I cried. I cried everyday for two months after giving birth to my second child in 2008, which was a beautiful baby girl. It seemed just like yesterday when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and my son was only 10 months old. I remember taking in a deep breath, asking myself, “How are we going to do this?” and just took one day at a time. I’m positive what I had experienced was postpartum depression. I didn’t worry about it so much though. I thought it was something that all women went through after giving birth. After all, your whole life and world changes once this perfect little person comes out into the world. It’s a huge adjustment – emotionally, physically, mentally and psychologically. But I just knew that I wasn’t the same anymore. I had an emergency c-section with my son after 18 hours of labor and my daughter was a scheduled c-section. Both pregnancies took a huge toll on my body. They were both pretty big babies, my son being 8 1/2 lbs and my daughter almost being 9 lbs and on a 4’11’ frame, they weren’t the most comfortable pregnancies. I remember I would look at myself in the mirror after taking a shower and I would just cry. I had felt a number of different of emotions. I felt sad, helpless, hopeless, unattractive, guilty for feelings all those feelings, angry for having those feelings, worried how having two small children would affect my marriage or terrified that I wouldn’t be able to handle two young children. Basically, I was thinking and feeling every negative thing I could think of. For whatever reason it was, these were the feelings I was experiencing and I felt like I couldn’t control it. I tried to reach out to my friends, but at that time, my friends who were Mother’s, were fairly new Mother’s themselves and we all know that once you’re a Mother, picking up your phone to chat with a friend, suddenly required strategic planning and scheduling. So I felt like I was on my own with my postpartum. Thankfully, it all went away eventually and I began to get my rhythm down with my two babies. It suddenly felt normal to have brain fog, short term memory loss, sleep deprivation, lack of patience and forgetfulness. Things that I never were, I now became – tardy, forgetful, unorganized, lazy and comfortable. And when I say comfortable, I mean the whole “I am a new Mom, I’m tired and I don’t care how I look” comfortable.
I started to realize that my body was different. I just didn’t feel right. But probably like any other women who has delivered children, I excused this weird feeling and blamed it on child birth, lack of sleep, stress and whatever came with parenthood. Life moved forward, I shed a lot of the baby weight thanks to breastfeeding, but once that stopped, the weight started to pack on. When my weight starts to go up, I start to feel bad about myself and start to get a little depressed. So I searched for weight loss cures! My first attempt was through Weight Watchers, but I only lost a few pounds and I got tired of counting points. Then I came across a weight loss pill and lost 15 lbs. I felt fantastic, felt better about myself and I thought I would be happy again. That happiness was short lived because the weight slowly crept back on again.
Then something significant happened that marked the day of when I would soon start to experiences changes in my health. I remember it so clearly, one day on my commute home, with my children in the back, I literally felt like someone grabbed my head from behind with their two hands and jolted my head forward, only there was no one there and my head didn’t even move forward. It felt like my brain jolted forward and I was terrified because I was junctioning off of an off ramp on the freeway and heaven forbid what if my hands jerked the steering wheel. But again, I treated it as if it were probably just stress or the lack of sleep that I was having because of my two children. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of what seemed like an eternal journey of torturing health issues that no one could help me with.