Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice

Hey Everyone,

I have been getting lots of Postpartum submissions that I am so excited to share with you, from women all over the world! The purpose of this is to have a plethora of stories that we can all read through and relate with ❤ If anyone wants to share their story on this blog, please feel free to email it to me ❤ All submissions will be posted under ‘Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice’

so here we go!

Kaleigh – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Hey! So my story , it’s a long one .. I have a four year old daughter , paysleigh and my 10 month old daughter Charleigh , they are amazing ! After I had paysleigh I was diagnosed with pulsatile tinnitus, it sounds like a Doppler in your ear, that was four years ago and I never heard anymore about it the specialists just let it go. I’ve always had headaches and I get weird pressure in my head but they told me I’d just have to live with it , then I had my daughter Charleigh, nothing Out of the ordinary , had an okay labour , placenta abruption at 27 weeks but it healed itself and she was delivered at 39 weeks 4 days weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds 7 ounces , via c section ! Then, After I had Charleigh the headaches progressively got worse and the pressure in my head also , then suddenly my vision went. My doctor was concerned and booked me an mri but I was pregnant and couldn’t get the mri so she said to just watch it. Finally, I backed into my neighbours car and I Literally didn’t even see it , I just smoked it. I went to the hospital in my little town and they rushed me to a bigger city hospital an hour away telling me I have a blood clot in my brain. I was terrified , scared beyond belief . After I had an mri and other testing done they sent me home and told me it was just a headache, just to drink coffee and sleep lots … I know , ridiculous right? So I went home and the next morning I had to be back to the bigger city hospital for 8:30 am to see the Ophthalmologist . I went through 8 hours of testing. As we were leaving they called me and told me I was being admitted , my heart literally shattered because my little babies were at home without their momma and I missed them so much I was sick. I had already been away from them for two days at that point. So, I went got admitted and they told me that I have idiopathic intercrainial hypertension … To much fluid surrounding and suppressing my brain. They did a lumbar puncture (was more painful Than child birth) kept me over night, and sent me home the next day at 5pm. They drained 40 cc of fluid , and said my opening pressure was 37. Normal pressure is supposed to be between 0-5 , they told me that I’d have to go back every two weeks for the LP , I was shattered because they are so painful and being pregnant  I was terrified something would hurt my baby. The LP did nothing to help me I am seeing a high risk ob at this point and he said the LP is fine to have, it wont hurt my baby so I just went with the flow… I had a doctors appointment on the Thursday before New Years and I was concerned because my vision was getting a lot worse. I could hardly see anything ( my lisence was taken away a month and a half before this appointment 😢) so she called my neurologist and he said to get there as soon as possible. So off we went , we sat in the emergancy room for 29 hours before finally getting a bed (we’re admitted before we arrived ) and then they decided to not do the LP, that they were going to put a ventricular paratonie L shunt in me instead because I was practically blind . He said if we waited any longer Id be permanently blind. They warned me the surgery was risky, but the risks out weighed waiting .. So we went for it! New Year’s Eve at 9:50 pm I went into the operating room, baby was amazing before we went in, they did an ultra sound. Then after the surgery was over baby was great also. They put a cathedar directly into my left ventricle of my brain and he was scared for the risk of stroke, so I have two incisions one on my belly and two incisions on my head. The recovery has been hell. I am in so much pain still. I was in the hospital for a week after this and didn’t get to see my kids which literally killed me… I’m just praying this gets better so I can get back to normal but my baby is 100% healthy which makes me so happy because this is my last baby. I see the high risk ob every two weeks until baby is born, they will be delivering as soon as it is safe as the bigger my belly gets the more pressure in my head and it compromises my shunt … So the plan is 37 weeks to deliver right now, but he said really as soon as it’s safe, baby is coming out .. So many scary things to come , I think it’s the fear of the unknown and the pain that is making me fall into depression, I’m also terrified of losing my baby after all of this , it terrifies me… Sorry this was so long ! But thanks for listening

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Beth- Rockhampton, Australia

 My Postpartum story

My postpartum journey didn’t show anything I hadn’t read about; lots of pain, lots of breastfeeding and very little mobility. It was after the initial “after-6-weeks-you-can-do-everything-you-did-before-just-ease-into-it” that my body wasn’t cooperating the way I assumed it would.

