Previa Alliance Podcast

High-Risk Pregnancy and the NICU Experience with Hannah Griffin

December 18, 2023 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 85
Previa Alliance Podcast
High-Risk Pregnancy and the NICU Experience with Hannah Griffin
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ladies, picture this: you're pregnant with your much-awaited baby, but instead of basking in joy, you're dealing with high blood pressure, dysautonomia, and a constant cloud of uncertainty. Not the most heartwarming image, is it? This week, Sarah sits down with the brave and inspiring Hannah Griffin, now a mother to baby Amelia, to shed light on the often unspoken health struggles during pregnancy. Trust us, this is an episode you won't want to miss.

Hannah's Instagram: @bighairedhannah

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to Preview Alliance Podcast. This is Sarah and we have one of our fan favorites back. You know her, hannah, and guess who we?

Speaker 2:

also have. We have baby Amelia Parker today. Thanks for having us.

Speaker 1:

So welcomed. We love a baby first podcast, why not? So from the last time our listeners heard from you, pregnancy wasn't even really on your mind.

Speaker 2:

Oh gosh, no, that was probably. Was that a year ago?

Speaker 1:

At least a year ago, and she's very much here. She's like I'm here, and so let's just catch up. Let's tell our listeners because we are going to put a little bit of a trigger warning on this podcast episode. We were talking about highest pregnancies, we're talking about possible admissions, we're talking about call for what is emergency C-section NICU. So if you're not in the place to hear it, listen to us later. But it's just again. We want to bring real stories and real experiences. So you guys know you're not alone. So let's start at. We decided let's have a second one.

Speaker 2:

So we decided in October. I am pretty fertile, so it happened pretty quickly. I found out we were pregnant the day after the Taylor Swift tickets went on sale.

Speaker 1:

So I get from Taylor.

Speaker 2:

I get from Taylor. I literally celebrated with a lot of wine. I got the tickets and the next morning took a little pregnancy test to send her pregnant.

Speaker 1:

I remember I got Botox for the first time on like on a Monday and I found I was pregnant with James like on that Wednesday and I was like oh okay, it's so funny you say that because my Botox was the Sunday before and again, I think that was the Lord, like there's your last.

Speaker 2:

That's what I said.

Speaker 1:

I said God gave me a little little help through that Right. He was like and Dahl should not have wrinkles for a minute. And I was like I felt I was like I called him there, like this is not the first time, this happens a lot. She even asked me. She's like could you be pregnant? I was like we've got to let go of the hope of it a little bit that time, because we've been trying for a little bit. I was like no, no, here we go. We're pregnant Yep, so you had Botox and Taylor Swift tickets, so you were set up for success.

Speaker 2:

Right, right. So it was a good headspace very good headspace. I think it was the very end of October, yeah. And then I with my first. I had a pretty rough first trimester. I did not feel well at all and I didn't start feeling like that until a little bit later in my pregnancy with the second one. So with Nolan it was probably six weeks, with her it was probably eight to nine. So I really had high hopes that it would be a great pregnancy and then it took a turn pretty quickly.

Speaker 1:

What was the first thing that you're like, oh boy, this is different.

Speaker 2:

Mentally. It was just hard mentally, and I don't I still haven't figured out if it was because I had another toddler to take care of, so when I didn't feel good I couldn't just go to sleep, I still had to mom, or I mean the hormones for a girl. I mean, it was next level.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

It was physically did not feel good, mentally did not feel good. I was exhausted, seasonal depression, because by this time it was like Christmas. I remember like two weeks before Christmas there were like two days where I could not get out of bed and a lot of it physically didn't feel good, but mentally I just was so in such a dark space and this might sound really terrible. I kind of resented her before she. I mean, we were not even out of the first trimester.

Speaker 1:

And. I had resentment towards my baby, which then made me feel guilty, yes and like but I hear so much and so depression, anxiety, dear pregnancy is so real and there's this concept that society tells us that we are supposed to just shut up and just accept the uncomfortableness of it or the struggle of it, and that is suffocating and that gives no room. But the reality is I hear more than not mom saying what you just said and being like I've had overwhelming anxiety or I was resentful because I could not physically do what I could normally do. I mean, it's taxing and so you don't resent her.

Speaker 2:

You're so you want her, and now that she's here, like but that's a thought's a thought. Right.

Speaker 1:

And so like that was how that was that moment and thank you for sharing that, because so many I can I gear like 100%. I can say this confidence I've heard that and I know one else else said that. And when they check on you, like you know they're like they never think there's never room for that conversation that mom might not be physically or mentally doing okay during the pregnancy.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and it was one of those things I was trying to not take it for granted because, again, I do get pregnant pretty easily and I have so many friends that have struggled, so they would be the ones checking on me. And here I am in this position where they pray to be pregnant. And here I am, unwell in my pregnancy, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I've heard women who've done IVF. They've struggled, they've tried for many years. Then they are suffering in silence, experiencing depression or anxiety, and pregnancy or just feeling like this is hard. And it's like you're hard does not mean someone else's heart is invalid, you know. And that does not. Just because whatever led you to this point doesn't mean you can't feel what you feel and that I hear that a lot is. I don't feel like I should feel this way or what right do I have to? And it's like you have every right in the world because it's you and it's your life and it's your mind, your body. So I hear it and you do. You just are people don't help, they're like, well, you should be thankful you got pregnant. All that Exactly. Come on now. We are, but like I've not been able to get out of bed. Yeah, physically I'm having dark thoughts. I don't feel good. I'm wondering how I'm now going to take care of this toddler plus be pregnant, right, exactly, I'm having the older child, nolan, 100% made a thousand times harder.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it did, because you're right, especially in the early, because with Nolan, when I didn't feel good, I could go into bed. Exactly, and my job is physical, so I was having to be physical at work, active at work. Come home still not feel great. I have a two year old, who was two and a half at the time.

