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Hello friends! As you may have noticed (or maybe not ha) I've been a little MIA for the past few months.
There have been many reasons why I've strayed from social media but the biggest reason is that we are
expecting baby #2 and already 16 weeks along!  I'm sure most of you have already guessed this though :)
I also just truly needed to take time away from social media to focus on my family. They are the most important
parts of me and I owe them my time and love and my blog and Instagram were getting in the way of that.

And to be honest this pregnancy has been miserable both mentally and physically. When I found out we were
pregnant I was extremely excited. I called my 4 closest friends that moment the test read positive to share
the news and couldn't wait to tell Josh! I ended up telling him at a work party with a balloon art stork and baby.
I also started thinking about all the ways I could announce the pregnancy on social media and was so excited to
share it with all of my friends here!

Around 5/6 weeks into the pregnancy I started getting morning sickness pretty badly. Josh and I had a trip to
Disneyland already planned and so we went. We didn't want to be out of hundreds of dollars just because
I was a little nauseous haha. It was a ton of fun but obviously being that early into my pregnancy with the
morning sickness was not ideal. And I'll never forget that moment I threw up in front of hundreds of people,
had the Disneyland nurse come help me and watched as the crew quickly cleaned up the throw up
out of their perfectly manicured flowerbeds. Never again.

When we got back, the morning sickness definitely got worse and worse with each passing day. Not only
was I extremely nauseous, I also starting feeling extremely anxious (more than I normally am), depressed
and completely unmotivated. This all sounds pretty normal for being so early in pregnancy, with the surging
hormones and such. But something was off. This was different.

In June Copeland and I were rear ended while stopped at a red light. There wasn't too much damage done to
my car but the damage in my neck was pretty severe and I started seeing a physical therapist for about a
month before Josh, Copeland and I were rear ended for a second time. This time we were stopped on the
freeway off ramp and rear ended by a truck going about 50 mph. The hit of the crash sounded as if a bomb
went off in our car. I wasn't sure what had happened and instantly started crying when I realized how badly
my neck was hurting and after checking on and seeing Copeland screaming in the back seat. After the accident
we were all pretty bad off and started seeing a chiropractor which has helped so much! A little less than a
month after that accident we were stopped at a stop sign waiting for some people to cross an intersection
and we were hit into AGAIN. Three car accidents within a couple months of each other.

I soon started feeling extremely nervous while driving and would notice my heartbeat would get so intense
and I'd just start crying. I would constantly be checking my rear view mirror and I wouldn't drive on the freeway
at all anymore. I hardly left the house in fear of getting into my car and being hit. It got so bad to the point of
just being in my car would have me start envisioning these horrible crashes that would end with
Copeland being sent to the hospital and I being crushed by a car.

I finally started talking to Josh and my mom about how I was feeling and my mom suggested I see my doctor
for my anxiety. The day I went to my doctor was the day I took a pregnancy test at home. The doctor confirmed
my pregnancy at 3.5 weeks before diagnosing me with PTSD. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Call me
uneducated but I honestly thought PTSD was something that was only for those who have been through
severe trauma. Like the soliders who had seen horrific things overseas. How is being in a few accidents that severe?

The doctor explained that certain things affect people differently. What might have an effect on me didn't
on my husband. And what might effect my husband might not effect me at all. He told me that being in those
accidents so close together brought out and triggered some intense emotional feelings in my subconscious.
He recommended a couple different prescriptions and to talk with a therapist about it.

And well, call me dumb, but I ended up declining the prescriptions and never found a therapist. I've always been
an extremely optimistic person and so I thought it would just go away. After getting back from California
I thought I was fine, mentally. We had the best time and I thought that was all I needed, time away to heal.
It wasn't long until I started feeling extremely anxious again. I thought it was just the pregnancy. Once I
started noticing myself not wanting to get out of bed morning after morning, even on the days where I felt good,
I knew something was off. When I would get out of bed, I would just move myself to the couch (after making
Copeland breakfast, of course). I wouldn't say I was a complete failure as a mother.

