Listen to the whispers.

Shout out to the days when I was younger and NOT easily influenced. Like that time in middle school when all of my friends got drunk and then decided to go on a walk and got arrested. I decided to walk to see my mom at the hair salon instead. But, this wasn’t always the case. Even though I was raised to make good choices and I most often did, I was also unknowingly being taught by society that sometimes I didn’t have a choice or a voice. 

I like to think I had a really good head on my shoulders as a kid and young adult, but in many cases I was very easily influenced and not much of a leader, so I didn’t know how to stick up for myself and make those smart choices. Or, I thought I didn’t have a choice because people were telling me that I didn’t. 

This played into my life a lot when people would tell me what I had to put up with, especially as a young adult.

I was in a long term relationship from the age of 16 until I was 23. Somewhere along that road we grew in different ways and things got rough. I was 22 years old and had just moved across the country with my then boyfriend to start our life together. Marriage was in the talks. We had been together for so long, it just seemed like we had to do all of these things as the next steps in our lives.

I clearly remember his mom driving me around one day when she was visiting and telling me about the things I would have to put up with if I married her son. Things like, sometimes he may want to go get a massage and be offered a “happy ending” and that should be ok. Or, sometimes he may want to go out with co-workers to a strip club after work and that should be ok. After this relationship obviously failed, I was in another relationship with a heavy drinker (can you say rebound?). A co-worker would tell me that her husband drank a lot and would do ridiculously unacceptable things (in my opinion) and that should be ok. I have had friends tell me that I have to let my significant other watch pornography. That I’m the one in the wrong for thinking pornography isn’t good. I’ve had friends upon friends talk so much garbage about each other and bully each other so bad and they all would tell me (you got it), that should be ok. I have been told in the work place that I should be ok with sexual harassment, or that what was happening wasn’t sexual harassment, even though it sure felt like it. That’s just how things are and it should be ok! It always amazes me as a young woman what we are told we should put up with. My list could go on and on. 

I have often in my life let things go too far when people are telling me it should be ok and deep down within myself I clearly know these things are NOT OK! It’s a culture that our society has made and it is unacceptable to teach our daughters that they should put up with anything that they are not ok with. I hope I can instill in my daughter that she does have a voice and it is perfectly ok to use it, especially at her first instinct that something isn’t quite right. So, pay attention to your inner voice. Stick up for yourself and what you know is right. I am a work in progress in this matter. 

And with all that said, I leave you with a quote from Oprah because I know I need to pay attention to the whispers. 

“I say the Universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers.

And a whisper in your life usually feels likeā€¦
“Hmm, that’s odd.”

Or, “hmm, that doesn’t make any sense.”

Or, “hmm, is that right?”
It’s that subtle. And if you don’t pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder.
I say it’s like getting thumped upside the head.

If you don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head.

You don’t pay attention to that, the brick wall falls down.
That is the pattern that I see in my life and so many other people’s lives.”
– Oprah

Listen to the whispers.

I’m back!

Written on: 10/3/2015

A little over two years ago, I had a baby. And boy did it change my world. You may not know this, but I tried for four years to get pregnant with this baby. That part of my life was hard, so surely it couldn’t get any harder, right? She was here! But it did get harder. A lot harder.

I didn’t have much experience of what to expect as a new parent. Sure, my mom had a baby when I was nearly ten years old and I baby sat and played with him, but who remembers all that much about being ten, right? We were the first of our group of friends to have a baby. So, whatever came my way, I thought was normal. Well, mostly.

She came early, at 35 weeks. That was a shock! But the delivery went well (despite my hip dysplasia) thank goodness. It was actually a crazy delivery story, that includes 8 hours of on and off pushing and a doctor’s hand in my vagina turning my baby’s head, but that’s a story for another time. I was just so thrilled that I didn’t have to have a c-section and that she was here! She was alive.

She was tiny. Weighing in at 5lbs 14ozs. We got to stay in a room together. And then she got a little jaundice. They brought in a huge blue light to put her under. It took up our entire hospital room. Hubby had to crawl over my bed just to sit down. It was just jaundice though and we would both go home soon. Or so I thought. But then she started to lose too much weight and her heart started to beat too fast and she had really rapid breathing and it was time for me to be released and they wanted to keep her. I was sent home and my baby wasn’t. I was devastated. I never in a million years imagined walking into my baby’s nursery after having her, without her. I sat in the rocker in her room and I cried. Then, my husband drove me back to the hospital and I sat with her. I sat with her whenever I could. We drove there at 3am, at 4am, at 7am, at noon, at 2pm, and so on. We went a lot. They had a 3ft by 4ft room with one chair, one rocking chair, and enough room to push her cradle in and we sat there with her. She was too tiny to nurse. Her mouth couldn’t do it. When we weren’t there, they had an occupational therapist work with her on how to suck, swallow, and breathe. It’s a strange feeling to know this happened without us there. We asked a million times to meet them, to be there, they never came. One day we walked in and there was a feeding tube in her nose and taped to her face. I had been pumping milk at home and bringing it to the hospital, where the nurses finger fed it to her through a tube, or we did, but this day they said she wouldn’t drink enough. She wasn’t gaining enough. She had a heart monitor on. Her heart was beating too fast. Things got better though. It felt like she was there for a century, but we were lucky and got to bring her home after a week.

