I’m fine|Save me

Today I pulled into the church parking lot. I had all the kids dressed. A diaper bag packed. It took me 30 minutes to drive there. I saw all the cars and flipped my car around.

You know when you’re swimming, you’ve held your breath for a long time, your lungs burn and you come up for air. And that first breath is almost painful. You feel the air go in your lungs but you don’t feel like you actually got anything. That’s how anxiety feels.

But it doesn’t stop.

It’s never being able to shut your head off.

It’s feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest anytime there’s conflict.

Even though you can feel your chest going up and down you feel like you can’t get any air.

You are suffocating.

It’s either shutting down completely during an argument or screaming back completely irrational. There is no in between.

It’s hating yourself for being like this.

It’s knowing how you are.

It’s knowing you seem crazy.

But it’s also never being able to stop it.

It’s hearing one thing and understanding it.

But your brain flips in and turns it and replays it and dissects it.

It’s being certain everyone is always mad or annoyed with you.

It’s hating when your kids ride with other people because you’re certain the car will wreck.

It’s begging it to stop.

And then there’s the depression.

The one who whispers to you all day long.

The one who tells you you will never be enough for anyone.

Never a good enough friend.

A good enough daughter.

A good enough significant other.

A good enough sister.

The one who drains your energy and tells you you can’t get out of bed today.

The one who tells you everyone would be better off without you.

The one who doesn’t remind you to eat because honestly on the darkest days walking downstairs for food is too much.

The one who constantly reminds you you are unworthy of love.

The one who you have to fight every time you walk past a liquor store because you know inside is a temporary fix.

The one who notices every sharp object.

The one who knows that enough sleeping pills could do it.

The one who knows that if you let your car run in the garage it’ll all be over.

The one who tells you your kids are better off that way.

The one who your fake smile masks.

Because you know if anyone sees your depression they’ll pry.

And you know you can’t handle that.

You can’t talk about why you’re always sad.

Or why you have no energy.

Or why you canceled plans to lay in bed.

My anxiety and depression both hate and love each other.

They fight.

And when both are present I just accept that I can’t leave the house that day.

This year has been really, really painful.

I’ve cut out a lot people I love.

I opened up about being raped in high school and was so proud of myself for not staying silent another year.

And then it happened again a few months after admitting it happened years ago.

And I realized in this life nothing is fair.

But I know some have it so much worse.

I know that.

I sat at the police department completely numb.

I felt nothing.

They took my clothes for DNA.

They interrogated me to the point I felt like it wasn’t worth the pain.

Their response when I was finished filing a police report was at that point it was “he said she said” and they’d argue that bruising was consistent with rough sex so it was going to be a hard battle and I had to be prepared for that if I was going to move forward.

Just writing that out killed me a little.

I took the right steps this time.

The first time I regretted not telling anyone for years.

I never ever thought I’d have that happen again but I did.

And it was a waste.

So what? I go through hell? The court tears me apart? And maybe they’ll be given a few month? Maybe.

I felt like I was the one in the wrong.

I remember them pointing out the fact that I was wearing shorts that were “very short” (I was a waitress and live in Florida, it was terribly hot)

So I dropped it.

I didn’t pursue it.

They won.

They always win.

And I’d like to think that’s where my anxiety stems from.

That I have seen the most evil side of people.

I don’t want to be around them.

I cringe when people so much as wave to me at Walmart.

I hate making eye contact.

I have to genuinely think about.

My depressions been around longer than that though.

And the two of them are just too much for me.

There is a war in my head all day long.

I take care of kids and remind them they are loved everyday because I never want them questioning their worth.

Even on the days I don’t know how take care of them when I’m so emotionally checked out.

Even on the days it’s terrifyingly dark.

I’ll smile for them.

I’ll hold them.

And it is so draining.

It’s draining being okay for other people.

They go to sleep and I pass out because I’m so exhausted.

I have a newborn I can’t bond with.

And right now my life it’s hard.

It’s so hard right now.

And everyone says one day it’ll be better.

