Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

10 years ago, I met a brassy blond girl at a ballpark. She had a crass mouth and a nasty smoking habit. She was loud and obnoxious, a person that people literally moved away from when they saw her. She did not dress the part, talk the part, and certainly did not behave the part of what society deems “normal.”

Yet, I was drawn to her. I saw myself in her. The girl that no one wanted to be friends with, the outcast. I have a deep love for those who seem unlovable. I see through the facade of what someone presents. What I see is their heart. That deep desire to fit in yet the complete inability to do so.

Seeing a Bit of Jesus in Her

In my mind, I can close my eyes and I can see all the bright dots of Jesus all throughout her. I just knew when those dots connected, she would be an unstoppable force of nature for the Kingdom.

I fell in love with this girl, her children, her brother, and her parents. We were a tight-knit group of misfits. I was blessed to be able to lead her to Christ one spring day. After her acceptance of Christ, I gave her a hot pink Bible…her favorite color. She loved Jesus with all her heart.

Mental Illness

She also struggled with mental illness. Despite her love for Jesus, she had good days and bad days. What bonded us was that I, too, suffer from mental illness. I have clinical depression. She had onset bipolar disorder.

One thing I want you all to hear is that you can still love Jesus without abandon and still struggle with different types of mental illness. That does not mean you love Him less than someone who does not struggle.

How Did She Change My World?

She taught me how to accept those who were not “normal.”  Also, she taught me to walk towards the waves instead of away from them.  Live life without fear of abandonment and to hell what people thought of you.

Did I change her world?  I hope I did.  She made me a better person and I hope that I had some effect on her.  Her mom always said that I did.  I sure do love her children and now grandchildren.  We were good for each other, for the most part.

Does it Change the World to Stand in the Gap

Yes, it does the world when you brush and braid a friend’s hair for the last time? Also, when you begin painting her nails and toenails her favorite color? Does it change the world to wipe the ants off of her body while you are bathing her? What about closing her eyes for the last time?

Yes, it does change the world.  It changed for her children, her mother, and her brother.  It also changed me.  It showed me what the phrase “be Jesus with skin on” really means.  Sacrificial love and service for her and for her family.

Leigh Ann, you are loved, thought of, and missed every single day.

Related Posts

Save Me I am Drowning

Mourning a Loss a Year Later

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Dear LA,

I’m hosting a pity party this year on your behalf.  It is just now beginning and it won’t end until, I don’t know, Jesus returns.  I wanna love this time of year.  Basketball is in full swing and oh how you LOVED to watch your kids in sports.  So loud, you were so loud at the games.  God bless those children.

This month is B’s bday month, Father’s Day, my anniversary, and yet, it makes my heart heavy.  I wish things were different.  In the end, I wish it didn’t even happen.  Your children are healthy, yet struggling.  You are grandma times two!  I can’t even fathom you and me being grandmothers!  Seriously, how did that even happen?  We aren’t old enough.

It’s the Month

The month.  The month that changed me forever and a day.  That phone call, the screams, your children’s faces.  Your face.  Your eyes.  The smell of your freshly washed hair.  It was still damp when I took it down.  It had gotten so long.  I don’t remember where the hair tie went.  What did I do with it?  I don’t remember.

Honestly, that is now going to bug me.  Maybe I used it to tie up the little bit of hair that I snipped off to give to your mom, brother, and kids.  I don’t know.  Whoa, I just had to call a friend and check in because my mental status is not good right now.

Hair Tie

Honestly, I went to call your mom to ask her and it hit me.  She is gone too.  Your kids and going to only have each other, their uncle, and me.  In reality, I don’t even count.  I’m going to have to stop now.  I can’t finish.

Be at peace, my friend.  Dance with the angels.  Smile your smile.  Talk your loudest.  I miss you and you were loved.  Your life meant something and I’m sorry you lost sight of that for a moment.

XOXO

Related Posts

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Since You’ve Been Gone – Reality of Suicide on Family and Friends

Whatever it Takes, Do It

800.273.8255

Depression, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Stillness

I love the time of day when I can go upstairs and just be.  For the day, I am done.  I am done with school, cooking, cleaning, putting out fires, phone calls, texts, etc.  My stuff, a bottle of water, and coke come up the stairs with me.  I turn on all the fans, dim the lights, wash my face, and pile up in bed.  Yet, In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play.

