All posts by wwmommy103

Following my dreams!

For the last few years I knew I wanted to make a change in my career but I wasn’t sure how I could do it. I’ve been working a full time job for the last 10 years. After my daughter was born, I began working 32 hours a week. Still, I was not able to save much money as my husband and I were still somehow living paycheck to paycheck. Once we separated and I moved home, I finally was able to start saving some money. And I decided that at 32 that this was my chance. To finish what I didn’t have the courage to do so many years ago. With the help of my family, I am starting school in a few weeks!

I am excited and nervous and worried. Will I have enough time for my daughter? Will I be able to keep up with my classmates? I haven’t been in school in almost 15 years now. 

Luckily I’m starting off slow. I’m taking a Medical Terminology class and I’m becoming a Certfied Nurses Aide. Next semester I will take a few more classes and become a Patient Care Technician. My plan is to work as a PCT while I work towards my BSN. It’s going to take a lot of work, patience and help from a lot of people. I feel so blessed to have a second chance to get this right. 

My ultimate goal is to work as an OB nurse. It’s a competitive field in this area but I’m confident if I work hard, I can achieve my goal. 

I’ve been learning over the last few months that my life certainly is not going as planned but that’s not always a bad thing! I’m finding new goals and experiences. I’m enjoying living with my family and most of all I’m enjoying motherhood more then I ever thought possible!!!

  

Dear Future Ex-Husband 

Here’s a few things you out to know if you wanna try to stay on my good side all my life….
Haha I love the song Dear Future Husband. So catchy!  Anyway. Let’s so talk about ex’s for a minute. When you are the one who decides your marriage is over, there is a sense of empowerment. I’ve made the best decision for my child and I. It was tough to lose my home and have to move back with my parent’s but we are settling in to our new normal. 

I think about meeting someone else some day. I have daydreams I met some great guy who sweeps me off my feet and loves me for me and cares for my daughter and I with the love and respect we deserve. And I for once in my life, I honestly think that will happen. And even if it doesn’t, I’m not scared of the future. I know what I want and I will make it happen. 

I saw an old flame at the bar the other night. One of those “oh he hates me but I’m so in love with him, I’ll change his mind”. Of course I never did and I met my husband through him and basically that was that. I thought if I ever ran into him I would panic. I knew he never would have the guts to approach me. It was more fun to see him just so I could laugh at my former self.  I give myself a break. I was 23. I made dumb mistakes.  I’m 32 now and a mother. I’m a grown woman. Again I felt empowered. 

The very next day I learned my soon to be ex husband who I have been separated from for about 3 months has been seeing his ex wife. Ooookkk. Strange. But not for the reason people might think. First, yes once the initial shock wore off I do feel it’s sort of soon to jump back into a relationship, ex or not,  it’s like he mourned me for a week and was done. But hey ok. I get it. These things happen. I have no interested in getting back with him so why should I care..but then it hits me. I don’t have that luxury anymore.  I have to care about who he dates. Because she could potentially be around my child. 

Also there is another more embarrassing side to the story. My husband was my first real boyfriend. Therefore this is my first real breakup. I’m curious about the strangest things. How often do they see each other? How serious is it? Do my cats like her? Will they re-marry? Will they have kids? And many more bizarre random things. 

So I guess when I tell people I truly don’t care , that can’t be entirely true. I care. Just not for the same reason my old 23 year old self would have. It’s not jealousy. It’s not wanting him back.  It’s much deeper then that. And right now I just need to wrap my head around all this. 

What the heck is PPCM? Part 4 

You can read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 here.