I soon started hating looking in the mirror. I hated what I saw. When Josh would get home I would just go
the bed, I didn't want to be around him and things I once loved I now dreaded. Going to the movies, to dinner,
going out for long drives after getting slurpees or hot chocolate. Nothing was as good as staying in my dark room.
I was completely unmotivated and just didn't want to be pregnant anymore. I once was so excited to announce my
pregnancy and now I felt like I wanted to hide it from everyone. I would pray every night for the strength to
find happiness but when the morning came I dreaded it. I dreaded getting through the day trying to act normal.
Family and friends started noticing I wasn't myself. I rarely smiled, laughs were forced and I shut out anyone
who tried to contact me. I just wanted to be alone.

I started feeling completely unattached in this pregnancy, to this baby. I would pray about that as well every night.
When I did pray I noticed it helping me become a bit more connected towards this life in my tummy but it
wasn't like it was with Copeland. With Copeland I was over the moon. I was also working full time and
way more sick than I am this time but none of that mattered to me. I got through it with a smile on my face.
I was so extremely happy that I was carrying a little life that nothing seemed to get me, even throwing
up multiple times a day. And now here I am, of course I'm nauseous but rarely throwing up and this time
around the nausea is controlled by what and when I eat. I'm not working now although having a toddler
is pretty much the same as working ha. But I just felt... sad. All the time. From morning til night. Never
any let up. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I felt so incredibly alone, even though my husband tried everything
to help me. And maybe this sounds like normal pregnancy symptoms, for me it was different. I didn't go through
this with Copeland and so I felt like something was wrong. I felt extremely alone although I was the one intentionally isolating myself.

When I went in for my 12 week appointment I brought up how I'd been feeling and felt so guilty when I
had to tell him I never saw a therapist after the anxiety appointment I had made. My doctor is such a wonderful
man though. He gave me some truly great advice for how I was feeling and knew how I felt about prescriptions
so he suggested I start keeping a journal. He told me he knew how strong I was, how optimistic I use to be
and he told me he knew I could pull myself out of this but it would take a lot of work and mental strength.
I can't tell you how much that little thing he said meant to me. To have someone believe in you when you don't
even believe in yourself is something I really needed to hear. He also performed an ultrasound and we got
to see our little one. Already being so emotional after talking with him for 35 minutes about how I'd been feeling
and then seeing this little being move about was so emotional for me. I think the doctor knew it was what I
needed to get my mind into thinking more positively, along with the many other positive and spiritual things he
said which I so desperately needed to hear in that moment.

I did started keeping a journal. I would write down how I felt morning and night. He told me on the days I felt
good I needed to force myself to get out of bed, get ready and get out of the house, go for a walk with Copeland
or just go sit in the backyard with him, no matter how awful that sounded to me at that moment. He said fresh
air and vitamin D were the major things to really help lift up this sadness that was weighing me down.
It did help, the fresh air, but it was getting out of the house that was the hard part.The state of mind I was in
made it so hard for me to get a grip and get myself to do the things I knew would help.

Now about a month later I truly feel so much better. I had many days where I struggled and I do still sometimes
get into those dark mind days. Josh and I have been going for nightly walks which has helped so much.
On the days I don't want to do anything but lay in a dark room by myself I push myself to do it for Copeland.
He needs me. Every ounce of energy I have is spent on my little guy. And when I see his smiling little
face saying "mommy you wake up now?" I can't help but cry and feel so loved and wanted. For the longest
time It took everything in me to be there for him but it's something I needed to do. He is more important that myself.
Also, something that has brought me so much joy in this pregnancy was finding out baby's gender.
When the nurse told us the news I felt so much peace and love and instantly felt the connection I had been dying for.

Whew! That was a lot of information. And I now sound like the worlds worst mother, huh? But I felt like it
all needed to be put out there so you can sort of understand where I've been and why it has taken some
time to get back to blogging and social media. I have really missed blogging. It was such a huge help for me
as is journaling. I definitely needed to step back however and focus on myself and my family. It was the
best decision I have made but now I am so very excited to get back to it. As far as Instagram goes, at the moment
I don't think I'll be posting as often as I was (everyday was a bit too much for me) But I definitely want to
document this pregnancy through pictures and Chatbooks on Instagram. So I will try to start doing that more
and more.

Thank you guys for reading!! I appreciate it so much :)

Has anyone else felt this way during pregnancy or from any other traumatic experience?
I've found myself feeling so alone in this because I feel like people will think I'm crazy.
It's hard to open up and let yourself be this vulnerable so I would love to talk to you about it and how you've dealt with
these problems.

31 comments :

Kaisa said...