Speaker 1:

You got to show up for him, yeah, like.

Speaker 2:

I couldn't.

Speaker 1:

You have a husband.

Speaker 2:

Right, exactly, I didn't want Nolan to realize I didn't feel good because I didn't want him to. You know, even though I don't think two year olds can be resentful, but, I, didn't want him to feel some type of way about the baby.

Speaker 1:

And blame her Because you knew that he, she made mommy sick.

Speaker 2:

You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's already like they sense it. Right, they sense something's different. Will Dev, when I was talking to James, we think they sense it and you overcame that and that led to kind of the next hurdle in your pregnancy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I feel like I started to feel better mentally and physically. Like January, we found out she was a girl, which I didn't realize how much I wanted a girl until I found out I was having a girl. So I sent January to March super excited, shopping a lot right. Having so much fun with it all and then, probably like when I was like 21, 22 weeks pregnant, my blood pressure started to go crazy, which I have with Nolan everything.

Speaker 1:

It was fine, everything was great.

Speaker 2:

Aside from the morning sickness, like I never had to end up in the hospital.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So my blood pressure started to go crazy and it was one of those things where it would be high at home and I would go in to the ER or the emergency department for the OB clinic and they would say, oh, it's fine, go home. And that happens like twice in the month of March, which that made me feel crazy. Because here I am, I'm like, well, I have calibrated this blood pressure machine. I took it in every time I went to the hospital and lined it up with what the machine there was saying, and it was always accurate, accurate. Yeah, so yeah, that was March. And then I'm trying to remember what happened, where they finally was it?

Speaker 1:

Was it a?

Speaker 2:

scan, or was it no, so I never had a scan. I guess probably the third time I ended up at the ED. They took it and it was super low. And it was like 40 over 70.

Speaker 1:

Oh wow, I'm so bad with blood pressure. No, but super low.

Speaker 2:

It was like super low, to where the doctor came in and was like okay, now you're having the opposite problem.

Speaker 1:

You're not leaving.

Speaker 2:

And so he decided to keep me overnight and later that night it was crazy high, like 165 over 110. And this was all within the hour and you're just like what is happening, what is happening? And I do wanna say I had COVID between my pregnancies just to preface all this. So yeah, it was like 165 over 110, plus it was out of control and then it would drop again super low. So I ended up the first time I was hospitalized, spent six nights in the hospital at Grandview with my toddler at home, so that really threw us for a loop. And my husband, his biggest event of the year he's in sporting events and his biggest event. I was gonna say the timing of that, the timing was so bad looking back, but I mean, we made it work.

Speaker 1:

What'd you make it work? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?

Speaker 2:

Luckily, I was at Grandview and his office is literally across 280 from Grandview. So, he was with me as much as he could. He was working from the hospital. A lot going back and forth in those six days, but in those six days my blood pressure continued to go high and go low. They would give me blood pressure medicine for my high blood pressures that would bottom me out, make me pass out. They were doing MRIs. They were doing, checking all the medical world or so over my head, but they checked everything that they could and she was fine here at all. It was you, yes, it was me, and that is the thing, thank God. Every time I was hooked up to the monitor, her heart rate was perfect, she moved crazy, she was thriving, the entire time.

Speaker 1:

But in the back of your head you're just like what is wrong with me? I don't want it to affect her. I'm away from Nolan. This is Parker's busiest time I've trapped in this hospital.

Speaker 2:

And I do at that point. So when I was feeling good in January, I scheduled all of my appointments for work through the end of my maternity leave.

Speaker 1:

You're like I'm gonna get this. Why we got this I?

Speaker 2:

literally had people on the books, which I know that doesn't matter. All my clients were super flexible during everything, but in my mind I'm like no. I cannot be laying in this hospital bed. I need to be at work Like that is what I need to be doing.

Speaker 1:

You just felt that pressure. Yeah, exactly yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I ended up, after a couple hospitalizations, I ended up at UAB with a high-risk doctor where they diagnosed me with dysautonomia.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And they said that they've seen it kind of like come after COVID, like it's a long-term effect of COVID. Yeah, okay, so my doctor or the doctor that was my high-risk doctor he thinks that pregnancy like triggered it. Oh wow, yeah. So which it's like still is the weirdest thing, because like one day I'd be fine and felt like I could rule the world, and then the next day my blood pressure would be through the roof.

Speaker 1:

And there's like anxiety to that right Cause you're just like well, what's today gonna be?

Speaker 2:

Right, exactly Like. I hope I can work today. I hope I can be a mom today.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And there was a time where I was at UAB that my blood pressure, the top number ended up like 215.

Speaker 1:

Oh, hell Like insane.

Speaker 2:

And so by this time I'm like 24 weeks pregnant and they kind of mentally prepared me to have her at 34 weeks. They were like we're gonna be lucky if we make it to 34 weeks.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Cause they said it's gonna be pretty cleancy at some point I like didn't believe them in the moment. I was like, yeah, no, that's you know, I still in my head was like my first pregnancy was so normal, like I don't think that's gonna happen. I guess I was really into the major injury. But they started like pumping me with the steroids that they give you. Did they give you those?

Speaker 1:

They did. Yeah, that shot oh it did. I cried. I remember that. I think it was yeah, it was a will shot that I cried and I was like that was one of the most painful shots of my life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's painful. So they started doing those for me at 24 weeks. So I was at Grand View and my doctor came in and was, like, we're gonna transfer you to UAB. This is right before I got diagnosed with this autonomia. Then I roll up to UAB as the in me like the maternal.

Speaker 1:

I visited that one. I may not be there, I know them.

Speaker 2:

So I got there and the first thing that the doctor said was so I guess they almost delivered you yesterday at Grand View I was 24 weeks, Sarah I was like, did they? I didn't know that, and that was the day my blood pressure was like 215. And it was that high for like an hour, but they got it down.

Speaker 1:

You're like what I know.

