Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Be Your Own Inspiration

Over the course of 2 years, I've built up this fear of the gym and haven't stepped foot in one since June 21, 2014.
If you asked me before June 21, 2014 if I'd step away from the gym for that long, I would have laughed in your face. I was in the gym every single day or outside running/hiking. It was my therapy.

With a pregnancy that consisted of me puking daily and having no energy, it was put on the back burner. Then the birth of my daughter happened and single motherhood began. Shortly after that, postpartum depression and anxiety hit me hard. I faced demons I didn't know existed.

So, now that I've made such amazing progress in therapy and see myself as the person I want to be instead of who I am compared to who I was--I'm getting ready to sign up at the gym this week.

I've been sitting here for the past few nights thinking about my goals and what I'm going to do in the gym when I go in for the first time. I am scared shitless. Because I'm this person I'm not used to and I'm appalled that I'm nervous. Then, I remember all of those people 3 years ago that would tell me that I was an inspiration and that I helped them.





That's why I did what I did. That's why I'm nervous. That's why I'm dreading this.

I let those people down. I didn't stick with it. I should have tried harder. I should have helped them still, and inspired them.

See, this is where my therapy comes into play.

I experienced abandonment and loss and entered into a new life I knew nothing about. There is no good or bad way to approach that. I might have let those people down. But there are women out there with feelings and thoughts that mirror mine and someday, they will hear my story and say "You inspired me". And as much as I love to hear that, I'm going to know I inspired myself and I saved myself first and foremost.

So, to keep it short and simple this evening. Do not do anything but to please and better yourself. Others will see you shine and see your passion. If you keep others in mind while you act, you will lose yourself.

Lets do this for ourselves, because if we do-our kids will have us around much longer!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

All In or All Out: BALANCE

I'm the definition of "all in or all out." I've struggled my whole life with finding balance in my life. In every aspect, I will either focus too intently or not care enough. I think it's because I'm passionate and have a lot of self control when I focus my time.

So...balance? What is that? What does it feel like? I'm sure it's those people in magazines or on tv shows that are super happy and content in life because they've achieved the ultimate balance in life. I'm totally kidding. But, that's what I associate balance with. Or, at least until recently.

Over the last year, I've struggled with Postpartum Depression, impulse to drink more than I normally do, and severe anxiety. My first step was stop going out a couple times a week to the bars. It was too much and I was becoming the one person I swore I broke the cycle against. I cut out alcohol unless it was at a restraunt and I limited myself to one drink. I think my anxiety used alcohol as a relaxer.

I eventually discovered Minimalism and purged my home of all items that served no purpose or brought joy. This helped my anxiety so much. This is an on going lifestyle and it has many meanings to each individual. I'll be sure to create a post about it sometime.

Once I was able to sit in peace and happiness in my home-I knew I needed to focus on my mental health. I reached out to other moms in my area and was recommended a therapist who focuses on the transition into motherhood. I started attending session in July. Best.Decision.I.Ever.Made.

Because of therapy and the fight in myself, I re-evaluated areas in my life that I wasn't fully happy in. Work became a large topic booming over my head. I loved my job in the sense that the students I worked with always seemed to be appreciative and they made it worthwhile. But I am also working toward a degree in Native American Studies/Anthropology and as an Admissions Coordinator, how would I utilize that degree? I was feeling stuck and needed more. I wanted to be excited to go to work-which realistically, I know it's how life works every single day. But I was having more "I don't want to go to work" days than I was having days I wanted to go into the office. Minimalism taught me to search for the joy and let go of the things that were holding me back. So, I did that.

At the beginning of November 2016, I applied for a different position. I didn't think I would get a call back, but I wanted to start the process of looking. By December 2, I was interviewed and offered the job. Shit got real, really fast.

Having been at my job for a month now, I'm extremely happy and since switching jobs, something switched inside of me. I'm making better choices, walking more, and taking time for myself. With the New Year in the rear view mirror, it was easy to start fresh and focus on weight loss.

So, here I am two weeks into 2017 and I'm finding that I don't have to cut out carbs to lose weight. I don't have to restrict myself to 1200 calories a day. I don't have to eat the same thing over and over.

I'm living life as a busy, working student mother and still eating healthy. Balance is 2017's goal. Balance ultimately is the goal of motherhood.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


It's almost been 2 years since I gave birth to my daughter.
It's been almost 2 years since I knew the old me.
I lost myself for a while, Postpartum Depression is a bitch.