One day it won’t hurt.

Hang on for us.

Hang on for your kids.

Hang on for the good days ahead.

So I’m hanging on, but it is unbelievably painful.

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Dear littlest 


Dear littlest,

It’s 12:57am and you’re finally sleeping.

Right now you don’t know much.

You know my smell.

You’ll sleep longer if I lay you or wrap you in something I wore.

You know the house is always noisy with your siblings.

You know when you’re hungry.

And that’s about it.

You don’t know anything before you.

You don’t know that you were a huge surprise.

You don’t know that I sat in the ER at 5 weeks because I was pouring blood.

You don’t know that I felt relieved.

I had two friends come see me and I had a hard time pretending to be sad.

You don’t know that I went back a week later and they said they’d probabaly need to do a D&C but there you were, still fighting.

You don’t know that I left hysterical because I thought you were gone and I had to tell myself over again that you were there.

You don’t know how much I hate myself for the relief I felt when I thought I was miscarrying.

You don’t know that they took my antidepressants cold turkey because I was high risk and I was SO angry with you for taking away what helped me be okay.

You don’t know that I noticed red flags in your aunt and ended up pulling my jeep over as I watched her eyes well over with tears.

You don’t know that as I listened to her tell me the hurt she was living through it reopen old wounds of my own.

You don’t know the rage I felt in me was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I had walked through that valley before but watching her feel the same feelings of disgust with herself was unbearable somedays.

You don’t know that because of this I removed your siblings and myself from our church home of five years because I was never letting that be one of my daughters. I was never letting somewhere that should be a safe place victim shame any child of mine and make them feel as low as I saw my sister feel.

You don’t know I watched people we loved turn their cheeks the other way.

You don’t know I was drained from your preemie brother and sister constantly being sick and wheezing. It was doctors appoints every week, and breathing treatments, and it was beyond exhausting.

You don’t know your sister had a PICU stay and I sat there the entire time wondering how I could possibly take care of another baby.

You don’t know that I was attacked after work walking to my car.

You don’t know that I sat numb at a police station for hours.

You don’t know that I came home and curled up in bed next to your sister and shut all my feelings off.

You don’t know that your granddad came to my house because he knew something was wrong and sat there for 30 minutes while I tried to form words. I didn’t want to hurt him more than I already have in my 22 years.

You don’t know that I sat across the room from your grandma as she sat there with a notebook interviewing me and wanted so badly to curl up next to her like a child to feel okay but instead I sat there glaring across the room at her hating everything. Trying to feel nothing because I knew if I let myself feel it would be too much for me.

You don’t know how many times I pushed your dad away because I felt like I was ruining his life.

You don’t know how many times I’ve ignored texts and phone calls from people who I can’t pretend to be okay around.

You don’t know that I dealt with everything alone for months because I wanted to protect your siblings and I didn’t want to yet again disappoint my family.

You don’t know that I’d double over in pain due to contractions starting at 12 weeks.

You don’t know that I was deemed epileptic at 15 weeks.

You don’t know that I went to the ER more time than I can count.

You don’t know how hard 2017 was for me. Physically and mentally it was the hardest year of my life.

It was lonely. And dark. And my world was flipped upside down.

You don’t know that I resented you.

You were an innocent, unborn child.

My child.

And I genuinely resented you.

How awful is that?

Women try so hard to conceive, they miscarry, they can’t conceive at all, and here I was resenting you.

I hated myself for that.

I was miserable.

I didn’t want another kid.

I had to stop driving sometimes because the urge to swirve off the road was overwhelming.

I had so much other stuff going on in my life I didn’t want to deal with you.

I already was struggling to want to be here.

I felt alone.

I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been.

How could I take care of you when I couldn’t care for myself?

So I decided I’d place you with a family since I personally couldn’t go through with an abortion.

At 8 weeks your dad and I sat in the dorms on base filling out information on ourselves.

White. 5’8. Lean. No history of cancer. 22yo.

We wrote our interests.

We described our families.