For a bit, I am good.  I will scan all the things like email, Instagram, and such.  Facebook is a thing of the past.  I cannot stand the fakeness, passive-aggressive, political, crap that it is.  A “friend” can be a friend to your face but behind your back, they are a glorified 12-year-old living in the land of middle school.

That shit is for the birds.  I’m so much better than that.

Then, the stillness sets in.

The Silence

My life is SO loud.  I mean my son-in-law is LOUD.  Everyone is loud.  We have 21 chickens, 19 cats, a whiny dog, a granddaughter, and kids galore.  It is always something.  At night, though, other than the fans, it is silent.

That’s when the thoughts come in.  These are not good thoughts.  Normally, I watch the Detail Geek (car detailing guy from Canada) and talk to Donna.  We talk through several of his details and giggle so much.  Catch up on life, talk about our issues, and the issues of our children… all the things.

Since she passed away, in October last year, I have stopped watching him.  I get so emotional when I do.  Then, I go to pick up the phone and I realize she isn’t there.  All of the unresolved trauma and grief floods me.

Reality

When Donna’s daughter died, I did not process her death for a year.  Her death was so hard on me.  I have loved LA from the moment I met her until the moment we buried her.  Donna and I had always been close but our bond was unbreakable after LA died.

I remember the night that I called her.  Crying.  I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.  She could not understand me.  Finally, she said for me to stop and tell her 2 things that make me laugh when I think of her.

  1.  Bats
  2. Hair dye

Instantly

I stopped crying and replayed that story over and over in my head.  The darkness began to have a bit of light and the monster retreated for a moment back from where it came.  Donna is gone. Now, I have no one to tell that story too.

So again, the monster comes out to play in the stillness of the night.  When I am alone with my own thoughts and the depression begins to overwhelm me.

Bats. Hair dye.  Bats.  Hair dye.  Monsters go away because I do not want to play.

Related Posts

Girl, Get Your Fight Back

Depression Be Gone

Forgiveness is Hard Because the Hurt Mattered

Guest Blogger, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup:  Extended Stay

In Lockup: Extended Stay, I just completed a four-day stay in the hospital because of my mental health. I am not ashamed to say that’s why I was in the hospital. I needed help, and I can admit that now.

Things have been bad for me for basically a month, and I had nothing left to give. It started with me realizing that even though I have forgiven myself for my brother’s death, it didn’t make it any less painful like I was expecting. I thought that if I had forgiven myself then the hole in my heart wouldn’t feel as big.

Trauma Relived

On top of that, I have started remembering things from ten years ago and that just hasn’t worked out in my favor so far. I also had the anxiety of what to do with the information I was remembering. Do I report this even if it may ruin my family?

Do I report it even if I will have no biological family afterward? That decision was made for me, but now I’m dealing with the anxiety of wait to hear from the police. Every time the phone rings, it’s like my world stops. I start shaking, and I get really nauseous. I hate this feeling.

First Few Nights

My first few nights at the hospital were very lonely. I didn’t even start to make friends until the night before I left. I only knew those people for a short amount of time, but they made a huge impact on me. I can’t help but think about where they are in the world.
Did Katie and Michaela get out today? Did Jamie’s mom ever pick him from the hotel room? Did the other Katie get the Job she interviewed for right after she got out? Did the girl with super long hair throw a chair through the window? Where are they now? Are they doing okay?

Dawn, the Night Nurse

My night nurse made the biggest impact on me. Dawn deserves a raise because she doesn’t make enough money for what she does. From the moment I met her, she was nothing but caring. She answered any question I had. She got me food from the fridge when I was too anxious to do it myself. She treated me like I was her own child.
On my last night there, she shared something with me that she has never shared with anyone. I won’t say what it was because that’s not my story to share, but it made me believe that I can talk to the police. That I am strong enough to get through this.

