On Friday, I had the opportunity to sit in a panel with other survivors as we told our stories. I spoke about my mental health being affected just as I was grappling with a premature baby and a preeclampsia diagnosis.
It's been 5 years but I still remember the feelings of doubt, shame, and guilt.
I did make progress - no crying! But even by listening to someone share their story, it was a lot. An invisible wound that didn't quite heal.
I also walked away with encouragement that I can do this. I can sit in a panel. I can share my story. And someone will listen. Someone will make changes to their hospital policy because of me. And that thought will carry me for a bit. If I can help a mama by changing how a provider approaches them.... that's a legacy and a story I'd like to leave behind.
In 2012, my daughter was born at 31 weeks due to Preeclampsia and spent 43 days in the NICU. When I found out I was pregnant again, I became anxious about history repeating itself. He was born at 34 weeks in 2016. I had another premature baby, another NICU stay, another preeclampsia diagnosis. This time, I added postpartum depression to my history.