“Positivity and Power” – with Carrie Creed, motivational speaker

Dr. Fox interviews Carrie Creed, a motivational speaker and Healthful Woman listener who reached out with her own story. Carrie discusses the power of positivity and her story with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and placenta previa.

Share this post:

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Dr. Fox: Welcome to today’s episode of “Healthful Woman,” a podcast designed to explore topics in women’s health at all stages of life. I am your host, Dr. Nathan Fox, an OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine specialist practicing in New York City. At “Healthful Woman,” I speak with leaders in the field to help you learn more about women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness. All right. I’m here with Carrie Creed, who is an international motivational speaker. She has a website, www.carriecreed.com. We’ll give you the spelling of that at the end. Carrie, I’m so happy to have you on “Healthful Woman.” Thanks for coming on. 

 

Carrie: Thanks so much, Nate. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m so excited about your platform and everything you’ve been able to do to help women, and I’m very proud to be a part of it. 

 

Dr. Fox: I mean, our connection is really new. You just heard one of our podcasts, and like boom, reached out to us, right? 

 

Carrie: That’s right. I was actually following you on Instagram. And I think I was actually following the hashtag #placentaprevia, and one of your recent episodes came up and I gave it a listen and loved it, and then I reached out and kind of shared a little bit about my story, and then we connected. 

 

Dr. Fox: I read your story. We spoke. I learned about your story and what you’re doing now and how you pivoted from, you know, what you went through to helping others. I just think it’s a really interesting and amazing story on many fronts, number one, just sort of what you were through medically and in terms of pregnancy, but also how you use that experience to really learn about yourself and about the world and about how to help other people, and that’s what you’re doing now. So, I just think it’s tremendous and I’m really excited to get into it with you. 

 

Carrie: Thanks so much. I’m really trying to turn pain into purpose and, you know, there’s only a reason to go through what I’ve been through, and as you know, it’s been a lot and your listeners will soon find out, but there’s no reason to go through all that if I can’t turn it into a positive and help others to make their challenge that much easier to be able to leverage the strategies that helped me as well. 

 

Dr. Fox: Give our listeners a sense of who you are, where you’re from and, you know, take yourself up until the point of your own medical story. 

 

Carrie: Sure, absolutely. So, again, my name is Carrie Creed, and I am married and a mom of two beautiful children. I have a five-year-old son, Tristin, and a two and a half year old daughter, Tenley. I live outside of Philadelphia and I have my own company called Carrie Creed Consulting LLC. And for the past 13 years, I’ve actually been a sales executive in the payments industry and have loved the financial industry with payments and have presented to numerous clients on stages for that. And when I was going through various challenges in my life, not only growing up, high school, college, and my career, my medical history has taken me out of whatever I had been doing, and I’ve had a hard time getting back to what I was previously doing, but each time I was able to get back. And after going through those challenges, which I’ll go in in a minute, you know, I realized that other people are having similar challenges. Other people are going through struggles, and not even in the world of COVID. Just in general, other people are suffering with many elements. 

 

So, I really wanted to put together my tried and true strategy that worked for me twice over a 20-year period, and really share them with the world to help them. So, you know, where my story really starts is I was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS, and it’s a rare connective tissue disease. It was very hard to diagnose. I was very flexible growing up. I had a lot of joint pain. I was very flexible in the standpoint where my fingers can go all the way back. My feet can go behind my head. You know, it was fun at first until I had knee braces, and wrist braces, and ankle braces, and braces under my teeth for so many years because my teeth would move back and forth and my joints would sublux. And finally had that diagnosis after I had major issues with muscle weakness, but it wasn’t until I, all of a sudden, wasn’t able to walk that, you know, my life really changed. 

 

Dr. Fox: How old were you when they made that diagnosis? 

 

Carrie: And I was a sophomore in high school, 16 or 17. And all of a sudden, I just had extreme weakness, was taken to the hospital, and later transferred to a children’s hospital in Philadelphia where I saw geneticist. And I had been seen by another specialty hospital for many years and was misdiagnosed as hypermobility syndrome or growing pains, I heard over and over, which is very disheartening as a young, healthy girl to be in so much pain and just be told it’s growing pains or even I was making it up. After not being able to walk, and picture this with me, Nate, and anyone listening, if you were to stand up and you have your feet parallel, your kneecaps, your patellas are pointing straight, if you were to squat and bend your knees, your knees bend straight, right? 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: Well, my right knee would bend medial. So, it would bend completely behind my left leg, but my feet would stay parallel, and that literally happened one day. And so, the doctors at that time said that my IT band, the iliotibial band in my right leg had stretched out and that they needed to just shorten that a little bit. And if they pulled it, it would pull my patella forward and I would be able to walk again. So, there was obviously a couple of other things going on inside my leg and, you know, they had that procedure and they did the surgery, and I went to extensive physical therapy, which I’ve been in and out of my whole life. And I rehab and I had a homeschool that summer to keep up with my class to start my junior year. And it was all great. And I thought, you know, I’d get past that and everything was fantastic. I decided to go to college. I decided to major in nursing because I was so fascinated by medicine and had always loved, you know, even helping to diagnose myself and choose the right doctors after my freshman year in college and I…gosh, I remember this day so vividly taking one of my last finals and, you know, walking back to my dormitory. I glanced down at my right leg as I was walking up a minor hill, and I noticed my right kneecap just turning in ever so slightly. And I had that, like, pit in my stomach. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Here we go again. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. As every 20-year-old girl does, they call their mom, and they say, “You know, mom, can you just call the surgeon back? I just kind of want to just go for a checkup.” You know, I’m a little concerned. Well, that appointment was made for two weeks from that date, and before I even got to that appointment, I was completely crippled again. I was then told I had to have extremely radical surgery called a double rotational osteotomy, which is orthopedic surgeon taking a saw and sawing apart your femur, your thigh bone, sawing apart your tibia and fibula, which is your lower leg bone, and rotating them in opposite directions. And then I had 12 external pins drilled into my bones that stuck out of my leg that’s been attached to another metal rod. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Believe it or not, I have a friend who had that operation, but yeah. It’s a bear. It’s serious stuff. 

 

Carrie: It’s a bear. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Fox: That’s real orthopedic ventures. 

 

Carrie: Oh, yeah. 

 

Dr. Fox: And then you’re 20. I mean, you’re a young woman. 

 

Carrie: Exactly. 

 

Dr. Fox: In college. I mean, it’s no great time to have that operation, but, I mean, that must have just been so devastating. 