So after a visit from the baby I was feeling very low. I really wanted to get home ASAP. It was Thursday night and I was hopefully the doctor would let me go home Friday. At this point I was on very low oxygen and feeling a lot better. The next day my doctor came early to meet with me. I’m not sure he was thrilled with the idea of me going home but I had been monitored over night and he wasn’t seeing anything concerning. He said I could leave as long as my Oyygen levels didn’t drop to much while going for a walk. I remember slowly walking around the unit with a nurse helping me. It all felt kind of funny because I felt fine but I understand why they were concerned. I did fine and was ok’d to go home. My husband asked if there was anything I could do to help improve my condition. The doctor was very honest and said unfortunately not much. Of course keep my salt intake low and lose weight as soon as possible. But non of that could guarantee my heart would recover any faster or at all.  That’s still something I struggle with. I want and hope that my life style changes will help. But truthfully since there is no exact cause, the only thing PPCM patients can do is take their medicine and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

Before I left, the doctor wanted to make sure they had my exact weight. Obesity is thought to be a possible factor in PPCM but is not present in all patients. But with any heart condition and for good health in general, it’s important to be a healthy weight. I was not. I entered the hospital at 317. A lot of that was fluid, and of course 9 lbs of awesomeness lol. I weighed in at 279 when I left the hospital. Which was only about 9 pounds heavier then when I got pregnant. Obviously I knew what I had to do. 

I was sent home with 6 new meds and told to follow up in a few weeks.  That was it. It’s kind of a surreal thing to be in the ICU and two days later just go home. I mean of course I wanted to but the scary reality was, there wasn’t much else they could do for me. 

I finally got to go home to my parent’s . For the first week I wasn’t able to carry the baby up and down the steps and I limited my trips up stairs to once a day when I could.  I continued to lose weight quickly( probably more excess fluid). My mom kept me on a low salt diet and I adjusted to my meds and life as a new mom. I had terrible anxiety about sleeping and thinking I wouldn’t wake up. Thankfully newborns sleep a lot so I got plenty of rest and when I slept I had help with her.  We took some short walks. I remember my first trip out of the house to clothes shop for my mom. I lasted about 20 minutes before I was exhausted. I often forgot I was also recovering from a c section. My scar was having some trouble healing so I was at the doctor several times. 

After a week I wanted to head home. I felt better and wanted to start being a mom on my own. I know my family was sad the baby was leaving lol. But it was important I move on
Today

As of today I have lost 60 pounds since I left the hospital. I’m still on all of my medicine. I have had a follow up echocardiogram in January and my EF had improved from about 30% to 40%. It was disappointing to my doctor and to myself that it had not improved further since I have been symptom free since leaving the hospital. I have another follow up appointment in August and will have another echo in January again. I’m hoping with continued weight loss and the exercise I have been getting that my number will improve. I still deal with the anxiety of having a heart condition. Even though I had a stress test and was cleared to work out, I still get nervous. I also still retain excess fluid easily which could mean my heart is still not working as well as it should. I forgot to take my meds one day and gained 6 lbs in one day. It was scary. 

Emotionally I have been through so much since my diagnoses. I am still in therapy and it helps along with anxiety meds. I am now separated and living with my daughter with my parents. I work 32 hours a week instead of 40 and I do feel it has helped my stress level. 

I wish I could say I’m a strong person but I don’t always feel that way. I often wonder why this happened to me. I admire those dealing with on going illness who don’t do that. I hope and pray to have more children some day. But it’s difficult knowing the risks. It’s something I admit I obsess over to much.  Anytime I see someone having their second or third child I get a little pain. I’m so thankful for my daughter. I went through years of trying to have her. It’s hard to explain to people why I would ever risk having more. I’m not sure I even understand my feelings at this point. But again, it’s an issue I recognize and I’m working on.

Thank you all so much for reading my story. It’s still on going. I will blog with updates as I have them. For now please follow my weight loss journey on Instagram

  

My Peanut and I. She is worth it all and if I was given the chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat ❤️
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life! 

First Time Moms (My Rant) 

We aren’t dumb

We DO appreciate your advice

We DON’T have to listen to it

We do want to raise our children the best way we know how

We will make mistakes

We will do things right 
First time moms are just like any other moms. We want what’s best for our children. We are learning just like the babies are. It’s not easy to never get a full night sleep. It’s not easy for people to always question your actions ( family, friends,strangers). 

