Living Again

It’s all in your head. Just get over it. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Post-partum depression isn’t something you can wish away. It’s very real, and its something you will need help to get through it. 

Mom, if you’re reading this, I’d like you to stop reading it now.

My post-partum depression started what Gatlin was around three months old. I didn’t want to believe that’s what  it was. I just thought I needed to try harder. I thought wrong. Michael was deployed and  I told him that I thought that I was depressed, and he told me to go to my doctor. I made an appointment and got in to see my doctor. She asked me a series of questions, one of them was “do you feel like crying a lot?” and after she asked that I just wanted to cry. Every question should  asked me, the answer was yes. She put me on the lowest dose of celexa, and I asked if it was safe to use while breastfeeding, since I was currently breastfeeding Gatlin, and she said no. So not only was I going to have to take a pill everyday, but I couldn’t give my son the best nutrition possible. She wrote the prescription and sent me home. 

I was a little relieved and glad that I was going to start feeling better but I felt guilty at the same time. I worked so hard to establish a good supply and I worked through the pain of breastfeeding, just to be told I couldn’t do it anymore. 

The celexa helped a little bit, but not much. The battle as constant. I just kept telling myself to try harder.  No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t getting any better. 

I don’t know when it started, but I started having suicidal thoughts. I felt like a burden to my family and I thought it would benefit them if I wasn’t here anymore. I let these thoughts go on for a couple weeks before I told Michael. We were laying in bed, just talking and I told him I had to tell him something but that he wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. He agreed and I told him. He ended up telling his chief. At first I was upset that he said something. He told me he wouldn’t. 

He took me to the er, and they brought in their psyche evaluator. He asked me why I hadn’t attempted it yet, and it was because I always had my kids with me. I couldn’t do that in front  them or with them.  They don’t deserve that, but I knew they deserved a better mom. The doctor raised my dose of celexa and recommended that I saw a psychiatrist. 

Life is so much better now. I’m so glad I have such a wonderful family and husband who stuck by me through one of my darkest times. 

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Mile Wide Tornado

May 20, 2013 is a day I will never forget.

It started out as a normal day. The kids woke up, I checked my phone because Michael was gone, and I got the kids breakfast. I knew they were predicting severe weather, so while the kids were eating breakfast, I went outside to smoke and look at the sky. There was something different about the air, that day. So eerie, I’ll never forget it. I just got a bad feeling, but I brushed it off and came back inside.

The kids were cleaned up and I turned on Netflix since we didn’t have cable or an antenna. We played and watched Dora until nap time. During nap time my phone kept getting text messages from the NWS “severe thunderstorm watch for Cleveland County”. I called my dad, and he told me to make sure my phone was charged and to clean the closet out just in case we needed to use it, so I did.

Finally the text message came, “severe thunderstorm warning for Cleveland County”. I called my dad back and said the storm was starting to roll in and I’d call him back later. I told him I loved him and hung up the phone. The storm its self was pretty bad. It was really windy, hail, rain, and it was pretty dark outside.

By this time my kids are awake and eating again. I heard the tornado sirens so I decided it was time to get into the closet. We were in there for what seemed like forever. I called my dad and by that time he was watching the news, and I told him that the sirens were going off so I had the kids in the closet. What he said next will be forever burned into my brain. He said “Stay in the closet. Don’t move. There is a giant twister on the ground and its headed your way. They are saying if you aren’t underground you are not safe.” I assured him that I wasn’t going to move from that spot. I told him that I was going to look online from my phone to see if I could get any live coverage, I told him I loved him, and I hung up. I got on Facebook first, and one of the first posts I saw was a picture of the tornado that one of the February mom’s posted and the caption said “Brittany and Katy I hope you’re both safe praying for y’all. Check in when you can.”

Around that time I actually heard the tornado. It was so loud, Madison started crying. I told her that it’ll be ok, and that mommy wouldn’t let anything happen to her. They were predicting that the tornado was going to turn and head north, putting our house right into the middle of the path. I was terrified, and I started praying. God please protect my kids. Please protect my house. And protect my family. I went to check my phone and noticed I had a few missed calls, but I called my dad and he was basically screaming into the phone telling me to stay put because it was right down the street from my house, and then my phone died. The kids and I waited it out in the closet.

The tornado sirens turned off, so we got out of the closet. I went plugged in my phone and went outside to smoke. Madison and Gatlin were standing at the door and I looked up in the sky and saw a funnel cloud and told Madison to get back into the closet knowing Gatlin would follow her. The sirens started going off again so I went inside and got into the closet with the kids. The sirens weren’t on very long, so we got back out and I tried to call my dad but the phone lines were tied so I got on Facebook and made a post saying that we were safe and that the tornado barely missed us. I tagged my whole family in it.

It took a while for my daughter to not run to the closet every time it rained, and I still jump when they test the sirens every Saturday. The tornado missed us by about a mile, and we are planning on getting a tornado shelter soon.

