I was 37 weeks pregnant with my Kate and things were going absolutely fantastic. Unlike my first two pregnancies, my blood pressure was normal week after week. I was so thankful and thought I would finally make it to 40 weeks without having to be induced with one of my kiddos!
A couple days later, went grocery shopping with our two oldest daughters and I decided to test my blood pressure on one of the store’s machines.
The result was super high…it pretty much said, “go to the hospital right now!” It was all too familiar to me since I had been induced twice before due to very high blood pressure during pregnancy.
“Oh no,” I thought. “Not again…I thought everything was okay this time!”
I didn’t want it to be this way. This time, I wanted a calm birth for my baby. I didn’t want it to be an emergency.
But it was.
So off to the hospital we went.
It was no surprise that they admitted me and began administering medication that would soften my cervix to prepare to be induced.
This process was a painful 24 hours.
They checked me, and I wasn’t even 1 cm dilated. Oh, no.
The doctors came in with long faces and told me that the medication wasn’t working to soften my cervix.
And my blood pressure wasn’t going down, even with the 2 different medications they had me on to lower it.
I knew what they were going to say. The words I didn’t want to hear.
“You need a c-section, it’s our only option left,” they said.
I was so stressed out.
I didn’t want my Kate to be born this way.
I wanted it to be calm.
“This isn’t what I want!!” I thought.
I began to pray with all my might to God and my Angels.
I begged the doctors to check me one last time– but they didn’t want to.
They knew I was still around 1 cm and they needed me to be at least 3 cm before they would move me to labor & delivery.
But, the doctor had mercy on me (probably because I was crying!) and decided to check me one last time.
I went from being “barely 1 cm” and now I was 4 cm and officially in labor–literally in one hour!
The doctors were like, “woah..” and I was like, “woah…” and Ben was like, “woah..” (okay…let me stop. ha!)
I totally credit my Angels for making that happen! Go, team, go!
So, I went up to labor & delivery and they gave me some super strong meds to get my blood pressure down.
But it happened a little too fast and all of a sudden I was throwing up & passing out.
But I pushed through, and we got to the fun part–active labor!
I started to violently shake (like I always do when I am in labor!) The nurses told me it’s called, “labor shakes.” All the shaking made me feel completely out of control. My pain was intensified because I felt like I had no control over my body.
I decided to put my spiritual work to the test. Was my mind really more powerful than my body? Was my mind really more powerful than my circumstance? I was willing to find out.
I put a laser focus on theses affirmations, “I am calm. I am still.” and I began to shake less.
“Holy moly…it’s WORKING!” I thought.
Then, I started talking to my body. I very sternly I told my body, “Stop shaking, NOW! Stop. Stop. Stop.”
Guess what? My body listened.
I completely stopped shaking.
I was so excited!! I would have jumped up & down and done a little dance–but I was sort of in labor so instead, I was celebrating in my head! Woohoo!
I proved how powerful my mind was, and then I made the decision to create a pain-free experience for myself.
I began to imagine that I was floating above my body, and as I was looking down, I was merely a spectator. I imagined that I was not the one experiencing the pain.
The pain eased up a bit.
Then all of a sudden things got incredibly intense, as my baby’s entrance into the world was coming closer.
And my visualization stopped working. I wasn’t able to focus.
“It’s okay”, I thought. “I’ll just play a game. Yea, a game will work.”
I thought of a random object, “oranges.”
Then another, “curtains.”
Then another, “penguins.”
I forced myself to choose a new object each time.
Not as easy as you might think when you are in incredible pain…
But it worked! My pain was intense but my little game made me feel like I was floating above it all.
Minutes later, with a quiet room and the lights dimmed, my midwife sitting on the edge of the bed, and two very quick pushes–my precious Kate was born in the most gentle and loving way.
When I held her tiny, absolutely precious body–I literally couldn’t say anything other than, “Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God.”
I must have said it for 10 minutes straight. I was just in complete awe of this wonderful experience and my newest miracle.
About 6 hours after she was born, the hospital informed me that Tropical Storm Matthew had upgraded to Hurricane Matthew while I was in labor and that the hospital was going to be on lock down.
That meant that anyone who was “not necessary” had to leave the building.
That meant that my husband had to leave with our two older daughters.
That meant that my older two daughters would go through their first hurricane without their Mommy there to hold them and tell them it would be okay.
That meant that Kate would not have any visitors and no one to celebrate her birth.
That meant I would be painfully alone to worry and wonder what was happening with my precious family.
6 hours after my baby was born, I was still on all sorts of medications for my blood pressure, that made me very weak, and I was a complete mess.
I couldn’t stop crying.
And I don’t mean normal crying…
I mean, I was sobbing. My chest was heaving. I began to hyperventilate. My nurses were working overtime with me…bless their hearts! (I am forever grateful to them all.)