I am Home Now

Now that I’m out, I feel like there’s this pressure that I have to be good now. Like I feel like I can’t be anxious or depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I am the best I have ever been, but it’s still not great. If that makes sense. The bar was literally on the floor before now. I feel like I now appreciate the people around me a little more now.
Looking back, I know I wouldn’t have made it through the past month without them. That’s not something I’ve been shy about either. I’m so grateful to Bart (you guys may know him as “Big Daddy”) and Brandi. They have completely changed my life. I love them with my whole heart and I could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.

Guest Blogger

This was written by one of my favorite people.  She is so precious to my soul.  I am so encouraged by the strength that it took for her to admit that there was something not quite right.  There have been so many days and nights that I have seen her struggle to just maintain.  The dam broke.  With the help of her medical provider, his nurse, and my son…she would have never had the strength to stand up for herself.  She would have never sought the help that she needed.

Since doing that, it was discovered that she has Serotonin Syndrome.  There are many symptoms that range from excessive sweating to goosebumps.  All of this is caused by an accumulation of serotonin.  Some, your body produces, some is caused by antidepressants.

Thankfully, she is on the right medication.  She was on too many SSRIs and now she has completely leveled out.  There is no shame in getting help.  Had she not gotten the help she needed, she would have never discovered the meds to help her were actually hurting her.

Related Posts:

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Resources that Can Help with Suicide Prevention

Since You’ve Been Gone – Reality of Suicide on Family and Friends

Guest Blogger, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

What is Normal

What is Normal

~What is normal and what is not normal?  My guest blogger tries to determine this for herself.~

What is Normal

I sit and I wait and I try to think about what I can do to make myself normal

Or at least more acceptable

I could hang out with some friends

Go watch some tv and sit and chat

 

But I have to make sure I stay on topics that wouldn’t make me lie to feel like I fit in

That I feel the way they do about everything

Or something more than others

So maybe not that

 

What Should I Do?

 

Maybe I could go on a date

Sign up for a dating app

Oh no that could be trouble

What if my friends find out I’m looking at

So no not that

 

Ok so I know what’s safe

Just go to bed and get some rest

But then when I go to bed my mind won’t shut off

And I’m stuck with the thoughts that im trying to ignore

 

When I get here

This is when it gets ugly

This is when the spiral goes down

This is when I try to hurt myself

Related Posts

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Resources that Can Help with Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

You are not Hidden

Rescue Lyric Slides (PPT, PRO, TXT) - Lauren Daigle | PraiseCharts

You are not Hidden

That phrase.  You are not Hidden.  It stirs in my soul.  There are days when I feel like He doesn’t see me.  He doesn’t care or that He doesn’t hear my prayers.  I am sure other people think that, but then I heard this song.  He does hear me.  When I am silently crying, alone, He hears me.  Then, He sends His army just for me.  He doesn’t send it to Antarctica or Timbuktu.  The army comes to me, wherever I might be.  Now, He may not answer me the way I want it answered, but He still hears me.  He still answers me.  Click on Lauren Daigle’s name and it will take you to the video.  Very powerful.

I have this song on my playlist.  Since I listen to it often, it is one that we all stop and focus on when the kids are doing their homework.  One day, as I was listening to this, I was all up in the Spirit.  I look over to my left and there Hunter was sitting.  His eyes closed, his hands up in the air, and he was singing along.  My heart almost exploded.

Rescue

~by Lauren Daigle

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
{You} are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
{I’ll} be your armor
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
I hear the whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear you whisper, you have nothing left
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
Oh, I will rescue you
Source: LyricFind

Important Numbers

National Suicide Hotline   800.273.8255

To Make It Easier!  988

Related Posts

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Mourning a Loss a Year Later

Save Me I am Drowning

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow.  The flow for the pain these people went through.  For the pain that their family and loved ones have gone through.  The lost time, confusion, hurt, and then that moment of pain…

Office Buddy

A man that I worked with was the life of the office.  We shared our office space and we had the most fun, hands down, of any other offices.  That is where he introduced me to his lovely ‘female friend’ and her son, C.  They were all so dang cute together.  We all loved hanging out and C had a bit of a crush on me.  He was like 8, so it was pretty sweet.  There was no surprise to hear that they were going to get married, soon after they met.  Then along came baby B!  Wow, what a transition.

