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The faithful fighter. [Vanity’s Story]

 

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I was seventeen. This was my senior year of high school. While everyone else was planning on enjoying their last year of school, I was about to spend mine in pain that would have me bed written for months. The pain was unbearable.  I remember waking up getting ready for school in pain. I couldn’t bend down to tie my shoes. I was in the worst pain of my life. I remember thinking what is wrong with me??  I had no answers. It felt like my [once normal] body was turning on me.

The weight of trying to explain to my friends what was wrong with me was really hard, so I kept it to myself. After going to countless of doctors, being (mis)diagnosed with “Bad periods,” my mom knew it had to be deeper than that. She found a nurse practitioner who, after seeing me, thought I may have Endometriosis but wasn’t sure due to my age. {endometriosis was originally thought to only touch women 30 and older.} The nurse practitioner referred me to an OBGYN, who specialized in Endometriosis.  The OBGYN did a laparoscopy and after the procedure was done he told my mom and I that he was diagnosing me with Endometriosis.

But not only that, stage four endometriosis. He informed me I would never be able to have children.

My heart sank to the floor and my mother was shocked. I begin to cry. I knew I wanted children! Not at that age, but I knew I did wanted them. I had always had a love for kids.

Here I was, seventeen and I felt like my life as a woman was over before it could get started. My OBGYN suggested birth control as a method to keep me from bleeding so much, but that did nothing for the pain I felt everyday. I took pain meds for a short period of time, but eventually I was restricted from school and spent my senior year at home. By the time I returned to school it was time for prom and then graduation. All of these were happy moments in my life, but I couldn’t fully enjoy them because I was still being plagued with pain.

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

After graduation, I found out that I was actually pregnant! But, I was also told that my HCG level was dropping and rising. After testing, I was told everything was ok, but it wasn’t. I miscarried my miracle baby.  I instantly felt depressed, hopeless and self-pity start to set in.  I was told that my body had rejected the baby. I felt like a reject myself. At a time in my life where pregnancy should have been the last thing on my mind, it often time was a constant thought. I was too young to actually be thinking of being a mom, but I felt like I was racing against the clock of endometriosis.

I felt completely inadequate to deal with this. No one understood. No one in my family had been through having Endometriosis and no one could help.  I was being told, “You have time, You’re young, You have your whole life to have kids, and to just pray about it.” These type of comments were not helpful at all. God was the furthest thing from my mind. I was tired of being in pain. Transparently speaking here, I was angry with God. I felt like… God, you have a lot of people around the world who mistreat kids everyday; but someone [like me] that loves them so much, you choose to take mine away. I had a hatred for my body in my head. I know it was the enemy. I was believing his lies. I was so without understanding during this time frame. I was trying to figure it out all by myself.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

 

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Two years passed.  I was pregnant again, this time as a college student. I hid my pregnancy from my family until my first ultrasound. Then, I told them. I was nervous I might miscarry again. I started to have spontaneous bleeding.  This led me to having lots of e.r visit and being monitored by my doctor. At twelve weeks my doctor decided it was best for me to be on strict bedrest. Here I was again, feeling like a reject. In addition to feeling as if I was once again fighting for my body to be “NORMAL!” I just wanted to have a normal calm pregnancy. I was labeled high risk, due to my cervix being dynamic, uterine contractions, spontaneous bleeding and me threating to go in to labor early. I stayed on bedrest my entire pregnancy. I had ultrasounds every week. Then, I was told that daughter had a heart murmur.

I felt like this was my fault. Somehow my abnormal body had done this to my baby. My doctor monitored her heart murmur at every visit as bed rest continued.  The last two months of my pregnancy were spent on hospital bedrest; hooked up to an I.V that contained Magnesium to hopefully prevent preterm labor. This was when I started to resent my body even more. I just wanted to be regular pregnant women. No one told me it would be this hard. I just wanted to carry my child full-term, so she would be healthy. I wanted to know WHY ME GOD? THIS WASN’T FAIR!! 

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!”

 

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Eventually, I was able to go home because my doctor felt I was in a good place. However, he did tell me I would be back soon. Five days later, at thirty-six weeks, I was back in the hospital in labor. After twenty-five hours of labor, I had my daughter Zion. [on October 28, 2011] She was 4 lbs 15oz.

The first year of Zion’s life was awesome. I was a single parent but I was making it. I met my (now) husband and we were starting our life together. Two months into our marriage, we were pregnant.  Zion was coming upon her second birthday, which meant it was time for her annual heart doctor’s appointment. At her appointment, we received the news she would have to have open heart surgery. Her heart murmur was getting bigger and affecting her hearts function to pump blood to her heart. This surgery was major, especially for a two year old. The surgeon would have to break her sternum to correct her heart murmur.  Needless to say, I was a basket case behind this news.

Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

At this point in my life, I had started to have a closer relationship with God. My faith in Him had grown. This was the only one of the many times I would need his help to keep fighting through my battles in faith. Zion was scheduled for surgery, and I had to be a prayer warrior. I cried signing the medical release forms. I was an emotional mess along with fighting contractions that I was beginning to feel.  Thank God that Zion’s surgery was a success!!! During her stay in the hospital, I went home and woke up in a pool of blood. I immediately went to the E.R and the doctors informed me I was threating to have my baby early. I was only six months pregnant. Again, I found my self-hooked up to Magnesium for two days. I could not believe that I was here AGAIN. But, this time I begin to pray. I prayed that if I had her early that she would make it. The doctors gave me lots of information for what I could be facing, but I also knew who to but my confidence in.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I was sent home, and I spent the next day tired and in pain. My daughter sat on my sciatic nerve during my pregnancy, so the pain was no different to me. As the day progressed, I started to feel pressure and once I stood up I knew something was wrong. My husband called the doctor he instructed me to come in. BAM!!!  I was in full blown labor at six months and dilated at seven in a half with a bulging water bag. My water was broken and an hour later [with no pain meds,] Legaci was born. February 7, 2014 weighing 3lb 14oz. I was in another battle, the battle for Legaci to live. I held her for about two mins and she was whisked away from me to NICU. She came out breathing on her own, but had trouble keeping her body temperature. She was underweight, and also had a mild case of Retinopathy Prematurity (a disease causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue in the eye that enables us to see. It can lead to blindness.)          