Speaker 2:

I literally me and my husband looked at each other like oh, no one said anything, right, thank God they didn't. Because that would have made my BP go higher. But yeah, 24 weeks. So I was just, you know, thankful obviously that they didn't. They diagnosed me with a dysautonomia and I kind of just lived my life as best I could. That sounds really dramatic, oh no, no.

Speaker 1:

I mean I get it because with Will's hyper-sagnosis, a visa preview I just had to live every day and just say, okay, let's just see what today brought. And mine was a blood pressure, but mine was like if I spotted I had 10 minutes to get to the hospital, like literally. So I lived my life looking for you know spotting and you had the blood pressure. I mean that mental toll of am I going to make it? Are we gonna make it to what week? That really messed me up a little bit, cause I was just. Could you think you do milestones right, like the viability is huge and then literally every week matters? It really matters and you just hold your breath. Now I, with Will, didn't have anybody and I didn't have another child. He was my first living child, so I didn't have what you had with Nolan.

Speaker 2:

Like you're still mom, yeah, but it made it. I mean, my mom lives close five minutes away, thank you, god and Nolan loves my mom. They have a great relationship, so we used to share a ton, but it also like-.

Speaker 1:

Distracted you yeah distracted me.

Speaker 2:

So the days I felt good honey, we went everywhere. We did every you know we went to the park every day that I felt good. We were on the go just trying to live it up with him as an only child, you know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, no, I totally get that. And then what changed where they're like it's tough.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so that went back and forth Like-.

Speaker 1:

I remember I was like what is going on, Cause I would check in and I'd be like, okay, where?

Speaker 2:

are we at? Where are we at what week?

Speaker 1:

is she at and where are we at?

Speaker 2:

And like it makes you feel like a crazy person to be in and out of the hospital that much Cause I've never, up until having my C-section in 2020 with Nolan, I had never spent the night in a hospital so like-.

Speaker 1:

It's misery. It is not it's not like a luxury. Like I always tell people back from nursing days, I'm like this is like Motel 6. Okay, we're in and out.

Speaker 2:

This is not like you're not gonna rest Right oh gosh. No, it's loud, yeah, it smells a certain way, the food's horrible, yeah, and it just like I guess. Just it almost felt embarrassing like telling people because it was and right after that, like, oh, my blood pressure is high today, and then it's low, like I felt like all over the spectrum.

Speaker 1:

Well you're going to and some people like you go in here like no, no, I like there's a point of I hear it from so many moms and so different situations, like I wasn't believed, or they Looked at me like sideways, like girl you like, really fine, yeah home, yeah, and I felt that a lot and that's hard it is and even so, my the high-risk doctor.

Speaker 2:

He was like you know, you can still stay with your primary OB at Grandview, but you still have to come see me every now and then. And he was like, if you end up having to go back to the hospital, I want you to come back here instead of Grandview. So like there were probably three times after the diagnosis that I ended up hospitalized. Yeah, and the girls at the ME like, look, I would go in and it would be normal, and they'd be like you're fine and I'd be like, no, no, no, like, read the chart. Yeah don't just like look at the number on the blood pressure right now, because right minutes ago was through the roof.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean yeah, and.

Speaker 2:

I didn't really realize what all how blood pressure affected, but it can affect everything. Your placenta. Yeah, yeah like me, I'm fine, like I don't care.

Speaker 1:

But you know, I don't want it to stop blood flow you know, and that's the key there too, and I hate that happen to you. I mean that the experience has happened to so many moms and know what that's like and you're just looking at them. You're like read the chart right like read the chart. I'm not some crazy off the street. I've been here, we've done this right. I know the best parking spot at this point, like there's, and I tell that to you. Just it's so annoying you feel, but you just have to keep being like no and Advocate for yourself through it because they won't. Yeah, I mean, I could say as a, you know, a nurse, like sometimes you don't read everything you should, right, and sometimes you make quick judgments, mm-hmm, you shouldn't exactly so.

Speaker 2:

then last forward to we went a couple weeks doing that ping-pong game, then fast forward to like 31 weeks. Uh-huh, I made it to the Taylor Swift concert.

Speaker 1:

I the whole time I'm like, if she cuz, you know, if will. I never made it to Taylor Swift. I delivered like on the money. She was playing on a Friday. I ended up giving my OB, a resident who helped deliver will, my tickets Uh-huh. So she got to go. I mean me and her, both were traumatized. So she needed Taylor. She was great. I you know that bond. But she enjoyed Taylor, but so I'm like you got to do. You are much more of a Taylor girl than me to like this is.

Speaker 2:

This was a thing I'm a Swiftie. Yeah, I am a Swiftie and I joked my entire pregnancy. I was like, if Amelia Parker doesn't, let me go to Taylor Swift. She's gonna come out of the womb grounded.

Speaker 1:

Uh-huh, she got to enjoy, and it was raining right, you guys, it was raining.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was the rain. Uh-huh, it was delayed for hours.

Speaker 1:

I feel like I'm sitting here pregnant. I don't know if my blood pressure 240, but we're gonna sing these songs crazy and my husband he had, he already had tickets to go with us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we thought about selling his, but he was like no, I've got to go because what you all gotta go to Vandy or something, deliver a baby. And that's what my, so I was supposed to go. I went to Nashville, but I was also supposed to go to Boston, taylor. Uh-huh and my OB was, like you know we ain't doing that flight? Vandy's a drive. Yeah cuz if you have the baby while you're there, she's gonna be in the nicky.

