My business is blooming this year, and I couldn't feel more blessed and gracious. As I head into a crazy season now of non-stop babies through December, and I prepare to not see outside life during that time, I can't help but sit and think about where I was 4 years ago today. I was preparing to head to the hospital for a medically-necessary induction of my 5th baby. I had very fresh Complex PTSD. I was ruled by it. I saw no way out. IT was my life. It's why I had to be induced nearly a month early. My blood pressure was in stroke zone, because I lived every moment of my life drowning in fear. Suffocated by it.
Because of this, and combined with my history of severe postpartum depression, and my history of NOTHING working to help it in the past, I came to a point of desperation. I knew that I would not survive this postpartum if something didn't change. And with six months on bed rest, I had nothing better to do than research. And the only thing left for me to try was placenta encapsulation. I researched and researched and looked for someone local with proper training (there wasn't anyone that met my standards for processing something that required knowledge of bloodborne pathogens and food handling safety). So I trained myself with the help of other certified professionals, thanks to the wonderful connection the internet provided me to these awesome people.
But. Ew. I'll pass if I can. Thanks.
Buuuuuut.......just in case......let's take it home and freeze it. *Just in case*.
After a week in the hospital (my condition was not good between severe hemorrhage and blood pressure), I returned home, and old familiar symptoms were already rearing their ugly head. My husband agreed that I needed to do it and try it. So...I did.
The difference was night and day by the end of my third dose. I enjoyed my baby. I enjoyed my family. My life was beautiful. I was HAPPY. It was a happiness I've never known before. Even while not pregnant or postpartum. I couldn't believe it. This had to be a fluke. Give it time, I thought. I probably just had a better day. Or maybe I got more sleep than normal last night.
Nope. It continued. Day after day after day. If I skipped my capsules, it was obvious. I remember one day, my husband returned from work. I'm pretty sure my head was spinning. He looked at me with *that look*. And he asked me, "Did you take your capsules today?"
HOW DARE HE!!!!!
After raging about his implied accusation for several minutes, and angry tears shed, and my claims of a world out to get me and my children hating me.....I responded.
"No." (Insert embarrassment here)
I stormed to the freezer to take my capsules begrudgingly. And within about 30 minutes, I was a decent human being again. ("Placebo effect", my buns!!)
My midwife saw the drastic change and started referring her patients to me. So I became formally trained and certified. My name started spreading, and someone somewhere (I still don't remember who or when), caught wind and knew of my desire to become a midwife someday and my hunt for local doula training, and told me that it was coming to our area in 2014. When my baby was 11 months old, I attended DONA doula training right here, where I was able to not have to leave my babies (including my nursing one). I had already attended two births prior to this training, and immediately attended three more within six weeks of being trained.
Between being a certified doula and certified encapsulator, my reputation and business have grown by leaps and bounds. Especially this year. I've also grown personally as a doula. I started off feisty and occasionally overstepping my bounds. I wanted to save all the moms! But through time, and experiences, and continued growth and learning, I realized my job was to teach them how to save themselves. :) My job was to empower THEM. To help them find the power that they have had all along. And I get to watch the beauty that unfolds from that.
And then my business grew some more. And more.
And this year, I've had to turn people away, because I'm not Wonder Woman, and I can only be in so many places at once.
The Lord had really blessed me and had His hand in all of this. Again, 4 years again from this moment, my life seemed hopeless. I was nothing more than an expectant mom with severe C-PTSD and heading into another round of life-sucking PPD. It didn't look good for me. I contemplated death a lot. Honestly, it would have likely been more than contemplation had I not just survived what I did. I didn't want it to all have been for nothing.
I could have never imagined I'd be where I am in four short years:
*Certified birth doula
*Certified placenta encapsulation specialist
*Certified Child Passenger Safety Techinian
*Almost-certified midwife assistant
*days away from my Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula credentials
Our son's name is Ezekiel. During my trauma, I prayed over Ezekiel 37:1-14...the valley of dry bones (you should read it). I prayed through desperate burning tears for life to be restored to my dry bones. I never expected to be pregnant again (let alone two times more so far!). And it seemed appropriate to name him Ezekiel after this. And when we named him that, I didn't realize how much MORE life would be restored to my dried bones as a result of his birth. It's mind blowing.
He turns four tomorrow. And I'm so thankful for him. Maybe one day he will understand how much healing his entrance into my life has brought. In so many ways. He may put me through the wringer some days, but I still look at him as my reward for surviving. As my answer to prayer, that I didn't know I was asking for.
Today I sit in awe, wonder, amazement, and pure thankfulness for how far I've been brought from my pain. And how much life has been restored, and how much blessing has been poured out on me in my family and in my business.
Thank you to each and every one of you who have played a role in helping me to grow, who cheered me on, and helped me pursue and turn my dreams into reality. Today I am thankful.