I remember climbing in my car that night and pulling over on the side of the road to vomit because I was so disgusted with myself.

How could I keep 3 kids and give this one away?

It’s not your fault.

You did nothing wrong.

At 11 weeks the genetic screening came back.

Female.

You were perfectly healthy.

And I still didn’t want you.

At 12 weeks I thumbed through families every night.

I studied their faces.

I pictured you with them.

I wanted a family who could give you a good life.

I called and talked to a family.

And then I met with them.

I’m changing their names to Sam and Kate but I’ll never forget their names or their faces or what their home looked like.

They watered up when they saw me.

The touched my tiny bump and even knelt down and kissed it.

I felt defensive and honestly furious they were claiming my child.

I know that makes no sense.

I hand picked them for you and I hated them for loving you.

I think, looking back on it now, I hated them for being able to love you when I couldn’t.

You don’t know how miserable I was.

How many nights I sat on the beach for hours on end trying to feel okay.

Listening to the waves in complete darkness trying to stop the hurting.

How when I was waitressing and people would light up when they noticed my bump I’d ask someone to take my table because I couldn’t talk about you.

How I told myself I wasn’t enough for you.

How I told myself I couldn’t take care of you.

How I talked myself into believing that because my car only had 3 backseats I couldn’t possibly keep you.

You don’t know any of this.

You don’t know that on the drive to the hospital I felt you coming and honestly would have rather remained in that pain than you have been born then.

I wasn’t ready.

And then they had to do an emergency csection.

I woke up with no belly just pain.

I remember trying to sit up and being unable to and yet again being annoyed with you.

I remember thinking I was literally just sliced open to save you.

I should be thankful the doctors got you out before it was too late, but I wasn’t.

I was angry.

I was angry I’d need help caring for your siblings.

I was angry I couldn’t drive.

I was angry that the only person who knows me inside out was 2000 miles away and I needed her to come tell me we’d be okay.

I was angry.

They wheeled me to your incubator and I moved too peer in at you and had to stop because it felt like my inscision was actually on fire.

I remember looking in a feeling nothing.

I didn’t cry.

I didn’t feel bad for you.

I remember sitting there thinking back to the conversation I had with the woman who was going to adopt you when I said she’d have to be here when I go into labor because I didn’t want to touch you.

And that’s how I felt.

I was almost relieved when they said we couldn’t hold you for a week.

I tried so hard to feel those mom emotions.

I did.

I asked if we could hold you everyday.

I came to visit you even on the days I didn’t want to.

And then you came home.

And it’s been hard.

You scream a lot.

Even after you’ve been fed and changed.

You just scream.

And some nights it makes me want to pull my hair out.

Last week your dad went back to work and I bounced you while you screamed for over two straight hours and when you finally stopped and laid down I sat by your bassinet hysterical.

Somedays I’m okay.

Other days are terribly dark.

I watch your siblings love you and am almost jealous the feeling comes so naturally to them.

I’ve been trying so hard.

To bond with you.

I’m on antidepressants.

I’m trying.

I’m really trying.

And I hate myself everyday to not being okay because you deserve that.

But I am aware.

I’m getting help.

I’m leaning on friends and family.

PPD isn’t talked about like it needs to be.

It’s embarrassing.

You feel like a failure of a mother.

Last year I finally blogged about it with my other daughter simply to hold myself accountable.

So I didn’t back out of getting help.

And a woman got on and left a nasty, nasty comment.

Someone I didn’t know.

Some random internet troll.

And I understood why people don’t admit they need help.

Get help.

Accept help.

I’d much rather people think less of me as a mom for needing help than me not get help and actually be less of a mom.

An open letter to the man who chose to love me, my kids & my depression

Thank you. 

My life is mess. 

A train wreck. 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hot mess. 

And by hot mess I mean my messy bun is usually full of baby puke, goldfish and God only knows what else, what even is a bra and peeing alone is a luxury for me. 

My house is a mess. My kids are crazy. My car is trashed. 

I have a teeny tiny tv in the living room because my son broke my nice one. 