 

Carrie: It was. And, you know, at the time, I was told I was going to miss one semester of school, and I thought, “Okay, I can miss one semester in nursing school. I could probably do a couple of things online. Maybe I can catch up and take some extra credits the following couple of years and still graduate on time.” Well, it turned out I missed two years, not two semesters, four semesters, but two years. I was actually hospitalized for 73 days. I was then moved home with the pin still in for another five months and then got the pins out only because my body was starting to reject the metal. And they told me I had a very good chance of having my leg amputated. Got the pins out that following May. So, my surgery was in September, had the pins all through that end of the year into May, and rushed to the hospital, had the pins removed and thank God they were able to save my leg, but it was nowhere near healed. You know, throughout that whole time, besides intensive physical therapy, three times a day, which involved just walking to help the cells recalcify to grow again, Very different when you have that surgery. It’s not like you have a cast on your arm where your body just heals. I actually had a pound in my leg for the cells to regrow that bone. I had a complete nonunion, and my body just decided not to heal at all. 

 

And because of the Ehlers-Danlos and because of the pain in my leg when I was learning how to rewalk and trying to do that first on a walker and then later on parallel bars, as you can imagine, you know, it’s super painful to stand on that leg that’s broken in numerous spots. So, if you can’t stand on your leg, you put the weight on your arms, right? Well, that doesn’t work very well when you have Ehlers-Danlos, and I ended up blowing out both my shoulders. I then had to learn to walk with somebody else holding their belt and kind of do a dance where they had to walk backwards and we had to choreograph it where I walked forward because, God forbid, if my leg was to hit theirs it would be excruciating. So, we made it work. But you’re right. As a 20-year-old woman, I mean, I had bedpans and bed baths for over 11 months, and I completely lost my independence. 

 

Dr. Fox: Who took care of you? Your parents? 

 

Carrie: Yeah. My mom, actually. She slept in a chair at the hospital for 73 days. Never left my side. Then when I was home, I was placed in a hospital bed in our living room in our small apartment. And, you know, she took care of me. We had a nurse come in for a few hours in the morning. We had a physical therapist come in every day in the afternoon. And then my father would come over after he got out of work to come do physical therapy with me at night, to put me back in bed before he went back to his own home. So, it was a whole system that we had in place, and throughout that time, I started to learn the strategies of perseverance and how a positive mindset makes such a difference in how…you know. I was on so much medication, so much pain medication, and everyone’s concern was addiction. And after all that, I was able to come off of it within, like, three or four days with zero issues. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. So, I want to ask you, actually, two things. Number one, did you have any siblings at home with you at the time? 

 

Carrie: So, I have an older brother who’s three years older than I am. So, he was in college at that time. 

 

Dr. Fox: Got it. And does anyone, either of your parents or your brother have Ehlers-Danlos? 

 

Carrie: So, as you know, it’s autosomal dominant, which means I have a 50% chance of passing it on and one of my parents have to have it, so… 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. Well, no, you could have a new mutation in theory. 

 

Carrie: Oh, true. Yeah. That’s true. What’s interesting is both of my parents have never been diagnosed, but they both show different elements of it. 

 

Dr. Fox: Interesting. 

 

Carrie: My mom has always been very flexible and my dad has flexible feet. Like, I have his strange feet. It’s like I have different pieces of both that show signs, but neither one of them were greatly ever affected. 

 

Dr. Fox: Got it. 

 

Carrie: And since I have hypermobility type, there’s no actual test. It’s more of a clinical diagnosis when you do certain things and they do measurements. It’s not a skin biopsy that could be detected. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. Because there’s so much we’re learning about this condition and there probably are other genetic subtypes and mutations. One of the big questions is why do some people Ehlers-Danlos have an easier time and some have a harder time with it. And it could be the specific mutation they have, but it could also be potentially if there’s other sort of related mutations in the same family of genes that you can get. So, maybe it’s, you know, your father has one minor mutation. Your mother has another, and maybe that’s why. I mean, who knows? It’s one of these things we’re still learning. But the other question I want to ask you is how did you come to this realization about the positive thinking and the positive attitude? I know you said you did it, but where did it come from? Just out of nowhere or was there something that helped you get to that place? 

 

Carrie: It’s such an interesting thing to look back on because when I share my second story it was so intentional. With my leg situation, it wasn’t necessarily intentional. It almost came out from within me as cliché or cheesy as that sounds. I just knew. I’ve always been a positive person. I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve always been an extremely hard worker. Family struggled financially growing up after my parents divorced, and I always knew how to be a go-getter and to get things done and not just talk, and not to do the war with me. And so, that really carried through with me throughout this process, and I knew that I had to look for that light at the end of the tunnel and keep pushing forward and celebrate the small wins. And, you know, the time at the hospital was really challenging, but I was also the most sick then, in the most pain. And, you know, it’s interesting how your brain blocks out moments in your life when you have extreme trauma or pain because there’s very little bit in the hospital that I can fully remember. 

 

My poor mother remembered every single millisecond that occurred, but when I came home and I was, you know, not on as heavy medicine and had my routine going and, you know, took back some control of as much independence as I could, that’s where things started to shift for me. And, you know, one of the biggest things that happened was I happened to be watching like a daytime talk show during the day, and Mariah Carey came on to sing her latest single, “Through the Rain.” And I wasn’t really a Mariah Carey fan or anything, but I’m just sitting there watching it. And for some reason, that song just resonated with me because the lyrics said, “I will walk again. I will walk through the rain. I will stand up.” And I kind of took a double-take and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. I am.” And I immediately had to have that CD. And it’s funny because I have no idea who bought it for me. You know, Amazon Prime was not around back then, so I don’t know how it got to me, but I would listen to that song three times every night before I went to bed. 

 

Dr. Fox: That’s so cool. And her name sounds like yours, Carey. 

 

Carrie: Oh, true. I never realized that. That’s actually…That’s so true. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. 

 

Carrie: You know, I listened to just that one track, and then I also started watching the “Hour of Power,” which is like a spiritual show and they talk a lot. They have a ton of motivational quotes, and I had this little purple notebook that I put alongside my bed in this little plastic bin that had, like, my own little supplies that I could reach, and I would jot down these motivational quotes, and before bed, I would go through those lists and I would reread those quotes as after I listened to the song “Through the Rain” three times. And I would also maintain… This is where I got like a little bit OCD to maintain control, but in a way it’s good. Like, when I went to bed at night, it was almost so childish, but I had to have the blankets in a certain order, and the stuffed animals around the bedrails sat in the same order because I couldn’t move in bed. You know, I had pins sticking out of my leg. I was laying on my back and I don’t move for the next eight hours, so everything needed to have its place, and that’s how I kind of took back control. And that’s what gave me a little bit more power, and if I had power, it made me feel like I could prevail, and that’s what happened. And I did, and it got to the point where the pins had to come out and, you know, they were able to save my leg and they had to get this huge brace for me that went under my breastbone all the way down to my ankle. And I was then moved to the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia where I lived there for five months with my mom and did outpatient physical therapy every day, multiple hours a day on my entire body, and that’s where I learned how to rewalk again. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. And I think what you said, some of it is about control, this idea of, you know, when you’re in a situation where you don’t have control or it feels like you don’t have control, meaning that that element of life becomes so evident. I mean, we really don’t have control, but when it’s more like pervasive and what you’re feeling, these little things that you take back some control are really helpful in terms of your mindset. But also I think those motivational…you know, whether it’s a song, whether it’s a phrase, whether it’s a quote, I mean, people use them and they’re successful. I mean, if you look at the military uses them, sports teams use them. I mean, it’s not hocus-pocus. I mean, having these types of things to reframe how you’re thinking and to focus your mind are actually helpful for people and getting through very difficult situations. 