Having a newborn was always going to be a challenge, it seems I braced myself for the worst as all the advice I got was “it’s hard, hang in there,sleep when the baby sleeps blah blah pleh! And they were right to an extent. It was a juggling act of trying to find a breastfeeding position that didn’t make me wince, make meals, cleaning without the need to bend over and prepare for a (MY) wedding and moving houses. This went on for three months and my internal compass starting working overtime. All the questions? Why can’t I breastfeed wherever I want? Why can’t I clean the house in 20 mins before E wakes up? Why can’t I jog for more than a minute and want to cry in pain? Why didn’t I look like my other mummy friends yet? Why can’t I lie on the ground with my baby and admire her learning to explore the world? It’s been three months!

On top of this I was getting married in a month and moving. Optimistic-pre pregnancy-Beth was so sure that four months would be enough time to quickly get into respectable shape for her self esteem and walk down the isle quick smart, marry a gorgeous man and be done with it…but the weight was not going anywhere, the list of wedding things to do and pay for was daunting and the pain was here to stay (for now).

A week before our wedding, we moved house and that was completely horrendous – the summer heat, the newborn, the truck full of our whole life, the heat!!! Thankfully my daughter managed to sleep anywhere and she somehow kept me going through all the postpartum madness that was not slowing down.

So off we went to get Married, it was beautiful and crazy and perfect. The day couldn’t have come at a better time and made the life changing experience of having a child and starting a new life more exciting than daunting.

Through all this, I thought my hormones were still adjusting and I was just completely overwhelmed by how much my life had changed. Much to my (sad) surprise I was soooo wrong!

After a long 9 months of back and forth appointments, doctors had come to a conclusion that there was a cyst still growing in my ovary that was proving to be a pain in the butt (well front butt, ha)! Safe to say I was pretty devastated. After my first gynecologist appointment she suggested I wait 6 months until my next check up as most cysts usually disappear or stop growing. I could have balled my eyes out. “I can’t wait 6 more months” was all I managed to say and it was settled. I had one final ultrasound and visit with the gynecologist before my surgery date to get the cyst removed was scheduled.

I was so excited to get this bloody cyst OUT! Two days after my surgery the stitches came loose and I had to go in again </3. This time they stayed, but but my recovery was longer and slower. I couldn’t think of anything worse when E was hitting so many milestones. The words she understood, the interaction she was making with her books, toys and people…and I was a corpse lying in bed.

Our not so little girl turned one, just three months after my surgery and I’d just begun to feel myself again. Yes, I was married to an incredible man and yes we had started an awesome new adventure together and yes the weight and stretch marks and scars were there also, but so was my daughter. My bubbly, innocent, smiling, social daughter who had a crazy year -more crazy than her mummy- growing to be a beautiful resilient toddler.
She never let me down and reminds me everyday how important my journey as a mother and a human is to her. More than any flaws I will ever have I’ve learn that she needs me. But, I will always need her more.

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Thank you Ladies for sharing your stories ❤ and Thank you to the ladies that stopped by to read and relate ❤

If you would like to share your postpartum story with us, please don’t hesitate

Until next time 

Alex ❤

 

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Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice

Hey Everyone,

I have been getting lots of Postpartum submissions that I am so excited to share with you, from women all over the world! The purpose of this is to have a plethora of stories that we can all read through and relate with ❤ If anyone wants to share their story on this blog, please feel free to email it to me ❤  All submissions will be posted under ‘Mothers By Nature, Warriors By Choice’

so here we go!

My name is Devon, I’m 24 years old, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I have a son (Carson – March 4, 2015) and a daughter (Maisyn – March 7, 2016) – yes, they’re one year and three days apart !! 😂
I had Postpartum depression and anxiety after Carson was born, and it got worse after Maisyn was born. When Maisyn was 3 months old, I admitted myself into the hospital because I was having uncontrollable panic attacks, and that lead me into a state of depression. I stayed for a night and they sent me home. I was on a medication, and started to feel better around the 5 month mark, so against the advice of my doctor, I weaned off them.

It took two months to finally start feeling like myself again, and I was happy. Unfortunately, the PPD/PPA came back, in full force, just over three weeks later. I was having panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and I felt like I couldn’t care for my children anymore. I re admitted myself into the hospital because I thought my intrusive thoughts meant I was going into psychosis. Again, I was sent home and assured hat I was fine and that they were OCD thoughts. I still didn’t trust myself. My husband took time off to help me get back on my feet, and my mom moved in to help when he goes back to work.

