I know right? Another wide-eyed, ambitious gal who is going to share her story with the world, make a big impact, and become a huge lifestyle influencer… really? Who am I anyway? Why am I starting a blog? Why would people want to hear from me as much as any other blogger or average chick out there? I’m glad you asked. Lemme answer those questions and hopefully get you just as excited about my vision as I am.
Question #1: Who Am I?
My name is Emily Helvin. I’ll be 29 the beginning of March and live in the hot, humid, sunny, southeast Alabama. I have been married 5+ years to the love of my life, Isaac (no seriously- I dreamt I was married to him right after we met at 14, being smitten at first sight, and we ended up marrying at 23), and we have a precious little 4 year old girl, Emmy Claire. Of course we have a dog- an Aussiedoodle named Poppy, because we are a super average American family, living in a cul-de-sac, traditional little home with flowers around the mailbox and fairly maintained hedges. I am a stay at home mom and my personal hobbies apart from the consistent flow of housework include coffee [all the coffee], sewing, crafting, refinishing furniture, interior decorating, remodeling, working in the yard, traveling (I would literally sell everything and live out of my Honda CR-V if I could), and doing just about anything to spend time with Isaac and Emmy. As a family we love to travel and live less than 2 hours from the gorgeous Florida beaches which we try to take advantage of as much possible. What has made our life a little different than others is our struggle with fertility and my seemingly endless list of health problems and medical diagnosis. I’ll be going into more detail about these things in the following questions, but for now, this is me/ us in a nutshell.
Question #2: Why am I starting a blog?
Yes- I’m so original and not cheesy at all in saying that my family is my “why”… off to a great start on this blog aren’t I? But to make it more interesting I’ll elaborate and say the reasons for this blog are actually a couple. First, I’m going to be insanely blunt by saying that I desperately need accountability for living actively, staying productive, eating healthy, and the ever-prominent issue of losing weight (can I get a “blah!”). I’ve tried accountability partners, challenge groups, personal motivation… shoot, even doctor regulated stuff where you’d think the glare of a disapproving professional would scare you into shaping up, right? Nope, not me- I’m special just like my mama always told me. You see, I am a big time extrovert that thrives off of consistent outward, human interaction and I stay home full time, my 4 year daughter is home with me 24/7 (currently gearing up for homeschooling-follow along to watch the show) and our small, quaint town does not have more than 1 or 2 resources for moms that like getting out of the house with kids in tow. All that to say- I need to be more outward, socially engaged, and have something to consistently look forward to and blogging, the consistency I’ll have to dedicate myself to for success, and knowing others are watching, gives me the illusion its “outward” and therefore my perfect form of accountability. That also feeds into my second reason for starting a blog and that is I love sharing my passions and projects with others who want to learn with me, from my mistakes, or be inspired themselves to develop a new niche. I love input and hearing how others apply their interests in their own lives and simply thrive off of enthusiasm and the “can do” attitude. These are my main reasons so lets get into the final question that covers why others should join me.
Question #3: Why would people want to hear from me?
I mean, it’s a fair question. The simple answer is that I have encountered a wide variety of obstacles in life that happen to be current hot topics or growing difficulties in my generation. I have been approached by many people who have said “you should write a book” or “would you please share your story” as well as a few others that just genuinely were blessed and encouraged by me being open and willing to talk about what I’ve been through. I happen to be able to very transparent as well as communicate through words. I have since realized that I have the opportunity and ability to share my story and maybe give encouragement or hope to others who don’t know where to start, what to do, or just plain feel desperately alone. I have been, and currently am, all the above. It comes and goes in waves , sometimes all at once, and other times in the form of a slow, disheartening drip.
“Okay- we get it! You’re a person too and super relatable. Can you just tell us what you’ve been through already?” I hear ya, and I’ll give you a quick run down but you’ll have to come back and visit to get more details. I had always struggled with weight as soon as aunt flow changed my life forever at 14 years old. I was an active girl that grew up helping my family on their mini farm and had a healthy amount of exercise and a balanced diet so we never knew why it was a problem. At the age of 21 I was diagnosed with Fybromyalgia that developed from an injury I sustained in a car wreck caused by a guy high on drugs. So fun and of course further exasperated by the extra 20 pounds I carried around and continued to accumulate. I hit 22 and had a delightful, random bout for about 8 months of what we think was a hyper-thyroid storm/ attack where I was losing tons of hair, lost 60 pounds in less than 3 months without dieting, had resting heart rates of 120 on a consistent basis, the list goes on. A year and half later, my husband and I were newlyweds and within the first 6 months we experienced 2 miscarriages both around the 7 week point. In the following months I very quickly gained back all of the weight I had previously lost and then some, bringing on depression and endless doctor visits where my “thyroid levels were fine” and “we see nothing out of the ordinary”. We finally got a partial diagnosis and then pregnant with our little rainbow baby, Emmy, who, despite several pregnancy complications and being born via emergency c-section with breathing problems 5 weeks early, is super healthy and strong as an ox. When we decided we were ready to try again for a little one, we had another loss in October 2017 around 7 weeks. We tried again and the little one above made it to 10 weeks and we got see their little heartbeat and nicknamed them “Muffin”. We lost Muffin in January 2018 and it began a long journey of intense depression and more health problems that just multiplied despite my endless dieting. We accidentally got pregnant again, once again to lose it around 7 weeks in August 2018 then lost another in December 2018 totaling 3 losses that year- 6 total at that point. I finally found a doctor 2 hours away that gave me some long awaited answers and diagnosis that included Hypothyroidism, PCOS, and to top it off a genetic mutation called MTHFR. Of course, being special as I mentioned earlier, I have one of the worst forms of the mutation. We’ll get into that in a later installment. But we started treatment in May 2019 and that whole summer/ early fall was mixed with days of being able to run non-stop and also being bed ridden and everything in between. I was completely unreliable and I couldn’t even make basic plans or commitments because it was all I could do just to take care of a toddler and semi-maintain a house. Chronic migraines have always been a part of my life and they were further exasperated by all the hormone nonsense my body finally sorted out in late October. So we got pregnant again, this time armed with information and a plan of attack: hormone supplements, vitamin supplements, daily abdominal blood thinner shots, oral blood thinners, and staying on track with my other medications. We thought is was working. We were being closely monitored by an amazing high risk doctor, heard the sweet, healthy little heartbeat multiple times and were just about to announce the pregnancy when at almost exactly 12 weeks we once again heard the words “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” That was 2 weeks ago. I’m currently recovering from yet another surgery and emotionally navigated another loss. Number 7 to be exact. So here we are. Here I am- ready to figure life out again, take the bull by the horns and reinvent my life, learn more about living a healthy, meaningful life with my genetic condition and other health problems and just in general restructure my life- not just for me but for my husband, my daughter, any future babies we may have, and for the people we can help and touch because I’ve been able to conquer my own weaknesses and insecurities.
In this blog, I will chronicle my learning experiences, my victories, my failures, our search for fertility answers, and just me figuring myself out in the midst of being a wife, mom, and homemaker. I’ve had big losses, but that gives me even bigger resolutions. Please join me!