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My name is Felicia Inman and my husband is Dustin Inman. We live in Huntsville, AL and have two children, Dexter and Carter. Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's real, y'all

UPDATE:  I am back to my normal self and I no longer have these fears to such an extreme.  I have learned how to deal with the things that I can't control.  In my times of weakness I just have to lean upon God to help me through it.  I wrote this not too long after Carter's birth and never published it because I felt ashamed of my feelings, but I am going to publish it now in hopes that one can read this and know that they are not alone if they are going through anything like it.  Im sorry that my blog has become more of an out pour of feelings and really deep content, but everything that is laid on my heart to write about is just that deep and real.  I really hope that I can help people to know that they are not alone!  And, if you do have sad feelings don't be afraid to get help.  You don't have to take a pill to feel better(I know because not once was I on any kind of medication for my sadness.  Not putting down those that need to be on it though.  Every situation is different). I guess what I am saying is don't stop yourself from getting help because you think all they will do it put you on medication  Sometimes it just takes someone listening and helping you through it.  Just take your life back.  :)   

Post-partum depression/anxiety is a real thing.   I have been feeling ashamed of myself for quite some time now.  I have felt embarrassed to even share my deepest most inner thoughts with my husband.  To let him know that I thought I was having some depression symptoms was something that was unbearable to me and it took great strength for me to even bring it up.  I have been struggling with post-partum anxiety since I gave birth to my son, Carter.  At first I thought it was just the hormones, but then after 10-12 weeks of anxiety that caused me to lose sleep at night I decided to go see my doctor.  My anxiety and depression doesn’t come in the form of harming myself or others.  My anxiety comes from the unknown and uncontrollable happening (mostly just fearful of my kids or husband getting sick and something bad happening to them). 

When Carter was born he would have these little spells where he would stop breathing for a few seconds and the doctors or nurses would have to stem him(basically tickle his feet or pat him on the back, etc.) to get him to start breathing again.  I actually witnessed one of these breathing episodes while he was lying in his little bed in my hospital room the night I had him.  His little lips turned blue looking.  When they took him to the nursery that night they woke me up for a feeding, but told me I had to come to the nursery to feed him because he had to be monitored at all times.  So basically I had to nurse him behind a curtain while he was hooked up to a monitor and when I was done I had to go back to my room. The next morning the doctor sent him to the NICU.  I knew why he was going and I knew that was the best thing for him, but it still broke my heart anyways.  I was scared and I had no clue what was going on.  I wasn’t allowed to go see him or nurse him until that afternoon.  My first time seeing Carter he was laying in his little bed under the heat and he had an IV in his forehead and monitors all over his little body and one on his foot.  It’s a sight that I will never get out of my head, one that haunts me to this day.  I know in my head why the monitors were there and I know why they put the IV in his head, but my heart aches because of it.  I believe it was the next day the IV in his forehead came out and they were able to put it in his hand.  Thankfully, he only had one more breathing episode the first night he was in there.  If they have an episode like that it is an automatic 5 days before you can be discharged from there.  They do tell you that there is the 5 days, but the whole time I was there all I kept hearing from the nurses was "if he continues to do good he can come home."  Those were the worst words I have ever heard.  EVERY SINGLE DAY, I worried and had bad anxiety constantly about him having another episode, because I knew he would have to be in there longer. Every time his monitor would start beeping that loud fast beeping sound my heart would stop.  I didn’t know what all the numbers meant so it scared me so bad each time. If I was in there I would even start rubbing on him to make him wake up a little so the monitor would stop beeping like that (ssshhh… don’t tell anyone).  I was so scared the entire time he was in there.  A scared that I can’t explain in words.  A scared that makes you sick to your stomach, but you can’t throw up.  While in there I felt like I couldn’t hold or take care or my child.  There was always a nurse standing over them telling you what you can and cannot do with your own baby.  I will never forget that feeling, but I hope that it becomes less painful.  One thing I will always remember is my nursing sessions with him once I was allowed to take him in the little side room to nurse him.  I felt at peace in there.  I felt like everything was alright in the world.  My anxiety levels dropped and I was able to hold and care for my child the way I had wanted to from the beginning.  It was the best feeling.  The one and only thing I looked forward to up there besides seeing him of course.  I would count down the hours until it was his next feeding.  When the time came for me to be discharged it was the hardest thing.  When I left the hospital I felt so blank.  I was so hurt that I couldn’t take him with me.  In my head I kept telling myself this is better for him, but in my heart all I could feel was that it was not right that I couldn’t take my now well baby home with me.  Thankfully, Carter continued to do well and we were discharged 5 days exactly after his last spell. Now, don’t get me wrong, people, I know that Carter was technically considered a well-baby in the NICU and there were and are babies in there that are fighting with everything that they have every single day to live.  I saw them and their tiny bodies the 6 days we were in there. I also know that not every baby that is in there makes it out to come home with their mother and father.  I pray for them and pray for their parents and families to this day.  I am in no way trying to be unsensesitive to those that have lost babies whether it be in the hospital or anywhere else.  I am so sorry for your loss.  I do not know that kind of loss and I pray with everything in me that I never have to experience anything like it.  When we finally left the hospital I had expected to feel some sort of miracle wave washing over me letting me know that everything was okay.  I expected the anxiety to be over and a lot of it was, but not all of it.  I still kept telling myself in the back of my head if he gets sick we’ll have to go right back to the NICU. This was October and I knew we were heading into cold/flu season.  I also knew that his bilirubin count was high so there was a chance that he would have to be put under the lights if it didn’t come down. I had anxiety about that.  I was a nervous wreck to put it lightly.  I was constantly and I still am on edge. 