 

Carrie: It’s so true. And, you know, until you actually try it and until you’re going through something and you need that positive affirmation, you might laugh at it. You know, looking at yourself in the mirror saying, like, “I am strong. I am powerful. I’ve got this. I can do this.” You know, might seem really silly, but until you’re in that moment when you need to remind yourself of how strong you are because most of the times, we don’t realize what we all have inside of us. We don’t realize how strong we are until we’re forced to use our own personal strength to persevere. And, you know, those are the times where we need to pull it from deep down inside of us and leverage it so we can succeed. And that’s exactly what I did in those moments. 

 

Dr. Fox: Wow. So, that got you in your early 20s. And then as you said, this sort of came back to you later in life. 

 

Carrie: Later, you know, I went back to college. I had actually transferred schools, changed my major, but graduated, met my husband, and got married. And then, you know, we decided to start a family after some years. And that was a point in my life where it created a lot of anxiety because, you know, as a woman with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I knew my pregnancy would be high-risk. And I was very concerned about the additional weight of the baby on my leg. And, you know, as much as I was doing so much better, I was able to keep my muscle tone where it needed to be through various workouts and keep my pain level down. I was so afraid of what a pregnancy…you know, gaining 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, who knows how many pounds you’re going to gain could do? And could that, you know, reverse everything? And the uncertainty of that really threw me in a tailspin when we became pregnant in 2014. But I became pregnant and I was monitored very closely. Had ultrasounds basically every about 12 to 15 days, and they were checking for a shortened cervix. They were checking for, you know, all sorts of things. And I was told I was only able to gain like 18 to 20 pounds, and I stayed roughly around there. I think I was more like 25, but they wanted me to keep the weight as low as possible, which is obviously really important for my legs. So, the pregnancy actually went very well. My son ended up being breached, which turned out at the time to be a little bit of a blessing because the big debate was how should I deliver? 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: Should I try to deliver vaginally? If I did that and I had an epidural, my hips are so flexible that if the nurses were pulling my hips back, they could just dislocate. I wouldn’t be able to tell them to stop, but yet a surgery, a cesarean, my healing time after surgery is so much lengthier than a typical person, so that wasn’t the best answer either. So, there was really no right answer, but he was breached, so a cesarean it was, and it allowed us to just kind of throw our hands in the air and say, you know, that…We didn’t need to make a choice. This is the only option. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: You know, I delivered him. He was healthy, wonderful. My recovery did definitely took many, many weeks, but I recovered and went on, and everything was great. And two years later, we decided to expand our family again. And this time I wasn’t anxious as much about the Ehlers-Danlos. I had done it. I had relost the 20 pounds. I was actually the healthiest I had ever been. I’d started a new exercise program. I had come off any medicine I was on for inflammation, like the healthiest I’ve ever been. 

 

Dr. Fox: What kind of exercises were you able to do with your Ehlers-Danlos? 

 

Carrie: So, what I found was barre. Barre exercises, you know, the combination of Pilates, yoga, and ballet is the best for me. All yoga with stretching is not good. Pilates is wonderful, but this barre exercising with, you know, the tiny motions but repetitiveness has really created this long lean muscle for me, and it has just…It’s changed my whole body. It’s changed the pain level that I have. It’s changed the tone. It’s changed the way my muscles support my joints. It’s been a huge blessing. I went into that pregnancy as strong and as healthy as possible, and everything was going great. And my 20-week ultrasound showed that I had placenta previa, you know. At that point, it’s interesting because, you know, going back to your previous episode on placenta previa and how you said, you know, “Don’t ever google that because it leads you down a bad path.” 

 

Dr. Fox: They’ll find you. 

 

Carrie: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, interesting enough, I had never heard of placenta previa prior to them telling me I had it, and I didn’t understand even…you know. They said, “Oh, it’s just…your placenta is covering your cervix and you’ll have to have a C-section.” I was like, “Okay, well, I’m going to have a C-section anyway, so no big deal.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. Right. 

 

Carrie: So, I kind of left that appointment as it’s really no big deal. You know, they did tell me that I had an increased chance of bleeding and I have Factor V Leiden as well. Normally, I’d take a baby aspirin, but when I’m pregnant, I had to have an injection of blood thinners every day. So, the doctor had said, you know, “Since you’re on a blood thinner and you have an increased chance of bleeding, that’s not really a good combo, so if you do bleed, you’re going to bleed heavily and you need to make sure that you get medical attention.” 

 

Dr. Fox: And at the time, they didn’t go in with you, the risk of that placenta accreta. 

 

Carrie: They did not. 

 

Dr. Fox: I mean, that’s okay. It’s usually not the case. It depends how it looks on ultrasound, but it’s about a 10% chance. If you have a prior C-section and the placenta previa, that combination makes accreta about 10% give or take. 

 

Carrie: Got it. 

 

Dr. Fox: But again, when you see it on ultrasound, you can sometimes make that number higher or lower based on how it appears. 

 

Carrie: Well, what’s interesting is the doctor, he mentioned placenta previa, and then throughout the word placenta accreta, and then mentioned hysterectomy, and then went back to previa, and I literally left that appointment not knowing what I had, and I actually ended up having to text the doctor later and be like, “Wait, do I have accreta? Do I have previa? Like, which one should I be googling?” 

 

Dr. Fox: Which one should I be terrified of? Yeah. 

