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2018- Keeping It Real (Part 1)

December 31st, 2018
Posted in #LIFEINHD

It’s 2:48 am. I was planning to type this blog post up tomorrow, but the persistent cough of my kids is keeping me up & one 7 year old working to overcome some night fears just earned me a spot at the foot of his bunk bed, with my feet hanging off… enjoying being surrounded by stuffed animals, an amazing diffuser blend, night lights galore and feet of two kiddos in my face. Ah yes, the joys of motherhood. Don’t worry, the mother-HOOD will be a focus in this post.

But to begin. This post is keeping it real, 2018 was rough!!! Let’s back track to this time last year. We celebrated Christmas by having the D-Line & their families over. It was our first time hosting teammates in our new space and we had so much fun. Of course my husband told me last minute he wanted to have his teammates come over which meant I had a day to shop and cook a feast- a legit feast to feed all the big guys that took up every ounce of sitting space in our home. Imagine Thanksgiving x2- that’s basically what it was.

We had an amazing time… maybe a little too much fun. At least that’s what I thought when I was sick the next day. Boy was I wrong! Turns out, Baby #4 SURPRISE, was turning up the nausea for me to let me know she (“it at the time,”) was on the way. I remember throwing up which is alway an indicator for me that a little blessing is on the way. It’s literally the only time I ever experience nausea, and not just being a little queasy, but full on survival mode morning sickness.

Anyways, I had a lot of mixed emotions. I really wasn’t that excited if I’m keeping it all the way real. And not because of the baby… It actually had nothing to do with the baby at all, and everything to do with myself. I had just finished my vision board… writing out and planning all of my goals, dreams, and magic to make for 2018. I was still trying to lose the weight from my last pregnancy. I’m getting older and my body definitely doesn’t work the same, but lo and behold, I was pregnant… again, LOL.

I knew it would take me awhile to wrap my mind around the notion of adding another little one to the chaos we were already living, but that’s life. I ended up telling Mike, and the kiddos on New Year’s. As we gathered around the table to celebrate with sparkling cider & snacks after praying the new year in, while making a toast, I pulled out a small sheet cake that read “Baby #4,” on it. Once everyone realized what it said- there was lots of cheering, and pure shock as well. My inlaws were over and my mother in love kept saying “oh my goodness, you serious girl? Whatttt chilleeeeeee,” Lol and jokingly told me it was time for us to get a nanny and she would oversee her. Of course I recorded everyone’s reactions and love to go back and watch that special moment.

A year later thinking back on it, it still makes me smile. My daughter just turned 4 months and life is good. However, the months in between then and now- let’s just say, at times I thought 2018 would break me.

I consider myself a strong individual. I’ve always been a person friends and family come to with their problems, for advice and to pray. I attribute that to always being able to turn them to Christ and gently encourage them to always keep things in perspective. Naturally, I’m an encourager, cheerleader and lover of others, so I love opportunities where I get to do that and sprinkle some Jesus up in the mix too.

Crazy I can do that for others but yet struggled to do that for myself this past year.

I do believe that mental health needs more awareness. There are people out here with internal battles and struggles that refuse to get help because society frowns down on it. Or, because they are embarrassed. We have to be more supportive and less judgmental. With that being said, I do believe identifying what exactly you’re dealing with is important. Not everything requires medication. I do believe healing can come from getting back to the basics:

  • Getting your happy back
  • Removing anything or anyone that doesn’t bring you peace
  • Prayer Life
  • Writing
  • Taking time to be alone/ Rest
  • Positive affirmations
  • Being around people who love and support you

Those are just to name a few, but I really believe the major key is turning to GOD- reading His word and speaking His truths over your life.

Honestly, that is what helped me through some really low points for me.

Over the summer, after dealing with an extended amount of hurt and trauma, I had a major anxiety attack. I’ve never had that happen to me, but it happened. And it was scary. I was inconsolable, hyperventilating, and wailing. I could feel my soul crying. This lasted for hours and in those moments, it was as if all the pain I’ve been carrying flowed out of me like a hurricane. At one point I was sitting in the shower with my mom on speaker phone just praying for me and encouraging me. I love her for that. I needed GOD to show up in a great way- and He did through her.

What got me to that place was a series of things. What I realized when I came out of it, I needed to really heal from some things and remind myself of who and whose I am. I had begun to internalize things about myself that weren’t true. I had allowed the enemy to strip my confidence, and I dare say self love.

It’s like, I knew the things that triggered me weren’t true, but…. I was unable to push past those words that day. I was just too weak. Life has dealt me some ugly cards ( you wouldn’t believe me if I told you the half of it), and the wall I had been building up crumbled.

I had to rebuild. I needed to be good for myself, my husband and my kiddos. I continued to work with my life coach, and being a little transparent, counseling is major key just in case you’re wondering. Sometimes you just need to be able to be heard and have help processing… putting pieces together, or removing ones that are detrimental.

Pregnancy for me is extremely tough. Severe nausea, pelvic symphysis dysfunction, extreme fatigue, swelling and other factors make it hard to perform daily activities of living at times. Factor in being a mom of 3 Little’s at the time- some moments I felt like I was sinking.