But, I decided when I saw that some of the weight was back (more than half of it)--it was time to do something. I want to be a healthy mother for my daughter and I want my strength and drive back.

Since July of 2016, I've been in therapy addressing my Postpartum Depression and transition into motherhood. I've made huge leaps in mental health care so it's time to take charge of my health and physical well being.

I figured, it's a great time to get this blog back up and going.

Let's do this.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Figure Bodybuilding Competition

This is an announcement I've been nervous to make. I've thought about it for almost a year. I've been obsessed with the idea and even tried to talk myself out of it but I've realized because it makes me nervous, I need to do it. I want to do it. I'm giving myself 3 years from today to transform my body and enter a figure bodybuilding competition. I will walk on a stage in heels, in a tiny bathing suit, transformed mentally, emotionally, and physically. I originally gave myself 5 years but 3 years...that's motivating and maybe I'll do one in 3 years and then one at 5 years? I've always wanted to truly challenge myself physically and know what my limits are. I'm ready to show my daughter you can start from the bottom, broken, used and accomplish any goal and any dream with hard work and faith. Here we gooooo!!!! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gaining Control

"You want control over everything."

"You're a control freak" 

"You're all about control"

I've heard those phrases for years and each time, a negative, guilty, and angry feeling swept over me. I didn't feel like I was a control freak. I like structure. I like to plan. I worry about the future from time to time. I'm set in my opinions and thoughts yet I believe in keeping an open mind IF communication is done effectively. 

Having Laurel, it's made me really reflect
on the control topic. I have a daughter Im entirely responsible for, who depends on me, and who is supposed to protect her. Doesn't that mean I need control? Maybe, maybe not. But I have it, because I have to. I can't rely on someone else to do those things for me.

After a great talk with a dear friend of mine this weekend, it left me thinking about regaining power and control. Yes, regaining control. Could all of those years of coming off as needing and wanting control actually be true? Possibly. 

Maybe I would hold onto certain, unimportant things and want control over them, because I felt so out of control in my life? More specifically in my relationship. Maybe I focused too much on the little things because I wasn't ready to face the bigger thing (my unhappiness) it made me look crazy and it made me act crazy. 

I'm actively working daily on regaining control and learning who I am. I know who I am in certain areas but what if I discover who I am outside of a relationship and those areas change? That's the scariest part. But what keeps me going is the beauty of making daily choices without putting someone (other than my daughter) before me and catering to them first and foremost. I would go without because I was wanting to make someone else so happy. When I say happy I mean I did everything and gave everything and got nothing back, and I accepted it. After time I stopped hoping I would get something back, even emotionally. It became extremely lonely and I felt like I was losing control over myself and my ability to teach the person how to treat me. I essentially taught them it was okay they treated me poorly and take and take while I gave everything I had. That left me empty handed and mentally if I could get a little control over the structure of every day life, I would feel a little better and more whole, right? Wrong. 

I was driving yesterday and the thought of me transforming into a new person or who I truly am makes me smile. I'm going to go through these moments of reflection and then put things to work in my life where I'll be transformed. I am so excited to one day meet a man who will appreciate me and cherish me all because I'll know my worth first. Anything less than that, I'll know he isn't the one. I won't wait for someone to "discover" my worth and what I have to give. I now know, if a man doesn't see that from the beginning...he isn't right for you. More importantly, I'll be listening to God and trusting His timing. (I'll get into that post a little later...a whole other topic). 

To sum all of this up, Laurel will learn and know what I didn't. After all, everything I do from now on is for her. I'm happy to go through this for her benefit. 

Speaking of Laurel, someone is ready to eat and be cuddled. Until next time. 


Sunday, April 5, 2015

I'm single & I'm a mother.

I don't know how else to say it. I'm a single mom and I think in the coming months, I'll post blog entries to decompress the emotions that come with it. I won't be getting into my "failed" relationship. I will let people think what they will and only answer questions from people who have the backbone to ask instead of let their imagination run wild. I will not be posting about the involvement of Laurel's father, but I will post about how I'm coming to terms with losing my partner and best friend after almost 10 years while raising my daughter...alone. 

Mommy & Laurel. 

I want to talk about breastfeeding and my struggles with it and PCOS. 

I need this blog to become my source of therapy again. It helped me so much during my weight loss and when life was a mess...I'm hoping I can find myself and the mother I was intended by reflecting on my daughter, the struggles, and the wins of being a single mom. 

I hope you join me in this amazing journey. 



Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Birth Experience

"I want to be a mom more than anything, and having PCOS makes me have to fight for that right & privilege." 