 

Carrie: Yes. Yes, and he was like, “You do not have accreta. You have placenta previa. Like, everything will be okay.” I’m like, “Okay, thank goodness.” So, at that point, I continued on with my daily life. This was November, December of 2017. I was traveling for work extensively. I tripped in Seattle. I was in New York. I did a week in Germany. I was…you know, hustle and bustle of the holidays. I was everywhere. And, you know, it wasn’t until I went to another OB appointment and I was around I think like 22 weeks, and my OB was like, “How are you doing?” And I basically just said, “I’m fine.” And I just happened to mention that I was traveling, and she was like, “Wait, you’re traveling? You can’t be traveling.” I’m like, “Says who? Like, no one has ever told me,” and she’s like, “You can’t be exercising.” I’m like, “Wait, what?” And she kind of put me in a panic. I’m like, “I’m leaving for Germany in, like, 24 hours. I can’t cancel this trip. This is a huge trip for me.” And so, she’s like, “You need to take all your medical information with you,” and so she printed out this binder for me that I took to Munich, Germany. And I remember walking out of the office thinking, “Wait, what is happening? Like, how serious is the situation? Like, what is happening?” I was like, “Okay, this is bizarre,” and so I talked to her about exercising and, you know, she said barre three is totally fine as long as I’m taking the modifications and not doing planks or heavy squatting. So, I’m like, “Okay.” So, I go to Germany and I come back. Thankfully, everything is all right, and she told me I’m not allowed to go anywhere after that. That was a couple of days before Christmas. 

 

Dr. Fox: You’ve been grounded. 

 

Carrie: I was grounded. Totally grounded, and I was like, “Okay.” So, we had Christmas. We had new years, and on January 5th, 2018, it was a Friday, I was running an errand on my lunch hour. I just had gotten done exercising and I took a barre class over lunch and then ran to a store down the street to return a pair of leggings. That was actually at Motherhood Maternity, go figure. And I’m at the counter, and I felt this gush and… 

 

Dr. Fox: How many weeks were you at the time, give or take? 

 

Carrie: Twenty-five. 

 

Dr. Fox: Twenty-five. 

 

Carrie: Twenty-five. 

 

Dr. Fox: Okay. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. And, you know, what’s interesting is when they tell you you have a chance of bleeding, you know, not to be like too much TMI, but, like, women have discharged and stuff, and whenever you’d feel something I’d always… 

 

Dr. Fox: This is the place to be a TMI. We are all about TMI. 

 

Carrie: Okay. 

 

Dr. Fox: Whatever you want to say, they’ll listen to it. Yeah. 

 

Carrie: So, whenever you had a little discharge, I’d always like, excuse myself to the bathroom if I was at work and just check, right? And everything was always fine, but this was a gush, and I thought to myself I’m either hemorrhaging or my water just broke. And I have never felt my water break before because I had a C-section, but I’m like, “This could be what it feels like.” So, I went to the bathroom and there was blood everywhere. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. That’s a pretty scary thing. 

 

Carrie: So scary. And I immediately called 911, and I went into a disorientation of my medical history in the calmest, coolest way because, in my mind, I was like if an ambulance comes and they don’t know who I am or how many weeks pregnant or why I’m bleeding or anything, like, that could be really bad for me. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. 

 

Carrie: So, I was going through everything so they would know. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped. I had to lay on the floor until they arrived, and gosh, the poor retail clerk was having a heart attack. 

 

Dr. Fox: Oh, my God. 

 

Carrie: She kept saying, “How are you so calm? I’m about to freak out.” I’m like, “Oh, well, don’t do that because I’m trying really hard to stay calm.” But, you know, they took me to the hospital and they later transferred me to… 

 

Dr. Fox: See your hospital. The correct hospital or you had to get transferred after? 

 

Carrie: No. I had to get transferred, and I had asked the ambulance driver to take me to the one where they had a level three NICU just in case I had to deliver, and they refused because they said, “We have to take you to the closest hospital because you’re our patient, not your baby. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. That’s so tough. Those things are so hard. Oh, my God. 

 

Carrie: Oh, it’s awful. 

 

Dr. Fox: We have that all the time because the ambulances have to do what they have to do, but you know the second you’re going to land in one of those local hospitals they’re going to say, “Oh, my God, you got to get the hell out of here as soon as possible. When that baby comes out…” 

 

Carrie: It was awful. 

 

Dr. Fox: “…We can’t deal with that baby at that age.” 

 

Carrie: Right. 

 

Dr. Fox: So, it’s hard. 

 

Carrie: It was awful. And, I mean, the hospital that they were going to send me to was still a great hospital, but they had a level two NICU, so they can only see babies from 32 weeks on. And, you know, as a mom, my number one goal is my baby and everyone else’s number one goal is me, so it was horrible, but I called my husband. He met me at the hospital and then, you know, they did the stress test and the baby was fine. You know, I was having a little girl and she was none the wiser of what was happening. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: And I was later told I had about a 30% chance of delivering that day. The transfer took forever, probably six or seven hours. I was transferred 15 minutes away to another hospital that had a level three NICU. And I never left for 65 days. 

 

Dr. Fox: And your doctors, were they at that hospital? I mean, they could see you there? 

 

Carrie: No. 

 

Dr. Fox: Or did you have to have a whole new set of doctors? 

 

Carrie: A whole new set of doctors. 

 

Dr. Fox: Oh, dear. Yeah. That’s tough. 

 

Carrie: A whole new set of doctors and… 

 

Dr. Fox: People like me. 

 

Carrie: Yes. Yes. There you go. But you know what? Those doctors, I had fallen in love with. I actually transferred all my future care to those doctors and nothing against the other ones. I just now totally bonded to them in a different way. And so, you know, I was there and they originally told me that I had to be not bleeding for 24 hours to go home, and I said, “Okay.” 

 

Dr. Fox: At least. Yeah. 

 

Carrie: So, I bled on and off for four days, and after the fourth day, they said, you know, “Since you’ve been bleeding for a couple of days now, you need to be not bleeding for a week to go home,” and I said, “Okay.” So, we got to about, like, day three in that week and the doctor came in and I said, “I have a question,” and she said, “Yes.” And I go, “I’m not actually going to be going anywhere.” I’m like, “You’re just kind of stringing me along. Is that accurate?” 

 

Dr. Fox: These are the lies you tell, right? 

 

Carrie: Yeah, yeah. This was just to make sure I didn’t freak out a couple of days to go, right? “Is that accurate?” And she sat down and she said, “Yes, that’s pretty accurate, Carrie.” We know there’s a high chance you’re going to bleed again, and when you have a couple of bleeds you are going to need to stay here, but let’s just reevaluate. Let’s see what happens.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Were you seeing maternal fetal medicine doctors, or OB-GYNs, or a combination? I’m just curious. What was the makeup of the doctors who were seeing you every day? 

 

Carrie: Yeah. So, the doctors seeing me every day were just OB-GYN. The maternal fetal medicine doctors, I would see every Monday for an ultrasound. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. And did they at any time suspect that it might be a placenta accreta once you were admitted? 

 

Carrie: Not yet. Not at that point. 

 

Dr. Fox: So still just a previa? 

 

Carrie: Correct. Just a previa. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. It’s hard to see an ultrasound. This is not knocking anybody. It’s very difficult to sometimes diagnose and it’s difficult to rule out. Ultrasound is not perfect, MRI is not perfect. It really…Frequently, you don’t know until the moment you deliver. 