Speaker 1:

Uh-huh.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah so made it to Taylor and then, about a week after Taylor, I Could not stop throwing up one day and luckily it was the day I had an OB appointment. So I went in, was throwing up and my doctor was like you are severely dehydrated, so she sent me over to the OB ED to get fluids. And again they didn't take it seriously. That doctor on call was like you're fine, let me leave. Like five hours later, after like two bags of fluids, oh my husband. He was there through everything. Yeah this is literally the one Day that I went to the hospital, that he didn't come and I passed out on the way to my car in the parking garage, the hospital. So again like I felt like an idiot, they're not taking me seriously, when my doctor has just sent me over from an appointment to be evaluated and this doctor on call Still is like uh-uh, you're good and here you pass out, and I'm not literally pass out in the parking lot. Yes, it was so embarrassing.

Speaker 1:

No, they should feel so. I mean that I I've had. So I'm telling you, if I've had Multiple previous moms and friends, be like I was sent home, that I had the baby like literally a few hours later, or you know they were wrong. They didn't listen. So I tell everybody it's like you just got to keep on keeping on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and my husband, like you know, again he wasn't there and he was like well, did you feel bad? And I was like, yeah, I felt like I could barely walk. And he was like, why don't you say something?

Speaker 1:

But you just think you get in these situations and you're just like, well, what am I supposed to say?

Speaker 2:

I don't want to look like this person that's making you know I don't ever want to look like I'm making any of this up for attention. Yeah, yeah, that was like always in the back of my head, especially when, at the beginning, what I would go in and nothing would be wrong. I'd be like this is humiliating, Like I'm not this kind of person. I don't like the attention.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, negative attention.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it's not my vibe no yeah, so I passed out, Called my doctor because my husband oh. I was like you've got to come get me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I can't do that. I cannot do this. So he came to get me, drove me home. I called my OB and she was like get back to the hospital, they do not need to be letting you go. So I went back and they gave me a 24 hour urine test. This was like my fifth, like every hospitalization Did you ever have to take?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I had to do one of it. You bring a jug, yeah a jug. You carry your P Aral, literally. You carry your P.

Speaker 2:

Aral I do, it's terrible. Um, so that is the one that showed severe preeclampsia and I was 30, like right at 30 weeks at that point. Yeah, so at that point the doctor was like all right, this is it, it's officially pre-e. We knew it would be right. My doctor was like you, did make it further than I thought I would like. They were expecting me to have it at 28, 29 weeks. I made it to 30.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

So she was like you're here to stay. Yeah until you have this baby.

Speaker 1:

Yeah like.

Speaker 2:

Our goal is 34. I ended up at this point. They let me I was far enough along where. They let me choose which hospital to go to and I just felt more comfortable at Grandview versus you baby. It was just more convenient to get it out of yeah um. So I'm at Grandview and she's like you're here until 34 weeks, unless the baby comes sooner than yeah we're just gonna have to do what we have to do, so and so when did she come? So 32 and one.

Speaker 1:

Okay, miss saying.

Speaker 2:

I know she, that was Memorial Day Sunday that we got.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I remember that. I Remember your post and I was just like she made it.

Speaker 2:

I made it, you know?

Speaker 1:

yeah, they made it you know, but you just, I think everybody kind of held their breath. I'm sure you know you did too, like you're just, I mean, god, that's up and down a lot.

Speaker 2:

It was a lot. And again, my husband, sarah, was with me through every step, except for, not except for. He was with me through yeah step the whole time we were in the hospital. He was like Me and Nolan, Nolan especially. He needs normalcy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, memorial.

Speaker 2:

Day we are grilling hot dogs.

Speaker 1:

Okay, grilling hot dog.

Speaker 2:

I was like that's fine. Yeah, she's not coming anytime soon. Like it was the Sunday morning, I was like it's you go do hot dogs, get this boy. I'm hot dog, him a hot dog. Y'all live your life. So he went, took Nolan to Lowe's. Nolan, who had never pooped on the potty, pooped on the potty at Lowe's hey the day his sister was. What a man, what, what a man. Parker is still very proud of that.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I would be too, like this is a right of honor. This would be told at his wedding.

Speaker 2:

His brain, parker, will tell it at the warehouse. I knew thanks.

Speaker 1:

We're gonna be fine when you pooped at Lowe's yeah.

Speaker 2:

So they're. Parker and Nolan are at Lowe's getting tomato plants, because Parker just needed a normal day, so it's it's a coping, it's a coping strategy, right Like you're, just like.

Speaker 1:

Let me plant a tomato plant.

Speaker 2:

So things started going crazy with my blood pressure, but it wasn't like through the roof, it was just like 160 over like 99 a hundred. Yeah, it wasn't, they weren't like oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it wasn't panicked yet.

Speaker 2:

So I texted Parker and I was like you know, just so you know, like this is where we're at, it's not time, they're gonna give me some blood pressure medicine, it's gonna be fine. So after three rounds of blood pressure medicine, it was still pretty high.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I started to get like the headache and the upper abdominal pain that they like warned me about with pre-e. So they Said, okay, today's the day. Yeah, I was like what? So I called Parker and I said I think we're having a baby today.

Speaker 1:

That's what the doctor said I think you need to get away from Lowe's and come on on.

Speaker 2:

So at this point he was home and he would literally. His response was I just put hot dogs on the grill.

Speaker 1:

So sorry.

Speaker 2:

Right, and he's great. You know, I think that was his way of processing, like the hot dog. I just wanted a normal day, he's just like woman.

Speaker 1:

Can you not give me a hot dog?

Speaker 2:

So, um, thank God for my mom. She rushed over, nolan got his hot dogs. Parker didn't get his hot dogs, but he's fine, he's still salty about it. You got a daughter Thank you, you got a daughter.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to be a girl.

Speaker 2:

dad now, parker Like this is how it goes, he not showered that day and like that's usually the first thing he does, but just this day he didn't. And he asked the nurse. I had him on speaker and he was like do I have time to take a shower? And the nurse was like she's kind of sugar head, like get here yeah. Come, come now. Um yeah, and then an hour and a half later, we had the baby. I know I did wash my hair the night before she was born. It's like I knew.

Speaker 1:

I just had to say you looked fabulous.