I went back on medication, but it was a different brand, and my body had a bad reaction to it. The first few days I was so depressed, that I wished my life would end. I was told these feelings were normal, and I would feel better in time. Well, I didn’t get better, I got worse. I lost 10Lbs in 10 days, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, and I felt like I had no where to turn to help me.

My therapist looked at me like I was from Mars, and my doctor kept assuring me that the medication would work. Every clinic that specialized in PPD was booking 2-3 months in advance, and it would be weeks until I could get in with a psychiatrist. I felt like I had no where to go, and my hope started to fade. I thought my life would always be this way, and that was a hard pill to swallow.

I had joined a PPD support group, and that was my saving grace. My 2nd visit there, I met a nurse named Judy, who ran the group each week. I walked into the circle of moms, and started to have a melt down. Judy told me that I was in a state of crisis, and that I should leave the group and go to the UofA psychiatry walk in clinic, because they specialize in PPD and will be able to get me some relief.

I left right away, and drove there. I was met by an intake therapist who told me that they couldn’t help me, and that I would have to call the Women’s Reproductive Health clinic and wait for an appointment. I called, and they booked me in for January… 2 months away. I left the UofA feeling just as stuck as I had felt before. I called Judy, and left her a voicemail telling her that unfortunately they couldn’t help me, and I thanked her anyway.

I went for a walk to my therapists office that day, and again, she looked at me like she had no idea what to do or say. She validated how I was feeling, but couldn’t send me home with anything I could do to help myself. I walked home after that expensive hour with her, and started to talk out loud. I was crying, and I said “Please, help me. Give me a sign. Please”

And then my phone rang.

It was Judy. She called to apologize for sending me to a place that couldn’t help me. She felt terrible. I told her it was ok, and it wasn’t her fault. She ended up telling me that she took matters into her own hands, and booked me an appointment with a psychiatrist who specializes in PPD the very next day. I felt a glimmer of hope in my soul again, and I felt like I was going to get better and make it through this.

The next day I sat down in the psychiatrists office, and told her everything. Every intrusive thought, every worry, every panic attack, everything. She smiled at me, told me everything I had told her was completely normal and nothing to worry about, and that she could help me. She said she wanted to see me weekly, and she set me up with a therapist who specializes in PPD.

I stopped that awful medication that was making me sick, and tried a new one. I started to get better. My days became brighter, and I felt like my old self was coming back again.

I’m still have my bad days, but I now know I have Postpartum anxiety, depression and OCD. I am pushing forward and making leaps and bounds. It’s crazy to look back to two months ago and see where I was. I am on the right medication, I know how to manage my intrusive thoughts and how to talk myself through a panic attack. Each day that passes, I feel better and better. I’m climbing this mountain, one step at a time

With the help of healthcare professionals who specialize in what I’m going through, my PPD support group, my husband, my Mom, my friends and family, I am getting through this.

If you are reading my story, and can relate in any way, please know, you’re not alone. Don’t give up, don’t take no for an answer, and keep pushing forward.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel.

💕
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Anonymous submission:

Heyyy I hope you’re well! I followed your page the other day after seeing the post with your stomach and baby and thought it was so beautiful of you to share with everyone! I wanted to share a bit of my story with you, I just had a baby 11 months ago, but unlike the loving stories that many women have to share, mine has been so hard. I fled from my ex partner only 3 weeks after giving birth due to domestic violence and was something which had worsened during my pregnancy. It was a really hard decision but the best I ever made. Upon leaving I had to deal with the aftermath of this abusive man who was threatening to kill me and abduct my child, and then finding out that he was also having an affair the whole time while I was pregnant and before we had our wedding day. God! It was the worst year of my life, I couldn’t breastfeed for very long at all due to the stress I was dealing with and I tried so hard because it was something I had always wanted to do. I found it hard to focus on my son because I was always breaking down and worried for myself and my sons life. I didn’t know how good of a mum I could have been to him and would hate myself for bringing him into this world and not being able to give him the best. I know I had suffered from a lot of post natal depression however despite the trauma and heartache I was surrounded by my family who I loved back and had provided both myself and my son with all the love and affection we needed to get me back on track. At one stage last year I was at my lowest and I truly used to try and stay in bed for as long as I could because I wanted each and every day to pass as quick as possible. I never thought I could smile or be happy or feel safe or proud of Myself for all I have achieved and the mother that I am. But with time I realised that the steps I made were for the best for my child and his protection. I came to learn that it wasn’t my fault what I was going through and that time was the biggest healer. I learned that my son was my world and my biggest priority and through all the hardship I had all the happiness in the world laying in my arms every single day. Yes it has been difficult but I salute myself for pulling through. I love being a mother, every day is a learning process and a day to be proud of all our hard work we have achieved. My advice to all women is that there isn’t one way to be a mother and no life is perfect. We may see or know people who deem to have a perfect family or look so happy but our perfect stories are built with what we make of it. I feared the stigma which came of being a single mum and thought people will look down on Me or how I would ever move on and whether I’d be able to find love again. But the world is so big and peoples minds aren’t so small, such issues will be dealt with and get easier with time as did dealing with being a mother for the first time ! X