I read every article on breast feeding, sleeping, baby safety, etc. I was prepared for motherhood. What I was not prepared for was to face a devasting health diagnosis and a divorce all within 6 months of having my first child. 

I missed my daughter’s first doctor’s appointment. I missed dressing her in her cute new outfits. It was only a few days but it will haunt me forever ( and yes I am in therapy to deal with these feelings).

It seems people confuse sadness with gratefulness. I am grateful for the help I have received but that doesn’t erase the sadness I feel everyday. Sadness for my daughter that she won’t grow up with a mother and father who live together. Sadness that she may never have a brother or sister to grow up with like I did. 

Many first time moms never will have to face what I went through. Sadly some will face things far far worse then what I went through. I guess my point is before you offer advice remember that sometimes experience is the best teacher and making mistakes is how we learn to grow and move forward. And cut us a break. Every mom was a new mom once. We may not be perfect but no one loves their child more then we do 💕 

  

30lbs…. Gone

I knew when I walked into Weight Watchers tonight that I had hit my 30 pound mark. As I was driving there I reflected on how I’ve been doing so well sticking to plan since January. It also made me think of how much has changed during those 30 lbs. I started Weight Watchers while I was on maternity leave. I was living in my townhouse with my 3 month old and my husband. I was feeling good. My husband and I were getting along pretty well and the baby was starting to sleep through the night. I wasn’t dealing with the stress of work. Life wasn’t bad. 

And for a while I pretended things would stay that way. But eventually I returned to work and began to feel the stress of being a working mom. My husband and I fell back in to our old patterns of horrible blow out fights (I’m sure our neighbor doesn’t miss us much). And eventually we separated and moved. 

I guess through it all I knew I had to make sure I was staying on track. Life was not going in the direction I had hoped or planned but that didn’t mean I had to give up on my health and weight loss goals. In fact it was one of the few things I could control. I could decide to stay on plan. I could decide to exercise or not. 

And now, here I am, 30 plus pounds down. My town home sits empty waiting for its new tenant. My daughter is almost 7 months old. My husband and I don’t fight because we don’t really speak. I sit in my parent’s living room each night planning for a new future. Going back to college in the fall. Thinking ahead to the fun summer I want to have with my daughter. 

I left the weigh in and there was such a bittersweet feeling. I have a long way to go in my weight loss journey but I’ve come a long way to. I wanted to pick up the phone and tell my husband about how well I did and I realized we don’t talk like that anymore. Of course my family is so supportive. Even the baby seemed excited for me ( or she was just watching the Chicka Show and was happy lol).  

I decided to do a little walk on the treadmill and felt much better afterwards. Life sure it’s what I thought it would be but I’m proud of the hard work I’ve put into WW. I guess the bittersweet feeling will eventually fade and small victories will just be sweet again. But for now I’m just going to live a healthy lifestyle and spend time with the ones I love. 

Bye bye 30 pounds!!! Onto the next 30 😀
  

What the Heck is PPCM? Part 3

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here….

Warning: If you don’t like medical talk….like about body functions…don’t read ahead lol 

So my cardiologist began to explain what he thought might be wrong. To this day I have no idea what he was saying. I felt a strange feeling come over me. I remember once coming home from the shore and having to go the bathroom so bad I felt sick. It was like that but ten thousand times worse. I arched my back and tried to listen to what he was saying. Finally I blurted out, I have to go to the bathroom right now! The doctor explained they gave me a strong dose of Lasix, a diuretic, in my IV. I looked back at the IV in terror like he said he had given me poison. It really hurt lol. After the doctor left I made my husband get my nurse. He came in and I said I have to get up or I’m going to pee my pants lol. He went and asked the doctors and they said there was no way I was allowed out of bed. My male nurse ran and grabbed a wonderful female nurse and she had a catheter in in no time. I have never felt so relieved in my life that one, I didn’t pee on the poor girl and two that I didn’t have to go anymore.  