Living Through the Heartbreak

I was inspired to start writing, I just didn’t know where to start, so I chose a subject very close to my heart.

It was a chilly day in October, 2010.  I had finally gotten the chance to move in with my husband after being married for a year. We had our six month old daughter, Madison, and we were excited to finally be a family after a year apart. I realized I was due to have my period soon, so I looked on my app, and I realized I was late. We were tight on cash from moving and everything we needed for our apartment, so I told him to take me to the dollar tree, where the pregnancy tests are only .98¢.  He told me that I probably wasn’t pregnant, but he took me anyway. We got home and took the test, and sure enough two pink lines. I immediately called my mom and I started crying. No way were we ready for  another child, Madison was only six months old. My mom assured me that everything would be okay and everything would work out, and most importantly, every child is a miracle.

My doctors office won’t bring you in for your first appointment until you are eight weeks along, but I made the appointment and waited it out. Finally the day had come and they decided to give me an ultrasound to determine how far along I really was. Eight weeks and three days with a beautiful and strong heartbeat. I fell in love almost instantly. We scheduled our appointment to come back in four weeks and we left. Once home, I started taking weekly “bump” pictures, I watched what I ate and took my vitamins. It was really sinking in that I was going to have another baby, and I couldn’t be  more thrilled. The weeks between my first appointment and my second were really easy. No “morning sickness” and only occasionally I had heartburn. The only thing I remember was that the smell of cooking meat really made me want to puke.

Finally, twelve weeks and three days. I got ready for my appointment and headed out the door. My doctor decided to try to find the heartbeat using his doppler. When he couldn’t find it, I wasn’t too worried because most doctors don’t even try until thirteen or fourteen weeks. I just looked over at Michael, who looked confused, and told him it was ok. My doctor didn’t think it was, so he pulled the portable ultrasound machine into my room. It took him a while to figure out how to even turn it on. When he finally got it, he put the gel on my stomach and started to look. He looked for quite a while and said he couldn’t see a heartbeat, but he was going to send me over to the actual ultrasound room so the tech could look. I remember looking  Michael, knowing what the outcome of this appointment would be.

We went over to the ultrasound room, and I laid down on the bed. She put the gel on, and put the wand on my stomach. The first thing I saw was a tiny little face, so sweet, so innocent. She quickly moved the wand to look for the heart. She zoned in on the heart and waited. There was absolutely nothing. She tried it again, still nothing. She measured the baby, and he measured to be ten weeks and three days. She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t have to. I knew. We went back into my room and waited for my doctor.

When  my doctor showed up, he said that I had what was called a “missed miscarriage“, which basically means my body didn’t know the baby had passed, so it didn’t start the miscarriage process. He told me that I would need surgery to remove the fetus, and asked me when it would be best for me. I asked him if he could schedule it for the next week so that Michael could have enough time to let his command know that he would need to take some time off work. He said no, that since the baby had passed two weeks ago, I was at a huge risk for infection so I needed to have the surgery the next day, and that I wouldn’t be allowed to drive myself. I asked him to explain the surgery to me, and what he explained was the abortion procedure. I will forever regret asking him to explain it to me. We made the appointment at the surgery center and went home.

I kept thinking that it wasn’t true, and that it couldn’t be happening. Not to me. I had to find a babysitter for Madison, and since we didn’t know anyone here, we called family, even though they live three hours away. No one seemed to be answering their phone. Mom, dad, my sister, my grandma, and my uncle. None of them answered. His family couldn’t come up. I finally got in touch with my other grandma and asked her to try to get in touch with my parents, and I explained everything to her. She volunteered to drive my mom up, so I was able to have my mom up here.

My mom and grandma showed up right on time. Michael and I left and headed off to the surgery center. We had to be there a couple hours early so they could get me registered and into preop and my gown. We got everything ready, I just had to wait for my doctor to come. Finally he showed up and asked me if I was ready. Well, I was as ready as I ever would be, which wasn’t at all. They wheeled me back to the operating room, and told me to lay on the table. They said they were going to start hooking me up to my machines. The next thing I remember, I was waking up in recovery. I asked for crackers and sprite (since I wasn’t able to eat before the surgery) and I asked how it went. Michael came up and sat in recovery with me until I finished my fluids. Once my fluids were finished they sent us home. I wasn’t allowed to do hardly anything, and I felt empty.

Now, all my medical records say that I had an abortion, and I hate it. I didn’t have an abortion. If I had a choice on whether or not I wanted to keep my pregnancy, I would have.   My doctor refused to do any testing to see why the baby had passed, but said the baby probably had a heart defect.

We didn’t know if it was a boy or  girl, but we thought it was a boy, so we named him Damion Scott. I have three children, one just gained his wings.

“An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth, then whispered as she closed the book `too beautiful for earth`” -Author Unknown