Reading this made me tear up. You don't have to be in a war zone to experience trauma. Your pain was real. I'm really glad you are back to blogging and know that everyone supports you xoxo... and I want that dress :)

Kelly Linn Feller said...

Yeah!! Congratulations!! So happy for you and your family :) XO, Kelly

Brette Nelson said...

Oh I love all of it! So happy your feeling better :)

Jennifer Danielle said...

Natalie,

I am so happy to see that you are back to blogging. I had wondered what happened to you! So happy to hear that you're doing so well!

Now I've never been pregnant-but I do suffer from severe anxiety & depression. I'm on medications, but they don't always help. I need to go see a therapist, like my doctor recommends, but just haven't gotten around to it.

The way you describe yourself sounds oh-so familiar. I heard journaling helps as well...but I haven't done it because I don't really see how it could be helpful. But you say it works for you..?

Looking forward to your upcoming posts! Congratulations on the new baby!

Jennifer

Elizabeth Chiaramonte said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy!! You certainly don't sound like "the world's worst mother"! It's really brave to be honest about how you feel and what you're going through. Welcome back :)

Cori Walker said...

Natalie!

I am so glad to hear you are feeling better! I love your blog and I think it's awesome that you took some time away from social media to focus on what truly matters most to you. Congratulations on baby #2, so exciting!

Mama K said...

Glad to see you back to blogging!
After reading this I feel like our stories could almost be the same (minus car accidents). I'm 16 weeks along as well and have an almost 3 yr old boy. Feeling very disconnected from this baby and just starting to be able to get through the depression/anxiety. Hang in there lady.

angie a said...

Ohhhhh mama! I am so sorry to hear hear what you have been going through, but also very grateful that you shared such personal details. I am sure that by doing so, you have reached out to others and may have helped someone else going through the same thing.. letting them know they are not alone. I have had my share of emotional ups and downs after my second baby was born, and the best solution for me was essential oils.. they truly helped to balance my mood, emotions and overall health! I would love to share some tips and tricks if you are interested. Congratulations on baby #2 and I can't wait to find out if you're having a boy or girl :)

Brett said...

So glad to see you back in the blogging community. I had wondered what happened to you. I'm so sorry to hear about the pain and trials you have been through the past few months but I'm thrilled to hear you are expecting baby #2 what a great blessing for you and your family! Excited to hear the gender of that sweet babe!

Stephanie Hensel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie Hensel said...

Natalie,

I am so happy that you are back, I have really missed seeing your posts! But, I totally understand you needing to take a break and take time for yourself and your family. What a horrible turn of events with the accidents and PTSD. You are such a strong woman and WONDERFUL mother. I know I have never met you but you just seem like you are the sweetest with Copeland.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope that the nausea calms down and you feel better and better. You are one of my favorite bloggers to follow and I hope that you know that we are all here to support you and want you to be happy.

Take care and welcome back :)

The Snows said...

Welcome back Natalie! I have been away from Instagram too. I now slowly came back. Congratulations on Baby #2! I am sorry you are so nauseous like last pregnancy!
I love how you shared your story! I wish I was brave enough to share mine. Going to a therapist has been to wonderful. I started going a month ago. It was scary but so helpful. Being a new mother has brought a lot of anxiety/sadness at the beginning. Everyday is a new day :)
Sending love your way!

Summer Ann said...

Praying for you girl! And I am so happy you are back. I love following your little family via social media and am so happy for your second little angel. Congrats!

XOXO,
Summer

Monica said...

I had no idea you were sick at Disneyland. I threw up in the temple once if that helps you feel any better about throwing up at Disneyland haha you are a great Mom and wife and are very brave to share your personal struggles. I hope you are able to find all the happiness you deserve. :) I think it's great you have turned to prayer for extra help. Others are praying for you too.

Jill Marie said...

First off, congratulations! I can relate as I was diagnosed with PTSD when my daughter was born at 31 weeks. The PTSD didn't really hit until a week after having her home and then rushing her to the ER. Just the site of the scale had me screaming and crying. Talking to people definitely helped as well as keeping a journal. I still struggle with certain things that trigger it, but it does get better. I'm here if you need someone to listen. Best wishes to your family!

Wife of a Wounded Soldier said...

My husband has PTSD from being injured in war and I have secondary PTSD from taking care of him and seeing others that were injured. Therapy, meds and time is what helps. Hang in there. It's a hard thing to go through. You have to take care of yourself though.

