I know what you're thinking… why am I drawing attention to your gut… don’t I know better? Well, yes I do know better, but the kind of gut I’m talking about has nothing do with your physical appearance. I'm talking about the Mama Gut. You know, that feeling you get when you just know that something is off, you don’t know why, or maybe can’t see why, but for some reason you just know deep down something is not normal.
Over a year ago, I had one of those Mama gut moments that forever changed my life. It started when I began having contractions getting ready to deliver my second baby. Before that day, I had studied and practiced my natural birthing techniques and really prepared myself to have a natural child birth experience. The night before Kinley was born I began having consistent contractions and then the next morning my water broke so into the Hospital we went. When we arrived I was barely dilated. When the nurse checked me she was generous in her assumption and told me that I was 1/2 centimeter. REALLY? At this point I was still really hoping to continue with my birthing plan, but we all know things can change and unfortunately because I wasn’t “progressing” fast enough they began intervening and from there it went down hill. They poked, prodded, pumped, and checked me so many times that I felt more like a science experiment than a woman who was giving birth. There was just to much happening and too much intervention. That seemed off to me.
A few hours later I ended up delivering Kinley and she was a healthy 6lbs baby! We were both healthy and everything was great, or so I thought. The night we left the hospital I remember looking at my feet and thinking to myself that it looked a little swollen. With this pregnancy I had not swelled up at all which was a great relief because I looked like the marshmellow man with my first child. I think I even mentioned something to my nurse, but it was immediately dismissed and didn’t seem to be anything to worry about. So that night they sent us on our way, 24 hours after delivery, which I was so excited about. I hate hospitals!
The next morning at home everything was normal until the afternoon when all of a sudden, I had started to show signs of an allergic reaction. I was red all over my body as if I had gotten a sunburn and my entire body was swollen to the point where my eyes looked like they were barely open. I was lightheaded and really fatigued and by the next morning I knew this wasnt just a reaction and I immediately went to see my OB. He took my blood and sent me home with an antibiotic thinking that I had toxic shock syndrome, but he wouldn't know for sure until my blood test came back.
We weren’t even home an hour before he called and said that I needed to go to the ER immediately. My white blood count was at 24 and normal range is 11-12. This meant I had an infection somewhere in my body. So I had to leave my 3 day old baby, and found myself being admitted into the hospital for sepsis for 3 days.
This entire ordeal was the hardest thing I have ever been through and I would never wish it on anyone. The pain you feel as a Mom not being able to feed your newborn and bond in those early hours and days is a horrible pain I will never forget.
I'm sharing this story because looking back at my delivery and remembering that gut feeling, I wish I would’ve been brave enough to stand up for myself and say something. Maybe its just me and my personality type, but there are times when I have had that Mama gut that something is off and I didn’t speak up or do something about it. I think partly because I don’t want to be the woman who overreacts or is labeled as someone who is ruled by her emotions. I think as Moms we can have those moments. Its not all the time, but we don't want to be the person that overreacts and then later we find out it was nothing to be worried about.
But then there are times when we rise up and the Mama Bear comes out, and no one can tell you how to raise your kid or what you can or can’t give them. This was a huge life lesson for me and it taught me that I have what it takes to take care of these little people God has given me responsibility over and not to question it! It taught me not to be afraid to stand up for what I truly believe is best for me and my family and not to feel pressured to conform to what other people tell me I have to do. Now it doesn't mean that this should take rule over wise and sound advice, but at the end of the day you know your family and kids better than anyone else will.
I want to encourage you, don't ignore that Mama gut! It was given to you for a purpose! When you become a Mother, you were gifted with a bond that no one else will ever have with your kids. You are the expert when it comes to your kids. Trust yourself, and know that you have what it takes!!