Going back that vision board I made last year; the things I had planned basically did not happen. I wasn’t even in the condition to do most of those things because I’m basically out of commission while growing humans haha.

http://www.heavendaniels.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/img_8678.movhttp://www.heavendaniels.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/img_8676.mov

I made it through though. GOD held ya girl up. He helped me through the hardest delivery I’ve had to date. The day I went in, my water broke in the morning but just a trickle. I actually wasn’t even sure that my water had broke so I decided to call my doctor and they had me come in. Sure enough, it had and they decided to keep me. They ended up inducing my labor since I hadn’t gone into labor on my own. I’m usually extremely composed during this process… Very calm, breathing through the pain, spirits high etc. This go-round, the contractions were so intense and taking me out. I decided to get an epidural. As soon as I did, baby decided she wanted out. The meds didn’t have time to kick in and I went from 5-10 cm in like 10 min. The doctor had to do a lot of manipulating to get baby out because of her positioning and the position of the placenta. I’ve never experienced pain like that in my life. At one point they were all telling me to push and I was screaming “I can’t, I can’t.” That’s also a first. Again, I’ve always been calm, quiet and push baby out (still painful), pretty composed. This experience was out of this world for me; And can you believe she was my smallest baby causing me all that pain?? Yeah, me either.

Fast forward a week or so- painful post partum hemorrhaging. That was fun- NOT!

Are you getting the gist here??? This pregnancy was hard: physically, mentally, emotionally. And, that took up more than half of my year.

Post baby- I can say this is the first time I’ve ever really dealt with PPD. So many things play a role in this:

  • This is the heaviest I’ve been. I am not where I want to be at all with my health, overall body look and how I feel.
    Fatigue. I cannot remember the last time I’ve had solid sleep, or unbroken sleep.
    Friendships- they’re lacking. I really haven’t had time to connect with my girls like that, and so many people promised to come by… see baby, find their way into this crazy schedule of mine but didn’t. I get it though- life happens. And some of my girlfriends are in the same boat- #momlife
  • Feeling unaccomplished. Silly right? I just birthed another human and thinking about all the stuff I didn’t do. It’s ridiculous, but keeping it real- I’ve felt that way some days.
  • Rigorous Schedule. Me time, what is that? Date night- where you at? Husband- oh, he has a rigorous schedule too because… football, stability. Balance? Yeah ummmmm I’m still working on that one.

I could add more to this list but I’m sharing these things not to get comfortable with them being the norm, but to change the narrative and hopefully inspire someone to do the same.

What I’m saying is life happens. And not always how we want or expect it to, but it does and despite the lows, the highs are pretty darn good. I’m working on healing completely because taking toxicity into the new year will just lead to more toxicity. Ain’t nobody got time fa dat!

When I truly look at the big picture, the tough moments of 2018 have helped me grow, and I know I’m more prepared for 2019.

Every year I pray for a word, that will be my focus of the year. Last year it was discipline. I’m keeping that one and adding margin. Now that’s a dynamic duo! Being disciplined will help me reach some goals and having margin will help me keep things in perspective and not get consumed with anything that doesn’t need to be a priority. I don’t want goals to become idols and my faith and family always come first.

If you’ve followed along our football journey, you probably know he had a season ending injury. Remember when I said 2018 was rough? This was a part of that as well. • Inserting Instagram caption to a pic I didn’t end up posting:

But, year 7 is officially in the books. ✨ This NFL year was definitely challenging on and off the field. We were stretched thin dealing with a tough pregnancy (that means an increased work load for both of us), keeping our other kiddos afloat, balancing a crazy schedule; a demanding profession (also such a blessing) requires lots of sacrifices. Many sleepless nights, and a full on juggling act has become the norm for this momma poppa duo, but by the grace of GOD- We made it. // His season ending injury brought about a lot of emotions, however it was also a blessing. I say that because when you’re down to nothing- it’s a reminder that GOD is up to something & when you’re in over your head, you can look up and remember who’s in control. Our faith was made stronger, it meant more family time and a reminder to truly keep things in perspective. It’s important to have alignment, to have your priorities in order and enjoy the moments. Life is a gift filled with so many blessings that I refuse to take for granted.

” I do not own the rights to this picture.”

Side note, it’s 4:06 am. I just came back to my room ( still surrounded by coughing children because when one gets sick, they all do), because my sweet baby let me know she’s ready to nurse. My life is not my own right now, but it’s a blessing to be living and experiencing all things GOD has for me to experience.

I’m not sure if this post accomplished what I planned for it to accomplish- but I want to urge anyone who has stuck around long enough to read this far that no matter what happens, we are all blessed. It’s ok to get/ask for help. Love fiercely- people need that, trust me. Be a good person. Don’t compare yourself or life to anyone else’s- you are already living your best life because you’re living yours. If you have a low moment, don’t stay there. Check on your friends and keep your word. Mom friends- I see you and I’m cheering for you- you got this! NFL family, we have to take the good with the bad- but just know I understand your struggles/sacrifices. It’s all a blessing though- enjoy the experience(s). If people wanted to, they would. Get out of your own head. Just a reminder, you are a King/Queen. If nobody else told ya, “I love you!

I am committed to loving myself all 2019. ✌🏾❤️

Xoxo,

Heaven

P.S. Part 2 will be completely lighthearted. ❤️

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