section just to be safe.

When they took me back into the O.R my arm was hurting from the I.V. As they prepped me for surgery Jake got to come in and be with me. He was sitting by my head as we heard the first cry of our beautiful daughter. As they handed her to him we both were crying. After, I made Jake go with them as they took her to get checked out. That’s when the pain in my arm became to much. They decided to knock me out until they where done.

I came too at the end and they took me back to my room. There I finally got to hold my baby girl. At that moment my life changed and it was the best moment of my life.

Graduation Day

Graduation Day

My Baptism

My Baptism

The first time I saw my baby

The first time I saw my baby

The moment we found out she's a girl

The moment we found out she’s a girl

My big belly

My big belly

Getting ready for the csection

Getting ready for the csection

Best Moment of my Life

Best Moment of my Life