Rainy Days in the Forecast(A little more of my story)

I have been working on this blog for 11 days now. I have been contemplating on just how transparent I wanted to be in sharing this with you guys. After going back and forth about it…. I have chosen to be completely transparent. As much as that frightens me, I feel like it would be a disservice to someone sharing this struggle if I am not completely honest. The picture on the left was taken in mid-February and the picture on the right was taken earlier this month. I do not know if you can tell, but both pictures are of the same woman. It is me! Remember how in my last post I told you I would share more about my story (some of my traumatic experiences)? Well, here we are….

Last year I was pregnant with my second child (Isaiah). He was due the first
week of October. I went in for a routine OB appointment with my midwife and she
was worried about my elevated blood pressure. Due to the office preparing to
close she recommended I go to the hospital so that I could be monitored (for
fear of possible preeclampsia complications). I stayed overnight and met with
the on-call doctor from my clinic the following morning. She let me know that
we would be inducing him three weeks early. It was not expected, and a two day stay
(I had previously tested positive for group b strep) would turn out to be 5.
After what seemed like forever, we were able to come home. The first week home
was great. My husband was home with me, and my daughter was on her best
behavior. After a week of leave my new husband (3 months fresh) had to return
to his job. With him working long hours I was cooking, cleaning, folding and
ironing clothes so that my home could continue to run. My husband was such a
huge help. On his off days he would help take on the load of our home and even
after pulling long hours he would sit up with our son to allow me to get a
nap/sleep and take care of whatever I did not finish for the day. This breeze
of an experience would come to an end very quickly. I was swollen badly with a
potty training 2-year-old and a newborn. I was still attempting to maintain my
household. It was a lot, but it was seemingly working out. At the end of his leave,
we were scheduled for a follow up appointment. They said our son looked healthy
and happy. He had gained back the few pounds he had lost and seemed very alert.
The nurse Ms. Barbara saw that I seemed a bit off. She asked me if everything
was ok. It was here at my sons first doctor appointment I broke down in tears. The
nurse and dr were trying to console me…. assuring me that I was doing a great
job as a mother and that the baby and I just needed more rest and time to
adjust. I explained that I had postpartum before and was afraid it was coming
back. I’ll never forget Dr Nerland saying to me, “we don’t just check out
the children we see, we also check on our parents. They have to be ok too”
as he wrote me a script for meds. The meds were helping me level out some.
But….the reality of the inevitable began to sink in…..my maternity leave
would end, and I would have to go back to work. Slightly cloudy days, but still
no rain in sight.

I returned on Halloween to my changing work from home position. Things were
surprisingly going well. My sweet new baby was napping throughout the day and
my toddler was being a big girl keeping herself occupied so mommy could get
things done. This smooth run of things would change. My babies had gotten so
used to spending all day with me that they could not/would not understand why
they could not have my undivided attention. I was working less (or at least that
is how I felt) and tending to my home and family more (cuddling with my son,
playing with my daughter, washing clothes, cooking, cleaning). I spent some much needed time
hanging with my family and introducing them to our new addition. I was
maintaining being the “go to” friend, and positive voice in the lives
of the people I cared about. I had bought and boxed all our Christmas gifts. I was entertaining our guests when we had any. Although it was a lot, I was still maintaining.
There was slight rain, but still things were manageable. The rain would soon get a bit heavier.

I started to sleep less. I spent most of my nights tossing and turning or
checking on my son.  I became distant from my family and friends. Because if I
am honest…I was juggling one too many things. I was always tired, moody, and
emotional. And then….my phone line for my job was not functioning, my washer broke and
flooded the laundry room, my son would not sleep through the night or day, my
daughter struggled with potty training (and mommy too), loud and messy neighbors
(or their guests) were keeping us awake or disturbing my work, and we had two management changes in our complex. If that was not enough,
I started to lack on my job (it was no longer a figment of my imagination). It
was becoming too much. My life had drastically and suddenly changed….and I could
not seem to keep up. I would manage my minimum workload, taking care of the
kids, cleaning and cooking but would forget to eat. Or when I had a meal last
or bath. I started panicking about my job and if working from home was working out
(with changing protocols, new work structure, a noisy and crazy environment,
and my complex implying I would no longer be able to work from my apartment).
For fear of job security, I talked with my family, my supervisor and a close
friend Kara about me returning to work. The decision had been made. Id commute
to work and my village would help make it happen. It appeared that the rain was
slowing preparing to cease.

