Jade’s Story • Possible Trigger Warning //
My journey with motherhood started with my first pregnancy in 2010. Though that pregnancy was most certainly planned, I remember being absolutely terrified from the first day I found out I was pregnant. It seemed as if almost immediately, my anxiety skyrocketed and continued this way throughout my entire pregnancy. Looking back, I wish I had stepped out and tried to talk to someone about this but even my anxiety got in the way of doing that. I felt lonely and scared. My mom was killed in a car accident when I was in college and ever since then I always felt sad thinking about having my first baby without my mom around. I had my first little miracle baby boy on February 14, 2011; my valentine baby! The minute I met him everything seemed worth it, however, I never realized how bittersweet that birth would be; crying tears of overwhelming joy to meet that little boy; yet tears of sadness at the same time missing my mom so very much! My postpartum time period was not the greatest; dealing with extremely high anxiety plus a whole years recovery time for a 4th degree tear, plus MULTIPLE cases of Mastitis; I felt downright overwhelmed. I didn’t have a support system yet in the town we lived in and didn’t feel like I had anyone to direct my questions to. Looking back now, I realize I was dealing with some undiagnosed Postpartum depression and wish I known the resources to reach out.
Due to my pregnancy and postpartum experience, along with feeling like my first little boy was just HARD; I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to have more kids. However, things eventually did even out and with gaining a support system and feeling more grounded, I knew Caymen needed a sibling and I knew that I had never loved anything more than being his mom. When Caymen was about 4, I got pregnant again. My 2nd pregnancy was a night and day difference from my first. I was in therapy; I was taking some low anxiety meds and I had a support system around me. I threw myself into enjoying that pregnancy. I wanted to try ALL THE THINGS. I exercised, I did prenatal yoga, I got a doula and I LOVED my body and the transformation during this time. Delivery was MUCH easier than with Caymen and I had Saxton on March 22, 2016. The adjustment to two kids was definitely not easy but it was so much easier than my first postpartum experience. I had support around me and I had more confidence in myself. This time I knew I wanted to do this again…
We got pregnant with our third baby when Saxton was about 19 months old and I was so excited to be rounding out our family with most likely our last baby. My pregnancy was “normal” for the first part; just the normal sickness and exhaustion that comes with having a baby! Unfortunately, things took a turn when I went to my normal 17-18 week midwife check up. The midwife told me that she couldn’t find my baby’s heartbeat. My third precious baby, and my first baby girl had passed away. Selah Eleanor came out of me and entered directly into heaven on February 12, 2018.
My heart has never felt more broken. My experience in the hospital with her was all but ideal and I ended up being admitted for extreme loss of blood and too low of a blood pressure. I was terrified and I was heartbroken. My milk came in when I was in the hospital and I asked the nurse about what to do and she told me she wasn’t sure because I was actually in a Bariatric Surgery recovery unit since the other units were full. It seemed like no one had any answers and all I really wanted was to know why my little girl died and why I couldn’t hold her. As I was sent home from the hospital on February 13, the day before Caymens 7th birthday; the doctor told me that they were not able to get “everything out of me” and I needed to take a medication for the next 3 days, 5 times a day to put essentially my body into “labor” yet again and expel the excess lining. That first week home was in a word…hell. I lay on the bathroom floor a lot as the bleeding was too heavy to move and when I stood up I was too dizzy to stand. They also gave me a heavy dose of iron to take 5 times a day due to my extremely low iron levels from losing so much blood which also made me feel sick. The ‘labor pains’ were excruciating; only made worse in my head to think that at the end of all that physical pain there wasn’t even a baby to show for it. I bled for an entire month after that. Losing Selah was by far one of the hardest things I have been through yet to date as a mother.
I wish the hospital and doctors had explained more to me and I wouldn’t have felt so in the dark. However, this time, after my loss and through this “postpartum” experience I did have support; my bereavement doula, my friends, my church small group, and God. And as if I needed any more proof as a mom, I have most definitely learned that support and having a “tribe” MAKES all the difference during motherhood. There is no way to do this stuff alone. Whether it be postpartum mood disorders, pregnancy complications, postpartum complications, loss, or just plain MOTHERHOOD; this stuff is hard and my wish is that every mom has someone to reach out to. I still struggle with grief and sadness and not having my only little girl or not knowing if I’m supposed to have more children and I’m not sure if or when that is something I will ever completely get over; but I also know now that I am not alone in this.