Candid Postpartum Psychosis Part 1- Something Isn't Right

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
In the middle of the 2nd trimester of my second pregnancy, I knew something was wrong with me. I was suddenly full of uncontrollable rage & self- hatred. I cried a lot. I was terrified that I would hurt my one year old son. I fought myself daily over whether or not to call my doctor. I was afraid my son would be taken away & afraid my husband would leave me.  I finally worked up the courage to tell my doctor when I realized my fear was not worth my son's life. That day, in the exam room, I told her everything. She listened while I cried tears of fear, relief, & embarrassment. Josh was in the room & he had no idea this had been going on inside my head.

She reassured me that what I was going through was not uncommon, in fact, she even used the word "normal". We talked about starting an antidepressant but I was too scared to start medication while I was still pregnant. We settled on seeing a therapist. I left that day with 4 names & numbers of therapists specializing in antenatal care. I never called a single one. I convinced myself to stick it out. That it would go away on its own. Within about 3 weeks it did, but I wish I had taken this as a sign of things to come instead of believing it was all over.

 I finished my pregnancy on an unbelievable high. I had nested like crazy, had everything ready, & was so excited. The birth of my daughter was incredible.  June Marie was born on November 24th, 2015. We were discharged on the 25th, against medical advice. The on-call pediatrician wanted us to stay until the morning of the 26th, but reluctantly agreed to discharge us on the condition that June would be seen by our pediatrician by Friday, the 27th.

We spent Thanksgiving (the 26th) with our family & it was wonderful ...except June slept the entire time. I couldn't get her to nurse longer than one or two minutes at a time. We started to worry a little but she was still making plenty of wet & dirty diapers so we weren't too concerned. By the time her 10AM appointment came around on Friday, it had been 14 hours since her last wet or dirty diaper. I was concerned, but the doctor told us to give her until noon to make a wet diaper & if she hadn't, to take her to the ER at Dell children's Hospital.

We left & decided to kill some time at Target. I sat on a bench in the Target pharmacy & tried desperately to get her to wake up enough to nurse. She wouldn't respond at all to touch or the sound of my voice. She honestly looked dead. We couldn't wait until noon. We went to Dell immediately. We were seen right away & during her initial exam, she cried! I can't tell you how relieved I was at the sound of that cry. It was the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. Plus, she had a wet diaper!

Just when we had hope that we were just being overly cautious parents, the doctor came in & said that June would be admitted to the NICU for severe dehydration. They hooked her up to IV fluids & brought me a pump. We spent 3 days there on a 2 hour schedule. I would nurse her on one side for 15 minutes & then josh would give her a bottle of either expressed milk or formula while I pumped on both sides for 25 minutes.  Then we'd take an 80 minute nap & start all over. Sometimes we'd skip the nap & eat. It was tough but it's mostly all a blur. A couple of things stand out in my mind, though. I remember the doctor telling us that June was showing signs of infection & to rule it out she would have to have a spinal tap. I remember sitting in a chair outside her room & holding on to Josh while we listened helplessly to our 3 day old baby scream in pain from the needle in her spine. I remember Josh being completely unable to leave the bed on the 2nd night/3rd day. He was dehydrated & had a horrible headache. I was on my own for about 18 hours. Feeding, changing, pumping, washing bottles & pump parts. The nurses tried to get me to let them take over for a while so I could sleep but I just couldn't do it. I had to be with my baby.

Sleepy Baby

Snuggles with Dad

so many tubes & wires to move when we held her



We were discharged in the afternoon on the 29th. They told us that June was fine. She was just a sleepy baby who didn't want to eat. They sent us home with a list of signs of dehydration just in case. The sign I fixated on was a sunken in soft spot. I couldn't feed, hold, rock, change or touch her without obsessively running my fingers over her soft spot. With all the touching of her soft spot, I became convinced that I was causing her brain damage. Still, I couldn't stop. I had to check. I didn't sleep. I didn't eat. I don't remember being hungry or tired. I cried a lot. I had no control over it. I would sob so hard that I couldn't talk or breathe. I felt like a complete failure. I wasn't taking care of the house. I wasn't showering. I wasn't brushing my teeth.  I couldn't remember the last time my toddler had taken a bath or brushed his teeth. My temper was disturbingly short & my reactions to things were completely unreasonable. I knew my poor babies deserved a better mom & Josh deserved a better wife.

