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No Pregnancy April Fools Jokes No One Is Laughing

As April 1st approaches, I am thinking about Easter and what I have left to get done for the girls. Then it dawned on me, Easter is on April 1st… April Fools Day!

Oh shit, bring on the lame ass jokes people play but one of the most popular ones is the “I’m Pregnant” joke. Well it’s not a funny joke to many women in the world.

Why is this not a funny joke to fool people with? Millions of women suffer from infertility problems. Millions of women have silently mourned the loss of their baby they never got to hold. Millions of women long to have that announcement you are now making fun of by saying “just kidding I’m not pregnant”!

For just one minute, think about what someone else is going through before you post something for the world to see. No, you may not be directly hurting someone but those words hurt more then a punch to the gut!

I silently suffered through this last April Fools Day. I had a miscarriage in February and was not pregnant with Baby Evie yet. I watched as tons of my Social Media friends played this prank when I was crying that I wanted to still be pregnant with the baby I would never meet. This joke was and is not funny to me or anyone else suffering through miscarriages or infertility problems.

Since last April’s Fools Day, I’ve been blessed with our Baby Evie but not everyone has been as lucky as our family. Please respect what others maybe silently suffering through this April Fools Day and don’t play this prank!

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To Tie My Tubes or Not To Tie My Tubes

My decision to tie my Tubes

 

I just had my post partum checkup which went very well except that I had to fight to get my surgery scheduled to tie my tubes or in doctor terms tubal ligation. The visit started out wonderfully. One of the OBs in the practice came in and we chatted about how I was feeling physically and emotionally. I was cleared from post partum depression though I do suffer from general depression, I am attempting to forgo medication until I am done pumping to feed Evelynne because the medication I need/use is one that isn’t on the approved list for breast milk. Then, I was cleared to exercise (this is what I am most excited about!) and to have sex again (not that with current events I am looking to get into this again). Then came the birth control chat….

The OB started out asking if I had an idea of what I wanted for birth control, which I explained that I was supposed to get my tubes tied in the hospital but they were understaffed (being New Years Day) so they couldn’t do it without me basically starving until they could fit me in. I was starving and needed water while breastfeeding so that was a no and I opted for this to be done at another time. She then proceeded to ask about my husband getting a vastectomy which I said he wanted to get one done as well as my tubes being tied. This where it went down hill….

She couldn’t understand why we would both want sterilization done especially since mine was a surgery. I tried to explain to her that it is my personal preference after having 2 preemies and 2 difficult pregnancies that landed me on bed rest for months. I didn’t want to repeat any risks of getting pregnant again. She went on about other forms of birth control like IUDs or repeating about letting my husband get a vasectomy….

Again, I repeated my wishes that I wanted my tubes tied not to be put on another birth control. So again, the OB asked if that was really what I wanted and AGAIN suggested I just let my husband get the vasectomy. At this point, I was biting my tongue because I really wanted to flip out. Seriously, I should have just starved and died of dehydration in the hospital and had the procedure done…

Instead, I calmly explained that I wanted to tie my tubes for my own form of birth control because you never know what will happen in the future and there is no guarantee that a marriage or relationship will last forever. No I was not going to go into the details of my marriage that is holding on by a thread but that was the gist of the situation. The look on her face was speechless. When she found her words she went on to ask if I wanted to wait to see in the future if I wanted it done. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????

I flat-out told her that the only thing I will consider is getting my tubes tied. She finally gave in and went over my options for the procedure. I picked the single, larger incision that removes both tubes. This procedure is one that reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, which female cancers run in my family, so anything to reduce my risk is a benefit to me. With my extreme anemia, we decided on waiting to perform the surgery until after my next hemotologist appointment in March to find out if I will need iron infusions beforehand. My surgery will be April 17th!

If I was younger or only had 1 child, I could see doubting my decision to go through with tying my tubes BUT I am 36 years old and have had 4 children. I am not looking to put my body through anymore torture of a pregnancy since pregnancy and my body do NOT get along. April 17th feels like a far off date being that it is only January but it will be here before I know it… now I just hope that the baby will be sleeping for more than 2-3 hours overnight so my recovery won’t be as painful.