Speaker 2:

No, Sarah, I didn't. My nurse thought I was crazy and I know she did. The doctor thought I was crazy because she came in and she was like it's time, You're having the baby in an hour and a half and I was like, okay, let's go to the bathroom, let's do this pre-op stuff. I curl my hair and put on some.

Speaker 1:

You looked great.

Speaker 2:

The anesthesiologist came in. I was in the bathroom and he was like ma'am, can you get in the bed for the?

Speaker 1:

I was like okay, can you not do it every day or a while? Curl, sir, like what's your problem? I can do it, can you do it? I just need to know what I'm going numb Like. I just just put me in my chair and I can still curl, that is the.

Speaker 2:

That'll be a visual.

Speaker 1:

I always think of you.

Speaker 2:

I'm literally rolling me out of the room and I'm like putting on my lip gloss.

Speaker 1:

You're like wait, I gotta look good. In this moment I'm meeting my daughter.

Speaker 2:

Right, and that's what I told the nurse and she got it.

Speaker 1:

She was like I get it and you know what You've been through. So much of this work, like, give me this.

Speaker 2:

Right, like I just needed to control something Like like, give me that.

Speaker 1:

Like Parker just needed to control the hot dog, you needed to put that lipstick on and you're just give me that moment.

Speaker 2:

You know, once postpartum hits, it's all gone from there.

Speaker 1:

It just, I mean it just went. I mean I remember I did a little bit like very, very little makeup for James and I remember one of my high-risk doctors saw me after and this is after his. He looked at me and he's like you're really glowing. Is this because this direct to me or is this because you were in makeup right now? I was like I think both and I was like, cause he didn't, I would get an appointment, since I was like large and in charge, ready to be done Right Dead to the world.

Speaker 2:

And so he was just like wait, where's this glow coming from?

Speaker 1:

I was like it's called bare minerals and hysterectomy. But yes, I was like. I remember that comment. He was just like you're just glowing. I'm like. Well, thank you, glad you noticed. Right, you know we're spiked. Glad you noticed I look good. But I remember looking at your picture.

Speaker 2:

I'm like she looked good, thank you. So it did not start the day did not start that way.

Speaker 1:

No, we rallied.

Speaker 2:

Right, I rallied through on some concealer.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're like, let's do this. So what did you get to hold her, or did they take her?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so luckily I got to hold her. And you know, like I said, they prepared me for the new you stay through my whole pregnancy.

Speaker 1:

They talked about it. You knew this was going to be your route.

Speaker 2:

But in my head I was like, yeah, they'll probably take her for a minute, Like it's not going to be a big thing.

Speaker 1:

You weren't ready for the whole yeah.

Speaker 2:

And then when it was 30, because in my head we were going to make it to 34 weeks you know, and then 32 weeks and I was like oh my gosh. So luckily they had a NICU nurse come in and talk to me before they took me back.

Speaker 1:

Okay, good, I love that.

Speaker 2:

Right, I mean the NICU at Grandview 10 out of 10, they were amazing every step of the way. So I did get to hold her probably for 30, 45 seconds. And then the NICU nurse kind of walked up and she was like okay, I don't like the way her colors turn in. I got to take her.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and.

Speaker 2:

I didn't, so they took her and my husband went with her. Yeah, and they took me back to my post-op room and my husband came in and met me in there and he was like they kicked me out. They asked him to leave because they had to put a breathing tube.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay.

Speaker 2:

Then later Honor, and they didn't want him to be there for that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So that was, she was born right at 2 pm and I was holding her by 7.30. Like at the in the NICU room, which was nice. That nurse thought I was crazy that I had that day because she once on me put on my makeup. And she was like okay, and then to she I was like they rolled me out and I was like, okay, let me go see the baby.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. You can't oh, I did the same thing. I lift your legs. Yeah, I said put me in this wheelchair, roll me. I did the same thing.

Speaker 2:

I never.

Speaker 1:

I said no, no, no, you're going to get no. I remember that's what I said. They were like I'm like we're taking the pump. At that time I still had a PCA pump. I had a. You know, I have my catheter in, yeah. I couldn't walk. No, couldn't walk. I'm like Bill, do something.

Speaker 2:

Carry me, carry me, bring the baby in here.

Speaker 1:

Do something Like I'm going Right, and that's something too. I want to see my baby because it's not natural to be separated Right Like we know.

Speaker 2:

It is what it is, but we're going to go and I will say that is something I felt like I had to advocate for for myself.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I same yes.

Speaker 2:

I have so many friends that had NICU babies and they didn't get to see them for the first like 24 hours or so, yeah, which is so heartbreaking, like I even imagine, I've heard that as well and I was like no, no. Yeah, I will crawl Right Like I'm going to see the baby tonight. I don't care if you have to take me or if I have to go myself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

With my hands and knees.

Speaker 1:

One of the on-call doctors. I remember he got frustrated with me. He was like she's in the NICU, I need to evaluate her. I said you know where I'm at Right. You come down there Like you like. I literally said that. So you know where I'm at.

Speaker 2:

I haven't like left the hospital. Yeah, I'm not AMA, run in the streets.

Speaker 1:

Like you can find me in the NICU Right Exactly. I remember he was frustrated.

Speaker 2:

I'm just like, well, I'm frustrated that you're frustrated about that Exactly, and it was just such a different hospital stay than with Nolan. Like with Nolan, I loved it. We were in like a newborn bubble, everything was sweet, and with this one I was like on the go like wake up Okay. Got to go check on the baby. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a whole different experience. And you're right, the bubble is burst, it burst and you are recovering from a C-section. You're now physically having to go to where your child is in the NICU and the NICU experience is not for the faint of heart, oh my gosh.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's just not. It's not the first time I saw her. I don't know if you felt this way, but I was afraid to touch her for a few minutes.