I became suicidal. Ending my life was the only way to save my family from such an awful life with me. As I write this, it seems so bizarre, but it made perfect sense at the time. There was no question in my mind as to what I needed to do. I was saving them. I decided I would leave the kids at home & drive myself into an overpass column or a huge tree. Driving full speed without a seat belt. I would have to do it close to when I knew Josh would be home from work. That way, the kids wouldn't be home alone for too long. I would think about it literally all day long. That idea evolved quickly. I couldn't leave my babies without a mom. I would have to kill them too. But how could I leave Josh without his entire family? I needed to kill him too. I knew I would use a gun. I even knew in what order I would kill everyone. Johnny first, so he wouldn't have to see me kill anyone else, then June. Then Josh when he got home from work. Then myself.

Putting all of these thoughts into words now is so completely disturbing, but at the time it all made sense. I was suicidal/homicidal for six weeks & didn't tell anyone. Fighting that "logic" was beyond difficult, and the fact that it was difficult not to murder my entire family just completely blows my mind now. But, man, when I was in it, everything made perfect sense. I told Josh that I thought something "might be wrong", but I didn't give him any details. I was certain he would have me admitted to a hospital & he would leave me & take the kids if I told him the truth. In six weeks, I lost over 35 pounds. I still wasn't eating or sleeping. I still wasn't hungry & I couldn't sleep even when I tried. I stopped almost all communication with my group of mom friends. I knew things were bad, & I couldn't imagine things getting any worse.

Then the hallucinations started.

I could hear people whispering in my house. They sounded just far away enough that I couldn't understand them, but I knew they were talking about me. I knew "they" were going to take my babies away. That was probably the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I could hear people in my house but I could not find/see them. I would spend hours on edge. Alone in the house with my kids, pacing through the house, repeatedly checking every room & closet, almost hoping for proof that the voices were real. I didn't know what was happening to me, but I knew it wasn't good. I heard babies crying constantly. Even when I could see both of my babies sleeping peacefully, I heard crying babies. I couldn't relax. I was restless & constantly checking on them if they were out of sight. The paranoia & depression weren't getting any better, either. I knew I needed help.

When it was time for my 6 week check up, I told josh that I planned to talk to my doctor about possibly having postpartum depression. I texted my mom telling her that I would probably need a lot of help after my doctors appointment, but that I didn't want to talk about it right away. She insisted on coming with me to my appointment. I'm so glad she did.

A little over one year ago, on January 6, 2016, I walked into my doctors office & told the physician assistant everything. I told her about the voices, the uncontrollable sobbing, the suicidal/homicidal thoughts, the feelings of complete worthlessness & the irrational thoughts that my husband was planning leave & that my children would be taken from me. As soon as the words were all out, I felt a rush of relief & fear that I can't even describe. I was so glad I wasn't carrying the burden alone anymore, but I was terrified of what would happen next. The PA left me with a nurse & went to get my doctor even though she was in the middle of an appointment with someone else. Apparently, my situation was that serious. The doctor came in & asked if she could call my  mom into the room. I begged her not to, but she convinced me to let her in & told me that she (the doctor) would do all the talking if I didn't feel like I could.

My mom came into the room & the doctor told her I had postpartum depression, that I was suicidal & that I needed to be supervised 24/7. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere or do anything alone until I could be seen by a psychiatrist. She prescribed an antidepressant and Ambien to make me sleep.

At home, the medications weren't working. I was still miserable, hallucinating & suicidal & I still wasn't sleeping. I'm not sure how long it took to get an appointment with the psychiatrist, but I know it took A LOT of phone calls & eventually a call directly from my doctor to the psychiatrist saying that my situation was emergent.