I think my bed is made once a year. 

My hallway is a mountain of laundry that I’ve pulled out of the dryer to start the next load of wash. 

I have seven laundry baskets that are ALWAYS full. 

I consider Dino nuggets a staple food. 

I usually shower with kids scooping water out of the tub or fighting over the bubbles.

I run off iced coffee. 

I’m late… to everything. 

And I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. 

My life is basically just googling if my kids are normal while hiding from them in the bathroom and praying bedtime comes before I completely lose it. 

So I don’t really know what I’m doing. 

But I do know,

I never, ever, wanted a broken home for my kids. 

And then you came along. 

And this “broken” home didn’t feel so broken anymore. 

You sucked the meaning out of that phrase.

I was dealing with a lot, by myself. 

I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. 

And you absorbed the loneliness. 

(I’m not saying we have a perfect relationship, we don’t, no one does.)

I’ve cried so many times thinking about all the times you stepped in to help when you didn’t have to. 

When you step in when my four year old has me on the brink of tears. (She’s a hard headed child)

When my hands are full and you offer two helping hands. 

When you step in and fill all the empty spots. 

I was so protective of my kids. 

I never wanted to let anyone in who could walk away. 

I was terrified to let you meet them because I could deal with the hurt of you leaving but I didn’t want that for them. 

I didn’t want to let someone into their lives who could break not only my heart but theirs as well.

So at 22 I kind of just accepted being alone. 

The first time my son, who hates just about everyone who isn’t me, ran to you when you walked in the door my heart jumped out of my chest and then sank to my stomach because what if you go?

What if 

What if

What if

That is my brain all day long. 

But you remind me 446 times a day that you’re not going anywhere. 

I, as many know, struggle with my mental health. I had severe PPD last year. My anxiety is under control but still awful. (For example I couldn’t stop my legs shaking when my newborn was having a blood transfusion because I was certain that vile was the one with HIV which was a 1/1,000,000 chance or I occasionally cry after dropping the kids off at school because my brain runs through all the what ifs) My depression on the other hand isn’t as under control. There’s a lot of days I ignore texts and calls and lay in bed with my kids the whole day. There’s a lot of days I refuse to leave the house. Theres a lot of days my brain reminds me I’m hard to love. 

And then there’s the days you step in to help. 

The time you scooped my face between your hands and said YOU are not screwed up like you think when I had tears pouring down my face because I was hating myself so much. 

The times you’ve said over and over you are literally a super mom when I’m so down on myself as a mom. 

The times you sit in silence with me because you know I want you there but I’m so mentally checked out I have nothing to say. 

All the times you took the time to understand how my head works. 

I am so thankful for you. 

I’m thankful for how understanding you are. 

I’m thankful for the way you are with my kids. 

I’m thankful I don’t have to edit my life to you, that you know all my flaws and are still here. 

My eyes still water anytime I think about my four year old saying she loved you simply because you make her mom happy. 

You absorb some of the things I can’t and pick up my slack when I need you to without ever being asked. 

You show up with tropical smoothie when I’m barely talking to you because I’m in such an awful rut and say I just want to make sure you eat today.

You step up and help with my kids even though it’s not your job. 

You hold me together when I’m crumbling. 

You let me be me, unfiltered, without judgement. 

I genuinely don’t know what I did to deserve you.

Thank you for staying. 

Thank you for loving me. 

Thank you for supporting me. 

Thank you for loving the four most important people in my life. 

I’m so happy doing life with you. 

I love you. 

Always. 

Yes. You’re a terrible mother. 

I suffer from depression. 

I’ve gone to counseling for it. 

I’ve taken medicine for it. 

But there’s a huge difference in depression and postpartum depression. 

Moms are made to love their kids. 

But what if you feel nothing towards them? 

What if you even dislike them? 

When I had my third child I honestly didn’t like her, at all, but refused to tell anyone because what kind of mom doesn’t like their kid?

It was a huge show. 

It was months of trying to make myself love this tiny thing that sucked all the energy out of me. 