Speaker 1:

Oh, my God. I was scared to death. And the cords, the tubes, they're so tiny. I remember crying. I was like he's so tiny and he had no fat. His little skin just fell off his little bones and I was just like I'm going to break him and Bill was scared to death to touch him too. Like, and my parents, I remember we all were just like, oh gosh, you know, you just didn't feel. And the nurses, they'd pick him up and, like you know, throw him on your chin. You're just like, oh, like, I didn't breathe. I was like I don't know what to breathe or like. And then, I'm sure too, the monitors the freaking NICU monitors. You're watching them, you're listening to them, like your mind just hears them. Yeah, and if they Brady, their heart rate goes down, If their O2 sat goes down. You're just like uh-huh, uh-huh. And you're just like is this going to be okay?

Speaker 2:

Right, and we weren't prepared for the Brady's Like they. That ended up being what kept us there the longest, but we going into it. I just like thought she'd have to learn to eat Like I never knew the Brady's worth it.

Speaker 1:

You're like I don't, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And the first time she had one, they were so scary. The first time she had one, like three nurses ran in and me and Parker like uh-huh, no you know she's turning blue. A bunch of nurses have just run in Like what is going on? Yeah, we just weren't prepared for that part of it.

Speaker 1:

I always say it's just not natural to see. A is not natural for your child to be away from us right. And we, and we feel that right. Yeah, we're just like, oh my gosh. And then to see medical interventions on our child is super hard and you feel like you have no control and you're trusting these people and you just don't know what's happening. You're like, well, is it going to be okay? And I remember our NICU experience. There was a girl across from us and the dad. I always looked at the dad. I didn't really see mom, so I don't know what's going on with mom and the baby would just diesel or they would crash and, like you know, they run in and you're seeing it, you're trying not to look at it. And then you're like you're trying not to put that on your child and you feel for them and you're just like, living in this, you get in this little bubble, the NICU.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you really do.

Speaker 1:

Time goes by in the NICU and you're like wait a whole day. Now let's, let's not forget you have Nolan during all this, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so he luckily, like I said, we stayed at Greenview, so we live in Cahabahite, so it was like seven minutes away. And Nolan goes to school right by the hospital, so I would just drop him off every day and go to the hospital until I had to go pick him up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I went into it thinking that I would spend every night with her but by the grace of God, like I did not, ever feel the need to do that. And I think it's because the ladies that work at the NICU are angels. Like I had a direct line to call the second. She went to the NICU. They gave us a direct line to call that like straight up there. I just say I need to speak to whoever has room five today.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it was difficult juggling All of it cuz.

Speaker 1:

Did you ever feel like I should be with Nolan, I should be with her, like? Did you ever feel that back and forth?

Speaker 2:

Yes, and, like my husband, was quick to check me, to remind me you know there's nothing we can do for her, especially the first week or so right, we couldn't hold her right, yeah exhausted her for us to take her out of her box Unless we were just had a letter B. Yeah, we just had to let her be. So I think that, nolan, you know as hard as it was. It also helped me keep me saying yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because if I was just sitting at home, or just sitting in there and just not taking breaks, not having normalcy At what what is normalcy? But like at least going outside, driving in your car, seeing the sun, eating, because I saw that too. I did that. I trapped myself in the NICU because I felt like, oh, I was gonna do something. I couldn't. It's time. Yeah, there's not like you have to give that time Exactly, and they like.

Speaker 2:

Prepare us for that. Yeah when in the beginning?

Speaker 1:

but I don't know, you still just don't wrap your brain around it you hear it and you're like it's not gonna be that bad, all right, won't be this way. Or the ups and downs of like when you think you're gonna get to get home or you think she's made that step, yes, and we did a lot of comparing, like we.

Speaker 2:

I have a client whose daughter was born at 33 weeks and they spent 12 days, yeah, so my head I was like, okay, like 10 to 15 days.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I googled as soon as he popped out 34 when I was like how was the average NICU stay? Right exactly and I in my head. You set these goals, or whatever.

Speaker 2:

He'll be out. So she was born May 28th. My birthday is June 23rd, so my head, I was like, oh, like we'll be home and way settled by my birthday like this isn't gonna be that long, you know it's not gonna be that hard, and it didn't hit me that we would even leave the hospital without her until the day we left the hospital.

Speaker 1:

How was that?

Speaker 2:

I cry. Yeah, all day, yeah, I like literally, just let myself have a day to cry.

Speaker 1:

That's the best thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and get out especially with those postpartum hormones and I will say so I'm on Lexa pro. Yeah, and they up to my Lexa pro dose right before she was born, thank God.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I needed that like extra little buffer and it came at the perfect time. Yeah, yeah, I know we've talked about this privately, but like did you feel?

Speaker 1:

because you've been open about no one? And like your experience was hard on. Did you feel people being like you? Good, you, good.

Speaker 2:

I feel, yeah, and I don't think I realized how Bad off I was mentally postpartum with Nolan until having her, because I mean yeah yeah. It sucked that day that I cried. I just cried, but other than that I was like, okay, I gotta get up and go, I don't have time to sit here and dwell right and have a pity party, right, you know yeah. So, yeah, I felt, and as people meant it in the best way, but a lot of people were like, okay, are you okay? And almost like Reminding me that I had postpartum with Nolan right. And then there I am and for a couple days I was like, well, do I not love her as much because I'm not as sad. Right as I thought I'd be having a nikkie baby right, right right.

Speaker 1:

And you're just like no, I just was not having postpartum depression anxiety Exactly like. I am actually coping and that's a. You know you can have it with one pregnancy and not having another. You have both pregnancies you can have. I mean there's no rhyme or rhythm to this. But the same people did it to me. I mean graded with will. I was very, very bad. You know, as people should be concerned, but then I was just like don't put that on me, because then it's like the whole, like I'm being super vulnerable. But here I am in a vulnerable postpartum stage, no matter what, and they're like how are you, how's your thoughts? You're just like or you do cry, right, you do cry, and they're just like yeah, like valid to yours this time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you're like you're not.