When I finally saw the psychiatrist, we told her everything that had been happening & she immediately diagnosed me with postpartum psychosis & underlying bipolar disorder. She put me on a mood stabilizer & an anti psychotic in addition to the antidepressant & Ambien. Basically, the plan was to keep me sedated until the psychosis passed. I was still to be under 24/7 supervision until the suicidal/homicidal thoughts were gone & if things worsened or did not get better, or if my family felt they could no longer keep me safe, we were to call 911 & have me hospitalized immediately. Josh was strongly against having me admitted & he was adamant that I would be safe at home. I, on the other hand, would have been relieved to be admitted. There was no way I could hurt my family if I did not have access to them.

My sister flew back home from North Carolina to help & between Josh, my mom, my sister, Josh's sisters, & my group of mom friends, I was never alone. They all made sure I was safe in my own home & I will be forever grateful for them all. My fridge & freezer stayed full of meals, my son had friends to play with, & I was surrounded by ears to listen & shoulders to lean on.

There is no shame in having a mental illness. This is something that I had no control over. Although postpartum psychosis is extremely rare (occurring in 1 in 500-1000 new mothers), it could happen to anyone. The sickness made me believe, for so long, that caring for me was a huge burden & that everyone would be relieved if I just died. Now, I know that I would do the same for anyone else in my life without hesitation because that's what friends & family do. We love each other through all the hard things.


I have so much more to share, but I think this is a good stopping place for this post. I plan to share more in my next post about the treatment, medications ( & their side effects) & self care that have helped me heal this past year. If you've read this far, thank you so much. Please, share this story with all of your friends. You never know who is suffering in silence. It's such a lonely illness & I hope that my story reaches at least one person who feels like it will never end. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please seek help. If you have questions for me, please feel free to ask!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255
Postpartum Progress
Postpartum Psychosis Signs & Symptoms

Christmas 2016 & What It Means To Me

Friday, December 23, 2016
I really wanted this post to be about my postpartum psychosis diagnosis, but I'm just not quite ready to face that topic. Instead, I'd like to share a bit about our Christmas traditions and why this Christmas, especially, means so much to me.

Christmas at my mom's house was always so much fun. The oldest kids played elves for mom after the little ones were in bed. We would stay up until 1 or 2 AM assembling toys and trying our hardest not to wake the entire house with our goofing off. We'd end the night by writing a note to the kids from Santa and eating Santa's cookies as a finishing touch. Just thinking about those times cracks me up. There are only two believers left at mom's house these days and I no longer get to play elf. Instead, I work on making Christmas memories for my own little ones.

This year is the first year that my son, Johnny, really gets the concepts of giving and receiving gifts and spreading the spirit of the season to those we encounter. I've had so much fun watching him react to all the decorations, lights, movies, songs... just everything. So far, we've baked and decorated sugar cookies from scratch (we had to test a batch to make sure Santa will approve, obvs), watched ALL the Christmas movies, made Rice Krispies treats with friends, decorated our Christmas tree, and listened to every song on my Christmas play list at least 100 times. Tonight we'll open a special gift from Meme (I'll link pics after they open them)  and spend the evening watching Christmas movies.

Tomorrow, we'll have Christmas with my mom and Josh's grandparents and all of our siblings (there are 13 of us including spouses!). We'll spend the day cooking and eating. We''ll exchange gifts and have our 2nd annual White Elephant gift exchange amongst the grown kids (I'll link to more pics tomorrow...its always so much fun!) Then, we'll bake and decorate Santa's cookies and change into our matching Christmas jammies (yes, I'm that mom). We'll end the night riding around looking at Christmas lights (Tell me where the best neighborhoods are in the Lockhart, Kyle, San Marcos area).

After all of that, we'll put the (hopefully) sleeping kids to bed and get busy setting up for Santa's visit.


We've decided to give one gift from Santa and have the rest be from us. Yes, we're selfish parents who want all the credit for our awesome gift giving skills. We've also decided that this year, the kids will only open their single Santa gift on Christmas morning. Hear me out... We travel to Georgetown every year on Christmas day for lunch with my mother in law's family. We don't think it would be fair to give the kids their gifts, only to have to leave within a couple of hours. So, for us, Christmas will roll on into December 26th when we plan to give the kids their gifts from us. We got Johnny his first Power Wheels Truck and he is going to LOSE HIS MIND. We're hoping for a different arrangement next year, but this will work for now.