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DIY Postpartum Padsicle

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Being a DIY mom about to give birth, I knew I had to make myself Padsicles before Evelynne blessed our world. I am sure some of you are wondering…. what is a Padsicle and why do I need them after I give birth?

A Padsicle is a pad with aloe, witch hazel and lavender essential oil on pad and then kept in the freezer. The Padsicle is a must have after a vaginal birth because it helps to soothe the “ring of fire” or the burning sensation from stretching, possibly tearing your vagina after a vaginal birth. As tiny as these babies look after birth, while a mom is trying to push one out…. it hurts and burns for days, sometimes weeks after the birth! The Padsicle is a great way to soothe the pain and sit a little more comfortable after birth.

Step 1: Gather your supplies- Aloe Vera Gel, Witch Hazel, Lavender Essential Oil and Pads (I prefer long ones with wings for after birth)

Step 1

Step 2: Open the pad up but do NOT throw out any part of the wrapper

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Step 3: Squirt Aloe Vera on the pad. Does not need to be very much.

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Step 4: Carefully add a few drops of witch hazel on the Pad. A squirt/spray bottle would work better than my attempt at carefully pouring the bottle.

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Step 5: Add a couple of drops of Lavender Oil on the pad.

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Step 6: Rewrap the pad and place 8 in a large ziploc bag. Place the bag in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

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The Padsicles were great for my post partum healing and I hope these will help other women after they give birth so please share this post with a pregnant woman you know.

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Our Rainbow Baby: Evelynne’s Birth Story

Evelynne's Birth Story

Our little rainbow, Evelynne Rue, was born exactly one week ago and her story is one that will always be special. Evelynne was born on New Year’s Day 2018 at 2:03am. She weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21″ long. Evelynne will always have a special bond with her paternal grandfather because they will forever share a birthday!

Evelynne Rue was named after her Great-Grandparents, Evelynne is my husband’s paternal grandmother’s name and Rue is from LaRue, my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I love my grandmother and miss her with all my heart but Evelynne Marjorie just didn’t flow as a name for me so I went with Rue.

Now for the story leading up to Evelynne’s arrival….

The days leading up to New Year’s Eve, I was trying every wives tale that I could find (the safe ones) to try to get my contractions to kick into high gear after months of contractions that did nothing but dialate me just a little bit but keep labor from coming and delivering her prematurely. I was drinking cups upon cups of double drewed Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, eating different foods people said worked for them, bouncing on an excercise ball all day and night, doing squats, walking up and down my stairs, a slew of other things. Even the day I went into labor I made the hubby take me to Walmart so that I could buy Evening Primerose Oil to try.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, the nesting kicked into full gear! Since we are approaching moving day, we didn’t set up her crib but I set up her Pack N Play with bassinet in our room for when she was born. I reorganized all of Evelynne’s clothes, diapers, wipes and other items. I organized everything in our room so that it was easier for when Evelynne was here and we had late night feedings and changings. I even began to organize and pack up my office, which I put off for as long as possible because I just didn’t feel like moving with the big belly.

Next, I decided I HAD TO MAKE BAKED ZITI! It was a must eat that night. My back was killing me but that didn’t stop my determination to make and eat homemade baked ziti. While I was going through the different steps of making the ziti, I turned on my man…. Adam and danced to Maroon 5. While I did all of this, I noticed my contractions were coming stronger and at a steady pace so I decided to time them. They were coming about 5-6 minutes apart at that point but we had been there before so when I kept bugging Doug about coming home from work, it took him over 2 hours to believe the contractions were real.

While I impatiently waited for Doug to come home, I took a bath and the contractions moved to 3-5 minutes apart. By the time Doug said he was on his way home, I called the on-call OB and they said come in to get checked. That was one of the most painful truck rides of my life because with every bump on the highway or every time he switched lanes, I felt it all through my body especially down below. (It didn’t help he had the business trailer still on the truck because the hitch was frozen).

We got into triage around 9pm and I was 4cm dilated which was a lot of progress for this pregnancy since I sat at 2cm for weeks. The contractions were a steady 3-4 minutes apart. The OBs were on the fence of whether to admit me or send me home and see if the labor continues because I wasn’t dilating much. Since we live 30 minutes away from the hospital and this was my 4th baby, I basically said I was too afraid to leave and deliver on the side of the road on New Year’s Eve. So I was admitted!

