The Day I Met My Son + the Story of My C-Section

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This week my son, Declan turned 2 MONTHS OLD! It seems like it was yesterday when I went into the hospital to meet this cutie. The experience was beautiful and traumatic all at the same time.

**WARNING: Don’t read if you have lots of anxiety and/or about to have a baby. My experience may terrify you a bit.**

I woke up Friday, June 7, 2019 ready to meet my little guy. I had severe anxiety looming over me because I was delivering him by c-section. Yes, doctors perform c-sections all of the time, but complications are always possible. I sobbed while I hugged my daughter (thinking this could be the last time I could see her). Again, my anxiety was pretty bad. At this point I assumed the worst could happen. I remember Aurora looking up at me saying, “Mommy, don’t cry. It’s going to be okay. Grownups come back.” This made me cry even more but I had to hide it. I gave her one last hug, got in the van with my mom and Steven and rode to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital they took several hours to get me ready for my c-section. All the while, I was fighting back tears and anxiety. I still remember the nurse telling me they would insert the spinal block and get me ready before Steven could come back to be with me. I was so scared to do it alone. I remember walking to the OR with shaky legs. As they opened the OR doors, I saw nurses placing surgical tools on a nearby tray. The nurse directed me to the edge of the table where I waited for the anesthesiologist.  I continued to cry and watch nurses prep the room for my doctor. I was so scared. All I wanted to do was run away but I knew there was no other way to have my little man. He was the only reason I pushed through the anxiety and pain.

It was about 10 minutes later when the anesthesiologist showed up to insert my spinal block. The spinal block hurt SO bad. I remember when I got an epidural with Aurora, I had already been laboring for 6 straight hours. Compared to labor pains the stick in the back was nothing. But this time — it was extremely painful. Thankfully, my OBGYN happen to be in the room when I began to get my spinal block. She held me as I curled up as tight as I could. Again, sobbing in her arms wishing this would go quickly.

After what felt like forever of gritting my teeth and clenching my body — the procedure was over. As I laid down on the table I could feel the spinal block numbing my body. Steven walked into the room as the nurses finished dropping me for the c-section. Steven was dressed from head-to toe in scrubs. I could still see his big smile through his face mask. I couldn’t wait to squeeze his hand. At this point I was still fighting back tears and anxiety. I didn’t know how this surgery was going to go, but all I wanted to do was meet my baby. As they continued to prepare my belly, my doctor did a pinch test. (It’s where they pinch you on your stomach to see if you are numb enough. If you’re not they wait a little longer. Sometimes they may even put you to sleep if your body does numb like it needs to).  I couldn’t feel the pain from the pinch but I could feel her pinching me. This is where I made a mistake. I thought I was numb enough to go on with the surgery. I was wrong.

I felt everything she did. From the cutting to the stretching. My anxiety was already sky high and this made it worse. I began to tell the anesthesiologist that I was in pain. When they finally got ready to pull Declan out — I was told there will be a lot of pushing and pulling. I may not be able to breathe well for a few seconds. I was told to breathe out of my mouth. Well it was about 45 seconds of that. One nurse was jabbing her elbow into my ribs and pushing down to get him to come out. It was hell trying to stay calm and breathe. By the time they got Declan out I was in so much pain. I could feel burning in my incision area. I even had to decline holding my son because I was so distraught.

 

 

Finally, after a few minutes of me complaining of pain — the anesthesiologist gave me medication that basically made me pass out. (As you can see in the RIGHT picture above). He told me I may not remember what happened here but at this point I didn’t care. Within seconds I was out. The remainder of the procedure I was in and out. I could still feel what they were doing but I was too tired to care. I remember squeezing Steven’s hand so tight. I could hear Steven talking to me as he held our baby boy. The funniest part — was finding out after surgery that I was squeezing my OBGYN’s butt with my other hand for about 20 minutes. I guess both of my hands thought they were squeezing Steven’s hand. Thankfully, my female OBGYN had a great sense of humor about it.

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Thinking back on that day, I can barely remember them wheeling me back to the recovery area and handing me Declan. I was still fighting consciousness while trying to breastfeed him. I had a lot of help from the lactation nurse and Steven. It took me a good hour or so to wake up enough to function.

After all of that was over — I finally got to enjoy my beautiful son while still dealing with the anxiety of my c-section. The next day when my doctor came by I told her that I felt everything during the surgery. She apologized profusely — agreeing that was a traumatic experience. Again, I only blame myself because I was the one who told her I was numb enough.

The crazy thing is — I thought my unplanned c-section with Aurora was worse until I had Declan. I’m so thankful that day people were praying for me. My experience makes me think of those moms who have been through worse c-sections than me. Despite being able to feel everything — my surgery went well. I had minimum blood loss and little scaring from my last c-section. My doctor even told me I could have a third child if I wanted to. (I’m still debating that one considering how bad this c-section was).

I’m thankful that I recovered a lot faster even though the procedure was pretty rough on me. I was so thankful that Declan was born healthy. He did have to get his blood sugar checked every hour the first night of his life because he was so big. (He weighed 9lbs 8ouces).

Sadly, my anxiety didn’t go away when I went home. It only got worse. I’ll be writing about my postpartum anxiety in another post soon.

Did you go through a traumatic c-section? What were ways you were able to get over it? Did you have other c-sections afterwards?