So, those are our plans for Christmas. If you've read this far, thanks! That's the end of the fun part of this post. Now for the serious stuff.

I'm more excited about Christmas this year than usual. It's been a hard year for our family.

In January, after suffering in silence for six long weeks, I was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder. I won't go into much detail about it today, that will come later. But, I will say that I have no memories of my children, of my life, from about November 30, 2015 until June of this year. I'm missing almost seven months of time with my babies. Seven. Months. That's so many milestones of a baby's life.

I stumbled across some photos the other day that took my breath away. I don't remember having them done. I'm even in some of them and I don't remember it. I don't remember the tiny baby fingers and toes. Between the illness itself and being so heavily sedated to treat save my life, I don't remember anything. I feel so robbed. Its so unfair that this mental illness has taken so much from me. From us.
Little Dreamers Photography

Little Dreamers Photography

I don't remember either of them at this stage.

My heart breaks for what I've missed, but I'm so thankful for all that is yet to come.

This Christmas is about making memories, soaking in every detail, living in each moment at a time and not worrying about anything else. We've dealt with so much illness and so many surgeries. It will be so nice to have everyone together for a happy occasion. Our Pa is finally home, my illness is mostly under control, my sister and brother in law are home from North Carolina. We have so much to enjoy and be thankful for.

I hope you soak in each moment and truly cherish the time you have with your loved ones. Share your memories, plans & traditions with me! I'd love to hear from y'all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!

A Journey Into Motherhood Part 2- The Birth of My Daughter

Thursday, December 22, 2016
I was pregnant for the second time before my son's first birthday. I know, we're crazy. Everything was going according to plan (ha!...that word again!). I was healthy, baby was healthy. I kept busy with playdates for my son & everyday life with a toddler. Before I knew it, I was 38 weeks +5 days pregnant & in labor.

After a couple of restless nights, I found myself yet again, awake at 4 AM. This felt different. I felt a familiar heaviness in my pelvis & had my "bloody show" when I got up to use the restroom. I immediately crawled back into bed between Josh & Johnny & just cried. I wasn't ready. I needed more time. Josh kind of laughed at me & told me to try to get some rest because it could be a long day.

I tried to rest but the familiar adrenaline rush started, and I began to have some mild cramps. I had been walking around for a few weeks at 4cm dilated so we were under strict doctor's orders to go straight to the hospital at the first sign of labor, even if we were unsure. No laboring at home this time around. I got up & told Josh to "Get ready but stay out of the bathroom because I'm going to shower but I'm leaving the door unlocked in case I need you. But get dressed!" ...Y'all.

I. Was. A. Mess.

I called Josh's oldest sister to let her know it was time & that we needed her & her fiance to keep answer! I immediately called my answer! It was 4AM, after all. I yell out of the bathroom for Josh to get someone to the house for Johnny & right about then my mom called me back. I asked her to head to my house to drive us to the hospital & to stop on the way & wake my sister in law. I texted my doula to let her know we were heading to the hospital & that she should meet us there. When I got out of the shower, the house seemed so crowded. My son was awake, my husband was running around packing his bag & everyone was kind of congregated in our kitchen.

I got dressed, threw a couple of last minute items in my hospital bag, kissed my son & my mom & I headed out to her car. We waited...and waited...and waited for Josh. It was 5:30AM. I was having to focus through contractions & we were STILL IN THE DRIVEWAY. One hundred years later, Josh climbs into the car with a fresh cup of coffee & my mom & I just look at each other like, Is he for real right now? He has a way of making the most nerve wracking moments turn into hilarious ones. We just laughed. It's so much like him to not be bothered or hurried by anything. My mom & I gave him a hard time, saying, "Thanks to you we'll probably have this baby in the car!" He said, "So? I can deliver a baby!" He is too much, y'all. TOO MUCH.