In the months after having my son I had lost tons of weight (about 40-50
pounds). With going back to work I had to “dress the part”. I
remember preparing for my first day by trying on everything in my closet. I
ended up with a few work appropriate outfits that I could still fit. I ironed
my clothes, had my bath, and went to bed. I was up and down all night. Checking
on my son and worrying about how things would go. My husband had packed my
equipment, prepared my lunch and breakfast, and warmed my car for me to head
out for work. The first day was a lot. I had been working from home almost 3
years now. This was a huge adjustment. I can remember having a hard time
keeping my breaks in company compliance, worrying all day if the kids and my
husband were managing, and feeling like other employees were talking about me. I
would cry in frustration when I felt I was not remembering how to do my job. I
would have panic attacks and would have to leave work early. My supervisor kept
assuring me that I was doing well and that I was just overthinking it. But it
really did not feel that way. She asked how she could help, and I really could
not think of a way. Her and my colleagues were genuinely concerned. I did not
look or act like the fiery put together lady that they were used to. In honesty….
I was not. I was paranoid, I was on edge, and in my mind, I was failing at
everything (my career, my role as a wife, and mother). More days than not I
would leave for work…. get all the way there….and then freak out so bad
that I would have to go home. My husband took on more of the household
roles….my friend Kara and my mother kept my children more….my older and
younger sister would call to check in on me…. but still…. I was lost. I had
felt like the water from my life’s rain was drowning me and nothing could fix
it. The rain had become too heavy in my life and the bottom fell out.

My husband, who felt like he could not get through to me (although he did
everything he could) reached out to those who cared about me to try and help
bring me back. After med attempts, days off, time away with my mother were not
working… we decided (my husband and I) that I needed to go to the doctor. My
midwife gave me the same test for postpartum and I could not complete
it……..could not talk…. could not really breathe…. I felt like I was
sinking. She was deeply concerned and asked me would I be willing to go
“see someone”. I obliged her and she asked that I call her when I
made it there so they could send over my file. The rain was consuming me by
now.

I did not go right away. My mother was convinced that I just needed to get
back in a routine on my meds, so she asked for a few days with me to get me
going. It was not working. So, I talked with my husband and told him that I
wanted to go to see someone. My husband picked me up from my mother’s home and
took me to be seen. I was placed in a room and several counselors came in to
talk to me. I could hear them, but I did not say much. I was at a point where I
felt like everyone and everything was against me. I did not know who to trust.
They warned that if I did not talk to someone that they would have to send me
to an inpatient facility. At this point I felt that maybe I needed to be away
and that my family would be better in my absence. I do not remember much after
that other than telling my husband to take my things and not to give my mother
my code to make any decisions (I knew if I did, she would had come to get me,
and I did not want that). The next several hours were a blur. My first
cognitive memory of my move from the counselor in my hometown to a facility an
hour away was waking up in a room with two beds. The rain in my head had gotten the best of me
and I was tired.

I cried a lot. I slept even more. I remember them telling me I was suffering from chronic depression, paranoia, and something about my heartbeat.  For the next 10 days they changed my meds, required me to go to a therapy class (sometimes i went to a few) with others, and have a session privately with a therapist every few days. The first few days were terrible. I was confined to a
schedule and a place I could not just hop up and leave. If you know me, you
know I do not like being told what to do and when I can do it. While everyone
was making the best of their time in the facility, I just wanted to sleep my
day away…. or cry my night. Until a cna on the morning shift saw me at my
lowest and cared for me. She spoke life into me that morning. She asked me
about my family and life at home. I told her I was a new wife and mother. I
remember her telling me….”Aww Keysh life just happened too fast. You are
going to be ok. Youve got to get up and FIGHT to get home to your babies. Keysh
you’ve got to live” I cried and cried until I was dry and when I dropped
my last tear…I promised her I’d do just that. Calls from my husband, speaking
with my daughter and mother, a visit with my husband, mother, and uncle, kept
me going. Praying without ceasing and doing the work made each day more
bearable. Understanding my triggers, my condition, and what I could do to
manage everything made me want to get myself together so I could come home. I
had a life to live…. a family to love…. a job and team that was supportive….an
entire village that wanted to see me win. I had to get well…. that 10 days
was not a cure all…. but it was the jumpstart in better days. That first
picture was the night I came home from the facility in Memphis. I was still a
bit disheveled, but I no longer felt like a fish out of water…. I no longer
felt like I was fighting not to be overcome with the rain.

I am not completely “healed” and may never be…. but I am every
day striving to be better. I am each day learning how to deal with the things
that life throws me. I am each day learning to see the good in being able to
open my eyes at the start of each morning and close my eyes at the end of each
day. I am managing to still smile, laugh, and love even though I have since
suffered great loss. I am making it my duty to speak up….to speak out….and to
reach out to all that I see that may be silently suffering my same ordeal. I do
not have to know you to feel for you. I do not have to know you on a personal
level to care and offer help. If others felt that way, I would have never
received the help I needed. Whew, this has been a tough blog to post, BUT I
know that there is someone out there that feels that they are battling alone.
There is someone out there that feels no one can understand. I am here to say….
I know how it feels…. I have been there….and I will be here. Whenever and however,
you need me to pull you from under the water.

Love and Light,

💋Key