Luckily I’m not a shy person. At this point I had a male nurse, two male doctors and my dad and husband watching as the fluid drained from my body. Everyone was in amazement how quickly it was coming out. Obviously this was not normal. Luckily my aunt arrived for some female support. My mom was on her way but had called my aunt since she was closer to the hospital to get there as well ( my Aunt and Mom are both nurses). After all this fun it was time to head to the ICU. 

I had my breathing machine and was covered in blankets and wheeled to the elevator. I remember getting to the ICU floor and as I was getting off the elevator a little boy was standing there with his parents and he says “that lady is really sick mommy”. The parents look mortified but I just smiled at him. 

It’s odd what I randomly remember. I remember feeling like shit it took so many people to lift me to the ICU bed. I remember the window blinds were wide open and it was a beautiful day. I had planned to take the baby for a walk. And now I’m in the friggin ICU. I think the pain in my chest was more of sheer devastation then from my heart problem. 

My family was with me and my mom had arrived. She stayed with me while my husband went to get me some things from home and my dad went home to be with the baby and my sister. The nurses were great but my mood went way downhill. I was exhausted from not sleeping and hormonal and missed my baby. I would burst into tears every few minutes and my mom would come sit next to me and hold my hand. I asked for something to calm me down and they gave me the anxiety drug I normally take. It helped a little but not much

I drifted in and out of sleep and then it was time for my Echocardiogram. An ultrasound of the heart. I tried so hard to stay awake but I kept nodding off. I felt bad for the girl cause I kept falling asleep and she had to wake me up to get the right angles. Once that was done I passed out. 

I woke up when my pulmonologist arrived to let me know the results of my test. He let me know my Ejection Fraction was about 30-35%. Well below the normal 55-65% in a healthy adult. I was in congestive heart failure for sure but they still weren’t sure why. Right now the goal was to continue to get the fluid off of me as quickly as possible. At this point about 4 liters had come off. The nurses were amazed. 

I was finally able to take off the breathing machine and just use oxygen. I became obsessed with watching the monitors. Each time the machine would take my Blood Pressure I held my breath waiting to see the numbers. They weren’t going down! I started to feel angry. What the hell was going on?! 

I spent the night in the ICU. My night nurse was wonderful. She managed to give me a bath using a special foam soap they use on people and she changed my sheets. Got me a small fan so I was comfortable. I couldn’t help thinking I should be doing all these things for my baby right now. Not having someone take care of me. I was given my new meds that night and was just hopeful they would help my BP come down. 

By morning by meds seemed to be working a little. My cardiologist came in and discussed that he thought I had Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. The “good”news as he put it was that woman normally recover fully and just don’t have anymore kids. Now I had just had my first baby. All I ever wanted was to have a child. I was so in love with my baby. I wanted to have ten more at this point. It was devasting to hear that it was no longer my choice to decide when I was done having children. It’s hard to explain the pain to people about this. I tried for years to have a child. My dream came true. Shouldn’t I just be happy and move on? Shouldn’t I just be thankful I survived and my child was healthy? I’ll write more about that another time. At that moment I wanted to punch my doctor in the face ( he’s actually a very nice person, he just was telling me the only guarantee of this not happening again is to not get pregnant since pregnancy is the only cause). 

After a long day in the ICU waiting to be transferred to a regular room, I was anxious to see the baby. She was not able to visit while I was in the ICU. Finally after about 8 hours I was transferred to a regular room. The baby was able to visit. It was wonderful to see her but after she left I had a total meltdown. I have never felt sorrow or pain like that before. I knew I had to get home to her ASAP

  

To be continued…. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life! 


Where I’m At 

This has been one of the most difficult times of my life. When my baby was born in October I was diagnosed with PPCM. I immediately blamed myself for getting pregnant while so over weight. I have since learned that being over weight may have nothing to do with my condition. Learning you have any illness, especially one that could be life threatening, was terrifying. 