"A healthy baby is the goal. A safe delievery is the goal."

March 3, I spent the evening with back pain. I knew my body was changing and things would be happening soon. I had slight spotting and a lot of mucus discharge which I confided in my doula, Jen about. I woke up throughout the night with back pain which I later determined was small back contractions. At 4:59am, March 4th, I looked at my phone and saw the time change to 5:00am and felt a strong contraction. 10 minutes later, another one. So on & on for about a hour and then they became 7 minutes a part. I spent the early morning in bed contracting and timing them. At about 5 min a part I took a hot shower around 8am. I then notified my friend, Heatherann that it was time to head into Missoula. My contractions were 3.5 min a part. Upon arriving at labor and delievery "ER" (Triage) my contractions were shorter than 3 min a part. I was 0 centimeters dilated. There wasn't anything they could do for me besides tell me to go walk around and keep my two appointments I had that day (ultrasound and 40 week prenatal). At noon, we had lunch and walked to my next appointment a building over. I informed the ultrasound office receptionist I was in labor and was ordered to keep my appointments and find out measurements on my little girl. The ladies thought I was insane to be in labor and getting an ultrasound, especially since I was having strong contractions. Due to an emergency, the specialist doctor was late so we waited patiently while my contractions became closer together at about 1 min and 20 seconds. The pain intensified. The receptionist tried to track down the specialist who needed to review the scans I had taken by the tech. About 45 min later, we were told to walk two buildings over and go to the prenatal appointment I had with my doctor, Dr. Mayo. The specialist was in an emergency. The office was aware I was in "labor" and let me have a back room to contract in outside of the waiting room. From noon to 2pm, I had dilated a half centimeter "finger tip dilation". I was devastated. The hospital wouldn't admit me unless I was 2cm or more. Because I needed a break and sleep, my doc prescribed me Laratab (2 doses). She said it would relax me to get some rest. Wrong. Nothing happened. I continued to labor throughout the day & evening and waited patiently for my family to arrive from Washington. They arrived and I labored through the evening, waking people up I'm sure because I didn't sleep at all. The next morning, March 5, I was at 30 hours without sleep and called the labor and delievery line and advice and was told to come in again to get checked. My mom & nana went with me. Again....half a centimeter only. I remember looking at my mom and nana and we all started crying because of my pain and exhaustion. I begged the nurse for an answer and she kept using the term "failure to progress". I googled it. First pregnancy related google search, ever. "Stress, mental, psychological, and emotional struggles can cause failure to progress; among not being relaxed" I had myself breathe and relax through every contraction the first probably 24 hours but I was so tired. The nurse returned with a shot of morphine and said it would let me sleep for 4-5 hours. I took it. I was hesitant for about a minute and realized I had a long way to go. I went and slept for 4.5 glorious hours while my family toured Missoula. When I woke, the contractions came back in a steady pace. My family and I had dinner around 7 and by 8 we decided a swim in the hotel pool would be a good idea. For almost 2 hours, I swam laps, lunged, high knees and even galloped like a horse. I even did some water acrobatic dance moves I've seen on the movies. Some nice couples in the hot tub had looks of terror and they heard me yell "time!" & had my aunt shout out the time so I could track my contractions. The couples probably thought I was going to have a hotel pool baby. We all went to bed about 11-well my family did. I labored and kept my sister awake with my noises. Her concern told me that they were getting worse (at this point I couldn't tell you my pain rate because of how tired I was). At 2am I called my doula, Jen who said she would come to help me with positions and even help me labor through the pain. When Jen arrived, we both decided (I don't remember how we got to the conclusion) but it was time to go get checked again. At 3am on March 6, I was at 3 centimeters! 

Show time!!!! 

