If you watched my introduction video I am very candid about a bathroom moment I experienced that changed my life. Over the past couple of years I have had a few different moments that have been pivotal in my development; this one that I am about to share truly shaped my emotional health journey…
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I had to make a decision. I had to make a decision to push past the shame of where my life had led me, and I had to find the courage to finally be honest with my doctor. She had been asking me for weeks why I had been losing so much weight. During those weeks I came up with several reasons. I told her that I was sick. I told her that I was just tired. I pretended that I didn’t know why until I couldn’t pretend any longer. I had an ultrasound that morning and the tech told me that I had placenta previa. My placenta was dangerously low for my babies fetal age and they were very concerned about it. That day when they called me into the doctors office, I decided to finally share the real deal. I closed the door, and while my son Carter was on the floor, I poured my heart out. I told her everything that was happening, everything that I knew, everything I didn’t, and how close I was to unraveling. She calmly got up, looked at me and Carter, then touched my belly and simply told me that I did not have that luxury anymore.
My pumpkin hung in there until she was full term and to say that I was relieved would be a gross understatement. During one of my routine doctors appointments, my doctor checked my cervix and told me I needed to go to the hospital now. My heart dropped. Even though I was full term I was hoping she would hold out for a week until my mom made it back in the country. I couldn’t even call her where she was. My mind started spinning! “How exactly was I going to do this without her?” “This was not how it was supposed to be.” “Couldn’t God stop this from happening right now?” But then I remembered what the doctor had told me. I did not have the luxury to unravel. So, I made plan B arrangements. I made sure Carter was covered and made my way to check in. And I gave birth to my sweet angel. I was severely anemic during pregnancy so once I delivered Cadence, I didn’t feel quite right. I told my doctor that I couldn’t breathe and the room was spinning. I had lost too much blood. She hooked me up to oxygen and monitored me hourly. I got through that, thank God, but there was more to come. At this point, everything had died down, everyone who’d been there had left, including one of my girlfriends (part of my Plan B) who stayed by my side the entire time, and it was just Cadence and I alone in the hospital.
She was here, she was safe, but I still felt that brick on my chest that I’d been carrying my whole pregnancy. I had assumed that once I gave birth that the pressure I’d been feeling would go away. But it didn’t. My blood pressure skyrocketed after birth and they kept me for days when all I wanted to do was go home. Talk about Unplanned Perfection. My sweet perfect baby was here, but it was not going at all how I planned! I started to feel trapped so I asked a nurse if I could take another shower. She unhooked me from the monitors, I laid Cade in the bassinet and pushed her to the bathroom door and I got in the shower. The next thing I remember is my back hitting the shower wall and sliding down. I let out this gut-wrenching wail that I could not control. I was shocked that this sound was even coming from my body. I sat on that shower floor until a nurse came to get me. I have never told anyone about that moment. So even as I am typing this now, I can feel the weight, the pain, the burden of that moment. I want you to know, that that 2nd bathroom moment was an emotional awakening for me. For the first time I realized that everything wasn’t just going to magically go away once Cadence arrived. I was going to have to work through my own emotional healing while healing physically from child birth. I realized that I would have to navigate baby blues AND be responsible for a newborn and a one year old while simultaneously going through a divorce and launching myself back on the job market.
I no longer had the crutch of “holding it all together for the sake of the babies” to lean on. I had to heal for the sake of them. For the sake of myself. I let it all out and began a very intentional journey of healing. Over the next few weeks I am going to share with you the top 3 steps I took to not only face and accept my new reality, but to thrive in it. I hope you will come back and share your emotional health tips as well and that were able to help and hold each other accountable for living well.
Remember I said that I’d never shared that moment with anyone? You might be wondering why I decided to share it with you, via this blog. Well, it’s because I want you to know we are on this journey together! As I share, I pray you will share so that we can all be FREE, together!