I Didn't Know My Own Strength: An Interview with Ms. Elise Gossett
A very beautiful soul, I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Elise Gossett for a little under a year now. The same strength that can be sensed in her presence, you will find in her story.
In your own words, tell me about your pregnancy.
I’ve had four healthy pregnancies, the last two of four were hard during delivery. My last and most recent was my scariest one. Could have cost me and the baby’s life. It was my first and only C-section, done as an emergency. It was a baby girl, which I was excited to have. Since I only had one, the others were boys. I was very ill in the beginning, and felt like crap. I gained a lot of weight, most was fluid retention, which caused my body a lot of pain and discomfort. I learned I was pregnant each time by a missed menstrual cycle and I started to produce breast milk. And of course nausea and vomiting...
What were some concerns you had once you discovered your pregnancy?
All of my concerns with my pregnancy were about gaining weight. I felt good on every pregnancy as they were expected, except my third. He was a surprise, but still wanted and accepted.
General life of your pregnancy; how was that experience?
My second and third pregnancies were a bit traumatic. Having to fight and argue here and there with their father was depressing. Then once he was murdered while I was pregnant at 8 months with our second son...it was a nightmare, but I remained strong. My last pregnancy was up and down emotionally due to marital issues...having to deal with infidelity and financial stress. None of these (struggles) were planned for or expected...
What are some perinatal tips you would use or avoid if you experienced the exact same pregnancy?
I would definitely be prepared for anything, good or bad. I would definitely watch my diet and workout as much as I can for the future. Advice for myself, I would make sure that I am okay financially and do all that I can to keep my energy clean and up!
"I knew I had to keep going no matter what I went through, I knew I couldn’t let myself or my kids down. Plus having no one to call on made me a survivor and strong to be able to pull through." -E. Gossett
What role, if any, did music play in your perinatal journey?
Ahhhhhh….Music is everything. I actually sang on my praise team my 1st pregnancy and my 4th pregnancy. My 2nd and 3rd (pregnancy) I was managing my fiance’s record label and helping him get his album off the ground. Plus I did some recording myself. So music has played an enormous role in each pregnancy. Music is in me, my life is music. Everyone has a rhythm and a song to sing and play! My kids are all musically inclined...
How were things in the first year of your postpartum period?
My 1st postpartum was rough. I had thoughts of suicide and giving my baby away. But it faded and I was able to enjoy my baby for a while. My 2nd was okay, I had no worries. My 3rd was hard as hell, dealing with the death of my spouse, raising my 5 year old and 15 month old to care for alone. My 4th was just unbelievable; I was financially challenged, I had been cut and the healing was slow. I lost my home-- became homeless and my relationship was a wreck!
I had no expectations of these types of disappointments. I made it out though!
How did that experience affect you mentally and/or emotionally?
I knew I had to keep going no matter what I went through, I knew I couldn’t let myself or my kids down. Plus having no one to call on made me a survivor and strong to be able to pull through.
What are some things that you would say to yourself during your stressful times, good or bad?
At a point I would say I hated my life. I hated my situation, but I would say I can’t give up because my kids didn’t ask to be here. So I gotta do what I gotta do. No matter what I was facing I chose to put one foot in front of the other after crying for hours and move forward.
What is your favorite music song/genre/artist?
Lauryn Hill; I love neosoul and some gospel. As long as it is meaningful and has a message to uplift me it suited me fine. But anything Lauryn Hill brings me alive. Her voice and lyrics helped me through many trials and downsided ventures.
Also I Told The Storm and What A Mighty God We Serve (Hezekiah Walker) was always uplifting along with Lord Complete Me. It would get me through. There are others but these are the ones that stuck the most! Writing and singing to myself was my self-talk and therapy. I would sing praises and worship to God and that would take me there to release all negative charges I was feeling!