The OB resident gave me the option of getting the epidural as soon as we decided to admit me, which I said YES! They were keeping an eye on my dilation and effacement to break my water since she wasn’t wanting to descend and break the water on her own. Well, the epidural went horribly wrong! First, the anesthesiologist couldn’t get the epidural to insert correctly in the first location so then he tried another location. I was told it could take a 1/2 hour for it to really kick in. Let’s just say, the epidural never worked because I felt everything and by the time they came back to fix it, I was pushing Evelynne out! Now, I have had epidural in the past and never had problems like this.

My dilation and progression was still going slow so they gave me a small dose of Pitocin to speed things up. This was just before Midnight so we knew she wasn’t going to be our 2017 tax write off baby but our New Year’s Baby. Once that kicked in, they decided to break my water. It was all over after that….

I went from 6cm to 8cm in about a half hour, feeling every painful contraction and the feeling that my hips were breaking. The nurse set a peanut ball between my legs and had me on my side, which helped with the hip pain. Then, I went from 8cm to pushing in less than 15 minutes. That was the worst pain in my life! With Danyella, I woke up to my water breaking and her crowning, without an epidural, and didn’t feel the pain that I was feeling with Evelynne’s step by step labor.

It was time to push…

The nurse was getting everything set up for me to push as I lay on that bed wanting to die from the pain radiating through my lower half of my body. Doug was supposed to help hold my one leg up and I didn’t realize until after it was all done, he started feeling light-headed and ended up sitting on the couch next to the bed to avoid him collapsing while I was delivering Evelynne. I am unsure how long I was pushing for but it took 2 sets of 3 pushes and 4 pushes at the end to get Evelynne’s head out and then her body followed with one more push. The worst pain ever was for the best reason ever because after 9 months of the hardest pregnancy, Evelynne was here!

Evelynne took right to breastfeeding and had been a champ at it until my milk came in and I have been pumping to help with the painful engorgement. Other than her temperature dropping slightly right after she was born, she was doing great. After spending one night in the hospital, I was ready to go home and begged to have the OB release me since the pediatrician released Evelynne to go home. My back was in so much pain from the failed epidural that I just wanted my own bed. I got my wish and about 18 hours after I had Evelynne, we were home and in our own beds!

Evelynne was the first baby born in the hospitals network which was exciting but we missed being the first baby born in the area by an hour and half. We received lots of attention for the New Year’s Baby and even free gift card for professional photographs that are done in the hospital. I will always cherish those photographs because she used the Rainbow blanket I crochet for our Rainbow Baby! Now that Evelynne has blessed our lives for a week, we have gotten into our own little family routine. I can’t wait to share more of our stories with you on my new Mom Mondays!

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39 Weeks Labor And Life Stalled

I haven’t written a blog post in weeks now because mentally and physically this pregnancy just exhausted me. I’ve wanted to blog but the topics and words just couldn’t couldn’t appear for me. I’m 39 weeks pregnant and no one, including my doctors, thought I would make it this far into my pregnancy.

Yes, I should be happy and ecstatic that I officially went full term with Evelynne but it has come at a price. At 34 weeks, I was 1 cm dilated and at 35 weeks, I progressed to 2cm dilated. The contractions were coming on stronger by the day. This meant the baby should be coming any day right? I’ve been sitting, not so pretty, at 2cm with strong contractions for about a month now.

Also, for over a month now, I’ve been back to getting sick every time I eat which leaves me with no energy at all. I have tried every trick I could find or someone suggested to get my labor started again but nothing has worked.

Everyone keeps asking when she is going to be here but I have no idea. The doctors are content with letting me go until 41/42 weeks but I need my body back. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby girl and want her to be healthy but I question how healthy she can be when I can’t eat and hold anything down? My doctors don’t seem to be concerned when I questioned them about it.

Another crazy thing was when I asked about being induced this past Tuesday (38 weeks 3 days), the nurse practitioner told me that they would need to do an amniocentesis to check her lung maturity…. what the actual *^%#?? I’ve never heard that and just watch over 50 women in my baby mama group give birth early, some being induced and not one of them had this occur or suggested! Now I’m just frustrated as h^**!

I know she will get here on her own schedule but I would just like to eat again… and not get sick!

