Me

Changes – from son up, to son down

Our son is now on his 4th day of life on the outside. It is 3:28 AM on 8/10/2020.

I am in the midst of trying to allow my body to heal, care for my baby, and help my mother and husband who are also here, and process all of these incredible emotions I am feeling.

Im about to hit you with some blunt force emotional trauma. Prepare yourself, because it is so raw.

I was not prepared for what it would feel like to become a mother.

I was so scared I wouldnt rise to the occasion.

Or that my anxiety wouldnt allow me to love my own baby.

I was terrified at the prospect of failure.

And I felt as if the old me would die forever…. And it did.

Here we go.

The love I feel in my heart right now – I didnt know was an emotion living people on Earth could feel.

I am now seeing the world with a brand new pair of eyes.

When I look at our son, its like my heart is going to explode.

Its not anything like falling in love with your boyfriend, getting married, etc…

Its a brand new emotion.

I was about to use the breast pump in Shepherd’s room late last night, when I started uncontrollable sobbing.

It wasnt tears resulting from the  newfound pressures of life…

Or regret…

But of love, and pride.

Its hard to process such a powerful emotion you’ve never had before.

My husband came in and asked if I was okay, and I told him, lip quivering out of control…

“I had no idea.”

We began to talk about these emotions and how we were both trying to deal with them on our own. Brian sat down infront of me on the stool as we listened to the horrible rhythmic sounds of the breast pump at work (so romantic lol) and I could tell this was going to be a life-changing moment somehow…

Brian said, “You are feeling a mothers love. It’s very powerful. I cant even begin to imagine how YOU must feel, because I just know how I feel as a father, and it is hard to understand… Its not that I dont want to help you, but I feel like I cant. This is something, for me, I’d have to talk to my daddy about, or other dads I know… You can talk to other mothers now because they know and understand. I have had to lay my feelings aside and go forward, but it has been very hard to do that. I’ve never felt more proud in my whole life of anything. When I look at Shepherd, I feel the same in my heart.”

I told him, “I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like to meet Jesus face to face someday, and the joy we will feel in heaven,  if I feel this in my heart for our baby now. How can I feel MORE love and joy? HOW. I cant understand it. I’m so afraid of something happening to him.”

We both had a good cry together about it.

It helped me so much to hear that from my husband.

Ive have never felt this way.

I so wish I could explain it more to others reading this who may not yet have children.

But I cant.

The best way I can put it is that  maybe now,

I can understand this more…

I put these screenshots together in a collage months before I had my baby, but I had no idea I would feel the exact same way in my heart. As if Mary was a superhero or something… no. She was just a mother like any other mother. Nothing special about her – as a matter of fact, she had sin in her life because she said her heart rejoices in God HER savior…

I sit around with my baby now and think about things that are troubling to me… And I dont think its ALL post-partum anxiety (I think it is, but also not really)

I think about things like… If we arent given in marriage in heaven, will my son even care who I am when he gets there with me? (Having faith he will come to know Jesus in this life). Will we really always be a family?

And things like… The world is so bad, im afraid this piece of goodness in our house will be stamped out somehow…

I understand my hormones are out of control right now, but I cant choke all of these tears to Post-partum “issues”….

I think they are largely normal.

And for me,

they come from gratitude.

Without further adieu, I’d like to share what God has done for me concerning my family.

I wish I could go into detail more, and only a few trusted people in my life know the REAL depth of the medical issue I have that caused this, but long story short….

There was very little hope for me to get pregnant on my own.

It is taboo to speak about in todays society… and if you have it, it is very largely hidden away… I was born with a very painful condition in my genital area. It is a secret I have carried my whole life, and I knew it would cause me great heartache and harm in my future. When I was 15, I could never wear tampons, due to the excruciating pain it caused me. It wasnt possible. I spoke to many doctors about this when I turned 21 (and had to start getting screened for cancers, etc), and I was COMPLETELY dismissed by the medical community…

COMPLETELY.

And treated like I was just “being a baby”. (One gynocologist told me “Come back when you want to grow up” when I failed to complete a pap test.) I felt ‘broken’ and very flawed.

My pain wasnt imaginary.

It was excruiciating.

To the point of blacking out.

As you can imagine, I have lived some difficult years. My marriage was tense for a while… but I am grateful every day that I live that I am not married to a dog. My husband has been very understanding and has helped me work through this. We worked through it together.

One day, things began to look up, although I didnt realize it at the time.

Through some divine intervention, I was ‘blessed’ with a completely seperate medical issue concerning my bladder (Cystitis) that drove me to seek help immediately. The doctor I saw that day in December 2018 urged me to see some specialists in Winston-Salem because she thought the genital issue and the bladder issue were related. That gynocologist listened to me and connected the dots. I did what she said, and I went back and forth to Winston for over a year. I was diagnosed with vulvar vestibulitis – a condition that affects the nerves in my privates. The best way I can describe it is: imagine a normal person has 100 nerves there. I have 10,000. And it doesnt affect me the way you would think. The pain response is VERY bad… There is no cure for this condition. Despite the severity of my pain, and despite the grim outlook it gave me for the future (IVF wasnt even possible. Couldnt tolerate any form of invasiveness) I FORCED MYSELF to go to physical therapy for almost a year, and it was very hard… and although i’ll never be cured, I had some slight improvement over time.

I was able to get pregnant in November 2019.