 

Carrie: They found it two weeks later, three weeks later. 

 

Dr. Fox: They did. Okay. 

 

Carrie: It just wasn’t…Oh, they did. Yeah. 

 

Dr. Fox: Okay. 

 

Carrie: So, they found it the last week in January, you know. I was there for a couple of weeks, had my Monday ultrasound, and it was the last week in January and the doctor came in and said, “Well, you know, we’re at an interesting spot right now because you haven’t bled now in about two and a half weeks and we’re thinking of sending you home.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: And I said, “Well, I’m not going home.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: And they were like… 

 

Dr. Fox: How far did you live from that hospital? 

 

Carrie: Twenty-five minutes. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. And that’s part of the problem. We frequently have a hard time deciding whether someone should stay or go home in that circumstance. And, you know, I mean, generally, we wouldn’t string people long. We’ll tell them what we’re thinking, but it’s hard because there isn’t a right or wrong, and the problem is if you go home and you bleed again and you call 911, the same thing is going to happen. They’re going to take you to the other hospital. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Fox: And sometimes you just don’t have time for that and the transfer, and so it’s not that like keeping the hospital some magical kingdom that’s going to keep you from bleeding, it’s just if you bleed at home, you’re not going to end up in the right place necessarily within time for your health and for the baby’s health, whereas if you’re there, at least we know you’re going to go to this room, this operating room, and we’re going to do it. And so, it sometimes comes down to just logistics, not so much the medicine of it. 

 

Carrie: Absolutely. I mean, and that was my biggest fear. So, I live on a little bit of a mountain in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and the day before my bleed, we had a horrible snowstorm to the point that we weren’t able to get our cars up our street. So, I bled the day before, and ambulance, there’s was no way they would have been able to get to me. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Get snowmobiled over to the hospital. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. Yeah. So, I had said to them, I’m like, “There’s no way I’m going home,” and they said, “Well, Carrie, you might not have a choice. Insurance is probably going to cut us off. Let’s go and see your ultrasound now and see if anything has changed and then we’ll have to make a decision.” So, talk about like a complete mind shift. I went from, like, two and a half, three weeks of praying not to bleed and praying everything is okay to then praying that I would just bleed the tiniest bit because if I was just to bleed the tiniest bit, they wouldn’t send me anywhere. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. Wow. 

 

Carrie: And it was just such a weird switch of like I can’t believe I’m asking to have a little bit of a bleed to just stay here to be safe. Like, it was so strange. So, I ended up going through this ultrasound the next day, and interesting enough, talked to the doctor beforehand and she was like, “I just don’t know. The situation is really, really tough. I don’t know what we can possibly do. Obviously, we want your mental state to be okay, and sending you home is not going to do that. That’s definitely a reason to keep you, but let’s just see how your condition is.” Well, that’s the day they found the placenta accreta, and I had a detailed ultrasound. At the end of it, she said, “Well, I have good news and I have bad news,” and I said, “Okay.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Good news is you’re staying. 

 

Carrie: The good news is you’re staying. You got what you wanted. And the bad news is, you know, you now have placenta accreta. I’m almost positive we’re going to get an MRI to confirm, but we need to talk about the next steps and what this means for delivery, the time period, and what this means for the overall situation of, you know, your reproductive history or future. So, you know, that was also a bizarre, deep breath, exhale because the anxiety of needing to leave to be safe was gone, but now the anxiety of what the future held was extremely disturbing. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. At that time, what did you understand about placenta accreta? Because you said you sort of…It went past you before. You didn’t know whether to ask about it. Did you understand what that meant exactly at the time? 

 

Carrie: The only thing I knew that it meant was that I had to have a hysterectomy. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. And I think just for our listeners, that’s the big difference. If you have a placenta accreta, it means the placenta is stuck to the uterus. We don’t expect it to come off after delivery, and almost always, or always, it means that when you deliver by C-section, the uterus comes out afterwards, meaning a hysterectomy, meaning no more babies, at least that you would carry. 

 

Carrie: Correct. Correct. And so, that’s the only part that I really understood. I didn’t realize at the time the life-threatening aspect of it. I didn’t realize at the time the blood transfusion. I didn’t realize at the time being under general anesthesia for the delivery. I didn’t realize at the time couldn’t carry the baby longer than 34 weeks. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a big difference. It’s a big deal. 

 

Carrie: So, definitely a big deal. And so, when I realized it was a big deal it was about a half-hour later. When I left, you know, they wheeled me back to my room and they had said, you know, “In the next couple of days, we’re going to get an MRI just to confirm it should just…you know. I feel confident it is that, but let’s just get the MRI,” and I said, “Okay.” So, went back to my room. I had not even had time to go to the bathroom before the MRI structure was at the front of my room ready to take me. And that’s when I knew this was serious. You know, when does that happen that fast at the hospital? Very, very rarely does that happen that fast. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. You kind of you get lunch that fast. 

 

Carrie: Correct. Correct. So, you know, I went and had the MRI, and I don’t think I was able to even call my husband between the time period of getting the diagnosis and the MRI. It was that fast and came back from it and then made a couple of phone calls. And I was crushed. I was so upset. I cried harder, you know, that 24 or 48 hours and I had that entire time. 

 

Dr. Fox: What was it that crushed you? Was it the idea that this was a more serious situation and that your health or the baby’s health was at risk? Was it this idea that unless, you know, something happened with fertility treatments or whatever you weren’t going to have any more kids? Like, what part of it was it? 

 

Carrie: Yeah, it was the fact that the decision to have more children was just taken from me. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: And it wasn’t that…you know. I was never somebody that said I’m going to have 10 kids or 5 kids or 3 kids, you know, I’d always wanted 2 or 3. And it was really important to me that I had a boy and a girl and, you know, you don’t get to choose that, but I was fortunate enough to have a boy first and next was going to be my daughter. But to not have the choice and to have that taken for me to not decide in two years, two and a half, three years, that we want to expand our family again in that same way just made me feel so cheated. And, you know, to know this was my last pregnancy and to not be able to enjoy it, and to know that, you know, I didn’t get to have the big deli out in public when people are like, “Oh,” you know, all the cute stuff and wear the cute maternity clothes and just enjoy the last pregnancy or get maternity pictures or any of that, that I’ll never have that opportunity again because it was just taken from me. 