Diary of a Fit Mommy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Nat. I am 13 and a half weeks along with baby #2 and have not felt much of a connection yet-similar to you. The pregnancy has brought back my anxiety and depression so I decided to go the medication route by using Zoloft and things are so much better. I am glad you did what was best for you and your family! Glad to have you back!! :)

Sia

Diary of a Fit Mommy said...

Oh! I cannot wait to hear the gender! Will you be doing a cute reveal? :)

Alison Peterson said...

I am so sorry to hear that you too ave gone thru this struggle. I was in a car accident too with my very young son and developed PTSD. I too refused therapy and medication until I was basically non functional, I couldn't leave my house or care for my so. It's been a year since that dark time and with therapy and the love of my family and friends I am honestly doing better emotionally than I have ever done in my whole life. I never thought I would get here when I was at my worst it seemed impossible but I am here to tell you you can and will get thru this and come out a better and stronger woman than you were before. I wrote a blog post about my experience and in it have a book listed that my therapist recommended that literally changed y life and saved me. It has changed the way I see and view the world, myself and others. Check it out if you are interested, it is amazing! Sending you lots of love, thank you for sharing your joys and struggles with us!

http://allthingsalij.com/2015/05/a-secret-battle/

Alison Peterson said...

Oh and congrats on your news!!!! That is amazing, so happy and excited for you guys!

Danielle Farmer said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy!! Missed your blog so happy to see you are back. All the best to you and your family.

Bianca Lively said...

Hey girlie, I 'm so glad to see you back and up on your feet. First off, congratulations on your bundle! Looks like you and I are only 3 weeks apart. How exciting. And secondly, its great that you took time for your family, it is always always much needed. Especially for us blogging social media mommas. I've done this plenty of times and always come back with a fresh mind and heart and am ready to rock the blogging community! Thank you for sharing this story, you're an amazing AMAZING mommy. From the looks of it on your blog and how you talk about your family. So don't sell yourself short. :) Welcome back girl! Cant wait to see more of you. You're such an inspiration to many of us, and have motivated me in so many ways to blog and blog about being a momma and wIfe, so thank YOU! AND WELCOME BACK AGAIN!! YAY!!! <3 <3
-Bianca

Unknown said...

I had a very traumatic accident about ten years ago and to this day I still suffer from severe anxiety. I can't be in a car without my heart racing or bursting into tears at any site that there MIGHT be something to cause a wreck. And it's gotten worse since I've become a mother. It is such an awful feeling to have no control over, I feel so much for you and am so happy that writing a journal is helping you as well as getting out and enjoying the world. I have found acupuncture has helped with some of my anxiety, I pray that you find more peace within yourself and love that you had to guts to post about this. I usually feel so alone, so thank you. Congratulations on your new little!

amy j. photography said...

hey, firstly, my heart goes out to you, what you are going through is extremely tough. i just wanted to let you know that when i was pregnant with my 1st, the excitement didn't last for long. by week 4 i was extremely sick, nauseated all day, no let up ever. i wasn't prepared for this as i guess i just thought morning sickness was an on and off thing. but the worst of my pregnancy was what happened to me mentally. i became a totally different person. i was very depressed, i felt grief every day and i had no idea why. as soon as i would wake up i'd feel the same sinking feeling, and if my husband was already out of bed and in the office, i'd practically sprint to go to him because i hated being alone. well that was a catch 22, i didn't want to be without my husband, everyone else i could do without at the moment. i had horrible racing thoughts that scared me, i'd have panic attacks in the shower, something with the heat, i don't really know, but obviously cold showers are a drag so i was trapped in there. i'd go to the grocery store and was so paranoid, i would see a guy and think maybe he was going to shoot up the place (too many Dateline specials), i'd see old people and think "how depressing, so close to death" - these were my thoughts!! i was just horrible. i cried every single day. not the cute little pregnancy crying from hormones. the big fat ugly crying that would rise up from the pit of my stomach, and just make me ache. i had no idea what was wrong with me. no one did. i would look at photos from a few months prior and bawl, as though it was a life i'd never see again. i was basically felt like the most miserable person in all the land. i was so afraid i would never feel the same. prior to my pregnancy i was so happy, i am just a happy person, a bright side person and quite frankly, i'm hilarious. anyway, i could go on and on, but the bottom line is, i had my son and very soon after, i was myself again. my husband always told me i would return to normal, but i had an extremely hard time believing him. but i did recover! i know it sounds so cliche, but it does make you so much stronger and the best thing that came of it, is now i can really relate to someone depressed. i used to think depression was mostly self imposed but now i know that there is chemical imbalance depression that is life altering. Sending a prayer and hug your way! You will get back to yourself again and be better than ever! - Amy

Unknown said...