My friend ended up getting another job, in another town (close by).  He wasn’t too far away and so he commuted.  His wife continued to work.  Both boys began school.  Life seemed to be good for them.  Until the moment when I got the phone call.

Screams

The screams of my friend’s wife still bounce around in my head from time to time.  I didn’t realize that my friend was struggling with mental illness because their family put on a very good show.  It turns out, he just couldn’t move forward and made a choice that was devastating for all of those who loved him.  I will never forget the look on her face when she was telling me what happened.  She was talking but she wasn’t present.   This is something you never get over and you always wonder what you could have done differently.  The pain does not cease with time.

All In the Family

Another family that is close to my heart.  Well, when I met this family, they were infections.  The dad was loud and in your face.  Mom was loud, loved to talk, and make friends. The kids were big.  Loud.  Boisterous.  Kids.  A unique blended family that seemed to figure out how to make it work.

Again, from the outside, life looked awesome.  Great job for him.  Great job for her.  Kids in college, school, military, money, nice house.  Then, you opened the door to this beautiful home and you see what is going on behind closed doors.

Silence, arguing, pain, grudges, fights, booze, meds, threats, screaming.  There was one person of stability in the house and he was an amazing person.  Sadly, the Lord called this person home. That’s when things started really falling apart. The marriage was dwindling, the kids were not doing what they needed to do.  Then prescription drugs and alcohol began to play a factor

Instability

When a parent is unstable and children witness or deal with suicidal attempts or threats, it alters their minds forever.  Sadly this is the case.  Due to undiagnosed medical conditions, the struggle has been to make the conscious effort to breathe in and out every day.  So, it is no surprise when one of her children followed her in her footsteps.  Generational curses can be broken!  Thankfully, everyone in this family is doing their best in taking the next right step.

2 Families, Same Story

Drugs, alcohol, abuse, feelings of unworthiness, depression plagued 2 boys.  One was a young boy, not even a teen.  The other was a young man with a brand new baby to love.  In my eyes, both of these boys were loved, but in their eyes, they were not worthy of love.  They were useless and people would be better off without them.  Knowing the people that saw what happened, that day, and ran to their rescue haunt me.  I cannot even imagine the sight of what they saw and the strength it took them to save these boys.  The thankfulness that these, now men, are still alive does not leave my mind.

Yet, they are still struggling with the same things they did when they were younger.  The boy of the story has no ability to work, drive, or do much of anything.  He is basically confined to one space.  How heartbreaking to wake up every day to the same thing day after day with no hope of getting out of that space.

The young man of the story is working, doing okay.  Raising children and trying to do life in the best way he knows how.  He copes with drugs and alcohol and still suffers from depression.  My hope is that boy these young men can see who they are in God’s eyes.  That they are loved beyond measure.

The Screams of a Mother

There is nothing quite like that phone call.  A mom who has given her life to raising her children in God’s light.  This mom loves her children and has made huge sacrifices for them.  She has made decisions that no parent should have to make.  Then, her young son does the unthinkable and succeeds.  It was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever heard.  All I could do was pray for peace.  Her voice…

My Sweet Friend

I met this sweet friend at a place that helped my son.  She had a kind smile and a loud laugh.  Shortly after we met and became friends, she was diagnosed with cancer.  She fought that battle and won.  We missed seeing her every week, but it was safer to be home and not get sick.  Treatments are hard on a body.

I was thrilled when I saw her walking towards me one day.  She had her bandana on her head and a smile on her face.  My son was so excited to see her, as well.  Again, this is a woman that I knew had some struggles but for the most part, she “seemed” happy.  Until she wasn’t.

Sigh…I just can’t even begin.  Articulate properly.  Precious human.  She is now at peace though missed terribly here.

Then There was Leigh Ann

My loud, firecracker, sailor-mouthed friend.  Fearless.  Brilliant.  Beautiful.  All of the stories I told have taken a piece of my heart.  Leigh Ann, however, has taken a chunk.  Again, the horror of hearing her mama and the words coming out of her mouth.  The useless feeling that washed over me as I held her sweet son while he sobbed.  Her daughter.  Brother.  Even her dog was mourning.

