This will be neither pretty nor sugarcoated, friend.
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
This series is meant to take one of the darkest, rawest, scariest moments of my life and cultivate the lessons. The nuggets. The ripples that have helped me and, hopefully, will encourage others. If you choose to read these, please understand I don’t desire anyone to “feel bad” for me. My intention is to use an experience that was given to me to pull all the possible lessons out of it and share those lessons with others <3. The goal: I’m going to write a few of these over the next few months pulling out the nuggets of wisdom from my journey. Even if I can just serve to inspire one person, sharing my story will be worth it. So let's start with the what. What was the scariest, darkest moment I'm referencing?
Let's start...in the middle.
I’m going to start in the middle and work my way back to the beginning. I had Jude on a Wednesday, and because I had Henry (my two year old) at home, I pushed hard to be released from the hospital on Thursday. I could feel it starting on Thursday. Shortness of breath that I chalked up to just having a baby and probably being a bit anemic. I started to walk home from the hospital that day and couldn’t quite make it the 6 blocks back to our condo. Friday morning, I lost my breath walking down the hallway and trying to read Henry a book. Luckily my mother is a saint and always willing to hold me accountable even when I am a pain in the rear. She had me promise to call my O.B. that day just to see if my symptoms were normal. Of course my O.B. sent me straight to the emergency room, she even called ahead so the ER knew what was possibly happening with me before I even entered the door. I truly believe Dr. Levin has saved my life multiple times and I could not be more grateful. The team of professionals rushed me through and I had IVs, an EKG and an X-ray of my chest before I truly knew what was happening. The next test they did was a cat scan, which delivered the news that my body was experiencing blood clots in my lungs.
The Pain: Why Me?!
Let’s be real… I was scared. But mostly I was mad. I had the typical, “Why me?” running through my head at a rapid pace. I had my newborn baby in my arms, and was desperate to experience those first precious days and was feeling victim to my situation. After MANY tears, I began to gain some temporary composure. I was checked in to the ICU and hooked up on all sorts of machines. The nurses I had taking care of me there were angels walking on earth. They were compassionate, kind, patient and so understanding. My first real lesson came when I began to chat with my first nurse. My nurse and I started talking about when she first saw my name and condition on her rotation. She said that she was scared to see me because generally speaking any “new mother” and baby situation they have in the ICU is not pretty.
This was my first lesson that really has carried me through this process:
Focus on what I do have instead of what I don’t.
I was breathing on my own, I could walk, I could talk, I could hold my baby and with lots of effort I would still be a nursing mom. Focusing on what I could do, instead of what I couldn’t do left me feeling empowered and lucky instead of ungrateful and victimized. I’m not saying I don’t go there, to that place of “why me?” and the quicker I choose to focus on my blessings, the more joy I have in my life.
An Opportunity (should you choose in):
Grab a pen and paper.
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit.
Draw a line in the center of the paper, separating the top from the bottom.
On the bottom, write down that circumstance that is burdening you.
Now, set a timer for five minutes. Take a deep breath and begin to write all the things YOU HAVE. The blessings. The joys. The privileges. The gifts.
When complete, look at it. Friend, you can focus on the bottom half, which brings you pain. Or, you can set your eyes on the top things, which bring you joy. Challenging yourself this week to focus on the blessings. You might find that it is the light you need in the darkness.