A few weeks after being discharged from the hospital my other son, Dexter, came down with what seemed to be just a virus.  He kept talking about his stomach hurting in his right lower belly, but I didn’t think anything of it until that night when he woke up crying out in pain saying his belly hurt in the same area he was complaining about that day.  I called the doctor and she sent us to the ER just to make sure it wasn’t appendicitis.  We were there all night and had to have several tests done, but thankfully everything turned out fine.  We were to follow up with his pediatrician the next day.  We get to the doctor’s office and she ran a few blood tests and his red blood cell count was way off.  So, she said that she was going to rush his blood work to Huntsville hospital to have the hematologist and the pathologist look at it.  I don’t know if it was the look on my face or if it could have actually been something bad, but all she kept saying over and over again was she would rush it to HH and that it didn’t have to be anything bad.  Of course, with what I just went through with Carter all I could think about was all the bad things it could be.  So, I was a nervous wreck until she called me to tell me that his cells looked normal under the microscope and that she, the hematologist, and the pathologist all was in favor of if being related to this virus that he had, but she wanted to check his blood a few more times to make sure that his red blood cell count was coming back up.  Each time we had to have blood work done I was a nervous wreck and praying that they would come back up because if they didn’t we would need more testing.  THEY DID.  Whoop whoop.  So, all of that for a virus!!!!! 

Then, shortly after all this, Carter had a well visit at the doctor’s office and we were scheduled an upper GI study to make sure he didn’t have any blockages because he would projectile spit up after every feeding.  Even though the doc just thought it was reflux she still wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything else going on.  It was just acid reflux.  We were able to see him reflux during the procedure.  Now we are on the right medication for it and it has really helped.. 

I am explaining all of this so maybe you can get a little bit of a background study on why I am so anxious and nervous for the most part of the week.  That wasn’t everything we had to have done.  I have had to go back to that hospital for 2 more separate occasions with Carter.  Nothing serious, but each time I am there it’s like I can’t think straight and I am “holding my breath” until we are out of the building.  This might sound a little extreme considering my children are perfectly healthy, but this is how I feel and this is why I knew I had a problem.  I am in a constant battle with my mind with me telling myself that everything is ok and that they are healthy and Dustin is healthy and I am healthy, but in the back of my mind I feel uneasy thinking something is wrong.  Something is off.  When I hear one of them cough in the middle of the night I freeze and pray that they aren’t coming down with something.  I lie awake at night and pray and thank god for my healthy kids & husband, because I am so fearful of anything ever happening to them.  I am ashamed because I know I need to be thanking him in a happy kind of a way, but I am so thankful because I am in such fear for their lives.  I know that he who gives can also take away.  I will never be ungrateful for the life I have been given or for my 2 very beautiful and healthy children.  When I look at them I see how lucky I am to even be able to call them my own when so many women out there are unable to have that.  I will never take them for granted. 

I know that this is not normal and it is driving me a little crazy.  I don’t know how to stop it, but I am a work in progress.  I have realized that I couldn’t do it all on my own and I finally broke down and told Dustin how I really felt.  How when he would sleep at night I would lie there awake in fear.  I was afraid of the things that I could not control like sickness.  Like I said though, I am a work in progress and I have started taking steps to get that sickness out of my head and out of my life.  I am trying to get out more and enjoy this beautiful life.  I am chasing my bad thoughts away at night with good thoughts and trying to not let it overwhelm me.  I started back at the gym and it really helped to get all that anxiety off of me, but my milk supply decreased drastically so I had to stop(I am pretty sure it was because I wasn’t taking in enough water and food to account for the calorie loss). I am taking my life and I want to experience it to the fullest with the ones that I love and love me in return.  And, a shout out to my friend, Chrissy, who has had to endure hours of me rambling on about all of this and everything else that has happening to me in the last few months. It hasn’t been easy, but with the help of the ones I am closest to and those who lift me up in goodness it is better!  Love y’all.  

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