If you know her you know she is the sweetest, easiest, most mellow child, so me not liking her made no sense. 

I didn’t feel bad when she’d cry. 

I’d sit outside her door bawling out of irritation because she just wouldn’t stop crying. 

I’d cry about how she took so much time from my other kids.

She had a seizure and I remember my dad asking me if I was okay and I couldn’t even answer because how could I tell him yeah I’m perfectly fine I just want to go home but I can’t because this kid is in the hospital. 

I watched her scream when they put a needle in her hand and my dad patted my back when he saw my eyes swell with tears and I couldn’t explain that I wasn’t about to cry because I felt bad for her.  I was on the verge of tears because my child’s in pain and I feel nothing. Just numbness. (This isn’t like me I cry every single time my kids get shots)

I finally got help. 

I had people tell me I’m an awful mother for not feeling any emotion towards my baby.

And I really believed it and hated myself for even asking for help. 

I asked for help and the thoughts I had for months were verified. 

Yes. You’re a terrible mother. 

Yes. You’re failing your kids. 

Yes. You’re alone in feeling this way. 

Yes. You’re the problem. 

She was born the end of July. It wasn’t until October that I felt somewhat okay.

I’ll never forget the day I finally looked at her and felt love towards her. 

We were setting up the Christmas tree in October to help “make the depression leave”

And I looked at her little face and she smiled back and there it was. That was it. I finally felt that motherly love. 

The antidepressants had kicked in. I had explained to my family how I felt. I could finally talk about it. I was okay. We were okay. 

The best way I can descibe what depression feels like is breathing but drowning. 

Like every good moment changes to grey. 

Like an elephant is sitting on your chest. 

Like night time is the best time because the darkness feels the safest. 

Like numbness. 

My family has been nagging me about it this time around and watching for red flags because they saw how bad I got last time. 

Aspen, my littlest, has now been in NICU a month. 

She’s not home and my hormones are still out of wack, but the fear of also disliking her is still there. 

I’m extremely cautious this time because if I’m sinking into another round of ppd I want to know and “fix it” immediately. 

I was talking to my dear friend in the middle of the night the other night. 

I was tired. I was extremely sad. And was feeling so alone. (If you have depression you know you could be in a room full of people and it still be lonely and grey)

She texted me this; 

Aspen is just as precious as the other 3. You know that. It’s just hard for you to see that because you’re grieving. And that’s okay. You have given Aspen life, a name, a place to stay, encouragement, clothes, and 3 awesome siblings. You don’t have to feel for Aspen right now: you are enough. She has her mom and her dad. What more could she ask for?

You don’t have to feel for Aspen right now: you are enough.  

If you are struggling with PPD, get help. You are enough. Take care of YOU. That’s what your child needs. 

NICU day 18

Aspen is finally 4 pounds!

Right now she’s what they call a “feeder grower” she’s just there to get bigger and learn to eat. 

They moved her feeding tube to her nose so when she does get to try bottles the tube won’t get in the way. 

Hopefully we will get to start trying bottles this upcoming week. She’s 32 weeks today so we should be able to relatively soon. I’m so ready to start the battle of getting her to eat on her own so we can get her home. If you have ever had a kid in NICU you know how frustrating getting them to eat can be after they’ve been tube fed. You’ll sit there for 30 minutes trying to keep them awake to eat and realize they only ate 1/8 of their bottle so they just get tube fed anyways at that point. 

She was also moved to level 2 NICU which means she’s no longer level 3 which basically just means she’s stable and not critical. She also got moved upstairs to a private room which is nice getting to go see her and not listening the chaos of the normal NICU downstairs. It’s a ton of beeping and listening to othe rbabies cry. Now it’s like visiting anyone else in the hospital except. Your nurse pops in every once in a while but other than that the room is just Aspens. (We are convinced they moved her to a private room because of how loud we were laughing the night before)

Please keep little bug in your prayers, that she kicks butt when it comes time to try bottles so she can come home. We miss her so badly every single day and leaving the hospital without her never feels rights. 