 I was deeply hurt and enraged inside. I was scared, discouraged, and worried. Satan’s words of discouragement had set in. I panicked. We had two kids in two different hospitals fighting for their lives.   

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But, I had to trust God’s promise and plan for my life. It was time to cover my babies and trust that they would come out victorious. This didn’t come easy.  I had many days that I had to fight through tears, not understanding why this was my portion. I had to stay in my Word, pray like never before and encourage myself at times when I didn’t have encouragement being offered.

 Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  

Through this tough journey, I have learned that God will not forget about you! He will cover you, comfort you, be a listening ear and most of all guide you. I now understand why I had to go through what I went through. It was purpose in my pain. I didn’t understand it then and honestly, I didn’t want to hurt then. I went through the storm to be able to encourage women like youyes you sis! The one that is reading this blog, right now. Keep pushing. Don’t give up! Don’t lose faith! No matter the circumstances, God is a healer and will always provide for you. When you feel like nothing is working and nothing is going right, I want you to reflect on the things God has already brought you through in your life. If he can do it for me, he can do it for you! He allowed me to have kids. He blessed them to be healthy.  He saved their lives and in the process of doing all this.. he strengthened me to be able to share my story. For that I give him all praise!!! Be blessed by my story of pain, loss but victory over it all.

Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

 

Vanity, thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony with us. It is an honor and privileged to have you as a sister in Christ, but also as a friend. I cherish our friendship, and I thank God for purposefully placing you in my life! – XOXO, Raye

 

Disclaimer

*Disclaimer* Products are not designed to diagnose or cure aliments. All products have been researched to reduce symptoms. Herbs are not FDA approved. Recommendations are based on information given. I am not responsible for reactions or misinformed purchases. I am not a doctor, and I am not pretending to be one. I advice through experience and research.

Client Love

Raven Thomas helped me in my TTC journey by giving me knowledge on what was actually going on with my body... Read More...

Vanity Shelton

Raye The Doula
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2016-05-03T18:07:52+00:00

Vanity Shelton

Raven Thomas helped me in my TTC journey by giving me knowledge on what was actually going on with my body and helping me understand my hormones. She educated me on hormone imbalance and the negative affects  that it  has on the body. Raven's  outstanding wisdom lead to me getting pregnant. She walked me through my pregnancy with healthy ways of eating,books and managing my emotions in a healthy way to promote a wonderful stress free pregnancy. During my Postpartum phase she answered all of my questions for breastfeeding, and how to still rest with multiple kids for recovery, any issue I had she made sure she gave me the emotional support as well as a game plan to overcome my issues I was having. I highly recommend her for all of your Doula needs and brestfeeding services. She has such a heart for women and wellness!!
If you’re wondering whether or not you can receive quality care from a doula even if it’s just virtually the... Read More...

Mrs. Adara Sherron

Raye The Doula
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2016-05-03T18:05:39+00:00

Mrs. Adara Sherron

If you’re wondering whether or not you can receive quality care from a doula even if it’s just virtually the answer is yes. Raven provided vital information on what I could expect, request, decline, and more throughout my pregnancy experience. The actual doula I chose to contract here in New York where I live is everything Raven told me I should have in a doula. When had my virtual consultation with Raven, she was polite, informative, reassuring and even answered my million questions. I think a virtual consultation is key for anyone who is unsure about what doulas do and who they are—and if doulas aren’t readily available in your area having the consultation helps with your search. If you are looking for someone to help you choose the right doula service, and you’re not able to meet in person, I would highly recommend having a consultation with Raven. Simply put, she is amazing. - Mrs. Adara Sherron First time mom to a baby girl.
Raye the doula was everything I needed this first time around breastfeeding. I’m a mom of 3, ages 3,2, and... Read More...

Larisa Cleaves

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Larisa Cleaves

Raye the doula was everything I needed this first time around breastfeeding. I’m a mom of 3, ages 3,2, and now a 9 week old baby boy. I didn’t get the opportunity to have such an empowering, and proactive lactation specialist with my first two. I have inverted nipples but now they both are completely pulled out. The techniques she gave and advice are exactly what I needed. Before, I started using her- in my 1st week postpartum, I got mastitis, I had a fever and more... Raye provided that’s when I was able to get some good advice and support about relieving the clogged milk ducts and gave me help positioning to make breastfeeding easier. Once you get that infection, you feel horrible, but she helped make the experience as comfortable as possible. Don’t miss out of booking her, even if you may not have any problems with breastfeeding like I did. As a postpartum mom, you always need someone in your corner to assist and be there for you. Get a team and on your team have her, Raye the doula. Larisa Cleaves, Mom of 3, Wife, Business Owner
Raven was amazing, she helped me with my cyst and bacteria infection. She knew EXACTLY what I needed to address... Read More...
Raye The Doula
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Raven was amazing, she helped me with my cyst and bacteria infection. She knew EXACTLY what I needed to address each issue. She made sure I had everything I needed. Even when I arrived at the store, I called her to make sure I had the correct items... she answered right away and clarified that I had everything. She checked on me every few days to make sure my issues was getting taking care of. I highly recommend a session with Raven for any holistic womb care, health, holistic medicine, etc. thank you Raven so much! Love you
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