A Million Times Over- Motherhood Monday Story
AUTHOR: ERIKA GREEN FOR CONFIDENT MOTHERHOOD
My journey to become a mother has been an amazing trial, but by far the biggest blessing life has given me. After 6 months of trying to conceive, I looked down to see a positive on the pregnancy test. At 5:30 in the morning, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but no matter how many times I looked away and looked back, the double lines were staring back at me.
My pregnancy was rough. At around 6 weeks, I didn’t get morning sickness, but instead all day sickness. Until 26 weeks, I barely kept water down. I lost 60 pounds during my pregnancy, and don’t think I could eat another saltine cracker if you paid me. I was finishing up college, and then started a job that would push my mental state to its limits.
I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy, and the baby looked good every time we went in for a checkup. At 13 weeks, we found out we were having a little girl. I found out before my husband and surprised him. He cried with happiness. At 37 weeks, I went in for a checkup and had extremely high blood pressure. My doctor wanted me to come back 2 days later after running some tests. On Wednesday, May 15th, I walked into my OB’s office at 3:15, only to be told 30 minutes later I needed to go to the hospital so they could do further testing. They had hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and Rosie’s heartbeat kept disappearing.
I was lucky enough for my OB to be on call that night, so after an hour of fetal monitoring, I was told I needed to have an emergency cesarean. While on the operating table, I had a panic attack. A c-section was everything I wasn’t planning on for my birth. I was planning on a completely natural, no interventions delivery. In all honesty, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t able to deliver my baby naturally.
When Rosie was born, we found out she had 2 true knots in her umbilical cord that were cutting off her oxygen supply. Due to that, she had developed an arrhythmia. I will never forget the moment my doctor told me “Had we not delivered her when we did, she wouldn’t have made it.” I still cry every time I think about the fact that there was only a matter of hours between delivering my baby, and losing her.
Breastfeeding was a whole new challenge on its own. My body didn’t want to produce, so we began supplementing on the first night. Despite every effort made to breastfeed, we ended up stopping after 2.5 months. I tried pumping, using all of the lactation cookies/smoothies/etc, feeding as much as possible...but no matter what I did, I continued to have to supplement. My mental health had declined severely because I wanted so desperately to feed my baby, but didn’t understand why my body had failed me.
Within 3 days of stopping breastfeeding, the postpartum depression hit like a ton of bricks. I had suffered with anxiety my whole life, but not so much the depression. Even now, at 6 months postpartum, I’m still trying to figure out the right course of action for me. I’ve tried different medicines, but so far nothing has been successful.
Being a mom is by far the most difficult, yet most rewarding thing I have done. There is nothing like seeing your baby smile at you when all you want to do is cry. There is nothing like sleepy cuddles, baby babble or knowing that you are your child’s whole world. Motherhood has been such an incredible journey. It has been difficult, but oh man has it been worth it. I would do it a million times over.
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