We stopped for a small breakfast at a convenience store. I think I just got some juice to go with the toast I made at home & my mom got a Dr Pepper (of course). Josh acted super offended when we didn't even ask him if he wanted anything & we laughed some more. We were finally on the move.

This car ride was NOTHING in comparison to the one during my first labor. I was able to breathe through the contractions. I stayed calm & my mom & Josh kept me laughing. I don't remember arriving at the hospital, but I remember leaning on the admission desk while they gave me armbands & had me sign a few things. It was much better than the first time.

By the time I was settled into my room, it was 6:15AM & I was already 7 cm dilated. My doula had arrived at the same time as us & she kept busy applying heat to my lower back & using counter pressure on my hips. I changed positions SO MANY TIMES. I wasn't crying, I wasn't in any "real" pain. Just a lot of pressure & intensity with contractions. I made low "moo-ing" sounds & I honestly wasn't having a hard time at all. I was so surprised. It was nothing like the sharp, intense pain of my first labor. My nurses were in total shock & disbelief that I was in "transition" & laughing between contractions. I had to stay quiet & close my eyes to stay focused during the contractions, but it was honestly not bad at all. By noon, I sent Josh to feed himself because I was doing okay & I didn't want him to be starving. He left the room at about 12:30 PM. At each check, I was still at 7 cm. I wasn't progressing. I kept telling myself, Okay, this isn't bad. Let me try to make it one more hour without medication or an epidural & we'll reassess to see if I want one after that. "One more hour" eventually turned into SEVEN HOURS.
focusing on my breathing

 I changed positions again to try to ease the pain. I was facing the back of the bed & leaning on it like a chair. While I knelt like that, the nurses began talking about breaking my waters so that I might progress. I told them I really didn't want to do that, but that I knew it could be what nudged things along. As I turned around, my waters broke on their own! "Well, I guess I don't have to make that decision!"

At 1:30 PM we decided to start a low pitocin drip to help me go that last 3 cm. Josh was still in the waiting room having his lunch, (the person who brought his food was lost for an hour) so I made the decision with my mom & doula. My mom didn't want me to do it without pain medication because she was afraid it would hurt me too much. I decided to try it anyway & take things 30 minutes at a time. My nurses agreed to come check on me in 30 minutes & I let Josh know what was going on via text.

I hated the monitors

At 1:45 PM I had moved to my back in an upright position (kind of sitting). I started having a strange sensation. It was intense. I was pushing, ready or not. I texted Josh to head back to the room ASAP. I told my doula & the nurses but I don't think they believed me. I couldn't stop it. This baby was coming QUICKLY. I looked at my mom & she tried, again, to get the nurses to call the doctor because I was pushing. Still, they weren't taking us seriously. They just kept telling me to "try not to push" Ummm yeah, okay...NOT! My mom was finally fed up & pulled the emergency call string at the head of the bed! She asked the charge nurse over the intercom to call the doctor because I was pushing...NOW!

I remember Josh being at my side suddenly & holding my hand. I think I hurt him at one point because he tried to shift his hand & I was so scared he was going to leave my side that I just squeezed tighter. My doula had me doing "horse blows" with every involuntary push. It was an intensity like I had never felt before. Not outright painful, but so intense. I felt the "ring of fire" that they tell you about & announced to my nurses "she's coming!" Sure enough, HER HEAD WAS OUT & that's literally what it took to get my nurses to take me seriously.

Right then, the doctor came in yelling, "Oh my God! Scrub me! Everyone scrub!" She was furious that she hadn't been called sooner. She told me to hold my legs up because they had been resting on the bed & as Josh & the doula helped me, I pushed one last time & June Marie Hazelett was born at 2:16 PM, right as the doctor sat down. She didn't even have time to put gloves on. June was born straight onto the table. No one caught her. The doctor picked her up in a receiving blanket & handed her to another nurse while she finished scrubbing in. They gave her to me & I was just so in shock over how quickly it had all happened.

