Updated: Nov 29, 2018
It’s true when they say you don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
I’m mama to two girlies – Aria (5.5yo) and Kira (4yo). I’ve had an intense and interesting journey into motherhood. My experience with these two crazies have empowered me to learn and grow with them. They are my inspiration for all that is behind Wellness Crafted.
Aria was born at 34 weeks (6 weeks early). She was the cutest 4.5lbs ever. She was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after I held her for what felt like 2.3 seconds. We spent 2 weeks there where I cried every night leaving her in the hospital. In hindsight the experience went smoothly, she simply needed more time to incubate. But as a first-time Mama unable to take my baby home, I was tremendously overwhelmed. We made it home and had other struggles. We never got the hang of breastfeeding and I felt like my body just utterly failed her. Not only did I feel guilty, but I was exclusively pumping struggling to keep up with her milk requirements, which I could never meet. She was fussy and my post-partum depression was pretty damn severe. I grew concerned with formula ingredients and over-the-counter meds. I researched options and began making homemade baby formula utilizing information from the Weston A. Price foundation. I also started making natural remedies using essential oils to address anything from teething to congestion to fever to bug bites to diaper rash – you name it! This was my way of lowering the toxic burden on her teeny lil bod. Inevitably we found our rhythm. Just in time for me to learn I was pregnant again (and I was not ready).
Kira was born at 36 weeks (4 weeks early). I GOT TO BRING A BABY HOME WITH ME! All seemed well at first, but soon went south. *Cliff notes version* We took Kira to the emergency room at 12 days old after she suddenly stopped eating, was groaning in pain and very pale. She was admitted to the ICU and started having seizures, which caused other complications. She was placed on life support for an eternity (9 days) and was in the ICU for an eternity and a half (16 days total). We didn’t know if she’d make it. Every test under the sun came back negative. She was seizing frequently, could not breathe on her own, needed a plasma transfusion…. all “out of the blue.” Watching her struggle to survive was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. In my deepest, darkest pain I hoped she wouldn’t make it. Because helplessly watching her suffer was unbearable. The emotional toll was excruciating. No (allopathic) doctor, internist, nurse, assistant (you name it) to this day can definitively tell us what happened (I have a hunch). Kira came back to us, but not unscathed. She suffered post-birth brain injury (to the white matter over her entire brain and some gray matter). She was diagnosed with moderate cerebral palsy related to physical motion with no solid prognosis. The neurologist informed us there was really nothing we could do, and only time would tell the severity of the injury. “But, hey, kids bounce back.”
Kira’s health on top of the aftermath made me want to crumble into a million pieces. She was SO colicky and would barely move/wriggle like a newborn does – she would lay limp unless I tickled her to force movement. How could I have failed another baby?! My way of the dealing with the pain was to research, research, research, research, research, research and research some more. We went to my naturopath, a chiropractor, craniosacral therapist, acupuncturist… I controlled her diet 100% with homemade, real food to manage her damaged gut… we had appointments with neurologists, ophthalmologists, metabolic specialists, physical/occupational/speech therapists, developmental educators, she had eye surgery, ear tubes surgery, the list goes on. I did everything in my power to figure out this convoluted puzzle, all while caring for an 18-month old and dealing with the ego/pocketbook hit of being unemployed, wanting to scream WHY?! at every moment. The stress, marital strain and financial burden kept building and building. Her health was my paramount concern. It consumed me. I’d truly never felt so lonely.
I was a crying mess. Anytime anything is/was hard or different with her, I would start bawling. I hated myself for failing her. But I repressed the emotions, determined to find a way to make things better.
All you can do is hold onto a glimmer of hope. You find a way to keep yourself together, make sure you have someone(s) you can unravel with, improve what you have control over, and move forward by putting one foot in front of the other.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Kira is now 4 years old. We still have struggles, but she is doing phenomenally considering her rough start. You can’t really tell by looking at her what she’s been through. While her progress really has been incredible, I can’t erase the past (no matter how hard I try). We still actively work to give her the support she needs. With all this, she currently has some developmental delays, sensory issues, vision issues and anxiety/frustration that will likely persist for the foreseeable future – but that in itself is SO MUCH better than what doctors predicted in 2014. There may always be some remnant forcing me to remember our start, but we have come such a long way.
Ultimately, I would have found ways to mitigate the toxic burden on the kids despite the early complications, but their beginnings made it that much more imperative to do so. The fact is we live in a world that values convenience over consequence. There are so many toxic products/foods within our world that our bodies are not made to process, making the long-term structural insults and genetic consequences much more emphasized. And, not only that, but we MUST dive into how emotional and inherited traumas physically manifest/create blockages that affect our health. It’s imperative we educate ourselves and do what we can to support our family’s health and wellness in ways that resonate with us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the crazy amount of information out there, but with the right support system, you can find the right path to support your family’s wellness journey. Me, personally -- I took one step and one day at a time, with support from family/friends who helped me continue to believe we were on the right path even when i didn't. I assessed every situation/milestone with a view toward balancing natural and conventional practices. Based on research/recommendations/intuition, I tried new healing modalities that made sense within our bandwidth and budget, and took leaps of faith where some things were not within our bandwidth or budget. I found ways to stick to those new modalities, diets, healing practices that were making a difference, and gave myself some grace when we couldn’t keep up, knowing that anything is better than nothing. Ultimately everything I learned and everything we did for her had such an incredible impact. Things are still tough, but I can't deny how far we've come.
This is what propelled me to launch Wellness Crafted. Because I remember the pain of caring for a medically injured child. I remember the loneliness of motherhood. I remember doctors dismissing me. I remember feeling lost in my Google searches. I remember all the trials and errors. I remember the immensity of the health battles ahead. Quite frankly, I remember feeling hopeless.
With all this, I'm here to share with you everything I've learned. To help you craft your wellness journey because you know there's a better way, but maybe don't know how to get there. I see you -- because I am you -- I'm in the thick of it. And if I can help provide some ease and convenience for you, or simply make you feel supported, I'll have done by job. Frankly, people don't share enough, nor do they share authentically. Our stories are what connect us all. I'm here to show you that you are supported. I'm here to build a community of BAD ASS women and Moms. I'm here to empower you to become your own Healer.
This is Wellness Crafted.
Are you ready to join me on my wellness journey? I’m ready to join you in yours!
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