Premie part 2

I remember staring at the bright light above me, pleading with god to let my baby live. Then I hear people yelling at me. I can’t make it out at first, but I hear a cry. A sound I’ve heard 3 times before. I can finally make out what these people are yelling at me “look at your baby! It’s a girl!” Seeing her for the first time was the best and worse thing I have ever been through. She was red and so tiny, 2lbs 1 oz, but she was crying and kicking. I had so much faith at that time that she would live and be healthy.

I couldn’t go see her for 8 hours after she was born. That seemed like forever, but you can get your ass as soon as the clock hit 8 hours exactly I was calling the nurse to take me to see her. I walked down to the nursery while Michael pushed a wheelchair behind me. I’m not sure how many people know this but you have to scrub down before you can go into the nicu, just like a surgeon before surgery.

We walked in and I saw my baby for the first time since she was born. Tubes and wires filled her little bed. It was so much to take in, but I just kept telling myself she is alive, i think that’s what got me through the nicu stay.

She couldn’t nurse because she was so small so I would pump. They wouldn’t feed her with a bottle but with a little q tip. They would dunk it in my breast milk and then roll it around her mouth. She was also hooked up to an IV that was giving her nutrients. Soon they hooked up a ng tube to fees her and she started taking it very well.

After I was discharged I went back to the nicu every other day. Michael would meet me up there and we would see our beautiful, strong little girl. Finally I was able to hold her. I remember Michael taking a picture of me holding her and my boob was literally bigger than she was. Those were the best moments. She was doing so well she was even impressing the doctors.

One day as I was getting ready to come visit her I got a phone call. It was her doctor. She told me my little girl had an infection in her intestines and would have to be transferred to a bigger hospital 4 hours away to be near a surgeon, just in case.

She was transferred by plane. I got to ride with her. That was the scariest flight I have ever been on. I remember thinking “if this plane goes down at least I’ll die with my baby.”

We get to the hospital and they begin setting her up in her own little cubical. It took a while and I felt like I was in the way so I went down to grab something to eat and have a smoke.

A while after we were at the new hospital the doctor told me that they were going to put her on a special formula, because she couldn’t digest my breast milk. How horrible it was to hear that you were killing your baby. How could breast milk be bad for a baby? But I told the doctor to do what she thought was best.

Things were going good for awhile and then her lungs colapsed. She was put on a new ventilator that gave very quick burst of oxygen into her lungs to open them back up. It shook her whole body. It was terrifying.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, after they got her lungs open she got that infection again. This time antibiotics were not working and it had scared her intestines to the point they were almost closed off. She had to go into surgery. That was the longest 4 hours of my life. Thankfully everything went great, other than them having to take more than they thought.

So here I have a little girl who has had numerous infections, blood transfusions, lungs collapsing, and major surgery, and now she is a healthy 2 year old who has no health concerns. How’d I get so lucky?

You may not understand today or tomorrow, but eventually God will reveal why you went through everything you did….

Remission

Is remission from depression possible? I have had depression for as long as I can remember. Some days are good others not so much. Lately I’ve felt the bad days are taking over. It doesn’t creep in, it comes all at once. It feels like you’re drowning. Like it doesn’t matter how hard you fight you can’t get your head above water.

I’ve been medicated for my depression for the better part of two years. Most days it seems to help, but there are still bad days. Is this how it will be for the rest of my life? Waking up every morning wondering what kind of day it will be. Will I get my house work done today? Will I avoid my family as much as I can? Will I try and sleep the day away? Not knowing the answer to these questions is hard. That’s when anxiety comes into play. Now I have depression and anxiety. The two, a deadly mixture.

Depressed to the point of not wanting to do anything and then scared that you’re not getting anything done. Pushing yourself to get just one more thing done yet scared it’s not enough. Worring that the house isn’t clean enough yet having no motivation to clean it.

If not being able to do anything and then worrying about not doing it isn’t bad enough add in the paranoia that comes from schizophrenia. You never get to feel at ease. Having curtains in the windows help but not as much as one would think. I continuously look out the windows whenever I hear any kind of sound. Always looking around when out in public, making sure no one is too close. Always double checking your pockets or purse to make sure no one has stolen anything, or put anything in there.

