Christina’s Story- From Left for Dead to Leading Tribes
I overcame being left for dead as a baby, foster care & adoption as a child, and mental illness & drug addiction in my early adulthood….
I found recovery and healing in my twenties, only to be faced with impossible struggles during motherhood that led me to battle obstacles like my child’s cancer & the adoption system, and became a medical mom & caretaker to our medically-complex baby.
Motherhood is a journey, not a destination, & we are often called on to climb mountains to help our family overcome the obstacles that can either elevate us, or destroy us.Mom on the Climb
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Sharing my crazy journey with other moms on climbs is what led to this space of elevation & empowerment for moms globally, & led to the vision for our future that drives my daily actions.
Although my formal education and experience is in childhood education, my life education and experience is what has brought me to my present, and created my vision for the future.
To understand how I got to this moment I’m in with you now, we have to start at the beginning with a quick backstory.
I was born on the west coast, left for dead in a hotel room & placed in foster care as a baby, adopted as a child, grew up to go to college for elementary education, get married, have a baby, have a miscarriage, lose my mind, & struggle with drug and alcohol addiction & mental health.
I then landed in North Dakota to ”start over”, where I hit my life’s rock bottom in 2009, (which is really a story for another time).
I then went to treatment twice & found recovery. It was in the rooms of recovery that I found the clarity & strength to get divorced from an unhealthy marriage & rebuild my life, one day at a time.
It didn’t take long before I returned to my teacher-heart roots, & I got a job in special education in the public school system, I met my now & forever husband, married him, & eventually adopted his, (now our), two kids in a very long adoption process.
We stayed in ND for almost a decade, during which time my middle son was diagnosed with a rare cancer, of which we are still battling today over seven years later.
With the birth of our youngest child in 2017, (of now four total, to complete our beautifully unique “yours, mine, and ours” family), was also born serious complications……
A rare birth defect left our baby love fighting for his life in the local NICU, (neonatal intensive care unit).
At four months of age, were told by the professionals that if our baby was to live, we needed to relocate to a NICU/hospital more specialized in what he needed.
So many rollercoaster rides from this time, we relocated our family to a different state over winter break 2017 and fought with him for his life for six-hundred-and-one-days inpatient.
We finally brought our son home after TWENTY MONTHS at the Children’s Hospital- trached, vented, tube fed, and on over a dozen pharmaceutical medications.
During my son’s NICU journey and after our move, battling postpartum depression, loneliness, and trauma from watching my baby poked and prodded and fighting to breathe and survive every day, I armed myself with a toolbox full of coping skills, building my support system being at the top of that pile of tools, and getting educated on all things medicine right underneath.
In preparation for my son to come home medically-complex, I continued education to get a CNA so that I could be his caregiver at home, which I am still doing today, although technically under a different title.
It was during this time that the Mom on the Climb Tribe was born and grown, in order to bring support & empowerment to myself and other moms with our experiences, resources, and hopes.
We are now 1.5K moms strong and growing, spreading a movement of self-wellness with the understanding that healthy moms equal healthy kids!
Today, I’m grateful to be walking around a different version of myself than I was four months ago, or four years ago, due to my support system and toolbox of resources.
Because of these experiences, I crave the ability to lead a group of women into the revolution of mental and physical wellness, AND lead hospital administration and staff into a different way of thinking and operating.
Although incredibly grateful for all that I have, my experiences call on me to dream of speaking to the masses of moms about revolution and the ripple effect, and how caring for your own self and mental wellness secures your oxegen mask in the event that life happens, so that you can care for those around you.
Because of our extensive hospital stay, I’m forever changed, and I feel strongly led to speak to hospital staff and administration about collaborative medicine, specifically those in an ICU setting, to impact patient/family experience and ultimately, save babies’ lives with practical protocols and technologies. I could talk on this for hours.
Check out a story post I did on this topic that I affectionately named Advocate Like A Mother to go deeper into understanding my medical mom mind & heart.
A few random things to know about me if you’re thinking you want to be closer friends….
That was a lot about me……
Tell me about you!
I’m wondering what you dream of, and if you have found the support to take you where YOUR vision leads?
Whatever you desire, be it happiness, health and wellness, connections, relationships, impact, extra income…. I want to remind you, (or inform you), today that you can have it!
I’m not a life coach, but a mom that’s been on some climbs, and I believe that it takes a village to raise a family, so we built a Tribe- Mom on the Climb Tribe. Join us & stay tuned for the Mom on the Climb Podcast- premiering this fall!
Before you go…..
I invite you to start elevating aspects of your life, one step at a time, today!