May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Which is something that hits me close to home. Years before I even had kids I struggled with anxiety. I knew my triggers and I learned how to control it. Of course it would sometimes get the best of me but I knew what to do to calm down.
Even after my first, I don’t feel like my anxiety took over. I would have the blues here and there and the constant worrying but everything I dealt with I felt was normal.
But then came my second. His birth was amazing compared to my first. With my first I had to be induced, had IV pain meds, and then eventually had an epidural. I was in labor for 28 hours and I pushed for 3 hours…it was a lot but I soon forgot everything the moment I met my baby girl. When I got pregnant again I knew I wanted my birth to be different. I prayed I would go into labor on my own and that I would do it without any meds. Well God answered both those prayers. My second labor and delivery was amazing. I won’t lie that it was in fact the most painful thing I have ever done. But it was exactly what I wanted.
However, that all changed two hours after I gave birth.
After I had my son I wasn’t feeling good and felt very weak. But I just figured I was beyond exhausted from not sleeping for over 24 hours. I was in newborn bliss holding my son and having skin to skin time when my nurse came to check on me and pressed on my stomach. She noticed right away something wasn’t right. I started to bleed too much. She changed out the pad but I filled it up with so much blood in a matter of minutes. She pressed on my uterus again and baseball size clots started coming out of me. Caleb was standing next to me the whole time this was happening and before I knew it a whole bunch of nurses filled the room and they handed Warren to Caleb and pushed him away. After they took Warren away everything got blurry. Everyone kept asking me if I felt okay or if I felt like I was going to pass out. I said I was fine. I lied. I felt horrible and was in and out of it but I was terrified. I was so scared to close my eyes because I was afraid I would never wake up. I just kept myself awake and focused on my sweet baby boy and my little family. I prayed and prayed that God would help me through so I would live. I was beyond terrified thinking I was losing my life. That my babies would grow up without me. My thoughts that ran through my mind, haunt me to this day.
I really can’t remember the time frame of anything at that point. I was given a medication to stop the bleeding but they told me it might not help so they prepped me for emergency surgery. Well nothing can explain what happened next expect that God took over and I stopped bleeding excessively. Finally things started to calm down but I was in the biggest daze and I don’t remember much after that. I know we had very close family and friends visit but Caleb called and texted people who wanted to come visit to tell them we were no longer feeling up to visitors because I needed time. We were allowed to go home the next day but I was put on strict bed rest for two weeks because I was at high risk for hemorrhaging again. A week postpartum I was feeling really good and barely bleeding so we ventured out to Target as a family of 4. I noticed while we were there I started to bleed, a lot. So we left and when we got home I noticed I was clotting again. I panicked. I called my doctor and they said to go lie down and if I fill two more pads in the next hour or so to go straight to the ER. I was terrified. I remember lying in my bed crying and overwhelmed. I felt like it was never going to stop. Thankfully it did.
After all of that I never felt quite right. My doctor diagnosed me with postpartum anxiety and depression. But it wasn’t until later that she said I’m most likely suffering from PTSD. Which I never thought something like that could happen. But it makes sense. I was completely traumatized and it’s going to take time to heal from that. When I was pregnant with Warren, one of my biggest fear was hemorrhaging for some reason, and when it happened it just sent me through a whole new wave of emotions. It is something that I know will get better but anytime anyone ever asks me if we are having another baby, my heart starts to race and I feel the anxiety building up. I will be honest I would absolutely love to have another baby but going through what I went through makes me not. My midwife said it might not happen again but it also could happen and if it did, it could be worse.
So for now I’m just focusing on my two sweet babies and doing everything I can to be the best mom for them.