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A Better Me

Mrs Jess Corona, She’s a beautiful and strong mommy of 3 GAWGEOUS kids. When she told me about her struggles, I felt like her story had to be shared. So many women can relate, and I hope you do too. I have been working with Jess in the mornings and I have noticed a major difference in her overall happiness, and it is so wonderful to see!

Here’s her story…

My name is Jessica Corona, I’m 36 ½ year old with 3 beautiful children: Haven 14, Avery 4 and Alexander 1. I’m married, & own a house with my Husband, Steven. Growing up the only family I had was my mom, my grandmother & my younger sister. My mom had me when she was 19 and my younger sister Danielle when she was 21. I was raised by a single mother of 2 until I was 12 when my mom married my step dad. I am the eldest of F I V E children. From a young age I was always taught to be strong, independent & to never count on anyone. Don’t ask anyone to do anything you can do for yourself.

May 4th at 6:15 my water breaks just as my husband walks in the door. We got to the hospital & I am in labor for a good 19 hours. May 5th at 3:10pm I gave birth to a baby girl, this birth story was NOTHING like the one before. She wasn’t breathing, Steven cut the cord and the nurses tried to suction her nose, & throat, giving her massages trying to get her to breath. The midwife told the nurse to call for help, 5 more nurses and a doctor came in, they’re still working on me, and Avery... FINALLY what seemed like forever I heard that sweet cry. She’s okay, 8lbs even, beautiful, but sleepy & very tired.

After bonding we go to our recovery room & family comes to see her. It’s time to try to feed her. I chose to try to breastfeed her. I take all the classes, talk to friends & nurses, I get my pump ready… A nurse comes in & says we need your baby. She has jaundice & because of that she’s very lethargic, she needs to go to the NICU for tests & a light blanket. They had to supplement her feedings to track her intake & output. She developed something called ABO incompatibility where my blood & her blood are incomparable & at some point in pregnancy our bloods came in contact & that is what caused her to be so lethargic at birth & be jaundice. I immediately start crying & have so so so many questions. I wasn’t even allowed to go with her. I had to ask if my husband could because I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed. I remember feeling sad & down & crying & feeling alone. When we finally got to bring her home, I remember crying, and trying to hide my crying from Steven because even I couldn’t explain my feelings. I felt like how could he begin to understand if I can’t even explain how I feel. I felt so disconnected from everyone. I didn’t understand what was going on. I had postpartum depression and didn’t realize it. At my 6 week check up with my doctor she diagnosed me with postpartum anxiety, gave me two more weeks off of work & sent me home. Eventually after getting back to my routine of life and getting back to work helped, being around others, and getting back to the gym FINALLY starting to feel like my happy self again.

January 29th TWO weeks before my due date, my water breaks at 7:30am. Alexander is coming! He’s ready to meet his family. Labor was another LONG one, delivery was uneventful (THANKFULLY) but Alexander has jaundice. I knew this would happen again. I learned that once one had ABO incompatibility chances that it’ll happen again are high. So I didn’t try to breastfeed & wasn’t going to even stress about it like before. Two weeks of going back & forth, my baby had a total of 8 cuts on his heels from blood tests. I cried so hard at the last one, because they had cut his heel in the same spot that was cut before but it wasn’t healed completely & since there was nowhere else to cut... they had to cut there. I was feeling good. I even told Steven “I feel better this time, not like with Avery, my head is in a better state”.

3 weeks into postpartum, I had to have emergency surgery to have my gallbladder removed. Post surgery I couldn’t lift anything for two weeks which meant I couldn’t be alone with any of my kids. Avery, only 2 at the time, still needed me. I sat on the sofa & had to have a babysitter with me. I started to think about myself being at home in my pajamas in the same spot I was in when my husband left for work. I wondered if my kids would be better off without me. It was happening again. My head was spinning with all these dark thoughts about myself. I wasn’t good enough, I couldn’t do anything by myself, for myself. It became hard to complete simple tasks. I found myself stressing out about how I was going to get myself & my baby together. How I was going to cook dinner & clean my house and take care of my baby, and my toddler all while being a nurturing wife. I wouldn’t let anyone help with the baby. I had to do all the things & protect him, I was so easily in rage with anger with my husband. I was so quick to annoy Avery. Steven would ask me if I was okay, and I’d snap at him. He would try to help me with tasks & I would criticize him and yell.

Finally I went in for my 6 week check up with my doctor & the nurse looked at me & said “are you getting rest?” “You look tired”. I remember I was so angry, you should never tell anyone that ESP a new mom. When she walked out I cried, and I couldn’t stop. The doctor walked in, took a look at me & called the social service liaison, she asked me a series of questions & based on my answers I was diagnosed with Postpartum/Depression/Postpartum Anxiety. I went to see a therapist, she recommended group therapy, this was just before COVID hit so that never was followed through with and recommended that I see a psychiatrist and take some anti depressants. I was reluctant at first, I didn’t want to be on meds. That isn’t me! I wasn’t weak, I’m strong & strong minded. A few weeks had past two to be exact, and I had a follow up, I explained how things weren’t getting any better and with the stress of the thought of going back to work when I could barely get myself off of the sofa & get my son dressed started to really make me anxious & sick to my stomach.

I was nervous she was going to tell me it’s just the anxiety new moms felt, and I started sobbing. She suggested I at least talk to the psychiatrist, I did. I explained that I didn't want to be on meds at all left alone forever. I was put on a low dose antidepressant & one that I could stop when I felt necessary with that I was given more time off of work to care for myself and adjust to the meds. After being on the meds, I started to feel a little better after talking about it & being heard and understood.

I understood that I was going through something I could not have had control over, I didn’t choose this & it is VERY normal. Getting back into MY routine did help. Having my husband understand that I needed help & supporting me through it all was helpful. I also realized that since I am a mom working a full time job with 3 kids, a husband & a home to take care of, I wasn’t doing anything for myself. I have a therapist friend who made me realize I need to take care of myself too. For me, it’s fitness. It’s the absolute one thing I do for me. For my health and mental health. I tried to do it at home but, there are so many distractions here, kids come looking for me, my husband comes looking for me. I can’t even use the restroom alone, how did I expect to work out alone? I didn’t want to leave them, it’s hard getting up everyday Mon-Saturday before the sun, but for my mental health it is so important.

Thank you for reading,

Jess Corona

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