I have written about her before and I will not go into detail about her life or death in this post.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.  Honestly, there is not a night that goes by when I close my eyes and I can see her staring back at me.  Her death was one of the most painful experiences of my life.  I am not okay.

Parting Thoughts

You, this whole month, I have dedicated to awareness and suicide prevention.  I have posted myths and facts on my Facebook page, as well.  Honestly, I have no idea how many people even read what I write but it is healing for me.  I heard, not long ago, this statement.  If a person were in their right mind, at that moment, they would never follow through with suicide.  I say this because if they were in their right mind, they would think about the NEXT moment.  For instance, who would find them?  How would they live in or drive by the place that it occurred?  What about their children, if they have them, what would they grow up knowing?

So many questions and so few answers.

Moments are fleeting but the Truth of the Lord remains.  Your life is worth more than all the rubies and gold in heaven.  He created you in the image of His Son.  Jesus loves you without abandon and you have to do nothing to earn it.  There is help and there is hope.  You are loved.  Your life is worth living.  Please think about that next moment, after you imagine your “success.”  Think about the other person who will find you and have to tell your loved ones.

Seek help.  Medication.  Therapy.  Self-care.

Some of my friends survived and too many were lost to suicide.  I have put off writing this and posting this for a month and all day today.  It is so hard and I know that I will have bad dreams tonight.  I am always trying to save everyone.  You can save yourself by calling any of these resources to help you!

Resources

1.800.273.8255 Suicide Hotline

1.800.799.7233 National Domestic Violence Hotline

1.800.422.4453 Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

1.866.488.7386 The Trevor Project LGBTQ? Hotline

Related Posts

My Thoughts on This Week’s Story

Postpartum Depression and Suicide

Where to Start

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

My Thoughts on This Week’s Story

My Thoughts on This Week's Story

My Thoughts on This Week’s Story

Well, this has been a story that I have been wanting my friend to write for along time.  Yet, she wasn’t ready.  This time, she was ready.  So many people need to understand the difference between “baby blues” and “postpartum depression.”  There is a difference.  So, My Thoughts on This Week’s Story is strength, pain, forgiveness, and mercy.

When I Met Her

She came in like a whirlwind.  I met her, her bitty babies, and her 5000 dogs.  Then, I scared her husband.  What a great first impression.  I knew, from that moment, that this girl was precious but she struggled in so many areas.  Tears, heartache, pain, resilience, love, devotion…so much wrapped up into this beautiful human.  Her strength drives me to do more and to be stronger.  Even in the midst of fear and pain…she yields to our Father.

Such a Scary Time

She was walking in a time that many things began to collide.  The premature birth and special needs of her daughters, her abuse, her familial relations, the realization of the loss of her beloved grandaddy, and so much more all landed at her feet with a thud.

She would call me and all I would hear were sobs.  So, I sat and listened.  She would come over and her emotions walked in the house before she did.  This baby (now in her 30s) needed a mama.  I became her mama.  Fantastically enough, I look awesome to have a child her age and a lot of grands LOL.

Once She Saw it, She Fought it

The realizations that she has made have been phenomenal.  Instead of being shrouded in fear, shame, disappointment, and ideations…she became a student.  A brilliant one at that.  We looked at every aspect of her life and analyzed the crap out of it.  The teacher taught the student how to read the book.  Now, the student reads the book in 5 different languages.

Once you become that student and learn, it takes the fear out of the equation.  It kicks satan square in the arse out the front door.  Now, she can process events and find joy.  Manage the sadness.  She may let the bird fly around her hair, but it no longer makes a nest in it.

I Cannot Even

This is the most precious human in the history of ever.  I am so thankful the Lord saw fit to cross our paths in such an unusual way.  Blessed.  I am blessed by her presence.  Her laughter is contagious.  The fearlessness she attacks things is amazing.  Yet, when she is struck at the knees, she ever so slightly bends and has a moment.  The moments do not last.

An amazing mama who has fought the good fight for ALL of her children.  She fought for her marriage and won.  Sadly, she fought the good fight with her family and made a difficult decision.  She made this decision with wisdom, clarity, discussion with her husband, and counsel.

Her testimony is an amazing one.  I am proud to call her a friend.