In the meantime I had to adjust to motherhood. Luckily I have a wonderful baby that up until a few days ago was a great sleeper lol. Life continued on and I enjoyed my maternity leave. I didn’t have to return to work until Febuary but I knew I wanted to get started on Weight Watchers before I went back to work. So in January, I joined. 

In the beginning it was easy for me. I could plan out all meals and I had time to make whatever I wanted. Going back to work was a huge adjustment in so many ways. But surprisingly I made the time to make a good lunch and breakfast everyday for myself. I found quick and easy meals to make after the baby went to bed. 

Not getting into to much detail but my separation from my husband was not sudden. We had been having problems for a long time. We were fighting all the time and I admit all I wanted to do was eat my feelings away. And I think if it wasn’t for thinking of my daughter and being there for her, I may have done that. I guess I learned after a few binges that nothing, especially food, was going to take away the pain I was feeling. 

So now I moved back home with my baby and I’ve had to adjust to even more changes. My family has done a wonderful job at making me comfortable and I couldn’t ask for more. I’m in therapy to help deal with all these sudden life changes. 

So I started thinking to myself, why , when life was easier, did I fail at Weight Watchers before? I don’t think I have an answer for that. But this time around I find so much comfort in Weight Watchers. It’s a constant in my life. No matter what, it will be there for me. And at a time when I’m not so proud of myself and the life decisions I’ve made, I’m proud of what I have done with Weight Watchers. And no matter what happens, no body can take that away from me. 

What the Heck is PPCM? Part 2

You can read the first part of my story here

Luckily my parents only live a few blocks away so my mom was there in about 5 minutes. I managed to put on a bra and pull my hair back. The baby was asleep and my mom came in. I tried to tell her to listen to my chest but she told me just go. She later told me she honestly though I was congested  and was being paranoid( and in all fairness I am a very paranoid person). I kissed my sleeping baby goodbye and we headed to the hospital. The ride there was horrible. We were hitting morning traffic and I was starting to feel panic because I felt short of breath. Finally we made it to the hospital and my husband dropped me off at the ER door.

 I walked in and they asked what’s wrong. I said I’m kinda short of breath. They didn’t seem overly concerned. I filled out a quick form and she took my pulse and asked my weight, they then took me back. My nurse came in. He seemed young but knew what he was doing. He took my BP and seemed a little taken a back by how high it was. 160/95. I explained how I had just had a baby. A c-section. I was already diagnosing myself. Oh god it’s a blood clot. I know it. They took some blood and then of course a lot of waiting around. I had an EKG which appeared normal. I also had a chest X-ray. The ER doctor seemed stumped. My OBGYN came to see me but there wasn’t much she could say. She too was unsure. I was sent for a CT scan. Finally I was able to get up and go the the ladies room. I remember coming back and my nurse said I need to hook you up to monitors. At this point I was thinking, shit. This is not heading in the right direction. My husband left to go outside and make a phone call. I remember the ER doctor coming in and he looked at me very confused. He asked where my husband was. I said outside. He looked down. I knew something was up. I pressed him to tell me. I remember he said you have a lot going on. And we aren’t sure what it is. We are going to have to admit you. And you will need to go to ICU. It really wasn’t hitting me. I felt short of breathe sure but I’m not ICU sick! 

My pulmonary doctor and assistant came in to hook me up to a cpap machine and I kinda lost my cool. It was the mask and I hated it and it made me feel worse. They kept telling me to relax and let it help me but I was panicking. I asked for nasal pillows instead and they found me some. I still hated the machine but it was better then the mask. My Dad, Aunt and Husband were all now at the hospital with me. Another doctor came in. I remember him sitting down next to me and asking me how I felt. I think I muttered I’m ok or something along those lines. He looked at me, introduced himself and said “I’m your heart doctor”. And I remember the first thing that popped into my head…..why the fuck do I need a cardiologist???….

TO BE CONTINUED 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life! 

