This post was written a year ago, and though a year has passed, I still believe it holds some truth today.
It’s okay to not be okay… and today I am not okay. A year ago today I was happy. I went to a doctor appointment that I thought would leave me joyous and thankful. Instead, it left me with every emotion imaginable, and this is when my grief first began. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was supposed have an ultrasound and hear my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Instead I heard the words “I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Instead of feeling joyous, I left feeling empty and broken.
My life changed that day. I became an angel mommy. I had to learn how to let go of a child that I fell in love with but didn’t get to meet. I learned who my true friends and family were. I learned how incredibly common pregnancy loss is, even though no one talks about it. I learned that there are good people in the healthcare system who go above and beyond for their patients. I also learned how the healthcare system let’s so many women like me down. I learned how to grieve, how to live, and how to be happy again. It wasn’t easy, and trust me… I’m still working on it.
Grief is a burden that we all have to deal with in this life. There is no telling how or when you’ll go through it. But we grieve because we love. It hurts because we don’t want to say goodbye. It’s confusing because we don’t know how to handle it until it happens. But more often than not grief brings people together. Whether it’s losing a parent, losing a sibling, losing a friend, losing a child, losing a neighbor, a coworker or even someone well known… it hurts, and it unifies us.
So today I am not okay. I am giving myself permission to grieve my baby. I’m not going to feel guilty for not being my best today. I’m going breathe, rest and remember what I had before I had to say goodbye, and that’s okay.
I love you Mackenzie! Daddy and I miss you so much. 💕
It’s February, and I’ll be honest. For most of this month, I have had the February blues. For many, the month of February is the love month. But for me, it’s a month of grief. In the month of February, I am always reminded of my first pregnancy loss. I wish I could let it go, and I wish I could forget… but I can’t. So, for now I am just going to push through. February is almost over. I can get through this.
Also, I apologize that I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do. Please be patient with me as I get through this month.
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
A longing to be a mom is something I have had for a very long time. I’ve struggled the last couple years with anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, possible endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy losses. It has been challenging to say the least.
Recently, Charles suggested that I create a vision board… something that displays my many hopes and dreams of being a mom, whether it’s through pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Today I spent at least three hours creating my vision board. I found it very therapeutic to create an art project that in many ways encompasses the desires of my heart.
This vision board now holds a gentle reminder to keep the faith. Somehow and some way I feel called to be a mom. I believe someday Charles and I will make amazing parents. I don’t know how or when, but I know we will one day raise children of our own.
So for now I am going to focus on my vision, keep the faith God has given me, and hope that there is goodness coming. Good things come to those who wait. ❤️
Can I be frank? September is not a very good month for me. It used to be. I used to get so excited about back to school picturess, sale items on school supplies, fresh starts and the transition from summer to fall. However, since 2019… I have viewed the month of September much differently.
September 16th, a date that will forever stick out in my mind. This was supposed to be the end of my pregnancy, my baby’s due date. But as we all know, my pregnancy ended a lot sooner than expected. As much as I would like to push past my grief, I can’t. I can’t help but wonder if my baby had lived to be happy and healthy. I can’t help but wonder if September 16th could have been my baby’s birthday. My heart aches at the person she could have been.
Not only does September 16th stick out in my head, but also the 27th and 28th. On September 9th 2019, I found out I was pregnant again with my second baby, of whom I thought was my rainbow baby. Turns out God had other plans. And through hours of pain, anxiety and grief I lost my second baby between the 27th and 28th of September.
So you see, September is really not a good month for me. I’m the kind of person that is very good at remembering specific dates. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I wish I could forget. Or even be so busy with life that it doesn’t really faze me. But that’s not who I am. I remember. Call it what ever you want, but if you ask me, this is what grief looks like.
So I apologize if I’ve been a little MIA lately. I’m grieving. Grieving doesn’t ever really stop, but just gets intense from time to time… and that’s where I am right now. So for now, I guess I am going to enjoy September the best way I can, and grieve the only way I know how… with gentleness and through writing.
What’s my why? What’s the reason I get up everyday? What’s the reason I go to work and teach my preschoolers Monday through Friday? What’s the reason I spend hours writing my books, writing blog posts, and making a point to help others who are struggling. Why do I do what I do? What’s my why?
I get up everyday to help others. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my purpose. But often times, I forget about myself. I forget that I need to be taken care of too. I forget that as much as I open my heart to so many children, mommas and people, that I usually forget about my own heart and that it too needs to be nurtured.
Many years ago I developed a passion, a divine destiny, and longing to work with children. Throughout the years I have studied, and learned how to love, teach and admire each individual child that enters my life. Each child has their challenges, their own strengths, and their own story. And though I don’t always know how long each child will be in my life, it is my job as a teacher and as a person to show them love because that is the best gift I can give them.