 

 

The Struggle is Real: What to Write?

I honestly don’t know how many people read my blog posts. It usually depends on the content. Ironically enough I get more views on a post when it’s about my struggles than posts where I am trying to encourage.

To be honest…I’ve struggled with what to write. I’ve started and stopped MANY posts but I feel like they’re not good enough. Do my posts even help? Why do people want to read about my struggles?

At this time in my life I am happy. Probably the happiest I’ve been in the last few years. I finally have my anxiety under control. I’ve found a purpose for my life and I’m starting to make the Midwest my home. So what do I write about?

Well…I could write about getting sick twice within the last month with colds. Or how my husband and I started to open our home to groups of people twice a month. My daughter is on the verge of walking without her scooter. My dogs keep running away. My husband and I are training to become foster parents. We’re also preparing the house and bedrooms for these teens to come stay. Oh, and I’m enjoying A LOT of tea these days. Earl Grey is my favorite, but I still drink my morning cup of coffee.

Life is busy and full of change. I see our lives transitioning into a different season. In a good way. We’re preparing our home, hearts and minds to help teen girls. I know my busy schedule now will look so relaxing once we start receiving kids in our home. So no worries there will soon be lots for me to write about. But for now — this post is random.

For those few who read my blog what would you like to read about more? Would you like for me to be more transparent with my posts? More posts about mommy tips? Healthy food recipes? What I’ve read lately in my Bible studies?

 

 

How My Nervous Breakdown Led Me to a Breakthrough

me“I would stay awake at night. Watching and listening for any indication of danger. I would watch the shadows on my ceiling. Contemplating how I would protect my family.”

It was like any other work day. My husband pulled into our driveway minutes before I needed to head out the door. I asked him about his day while I quickly packed my lunchbox. Moments later I was off to work. But this day wasn’t going to be like the rest.

For the last day I had been feeling an intense pressure in my head. As if I was hanging upside down. I went to my regular doctor a few days before, but had no answers for my symptoms.

When I got to work, I felt awful. The left side of my face and arm started going numb. I couldn’t breathe and I was scared. At first I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack.

I quickly told my boss what was going on. He had one of my coworkers drive me to the Emergency Room. For the next 4 hours I was at the hospital alone. Awaiting tests. They gave me Benadryl which made me pass out. Despite all the scans and blood work, they found nothing wrong. The doctors said I could have MS or an auto immune disease. That’s when they referred me to a Neurologist.

The next day I was struggling. I could still feel the medicine in my system. My mom called me when I really needed someone to talk to. We talked for several hours while Aurora napped. That’s when I learned she experienced the same thing after having my sister. It was discovered that she was struggling with severe stress and anxiety.

That’s when I started reading about symptoms caused by stress and anxiety. I started jotting down what made me stressed. I realized this didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual process that led to my breaking point.

Since Aurora was born, my anxiety steadily increased over the months. I work in the news business where every day is full of negative news. Someone was killed during a home invasion. A mother killed her kids. It seemed like every headline was describing death and hatred. Seriously, it’s my usual day. I began to turn those scenarios into “this could happen to my family.” I would stay awake at night. Watching and listening for any indication of danger. I would watch the shadows on my ceiling. Contemplating how I would protect my family. I was constantly in a “fight or flight” state of mind that was causing serious mental and physical issues.

I started relying on myself to take care of everyone. As a mom I have the instinct of protection. I feel like I need to constantly warn my husband of what could happen. I was putting all this responsibility on myself. Not on God.

“Since Aurora was born, my anxiety steadily increased over the months. I work in the news business where every day is full of negative news.”

I put too much pressure on myself as I juggled being a full-time wife, mom and employee. Not to mention the hundreds of things I needed to get done each day. I had no close friends near me to talk to. No family. Even though my husband does so much, I still felt alone and responsible to get everything done.

It was during that time I was far from God. I knew who he was. I knew what all he had done, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask him for help. That ER visit made me see I can’t do it alone.

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I am a very stubborn and determined person that struggles with perfectionism. Those things don’t mix well when you lack humility and faith.  I began to realize I NEEDED God in every part of my life.  More than I was allowing.

It’s been a few months now since my nervous breakdown. Am I all better? Nope. I struggle daily to maintain my stress and anxiety levels. Some days are better than others. I have to workout daily to help release the stress I hold inside. Some days I feel my stress and anxiety build. I usually have to stop and breathe. I start praying to God about it. Redirect my focus on something that makes me happy.

If you’re going through extreme stress and anxiety, I urge you to get help. Whether it’s from a friend, doctor, or spouse. Someone you trust that can listen to you. Also, when you identify the stress that’s when you will be able to tackle the problem. That’s why it’s good to have someone to talk to.

I can’t tell you how much better I feel. I have more good days than bad. I have this weight off my shoulders. I can finally breathe again. It doesn’t take me hours to go to sleep at night. I finally have given God all of those worries.

Honestly, if I didn’t experience a nervous breakdown, I think I would still be trying to do it all alone. It was a wakeup call. God showed me that no human can do it alone. No one can bare that much stuff.

A great story to read is 2 Kings 6:8-23. It’s during the time the king Aram was at war with Israel. Elisha shows great courage while the “servant of the man of God” struggled to see a good outcome.

“It was a wakeup call. God showed me that no human can do it alone. No one can bare that much stuff.”