The next part kind of comes and goes in the memory department because I was in a lot of pain & sleep deprived. We immediately got into my labor room and had to be monitored for 20 min (that's hard when you need to bend over and rock out contractions and baby's heart rate keeps getting lost on the monitor). After the initial 20 minutes, my Doula, Jen got a hot bath going and it was a saving grace. I labored through contractions for almost 2 hours in the tub and it was amazing. The pain was still intense but I felt a little relief between each one I got to close my eyes and "relax". I truly believe that's what made me dilate even more. After the shower, I found my spot back on the bed (on all fours) with a pillow for support and rocked through contractions with music playing and Jen rubbing my lower back. Contractions came harder and stronger and after being checked at a 5 (later was determined more like a 4), I needed relief, my body was screaming. I kept saying to myself "no pain management, no pain management, this is what your body was made for." But I thought "do you want to push? If so, relief now may help." I asked for an epidural through gritted teeth and while sobbing. By this time, I think it's roughly 10am? Dr. Mayo broke my water-like it was just another day on the job and she said she would see me soon! After I got the epidural, they gave me something to rest. I still had the contractions. I then realized they had given me pitocin. I can't remember if I requested it or if I just approved it. I didn't sleep, but was able to have a little relief to relax my body more. I continued to labor through the afternoon. Roughly around 2 or 3, I felt the urge to push and became really angry that my cathider was still in and nothing was ready to go. The nurse checked me, and I was 9.5 so after a few big contractions and fighting the urge to push I demanded to push, and was checked and it was push time!!! 

My body was already shaking with each contraction which scared me. My legs were heavy but I had feeling in them and the nurse instructed me to hold my legs but I physically couldn't hold my legs and focus on pushing so I had people hold my legs. My worst part was how my body was hyperventilating after each push. I hated that I couldn't hold the push the full 10 seconds without feeling like I was going to pass out or my face was numb. I got really discouraged, fast. So again, I got outside of my own mind and stepped back and realized "I could do this". I kept saying "I can do this" before and after each push. Everyone kept encouraging me & being positive. I had never pushed a baby out before but I felt like the pressure wasn't being relieved no matter how many times and how long I pushed. I didn't know if it was normal. Again, I started worrying. At one point, I pushed hard and long, i couldn't hear anyone else in the room. My body then just went limp. I knew, I couldn't keep going. I was spent. The nurse then requested another dose of the epidural to help. I was supposed to have relief within 15 min, but nothing. It was like I never got anything. I could see the nurse wonder what the deal was. 

Laurel's heart rate wasn't being picked up because of her placement and they came in with this long stick thing and went inside to place a "tag" on her head to pick up her heart rate. That was the scariest moment of my life, and I think it was because I didn't understand what was happening.  After the nurse realized the epidural wasn't placed right or working, Dr. Mayo came in and told me what I knew was coming but didn't want...a c section. She checked Laurel and she gave me two options. 
1. C section immediately. 
2. Take out old epidural, get a new one and push for several more hours, with the option of a c section in case baby gets stressed. 

Dr. Mayo knew my plan, she knew either option would be a hard one to make because it would mean a completely depleted body or depleted spirit. I truly believe she knew that and that's why she was so kind about how she approached the situation. She reminded me of how long I had been doing this and what the ultimate goal was. "Healthy baby". After sobbing, my family and I were left alone to decide. I remember saying "mommy, I'm done" over and over. I chose the c section. While Dr Mayo got prepped for surgery, so did I but I still felt like I had to push. Not pushing or pushing "a little" as instructed by the nurse is more painful than pushing. Don't try it. It was horrible. My body was wanting to do something but I couldn't. 

I'm not sure what time I was wheeled into the OR, but it was like you see in the movies and when I saw all the lights and tools, I just "gave up", I truly just stopped fighting and accepted I was going to meet my daughter!!! I was getting the spinal black (not being able to move) through contractions is a torture method I'm sure. It was horrible and it felt like the OR staff was just hanging out taking their time, but then again, time went much faster after I got the drugs. On the operating table, my body felt "free". I know that sounds crazy but I truly felt relaxed for the first time in days. I then got a heavy chest, twitchy eyes, and could feel my arms twitching and the nurse confirmed my body was relaxing and I was okay. I remember closing my eyes because the lights hurt my eyes because of a headache I had. I immediately awoke to heart the sweetest cry. My daughter. Mind you, I had NO voice and I was screaming "Jake, go check on her!!" Only to turn my head and see he was next to her. He shot me a look & beamed "she's so beautiful!". I smiled and closed my eyes, only to fight the sleep and see her little foot and all her hair. I couldn't figure out why they didn't bring her to me or let jake cut the cord, so I was getting mad. She was supposed to be brought to me immediately and wasn't. I started panicking. Jake brought me a picture while they cleaned her up. 

The next minute will always stay in my mind, and I'll remember it when I doubt my decision making as a mom. 
Dr. Mayo said "Chelsea, I want you to know you made the right decision. Your baby was sunny side up and her forehead was coming out first not her crown and she was stuck, you would have pushed and pushed and stressed her out and have gotten a c section either way. You have a healthy baby!" 

I got to hold Laurel in recovery for the first time and I'll never forget how she snuggled my chest!