Third Times the Charm…

If you’ve been following my journey, or happen to be scrolling through my blog archives, you’ll know this is the third time I’ve tried to get The Bump, Birth, Baby Network off the ground.

The first hiatus I took due to pregnancy, maternity leave, and then beginning work full-time instead of part-time.
My second hiatus came abruptly due to unexpected job loss, family obligations, and some unresolved birth trauma. I went from thinking the birth field was going to be my life, to spending 14 months thinking I would never be able to speak about it again.

Well here I am. Trying one last time (I say that now but who knows what the future holds). Starting off slowly. Holding realistic expectations.

I knew there was a reason I didn’t want to let my domain name expire ūüėČ

The plan currently is:

  • Begin offering childbirth education classes again
  • Re-establish connections in the birth community
  • Launch my teen parent outreach program
  • Starting in fall 2019 offer doula and photography services again

Wish me luck!
Kelsey

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A Midwife’s Hands

I love working¬†with midwives both from a patient and professional perspective. Watching them sit calmly observing a mother’s movements and tone; typically being able to tell how she’s progressing without questions or exams. Seeing their highly trained hands snap into action at a moments notice when complications arise. Listening to them give words of encouragement and being able to tell they fully believe in the laboring woman. It takes a special gift to be a midwife.

A midwife’s hands have held miracles and have felt new life come forth.

A midwife’s hands have held heartbreak and carry those internal scars forever more.

A midwife’s hands have worked countless hours and will continue to work on.

A midwife’s hands have supported, comforted, and cheered.

A midwife’s hands serve others before themselves.

A midwife’s hands are forever intertwined with each life they have touched.

Her hands were made to do this.

 

“I didn’t know you struggled”

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a sneaky little b*tch, and that’s saying it nicely. It can make you feel unworthy, angry, exhausted, sad, irritable, zombie like, anxious, paranoid, paralyzed, or worse all of those at the same time.

In 5 months my son will turn 3 but it wasn’t until yesterday that I finally opened up to my family about my battle with PPD after his birth.

“I didn’t know you had struggled postpartum. Why didn’t you ask for help?”

In the moment when asked that I just shrugged, but now I have an answer, multiple answers actually. Answers that I’m sure others have, can, or will relate to.

So here are some¬†reasons why someone may not tell you they’re struggling after baby:

IT’S JUST TEMPORARY¬†

My story goes: unexpected birth complications, mastitis, uterine infection, baby hospitalized at 5 weeks old, then back to work way too quickly; it was a mess! What ever your story is, it’s easy to brush PPD off as a temporary feeling, situational, or the baby blues practically everyone gets. Before you know it, weeks or months have passed by and you’re still telling yourself it will go away.¬†

I DON’T WANT TO WORRY MY LOVED ONES

Since my rationale was that this was a temporary situation, why bother worrying everyone? If I started to feel better I didn’t want people checking in on me or not believing me if I told them I was ok.

IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD¬†

“I didn’t feel this way after my first baby so I must be over exaggerating things.” “If I could get one more hour of sleep this would all go away.” “I just need to suck it up”¬†

All of these were lies I told myself to keep from seeking help. My friends around me with double the kids were fine; I should be able to handle two no problem. Anything getting in my way was self inflicted and if I could get out of my own mind I’d be good to go. I was really good at giving myself pep talks about staying miserable and accepting the new normal.¬†

I DON’T WANT MEDICATION

Being a big believer in treat the cause not the symptom, I very strongly wanted to avoid medication. I believe there is a time and a place for everything and I know many people who swear by medication for depression but that wasn’t the path I wanted to seek first. Originally I didn’t speak out to anyone because of my fear of that being the ONLY recommendation I would get from people.

I’M STILL ABLE TO GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS¬†

¬†I was one of the “lucky” ones who realized before it was over that I had fallen into a depression,¬†I told myself if there was ever a day I couldn’t get out of bed I would ask for help. That day never came. I could keep my kids safe and fed and get to work mostly on time, so naturally I thought I was doing better than a lot of people.