Add the baby stress to the holiday stress and life stress and I am a mess. I will have a new post about my 2018 goals on January so please tune back in!

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35 Weeks with a Hospital Tour

35 Weeksbaby is the Size of a Mini-Lop Bunny

I can’t even believe that we have 5 weeks or less to go until Evelynne is here! According to the Ovia app, at 35 weeks the baby is the size of a mini lop bunny rabbit. It is funny because that is the type of bunny we adopted for Danyella over the summer. So the baby is as big as the bunny… just not as furry!

This past week we got to go on the hospital tour of the where we are giving birth. This hospital was so beautiful and pristine and clean! I loved it from the moment we walked in and saw a Starbucks cafe in the lobby. Yes, I will be sending Doug down to get me Starbucks after I give birth because I love my Starbucks!

We began with learning about their security system which I am not a fan of anyone being able to register to come up to the floor as long as they have an ID. I like the system that my previous hospitals had where there was a list of people allowed. No offense but I don’t want everything thinking they can come visit when I want that time alone with the baby before I go home.

The next stop on our tour was the sibling daycare they provide for free. It is open Monday-Friday during the day for when the siblings visit and get to antsy to sit there while the adults are holding or looking at the baby. You know young kids, they don’t want to sit still and Mom can’t really deal with caring for the older kids after just popping out a watermelon. I love this feature because even Danyella would enjoy it with the tvs and video games they have for activities. Only downfall is that if I have the baby on a Friday, I will be out by Sunday so Danyella wouldn’t be able to use it.

Now we get to the fun part….. Labor and Delivery floor! In the past, I was in a room that was labor, delivery and postpartum but this hospital has L&D on one floor and Baby and Mom on the next floor above. This floor has a triage to make sure that labor is active or to determine if the mom needs to be admitted for other reasons. There is one hallway for Perinatal moms that need to stay in the hospital for numerous complications like high blood pressure or gestational diabetes that need to be monitored.

The L&D room is so big and spacious and just lovely. There were so many things that I can’t wait to enjoy while I give labor like the shower with a seat in it. They offer birthing balls to help with labor which I didn’t know was a thing until this pregnancy. They encourage the use of aromatherapy or any other things to aid in keeping mom calm. The TVs are smart TVs so I can play my relaxation music through that and not have to worry about using my phone and ear buds. Another cool feature is the charging station with preset charging ends so if I forget to throw my cord in my bag they will have one.

The nurse that was guiding the tour asked if we had birth plans ready for our deliveries. Of course I said yes because I have been revising mine for weeks. Doug looked at me shocked that I have one ready. Then I told him that it says in the first section “do not listen to my husband about a C-Section” because he supports a C-Section whereas I am opposed to one. (More about my Birth Plan next week!) Also, the nurse went on to explain that they encourage women to labor as much as possible at home which was concerning for me. At my appointment on Wednesday, I spoke to my OB about this and we both agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea for me because I labor quickly especially with Danyella where I went from 3 cm dilated to my water breaking and her head crowning in very little time. As the OB said , he doesn’t want to hear about me having a home birth or giving birth in a car. Glad we are on the same page then.

Last on the tour was the Baby and Mommy floor. The rooms were just as nice with same great features except the amazing shower. This floor just has a small shower without a seat. Dad or the birthing partner gets a couch that folds down to a bed which was pretty comfy to sit on. I was really impressed with their menu selection for moms for meals. I heard a couple of people say that the food was really good there and it’s not just crappy sandwiches or anything. The hospital encourages that baby stays with mom as much as possible which is a change for me because I am used to preemies in the NICU or Danyella had to be monitored in the nursery because of my Gestational Diabetes. Honestly, I was looking forward to getting some sleep before we take her home. The hospital does require to watch one parenting class a day that are featured on their hospital network. I am good with that because we all could use refresher on parenting a newborn.

Overall, the tour was reassuring and made me feel more prepared for the birthing experience. At the same time, I am scared as H*** about giving birth again and the unknown that each labor and delivery experience brings to a mom. My hope is to have Evelynne before Christmas so that we can enjoy Christmas as a family and not have to worry about going into labor and missing Christmas with my family.

delivery room

 

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Thankful for My Baby Mom Group

When I first became pregnant with this baby, I found different baby apps to chart my symptoms in case I had another miscarriage. One of the apps (can’t remember which one) had a forum with a group just for moms due in January 2018. There were a TON of moms and some of the topics were a little off the wall and crazy. A couple of moms talked about creating a Facebook secret group for some of us to chat and weed out the craziness of the app forum group. I was all about joining this Facebook group!

