October 15, 2019
If you have been following along our green journey, you know that we had faced the loss of our beloved pet Pupito – a result (in part) of toxic exposure in our home. The next chapter of our lives includes the joys of becoming parents to our eldest Luis and then, unfortunately, the reality of health challenges and special needs. Without going deep into genetics and family history, I can share that there are some familial auto-immune conditions that I was not aware of until I began searching for answers for our situation. The mix between family history and the influence of environmental factors is likely responsible for the challenges that developed over the course of our son’s next two years.
I have adored vintage homes as long as I can remember! And I still really appreciate them! Our first home was an adorable 1930’s cottage with all the charms- and pitfalls of being an older home. Old pipes, lead-based paint, mold, chemical cleaners & air fresheners, and a typical diet were the “backdrop” of my “healthy” pregnancy… I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Fast forward to our son’s 18-24 month stage, we discovered that he was struggling with sensory integration and functioning in social situations. Finally, after a “routine” medical procedure he suffered a seizure-like episode. The seizure-like episode was the main catalyst to beginning to research all things health and development related.
In the midst of the challenges with our son Luis, we welcomed a new baby- Joel (my rainbow baby) into our family. And shortly after a routine medical procedure, we found ourselves in the PICU with an acute infection, potentially serious breathing issues and later- another child screened for seizures. We left our hospital stay with a diagnosis of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which resulted in a complete diet overall. Moving forward we embraced all organic mostly plant-based whole foods, gluten/dairy-free options, which were also free of the reflux triggers.
The two incidents took a great toll on my own health. It was the perfect storm – trauma from a miscarriage, lack of sleep, post-partum anxiety, the stress of handling a special needs toddler, lack of support and my husband’s demanding work schedule. I could (and should) write a blog post about that season in my life alone… Feeling overwhelmed and struggling to incorporate new healthy routines, I forged ahead in my new “normal.”
If all the above were not enough for any new momma to handle, we also encountered Lyme via ticks in our own back yard at West Point. These little buggers were so small I mistook them for chiggers and went about my way. Not being from NY and not knowing how dangerous Lyme can be, we had no idea what was going on. From re-current fevers, laryngitis, cold sores, sore throats, digestive issues, ear infections, neuropathy, and changes in vision, I was at a loss! How could we be facing a new sickness every 4 weeks precisely on the dot? About 12 months of this cycle went by until we found out that Lyme was the culprit. From there we embarked on a total family healing overhaul!
Along this journey, I discovered the reality of post-partum anxiety… After all the research I have done, my conclusion is that my liver had an overload of emotional, hormonal and environmental toxins and I firmly believe the manifestation of this toxic overload (at least for me) was anxiety. Addressing toxins in my diet, in the environment, and in my mind (thoughts) helped me take back my emotional well-being. Nourishing myself with organic whole foods on a mostly plant-based diet, incorporating essential oils, cultivating healthy connections, and purging my physical environment of harmful chemicals was key to my recovery.
I don’t regret any of the choices that we’ve made although I do regret how long it took me to make them. Slowly but surely we have embraced the “greenway.” Likewise, when it comes to business, I am embracing something new – but NOT NEW at the same time. Why would my green life not spill over into my business life? Why not support couples who are planning a green wedding? For me, as a professional wedding photographer, I am excited about this next meaningful chapter in business.
Thank you for reading to the end of this important blogpost! Now, enough about our journey – how about your journey? What has brought you to appreciate green living? Or, what intrigues you about green living or about planning a green wedding? Are you interested in planning a special event that is ethical? eco-friendly? organic? low-waste? animal-cruelty free or vegan? All of these are valuable and important. The great news is that I am here to help! If you would like to join an exclusive community of support in planning an eco-ethical/green wedding, drop me a note! I would love to connect with you! And if you are reading this and haven’t read Part 1 of our Green Journey, you can read all about it here!
P.S. Enjoy these photos of our precious boys Luis and Joel who are now aged 4 and 7!
P.P.S. If you are looking for support for anxiety or overall wellbeing, I’m happy to help. You can access my website on Doterra and click “Serenity” in the search box for a fantastic essential oil to help you feel all the #peacevibes.
Thank you for sharing your journey, Michelle! You are such an inspiration!!!!!
Of course! Thanks for taking the time to read about it!
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