So you have no motivation yet you’re scared,or worried, about having no motivation and then you feel like people are out to get you, or cause you harm in some way. You want to clean but you can’t because someone may be watching you through the window that doesn’t have a curtain. So you just sit in your kitchen hoping no one comes over.

It’s a never ending cycle. The meds help some, and having Michael home helps too. I know he gets annoyed by me sometimes because I make him answer the door or check out a noise outside, but it helps me relax more than he will ever know.

My counselor tells me to take things one day at a time, and I try to do that, but it’s hard when you have anxiety over what will happen later in the week or month. Especially when you feel like nothing goes the way you plan, ever. You are always taking everything personally, and you can never really tell who is a friend and who isn’t. You constantly overthink and then think your underthinking things. Loud noises drive you crazy because you can’t hear anything else around you and could possibly get hurt from something you didn’t hear coming. The list goes on and on, so taking it one day at a time is hard.

Sleep isn’t just sleep anymore, it’s an escape……

I have a brother?

I get a message on facebook….. it’s my brother. I haven’t seen him in 12 years and I haven’t talked to him in probably 5.

He’s asking how I’m doing. We do small talk for a few minutes. Then he says ” if I tell you something do you promise to keep it between us?” This gets my attention. He’s 50 miles away from me! I start asking questions like a crazy person. Finally he asks if I can give him a ride the following day. I said I would but our sister will be with me.

As we get closer to picking him up my anxiety gets higher and higher. Do I hug him? Is that wierd? High five maybe? Hand shake? We finally get there and it’s a totally different person than I remember. We both get out and awkwardly give him a hug.

The whole day seemed awkward. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it because my sister was with us? Was it him just using us for a ride? Was it that no one knew what to say? What do you say to someone you haven’t seen in over a decade?

My mind seems to be working differently these days. Old me would be freaking out because I thought he was just using us. I would be telling Michael all about it and probably in tears. My brother and I used to be super close. You know, That older brother little sister bond. But I can honestly say, i don’t feel it any more. He’s a stranger. I tell Michael about our day and tell him my thoughts on my brother just using us for a ride. I tell him about how the ball is in my brothers court and if he doesn’t want a relationship with me than that’s fine too. Afterall, he is more of a stranger now. And I ment it. This time I ment it! I’m so tired of trying for relationships that are so one sided. If you need to use me for a ride and want nothing else just say so. Don’t go around with this I miss you bullshit. I still would have given you a ride.

Still I feel I did something wrong. How did we go from being so close to not even recognizing each other? I’d like to blame it on his wife, but that’s not fair. I know how it feels for your spouse’s family to target you. In reality it’s him. She can tell him to stay away from me all she wants, but it’s him that makes the decision. And I don’t know maybe it was me, maybe I did something wrong, or didn’t hold up my end of the relationship like I should have. My guess is I will never know.

I should talk to him about it but I fear it will only turn into things he thinks i want to hear and not honesty. I find honesty is so hard to find. I admit I have eluded honesty from time to time, however, if someone asks me for it I will always give it. Which is more than I can say about alot of people.

I guess time will tell what the future holds for my brother and my relationship. But for now I won’t pressure or nag. I’ll let him make the next move.

Sometimes family isn’t blood……

Hidden in the trees

It was 2004. My best friend was in town that summer staying with her grandmother. We longed, each year, for summer to come. This ment 3 months of exploring the town and sharing stories of our long school year apart.

I’ve read that people have more than one soul mate. Soul mate meaning not only your lover but your friends as well. And she was mine. My first soulmate. We could go for months without talking and then pick right back up when we did. We shared everything.

This summer, particularly, was one I would remember for the restof my life. We had a blast, taking turns staying at my house and then her grandmothers. Staying up late talking and sneaking out of the house to drink only to realize we had more fun laying in bed talking about nothing.

Most days we spent outside, walking around town. Our other friend lived just across town and would meet up with us to walk to the near by gas station, or walk around talking and laughing. We soon became the 3 amigos. If we were out he was with us. I don’t think he had many friends if any at all, except for us. And I don’t think, Well I know, his homelife was less than perfect. But we enjoyed spending time with him and he seemed to enjoy spending time with us.

