Congrats you're pregnant!
That plus sign (or two lines, or smiley face, or whatever) is such a defining moment in a woman's life. I remember taking the test and thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me. I took a picture of the test and walked away for about ten minutes before checking it again. Wow! I was pregnant! It was a shock and I was so excited!
I called my husband and we shared the excitement together within the next two weeks we shared our joy with our family and friends. That joy however turned into a bit of a scary thing. I am now responsible for this child-- this child I haven't even seen yet. I was determined to do everything I possibly could right.
As someone who has access to lots of natural health information (for those of you who don't know, I have been studying natural health for about six years now), I spent the first couple weeks in my books. I called the doctor who runs the school I attend and got her advice. I did lots and lots of reading. I WOULD DO IT ALL RIGHT. My child would be born at 40-42 weeks, perfectly healthy, whole, nothing wrong! I would have a wonderful pregnancy & control my symptoms with nutrition, essential oils, and supplements. Our child would only need to see the doctor for well baby check ups because [he] would be healthy.
That was my mind set.
At about 8 weeks... somethings I had "planned" started going wrong.
I was sick. I was so sick. How can I describe this.....
I threw up 4-5 times a day. For the first 13 weeks I couldn't keep anything down, not my heart medication, not my vitamins, not even water.
When I hit 14ish weeks I started being able to keep down about a quarter of what I ate. I took all my supplements, used all my oils, meditated, stayed positive, exercised when I could, and ate really healthy. I drank bone broth everyday!
At about 33 weeks I went to my OB for a check up. I mentioned I might be leaky but I wasn't sure. She checked-- nope not leaking. Then she asked me if I wanted to be checked.. My first reaction was "no" but then something told me to say "yes". She checked me- I was dilating. She put my on the NST-- I was having contractions 1-2 minutes apart. I couldn't feel them (yes I was one of those weirdos). I ended up in the hospital trying to get my labor to stop. Once I left the hospital I was on bed rest. I had to shut down my business immediately.
I remember talking the doctor who runs my school-- her name is Dr Baker. I emailed her first and she called me with a response. I cried and felt defeated. "I've done everything right", I told her horrified... "I take all of my supplements. I studied which organ was developing each week and supported it (and the nervous systems etc). I drank bone broth daily. I am eating meat-- which I hate. Dr Baker, what did I miss?"
She simply responded to me "Your child is healthy. Relax. Do whatever makes you relax. There are times in life that we do all we can do and things still won't go as planned. Health isn't something that should be a black or white thing.. there is a very grey area. You have a heart condition- a rare one at that. I think you should be rejoicing that you have made it this far without big complications. Just relax my dear, stay in bed, drink your bone broth, sleep, it will all be alright".
2 1/2 weeks later we welcomed our son.
I had a quick labor-- I still did everything I could to do things perfectly-- things still didn't go as planned. I had a completely natural birth. As my OB will tell you-- I kicked and screamed the whole time (not the whole time--- the last 20-30 minutes of pushing).
He was beautiful! For being early he had a great weight-- much better than they expected.
The day after he was born we were told that one of his testicles didn't descend but not to worry-- they usually come down on their own-- if not he would need surgery to "tack it down" as the pediatrician said at the hospital.
I immediately remember thinking about how the week he was born was the week that the testicles were supposed to descend. I was hard on myself right away... "Maybe if I wouldn't have sat on the ball, maybe if I would have just ordered pizza instead of cooking dinner..." the thoughts went on and on about what I could have done to keep him in longer.
The last 4 months have gone by. They didn't fly by like everyone said they would... but over these last 4 months have been interesting. My son had reflux pretty bad.. so bad that he had to be tested for pyloric stenosis .. the test came back negative. I remember sitting at the children's hospital horrified that my baby (my 5 week old baby) might have to have surgery. He also had an umbilical hernia (still does). The comments from "friends" and family members about killed me. His hernia was pretty big & everyone had something to say about it. I cried sitting at the doctor's office when he told me it was normal-- in fact 3/5 premature babies have one.
And for the love of God the testicle hasn't descended.