 

And the risk to me. It terrified me when I started looking it up what I was reading. And I quickly…I joined all these Messenger, Twitter, Facebook pages and then started seeing all the deaths recorded and all of these situations with babies not making it, and mothers not making it, and ICU visits, and massive blood transfusions, and I started having panic attacks. Like, I was literally like, “I can’t… Oh, my gosh, this is way more serious than I expected.” And for my mental health, I had to put all that away. I wasn’t able to google anymore. I wasn’t able to be in photo groups. I had to put it away. And I openly asked my doctor when she came in very serious questions about what to expect. And when I was told that I couldn’t carry her past 30 weeks because the risks to me was going to be too large and that… 

 

Dr. Fox: Thirty-four weeks, right? 

 

Carrie: Thirty-four. I’m sorry. Yeah, 34 weeks. The risk to me would be too large and that she’d go to the NICU and I’d likely be in the ICU afterwards, and they weren’t really sure how long it would take till I’d be able to see my daughter, and I will have a blood transfusion, and, you know, all of that. It was just a lot. It was a lot to handle. As I continued getting ultrasounds through February, the accreta turned into increta. So, the placenta was digging deeper into my uterus. The situation was getting a lot scarier. And I had a second MRI the end of February where they thought it had gone to percreta through my bladder and was right…through my uterus and it was right next to my bladder. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: So, they had always said to me 34 weeks was going to be the last. And so, at that time, that was March 6th. My original due date was April 15th, and so I had, you know, a homemade calendar that I had on my wall and I had originally circled in red March 6th and I visualized that every day. And anyone that told me I couldn’t get to March 6th I’d kind of politely kick them out of my room, and I said, ‘You’re dealing with Carrie Creed here. I am getting to March 6. There’s no if, ands, buts about it.” And at the end of February, my doctor came in and basically said, you know, “Carrie, the MRI does not look good. The latest ultrasound does not look good and we’re going to bump up your surgery about, you know, 9, 10 days.” I was adamant. I said, “No, we’re not doing that.” Like, I couldn’t handle that loss of control switch. I had focused so much on March 6. I couldn’t handle moving it to, like, I think it was February 26. It was not even a big shift but I couldn’t handle it. 

 

And she was also my April baby, now she’s my March baby. She’s not my February baby. My son is born in February. They’re not having the same month, like, this, no. And it sounds so silly, but that was my way of controlling the situation. And, you know, they had said, like, “I’m sorry, you don’t have a say here, and this could be really bad, and we’re going to have ureters put in, like the stents put in your ureters to make sure that they’re not nicked, and we’re thinking about doing a balloon, but we’re not sure how that’s going to work with your clotting condition,” and so much back and forth on what they were doing from a treatment standpoint. And I was so impressed with that hospital, by the way, of the plan that they so quickly put an action, I mean, to the point where they had a box already in the OR with all the surgical supplies ready to go. They did dry runs every day with the staff on how quickly they can get me to the OR. I mean, the entire hospital knew about my case and… 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. What hospital was it, if you don’t mind saying? 

 

Carrie: Yeah. It was Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. 

 

Dr. Fox: Great. Great. Yeah. I mean, and it’s true that people with the placenta accreta, if you look at the data, when you look at the deaths and all the things you mentioned, the likelihood of something horrific happening is much, much higher when it’s unplanned, unknown, right? Someone walks into the hospital and they’re hemorrhaging and they have this then, yeah, really bad things can happen. When it’s planned and known and you have a team in advance and they are prepared and they do this sort of preparation, sure, obviously, it’s very dangerous and things can go wrong and you will probably have, you know, ICU, blood transfusion and all these things. But the overwhelming likelihood is you’re going to walk out of there, and it’s a massive difference between those two situations, and so having a place that’s prepared for this and knows what they’re doing is really the best way to assure a good ultimate outcome. 

 

Carrie: Absolutely. And I think what made me more nervous in that situation is just my other health conditions on top of it, you know. They were concerned about the Factor V and the Ehlers-Danlos and all the other intricacies that made it so challenging. So, that’s what concerned me, but yes, you’re entirely correct. You know, when it’s non-diagnosed, prior diagnosed, that’s when massive hemorrhaging occurs for sure. 

 

Dr. Fox: Did they move the date up ultimately? 

 

Carrie: They didn’t, which was interesting. There was a scheduling issue at the last minute when they were deciding it the next day, and they had already put this big team in place of everyone that was so briefed on my case and had practiced and talked to weekly and there was two people out of the key like 12 that weren’t going to be able to make that date work. 

 

And they decided… They looked back at the ultrasound and they said, you know, “We fully don’t think that waiting an extra week, week and a half is going to make that big of a difference, so we’re going to…” 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. And you haven’t been bleeding either. 

 

Carrie: Right. And I had not been bleeding, so they said, “We’re going to go back to the original date of March 6th.” And, you know, that was just like an unbelievable celebration, and they had said, “But if you do bleed in advance, like, you’re going to probably need to deliver,” and I said, “I understand that. I just don’t want to have anything scheduled prior.” Like if something happens prior, I’m accepting of that. So, you know, I did get to March 6th and surgery actually went extremely well. They did have to give me the hysterectomy and remove my uterus and my tubes. I kept my ovaries and I kept my cervix. I did have a blood transfusion, not a huge one. I don’t remember the exact amount but definitely, had a transfusion. And my daughter went to the NICU. She was there for 18 days. Thankfully, I actually did not need to go to the ICU. 

 

Dr. Fox: It’s great. 

 

Carrie: They felt the surgery went so well and I was fairly stable when I woke up in excruciating pain, but stable enough that I didn’t need to go to the ICU, which was wonderful. And then I continued on, you know, with my recovery. So, I feel extremely blessed and fortunate that I have not had any lifelong medical issues regarding it. The placenta was just about to go through my uterus. It had not gone through yet, so the bladder team was there ready for bladder surgery, but I did not need that. 

 

Dr. Fox: Great. 

 

Carrie: And I’m very thankful for that because I do know a lot of people struggle with that procedure and the aftermath of it. So, very, very fortunate. 

 

Dr. Fox: How do you decide to take these stories, to take, you know, what you’d been through your experiences, what you learned, and then to bring it out to other people? 

 

Carrie: Yeah. It was the time that I was in that hospital when I was pregnant, and I knew the max amount of time I could be there would be 65 days. When I circled that March 6th and counted down in the calendar, I knew it was 65 days. And I didn’t have weeks and weeks or the term and the strategy that I would use to get through this time because this was fully mental, you know. With my leg surgery, I was in pain and struggling and recovering. This was…I was completely perfectly able mentally, physically. I just had to be in bed. And so, it was a full mental game to persevere. And so, what I did was not only did I have my homemade calendar on the wall, but I had a whole wall of motivation that I had my husband print out, all these quotes in Google that I had sent him and I got a custom banner in my room that said, “Keep on cooking, baby sister,” and battery-operated candles. And I just made it into my positive shrine. It was the most decorated hospital room anyone had ever seen better than my dorm room in college. It was awesome and it gave me inspiration. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. It was your pregnancy dojo. 

