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I am not alone - the struggle is real ♥

My Fit4Mom Journey was tough, but I am not alone.

I knew from a young girl that I wanted to be a mom. I have a very nurturing soul, and my sisters often call me “mom” because I can be overly worried about them and extremely encouraging about their lives. When my husband and I started trying, we thought it would be easy. We had enjoyed 4 years of marriage, sightseeing the world and growing in our love and partnership. We knew it was time, and were ready to spread our love. We tried for over a year, and were getting to the point where I was tracking my entire cycle day by day and focusing solely on trying when I was ovulating. It was discouraging to say the least. We eventually decided to seek help and were referred to an endocrinologist. We went through a lot of testing, and a lot of painful procedures. Those of you that have experienced an HSG, know what I mean. We found some things that could cause fertility challenges, but ultimately were in the “unexplained fertility” realm. They did find some issues with my tubes that they wanted to investigate further, and a thickening in my uterine lining, so I had a surgery to help those. All of these further delayed our starting a family. It took over 6 months for this entire process, and at this point I was starting to feel signs of depression, weight gain, fatigue & lack of exercise. So many of my friends were posting their statuses on Facebook that they were expecting, and I wanted so badly for that to be us. My husband was doing his best to keep me strong and encouraged, but it was probably one of the toughest times of my life, or at least I thought.

The doctors had us move forward with Inter-uterine Insemination (IUI) along with Clomid. It took two sessions (painful and stressful!) but my first pregnancy test showed a positive! I was ecstatic, shocked and nervous all at the same time. Worried that it could be an ectopic pregnancy, worried that I could miscarry, worried it could be multiples. We were lucky that because we were working with the endocrinologist, we got to run tests early, and have our first sonogram at 7 weeks. We got to hear the heartbeat and see our little peanut at 7 weeks and were reassured that things were progressing well and normally. I had a wonderful, and very easy first trimester. No fatigue, no nausea. The only major dilemma was I had no appetite. I literally lost around 20 pounds during my pregnancy. I barely showed, even as I was approaching my third trimester, I had a small bump.

The first day of my third trimester, I had my 28 week appointment. I went in for my check up, thinking everything was normal, and it became of the scariest days of my life. My blood pressure was taken and it was extremely high, but they didn’t really think much about it. They did all the normal checks and we listened to the heartbeat, and everything looked and sounded good. I mentioned my feet swelling, but the mid-wife said that was normal. She measured my growth, and remarked that it was smaller than it should be, but that my husband and I were both short, so that our baby might have just been smaller because of our stature. I left my appointment thinking everything was great and would be back in a few weeks for the next appointment.

Later that day I received a call from the mid-wife asking me to come back to the hospital to have a sonogram run. I was on my way to DC for a meeting, and didn’t think it sounded urgent and that I could head up there after my meeting. While I was getting ready to park, she called me again and urgently persisted that I get to the hospital immediately. I turned around and went to the hospital per her instructions and had an emergency sonogram done that showed my blood cord to the baby was not flowing normally and that the baby was not growing. The news shocked me to the core. I was instructed to run home, pack a bag and report up to Walter Reed Medical Center that evening. My husband was away for a work trip in Texas, so his work was helping to get him an emergency flight back to the area to be with me. When I arrived, I had no idea what I was in for.

My first stay in a hospital. They wouldn’t let me eat anything. Immediately hooked me up to IVs and monitors for the baby. I was given a steroid shot, and then put on a magnesium sulfate drip for 24 hours. The next several days were full of constant checks of the monitors, meeting with doctors, nurses, social workers, NICU nurses, and so many more people. I was 28 weeks and 4 days when my son was born. They tried to help us keep him in as long as they could, but ultimately the blood cord that was nurturing him was failing. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and it was getting harder and harder for the doctors to manage. He was born via cesarean section. It was an extremely painful procedure for me, and I ultimately had to be put under during the surgery.

When I woke up, my son had already been rushed to the NICU and was being worked on by many amazing NICU doctors. I had to be put back on magnesium sulfate for another 24 hours, which made me bed-ridden. I only got to see my newborn son via pictures on my husband’s phone. For those that have experienced magnesium sulfate, it is probably one of the worst experiences someone has to go through. Your entire body is hot. You are in a miserable fog, almost like you are intoxicated and everything keeps spinning. And the nausea – oh the nausea. Going through that experience twice in one week was awful.

When I was finally able to see my son for the first time, the first time to get out of a bed with a c-section, it was so painful. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I hadn’t showered in 4 days, and my hair was greasy. I wasn’t wearing make-up. Didn’t have contacts in. I was a hot mess. But I didn’t care one bit – I wanted – I needed to see my baby.

We arrived in the NICU, got checked in, got our hands washed. And I rolled up in my wheelchair to the isolette. My little boy was so tiny. Weighing 2 lbs 3 oz. He was hooked up to all kinds of monitors. And had a CPAP machine that covered most of his face. He looked bigger than I imagined he would be though – knowing how small my bump was. He was 14.5 inches long. And just so sweet making the sweetest tiniest little sounds. Tears welled in my eyes. It was the most amazing day of my life – seeing this baby that we made.

My son spent 71 days in the NICU. He had a few issues, but overall his stay was more to help him eat and grow. We made some amazing friends while we were there. And cheered on several other tiny babies that we roomed with. We learned so much while we were there – especially being first time parents. The NICU nurses gave us so many tips and helpful information as we learned how to change diapers, feed, burp, nurse, give baths, and take care of the baby with all the beeping monitors and oxygen lines.

The journey to becoming parents for us was challenging. And it is so encouraging to me when I hear others that have similar stories as me. I know that I am not alone.

I came across Fit4Mom not long after I had my son. I wanted to find a workout program that could encourage me to get back into shape and hold me accountable. Fit4Mom was like the answer to my prayers. I had emailed Shannon not long after my son had come home from the NICU and was hoping to get started right away. Shannon encouraged me to wait until 6 month post my caesarian, to make sure I was properly healed before I started high-intensity workouts. First chance I got, I joined the Body Back session in March 2017. I did two back-to-back Body Back sessions and felt amazing. My body felt stronger. I was meeting other moms in the area. It was such a great fit for me. I am looking forward to starting another Body Back session in early 2018 to continue to improve myself and stay strong for my son.

My son is now 14 months old. He is 20-something pounds, and very solid. He is almost walking. And the kids loves to eat. I swear he will eat us out of house and home. You wouldn’t know that he was born early. He looks almost like just any normal 14 month old. He does have a few things we are working on with early intervention to see that he continues to catch up with his “adjusted age”, but overall he is doing very well. My husband and I have been extremely blessed by this little man in our lives. We wouldn’t change this journey even a little bit, no matter how hard the struggle was, it was worth it.

** Christy has been a FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa member sincce March 2017.

#FIT4MOM #themotherhoodisreal #strengthinmotherhood #Fit4MomLSBWKNoVa #ourvillageisyourvillage #youarenotalone #itisworthit #extremelyblessed #fertilitychallenges #kidlovestoeat #thejourneywastoughbutsoworthit #NICUBABY #NICUstrong #thankyouNICUnurses #NICUnursesrock #thestruggleisreal

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