Exactly one year ago today, I was 7 months and 6 days pregnant. I was experiencing all of the aches and pains of pregnancy – so I thought.
What originated as just lower back pain began to wrap around my groin and progress down my entire left leg. I felt like someone had a rubber band around my leg cutting off my circulation. Days went by and it got to the point where I could not even walk or lift my leg to get into the car. I was crawling across our bedroom just so I could take a bath every hour. After a few doctor visits and a couple meetings with a chiropractor in hopes to relieve what I thought was pressure from the baby, the pain got progressively worse. I remember thinking to myself, if all women felt this bad when they were pregnant there is no way women would have more than one baby.
On February 7th I was diagnosed with a DVT blood clot that went from my groin all the way down to my left ankle. I was scared and anxious beyond belief and was prescribed daily blood thinners that soon did relieve some of the pain. I wish I could say the anxiety wore off, but the truth is, as the month of April (Palmer’s birth month) slowly began to approach, it got worse by the day. Not only was I about to deliver a baby for the first time, I could not seem to shake the fact that my pregnancy was considered “high risk”. Honestly, I have seen too many movies, I have too much anxiety, and only could envision the worst.
No one can prepare you for pregnancy nor can they prepare you for the possible accompanying complications. Thankfully I had the most wonderful doctors in the world. This experience gave me a new perspective on life. When you’re faced with a situation that is completely out of your control there is really only one person to put all of your faith in. God revealed so much of Himself and His faithfulness to me. Before this, I would not even walk in a hospital to visit a family member; the hospital was a representation of fear, sadness, and uncertainty. Today I see hospitals as a representation of hope.
I am sharing my story with you because I think it’s very important to make people aware of the signs and symptoms of blood clots. Blood clots do not discriminate – they can affect anyone. You should be the biggest advocate for yourself and your health. I read an article that said between 350,000 – 600,000 people have blood clots each year in America, and up to 1 of every 3 dies.
March is blood clot awareness month so I am excited to announce that 20% of all proceeds for the entire month will be donated to the National Blood Clot Alliance. This alliance is a non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis, and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke.
This past year has been a story of both struggle and strength for me and I am thankful for this experience. Although at times I do find myself still struggling with the anxiety, I have chosen to no longer live in fear. Be an advocate for yourself and your health.
All photos captured above are taken by my wonderful friend and photographer Catherine Guidry.