The doctor delivered the placenta, Josh cut the cord, & I got a couple of stitches but I don't really remember any of that. I just remember looking around in total shock. I couldn't (still can't) believe I did that. I gave birth without any pain medication. What?!

Josh resting after a long day
My nurses later told us that they just couldn't believe I was actually pushing because I had only been on the pitocin for 15 minutes & I was still so calm. It was one of the few unmedicated births either of them had ever seen & I was the only pain medication free momma who never screamed out or said "I can't do it" even once. I told them that was because it literally took all the energy I had to focus through the intensity & try to process what my body was doing.

Every woman is different. Every pregnancy is different. Every labor is different. There is really no way to prepare yourself because there's no way of knowing how its all going to happen. Don't stress over expectations & birth plans. In the end, you'll find your own way to be at peace with however it happens. I think my experience may be partially to blame (among so many other things) for triggering the postpartum psychosis that I went through (another post for another day). It wasn't painful, but it was so fast. I couldn't really process it. It just happened.

Now, a year later, I've come to terms with it all & I'm still in such awe of the strength & power my body had/has. I made two humans & birthed them. One of them without pain medication. Wow. Women are amazing. I don't know if this is the end of "becoming" a mother for me. I don't know if we'll be able to experience this process again, but I know that even if we can't, I'm so blessed to have experienced it not once, but twice. 

Feel free to share your birth stories with me! Medicated, unmedicated, hospital, birth center, home birth, induced, c-section, even from Dad's point of view...they're all incredible stories & I think the more we share with each other, the more we'll realize we're all the same in the end. We're all parents. 

we tried to take a selfie...the baby wasn't even in the frame
Josh's best "Blue Steel"
we decided to leave the photos to the professional

photo by Heather Gallagher

A Journey Into Motherhood Part 1 - The Birth of My Son

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Becoming a mother was such a beautiful thing. I know, I know...such a cliche. My first pregnancy was what some might call a "unicorn" pregnancy. I was perfectly healthy, my hair grew fast & lustrous, my skin was glowing & gorgeous. I was so happy. All. The. Time. My birth plan (hahahaha...plan. Yeah, right.) was to make it through labor for as long as possible without pain medication or an epidural. I wasn't opposed to the idea of an epidural, but I really wanted to see what my body would do on its own.

On April 19, 2014, my plan was put to the test. It was Saturday. I was 39 weeks along & I was scheduled to have my maternity photos taken that afternoon. I don't know how to explain it, but something felt "off" that morning. I woke up at 6AM & was unable to fall asleep again. I made myself a cup of coffee (gasp!) & enjoyed the sunrise from our back porch. I even snapped a few pictures on my phone. It was beautiful.

I talked to my mom & we decided it was best to move the photos up to that morning as a precaution. Pro tip: don't wait until you're 39 weeks pregnant to take maternity photos. The pictures were awful. I was huge & miserable & just felt gross in general. I never did have any contractions that day, but I was exhausted, restless & had a very heavy feeling in my pelvis all through that day & night.

The next morning I was awake at 6 again. I went to the bathroom & noticed that I had lost a significant piece of my plug. The first word out of my mouth that morning was, "gross". I made a bowl of cereal & watched another sunrise. As I ate my cereal, I started noticing some moderate cramps. By 9AM , Josh was up & we were watching TV. I told him I was cramping & he basically ignored me...probably because he was tired of my late third trimester whining. I started timing my contractions & they were coming consistently at about 10 minutes apart. By 10AM I started feeling an adrenaline rush like no other. I was certain this was really happening. By 11AM, Josh still wasn't taking me seriously...he says now that its because I wasn't in any visible pain. I paused the TV & made him look me in the eyes. I said, "This is HAPPENING. If you plan on eating today, you need to get food NOW." He started taking me more seriously then!

We headed into town & I was desperate for some fruit but I was also terrified that I'd go into HEB & my waters would break in the store, so  I texted my mom & asked if she could bring me some fruit & from that text alone, she knew I was in labor...moms always know! My mom was in San Antonio for an Easter gathering (Did I mention it was Easter Sunday?!) so she decided to head to Austin & meet us at the hospital. My sister arrived with the fruit and I labored at home for a while. I showered. I bounced on my yoga ball. Did my makeup. Knelt on all fours. Bounced some more. Then decided it was time to head to the hospital when I was having trouble moving and talking through contractions. It was around 5PM & my contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart & about a minute long.

