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Bentley. Part Six.

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

After Eric and I wed at the courthouse nothing changed except my last name. I was counting down the days until my appointed day to be induced into labor. On March 15, 2013, my heart was full of joy. At 9:42 am, Bentley Rose Wilson made her arrival. She was perfect. The most beautiful angelic baby I had ever seen. Her skin was perfectly olive with the prettiest round head and eyes. She weighed 6lb 4oz and was the most enduring, calm baby. She opened up her big blue eyes and looked around without crying-I felt love like I had never felt before in my entire life. She was my whole world and I wanted everything perfect for her.

Prior to labor, I was playing the game 'words with friends' with my Uncle Eugene until the nurse randomly checked to see how much I had dilated. Eric and my parents and mother-in-law were in the room and suddenly the nurse rushes my father and mother-in-law out and tells me not to push until the doctor arrives. It finally hit me that, "you are having a, right now." I began to cry. I was not in any pain. In fact, the epidural did its job because I felt nothing but a little pressure.

I did not know it at the time, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around Bentley, and she was blue. I wondered why they did not hand her to me immediately and when they did, she was not able to lay on my chest and try to breastfeed very long. The experience was beautifully fast. Everything happened incredibly quick. Before I knew it, I was back in my room with all my family around to celebrate my angel's birth. I was really sore and all I wanted was to hold my baby and feed her. Once the pain management medication kicked in, I was more relaxed. The nurses returned Bentley to the room; I never wanted her to leave my side. Most mommy's stay at least 48hrs to recuperate from just having birthed another human being. Not I. I felt rushed to leave the hospital so "everyone" could visit without being on top of each other from the small, spaced hospital room. If I had to "do over" again...I would have stayed an extra day and kicked everyone out! I loved that all of our families were there and a part of the day but as a new mother coming home and having a house full of company when you are tired, sore, and want time with your family alone is hard. So, by the next morning I was willed out to our car feeling like a superwoman and a hot mess. I was ready to take on the world with the euphoric high of motherhood but also felt astonishing overwhelming by all the changes occurring at lightning speed.

After I arrived home, I became agitated with my mama because she was taking a million pictures uploading them to Facebook with me looking like a fat a**. Immediately after giving birth, I became very conscious of what I ate and determined to lose the baby weight. I think it is pretty sad I was even worried about that during that time. I wish I would have been easier on myself and loved my body through all the changes a little bit more, instead of constant judgement and criticism. I ate everything and enjoyed my pregnancy, so I knew after gaining seventy pounds I had my work cut out for me. I always enjoyed a challenge. Despite having intrusive thoughts about my body image, it was a wonderful time. I was bound and determined to breastfeed. Bentley did not feed well. She would eat and fall asleep after two minutes and I was constantly trying to make sure she was fed and content. I was up all hours, per usual after having a child. One week later, I was in the most daunting pain I have ever felt in my physical body. Ten times worse than giving birth or anything I had ever experienced. I began to have cold chills all over my body. At first, I thought it was from the lack of food and sleep I had been acquiring. I assumed that breastfeeding was very painful. My breast was tender, red, inflamed, and I would cry when I would feed Bentley. My mama did not breastfeed, so I did not feel like she really knew the excruciated pain I was in until I took a picture of my breast and sent it to her. My mama said, "get to the doctor." I was trying to be so strong. I finally broke down and said, "I really do not feel well. I do think I need to go." Eric was already back in Atlanta working during the week. I called my mama, and she was there. It was sooooooooooo bad. I had literally been trying my darndest to breastfeed and be the best mama and make sure Bentley had the best nutrition that I lacked taking care of myself. (Which would be a constant theme in my life for the next few years that led to my breakdown and alcoholism).

I went to the doctor and was immediately scheduled for surgery the next morning. I had abscesses on each breast that became infected with staph. HUGE ABSCESSES. After my surgery, I had a hole of a women's softball in my breast. Along with two other smaller openings. I was in the hospital for two weeks. My mama took care of Bentley and Eric stayed with me most of the time. After release from the hospital, I had a home health nurse come out daily to see me and "pack and dress my wounds." I was crushed mentally and emotionally. I felt like I had failed at breastfeeding and my self-confidence was very low. Although, the weight practically melted off of me my body had changed, and I did not know at the time if my breasts wounds would heal up properly. They did. Thank goodness- for my self-esteem. It is a lot becoming a new mom while enduring so many changes and challenges with my physical and mental health. But one thing I loved the most is being a mama to my baby girl. It was all worth it and still is for all my babies.

Not only was there a lot of changes going on externally...this was around the time I became internally conflicted about my husband. I had been in my pregnancy fog brain; then I was hyper focused because of all the pain medication I was given. Rightfully so. I began to notice more and more of Eric's odd behavior with alcohol and pills. I would find vodka bottles hid which confused the hell out of me considering that we had always drank together. Granted, I was not drinking much but I never had an issue with him having a drink. Until it dawned on me that it was never one or two drinks. But I was not any better checking the clock for when my next dose of relaxation was...For three months, that is, until I became pregnant again...with twins.

The time in Montgomery, I felt a lot of it was just me and my baby Bentley with casual weekend visits from Eric. So, you can imagine the world wind changes and challenges for us when I moved my life to Atlanta for a new life with my family. As exciting new adventures are for me, this one, I wish I had been more spiritually strong to combat the mischief that would follow.

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