Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.
"My husband and I met in high school, and we got married when we were 19. I was going into my sophomore year in college and Patrick was going in as a freshman, so we didn’t have plans to start a family right away. I’ve always wanted kids, I grew up around kids, I babysat a lot. In my family you got married, you had kids, and that’s just what you did.
I got pregnant with Cole the beginning of my senior year of college. And I was so sick, couldn’t keep anything down and lost a lot of weight during the first part of that pregnancy. I experienced preeclampsia with his pregnancy, and enjoyed all the side effects of water retention and feeling swollen. That was really hard because aside from having to deliver early, and even though we were only an hour from family it was just far enough that we couldn’t have much help. Cole was in the NICU after he was born at 35 weeks and 3 days. He was only in the NICU for 10 days, and did really well. He was tiny, but perfectly fine. He was born the week before finals week at college, but thankfully I had really great professors who were flexible with my exams and it was really awesome.
With all that went on, delivering early, being away from family, being the first baby, and having the NICU experience, it triggered some pretty rough depression. It took me about 9 months before I really did anything about it, and the only reason I went in was because I kept experiencing bleeding after the birth. So I figured while I was in there, I’d talk with them about the depression. I started some antidepressants after seeing a counselor, and Patrick was really against it at the time and wasn’t very supportive in the beginning, so I actually took myself off the antidepressants. In high school, I was diagnosed with Dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder, which is only slightly different than clinical depression, but I still had periods of feeling low. I actually lied to my doctors about my diagnosis when they asked questions ahead of time during my pregnancy. I was afraid to talk to anyone about feeling depressed because I was scared that CPS would be called on me, or they would take my baby, because you hear so many stories of really severe cases of depression where it’s hard for moms to care for their babies. So because of the depression and the traumatic period around Cole’s birth, I feel like I missed out on the bonding time with him, and I feel like he is closer to Patrick because of that.
We ended up having to move back in with my parents, Patrick was in between jobs, I was working two jobs, and we found out I was pregnant with our second child. Patrick later got a job in Noblesville, so we had moved from Muncie to this area. My friend was in the hospital in labor at the same time I went into labor with Aurora, and she was born only hours apart from my friend’s daughter. They had the same doctor, so that was fun.
Aurora was 5 months old when I found I was pregnant with Payton. There’s so much repenting that has gone on through that experience. I’m incredibly impatient, so I always find out when I’m 4-5 weeks along. I had gone out with my MOPS table for a mom’s night out, and another mom said how she always feels phantom kicks when she’s first pregnant, and I said how I was feeling the same thing. My cycle had been inconsistent, so I decided to pick up a test on my way home thinking it would be no big deal. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t wait until the morning, so I got up in the middle of the night to take the test. And after I took the test I think I said every bad word you can probably think and probably made up some and I was every emotion you could feel. I felt panic, a tinge of excitement because it was a baby, but mostly panic. I was trying to think of how to tell Patrick. I had to wake him up and tell him and his response was “great.” So we got through that and had our baby girl.
Then with Logan, he tried to come out a few months early but with the help of medication and the doctors we were able to keep him in until 37 weeks. He was in the NICU for a few days and is doing so well now. So that’s kind of how my journey has gone."