WORST car ride ever. Contractions in the car are AWFUL. My sister was in charge of timing my contractions & after each contraction I would rush to eat some fruit  & then just as fast as I could eat it, I would want it out of my face as soon as the next contraction started. I don't think I was very nice in the car. ...Sorry, Britt! I kept my eyes closed the entire time in an attempt to focus & not lose myself to the pain. At one point I opened my eyes & we were not NEARLY as close to the hospital as I though we were. I just felt so defeated in that moment. I was certain I wouldn't even make it to the hospital to have the baby. At this point my sister stopped timing my contractions because they were 3 minutes apart & lasting longer than a minute & I couldn't focus when I was thinking about how close together they were coming.

We made it to the hospital & immediately got into an argument because Josh took me to THE WRONG ENTRANCE. I was too tired/ in pain to try to get him to take me to the right door so I just got out. My parents met us at the door to park the car & get me into a wheelchair. Our doulas met us inside. I ended up not using the chair because I couldn't sit through the contractions. It was a LONG walk through he hospital to find the elevators. I was in so much pain that I kept my eyes closed & let my doulas lead me to the elevator. I couldn't stand to think about how much farther I had to walk. When we finally got to the elevator, another contraction hit & I had to sit on my yoga ball. I just started crying. I couldn't control it. The tears were just flowing. We got to the labor & delivery floor & even though I was pre-registered, they made me answer a million and one questions while I was having these contractions back to back...thanks Seton.

When they finally got me into my room it was about 6:30 PM. My nurses asked about the epidural & I didn't even have to think about it. Yes, please. I'll take one ASAP! Josh started to ask me if I was sure but I'm fairly certain that the look on my face was enough for him to just go with it. I joke with him all the time that I 100% blame him for me getting the epidural...if only he'd listened to me & gone to the right entrance, I wouldn't have lost focus trying to walk five hundred miles through the hospital to get to the elevator!

I got the epidural at around 7 PM & after that, I visited with my family some & was able to rest. My contractions slowed down to about every 5 minutes & my doulas helped a lot by applying counter pressure to my hips while Josh did the most amazing job of telling me how beautiful I looked & that I was doing a great job. The epidural wasn't a cure-all. It was still uncomfortable & I could still move my legs. The pain was much more bearable though. I was able to enjoy the experience instead of constantly fighting to focus through the pain.

post-epidural bliss
By 10 PM, I was fully dilated & the nurses & doctor agreed to let me get a short nap & "labor down" before it was time to push. When they checked on me again at 11:15 PM, it was time to push. It was so uncomfortable & the doctor was very aggressive with her "perineal massage". I still have no idea what she was doing but my doulas later told me they had never seen anything like it & I remember the disturbed looks on their faces. I definitely don't want to know what she was doing to me.  Forty-five minutes later, at 12:06AM on April 21, 2014, Johnny William Hazelett was born. It was the best anniversary gift we could have ever imagined. He nursed beautifully right away. Everyone in the waiting room came in to get a peek at him & we were all just so in love.  

Everyone is quick to tell you that everything changes when a baby comes. They're right. Everything changes. Those first few weeks were a blur of joy, love & the most peaceful ease I have ever experienced. I felt like I had finally found my purpose in life. I was made to be this boy's Momma. Things have become harder since then, but that's a post for another day. Almost 3 years later, I still know one thing is true: I was MADE for this. 
patiently waiting
Nonnie & Aunt Rin
Honey's first great-grandchild
Aunt Ber & Aunt Britt
first family photo

An Introduction

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This is a blog about life. Real life. My life.

Expect to find posts about everything from beauty to breastfeeding and then some.

I hope to be honest and to inspire others to do the same. Let's be real. Together.

photo credit:  Alissa Cordoba


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