Resources

Postpartum HelpLine 800.944.4773

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

Where to Start

Take Care of Your Mental Health

 

Guest Blogger, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Postpartum Depression and Suicide

Postpartum Depression and Suicide

Postpartum Depression and Suicide

Postpartum Depression and Suicide are a real thing.  The girls’ first 14 months of life was traumatizing for me as their mom. They had several health issues such as Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Small For Gestational Age, Failure To Thrive, and many other things. On the day of my 30th birthday, things took a turn. The girls were 7 months old. I hadn’t heard from hardly anyone that day. I felt as though everyone had forgotten this birthday.  Honestly, even my husband.  I didn’t hear from him until NOON.

The Plan

That is when Postpartum Depression and Suicide collided.  On the way home that day, from running some errands, I had hit my lowest point. I was going to end it. I had it all planned out.  Then, there was a moment when I heard babble. It was one of my sweet girls reminding me they are still here. It was God reminding me that He wasn’t done with me yet.

Getting Help

The next day, I had spoken to a friend and she gave me the name of her therapist. I called her and began my therapy. Therapy taught me so much about myself. I learned that grief came in many forms and looked different for everyone. I learned that the grief from losing Grandaddy and the trauma from the girls had all added up.  That I was suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD). I did not get any medication because therapy was enough for me. I began to deal with my grief and even issues from my childhood that had gone unresolved.

Unexpected Blessing

When the girls were 14 months old, I found out I was expecting again, very unexpectedly. We also got a diagnosis for our girls at this time (just before finding out about our pregnancy). I was so scared of PPD again, but I knew I could get through it. I did well.   We had a healthy boy with no IUGR (though he did have a heart defect that resolved on its own by 6 months of age).  I first felt him kick about 16 weeks into my pregnancy. Would you like to take a guess at what was on the radio when this happened?

“Baby Blues”

I had a little of the “baby blues” with hormones balancing back out, but I did okay. We went on to have another unexpected pregnancy that took a turn for complications at 26 weeks, and again at 31 weeks. I didn’t feel him kick until about 19 weeks into my pregnancy, which scared me. Grandaddy’s song came on the radio while I was driving down the road, and I felt it. This little kick gave me reassurance. It was his favorite song to kick as well.  I had been worried about it but told that I had an anterior placenta so that could be normal. Our sweet baby was delivered and was, again, IUGR, and the diagnosis was missed.

Life Got Complicated

Things went on and life got complicated for a while. After a few months, I messaged my OB and my old therapist and told them I was NOT okay. My old therapist said that meds may be a good idea. My OB called me in a prescription.  I also started the process to begin therapy again (and then COVID happened and put a wrench in THAT!).

Looking Back

It has been 4 years since that day when I thought it was all over. Two more babies have been born. Our youngest is now over a year old. I still think about Grandaddy every day. All of my babies know who he is and can identify him in pictures. They talk about him when they ask questions. My girls have discovered grapefruit, and one really likes it. I told her how Grandaddy loved it as well, so she brags about that currently.  In so many things, I see him. I know he has truly been watching over us.

All Four of my Kids Still Love that Song

They will dance and “sing” to it. Life isn’t perfect, but I have weaned off of my anti-depressant now. Every day isn’t great, as our girls are special needs and do require more care. Two days before my 34th birthday, I made the decision to end the relationship with my narcissistic mom. My 34th birthday came and went with no drama. It was filled with peace.

I. AM. A. SURVIVOR.

PPD and other postpartum related illnesses affect so many. The day I turned 30, I didn’t know I was struggling with it, but I did know that I couldn’t go on. There is treatment available and there is help. The help that will not judge you. The help that will support you and help you through. Please, please know that you are not alone and you are not at fault. You are strong and you are a warrior. You can do this, and you can survive. I have battle scars, but I have fought hard and they show that. Those scars show the fight. They remind me of where I have been, and that God is not done with me yet.

Resources

Postpartum HelpLine 800.944.4773

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

Choices

Struggling with Depression and Anxiety at a Young Age

Guest Blogger, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Where to Start

Where to Start

Where to Start

Where to Start?  I guess, if I am going to tell the story of my darkest time, yet biggest recovery…I should start at the beginning, right? My husband and I struggled with infertility for years. After testing, we were told that seeing a fertility specialist was our only option at having children of our own. We were advised there that IVF was our best option.