NICU day 7


We’ve survived a week. 

Today was obviously a big day, we FINALLY got to hold our girl. I even got to change a diaper which may sound not so great but when you’ve been able to do nothing for your child other than pump like a cow it felt nice to finally actually do something a normal mom does. 

NICU this go around has been slightly more miserable. It’s painful getting into the chairs and then I spend the whole time squirming around trying to find the best position to not pull my stitches and then when I’m finally comfortable I have to pump or we have to move so a nurse can get in. So sitting with Aspen is all I want to do but it is also not fun, at all. It’s also near impossible to find “balance” between the hospital and the minions at home. I feel awful not being home and equally as awful not being at the hospital. Not being able to care for any of your kids because some are too heavy to hold and the other one is in an isolette is completely miserable. BUT we are just happy everyone is taken care of and getting the care they need. (I’m just hormonal and easily frustrated that I can’t do everything by myself right now.) I also started back to school on Monday so I’m trying to play catch up on that since apparently your junior year they have actual assignments the first week. In other words my life is a hot mess right now. More so than normal. 

A lot of people have asked why we couldn’t hold her, what’s wrong with her, ect… absolutely nothing is wrong with Aspen other than she was premature. She had an IV in her belly button up until 1pm today which made it more dangerous to hold her. She still can’t be held by other people because it is a lot of stress to their little bodies and she is still so small maintaining her temperature is hard for her even skin to skin. 

Her nasal cannula is already at a low enough setting that when she gets to full feeds we can attempt oral feeds instead of her getting all her feeds through her feeding tube. People get excited when I say that like she’ll be home soon, she won’t be. It’ll take her a couple more days to get to full feeds(160mL) once that happens they’ll let her attempt feeds orally and not through her feeding tube. That means the first day they’ll let her try one or two of her eight feeds. Babies don’t get the sucking reflex until about 32 weeks so they won’t want to set her up for failure. And it’s a lot of work which could cause her to lose weight. They’ll then eventually bump her feeds up by one or two at a time until she can get all 8 down by herself. Then it will be making sure she’s gaining and maintaining her own temperature. Right now her isolette does that for her. 

In other words she still has a long, long road ahead and won’t be home till probably mid October at the earliest, but is making improvements. 

Again, we’re celebrating the little victories and no news is good news when in comes to NICU. 

NICU day 5


Aspen is off the CPAP and on the high flow cannula on 4L. She is tolerating feeds, still not up to birth weight, but tolerating the feeds. She’s getting 17mL/3hrs. 

She is a little jaundice but not enough to need under the lights. 

They still have her isolate covered to imitate the womb, but she was awake a lot tonight while we sat with her and it was nice seeing her look around. 

She has her daddy’s feet and her mommas long fingers and is so, so cute and sweet. I cannot wait to get her home where I can love on her sweet little self everyday. 

We were able to get a room at Ronald McDonald so we can stay right next to the hospital. 

We will probabaly get to hold her this weekend and are SO excited to get to. 

We’ve had a ton of people offer to cook meals and drive me around since I can’t drive right now. We are so thankful for all the help and love we’ve received since having Aspen. 

I was finally able to spend a day at home with the kids and it was so nice, but I’ll always feel guilty regardless of which kid/kids I’m with. 

It’ll be a long couple months, September being the longest one, but we’re hanging in there. 

Thank you all for keeping Aspen in your thoughts and prayers. ❤️

NICU Day 3:

{I’m not taking the time to proofread this so sorry if I sound extremely illiterate}

I’ve never simultaneously loved and hated something as much as NICU. 

I love the nurses and how they care for my child when I can’t. I love that they can help my child survive. I love that they don’t judge you when you walk in with your face swollen from crying and you are walking slower than dirt because your stitches from your csection pull every time you move. 

I hate that I have to leave my child there. I hate that anytime I want to see her I have to scrub up to my elbows, sit in uncomfortable chairs, and leave so frequently. 

