It's been 5 months since I've blogged. 5 months. And while some of that is simply because I have so much to say I don't know where to begin; it's also (mostly) because every time I logged onto my blog it was painful. Painful because I was forced to stare at my last post. In my 25th week of pregnancy I am smiling, happy and healthy. Laughing about my baby brain and craving cinnamon...I am blissfully unaware of what the next 3 months have in store.
The scariest, most challenging, emotionally draining, physically exhausting and truly painful 3 months of my life.
And the truth is, while now I'm genuinely happy, utterly overflowing with love and unbelievably grateful...it was a hard journey getting to this point. It's a journey, in many ways, I wish I could rub out with one of those big pink rubber erasers from kindergarten.
Pre-eclampsia was, in many ways, the very worst and very best thing to ever happen to me. And it's something that has become a part of my identity now. Something I think about daily. Something I am reminded of whenever I see a pregnant woman, the geometric dress I wore to work on the 16th of October, or my beautiful precious daughter. Never in a million years would I imagine that, at the age of 26, walking by a blood pressure machine in the drug store would continue to cause me horrendous anxiety. That I would grow to hate the swish-static sound of a fetal doppler. That I'd live in the hospital for 7 weeks and cry thinking about the park my Labor and Delivery suit looked out on to. That I would mourn for a "normal" pregnancy with a body that allowed my sweet baby the opportunity to fully grow and develop. That I would mourn for a "normal" delivery where I wasn't paralyzed and 'drunk' on magnesium sulfate preventing me from not only having seizures, but seeing or touching my child for the first 24 hours of her life.
You don't need to go through war to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
But through the wide array of awful emotions, the scars and battle wounds, I learned how strong I am as a person. Pre-eclampsia taught me that. It made me, more than ever, appreciate my health, my body, my husband, my family, my friends, my community, my positive mindset. My daughter. It gave me one hell of a story to share with Olivia. A story that, in time - when I'm ready to re-live it - I'll share here too.