Teenagers at the time ment hormones and rebellion ran high. Hence the sneaking out at night to drink. Alcohol that our friend stole from his mom, not that she ever noticed, or maybe she willingly gave to him. Silver wolf vodka is what we got 99% of the time. The thought of it still makes my stomach turn.

One night we asked her grandmother to let us sleep out in the trees. She had 3 pine trees that formed a sort of half circle in her back yard. Living in a small town, 300 people or so, she agreed. We spent most of that evening setting up our little hide out. Blankets, pillows, and a little side table for our drinks and snacks.

Finally it was time to go out to our little hide out nestled in those huge pine trees. Of course we told our friend about it and guess who was waiting for us. We turned on our flashlights and talked and laughed a while. When we thought her grandparents were asleep we snuck away to wonder the town and drink. We wondered for a while and decided to go back.

We sat talking awhile longer when finally we were tired. Our friend had gone home and we lay backs to each other talking until we fell asleep.

I feel a sharp pain and a huge amount of pressure on top of me. I can’t move. I open my eyes, quickly almost in tears from the pain. What I saw will forever haunt me.

He was supposed to be my friend. Why is he doing this? He tells me I want it. I have been flirting with him all night. I want to yell and kick, but I’m paralized.

After what seemed like hours finally a door opens and he quickly flees. I cover up and pretend to sleep. Her grandmother comes to check on us and then goes back to bed, having no idea what she just saved me from. I cry silently.

My back turned to my friend, I hear her roll over. She’s giggling. “OMG I can’t believe you just had sex!” I give out a fake chuckle “me either!” How do you tell your best friend, your soulmate, what just happened? As teenagers you want to be cool and popular. You want your friends to think your awesome. How do I tell her I wasn’t a willing party in that? So i just play along on the outside, but on the inside I’m breaking.

Force it down Kirsten. Push it to the back burner. Nobody likes a whiner. Nobody wants to hear about it. Other people have it worse. For years I forced it out of my mind. The first time since the incident that I had said anything about it is when I had to explain to my boyfriend, now husband, years later that I wasn’t a virgin. As much as I wanted to be for him, I had that stolen from me, from him.

*******

Being sexually assaulted is not your fault. You did nothing wrong. You didn’t wear the wrong clothes or say the wrong thing. You did not make him do it or “want it”. You didn’t drink to much. I know the easiest or what seems like the easiest, thing to do is hide it, but please don’t. Get help. Talk to somebody you trust.

A burden is easier if you have help.

https://www.rainn.org

Motherhood

What really makes a mom? Having a baby? Sure that makes you a mother but does it really make you a mom? I know so many women who have kids yet they seem so into themselves I think sometimes they forget they have kids. Then I know other women who have kids who would literally give their life for their kids.
My kids drive me absolutely nuts on a daily basis. By 6pm I’m done and am so looking forward to bed time. I think many other mom’s can agree. On days I have appointments that I can’t take my kids with I long the whole week to have that time for myself yet when I leave them at the sitter I long to be back with them.
So I do think that physically having a kid makes you a mother but being present in their existence makes you a mom.

*****

About a month ago I was outside with my 4 little gremlins. They were playing and my neighbor drives past. Scarlett asks who that was. I told her his name and in response she says”I LOVE *****! You know I played in his playhouse.” My blood boiled, my heart raced, I swear you could see steam rolling from my head, like in a cartoon. What play house? Why is a 70 year old man inviting my daughter to come play in it? What did they do? When did this happen?
Questions started rolling out of my mouth before I even realized I was asking them. Here is what had me reaching for that metal baseball bat my kids had lying in the yard….
Me: ok. Watch your sister while I call dad.
Scarlett: NO NO NO!
Me: what?
Scarlett: you weren’t supposed to know.

What in the actual fuck!
I had that bat in hand as I was calling Michael. Being a mother I feel like I would have looked the other way, but being mommy to these sweet innocent children I was ready to kill for her.

******

Sure life is difficult, and maybe more so for me sometimes.  I have to constantly ask if I’m being paranoid or if something is actually going on.  But when it comes to my children I would do anything for them.  No matter how hard it is for me I will always stand by them.  Even if anxiety is there trying to push me away, or depression keeps trying to throw me back into bed.  I will forever be their rock.