I was heartbroken.
It was such a beautiful birth. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
So, my family left. What other choice did we have? I prayed with them & for them to be safe through the storm, I hugged & kissed them…and they walked out the door.
About an hour after they left I realized that…..I couldn’t see!
WHAT IS HAPPENING??!
My nurse rushed in.
My doctor rushed in.
My insanely high blood pressure was causing the blood vessels on the back of my eyes to compress and was causing me to lose my vision.
Oh. My. God.
I was so scared.
Thankfully, after a while, I began to see again. But everything was extremely blurry.
My beautiful baby had six heads when I looked at her. I was very disoriented.
The baby’s nurse came in and very kindly explained to me that they were going to take Kate to the nursery until my vision returned to normal because I was not able to care for her when I literally couldn’t see straight.
This was non-negotiable. They wouldn’t listen to my reasoning.
I was truly all alone.
And even as I type this now, I am filled with great emotion…
Because I have never known what it felt like to be heartbroken…and now I do.
At my core, I am an optimistic person and I knew that I needed something to lift my spirits and shift me into a higher vibration.
In this moment, the only people who could offer me comfort were my friends and family on Facebook.
I couldn’t see the keyboard much, but I decided to try to make a post about what was happening. (My typing skills were really put to the test this day.)
I shared that my family had to leave Kate and me at the hospital.
I shared that I was utterly devastated.
I didn’t, however, tell anyone that my sight was compromised or that they had also taken Kate from me. It felt too big to share for me in that moment.
Many of my sweet friends and family wrote very kind & loving comments to me (my nurse read them to me!)
Most of them, made me see a little light in my situation–where I could not see it myself.
I was in a dark hole, and I needed someone to reach down their hand and offer to pull me up.
But then…oh, then….I got a message.
It read something along the lines of, “Wow, Shaunna. I am shocked to see the post you made–it is so negative! I enjoy seeing your positive posts and you really need to look for the silver lining here. You are blowing this situation out of proportion. This is not who you are.”
Umm….who I am?
Who I am is a human being. You know, an actual human being with a vast array of different emotions.
Who I am is a mother who only 6 hours ago had a beautiful baby, got her family ripped away, was worried sick about them driving an hour away during a freakin’ HURRICANE! Then went blind, and had her baby taken away from her, too.
That’s who I am.
This person made me feel guilty–I am supposed to be the one who lifts others up, I shouldn’t need this support.
This person made me feel silly–I am making too big a deal of my situation.
This person made me feel unworthy of the love and support that I was desperately seeking.
Instead of responding, I just cried.
My nurse wiped my tears, hugged me, and listened to my incomprehensible words. She is an angel, for sure.
16 weeks later, this message is still weighing heavily on my mind and here is what I can finally say to it:
“Yes, I am an optimistic person. Yes, I try my absolute best to see the good in my life. Yes, I go to bed every night and think of all the reasons I am grateful for my life. Yes, I say affirmations and I believe in Angels. Yes, yes to all of it.
But, there was no good in this situation for me.
This situation was awful and one of the worst moments of my life.
I am a human being. I have feelings–and it might be a surprise to you, but many of them are NOT positive–and that does not make me wrong.
Also, you might not know this about me but at night when I am thanking God for all the wonderful things in my life–I also include the bad things. Why you ask?
Well, because these tough moments in my life teach me the greatest lessons.
They teach me about deep love, trust, forgiveness, compassion…and most of these things cannot be learned through positive experiences. I came to this planet to experience life– and honestly, without the bad experiences, I could never know how good things could be.
In order for there to be light, there must be darkness.
This was my darkness, and I will not allow you to judge me for it.
I own it. I am proud of it.
My feelings were my own–they may not seem valid to you, but you were not the one living it.
The lesson was not meant for you–and that’s okay.
I forgive you for saying these hurtful things to me…and also, I thank you.
I will thank you because you have also created a lesson for me.
You have made me see that while I might be a certain picture to many people–doesn’t mean I have to live up that.
I am who I am.
You have reminded me why it is extremely important to be authentic and vulnerable.
I am a natural born teacher, and it is my passion to help others to learn how to reach down into the deepest parts of themselves and clear out things that are blocking their good from entering into their lives. I am passionate about helping people to realize that they have a brilliant light that shines from within & empowering them to share their light with the world!
As a spiritual teacher, am I allowed to feel depressed? Am I allowed to be sad? Am I allowed to have a horrible experience?
I need these experiences so I can share, be authentic, vulnerable, and help others on their own path.
Making the choice to be a positive person doesn’t mean that you will never have bad experiences. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to feel the feelings you have.
FEEL your feelings & honor them. There is always a lesson there for you.
I am real. I have vowed to live an authentic life, and I am thankful for all the experiences that I am blessed with.
Because of my experiences (good & bad), I am better able to help others & allow my light to shine.