Celebrate Life

Hello my fellow rebels and my not so rebels,

Here it is, my second post in my inspiration series. Just a warning this post will be long and an extremely emotional one for me to write. There will be some personal stuff that some may relate to and some may not.

This experience that has happened in my life has inspired me to keep pushing forward because you never know when it’s going to be your last. Almost 3 years ago my life changed in a pretty epic way. To this day I still live through flashbacks at the most random times, crazy anxiety and the feeling that my life would not be my life if I didn’t have God.

With that said, here it goes.

Has something ever happened in your life that has changed you, your heart, your soul, every fiber of your being forever?

Well I’ve had a few some things and man let me just say that just when you think God and the Universe couldn’t possibly think you can handle anymore, you get knocked down real quick just to give you that reality check that no one is invincible.

September 2, 2014.

You would think I only would have a clear memory about what happened the day of but man the day before is just as clear or maybe clear enough for me to remember everything that lead up to that moment that changed me.

I remember getting ready for the doctors and my mom came with me, the first appointment she had ever been to with me and to this day I am SO thankful that she did. I was so swollen that I literally didn’t know how much longer I would last carrying this baby. I remember being swollen with my daughter but it was nowhere near how I got with my son. I physically felt like my body was not able to take what was happening anymore.

Sitting in that doctors office impatiently waiting for them to call me back and be seen just to tell me that I can go be induced, that’s all I wanted to hear from the nurse practitioner. She was comfortable to me so she was well aware that I was ready for this baby, I made sure of that. My appointment was winding down and I kept waiting to get that induction date and the office tells us the hospital didn’t want me in there until that Thursday. That wasn’t flying with my mom and I just kind of sat back and thought maybe I’m just not meant to be induced yet and that I could just wait. Phone calls were made to the hospital and the lady that schedules inductions definitely heard enough that she didn’t even want to talk to anyone on the phone.

Later that day I got the call.

“Be at the hospital at 7 pm, it’s induction time.”

My mom came with me and my boyfriend rushed from Jacksonville to be with me, like he was every step of the way. I was becoming restless and impatient just waiting to see what these next 24 hours had in store for me.

All I knew for sure was that I was going to finally have my baby boy here. I couldn’t really get comfortable that night and I remember I couldn’t sleep but contractions were consistent and this little man was coming.

September 3, 2014.

I’ve been given some petocin, my water bag was popped, epidural in, what else did I need to go in labor? I had everything I would need to be comfortable so when things went wrong it was the last thing I expected, kind of. Having My daughter was stressful but it was a nice, smooth delivery. My son on the other hand has had me with my hands full from the beginning of the pregnancy. Getting the epidural was not something I was really ready to have yet but I knew that if I waited I would feel EVERYTHING. Never did I think that would happen anyway.

Flipping from my left side to my right side and back, making each side of my body go numb for thirty minutes to an hour at a time, this epidural just was not trying to work for me and I just had to accept that. Something about the whole experience still feels unreal to me, I sometimes feel like there’s no way something like that happened to me but it was very real. I remember letting the anesthesiologist know that the epidural wasn’t working correctly and having to have it removed. Before it was even removed I was shivering from how cold I was and kept feeling like I was going to be sick, feeling like my glands were swelling so I couldn’t breathe, like I couldn’t do what was expected of me, and that was the beginning of my life forever changing.

My doctor who was amazing this whole process, saw how I was doing and checked me and it was time.

Time for our boy to arrive but something didn’t feel right. I felt it, pretty much the whole pregnancy but I always kept it to myself. You don’t tell people that you think that you feel like something horrible could happen during delivery. People don’t really understand that and it’s just not a valid thought to be having when you have to bring life into the world but it was there and I couldn’t shake it.

Something felt like I wasn’t okay but Baby boy was why I was making it as long as I had.

Baby boy had finally come all the way down and it was time to push… with NO epidural. Needless to say I was not looking forward to that pain that was coming my way but I pushed, pushed until I couldn’t push anymore. After having to get a vacuum he was finally here.

The Prince had arrived!

Our boy was born at 6:43 pm. After delivering because of our elevated heart rates and my fever they took him to NICU but he looked like a piece of perfection.

They handed him to me right before and I cried holding him, I got to see the joy on my mom’s face, on Ashaundy’s face, then a completely different type of pain began.

A pain that I can’t explain but it was the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life. I delivered Kingston, I delivered the placenta and I felt the drips. Small drips of blood. My doctor tried so many different things to get the bleeding to clot and stop but it wouldn’t. Suppositories, pieces of cloth pushed in me, forced in me to stop the bleeding but I wouldn’t stop bleeding.

