Pregnancy and Other Weird Shit That Really Effed Up My Body

I began to realize what I’d done to myself, and I became angry. And this is where all that shit became horribly real.

By the time I finally received a correct diagnosis, I was virtually unable to leave my bed. I was weak to the point that I couldn’t take care of my kids. I was pale, I was losing my hair, and I was continually bleeding. It was a nightmare. The diagnosis was a non-nutrient blood disorder caused by the gastric bypass.

Pregnancy and Other Weird Shit That Really Effed Up My Body Photo Gallery

I had tried to save myself. by nearly killing myself. Again.

The surgeon who performed the bypass admitted he might have removed too much intestinal and stomach tissue, figuring that because of my height more was better. At that point, however, it was too risky to fix the problems with my stomach and intestines, so my doctors decided to insert a medical port into my chest so they could infuse my blood with nutrients.

The surgery to insert the port didn’t happen without its own complications, though, because this is me we’re talking about here. The operating room was overbloged the day of the procedure so, to save time, they tried to give me a twilight sleep a lighter anesthetic that my body didn’t accept. I woke up during the procedure and panicked, but I was physically immobile and unable to alert the surgeons that I was awake and feeling everything they were doing. Obviously I survived, but it’s an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

The port itself is still in place, eight years later, and it is still working. One of my goals for myself with this program is to become healthy enough so that I no longer need the port, and I can have it removed.

When I first had the port, I needed medication infused almost daily. Fortunately, I was able to get a home healthcare nurse who came and helped me with these daily infusions. It was amazingly helpful having her come to my house every day because, honestly, I was still feeling too weak to even leave my bed. She was a sweet, wonderful lady and she took great care of me. She really did help me heal both my body and my soul during an excruciatingly hard time in my life. I cried many tears as she listened and gave me my medicine.

5 Brutally Honest Facts about What Happens to Your Body after Giving …

My friends and my church group continued to pray for me, and soon I was feeling better and was able to get back to work teaching, leading worship, and being a wife and mother. My body was sometimes able to store enough nutrients that I could go days or even weeks without needing an infusion, but it was a constant balancing act between managing the frequent blood-work results and the medication.

I just want to take a moment here to say that my heart, and my thanks, goes out to all the nurses out there who take care of the hurting, the hopeless, and those in pain. Yours is not an easy job and it can be thankless at times, but I know I wouldn’t be here without you. You inspire me with your kind, compassionate hearts.

In 2010 I got pregnant again and my doctors, now knowing what happens with my body during pregnancy, were very proactive about getting nutrients into my body. I had a high-risk specialist, constant ultra-sounds, and regular infusions to make sure both the baby and I were healthy. My pregnancy was very happy and I was healthy. I gained lots of weight, but my baby did too, and that was my primary concern. He came at the end of November, looking like a stuffed Thanksgiving turkey. I was so proud of what my body had accomplished!

And then, just a few months after having him, I got pregnant again, which came as a huge shock to me. Yes, I do know how babies are made and I happen to enjoy that part, thank you very much! but we were on birth control and I just wasn’t expecting to have any more kids.

My body never really had enough time to recover between pregnancies, so that pregnancy was a rough one. Once again the doctors took great care of me and the baby. We had frequent ultra-sounds and I was still taking my medication regularly, but the simple fact was that I just wasn’t ready to be pregnant again. My body was so tired. I know all you mamas out there who have had babies back-to-back will understand what I’m saying. Having a baby is like a marathon: if you don’t get that recovery time after the birth, you just aren’t going to recover properly.

It’s weird, because even though those two pregnancies were so close together, the boys are so very different from each other. After my fourth child I felt so refreshed, energized, even, but after my fifth I felt as if I wasn’t ever going to recover.

And then, two weeks after he was born, baby number five contracted RSV respiratory syncytial virus. He was born a few weeks early, so the virus hit him hard. I knew something was wrong when I saw him turn blue. We rushed to the hospital where they took one look at him and put him on a respirator. He was so small, and so sick. I can still see his tiny little hands and feet turning blue, and my husband holding him and praying to God, begging Him not to take our sweet baby that He let him stay with us.

