1 In Mindset

Blog Series: The Many Faces of Perseverance Featuring Kayla Ritchey

The Many Faces Of Perseverance Blog Series. I thought it would be nice to take the filter out of our daily lives and to be able to relate to many different people about struggles that we each face. I am learning everyday to embrace the struggles we go through, instead of fearing them. I am learning that everything we go through is putting us on our path and helping us grow. I am learning that even when its uncomfortable and hard that we are learning so much about ourselves and that our struggles are shaping us into a better version of ourselves. I hope you gain guidance, inspiration, and support from this series – Alexa

Kayla, what made you want to share your story? 

I wanted to share my story because no one has ever really asked me about my own personal experience with becoming a mom. And I think it’s time I said it. 

I found out I was pregnant 3 weeks before I turned 21. I know, huge bummer. I was absolutely devastated when I found out that I was pregnant. I had no idea what I was going to do. I called my, then, boyfriend sobbing and told him. His first question was “What do you want to do?” At first I didn’t understand what he meant, and then my brain started working again. He was asking if I wanted to get an abortion or not. I said “No, we made this decision so we will deal with the consequences.” Although, I was terrified.

How do you become a parent when you are hardly an adult yourself? I had no idea. But, I knew that we were going to have to tell our parents, which scared me even more. But looking back, telling our parents was the easy part. After we told them, things seemed to be going pretty well. My pregnancy flew by, and I had no problems at all which I am still super grateful for. But the whole time, I felt.. off. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt lost and hopeless; but I never told anyone.

I felt this way because I did not think that I was going to be a good mom. Shoot, I still don’t think I’m that great of a mom, regardless of how many people tell me I am. Obviously, when you’re pregnant your hormones are like a roller coaster, so I thought it was normal to feel the way I did. When I think about it now, I can clearly see that it wasn’t. The best way to explain it is that I felt as if I had PRE-partum depression. It was such a strange feeling.

Then, on March 1, 2016, DJ(my now husband) and I were blessed with our beautiful Piper Jean. She made us happier than we could ever explain. I love that little girl more than I could ever put into words. She truly did change my life and she made it so much better. But something still felt off. When I first held her in my arms, I just stared at her. For the longest time. I was super excited, but I was equally petrified. That was when it hit me. “This is real. That just happened…. What’s going to happen? Am I going to be able to do this?” All of these questions ran through my mind about a thousand times in like two minutes. I honestly didn’t think that I was going to be able to handle being a parent.

After getting home from the first hospital, I unfortunately had to take Piper to a second. She was jaundice and had very low temperatures, causing a nice 5-day stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Easily the longest 5 days of my life, and the hardest.

That entire time that we had to stay there, all I could tell myself was “You’re not good enough. You couldn’t even keep your baby home for 24 hours before taking her to another hospital. Of course, this would happen to you.” I felt so alone, and so worthless. I cried every day. (Although I can proudly say I never had postpartum depression. God bless all the women that do/have). All I wanted to do was take my baby and go home. It was the day before we found out we were getting discharged, and I had a mental breakdown. I screamed at the doctor that was treating Piper at the time, and later talked with the nurse that was on duty. That nurse, changed my entire outlook on being a parent. She made me realize that I CAN do this and that I CAN be a good mom to Piper. I truly will never forget her.

Being a mom is the hardest yet most rewarding job in the world. Although I still have my days where I feel like I’m not good enough, coming home to that smiling face every day make all of these crazy emotions worth it. I want EVERY mom to know that it is 110% okay to feel this way. It’s what makes us human. Keep going, keep fighting and keep being awesome.

Kayla Ritchey

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Erin mccafferty
    October 25, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Love this! And relate so much 💜

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