 

If any of you ladies would like to submit your journeys, please don’t hesitate !!

Until next time

Alex ❤

 

To my fellow mamas

Hey everyone,

I am currently writing this while nursing my son Anthony, while laying with baby Bryan on our sofa watching Little Rascals! I just wanted to take this down time in my day to reach out to everyone and say Thank You!! I am honestly shocked at how many of you other mamas can relate to my story. I can not believe all the positive feedback you are all giving me. I wish at this point I could sit down somewhere and talk with every single one of you about how you birthed your children, how you felt after you had your babes, how your breastfeeding journeys are going, what your spouses are like and what your postpartum depression struggle was/is like. I don’t know if any of you guys got to see Good Morning America this morning, but they actually aired my interview with them. I am still amazed at the fact that I was on TV this morning !!!! I cannot express how passionate I am about raising awareness for postpartum depression, I can’t tell you guys how important it is to me to begin to show the world how us mommies really look after we bring our babies into this wonderful world. I am loving all of the personal messages I am receiving, I am trying to get through all of them today and respond.

The reaction that I have had to my own stretch marked stomach has mostly been absolutely positive, don’t get me wrong.. of course there are a good amount of negative comments in there, but for the most part the comments are full of love, positivity, and support.. which in my opinion, is what motherhood should be all about. At this point I am hoping from the 34,000 + shares that my picture has gotten, the 110,000+ likes , and 7,000+ comments, that we can start to begin to feel a little more comfortable talking about our postpartum depression, because it is truly SO important to talk about, it is SO important to share our personal stories and experiences with each other. I hope from the huge reaction I have gotten from my public share of my own stretch marks, that you guys can find the courage and self love to share your baby marks also. My ultimate goal for posting my picture of my own belly was to reach out to as many of you mamas as possible, I want you guys to know that I have these marks, I am pushing through my postpartum depression, I am right here with you guys! Lets talk about our postpartum depression, our messy stretch marks, our crazy birth stories, our lives at home with our spouses and beautiful babies, lets embrace in our motherhood together. That is one of the most beautiful parts about being a woman, it’s motherhood, and uniting and sticking together through these trials that we face.

please if you are reading this, share with me something about your motherhood journey, I’m so excited to hear from you guys ❤

-Alex

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http://www.today.com/parents/postpartum-depression-mom-s-candid-photo-goes-viral-t107115

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moms-honest-post-highlights-the-dark-sides-of-motherhood-and-pregnancy_us_587cf9d7e4b0e58057ffa2ea

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4121514/No-one-warns-Mother-two-shares-dark-having-children-searingly-honest-post.html

 

 