Neither of us slept much while our son was in the hospital. I think I managed maybe five or six hours of sleep that whole first week. It got to the point that my father and husband had to haul me literally kicking and screaming from the hospital and put me into a car with my friend who took me home so I could rest. I was worried my son would die if I took even a few minutes to sleep. My friend came to pray over me while I slept, the same amazing friend who’d prayed with me after my plastic surgery, a time when I was sure I was going to die.

If you saw our CBS interview you know that at that time my husband was in an honors teaching program, which we had struggled for years to put him through. My teaching income barely kept us at poverty level, even after adding in his student loans, so needless to say things were tight. Jack had to take days, and then weeks, off from the program, some of which he had already missed because of the birth. While our son was in the hospital, Jack got a call from the university telling him that he had forty-eight hours to return to the program, or he’d be cut from it. We knew that based on how the classes were set up that if he left he might never get back into that program again. They were extremely selective, and even if he were re-accepted, we’d have to wait another whole year to reapply. That same night our son took yet another turn for the worse. We decided then that Jack just couldn’t return to the program he couldn’t even bear to leave the hospital.

We weren’t sure how we would move forward with this news but we did know that we needed to focus on getting our son healthy and back at home. It was and remains to this day the most difficult time of our lives.

I still can’t think about that time without choking up my computer screen is blurring from tears as I write these words. Our son did recover and was able to come home with us after two weeks in

the hospital. He’s now healthy and happy, and he is our sweet but crazy little wild man, and we simply cannot fathom our lives without his cute, impish grin and devious ways.

So by now I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “Gosh, these first few chapters have all been pretty depressing.”

My Body Hates Being Pregnant Because Of My Anxiety

I promise you there’s a silver lining in all of this.

Jack, who was no longer in the teaching program, had to come up with a way to help support our family, because without the student loans to supplement my income, things weren’t just tight for us anymore, but completely unsustainable. We had to do something.

We happened to stumble upon an article about self-publishing and, as they say, the rest is history. We began writing and ended up with several New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling novels. I could easily spend a few chapters on this subject, but I think I’ll save it for a blog on my marriage with my husband somewhere down the road.

The important thing is that we survived, we thrived, and we got my health issues mostly under control. We got busy writing, attending signings, and raising our family.

Today, we wake up every single day feeling so blessed, not so much because we have enough money to feed everyone which is both important and comforting but more because we get to do what we love: tell stories, entertain, and inspire.

I believe all that struggle and pain has been for a reason. It might have even have led me to be able to write this blog, using my own experiences to inspire and help others going through similar situations. Sometimes, when I look back on those times and compare them to where I’m at now, it really does seem as if it was a different person who experienced all that pain.

Many of you reading this blog have been following us since reading our first blog, so you know our story. Heck, you could probably write it better than me! But these chapters are important because you need to know where I’m coming from, especially when we get into the next part of my story. You’ll come to understand that I’m a woman just like you and, like many of you; I’ve been through some shit. I’ve put my body through so much stress and so much hell. I’ve tried everything to heal myself and I mean everything from nasty pills that made me poop raw fat to countless painful workout videos. I’m someone who has given up so many times, and who has been given countless second, third, and fourth chances. I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. But I’m a survivor.

Health wise, things began to change for me during my most recent pregnancy. I don’t know how or why, but I started to lose weight, which was very, very strange. We also learned that two people in our immediate families had been diagnosed with diabetes. That was a HUGE revelation for me. I started getting really angry, and when I get angry, I do something about it.

I began to research like a madwoman. I’ve always read a lot of non-fiction, and health and wellness blogs in particular, but because of the revelations I was experiencing and the changes I was feeling in my body, my research really cranked up to a possibly obsessive level. I had to know why my body was acting so differently. Why did I feel so different during this pregnancy, and how could I continue to feel this way after the baby was born? I wanted to be healthy for my husband, my kids, and myself.

I didn’t want to continue to feel as if every day was a struggle. I didn’t want to feel like I was dying inside.

I wanted to be truly healthy. I wanted to live, and live well!

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