Then the nurse came in to help my doctor by massaging my uterus and that’s when it came. The first big gush of blood came pouring out of my body and onto the labor and delivery floor. I remember starting to feel light headed and telling my mom how thirsty I was and how light headed I was then came the second gush, I could immediately sense the fear and see it on her face. As scared as I was on the inside and when my tears of pain turned into tears of fear, I couldn’t let my mom know that I was scared.

My doctor let us know I needed to be rushed into the OR stat and I could tell things were about to take a turn for the worse. Before they wheeled me away, I remember I told my mom I would be okay and I’ll never forget the look on her face, the tears in her eyes and her telling me, “You better come back to me” before she gave me my blessing.

To this day I get chills thinking about those last moments before I got rushed into the OR. I told her I would be back because in my heart I felt like I would be.

On the way to the OR, it was pretty surreal. I remember the lights on the ceiling and just looking at them and zoning out. As I felt myself start to fade out I decided that I needed to pray with every fiber of my being because I had two babies now that needed me more than ever. The thought alone of my daughter losing me and my son being raised without a mom was a far greater fear that took over me than anything that was about to happen to me. Once I did that prayer and just let go and gave it God I felt a sense of calmness come over me as all the madness continued around me. My nurse that was in the delivery room with me didn’t seem to comprehend what was going and I just remember wishing she would just decide to leave the room and I was relieved when a different nurse took over for her. Getting IVs put in me and having my legs up in stirrups I felt the last gush I would feel before they put me to sleep. I remember just crying because of the intense pain I was in and nothing they were giving me was helping.

A new nurse came in and started massaging my uterus again and the last thing I remember was her telling me how sorry she was but she has to save my life. The anesthesiologist then told me he was putting me to sleep and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. I had no idea of anything that had gone on, no idea of how serious things became, how close my family was to losing me. Waking up I remember seeing lights, the men who were going to be transporting me in the ambulance and me wanting to sit up.

The moment my doctor saw me with eyes open the first thing she said was “Thank God.” She kept telling me how I gave everyone a heck of a scare and that things had to be done to save my life. I just remember being so sore and so confused. She told me I would be transferred across the street to intensive care for them to take good care of me. The EMTs got me ready and I was being wheeled out. That’s where I saw my mom crying and my aunt saying hi and that I was going to be okay and how they would see me soon.

Arriving in ICU I was freezing and in pain and I just didn’t quite grasp yet what actually happened to me. Justyn was first, then Dad, the tears in their eyes, I knew something was up. They stayed with me for a bit while I got situated until the whole family came to my room and that’s when it hit me. They weren’t just there to be a part of my son’s birth; they were there because I wasn’t okay. I got kisses from everyone and the first words out of my boyfriend’s mouth was the first thing he thought of when he found out what happened to me was that he couldn’t do this without me and yet it still didn’t quite register. Quite a scare but what the heck happened is all I remember. 9 blood transfusions, replacements for all the blood and everything that I lost.

Little did I know that I had lost not only all my blood but I almost died on the table. A doctor that I didn’t get to meet came in and saved my life. 34 staples, that’s what was required to keep my incision closed. I didn’t even realize it until the next day what had actually happened to me.

My doctor came in the next morning and began to explain everything to me and I just remember wanting to cry but I didn’t. I didn’t cry much at all other than when I talked about it in person. I hadn’t realized how many people I had awaiting a reply from me to make sure I was okay. I text each person individually and remember speaking to a few people on the phone. My mom’s husband told me he wasn’t a praying man but he prayed for my recovery. At some point I feel like I still didn’t quite grasp the severity.

I was in ICU for 4 days before I could be reunited with my family. I hadn’t seen my son or my daughter in quite a few days and I was just becoming anxious. Everyone who came to visit me went to visit my son and made sure to send me pictures. My mom and my bofriend were with me every step of the way. My boyfriend would come spend time with me in ICU and the nurses would watch our son for us and when he was with our son he would always give me updates.

My mother never left my side. She was the strongest woman in the world for me.

The nurses in ICU were awesome women, a little cranky at times but when my eyes opened again, I woke up with this sense of gratefulness and appreciation for being alive I wouldn’t be anything but nice to them no matter what I got back from them. My father flew in from Chicago to be with me the last day I was in ICU and that was the day when I got transferred back to Women’s to finally be with my son. I remember being told that my blood levels were finally where they were supposed to be and all I had to do was get clearance from everyone involved and I could be transferred.

Being transferred was the best feeling in the world, I felt semi-normal again. I was finally able to see my son again and hold him, my daughter finally was able to see me and everything felt right in the world again. Little did I know the effect of what had happened to me would not be real to me until we got home. Being someone who never likes to ask for help for anything from anyone to becoming a person who absolutely needed every bit of help I received was a hard thing to transition into.