Speaker 1:

You know you could, I could write, I was rational, hmm, I could think through it. Right, it didn't keep getting worse exactly like I function me like I Live my life right bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't want my daughter in the nikkie right but she is. I'm gonna be upset about it a little bit. Yeah but then I'm gonna go home and be a great mom to yeah you know, like I was only leave it when I needed to be left.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that that my experience, you know, with James I had rage, but like that was. I think that that was a whole different spectrum of issues there, but you know, I recognize it. Yeah, I had no clue what was wrong with me if I was having depression. Like, I just thought this was normal my first.

Speaker 2:

I just cried yeah, yeah and cried yeah, and it just was Totally different and I really like I. Even I went into this, I like told my husband I was like you know, I'm probably gonna have it again, yeah, especially since she is in the nikkie, you.

Speaker 1:

And then I had all the risk factors that we talk about, that, if things that happened during pregnancy, that put you more. But you did the important thing you guys had a conversation. Yeah, you talked about, hey, let's, this is what happened with Nolan, this is the signs, this is how I felt. If you, you know, and he was on board. You were on board Like there was no hiding it. You guys had a plan. You this is all the things we preach. You did is say, if this happens, we can't control this, but what can we control? The steps we can take to recognize it, to make sure you had Treatment, you had support. He knew what was going on. It wasn't going to catch you like it's not gonna pull the rug out from you Like it did the first right, exactly, we were shook the first time because you're just like what happened everything about the first.

Speaker 2:

You know I also had no London COVID. Oh yeah, I couldn't go anywhere those COVID babies they did a number on they did, and with this one, you know I didn't like the day I got home from the hospital. Yeah, I went to the nikkie like I literally, yeah, see her every day, so I didn't have an option to not to sit at home. Yeah go anywhere.

Speaker 1:

So I also wonder if that played getting up and I'm sure there's tons of factors in it and I think too, just you again being so open, mm-hmm, and being honest and being prepared and like no shame in it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think that is a huge Tool that we can all use when it comes to this conversation. It's just we're not gonna be able to do anything about it if we don't acknowledge it exactly.

Speaker 2:

We can't pretend like it's not.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we can't just be like, oh, it's not gonna happen. You know it could happen. I was very aware and we had the same conversations and we said we say that like you could have a picture perfect pregnancy and have postpartum depression, mm-hmm, you could have everything go wrong and be fine postpartum. Yeah, we can't tell that for you. But what we can tell you is hey, this is normal. This is not normal. This is what you do. You ask for treatment, you go to therapy, you get on medication, like I always say, like instead of what diapers are you gonna get, let's say, how are you gonna get sleep? Who's gonna be your safe person to be like I'm not good?

Speaker 2:

Yeah help me.

Speaker 1:

I'm having these thoughts.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, she is clearly here thriving. I see fat rolls, which, if you are a NICU mom, fat rolls are like you just get so excited Because you work so hard for that. So hard, yes, and they love her fat rolls. She is a doll and she's perfect. And you know what from the NICU experience? If there is a mom who knows she's going to be in the NICU, what do you say to her?

Speaker 2:

Give yourself grace and let yourself cry. Yeah, pray a lot, and something that I didn't do until I had a NICU baby or until my pregnancy got high risk is, I never wrote my prayers, like I would always just talk to God, which is great, obviously, but writing stuff down helped me process more how I was feeling. So that was a huge thing. Yeah, and just give yourself grace.

Speaker 1:

Journaling. You essentially journaled. Some people voice journal. They pick up their phone and they do voice notes themselves and get it out. Other people like to physically write it and that is such a we bottle stuff up. And you know, on the prayer side of it, I write my prayers and I like to always go back and see the answered prayers. Yes, and that helps me in my anxiety sometimes when I'm just like no, he's answered, you know. So that is something, personally, we share in common in that we do. But what would you also say to the mom who just got a high risk pregnancy diagnosis and she's like 20 weeks and she's like I don't know what's going to happen?

Speaker 2:

So for me, the good days, I had to make them really good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

If my blood pressure was good on a day, then I was doing everything I could, like I said with my son. I was going to Taylor Swift. Yeah, you know, you lived your life Right Live your life on the good days. Yeah, don't sit there and dwell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Don't let it overcome you and consume you.

Speaker 1:

Totally.

Speaker 2:

You just have to know you're in the best of hands. The Lord walked this walk before he knew this was going to happen, before I knew it was going to happen 100%. And something else I want to say which so many people told me. But there's no time limit, like yeah don't put the expectations of okay, we have to get out by my birthday or my son's birthday. Don't put that on your baby, because that is just setting everyone up for failure.

Speaker 1:

I love that I did it and it sets You're right it does terrible, like there was a day, so it grayened you you know, the Brady count is five days, so every time she had a Brady. It was set back and people don't talk about that and it's like um, there was, I forget. There's a couple other things, like the breathing something.

Speaker 2:

There's like these four whatever the categories and it does.

Speaker 1:

It sets you back with something. This event happens and it is like someone literally gut punch you when it happens.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, it was terrible. So we I keep talking about my birthday with.

Speaker 1:

That was just like a mouth, Like an event that is what you, in your head, set this goal you are moving towards like it felt, like you controlled that or like it felt good yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we went to dinner. We were on our Brady countdown. My birthday was on a Friday. She was supposed to come home on that Sunday. It green view. They want you to do what's called a room in where you essentially spend the night with the baby and your husband. So we went to dinner for my birthday. Then we went to our room and and we're literally walking past the monitors and there's no arm going off and we look at each other and we're like that's not her, she's good. And we get to the room and we had this poor nurse that we had never had before. She's feeding her and she looked at us and was like she just had a Brady and I was on.

Speaker 1:

Hinched. I was like uh-huh Fall apart yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we both had to just leave the room. We didn't say much to the nurse, we just kind of left the room and collected ourselves.

