The next day, Zeke was grey. I asked the Midwife to check him again and he had spiked a fever. When my husband came in, he saw Zeke and yelled, “What the F is wrong with him?! He's GREY!!" My voice in my head was SCREAMING as well at this point as I explained to him that they were admitting him and that we were about to go the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU. I stayed calm on the outside until they admitted Zeke and sent him to NICU. Any parent who has had to send their baby to NICU can feel my pain. Thankfully, I knew one of the NICU nurses, and I swear, I went limp with relief the moment I saw her. She was, literally, my angel that day. I felt like someone had my back.
I have a beautiful five year old, Zeke. I swear that child has been smiling since the moment he took his first breath. I also have a beautiful six year old, Caden. Caden might as well have crawled out of the womb. They are boys. They are very, very energetic and happy boys. Of course, I feel blessed and fulfilled that they are part of my life and at the same time, the year Zeke was born and the two years following that were the HARDEST years of my life. I had a year off when Zeke was born and it was scarier, for me, than The Goliath, a rollercoaster ride in California!
At first, my pregnancy with Zeke was straightforward and I continued to teach my BOOTCAMP as well as my HIIT class as I did when I was pregnant with Caden, but then everything changed. I kept getting what we thought were infections off and on through out my pregnancy. Every time I went to the Doctor or Midwife, the "infection" had seemed to be better and we never caught it.
When I gave birth to Zeke I did not feel the instant relief I had felt when I gave birth to Caden. I felt pain and the contractions and in the end I felt horrible. The midwife and my mother took Zeke and me upstairs and put us to bed. The next day I woke up and I still felt the pain in my uterus. It wasn't until Zeke was nine days old that I awoke in the middle of the night freezing cold. I was shaking and shivering so badly I feared I might hurt Zeke. My husband took Zeke to my mother and the two of them then covered me with blankets, towels, sweaters and whatever else they could find. I couldn't get warm, I was scared and I had no idea if the shaking was going to stop. We had just been to the doctor the night before............. How did we get here?
When we got to the Midwife Led Unit, they admitted me into the hospital immediately. I was already established in breastfeeding and, thankfully, Zeke came with me. This moment right here. I believe this moment saved Zeke's life. Like I said, I had a very energetic two year old at this time, and I truly believe that if I hadn't been in a quiet place alone with my baby, I might not have noticed the signs as quickly as I did.
Zeke and I were in our room and I noticed that he had stopped smiling. I mentioned this to the midwife; she took some vitals and told me that he was behaving like a normal baby. She said that she would get the paediatrician for me. When the paediatrician came, he checked Zeke and told me the same thing the Midwife had told me. I explained that my baby had been smiling since DAY 1. I could see that I may have sounded a little odd to them but I KNEW my baby.
Zeke's colour then started changing. I asked the Midwife to please check him again. Now I was really starting to get worried. He was a little paler now and he had stopped moving around so much. The voice inside my head was screaming at the lovely Midwife while my demeanour was trying to stay calm and polite and again, I asked her to check him. She told me that his vitals were fine and he seemed ok. She asked if I would like her to call the Paediatrician again and I said yes.
At this point, one of the more mature Midwives had mentioned to the younger Midwife and the Doctor that they should listen to me. She stood by me because Zeke was my second child, we were already established in breastfeeding and I already knew my son. The unit I was in typically had new born babies for a few days and then the babies and mummies went home. The reason I had been admitted there was because I was one day short of being out of Midwife care when I was checked into the hospital. Once again, the Paediatrician found nothing wrong with Zeke.
I was in such bad shape in the NICU; we had to wait outside the room so they could put Zeke's cannula in his hand. They had missed the first few times and I just could not stop crying. I was praying that we weren't too late. I was praying Zeke would fight through this. I bargained with God that day, and I haven't been the same since. They started Zeke on antibiotics and then they did a spinal tap to find out what kind of infection he had. They put him on a fourteen-day course of antibiotics and we never found out what kind of infection it was. One Doctor has theorised that it sounded like Strep B, but we never really got an answer. This experience really was the most traumatic experience of my life. It wasn't just about me losing my baby. I was watching my child getting sicker and sicker and we all thought he was dying.
Zeke made it out of the hospital and he is now a bubbly, talkative, and energetic four year old. Caden and Zeke love talking and playing together and I feel lucky, everyday, that they have each other. I am thankful for ALL the Midwives and Doctors and Nurses that helped us. The people who may not have taken the situation as seriously as it was have now learned another way to deal with patients. They really did everything they could to help us. They listened to me every time I asked for help. I believe that this experience taught all of us something.
Since the hospital stay, we, as a family, have had different types of stress going on as well. My husband, who is in the Armed Forces, was moved from one base to another two days after we got out of the hospital. I was still dealing with a lot of pelvic pain and uterus pain. I was not ready to be left with two children by myself, so the children and I went home with my mother for six weeks to help break up the six months my husband was to be away before coming home and moving all of us to yet another base. Three weeks into our trip, my husband met us to spend some time together for the last three weeks before we all flew home together. We moved bases a few months later but before we moved, we only saw daddy every couple weeks. The boys and I would take daddy to the base he needed to work at for two weeks. We ended up visiting three bases in total and we would try to stay a few days at the end of his second week so the kids could see their daddy. Two weeks after my husband finished his six-month stretch away, we moved.
After we moved, I was lucky enough to find a great doctor that really listened to me. I was asking her about seeing a chiropractor because I could not lay down flat without being in pain. She referred me to a Physio and I was seen with in two weeks of leaving her office. I have had surgery for Polycystic Ovaries since then and I find it is getting better each day.
What is the point of this blog? Do we let one horrible event, or a string of horrible events define us? Do we let them bring us down rolling us around helplessly like being sucked into a rolling wave or do we let go and take breaths as they come? Do we let go of our health goals because we feel like we are too tired or fed up to start up only to quit?
This was and has been my hardest and scariest year yet. I found that before I worked on my physical being, I needed to work on my mental being. I wanted to get back to where I was physically before I gave birth right away. I couldn't understand why my body kept fighting me.
Since I have changed my mental process, I have stopped stressing, which has lowered my Cortisol levels. I AM losing weight. I AM getting stronger. This experience also made me mentally stronger. Today I look at my food. What will make me stronger and healthier versus what is going to make me tired and bloated? Am I eating this because I am bored or upset?
I look at the exercises I am doing now. I look at making fun, creative and better exercise choices that I can include my boys in. I look at my physical exercise as something that I will be laughing while doing. Sure, I love beasting myself in the gym and I miss it so much, but I also know I will get back there one day soon. I know being patient is a necessity right now in order for me to be able to handle getting beasted in the future. I also know it will be worth the wait. It is a long bumpy road to recovery but I will get there.
This is the same thing I tell my clients and has become my mantra:
Look at what you accomplished today!
YOU wouldn't have rocked it if you stayed on the couch and YOU wouldn't have hit that goal if you were too tired to get up and try again….every step is a step closer so remember every step you make and use it to push you past the next step.
I tell my clients and BOOTCAMPERS to find your WARRIOR within. I do this because we are all fighting something. We all have obstacles and really difficult times in our lives when things just don’t go our way.
But no matter what always tell yourself:
I am STRONG. I am a WARRIOR. I will FIGHT for LIFE.