The group was created when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and as the weeks went on the group grew. Since most of us that started in the group were due in the beginning of January, we began to welcome those that were due at the end of the month. As we became closer as a group, the decision was made to cap the group off at 200 moms which seems to be working for us because we all come from different states or countries (England, France, Canada and Sweden!), from different backgrounds and different experiences. Some of us are older moms, some have more than one child, some are first time moms but we all help and chat with each other. We started to become a family!

We had one incident of drama (which is awesome considering its a group full of hormonal pregnant women!) when some of the moms that were medical professionals (nurses mostly) went crazy over discussions about vaccinations. Instead of listening to what the others were trying to say or having an adult discussion, they basically threw a 2-year-old temper tantrum and started their own group which was supposed to be a medical fact based group. Since they left, we all grew so much closer.

We had a set of twins born first because it was medically necessary for their survival. We have had 2 other babies born prematurely. All 4 baby boys are getting the medical attention they need are fighting hard to push through each day a little stronger. We love seeing the updates the moms give us. We cherish the Ultrasound pictures we all share, the updates, the questions and discussions. We even started a Fairy Godmother exchange to give a little gift to each other for our babies. I can’t wait for my mom to get the custom outfit I had made for her little one!

As we all get another day closer to our babies coming, we talk everyday and sometimes all day. Being on bed rest, they have become my go to peeps to talk to throughout the day or when I need to vent about my pregnancy, husband or life. Some of the moms are scheduled to be induced or have c-sections in the next couple of weeks which makes all of this so real that our babies are coming and for some of us so soon.

This group of moms is a group that will keep going long after our babies are born because we have bonded over the past 8 months. I can’t wait to share my experiences with them of raising this little girl and watch all of our babies grow up.

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34 Weeks and on Strict Bed Rest

Tips to be Impeccably Groomed

The past week has been an eventful week between getting a cold, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping and my OB appointment. Thankfully, my mom does the cooking for Thanksgiving so there wasn’t much I needed to do besides help her.

We had our Thanksgiving night shopping planned out but most of the big items, I ended up waiting until the sales went live to order them online so all we needed to get were the small things. We love Black Friday shopping to stock up on winter pajamas and household items. This year I made sure to get a new bath mat since Max began to eat ours up (memory foam yummy!) and towels with wash clothes that match. I even picked up a new bathrobe to pack in my hospital bag for the baby for only $10!

Problem with being in my third trimester and Black Friday is that I could barely walk around by the time we were done with each store. Surprisingly, Walmart was the store that had the least stress but Target had the rudest people who I just wanted to ram with a shopping cart. Our family tradition was to get disco fries (fries smothered with cheese and gravy) from our local diner but they were closed this year along with every other fast food place except McDonalds. So we got our fries but they were smothered with salt and ketchup. Then it was off to bed for me which was about 10 pm.

Through the day, before we started shopping I really wasn’t feeling well and had on and off contractions but the sleep seemed to help ease them. Since it was Black Friday, Doug had to work at 5am so I had to go to my OB appointment by myself. I figured it was going to by the typical tell the OB what was going on the past 2 weeks, he would check my cervix and I would be on my way. In and out in 15 minutes….

Well that wasn’t the case. We went over my contractions and other symptoms so he decided to do a FFN culture and some other tests that I am not sure about to check whether my body could possibly go into labor in the next 2 weeks. I am measuring about 3 weeks ahead of schedule which could mean that little miss is gaining lots of weight and could be bigger then a watermelon at full-term. (My girl parts are hurting thinking about it).

Then, he decided to run a non stress test for the baby which monitors how the baby’s heart reacts to her movements and my contractions. The nurse kept saying she as doing well especially with my strong contractions but the doctor wanted further reassurance and sent me to another location for an ultrasound. I love getting to see my baby girl with ultrasounds but scary to see her in position to be born. She is head down, face towards my back and low. Everything else including her breathing looked good and the tech sent me on my way. 3 hours later and I was heading home!