My job can be so incredibly rewarding. I have built long lasting relationships with families, children I have taught, coworkers and other fellow teachers. Many of these people have seen me at my best and my worst. All of these people hold a special place in my heart.
Through my job as a teacher and as someone who loves kids, it can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging.
Working with children is no easy task. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining. My patience is tested daily and sometimes hourly. I am constantly making decisions, considering choices, choosing my words, and considering how my actions can best teach and set a positive example for my kiddos. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible.
Teaching has always emotionally affected me, as I am taking care of someone else’s kids when I so desperately desire to have my own. After suffering two miscarriages and reentering the education field, I am even more aware and emotionally affected by the reminder that I still don’t have my own healthy children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It sucks. It really really sucks. It’s not fair. It hurts. It’s hard. But I deal with it. Somehow I find the strength to get through it. Everyday, I ask the question, why?Why don’t I have kids yet? Why did we have to lose two babies? Why have we had to go through this? I wish I knew the answers, but I don’t think I ever will.
Through a lot of time, reflection, and healing I have seen how much of my grief, and frustration was turned into something good and used to help others. I started a blog. I’ve shared my story in person and in a magazine. I wrote a children’s book. I have connected with many women around the world who have gone through the same thing. My grief did not happen in vain, it was used to help others.
So you see, the reason I get up everyday to teach children, write blog posts, and bond with other women, is because it’s my purpose in life. It’s what I was made to do. Because of what I have went through, I am able to love and appreciate the children in my life probably more than I ever would have if I hadn’t experienced what I have. Without going through the trauma and loss I did, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have felt so inspired to write and share my story. Without the bad things happening in my life, I wouldn’t appreciate the good things.
I do what I do because I love and want to help people.
I want to help moms, women, children and families. I want to help all of you. I want to support you, encourage you, guide you and strengthen you. I want to be there for you. That also means I need to be there for myself. I need to take care of me and be kind to myself while I also help others.
Again, it’s not always easy…. and it still really hurts that I am not a mom to babies here on earth. But I take it day by day, and know that my work on this earth is not going unnoticed. I love you all and I am here if you need anything. That is why I do this.
Today has been a really rough day, and to be honest, I can’t even explain what made it so tough. You know how they say jealousy is a big ugly monster? Well, I would say grief can be a big ugly monster too. Grief seems to creep in when you least expect it and can linger and stay as long as it wants to. It can and is many times quite awful. Some days I can manage my grief of my past losses and muster up the strength and self talk just enough to feel better. But then there are other days, that the grief is so great… I can’t even get out of bed.
Today was one of those days. Today I had so much on my to do list. I was supposed to catch up on laundry, meal prep for the week, wash dishes, etc. and did I do those things? Absolutely not. I laid around, felt like crying, binged watched 7th Heaven, and cuddled my cat.
After realizing that the day had gone by, I started putting myself down, and feeling guilty because I hardly got anything done. But you know what? It doesn’t matter! My to do list that I didn’t get done was simply expectations I put on myself this weekend, and due to grief and exhaustion I just didn’t get to it, and that’s okay.
I guess my point in saying all of this is, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay that this weekend I didn’t do much but rest because in the end that’s exactly what I needed. The dishes, the laundry, it will all get done. So instead of putting myself down, I’m going to try to just live in the moment. I’m going to try to appreciate having time on the weekends to rest. I’m going to enjoy being a fur mama, until someday I can be mama to a baby of my own. And though my heart often aches and wishes for what is just not meant to be right now, I am going to just appreciate and be thankful for what I have instead of dwelling on what I don’t and what I simply can’t do right now.
It’s finally here! I have officially written, illustrated and published my very first children’s book! To say I’m excited is certainly an understatement!
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family in a child friendly way.
Not only is this story about a mother who suffers a pregnancy loss, but the characters in the book are also named after my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase, as well as my brother Matthew who passed away as an infant.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is available for $7.70 + Shipping HERE. Digital and Paperback copies are available.
Pregnancy announcements… something that is supposed to be happy can hurt so badly.
I know I am not alone when I say that pregnancy announcements are hard to handle, especially if you have suffered a loss or you struggle to get pregnant. In many ways you want to be happy for the people who have announced they are expecting…. but at the same time you also want to scream “It’s not fair! Why can’t that be me?!”
For me personally, there are a lot of factors that go into how I feel when I see a pregnancy announcement. If I see an announcement from someone who I know has struggled with fertility or suffered a loss, I am immediately happy for them because I know what they’ve gone through. However, if I see someone having their 5th kid with no problems, I’m not as ecstatic as I could be. Is that right? No, probably not… but it’s how I feel.
It also depends on when they announce. Holidays, my previous due dates and loss dates are very hard for me. Therefore, if someone announces around that time, I am not usually in a good headspace to congratulate them.
