1 Year Anniversary of Diagnosis

Today marks the one year anniversary of when I was care-flighted to Phoenix, Arizona (4 hours away from home) due to severe preeclampsia. It was a terrifying day. I went into the hospital early in the morning on December 19, 2016 with a mild contractions. Since it was my first pregnancy, I hadn’t experienced contractions, so naturally I was scared. My husband and I left work early and we went into the ER, and once we got there we were sent to the OB triage.

I was immediately hooked up to an IV, and all kinds of monitors to keep an eye on my daughter. They told us that I was just dehydrated and I just needed to rest. They said I should be back to work by lunch. I remember thinking I was disappointed that I would have to go back to work! I had a cold so I wanted to go home and go back to sleep. Having a cold, and being pregnant at the same time is not the greatest feeling.

As time went on, I started to notice the blood pressure cuff was still on my arm and they were continually. I hadn’t thought much of it, but the nurse started asking questions about my blood pressure history. I have never had any issues, and I was starting to get the feeling that something was wrong. However, no one said anything yet, other than just to relax, which, suddenly, was difficult to do.

After nearly an hour of monitoring, the doctor comes in and says he is not happy with the numbers of my blood pressure (204/100something) and he had been on the phone with a doctor in Phoenix, and I was going to be flown out in 15 minutes!! My husband and I were in complete shock! I will always remember my husband, who is normally so brave and composed, crying in the corner of the room as the nursing staff came in and prepped me to be taken to the helicopter. I saw it land right outside the window, and I just felt cold fear. I had no idea what was going on.

I remember telling my husband to grab my journal before he left town so I could write about what was going on with the pregnancy. Even though I didn’t know what was going on, I knew it was all going to be apart of my daughter’s story, and I wanted to remember it.

The next thing I know, I am being stuffed into an incredibly tight helicopter and in the care of two technicians I had never seen before. They were very kind and helped me feel more comfortable. It took an hour and a half to fly to Phoenix, and it felt much longer. I couldn’t see very well out of the windows because the gurney I was on was far below the window. I just remember seeing blue sky, and the revolving shadow of the helicopter blades, which made me nauseous.

I spent the entire flight in prayer. I prayed for safety for my daughter. I prayed for calm nerves. I prayed for peace. I prayed for everything. I didn’t know how long I would be away from home, or even when I would see my husband. The only thing I knew was the God was with me, and He was in control – even though I felt completely out of control. I decided in that moment that I was going to trust Him to take care of me. And, I can happily say, He did.

My preeclampsia was too severe and they were unable to lower my blood pressure to a safe level, and my My daughter was born 4 days after I arrived in Phoenix at 30 weeks. She weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces and was absolutely perfect. I didn’t return back home until February 12, 2017! We spent 54 days in Phoenix in the hospital! It was along journey, but it made my family so much stronger. I thank God everyday for how wonderful my daughter is, and for keeping me safe. I know it could have been so much worse.

Worrying doesn’t help much…

Through this verse, I am reminded that being anxious isn’t going to help anything. I can ruminate about the same thing all day long, but it won’t change anything.

Redirecting my thoughts to God, has allowed me to reduce anxiety, and start to live my life with more joy! Remember this verse today!

Anti-Anxiety

Here is to Day Two of bible quotes to read when experiencing anxiety. Today’s verse is actually difficult for me. It says “Don’t worry about anything .” Anything?! Sometimes that doesn’t even seem possible.

Now, I want to be clear. Anxiety disorders (which I have) are completely different than regular worrying and stress. Those of us who suffer from the disorder have limited control over when or how the anxiety will manifest. It is not possible to ever go without anxiety. HOWEVER! It IS possible to control our response to anxiety. We can choose to live through it. To push forward, even when it seems hopeless. And it’s ok to have days when you feel like you’re losing. In fact, you will have those days. Just remember that on the other side of pain, is peace. God will bring you through.

Cling tighter to him in those dark moments. He knows the pain. He knows everything about your anxiety.

So, for those of us with disorders, who experience frequent anxiety, the way we live out “don’t worry about anything” is by running to God and redirecting our thoughts to Him in combat. Remember you won’t always feel this way. It will get better.