 

Carrie: Yes. Yes, for sure. And the other thing I decided to do was keep working. My boss had called me after I was admitted and he said, “Okay, you want to start maternity leave now?” I said, “No, I’m not,” and he said, “Yes, yes, you are. This is way too stressful.” And I said, “No, what’s too stressful is me sitting here with nothing to do and thinking about the danger I’m in. I need to keep my mind focused. I need to keep purpose, and I don’t have anything teed up and ready to go on maternity leave. And I don’t leave my work like that.” 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. And pre-COVID, this was a big deal, but now almost like… 

 

Carrie: Thank you. 

 

Dr. Fox: …yeah, work remotely. Who cares? It’s all good. 

 

Carrie: Totally. 

 

Dr. Fox: Everyone is remote now. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. You’re right. 

 

Dr. Fox: Back then it was a big deal to work remote back then. 

 

Carrie: A very big deal. Very big deal. So, they let me do that. I actually ended up winning the second-largest deal in the company’s history from the hospital, and then had a big celebration with the doctors and nurses. And my husband came down. It was very funny, but yeah, that’s what gave me purpose. That’s what allowed me to take control, and I controlled when my visitors would come, and what I needed, and what I…you know, when it was too much for me and, you know, really took control of the entire situation. And so, after I got to March 6th and came home and my daughter came home in late March, I knew that the strategies that I used, which I had also used with my leg surgery had worked, you know. I was able to get through this situation when everyone really didn’t think I could. But I still didn’t feel right and it wasn’t until I was four months postpartum that I kind of lost it, for lack of a better term, and I had all of this anger and all of this rage and all this extreme sadness. 

 

I was triggered by seeing, you know, maternity commercials, or maternity clothes, or seeing somebody announce their pregnancy, or seeing somebody do skin-to-skin with their baby after they were delivered, or…you know, any of those types of images or stories. And I was just so saddened about what had happened to me. And I was luckily in one-on-one therapy. After I had left the hospital, they recommended that I did that based on all the trauma that I had been through and really thinking about life and death for so many days. And I was diagnosed with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. And, you know, I did some very intensive therapy. I got into EMDR therapy, which is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, where you heal your brain through regoing through the trauma to heal what you went through and process it correctly. And I put in the time, and I came out of that way better Carrie Creed than I ever was, and it was like… 

 

Dr. Fox: It’s like physical therapy for, you know, your mental health. It’s the same concept. 

 

Carrie: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Fox: Yeah. 

 

Carrie: Yes. And I never really had an appreciation for mental health prior to that, and when I came out of that darkness, like a year later when I came out of the darkness and when I really realized what I had missed out on during my early maternity leaves days with my baby because I was just so disconnected with her and I was just going through emotions without really even being alive, that is the moment when I said to myself, “I need to share my story. I’ve always talked about writing a book. I’ve always talked about being a motivational speaker. Now that I have the second situation, now that I’ve tried these strategies out twice and persevered, and now that I’ve had this challenge with mental health and I understand what it feels to be, and it’s such a deep, dark, scary place and I was able to rise above, I can help so many people.” 

 

And it was literally on the 18th anniversary of my leg surgery, so it was September 12th last year where I was with my day job and our women’s leadership group. We went to see a motivational speaker and I was sitting in the audience and I was watching her speak, and it just…it did something to me that day, and I said, “This is it. This is what I’m going to do,” and I came home and I started writing my book and I started researching, you know, how to create an LLC and how to design a website, and quickly realized a lot of that stuff I wasn’t able to do myself and hired a company to design my website and started networking with people. And, you know, six, seven months later, I launched my business this past April, you know, not knowing it was going to be a month after COVID hit, but… 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. 

 

Carrie: And so, this is what I’m doing now is really trying to share my positivity and share my strategies with others so they can, you know, conquer life’s uninvited challenges and find a way to persevere to better themselves. 

 

Dr. Fox: Right. And who is it that finds you and asks you to speak for them? Like, what kind of groups would say, “Hey, we want Carrie Creed to come talk to us?” 

 

Carrie: Any type of corporate who’s looking for inspirational, motivational speaker. It’s women’s groups within corporate, women’s groups outside of corporate. There’s a ton of women’s groups that get together in the evenings and the weekends and talk about all certain different issues. It’s also colleges. Colleges actually do a ton with inspiration and strategies of conquering challenges. And I’m going to be hopefully working with high schoolers, doing some camp sessions for children who are having some medical issues and need some inspiration and positivity in their lives. 

 

Dr. Fox: It’s amazing. And you talk about…you know. You focus on this positivity. Tell me, what do you mean by positivity? 

 

Carrie: Positivity to me is…It’s a mindset, you know. It doesn’t mean you’re smiling all throughout the day. It doesn’t mean you’re always happy. I have many moments where I’ve cried and I’ve been super upset about what I’ve gone through or what has happened to me. But it’s a choice. It’s a choice that you make to find the positive in every negative. You know, it’s a choice that you make to look at any situation and realize, okay, yes, this happened to me, but there’s a reason why it happened. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why my leg surgery happened to me, why that happened after my freshman year in college, why that changed my whole trajectory of my entire life based on my career and what I’d done. 

 

And it wasn’t until I got pregnant and was put in that hospital bed for 65 days that I knew why I went through that previous experience. Because when I was pregnant, I didn’t have weeks and weeks and weeks to figure out what was going to work for me and how to keep my mind focused and how to keep myself positive and optimistic. I didn’t have time to do that. When I had my leg surgery, I had months and months and months to figure that out because it was an 18-month ordeal. My pregnancy was a 65-day situation, and so I had to immediately tap into those strategies that I knew from 18 years earlier. So, that’s why I went through that. 

 

So, it took me 18 years to realize that, but my big message is every challenge that everyone is going through, there’s a reason for it. Sometimes that reason is right. Smack at the front of your face and you’ll find it out a couple of days later. And sometimes it doesn’t really appear for years and years, but we all have learnings through each of our challenges. And I’m a big believer that, you know, one door closes, another one opens. So, that’s what it means to be positive is just to look at things differently, from a different perspective, and to be grateful for the small things that happen in your life because no matter how bad things are, there’s so much to be grateful for. 

 

Dr. Fox: So interesting that you mentioned that because this idea of being positive is not this sort of like blissful unawareness of what’s real in your life or what’s real in the world. It’s not ignoring. And, you know, we had a podcast about six months ago with a friend of mine named Jeff Zahn who’s a…he’s a physician. He’s an anesthesiologist, but he’s written on this and he had this concept where he talked about choosing happiness, and it’s sort of the same idea that part of our mindset is how we choose, and there’s this idea of positive psychology and there’s data behind it. And it’s the same thing you’re describing. It’s that this notion that you can look at things differently or look at them in a certain way and focus on certain positive aspects, and it actually helps how you feel, and it helps your brain chemistry and how you feel, that it’s not hokey. It’s real. 