I really don’t have any sort of magic trick to make pregnancy announcements not hurt because after suffering a loss or infertility, they almost all hurt in some way. I guess my advice would be to ride the wave. Feel what you need to feel. I certainly wouldn’t lash out at the people who are announcing because they really didn’t do anything wrong. But I would say it is healthy to get your thoughts out in a journal or to a close friend.
Pregnancy announcements are not easy. But it’s just one of those things we can’t control. So I encourage you to ride the wave of grief and get through it somehow.
Growing up, I had always been familiar with the concept of Heaven and faith. Having an older brother who died as an infant, is what first introduced me to faith. Later in life, of course I had grandparents, and acquaintances who passed on as well, and though it was sad, these moments built my faith. However, my faith was shaken, challenged, and changed after I miscarried my babies.
When I was little, my mom used to find pennies all the time… in fact she still does. I on the other hand don’t find them much at all. When ever my mom would find them on the ground, she would tell me “It’s a penny from Heaven” or “Matthew is watching over me.” I thought it was so cool how my mom would find pennies so often.
Recently, my husband and I went to the store. I was having quite a rough day as I didn’t feel good, I was stressed from work, and just kinda blah. When we got out of the car I remembered praying for things just to get better and for me to feel better. When I opened the car and stepped on the asphalt, I heard a cling. I thought I was hearing things so I grabbed my purse and shut the door. I heard the cling again. I looked down and didn’t see anything. Charles asked me a question and walked around the car. As I started to walk away from the car, I heard a cling again and looked down. I found a penny.
For the rest of our trip in the store, I held the penny in my hand. It was a penny from Heaven. Just a little token from above that put a smile on my face, when I was having a not so good day. I was also reminded of my babies. I was reminded how even though they aren’t physically with me, they are always in fact with me in spirit.
May 13th, 2020. Three days after Mother’s Day. This day had never been so important to me, until I found I was pregnant for a second time. Looking at that second line on a pregnancy test on a late September evening, I thought “This is it. This is my rainbow baby. Thank you Jesus” My joy only lasted for about 20 days, until I started spotting and realized I would lose this baby.
I was pregnant for 7 weeks with a baby my husband and I named Chase. We named him Chase because we were Chasing our Rainbow. Unfortunately that wasn’t”t God’s plan. Chase was only physically with me for a short time, but will be in our hearts forever.
I miss you Chase. I miss you so much. You were in my life for a short time, and as hard as it was to let you go, I thank God for you. Losing you was devastating, but knowing there were other angels in Heaven waiting to take care of you, brought me comfort.
Happy due date Chase. Sorry it has taken me so long to acknowledge this, but I just couldn’t write out my thoughts and feelings until I was ready. I love Baby Chase. 💕
No, this is not a pregnancy announcement or a trying to conceive announcement. This isn’t an announcement at all, but rather a vision for new opportunities. I love having friends and family who know me. I love having these people in my life who take the time to listen and care for my needs and desires as a person and as a woman.
Recently, one of my best friends gave me a gift. At first when I received the gift, I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. My friend Reaghan gave me a planner, but not just any planner. She gave me a Mommy To Be planner. This planner is specifically for expectant moms who want to organize and prepare for their baby’s arrival.
Now, I didn’t ask for this gift, and frankly I was a little shocked to have received it. After my first miscarriage, I knew I would eventually want to try and have another baby. But after experiencing a second miscarriage, I’m not really sure how I feel. I’ve had two pregnancies that ended with surgery, and trauma. I don’t know if I can bare another loss. I don’t know if my heart can take it. It scares me.
However, even though I’m not sure if I could handle another pregnancy, I am sure of something. I want to be mom. I believe I will be a mom somehow and in someway. Whether it’s through foster care, adoption, pregnancy, surrogacy, or ministry… I believe it’s what God has called me to do.
I think that’s why Reaghan gave me this gift. Not because she thinks I’m trying to get pregnant, and not because she didn’t know what to get me, but because she knows me. She knows I want to be a mom and she knew just what to give me in this time in my life, when I simply don’t know what the next step is. She is a true friend. ❤️
You’d think that it would be unbearable to work in a nursery after losing two babies… but that’s actually not the case.
I work in a nursery approximately three Sundays a month. During this time we play with kids, have entertaining conversations and even create some beautiful works of art through arts and crafts. It’s fun. When I’m with kids, I rarely am sad about my kids. It’s interesting. Instead of being sad about loss, I just feel joy. I feel joy when I’m around kids, and I always have. Even when I visit friends with kids, I feel so blessed to be able to watch them parent, and watch these children grow into beautiful people.
