Smile When You Talk: Going Through Real Life On The Radio
One of the first things you're taught to do when you're becoming a radio personality is to smile when you talk. When I'm smiling, I sound happy, cheerful, pleasant, approachable...I can go on and on. But, what happens when we go through real life stuff? When we feel sad, depressed, angry, annoyed, etc.? We smile when we talk.
We're often expected to leave our problems out of the studio. Our job is to make the listener happy, to help you escape from life stuff, to entertain you. Now, don't get me wrong, those things are exactly why I LOVE to be on the radio. But, life happens. And when life is tough, and things feel like they're falling apart, cracking open the mic with a smile on my face is hard. Really hard.
Since I've been blessed to have this career and this platform, I've always opened up about things that I've gone through; my breakups, my marriage, the struggle of being a full-time student, my life as a bonus mom. I've always been an open book. Opening up and being vulnerable has not only helped me get through all that life stuff, but It's been amazing to reach people who may be going through the same struggles. Helping someone feel like they're not alone is such a blessing, and something I'll always be willing to do, even if that means putting my whole life out there.
So, again, I'm choosing to share my life.
My husband and I started trying for a baby about 6 months ago. In January, we got a positive pregnancy test. Seeing those little lines was one of the happiest moments of my life. For as long as I can remember I've had baby fever. We had just moved into our new house preparing to expand our family so it was absolutely perfect timing. We told our families and closest friends, my Pinterest board was started, and I even bought a few things.
A few days after the positive test, I had some spotting, I got nervous, so I took another test and it was negative. I made an appointment with my doctor, and after some blood work, I learned it was most likely a chemical pregnancy, basically a pregnancy that doesn't progress very early in the process. Most women don't even know it happens. So, I was crushed. But, after talking to friends, I came to realize that it was fairly common, especially for first-time moms. So, I put it behind me.
A few weeks ago, I got another positive test. This time, though, I wanted to make sure. So my husband and I decided to wait to tell our family until our ultrasound, which was scheduled for today, April 25. Unfortunately, I started to bleed again. It was very little and thought it could be caused by what's called implantation - when the little nugget settles into the uterus where it will grow until birth.
So, I gave it a few days. When I started bleeding heavier, I got worried and decided to call my doctor. She scheduled an ultrasound for that Monday. Through the weekend I was scared, nervous. I even took another test to make me feel better: positive. Then Monday came. I got some blood drawn and sat through the first ultrasound of my life. The nurse warned me that it could still be too early in the pregnancy to notice anything on the screen, so not to worry too much if I didn't see anything.
My husband and I waited in a room for my doctor. She explained that there was no sign of a pregnancy in my uterus, however, it could just be that my calculation was off and I was just way earlier than I thought. I prayed that was it. She also mentioned that the ultrasound showed something on my ovary. The doctor said it could just be a cyst, which tends to be pretty normal. That Wednesday, I was told to come back in for more blood work to compare my HcG levels (pregnancy hormones). Wednesday night, I got a call from my doctor. Unfortunately, the levels didn't double as they would have if it was a normal pregnancy. Instead, they only went up two points. At that point, it was clear that I would not be having a baby. She explained that it could be what's called an ectopic pregnancy; a situation where the embryo attaches to something other than the uterus and begins to develop. Even though I was mentally prepared to hear the worst, I was crushed.
I walked back in the house, told my husband, and quickly had to pull myself together when the little one walked into the kitchen. I was angry at my body for "not working properly." Jealous of everyone with a baby. And just sad. Thank God for my husband who, despite going through some of his own struggles, kept me calm. We talked about it and prayed and just knew it wasn't our time.
The problem with an ectopic pregnancy, though, is that it could be very dangerous if the body doesn't dispose of it naturally. So, two days later, I'd be back in with the doctor to check my blood again. The levels went up. At that point, my doctor started telling me about my options. They'd have to either get it surgically removed, or take medication to terminate it before it did any damage to my body. I would go in again Monday for some more blood work and an additional ultrasound.
Monday. What I thought would be quick lab work and ultrasound turned into nearly three hours at the clinic. The ultrasound this time showed that what they saw on my ovary had nearly doubled, we had to choose then...medication to stop the growth or wait for the results to come back that night.
I chose the medication. I was given two doses of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug that's used to stop the fertilized egg from growing any further. After the shots, I came into work. Luckily I work with some really great people, I mentioned I needed to go home because of some health stuff. So, I went home, crying and feeling nauseous from the medication. I sat on my couch and cried some more. I felt miserable, and I was experiencing so many emotions. It was rough.
The next day, I had work and school. I had to show up. It's concert week, coming up on finals week, there was so much to do. So, again, I turned on the mic when it was time and smiled through the hurt and pain. For almost a month now, I've had to find a way to make it all work. Beat around the bush to my professors about missing class, secluding myself at work so nobody would ask "what's wrong?". It's been one of the hardest things in my life to deal with.
After coming to terms with it, and feeling much better physically, I knew I had to talk about it. Putting my story out there has always helped me heal. So I'm hoping not only that it helps me, but, I hope I can reach someone going through the same struggles.
To the waitress who has to be cheery while hurting inside, to the receptionist who has to greet everyone with a smile while suppressing the pain, to anyone going through something tough and having to fake that smile. You're awesome, and even though it's not ok right now, it will be. And you're not alone.
As for me, I go back in for yet more rounds of blood work on Friday, then again on Monday to make sure the medication is working how it's supposed to. Crossing my fingers that this chapter is closed and I can start focusing on the future. In the meantime, I'll keep healing and dealing, and soon I'll feel happy again and really smile when I talk.