 

And it’s an amazing strategy that people can use, but it requires help. It’s not easy to just come up with it on your own. Some people need coaching or need someone to explain it to them or sort of give them help in how to do that, and I think it’s just so interesting when you do it from a public speaking perspective. Are you able to engage with your audience when you do this or is it just sort of you give a speech and then you leave? Because I know we were talking before that you’re also going to be starting a coaching aspect to what you do. And I’m just curious, like, when you’re in an audience, how much of that comes into play when you come to speak with a group? 

 

Carrie: A lot, actually, you know, being able to read their body language and it’s the messages you receive after you speak that makes it so worth it. I mean, even putting a post on Instagram. I share a ton of positives between quotes and my personal stories and strategies on my Instagram Carrie Creed Speaker, and the DMs that I get from people who are either going through a medical challenge, it could be placenta accreta, placenta previa, Ehlers-Danlos, or completely something different that I resonated with them based on something I’ve said. Those are the times where I know that I’m making a difference. Those are the times where I realize that people do need these reminders and, you know, even today’s message that I put on my Instagram, you know, I said if you don’t like the current chapter you’re in, turn the page and start a new one. It’s all up to you. We all have this choice. We have this choice to be positive. We have this choice to be thankful and grateful. 

 

And on the flip side, we have the choice to agonize over the one negative thing that happened in one day or, you know, how we acted with our kids last night and just to harp on that today and feel horrible about it. You have to let those things go. We have to choose to find the joy in the day. We have to choose to find the positive and the negative situation because it’s there. It’s just easier sometimes to find the negative. The negative is right in front of our face. It’s easier to find that and to talk about it and to sulk in it. Sometimes it’s harder to find the positive, but once you do, and when you focus on that, your energy shifts, your mindset shifts, and your energy that you’ll show the world shifts. 

 

Dr. Fox: Another theme that seems to come up a lot is not just as positivity, but this idea of power, that people are more powerful and they have more strength than they assume that they have. What do you mean by that, and how do you convince people of that? Like, what’s your argument that that’s true? 

 

Carrie: It’s true because…I mean, I’m living proof of that. I never would have. If you told me at the age of 20 years old that I would have been missing two years of school and almost have my leg amputated and be in immense pain for over a year, I would have said, “There’s no way I can deal with that. There’s absolutely no way I’d be able to handle that.” But I did. And so, everyone has it within them. They just need to choose to pull it out. You know, people like to use problems as excuses. They like to use negativity for attention, and if you can flip that energy, if you’re going through a challenge and you’re…or you’re diagnosed with something, and, you know, hey, don’t ignore it. First of all, take time to be upset. Take time to cry. Take time to vent. I’m a huge believer in that. Don’t bury it. Just don’t stay there. 

 

And once you flip that switch and you say, “Okay, yes, I’ve dealt this card and I don’t like this card but I am going to turn this and I’m still going to be able to do good in my life, and I’m still going to be able to continue on to do X, Y, Z.” And it might look different than how my original plan was, but that’s okay. And as soon as you flip that switch and you decide to push forward and you decide to define the good that could still happen, you’ve won. That’s a big difference. You have to choose to win. You have to choose to take that control. And that’s the power inside of each of us. It’s all there. It’s just some people prefer not to find it because they want to…maybe they want to soak in it or they want the negative attention that they get from having the negative situation because they like the sympathy. A lot of people like the sympathy. 

 

Dr. Fox: I love this. Obviously, we sort of connected because, you know, part of your story was pregnancy-related and you found us, you know. First of all, thank you for listening to the podcast, but you found us sort of through… 

 

Carrie: Sure. Absolutely. 

 

Dr. Fox: …you know, because the connection was via placenta previa, and what you’re discussing obviously is much bigger than pregnancy, right? This is, you know, life. But I just believe all these things that you’re talking about it’s so true, this idea of being positive, this idea of realizing your own power, this idea of…you know. Like you said, it’s totally acceptable, and expected, and healthy to sort of grieve over something bad that happens to you and to process it that way and to let it out not to bury it. But then at some point, and that may be a day later, a week later, a month later, at some point, you have to say, “All right, you know, we’re going to try to flip it.” And it’s hard, but it is doable. 

 

And I’ve also, in my own life, especially with so many of my patients who have gone through, I mean, unbelievable challenges that I can’t even fathom, and they come out on the other side as such happy and so content and they just have wonderful families and wonderful perspectives and they’ve been through hell. And it’s just unbelievable and it’s inspirational to see people who do that on such a grand scale, but all of us, even at just small scales, if we haven’t been dealt such a horrible card, everyone has got bad things that happen to them at some point in their life. How do people find you if they want to know more about you, they want to hear what you’re saying, they want to read what you’re doing? Tell everyone. How can they reach Carrie Creed? 

 

Carrie: Well, the best easiest place is on Instagram, and I’m @carriecreedspeaker, and also go to my website, carriecreed.com, and that’s C-A-R-R-I-E, and then Creed is C-R-E-E-D, carriecreed.com. You can also link to my Facebook and Instagram page. Most of my content is on Instagram, so that’s the better one to follow, and I post a lot of more current stories there. And then, you know, my email is on my website as well, so you can definitely reach me. You know, I’d love to engage with you on Instagram. I love, you know, going back and forth with comments and making sure that, you know, worth it. The content I’m putting out there resonates with each of you because my whole passion right now is really trying to make sure that everyone knows how strong they really are and how to persevere and to never give up. And living your life with that positive mindset will truly change your life forever. 

 

Dr. Fox: It’s amazing. Really, what a great message. Thank you so much for doing this, first of all, because it is absolutely helpful to people. I follow you on Instagram. I’ve been on your website, and I just think it’s awesome. And thank you for coming and taking the time to speak to our listeners on the podcast. I’m sure they really appreciate it as well. 

 

Carrie: Thanks so much, Nate, for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been so fun getting to know you. 

 

Dr. Fox: Thank you for listening to the “Healthful Woman” podcast. To learn more about our podcast, please visit our website at www.healthfulwoman.com. That’s healthfulwoman.com. If you have any questions about this podcast or any other topic you would like us to address, please feel free to email us at hw@healthfulwoman.com. Have a great day. 

 

Man: The information discussed in “Healthful Woman” is intended for educational uses only. It does not replace medical care from your physician. “Healthful Woman” is meant to expand your knowledge of women’s health and does not replace ongoing care from your regular physician or gynecologist. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about specific diagnoses and treatment options for an effective treatment plan.