What the heck is PPCM? Part 1

If anyone noticed my Instagram or blog Bio and I know you were hanging on my every word ;-), then you may have noticed I mentioned I suffer from  Peripartum Cardiomyopathy or PPCM. Here the medical definition from Johns Hopkins Medicine because they can put it so much better then me :

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a weakness of the heart muscle that by definition begins sometime during the final month of pregnancy through about five months after delivery, without any other known cause. Most commonly, it occurs right after delivery. It is a rare condition that can carry mild or severe symptoms.

I’m going to level with you. I researched every single thing I thought could go wrong with my baby and I during childbirth and after. And being the paranoid person I was, I was pretty sure something would happen to me or the baby. So after a 3 day induction and then finally a c section, I thought ok that was it. I didn’t get the beautiful birth plan I wanted. Things went wrong but we are healthy. 

I remember being in recovery and the nurses fussing a little more over me then the baby. “Take care of her!” I thought. I had Gestational Diabetes. I wanted to make sure her sugars were ok. Was she healthy? She was screaming and big but was she ok? They told me she was great but they were a little concerned about my breathing and heart rate during my hours of pushing and my surgey so they were sending me back to high risk. I didn’t think anything of it.Baby  was good. I was good. I was happy. 

After several days in recovery I felt great! People came to visit and it was just a wonderful time. I noticed my blood pressure began to rise during my days of recovery. I was told it would need to be addressed when I got home. Probably through meds. It really just didn’t sink in. Yeah I was overweight and I had just had a baby, of course my BP was high. My pulmonary doctor wanted me to have a sleep study and he took a baseline chest X-ray. All looked well. 

I was released a day early even though my BP was still high. I had started to notice a tight feeling in my throat but assumed it was just acid reflux. We brought our daughter home to begin our new life.

One thing I was nervous about was the fact my home only had one bathroom upstairs. Women are asked to avoid steps as much as possible during recovery but I had no choice. The first time I had to go, climbing those steps felt like I ran a mile. I remember sitting there so out of breath it was scary. But I had felt like this for the last two months of my pregnancy so it was nothing new. I was disappointed it had not gone away but it didn’t panic me. It was more of an annoyance since I still had to go to the bathroom often. 

As we settled in for our first night, the baby went right to sleep and stayed that way for about 6 hours! I kept checking in on her because I was so nervous why she was sleeping so long but she seemed fine. I did mention to my husband that I felt like I could catch my breathe while laying down and I kept having to cough. I had received a flu shot while in the hospital for the first time ever and thought maybe it had made me sick. 

My mom came over the next day to help out with things and I mentioned it to her. She’s a nurse so I always run things by her. She thought I was just over doing it after my surgery and wanted me to rest more. So I spent the day on the sofa taking care of the baby and relaxing. While I was in the hospital they had let me know that a visiting nurse could come to the house because it was covered under my insurance. She would come to check the baby as well as myself. So I said sure. 

She arrived late in the afternoon and she immedialy asked me if my legs had been that swollen. I shrugged. Yeah I guess they had but I heard that was normal. She checked on the baby and then focused on me. My BP was very high. 160/110.  She asked me to lay on my right side for 10 minutes. It didn’t help. She let me know she had to report it to you doctor. Within  15 minutes of her leaving, the doctor called and asked that I come in first thing in the morning. I was so annoyed. I had just gotten home! But we made plans for me to go get checked the next morning. That night we had more visitors and I felt fine. My husband went upstairs to go to bed and I decided to stay downstairs with the baby. Honestly the thought of going up the stairs was exhausting. 

The baby fell asleep in her swing and I laid down on the couch. I could not sleep or get comfortable. I had this annoying cough that would not go away. Also I could hear this crackling sound in my chest. Great, I thought, a cold. Just what I need. Around 6 am I climbed the steps to go to the bathroom. I remember coughing and suddenly I burst into tears. I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. I coughed so hard from crying into a tissue that I saw blood. That was it. I called my mom to come watch the baby and woke up my husband and told him he had to take me to the ER. I know they thought I was paranoid and I hoped I was. Unfortunately I wasn’t……..


To be CONTINUED


DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life!