I sit here tonight awake.. when I should be sleeping-- after all, my son is sleeping. I was sitting here going over everything in my head that I might have done wrong. Sure I still have 2 more months before my son's doctor will send him to a pediatric urologist to discuss what the next steps might be. I know that testicles not descending is more common in babies born before 38 weeks. I know I did nothing wrong.. but I feel myself playing the blame game with myself. Right now, I feel helpless. I can do energy work. I can pray. I can take my son to his chiropractic adjustments. I can have cranio sacral done on him. I can love him. Surgery might be inevitable at this point. Do I want to accept this? Nope. If he has to have surgery.. am I going to be able to accept it? Probably not. I know myself. But I do know.. I can't blame myself because he is perfect....
And for those of you who think I'm dramatic-- I'm sorry you feel that way. When you work in the Natural Health field and have witnessed things and the effects of surgeries, medications, etc on someone's life (even down the road) it is hard to not get hyped up whenever something might come up.
Then I had this thought..
"I wonder how my mom felt when she realized I had a rare heart condition? I wonder how her heart hurt to see me hospitalized many times. I wonder what went through her mind the times the called code on me. Or the times that I would scream in pain from leg cramps."
I look back over the YEARS that I had heart issues. There were times the doctors didn't know what to do. There were times medicines didn't work. There were times of fear. But I remember one thing about my mom.. She always loved me through it & told me how strong I was & that I would make it. I don't know if I would have made it without my mom's encouragement. She showed up every time I would end up in the hospital (with the exception of a couple times but she had just had spinal cord surgery). I can't imagine the thoughts that went through her mind as she saw me.
I'm wondering if she felt helpless. I am wondering if she wondered if there was anything she could have done differently. I'm willing to bet she had all of those thoughts and more-- but she never let me know it.
Then I kept thinking about the mothers that I have met over the years... The mom's with children who have behavioral problems, severe food allergies, autism, etc.... I wonder what goes through their mind...
I know for a fact some of them have thought like me... "If I would have only delayed the vaccines.. If only I would have been more strict with his/her diet... If only I would have ... If only ... If only... If only"
After a long time of praying this is what I have to say (to myself & to all of you)...
To all of the mothers, who did everything right... who did everything in their power to be sure their child is healthy... especially the moms who go above and beyond... & your child has something not 100% right...
It is NOT a reflection on YOU!
Somethings are inherited. Somethings happen in life because we are going to be able to help people someday who might be going through something similar.
I have a friend.. one of my best friends' who has seem to have EVERYTHING not go according to her natural plan. She planned for a natural un-medicated birth and got a c-section. She didn't want antibiotics- and she & the baby got them. Her son has been sick quite a few times and even had a minor surgery recently & he just turned 1. She has been amazing. Of course she has had her freak outs & the "I'm over it" rants--- but I have learned so much from her. She has helped me accept the fact that Ezra was born early-- he was healthy but still born earlier than expected.
So to all of you moms out there-- worrying... this is what I have to say...
"You created the perfect human.. He or she is perfectly who he or she is meant to be. We all have our own path to walk in life... and on that path.. there will be hurdles and things we have to work through.. Be there for your child. Love them. Pray for them. Nourish them. Nourish them mind, body, and spirit. Continue to do your best for them. Take a deep breath. NONE of this is your fault. NEVER. Don't you dare blame yourself. If perhaps something you might have done caused an issue-- I am willing to bet that you had no idea that it would happen! Life is all about learning. You have created the perfect human being."
Don't ever blame your body or yourself. Your body created and housed a human being-- A LIFE. Some of us-- it is a miracle that our body lasted as long as it did during pregnancy. You mentally went through pregnancy. You may have mentally had to deal with the fact that you threw up everything you ate. Some of us have had body image issues (that was me!)
YOU. HAVE. CREATED. THE. PERFECT. HUMAN. BEING.
Now take a deep breath.
It will all work out in time. Advocate for your child. Do your research just like you do. Love your child-- no matter what is going on with them. They are yours to love and yours to cherish!
All you can do for your child is fight for them. Sometimes fighting for them means not letting them know how scared you are. Sometimes it means to hold their hand and tell them it's okay. Sometimes it is exhausting all options before accepting the one thing YOU don't really want for them. Sometimes fighting for your child means loving them.
But I'm also a mom. I might be sitting here a few months from now re-reading my own words. So for all of you out there.. worried. sick. nervous. angry.
You are doing great. Love yourself. Love your child. It will be okay.
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!