So, my challenge of working in a nursery…. isn’t what you think. It’s not challenging because I am working with kids. It’s challenging because I feel joy, and I don’t know if that’s okay. Is okay that I’m not sad about my babies every second of every day? Is it okay I find moments to laugh, moments to be happy, and moments to live? Is it okay? I believe it is. I know, my babies would want me to be happy. I will ALWAYS miss them. I will ALWAYS love them, but I also know it’s okay to have a little joy.
To be honest, I’m not feeling very festive this Christmas. This past year has been a tidal wave of grief that I didn’t plan for, nor did I appreciate. On top of grief I’ve had other struggles including anxiety, depression, weight gain, self doubt and distress. Some might say this past year has made me stronger, and in many ways I believe that. But in this moment, this past year has only made me hate life.
When you’ve faced trauma, something changes in you. You see things differently, and you know things can get worse because you’ve lived it. When you’ve faced repeated trauma, not only are you traumatized, but also on edge. You’re just waiting for something bad to happen, or something else to go wrong. It’s exhausting, but if you’ve already been blindsided by trauma before, it’s almost an illogical effort to worry and fret for the bad things, in hopes that you will be somewhat prepared if they happen. I have lived this way almost every day this past year, and it’s really not anyway to live.
This Christmas was supposed to be different.
I have thought about Mackenzie everyday since she’s been gone. Losing her, has changed my life forever. She made me a mom. Even more, she made me an Angel mommy. This year I envisioned caring for an infant at Christmas time. Charles and I would head over to my parents on Christmas morning. She would be spoiled by her Grandma, and cooing at the cats and her Grandpa. She would be wearing the cutest Christmas jammies, and be smiling from ear to ear. Everything was going to be perfect as I celebrated my first Christmas as a mom.
Instead this year, I am celebrating Christmas as an Angel mommy. My baby Mackenzie will not be in her Christmas jammies, and my baby Chase will not be warm in my tummy. Instead I will be here loving and missing my babies, while Mackenzie and Chase will be in Heaven celebrating at Jesus’s grand birthday party. They will be having more fun than I can even fathom. As much as I want them here with me, I know they are safe and happy right where they are.
It won’t be easy… It won’t be easy this Christmas seeing friends and their baby’s first Christmas. But no one said this life will be easy. No one said we are all meant to take the same journey. And no said this world is prefect. So through my tears and heartache, I will get through this Christmas with my family, because my babies deserve to see me have joy my first Christmas as their mom. ❤️
This past semester, I took a public speaking class. I had quite a bit of apprehension before taking this class as I really don’t like speaking in public. In fact, I have registered for this class a handful of times before, but have always dropped it before the beginning of the semester. What can I say… I really didn’t want to take this class. However, since I am close to the end of my college career, I figured I better get it done, since it is a required course.
In this class, I had the opportunity to give a persuasive speech on a topic I am very passionate about. I took about a week to contemplate and brainstorm on my topic, until I was ready to present the speech topic to my professor. The topic I decided was miscarriage, but not just miscarriage. I wanted to give a persuasive speech and argue that their be a change in the way women are treated after suffering a miscarriage, in society and in the healthcare system.
I organized my speech into 3 main points:
1. Language, and what to say and not to say to a woman after suffering a miscarriage.
2. Policy changes that I would like to implement in the healthcare system.
3. Advocacy for women of loss.
The day of my speech I was very anxious. I was scared I would break down while speaking because this topic was too close to home. I was afraid I would trip over my words, forget something or go over my time limit. Ultimately, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. Regardless, when it was my turn to get up and present my speech, I took a deep breath, prayed that God would help me through, and began.
“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child… there isn’t a word to describe them.” – President Ronald Regan
The above quote by Ronald Reagan was my attention getter for my speech. I went on to argue my main points and why I feel there needs to be a change. I ended my speech by saying: It is likely you will know someone in your life who has suffered a miscarriage, and coming from someone who has suffered two miscarriages, my hope is that you take something from this speech and change the way we look at miscarriage.
At the end of my speech, my classmates applauded and asked me various questions about miscarriages, pregnancy and resources. When class was over and I was walking out, a girl in my class came up to me. She told me she loved my speech, and really appreciated the things I had to say about miscarriage and some good things to tell women who have suffered a loss. She even disclosed to me that she too had suffered a miscarriage, and it was the worst most terrifying experience of her life. As she confided in me, in the middle of the hallway, I so badly wanted to give her a hug, as I too knew her pain. But when I looked in her face, I could tell she was fighting back tears, and it took a lot for her to come and talk to me. So, instead I said “thank you for sharing that with me.” She smiled while still holding back tears and went the other direction.
In that moment, I knew I was meant to give that speech, and I again understood that I am meant to share my story and advocate for miscarriage/pregnancy loss. Even though it’s hard, and even though I didn’t really think this was my purpose, I now know I have to do it. Even if as an advocate, author or speaker I only impact one person… I know I will have made a difference.