The pain I was in was so uncomfortable, kind of unreal at moments. I remember thinking multiple times this can’t be life. If I had a c-section then I understood but I delivered him natural and still almost died, that was crazy to me. Still kind of is.

A normal life with two kids, an incision that hurt so bad in some moments that I would bend over in tears and feeling like I couldn’t do anything for myself.

My first shower by myself I broke down in tears because of the pain and because I wanted someone’s help so bad but I wouldn’t allow myself to ask. I needed to get better because my children needed me and my mother needed a break but it just wasn’t happening as fast as I wanted it to. There were days when I felt like I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give two kids the love and attention they needed if I’m not even at 100% yet, heck I was barely at 50%.

The emotions that came from my daughter feeling like I couldn’t do anything fun with her still, I wasn’t paying enough attention to her, that was a lot on me because she was my only priority for so long I had to learn to balance to give that same love and attention to a second child. I wasn’t sure I was ready and I wasn’t sure I was ready to do it alone. I didn’t feel a part of a unit, I felt like I was doing so much and was expected to do so much on my own that I often times found myself getting angry at my boyfriend simply for the times he wasn’t around.

What I had gone through affected me more mentally and emotionally then I felt it did physically.

Yes physically I was held back by limitation but I knew I would heal.

Emotionally, that’s a hard thing to bounce back from. I’ve bounced back from things on my own before but this felt different. Losing people, losing love, losing some things in life just don’t add up to the feeling of almost losing your life. That feeling was beginning to take over and I kept getting angry at myself. I didn’t feel a connection with my son yet, it wasn’t that same connection with him that I had with my daughter from the very beginning. Not because I didn’t love him because I did, I was so in love with him and so happy that I have not one but two babies to love now, but because I just didn’t feel like I could do anything for him. I was always hurting, always feeling like I was falling short, feeling like I couldn’t do anything for myself, I couldn’t breast feed, he didn’t need me. Post partum depression was creeping around the corner and everything triggered tears, everything triggered some bad feeling in me.

Some days I would be good and others I just couldn’t deal with much. No one really knew how deeply I was affected by what happened but I felt it. I could explain it until I turned purple in the face but it’s crazy to be the person in the situation and not being on the other side of fence.

Time went on and I eventually got better. I still didn’t feel that connection completely with my son until I started to heal more. The more I could give my children and do for my children, the more I pushed myself to not get down again. The more I realized that although we weren’t living the picture perfect life I understood why Ashaundy wasn’t around and my anger towards him quickly turned into appreciation. I had and still have far too much to be thankful for.

God gave me a second chance;

God gave those doctors the skill and talent to save my life.

He heard all the prayers that came from every person that prayed for me so I refused to let anyone, let alone my children down.

I don’t talk about what happened to me often, haven’t even written about it but this needed to be out somewhere, for someone somewhere or even just for me to read to constantly remind myself that life is TOO short to not be thankful for the air in your lungs, the roof over your head, the food on your table, the health that you have.

My body and my soul are my temples so I need to love them and take care of them.

God gave me a family, a man to love and two children to love. A family I had before that night I wasn’t truly sure I was ready for but I thank God for giving me that chance to be ready for what’s ahead.

Although the only thing new about me is a new scar and some extra weight, I have new eyes to see the good in the world instead of looking at the bad, I have a new heart that wants to love instead of worrying about being loved, a new mind because now instead of worrying about what’s good for everyone around me, I’m back to being focused on the people that truly matter to me and that’s my family.

God has given me everything I’ve ever wanted but on his terms and I think I needed that. I didn’t appreciate what I had before; I was too reckless, too irresponsible with the life God had given me that I feel like I needed this scare. A few people did because the level of love and appreciation that has entered my life now wasn’t there before. Any voids that used to be there have been filled, all scars, mentally, emotionally and physically are healing and are becoming constant reminders of where I’ve been instead of reminders of the hurt.

Being thankful is something I talked about and understood it but had a hard time feeling it. I feel it now and I’ll never lose that feeling again.

To anyone who reads this who feels like miracles don’t happen, who feels like life is just worth giving up on, don’t. Love yourself more than anyone ever could.

Love the people in your life,

love your life,

love your soul,

love your surroundings.

Be grateful for all that you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have because if there’s anything I’ve learned from this, it’s that nothing in life is guaranteed. Just when you think you can wake up and live and love, you can lose everything in a heartbeat. Don’t lose it without allowing God, love and light in your life. Miracles do happen.

I’m proof.

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