When we brought her home, the real craziness began. How do you feed a baby who can’t nurse? Well, I pumped milk while my mom and husband fed her with a plastic syringe and a tiny tube. It took two people to feed her, every 2 hours. Eventually (and I can’t remember exactly when) we got her to nurse. It was not fun. I had to use a nipple shield for 5 excruciating months.

A few weeks after she was born we noticed something even more was wrong and that’s when my mom had to fly home. We were on our own. She screamed and cried A LOT. She never slept more than 15-30 minutes at a time and those times were rare. We weren’t sleeping. We were confused. This is how babies are! I started to reach out to people I thought would have the answers. Nursing friends, lactation consultants, parent friends, Internet groups. Is this normal?! What do we do? People told me to keep track with apps. Track her feedings, track her sleep, track her poop. They told me to make sure I got a shower, make sure I ate my meals, make my bed in the morning, it’ll make me feel better. I couldn’t put my baby down though. If I did, she screamed. She screamed in sheer pain. I knew deep down this wasn’t right. We took her to the doctor. She must have colic. Let’s put her on Zantac for reflux. She vomited a lot from this. So, let’s up the dosage. She vomited more. Some babies just scream a lot. His grandson did that for 15 months. 15 months?! I’ll have killed myself by then! I was serious. I thought I had post-partum depression. I thought I had it bad. Everyone I talked to made me feel like babies are hard and I just wasn’t able to handle it. My friends had all but abandoned me at this point. My husband’s paternity leave was over. I was on my own and I felt like I was going to walk into oncoming traffic. I had to get help and I had to get it right now.

I made an appointment with my midwife. I explained what was going on. She told me I was sleep deprived. She looked me straight in the face and said “I think your baby is sick”. Hallelujah! She listened to me. She heard every word. She referred me to a therapist and gave me a number to a new pediatrician. We made the appointments right away. The new pediatrician was a godsend. Your old Doctor didn’t test for blood in her stool?! He tested for blood. It was very positive. We worked on a plan. I had to eliminate dairy, soy, wheat. I did it. I went on a total elimination diet. We were going to find out what the cause was. Why not formula?! Formula costs a lot of money. Money we didn’t have. The doctor was suggesting she had severe food allergies and if we did formula it would be even more expensive formula. We are talking a BMW car payment. Maybe even a mortgage. It wasn’t an option.

Eliminate the foods. There was no question. I eliminated the foods. It took 4 weeks. After 4 weeks I knew what people meant when they said you should put your baby down and eat something, take a shower. I was finally able to. She wasn’t screaming 24/7 in pain anymore. There was still an underlying something going on and we worked with our pediatrician and pediatric allergist to find out that not only was she allergic to dairy and soy, but she was also allergic to eggs. After that we found out she was also allergic to chicken. It took another year for the allergist to call it FPIES (Food protein induced entercolitis syndrome), with an IgE allergy to eggs. I haven’t consumed meat, dairy, soy, or eggs since she was 5 months old. People tell me they couldn’t do it. I assure you, if it was your child, you could and you would. I have nursed far beyond what I ever imagined because her doctors think it was the best thing for her. She is healthy. She is happy. She is smart. She is beautiful. She is thriving. She is mine. I could not be more proud of her.

And with that, I would like to say hello, I am back. Back to the land of the living. Back to being someone outside of taking care of a sick child. I may have lost a lot of people along the way and that’s ok. I have gained many more and they are wonderful people. I am so grateful to the people who stuck by me. Mainly, my mom, my husband, my sister. It has been a really really hard road. I am just now coming up for a breath of fresh air. I am learning the joys of having a “normal” child, even though normal for us probably looks a lot different than normal for most. I am back with a new sense of self, a new perspective, a new love. I am still learning. I still need patience and grace, but I feel as though I can feel safe in the world again. And if anyone wants to come see my amazing daughter, even meet her for the first time since she has been somewhat shielded, please let me know. She is sure to make you laugh.

I’m back!

Hello!

Hello, friends!

Welcome to my new blog!

On August 5th, 2015, I turned 33 years old. It was then that I realized my life was being directed mostly by fear. So, I decided to make a change. I decided to face my fears head on and see where it all took me. First, I went on a hike by myself. That was huge! Then, I started my own small business, whoa. It is slow going, but I quite like it that way. Next, I wanted to start a blog and an Etsy shop. The Etsy shop is in the works, so here we are with the blog!

My inspiration is my sweet Gran. My mother’s mother, who was basically my second mother and a best friend. If my mom would go anywhere out of the room, out for the night, on an errand, I would ask Gran where my mom was and without hesitation, she would always say “She Flew to the Moon!” in the most animated way. Now, flying to the moon means doing the things that inspire me. It means to take flight. It means to live. So, that is what I am going to do and I’m going to share it here, with you. I can’t wait. Please bear with me while I learn as I go.

Hello!