Provided by NB Photography

The doctor that sent me to Winston is a Christian woman, and is local in my area. She took the time to listen, understand, and really hear me out and not dismiss what I was telling her… I truly feel that had I not had the Cystitis happen that caused me to get in the door with her at the office that day, that my family would never exist.

That wasn’t luck.

That wasn’t coincidence.

That was God.

After our son was born, I hugged that doctors neck and thanked her for listening to me and told her I loved her deeply.

God puts people in your life that you need, at the right time.

I was so afraid my pregnancy would have complications because of my age, or some other problem… but my pregnancy had zero complications.

Again, that was God.

After some deliberation, my husband and I met together at week 36 in our living room, and we both decided that having a c-section was the best route for us to take. I met with a surgeon and I felt very comfortable about this decision. I felt it was the best thing for me, to prevent trauma in an area I couldn’t handle.

It ended up being a God-thing too.

In the early morning hours of August 6th, 2020, we were hit in our area with a really bad storm. It kept me awake all night long. I was already scared about having major surgery, and now I couldnt sleep. I had shed a lot of tears that night – afraid of the life that was coming next, just because I was afraid of the unknown… I got up at 4:15 AM and took a long, hot shower. I cried in the shower. I was so afraid. My husband got up at 4:30 and we made sure we finished packing for the hospital. As we walked out our door, I fought back tears as I said goodbye to my old life forever. It was hard.

We got to the hospital, and the moment we checked in, it was like a whirlwind of people swirled around me… asking me the detaild of why I was having an elective c-section, drawing blood, checking levels, asking me questions, etc. It was a lot all at once.

A nurse came in to give me my I.V. and OH MY GOODNESS it was AWFUL. After 2 blown veins, they got the head nurse to come in and she gave me a few numbing shots and they were finally able to get it. I remember looking over at my husband crying under my mask (pandemic mask) because I didnt know how I was going to do this if things were already this bad…

A male O.R. nurse came in and was just generally talking to us, and he told us children were a blessing from the Lord. Then we found out he used to go to my great uncles church a long time ago. Funny how things work.

Then my OB/surgeon came in and prayed for us and our sons future. I felt so relieved then that everything was going to be okay.

They took me in the O.R. and I had to climb on my own surgical table. That felt unsettling. Like I was climbing on my own cross. Lol.

I leaned forward onto one of the nurses and I got the epidural. The numbing shot stung just barely. When it was time for the large needle, I was scared and started shaking. I felt something ‘go between’ my spine, but felt no pain. Then they helped me lay back on the table and strapped my arms down. I started shaking uncontrollably. I knew it was just the anesthetic, but it scared me to be so out of control with your body. My toes felt tingly immediately.

I told the male nurse we spoke to in our room earlier that I was scared I’d feel being catherized. He remembered this and told me I could hold his hand. I did, and I felt relieved. I didnt feel it at all.

Then, they put up the curtain, and let my husband in. He had tears in his eyes when he came in. That scared me. He came and sat behind the curtain on my right side with me and I held his hand. I heard all the suctioning, and general discussion from the surgeons. It wasnt but maybe 10-15 minutes in and they told us baby was about to come out. I told Brian to look over the curtain and he did.

We heard crying imnediately and the staff were laughing that he was peeing. Lol A nurse took him for a quick minute and then gave him over to my husband. Looking at our baby was like looking at a strsnger at first. Like I didnt know him.

I watched as the nurse cleaned him off, took his footprints, etc. 8 lbs 3 oz. 20.75 inches long. Healthy.

I was so thankful.

They took down the curtain after closing me up, unstrapped my arms, and the staff held me like a stiff board and rolled me over to clean up the blood that had pooled under me. It felt like they would drop me and I was helpless. Then they transferred me to my hospital bed, wheeled me back to our room, and it was over.

IT WAS THE MOST INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.

And it was a decision that I feel God led me to make. It protected me from trauma down the road and I will always be thankful I chose this route. It was amazing.

I cannot explain how amazing it was with words.

God has been so good to me and has helped me with EVERY step of the way. Youve come too late to tell me He does not care about us as individuals. He is an individual Savior, with an individual plan for every persons life. I will never forget what He did for me in my journey to becoming a mother.

This journey has been so special.

And even now, God is helping me with recovery and I am doing so well. I am struggling very much eith Postpartum depression, to the point where I am struggling to care for my baby… but I am holding onto the truth that God will help me through this too.

As I finish this post, our precious baby boy is now a week old. I have cried all morning about it.

God will give me grace to watch him grow up too.

2 thoughts on “Changes – from son up, to son down

  1. Stephanie this is a beautiful story. I had no idea of course that you suffered in some way but isn’t that the way it is. We never know what someone else is going thru. We should not have to know the details to be willing to pray for and lift someone up. I am proud of you and your courage to write this. I’m praying for u and your sweet family. I know you will be just fine. Let yourself heal, let yourself hold your baby and cry for joy or for whatever you need to. Love him hug him and hold him all u can. They are soon too big to do that. U are already a great Mom because it takes faith and trust to write and share these things. We love u ,Otto and Brian.

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  2. This is a beautiful story, Stephanie. Your beautiful story! I’m so glad you have experienced this great time in your life. A great blessing from God. He will forever be your baby, even when he is grown, and you will always feel the proud feeling, you feel now. I cried, when you told of the moment of you and Brian had in Otto’s nursery. It bonds a marriage, even closer. I’m so happy for your little family of 3. ♥️

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