The doctor told be he would call me with my FFN results that night and to stay on strict bed rest, meaning staying in bed unless I need to go to the bathroom or get a drink, until I heard from him. As long as I was awake, the contractions were continuing and were intense but when I would fall asleep I would barely feel them. This could mean my body needs the relaxation or that I can handle the pain while I slept which is how I dealt with most of my labor with Danyella. The doctor never called and the lab haven’t posted my results on my account so I am hoping that this is good news.

Since I have been up the past couple of hours (currently 6am EST), I have had some contractions that were intense so I will be continuing my bed rest and hoping I get my results sometime today since our blood lab works 7 days a week. Now to deal with the boredom, oh wait I have homework to do and crochet orders to work on…. never any boredom time in my life! On a bright note, I am bingeing on Hallmark Christmas movies while I am in bed.

 

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33 Weeks and My Surprise Baby Shower

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7 weeks to go or less! It is hard to believe that this time has come already because over the Summer it still felt like it was so far away. Now, we are getting so close and she is getting so big that it is a wonder there is any room left for her to move or for me to grow!

Last Sunday, I was shocked and surprised with a Baby Shower hosted by my mom and mother in law. I was told that the girls in the family (minus our tag-a-long Danyella) were going to have a lunch at my work that Sunday. It struck me odd that my Mom had already talked to Doug about keeping Danyella while we had lunch because why not talk to me first?! Well, that night I woke up from a dead sleep with the gut instinct that this was a Baby Shower. I have been anti-shower because of the stress it is for the person or people planning it and I didn’t want to put the burden on someone. For the next few days, I tried to get out of going to this lunch. Even the morning of this “outing”, I told my mom I didn’t feel good and didn’t want to drive and a bunch of other excuses.

So, my sister picked me up to take me to this “lunch” which stupid me didn’t realize the one section at work was closed down. I walk in and look at the chart to see who was working and where I wanted to sit in the restaurant. All of a sudden my mom tells me to look up…. my friends from work, dance and life were there because it was my Baby Shower. I wanted to cry at first, especially since I had no makeup on and wore crappy clothes in case it wasn’t a shower and my instinct was wrong… no such luck!

I was so surprised to see everyone there including my dance moms and their girls. It was a great time and I am so blessed with all the gifts we got for the baby. I opened so many gifts and she is going to be dressed in the cutest clothes! I enjoyed a nice Virgin Strawberry Daquari and nachos after opening my gifts. Then, I got to go around and chat with everyone which is always nice to catch up. My husband was there and forced to play in some of the games which was funny  but he enjoyed it.

The baby shower really got me into nesting mode with washing all of the new items and getting them ready for this little girl who will be here in a blink of the eye!

 

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32 Weeks and a New OB

Connection

So I will be honest I have no idea what a pomelo is so I had to google it… It is a large fruit similar to grapefruit. It was originally native to Caribbean countries like Barbados and Jamaica but is now grown in other warm climates like Hawaii and Florida. So basically my baby is a very large grapefruit.

Well we hit the next big milestone… 32 weeks! Now that I have met with the new OB’s office and can now deliver at the closer hospital because they only deliver from 32 weeks on at that location. I can’t even express how happy I am that I changed OB offices though we are still having issues with the insurance company updating the new plan in the system. This office made me feel at ease as soon as I met with my new nurse liaison. I never even knew these existed for OB patients but she is my go to person if anything happens or I need to ask a question during office hours instead of getting a different person every time I call in. This is biggest thing that makes me feel at ease with my choice.

The network provides a baby book that basically answers every question through pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life. Plus they have their own app for kick counts, contractions and pregnancy questions.

Then I met with the nurse practitioner that went over my entire history and we made our game plan for the rest of the pregnancy which basically is to keep this baby girl in as long as possible. I am continuing every other week with the OB right now since I see the MFM every week for my shot and vitals.

As scary as switching OB’s offices late in my pregnancy was to think about and trust me my husband dealt with a lot of my sleepless nights and panic attacks, it was absolutely the right decision. Anyone who has doubts about the care they are receiving whether pregnant or not, switch to a doctor that will put your needs and concerns first and don’t be scared to speak up. You are your best advocate for yourself, your body and your mind. 3rd