I think as mom’s that is our job, our responsibility, to stand up for our children.  Especially when they don’t know how.  Whether it’s a pedophile or the bully on the playground, we defend our own.

No mom is perfect.  We all have our flaws but we all are doing our best to be a great mom to our kids, sometimes the only way we know how.  Other people will always criticize you for making any kind of decision for your family.  But the only people who’s opinions matter are your kids.

Some days, usually more often than not, I feel defeated.  I see all these mom’s on facebook And Pinterest doing all these fun things with their kids and having a spotless house.  I beat myself up for it because I’m like I got a load if dishes done today.  Then you have those amazing moments with your kid, they don’t come often but they do come.  Today for example, Damien brings me the last piece of pizza and Cain really wants it so I gave it to him.  He then looks up at me and says “thanks mom.  You gave me the last piece.  You’re a good mom.”  My day turned around in that minute.

So be a mom.  Enjoy your kids.  Hide in the pantry for 10 minutes if you need to. Crying is not a sign of weekness.

 

Mothers who have messy houses have the happiest kids!

 

 

 

Life with a premie part 1

Imagine, you’re  21 weeks pregnant, you get up from your couch and feel like you peed your pants.  You go into the bathroom to change and clean yourself up, only to find blood covering your thighs and legs.  This happened to me for a month.  I was constantly calling my dr.  And all I got was ” sounds like you have a UTI (urinary tract infection).  After about 2 weeks of bleeding I began having contractions.  Now I’ve had 3 babies at this time.  I delivered each and every one of them vaginally without any medication.  So I know what contractions feel like.  Never in my 3 previous pregnancies have I had contractions like this.  They made me buckle over in pain and fall to the floor crying, and I have a high pain tolerance. But once again I was told it was a UTI.

The third week Michael was a drill (weekend training for the national gaurd) and I was off with my sister bar hopping (I was the designated driver).  Before we even left town the contractions and bleeding started.  I couldn’t even drive.  My sister rushed me to the emergency room in the small town about 25 minutes from us.  They couldn’t do anything for me so I had to call Michael to come get me and take me to a larger town.

We arrived at the other emergency room at about 11:30pm. This was 4 and a half hours since the contractions had started.  They sent us up to labor and delivery where I was changed into a gown and had an IV placed.  I was told the on call doctor wanted to look at my most recent ultrasounds (about 2 days old) and then she would be in.  About 10 minutes later here comes the ultrasound tech.  They couldn’t even read my ultrasounds from my doctoring hospital!!!  They had to do the ultrasounds over.  Regular and vaginal ultrasounds at the same time.  Now I’m contracting and bleeding and I have a huge ultrasound rod all up in me and then another ultrasound pushing down on my stomach.  To say the least, it was painful.

Apparently my placenta had been slowly tearing away from the lining of my uterus. She gave me some medication to stop the contractions and some for me to take home in case they started up again and I made an appointment with her for the following week.

In the middle of all of this we had just bought a house and were moving that week.  I felt helpless as the doctor told me I couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds.  I watched idly as my family hauled our household into our new home.  Yelling at me if I even thought of touching a box.

The next day I planned to go to a near by city for a doctor’s appointment for Cain.  I woke up and got the kids ready to go and the contractions started.  I took the medication the doctor had sent home with me only to find out they weren’t working.  When my sister got to my house I was buckled over crying my eyes out.  As she stood in front of me asking what she could do I remember looking up at her, still crying, and asked “what did I do to deserve this?”

We got the kids in the car and called Michael to meet us at the hospital.  When we arrived we were sent to labor and delivery. When I got to the nurses station I said ” I’m 25 weeks pregnant and I’m in labor!”  Guess what that nurse told me!  “Sounds like you have a UTI.”  ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW! A FUCKING UTI?  She got me into a room and told me to change into the hospital gown and she would be back in a few minutes to see how I was doing.  35 minutes later here she comes.  I tell her I’m still having contractions and they are closer together.  She just rolls her eyes and says “well I guess I can check you.”  Well no fucking shit you should check me I’m only 25 weeks pregnant!!!  She sits down in front of me and checks me.  Then her face changed from this is a waste of my time to holy shit I need the doctor.  She looked up at me and said “you’re 4cm and your bag is bulging!”  Yeah well I could have told you that.