I just had my second son 6 months ago. I had the same exact symptoms of anxiety as you. I would cry all day long, about everything from losing my firstborn son in an imagined scenario to there aren't enough hours in the day to raise two children and have a part-time job. I would call my husband at work and just sob because I needed someone to talk to. I would do the same exact thing- wake up, make breakfast, and sit on the couch and watch my son play while I didn't have the energy to participate because I was exhausted from stress and growing our little Marcus. I have to say though, it lifted completely in the third trimester and I finally got out of the fog. I have tougher days now and then but it's nothing like the first half of the pregnancy. Thank you for sharing, it is nice to know I wasn't the only one going through this. Congrats on your new little one, watching siblings love each other is the most incredible thing you will witness!

Jon & Katie said...

YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM. Do not EVER feel like a bad mom because you are experiencing depression and anxiety (which is out of your control!). You are a great mom. Congratulations on your pregnancy!! :) Getting outside definitely helps, and since it's getting too cold for walks outside, try taking copeland to the mall and going for walks there. It at least gets you out of the house and moving. I'm so happy you're back, I was worried when you hadn't posted in a long time. Good luck!

Mira Ryabyy said...

Congratulations darling!! I loved following your blog, but a little while ago I went thru a similar situation. We got pregnant with baby #2 and even thou it was planned I felt so depressed and had extreme nausea and didn't want to be on social media. I even unfollowed all the "perfect" blogger mommies (even you) because I felt like everyone's lives were so perfect l, but mine was so depressing. All I did for about a month was spend everyday on the couch because as soon as I got up I would throw up. I'm glad you're getting past this thou:) and I'm sorry to hear about the accidents. It must be hard to go thru such thing, but you got this:)) may God bless you and your family:)) and you're not alone about the pregnancy thing!!

Annie said...

Oh mama,

my heart hurts for you. PTSD is such a dark thing to walk through and I cannot imagine doing it with a little one inside. I wasn't pregnant or in an accident, but almost 3 years ago we had a series of car accidents occur outside of our house on a dark bend (about once a month for 4 months). The last one was the worst,I was first on the scene to help the later passed passengers. With them all occurring outside of my room I'm familiar with the awful crash sound you speak of. It haunts you for a lifetime. Without realizing it I was stuck in the same dark place you found yourself, also resistant to drugs or seeing someone about it. Now looking back, everything is okay. But it does take time. You are not a bad momma in any way. Lift your chin high and your prayers higher. Best of luck with your pregnancy! I had Hyperemesis gravidarum with my first and being sick all the time is not easy! You can do this.

xoxo

Whitney Nelson said...

I can tell you I have never felt these things that you have and still in no way think you are crazy! It's amazing what life can throw at you and you just never know how you or your body will react. Never look back and wonder if you should have made this post, I hope it was healing for you! Reading your blog made me so excited to have my son, as most positive people and life happenings do! Take care of you and keep stepping forward with confidence in your decisions, take care! Xo

Courtney B said...

Oh my goodness, that is so, so, SO HARD!! I went through a short period of depression (no anxiety, I can only imagine how much harder that has been for you!) but it as before kids and I didn't have to get out of bed or off the couch until the hour before Eric got home (when I showered, cleaned house and cooked dinner so he didn't know I had just been doing NOTHING all day.) you may feel like a bad mom but you are NOT a bad mom! That's just the negative feelings talking. You are amazing and your family is so lucky to have you!
What an awesome, awesome Doctor!! I'm so glad he's been the help you've needed! You truly are so strong and I'm so glad that every day is better and better! Praying for you, girl!! xoxo

Abby Friesen said...

First off congratulations! Secondly, thank you for writing this. I am very early into my 3rd pregnancy and feel kind of like you, exhausted, tired of being pregnant (even though I'm over the moon) and just can't get myself off the bed/couch. This was super encouraging for me and I wish you the best of luck as you carry this little one!