I kept going through each day praying for bedtime to come earlier and earlier.

I woke up each morning in tears but still managed to get moving.

Only now do I realize it shouldn’t have been that hard to get through the day.

I DON’T WANT TO BE A CHARITY CASE

For some reason I imagined confessing my inability to feed myself properly each day and having a line of people at my door ready to donate food. I imagined expressing my loneliness and having friends ask daily “what do you need today?”. I imagined talking about my financial concerns and someone setting up a gofundme account or coming clean about the thoughts I was having and someone offering to pay my psychiatrist visits and medication.

I didn’t want hand outs, but I did need a hand and was too afraid to ask.¬†

IT’S NOT PSYCHOSIS¬†

There is a huge difference between depression and psychosis, but I didn’t always know that. I didn’t want to harm my children so what I was feeling couldn’t be depression! I thought to have PPD you had to wind up on the 6:00 news. I never imagined there could be such a range of symptoms and that PPD affects at least 1 out of every 7 moms.

Mothers and their partners need more education on the warning signs of depression and the signs of psychosis so they know if and when a call to 911 is needed. 

I can’t tell you when I finally made progress and began to feel better. It was a gradual climb with a few roller coaster hills, but it DID get better. I know so many moms who look back and wish they had asked for help. You don’t have to go through this battle alone!

Here are just a few local resources for PPD:

Dallas Postpartum Support

Wings For Wellnesss

Nappy Shoppe Pre/Postpartum Mom’s Group

Postpartum Progress Online Support

 

1000 Likes $500 Giveaway

It’s time for The Bump, Birth, Baby Network to go to the next level!

Being a doula and childbirth educator has always been a part time thing for me; more of a hobby instead of a career. I knew it was what I wanted to do full time someday but in the throes of having two little ones it wasn’t possible.

Now that my children are a bit older and I have an amazing support system in place, I’m ready to make this my full time job!

I’m aiming to hit 1000 Likes on my Facebook Page and once that goal is obtained I will hold a drawing for a $500 gift card for services from BBB. This card can be used for personal use or be gifted to a friend or family member. Official contest rules will be announced at the time it opens.

Thank you for your support!

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Poppy’s Homebirth

2/15/17 the date little Miss Poppy decided it was time to come Earth side!

This surprise girl kept mom and dad on their toes the whole pregnancy making them think perhaps they could be in store for a little boy. Her two big sisters however, were convinced from day 1 that she was indeed a she.¬†“I knew it I told you so,” we could hear from down the hall as Dad went to share the news of Poppy’s arrival.

The timing of this home birth couldn’t have been more perfect, the girls had been tucked into bed the night before, mom and dad labored beautifully through the night, and right¬†before the birth big sisters woke up and were able to meet the newest addition minutes later.

I was so blessed to be able to serve this family as their doula and photographer!

Ready for Relaunch!

Relaunch is official and my first client of 2017 is in the “window”!

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I am currently available (for both labor and postpartum) for families due March and beyond. I have many exciting things coming up including a special on my childbirth education series.

Stay tuned and thank you for your support!

 

(minor) PANIC!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you think you’ve done everything wrong, you’re not on the right path, and obviously people have been crazy for supporting you in your mission???

Well over the past 3 weeks I’ve had many of those!

As we get into the swing of our new normal after the holidays I’m having to do something I’m not very good at:

Cut myself a break…extend grace…breathe…relax…ok so several somethings.¬†

Recovery from my surgery has been a lot harder than I thought. The pain has been much less than expected but all the other aspects have been trying. Couple that with the whole family getting a cold over Christmas and you’ve got a recipe for a great mental state!

I’ve realized since I’ve got the time to take my time I need to use it to my advantage.

My curriculum is not ready, my website isn’t complete, and clientele is definitely still at 0.

The best part is, this is all ok!

I’m bumping my relaunch date back a couple weeks so I know that I am 100% mentally, logistically, and physically (doulaing without full use of your arms would be quite difficult) ready.

Thank you for your patience and support!

-Kelsey-

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