Due to the overwhelming number of people reaching out I figured it would be easier to explain in a blog. We are so thankful for all the love and support we are receiving it is just hard to keep up with replying right now.

Friday, the 25th I didn’t feel great at all. I texted Spencer at 10pm asking him to keep his ringer on in case I needed to get a hold of him. At 11pm he insisted on coming over, I was being really stubborn and wasn’t sure I was in labor I just felt so miserable. He got there around midnight. We fell asleep downstairs on the couch with Willow. I woke up a little after 1am certain my water broke so I texted my brother to come over and my parents and waddle to the bathroom. That’s when I knew we needed to leave as fast as possible. I was bleeding everywhere, my water didn’t break. We didn’t know at the time my placenta had torn which I’m so thankful we didn’t know because I would have been absolutely hysterical the whole 30 minutes it took us to get to the hospital. Spence loaded the bags up, my brother got the kids, and we drove as fast as we could to Pensacola. I was having intense contractions the whole drive and towards the end felt the need to push but was absolutely terrified to because we had nothing to help her breathe if she came in the car. We arrived at 2am.  They wheeled me to triage. Spencer parked the car. Him and my parents got to the room about the same time. They immediately paged NICU when they realized she was coming. They wheeled me to labor and delivery, confirmed she was head down, and started hooking up monitors. Before I could transfer beds I had one awful contraction, pushed and my water broke everywhere. They hooked monitors up and the doctor kept looking at the screen and we all knew something was wrong by his face. Her heart rate was in the 30s at this point so he said we had to go to the OR for an emergency csection. Since it was an emergency no one could come in the room since I had to be put completely under. I was prepped and under in less than 2 minutes. She was born at 2:31am. They heard her cry which was an awesome sign. Spence went with her as soon as she was wheeled out of the OR. I woke up a while later and my parents and spence were finally able to come back. Which I’ve never in my life thought id find so much comfort in seeing familiar faces but after having a ton of strange panicked faces over you it was refreshing. Soon after I had spence go back to NICU to get pictures because I hadn’t seen Aspen yet and wouldn’t be able to for a while. My parents left. His sister came and sat with us while his mom and other sister started to drive to Pensacola. They all came to visit the baby and the next day my siblings, parents and the woodland creatures were able to come see us and celebrate Reid’s birthday.  There were a lot of moving pieces and I’m so happy everyone got where the needed to in time. 

Long story short I was already high risk, I was on progesterone shots to help but we were still planning on an early delivery, but she was born so early due to the abrubtion and there was nothing they could do to stop it. 

It’s now day 3. We are so tired. The adrenaline has worn off and we are ready to go home but also so not ready to leave Aspen here. 

We appreciate all the thoughts, kind words and prayers. We’re hoping our sweet girl can come home sometime in October but we know getting there is going to be emotionally draining on all of us so right now we are just taking it day by day and counting all the little victories. Each tube that’s removed, each day that we get through without crying, and each morning we wake up knowing we are one day closer to having our little girl home with us. You’re so loved Aspen. 

Dear mom with the tear stained eyes

Dear mom with the tear stained eyes, you’re enough for them. 

2017 has been hell year for me. 

And I’m constantly feeling like I’m failing the 4 most important people in my life. 

I’ve been the mom with the tear stained eyes more times this year than in my entire 5 years of motherhood. 

I’ve cried in the Walmart check out when my toddler is having a tantrum and I hear the old man behind me sigh in annoyance. 

I’ve cried when my 4 year old yells back “you’re mean.”  

I’ve cried when people have said you can’t do this on your own because most days I believe it. 

I’ve cried when people look at my growing belly and say do you not know what birth control is. Not knowing I met an adoptive family because I felt that unfit to care for her. 

I’ve cried when I ignore another person I care about because I don’t feel like leaving the house or speaking to them.

I’ve cried when people my age make comments about how my life is ruined. 

I’ve cried after spending a day around people and pretending everything’s okay. 

I’ve cried over things that are far out of my control. 

I’ve cried because life has been one low blow after another. 

