I've struggled with writing this post for almost a week. I've written, deleted, rewritten, deleted, and written again. Why? I don't want to appear weak. I don't want any cracks in the foundation. But today I realized something: writing this is one of the strongest things I will ever do. I've come back from postpartum depression. I've moved cross country. Twice. Once at 8 months pregnant. I can do anything, dammit.
And that's why I'm running this 5k. I had my first seizure when I was 17. I was a senior in high school, and my life changed forever that year. For a lot of reasons, really, but that was the first major life-changing event that year. I won't get into the other ones right now. I don't remember it at all, but I woke up in a hospital bed, hooked up to IVs and machines, and my parents told me I rode in an ambulance. I can't imagine how scary it was for them to witness. My dad didn't even let my mom come into my bedroom during the seizure.
After EEGs, MRIs, and other tests, I have been on 5 different anti-seizure medications in the past 10 years. I went through a phase of denial and rebellion where I thought, "Hey, these doctors don't know crap, this isn't really happening to me, I don't really have to take these pills." And then things got serious.
I got pregnant. I didn't want to take medication when I was pregnant. But I had three seizures when I was pregnant with Shepherd. So I had to take MORE. And MORE AND MORE. And be under constant medical supervision. Hospitalized for a week, two different times. Blood tests every month. Non-stress tests (NSTs) to make sure he was okay twice a week for the whole third trimester. And you know what? Even through all that, we both came out relatively unscathed. He had a birth defect that needed to be fixed with surgery at 5 months, and I blamed myself for over a year. What if, what if, what if?
I don't want other moms to go through this. I want to stress that even though this is my life, I am not weak. You can have a neurological disorder, you can have seizures, you can take medication every day, and you are not broken. I am not broken. This is my journey, but it's not close to over. Pregnant women who have to take these medications to survive their lives are not given the attention they deserve. I hope together we can run or raise the funds for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western PA's 5k this Summer. Please support me & Team Wedde! Thank you for reading!