Speaker 1:

And you're like.

Speaker 2:

WT.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, we made it this far, and you're like I guess we're not doing the room until right.

Speaker 2:

And we literally asked the nurse. I was like, are we bad parents if we don't spend the night with her? Because I just cannot be.

Speaker 1:

I cannot right now.

Speaker 2:

You're like no, I cannot right now, yeah, yeah, so luckily seven days after that is when she actually did get to come home oh my God. But yeah, just don't put the pressure, Don't go into it with no expectations other than okay, my kid is going to get out of here when they are healthy to get out of here.

Speaker 1:

And that's the ultimate goal. Cause then if they always, I remember, taking they killed me, they literally. I saw Wilhead like these out a little bit the day we're going home, not bad, and I was like, oh my God, you know. And then they took the monitors off. Okay, it was just because, you know, I don't know if you felt this way. They took the monitors off of them Like they take the little cords. They handed him to me. I was like what, what See? I felt the exact opposite and I was just like, oh my God, I need a pulse ox now. But I was. You know this. I was very, I was in my, I was in my spiraling down space here and then the noises of a NICU baby. I think you have to get, you have to get comfortable with it. And I was not comfortable. They didn't offer like a sleep over the night. I wish they would have. I think that would have been really helpful to me, cause I was like, oh my gosh, she's gasping. And the reflux we talked about this like both my boys had horrible reflux.

Speaker 2:

Those are scary sounds at night. They are when you're laying there and they're two feet away and you're like are you aspirating?

Speaker 1:

What's happening, and then you look at them, and they're perfectly fine. You're just, but you yeah that I think, if you don't know that and you're suffering that, release spirals, oh yeah, and again like to compare it to my pregnancy and postpartum with Nolan.

Speaker 2:

With Nolan he lived in an outlet monitor. I was so paranoid all the time and with her, we got it out.

Speaker 1:

She had one at once.

Speaker 2:

We literally, it's sitting on our bedside. That's how.

Speaker 1:

James, I will. I mean, like I said, outlet was like 24 seven, yeah, and I switched those toes cause then I was paranoid that it would burn his foot. Yes, you know, talk about trees of thoughts, okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like, oh, he's breathing.

Speaker 1:

Oh God, his toes going to burn.

Speaker 2:

You know here we go.

Speaker 1:

And James, I was like, oh yeah, we pulled it out. I think we pulled it out when he started like he did a couple of first nights by himself in his room. And I was like I'm good. Yeah, and I don't know, I guess like I, just I don't even look at the monitor as much with James, really I really don't I feel so bad, but sometimes I'm just like, will I still will? I'll like obsessively sometimes look and I'm just like, oh, he's always going to be that one.

Speaker 2:

And James Nolan, like if he sleeps in. I go in and I'm like, are you breathing? Uh-huh, what's?

Speaker 1:

wrong. And James I'm like oh, he's sleeping good. You know, thank God, thank God, thank you for this rest, but it's just, it's. I think it's just maybe what they're going to be. We had totally different experiences with these babies. Yeah, and I'm like oh, you're a girl, mom, you've left the boy club with me, all boy club. Now you're, you're a mix. You're, you're one of each.

Speaker 2:

I know I still love being a boy mom though Don't get me wrong. Get me out in the dirt.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But I and that helped get me through the Nikki state is I would focus on stuff that didn't even matter.

Speaker 1:

Like her outfits, like I, literally agree with you.

Speaker 2:

They give them baths at night, so I would literally call the night nurse. Every night I'm like, okay, this is the outfit.

Speaker 1:

I want her to be hey, why not? And you do this. Bow woman, right yeah?

Speaker 2:

I mean I like I know that that's right, but it's control.

Speaker 1:

No, it's controlling an uncontrollable situation. That's those little things that you needed. That's a coping spell. That's fine. Who cares? She could put you, she could put the child in.

Speaker 2:

what you want her to, it doesn't matter to her. It doesn't look cute. When I got up there it made me excited for her. It's those little.

Speaker 1:

Those are called sparkles, that we look for those little things in our day that we can do, control or look at and say that brought joy to me. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I like decorated her room Like she had a name band.

Speaker 1:

I remember, I love that.

Speaker 2:

Pictures of our family. Yeah, crafts from her brother. She deserves it. She deserves it to be you did, and she's beautiful and she's wonderful, and so we ask everybody this.

Speaker 1:

and this is again. Now you have two babies and two different experiences. You wish you would have known about motherhood before you were a mom. So now you have even more experience. What, what's, what hangs in there to you that you say to your clients or like I'm pregnant?

Speaker 2:

Wish that I would have known that we all have a lot of balls in the air. Yeah, something is going to fall short.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Like I, just to give yourself grace, know and go into it knowing like, okay, today the kitchen's clean, but Nolan's hair needs to be washed.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

It's always going to be something, and just to know it is what it is.

Speaker 1:

As long as your kids are breathing, who cares? You know, balls bounce yeah.

Speaker 2:

So figure out which bounces once.

Speaker 1:

what breaks? I do like that. She's like I and I break and I want.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, mama.

Speaker 1:

Well, guys, you love her, we love her. Thanks for having me. She's my glam goddess. Oh, love ya. So, guys, if we'll be sharing this week on social some photos back of the NICU stay and our pregnancy stays, and here to help you in Until next time, guys, we'll talk soon. Bye. Maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The previous podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression and all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even athlete. Hosted by CEO founder Sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gaye, each episode focused on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access, tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

Pregnancy Challenges and Real Experiences
Health Struggles During Pregnancy
Hospitalization and Advocating for Yourself
Hospitalization for Severe Preeclampsia
Grilling, Blood Pressure, and Meeting Baby
Challenges and Support in the NICU
Experiences in the NICU and Motherhood
Support for Maternal Mental Health