I’ve cried at 3am when I’m up trying to catch up on everything I couldn’t do when they were up. 

I’ve cried when my advisor told me taking a full course load is stupid with kids at home. 

I’ve cried after getting the kids to bed and sat outside their door in the dark simply praying for some guidance. 

I’ve scooped them out of bed a thousand times in the middle of the night and kissed their tiny faces and whisper I am sorry for everything I did wrong that day. 

For saying no when I could have said yes. For raising my voice when I didn’t need to. For saying hang on a minute when I should have stopped cleaning and watched my 4 year olds ballet routine for the 30th time. 

I’ve cried out of anger when I’m doubled over in pain due to contractions but am covered in bruises from shots that are supposed prevent preterm laboring. 

Overall I’ve felt like I’m failing miserably. To find balance. To cook. And clean. And play. And parent. And to make sure they each get at least 43 kisses a day. And to make sure I tell them I love them because I never want them to question that. And to teach them. And to get them outside to play. And to wash their little faces before bed. And to make sure I read to them every single night. And to deal with the laundry list of things that need done. 

Being a single mom is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I am constantly trying to “make it up” to my kids. 

To be enough. 

I tired. I’m mentally and physically drained. And my heart hurts. 

My 4 year old is always the one who knows when I’m struggling. She’s sensitive, like her momma. 

A few nights ago I crawled into bed with her to get her to sleep and my face was yet again tear stained. She scooped my face between her tiny hands and said mom stop crying or you’ll melt your sprinkles off(my freckles) 

I laughed and said kiddo moms fine just extra tired. 

And she replied so sweetly like she does every time she knows I’m struggling and said mom, I’m 4 now. I always know when your heart is hurting. 

Which of course triggered the hormonal waterworks and I said you’re too smart for your own good now close your eyes and I’ll give you a dream (telling her a story usually about princesses and fairies)

She closed her eyes and said tonight can you give me a dream about me and the best mom in the whole world, you. 

You’re enough for them. 

They don’t see the bad. 

They see the good. 

You’re much harder on yourself than they are. 

They don’t care about the mess. 

They don’t care that the old man at Walmart was annoyed at their tantrum. 

They don’t care about any of that. 

They just care that you’re there. 

You’re theirs and they’re yours.

So to the mom with the tear stained eyes, you’re enough for them. 

What moms say vs what moms mean. 

1. What they say: I have to do laundry. 

What they mean: I have to run the washer and dryer and throw the clothes in a giant mound on the floor

2. What they say: I’m so sorry they never act like this at home 

What they mean: lol they totally act like this at home. But worse. 

3. What they say: I need to shower. 

What they mean: no for real I haven’t showered in 6 days.. 8? Idk

4.What they say: sorry about the mess 

What they mean: I seriously cleaned for 2 hours and you have no idea the amount of stuff that is shoved in the back room. So sorry about the mess but this is really clean for us. 

5. What they say: ah another stain, I didn’t even notice, she must have spit up on me. 

What they mean: I’ve worn this shirt 3 times this week. Because the mound in the hall is quickly diminishing so this is the cleanest shirt I have. Yes I slept in it. Yes I know there’s a stain. It’s been there all week. No it’s not spit up I was dipping my pizza in ranch and missed my mouth. 

6.What they say: they are so sweet

What they mean: they are so sweet on occasion. Like when the aren’t trying to be WWE fighters. Or pooping everywhere. Or saying mom every .25 seconds. 

7. What they say: I put make up on today 

What they mean: I locked my kids in a room in front of the dreaded Caillou while I slapped my face on. 

8. What they say: I peed alone today 

What they mean: I peed with the door shut and ignored the tiny fingers under the door. 

9.What they say: I need to grocery shop

What they mean: I dug through the freezer since the fridge is empty and we are even out of all our frozen meals. 

10. What they say: I love being a mom. 

What they mean: I love being a mom. Minus laundry. And fussing. And being pooped on. 
Bonus: what moms post vs. reality. 

1. Christmas pics 

2. Sister sister 



3.beach pics by a 3year old