The back story on my boys

When I found out I was pregnant with my first son Bryan, I was like most first time moms! nervous, excited, and anxious! My pregnancy was textbook, I was very healthy and so was Bryan. I had a medicated birth with a midwife in July of 2015. It was rough, I labored at home for two full days before finally giving up and going to the hospital ( I was trying to have him unmedicated at home). Maybe two days after having him my baby blues set in, I was feeling terribly overwhelmed.. my nipples were cracked and bleeding, my belly was covered in stretch marks, and I was moving four hundred and fifty miles just a few days later! When I got home all I could do was cry, I kept thinking to myself ‘ how am I going to do this, how am I going to take care of this little human’ . Long story short, I was dangerously overwhelmed! Just a few months later, I fell pregnant with my second son, Anthony. I was still battling my postpartum depression from my pregnancy with Bryan. This is where things started to get very hard for me. I had horrible morning sickness, I was utterly exhausted, and I was experiencing extreme guilt! I felt SO guilty for becoming pregnant. I felt like baby Bry was not going to get the love and attention that he needed. I felt guilty because I knew once I gave birth to my second son, Bryan would no longer get all of my attention. I felt so guilty because a part of me just wanted it to be me and JUST baby Bry. Well nine months later, I gave birth to my beautiful son Anthony, whom I instantly fell in love with ( something I did not experience with baby Bry). Anthony was born septic, he was put into the nicu just a few hours after he was born. This is when my guilt got almost unbearable. I was having to stay at the hospital to nurse Ant, while my husband Bryan and baby Bry were at home going about their normal lives. Normal life for baby Bry was his daily routine with me while big Bry worked. I felt so terrible, so guilty that I could barely bare to see Baby Bry. I wanted so bad to just go home with him and to go about our normal daily routine… and thats when my postpartum depression started for the second time. I remember sitting in the nicu nursing Anthony just crying because I knew baby Bry was wondering where I was, he was so used to being showered in affection by me! It was just him and I day in and day out. After five days in the nicu, Ant got to come home! I was a nervous wreck. I was so paranoid that baby Bry wouldn’t be gentle with Ant, I was petrified, on my toes 24/7! I asked my husband Bryan, to take seven days off of work so I could try to get adjusted, well I told him it was for me to get adjusted.. honestly I was just scared shitless to be left alone with both of our babies. I did not feel capable of taking care of them. I seriously felt like I could not do it. I cannot describe the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when we brought Ant home, and I realized that these babies were my responsibility. I was honestly lost, lost in my own home, lost in my own brain, lost in my own body. The days were long but the weeks flew by. By the time I was two months postpartum with Anthony, I wasn’t so much scared about caring for my children anymore, I realized quickly that I can handle that task.. The next task to tackle was my self acceptance, which to me was just as important as caring for my children, because if I am not healthy my children will not be either, right ? As you guys saw on my instagram post, my belly was mangled… covered in deep stretch marks.. but what you don’t see is that my breasts are covered as well, my thighs, my hips, my legs.. everything! and now it might seem like I am complaining.. because I kind of am, and before you jump the gun and tell me how blessed I am to have had kids, and before you start listing other scenarios of how much worse this could have been, just take a minute and see if you can relate to this.. If you can just relate that feeling you get in your gut when you take off your clothes in your bathroom and just stare blankly at what you see in the mirror. I was a stranger in my own body.. I did not know this body, I did not know these marks.. I was lost.. I didn’t know where to begin, I didn’t know how to accept these flaws. Todays society makes physical appearance so important. Ultimately what I HAD to understand was that whats on the outside is not as important as what is on the inside. My mother always told me ‘ Never judge a book by its cover’. What I had to do was start from my inside and work my way out. I started with my mind, I started reaching out to other moms like me and relating to them. Sharing pics of our bellies and talking about how we feel. Then, I started wearing just my sports bra and undies around my house, I took the time out of my days to look in the mirror and cry. I took the time to connect my feelings towards my stretch marks, saggy and stretched breasts and stretch marked legs, to the two people I love most in this world. I would look at my sons and feel so blessed, I would feel so proud to be their mom. After months of work I have begun to feel proud of these marks, I feel blessed carry these scars on my body. I feel honored to be the mother of my two sons.. I feel honored to be covered in marks that todays society call ‘flawed’ and ‘ugly’

Thanks for reading, I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys

– Aleximg_5087

A little bit about me

    Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment and tell you guys a little more about myself, and why I chose to post my bare belly picture with my newborn baby! As most of you guys already know from my instagram, my name is Alex. I gave birth to my first son eighteen months ago, his name is Bryan. I found out I was pregnant with my second son Anthony when my first son was four months old! I’ve got irish twins!! I suffered from postpartum depression after both of my boys were born. I chose to post my stretch marked belly on instagram to connect with other mamas who can relate to me. Not just with my stretch mark covered belly, but the struggles we go through with breastfeeding, the constant upkeep of a family of four, the ongoing challenge of raising two children that are thirteen months apart, and I also want to connect with woman who’s spouses work constantly to support their families, like my husband does!

I started this blog to connect on a more personal level, I don’t want to just talk about me, I want to know about you guys also! and its getting pretty hard to communicate through instagram and Facebook! I would like to hear other postpartum journeys, how you made it through, what makes you feel better? I’m also anxious to talk to other mamas who’s spouses are gone often, how do you cope with taking care of your children and homes?  These are the type of things I can’t achieve through instagram or Facebook!

Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you guys soon!

–  Alex

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