As we wait for the doctor an IV is put in and an ultrasound done.  Baby is breach (head up not down).  Now what?  We need to do an emergency c-section they tell me.  But first they shoot me up with all of these steroids to make baby’s lungs stronger.

I’m off to the surgical room.  Michael wasn’t aloud to go with me.  I’m freaking out at this point.  They shoved a huge needle in my back to numb me and laid me on the table.  I’m sitting there shaking, not sure if it was on the outside but I could definitely feel it in the inside.  Finally Michael gets to come in. Instant relief.  By this time I am cut open.  A few minutes, that seemed like hours, went by and here is the doctor holding up my baby girl.  She’s crying.  I’m full of all sorts of emotions, as she is wisked away to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

The doctor closes me up and I am sent to my room.  I have to wait 8 hours before even seeing my baby.  Michael would go back and fourth taking pictures of the baby and then coming and showing her to me.

As if that wasn’t scary enough for a mom, what comes next is hell…..

 

A little back story

Hey there!  I’m Kirsten, a mom of 4 and a wife, struggling with her mental health and being the best mom and wife I can be. I think all of us mom’s can agree that being a mom is both amazing yet defeating at times.

I am a stay at home mom who homeschools.  I have a love hate relationship with this.  I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Michael.  Saying my life is chaotic is an understatement.

So a little back story about me and my crazy family.  Michael and I started dating in high school. We dated foŕ 4 years before we got married.  Right before he joined the national gaurd.  We got pregnant during his break from AIT (Advanced Individual Training).  At 20 and 19 we had our first child, Damien.  We were both so in love with him!  Three months later we took in my nephew, Daiton.  Damien looked at him as his older brother and Michael and I felt we were gifted with 2 sons.  We loved our little family.  About a year after that we got pregnant with our second child, Scarlett.  We were in a panic. How are we going to afford 3 children?  Five months after Scarlett was born Daiton went back to his mom. We felt relief yet our hearts broke.  About a year after Scarlett was born we found out we were having a third child.  How are we going to do this?  Three kids, one parent working. What are we going to do?  I got a job and mike found a better paying job.  Although the panic was real, the joy our third child, Cain, gave us was unimaginable.

Three children, financially unstable, and exhausted, the fighting began between Michael and I.   We were adamant that we were not having any more children.  I made an appointment to get an IUD. As I’m sitting in my hospital gown, on the table, my doctor informs me that I’m pregnant again!  My youngest at this point was only a few months old.  Here we go again!  We must be the most fertile people on the planet!  Again what are we to do?  A fourth child!  But we pushed through and became excited about having a new baby.  At 25 weeks I delivered my baby girl.  This was the scariest time in my whole life.  Stay tuned for that story.

After about 8 months Michael got deployed.  This was the second worst time in my life.  Post partum, anxiety, depression, and eventually found out schizophrenia.  I was seeing a counselor and a psychiatric nurse once a week.  I was on meds, but at that testing phase. Try this med for a month, try that one for a month, try these together, increase this , decrease that.  It was a nightmare. I wanted nothing to do with my kids, I wanted to sleep all day, nothing got done around the house, unless social services were coming.  It was a nightmare.  It got so bad my counselor called the red cross and had Michael sent home after only 4 months of his 11 month deployment.

I felt like a failure, I felt like I had taken something from him that I could never give back.  The meds continued to change and eventually I ended up in the psych ward for a week.  The psychiatrist there changed my medication again.  Finally something that worked!  I was me again, or at least as much of me as I could get.

Life was going great for a few months before I lost my insurance and couldn’t afford my meds.  I felt fine for a while but slowly I started falling back into that hole I never wanted to be in again.  I finally got insurance again and at my first appointment with my psychiatric nurse I was told I would be on meds for the rest of my life.  That was a huge pill to swallow.  But I got back on my meds and am doing well……for now.

So there’s a little bit about my life since meeting my husband.  I’m hoping this blog will help other mom’s, especially mom’s who are stuggleing with their mental health.  I can’t wait for you to come on this adventure I call life, with me!