Beginning IVF

We began our cycle in May of 2015. June 5, 2015, was the day we were scheduled to have our embryo transfer.  An embryo transfer is where they transfer the embryos into the uterus.  Hopefully, they will implant and begin a pregnancy. I woke up to a message, from during the night, that said “taking Grandaddy to the hospital for chest pains.”  Then another said:  “They’re sending him to Nashville.” I had tried to call as we got our day around and headed to the IVF office. I was an hour ahead, so no one answered.

Transfer Began

We made it to the office, got us ready to go into the transfer room. I’m lying there on the table as my husband holds my hand. They have an ultrasound probe pointed at me and a camera in the lab. “We are selecting the strongest two embryos in hopes that one will implant. As we talked about, this does give you a 33% chance at twins, but that is a manageable pregnancy.”

My World Began to Unravel

We watched as the lab technician drew up two little embryos into a syringe. They brought it to us as we confirmed the identification. We watched as these two little babies, our babies, were inserted into a catheter and land in my uterus. “We need you to lay flat for an hour when you leave this room. You can go to the restroom, and then lay down.” I went to the bathroom, came back and laid down, and grabbed my phone.
“Grandaddy has had a heart attack. We are on our way, but we aren’t to him yet.” My memory is pretty foggy after that. I know my uncle called me. “Grandaddy is going to pull through. Just like he always has. The doctors have always been wrong.” I knew. I knew the last time I had seen him would be the last time.

A Choice to Make

Our doctor came in and I asked if I could go to Nashville that night. I told him I needed to say goodbye to my Grandaddy. I needed to see him one last time. “You need to decide if you want to see your Grandaddy or if you want these babies and this pregnancy.” I knew what Grandaddy would tell me if he could. He would tell me to take care of the babies. “Grandaddy isn’t going to recover.” The moment the doctors had confirmed what God had already told me was going to happen. I couldn’t go for 48 hours.

If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away

That night, they called all of our family in. When my dad had arrived, they made the call and took Grandaddy off of life support. My brother had called me and let me talk to him before they did. “Grandaddy, it’s your Punkin. I’m pregnant. Do you hear me? I’m pregnant. There are two babies inside me right now growing. Watch over them, please. Keep them safe and protect them. If it doesn’t go my way, and I don’t get to keep them, hold them while I wait. I love you always.”
Fifty hours after our embryo transfer, I was at the airport in Detroit, MI to Nashville, TN to come and see my family as we laid my Grandaddy to rest. I took a leap of faith and told everyone we were expecting. At his funeral, we played the song “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away).

June 15, 2015

The day before his 75th birthday, we got the call that we were indeed pregnant. Our first round of IVF was successful. Six weeks into our pregnancy, we found out both embryos had implanted and we were expecting TWINS!! Ten weeks into our pregnancy, we found out there was a complication with baby B. My placenta was too close to my uterus.  There was a chance we could miscarry him/her.
I was on a weight and activity restriction for two more weeks. We decided if baby B survived, we would name this baby after Grandaddy. 20 weeks into our pregnancy, I felt our girls kick for the first time. “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” was playing on the radio when it happened. 35 weeks into our pregnancy, we were told she had a hole in her heart that would need to be repaired at birth. 37 weeks 5 days into our pregnancy, I was told the babies were out of the room and we had to induce. 38 weeks 1 day, I check in and we begin our induction with our sweet girls.

They Are Here

They did not tolerate this well, and because of their struggle, we ended in an emergency c section 27.5 hours later. Baby A was 4lb 12oz. Baby B was 4lb 3oz. One hour after their birth, baby B was taken from us and put into the NICU due to low blood sugar and issues with her temperature. Five days after their birth, they went home with me at just 4lb 6oz. and 3lb 15oz. A few days later, we were told baby B had some concerning blood work and needed to be tested for cystic fibrosis. At 8 weeks, she was tested and it was negative. You see, she has always been Grandaddy’s baby. In July of 2008, we were told not to expect to have him that year for Christmas.

Tomorrow, the Story is Continued.