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.