Fighting back

I am fighting back at my anxiety. It can’t keep winning. My stress at work and with my friends has been very high, I can’t let it get any higher. Anxiety will not take anymore of my life. I have a daughter now, and she deserves 100% of her mom, and I will make that happen.

To combat the anxiety, I am going to post a bible verse each day for the rest of the month, to fill my mind and heart with God.

This reminds me that no matter what, God will be at my side. Even when it feels like he isn’t there, He is. He carries me when I am weak. What an amazing God we have!

An Anxious Mother

Having an anxiety disorder is difficult. Sprinkle on being a MOM with an anxiety disorder; well that’s an entirely new story! I have been working to navigate my anxiety since my beautiful daughter was born 8 months ago. It has been under control, for the most part, but there are times when it isn’t. Those are the rough times. Extra so now that I have Eisley.

There are SO many things to worrry about as a parent! I had no idea! Pretty much everything is a hazard. Yesterday I gave her some remnants of the peanut I had eaten off my finger, and afterwards I was terrified she was going to have an allergic reaction! (She didn’t by the way. She was fine!)

I try not to think about what could go wrong, or what could hurt her, too much. But it’s hard not to. When I find myself lost in panic, I turn my thoughts into prayers, and do my best to let God take it. Easier said than done, but it is a work in progress.

As of now, my anxiety is low and I have been soaking up the joy of the weekend. It is monsoon season here in Arizona, and it rained all day! It was amazing!

I am working on living in the moment with my husband and daughter, and I am treasuring the blessings they both bring me each day. Even though anxiety sucks, I refuse to let it steal anymore time from me! I will carry on in spite of it! God gives me the strength to defeat it!

You Are Strong

If you made it through today – you are strong. There are times when you have to congratulate yourself on just pushing though from sunrise to sunset. I have been there. 100%.

Life can be ridiculously difficult, and add mental disorders on top of it, and it makes a toxic cocktail. But look! You made it through! I made it through!

Anxiety and depression did not win. Each day, each moment, that we press onward is a victory. We can do this. Together we can make it.

You are strong.

It’s Raw Anxiety.

Today my anxiety was real. It was intense. Sharp. Constricting. There were several times today when I felt as if I couldn’t breath. As if I was about to fall into an abyss. I haven’t felt anxiety this raw in a long time. 

It was triggered by the end of my summer break rapidly coming to an end. I go back to work Friday, and I am dreading leaving my baby. Any time I think about it I feel sick. I have loved being home with her this summer. Cuddling together, and watching the Today Show in the morning. Playtimes in the afternoon, and bedtime snuggles at night. It rips me apart inside to have to go back and no longer have those times with her. 

I also love my job. I always look forward to going back, but it is different now. I wasn’t expecting to experience this sadness. 

I know God will give me strength to push onward, and it will get better with time, but right now it hurts. 
Here we are! How can I leave this beautiful face? 

Post Preemie Eye Exam

My baby girl had her follow up eye exam and all is good! Actually, all is great! Her eyes are fully developed and looking fantastic! The doctor even commented on how mature she is, developmentally, for her age! Yay! That lifted a HUGE weight off of my shoulders. 

Tomorrow we will be taking her to her four month developmental check up to make sure she is progressing the way she should. Over the last few months, as we have taken her into her pediatrician, there has been no red flags, so we hope tomorrow will go smoothly.

I do have some pretty high anxiety about the visit, because I’m not sure what to expect. I feel in my heart she is progressing, but I have never had an extensive amount of time with babies, so I only know what I experience with my daughter. 

I am trying to combat the anxiousness with positive self talk and prayer. This morning I woke up with an 8 out of 10, but since then, it has gone down to about a 2. I may have a spike again before the exam tomorrow, but I am doing my best to stay positive and fight against it. 

I will update you all on her progress tomorrow!! Have a great night and DON’T let anxiety win! 

A break from Anxiety

I have tried to not dwell on my anxiety about going back to work after my maternity leave, and just focus on my daughter these last few days. Just looking at her reminds me of how incredible God is. How far he has carried us over the last four months. I will get through going back to work. God gives me the strength to do it, even when I feel like I can’t. He is my strength. 

Anxiety will always be my battle, but it doesn’t always have to win. I choose to take back my mind. It cannot steal anymore time away from me.