At the end of April, I was feeling rather emotional and overwhelmed. Mother’s Day was quickly approaching and it was hard for me to not carry the grief and dread I was feeling about that particular holiday. As I thought about Mother’s Day, I thought about last year when Charles and I decided on Mother’s Day that we would try again for our rainbow baby.
Fast forward to the end of April 2021, and I was feeling defeated. We had been trying for about a year and absolutely no results. Negative test after negative tests. Period after period. I was due for my period on April 29th. I was feeling discouraged and tired of hoping. I finally told myself to stop. Stop getting my hopes up and stop getting excited. I tried convincing myself over and over that every little cramp, twinge, mood swing and hot flash was just my period coming.
When my period didn’t come on the 29th I figured, it’s just late this month. I have had cycles of up to 34 days. I continued trying to keep myself grounded and tell myself my period was coming.
The morning of April 30th, I had a really strange dream. I dreamt I lost my sense of taste and smell but no other symptoms. In my dream I was walking around a room to different foods and flowers while trying to smell them. I instantly woke up sweaty, agitated and gross. My alarm went off for work, and as much as I didn’t want to get up, I knew it was time to start the day… and at least it was a Friday.
I went to the bathroom, and I started to get excited that my period still hadn’t come. I then thought, what if I take a pregnancy test, and when it says Not Pregnant I can stop hoping. I’ll know my period will show up anytime.
I grabbed the last test I had under my bathroom sink. It was the more expensive digital kind. I knew that it would be the most reliable tool I had besides getting my period.
I took the test and waited.
In the moment of waiting I just kept thinking Not Pregnant, it’s going to say Not Pregnant and that’s okay. I’m bummed but at least I’ll know.
It was 4:30 in the morning. I checked the test after 2 minutes. I squinted my eyes at the word on the screen. I was still tired with sleepies in my eyes. I read the word. I read it again.
Pregnant… huh? Where’s the Not? It doesn’t say Not Pregnant. Is it broken? Does Not pop up later? I took a deep breath and wrapped my mind around my surprising reality. I’m pregnant. No way! I’m pregnant! In that moment it hit me and I sobbed with joy, and with hesitation. I praised God and thanked Him for this little blessing!
I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️
It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.
Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?
ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE.
And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way.
This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year.
Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss.
THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared.
Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven.
I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.
For the past couple weeks, I have been reading a devotional focused on Hannah and her journey of infertility and longing to be a mother. I have found that this book, is the kind of book that you read when you need a pick-me-up. This isn’t the kind of book that you read in a couple days, at least for me. It’s a book that you can pick up and put down in order to let the message of the words marinate in your mind and resonate in your soul.
These past few weeks, I have been heavily investing and putting my all into my job as a teacher. It’s in many ways a good distraction of the circumstances I am often dwelling on, but sometimes it still doesn’t satisfy what my heart truly longs for. I spend everyday with children, I teach, care for, and build relationships with children that aren’t mine, but I love and care for as if they were my own.
Everyday is a challenge, as I did not think I would be where I am today. Some days are worse than others. Every holiday, I anticipate another pregnancy announcement and every time I am envious that I am not the one announcing. Every April Fools day, I am infuriated that someone is making a joke out of being pregnant when there are so many women who are struggling to get pregnant. Every family gathering, birthday, holiday or celebration I feel like something is missing. I feel that Charles and I should be bringing along a car load of kids to join in our family memories.
I try to put my all into my writing, my family, and my job but it’s just not enough sometimes. I have this yearning to be a mom that I simply can not fight. Since the young age of two I can remember carrying and loving on baby dolls that my family gifted me. In Young Five’s I can remember playing house with my classmates and I always wanted to be and was the mom. Growing up I always cared for animals such as a stray litter of kittens, baby bunnies born in my backyard and a baby chick all as if they were my baby, Even as a young adult to now, I snuggle and care for babies I know, watch and teach with my whole heart. Being a mom is who I am and who I have always desired to be.
The 2 pregnancies, 2 losses, 1 D & C, a year of trying, grief and trauma… it’s changed me. It’s damaged me. I am recked by anything dealing with death, sick or dying babies, miscarriages, and the harsh reality of grief. I’ve clawed my way back from the dark road of mourning I once faced, but I still sometimes feel broken. My life was altered by loss. The year of 2019 was so significant that when I look back on my life I think of before my first pregnancy and after my second miscarriage. It’s a powerful reminder and something I will never forget. It changed me for the good and the bad.
I share all this, to be real and honest about how I look at my life. I love my life, I do. But I guess don’t feel I am fulfilling the purpose God has for me or feel that my cup is only half full. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe this is right where I’m supposed to be, but if it were… wouldn’t I feel differently?
When I feel this way, I often think of Hannah. All Hannah wanted was a baby. She was jealous and envious her husband’s other wife was able to have babies, but she was not. Hannah went to the temple and prayed. She was so distraught that the priest thought she was drunk. Hannah was not drunk but so emotional and passionate about her hearts desire. As Hannah prayed she asked God yet again for baby. She promised God that if she was given a child she would dedicate them to Lord. Eventually, Hannah was blessed with a beautiful baby. Of course, I am paraphrasing this story, but if you are interested in reading it, check out the book 1 Samuel.
Through studying Hannah’s story I have learned a few things.
1. Certain things are just out of our control. I can hope, I can pray, and I can fast; but the Lord is going to do what He is going to do.
2. God hears you. It may not seem like it. He may seem milllions of miles away and completely silent but he hears us when we pray and when we come to him with our needs, and our wants. He knows and he wants to help us. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s wait.
3. Sometimes it’s not all about me. This was a hard one to swallow. But it’s not. If I had my way I’d have two living children with a third on the way, living in a two story house on Lake Michigan. But it’s not all about me, and I don’t always get my way. When we pray for things and the answer is no or wait, that is really tough. But there is a reason for it. God isn’t saying no just to say no. I believe He puts our best interest at heart. He knows our hearts desires and he knows what’s best for us in each season of life. And as hard as that is, the best thing to do is to trust him.
4. Put your focus on God. Hannah prayed day in and day out for a baby. And yet until she went to the temple, did she change her prayers and change her focus on God and what he has for her verses what she wanted. I can imagine that it took a great amount of humbleness to put God first.
So, to come full circle. I am changed and sometimes feel broken. I don’t feel like I am currently living up to my potential. But yet I know that God has a plan for me. I know that, God is bigger than anything I may face. I know that i want the Lord’s will to be done rather than my own. And I know that God sees me. God knows me and God loves me. So I am going to be more like Hannah. I am going to humble myself, I am going to put my focus on God and what he wants for my life rather than what I want. I am going to try to understand and accept that there are just certain things out of my control. And I am going to keep loving Jesus, doing my best in my job, in my family, and in my life. I am going to be more like Hannah because I am going to keep going even when it gets hard.
This past week, I was able to enjoy a vacation/staycation that allowed me to rest and refresh, get some home/miscellaneous tasks done as well as focus on my writing. Here is a little update of all my writing projects:
Memoir – I am in process of preparing my book to be sent to editors, and excited to read through and focus on the third and final draft.
Self Care Book for Teachers – I have put this book on hold for the moment as I want to focus on other projects that are almost completed. But I will be starting to work on it again very soon.
My 2nd Children’s Book – I started the illustrations and work on the plot this past week and I am getting very excited about how it is coming together! Above is a sneak peek! I can’t wait to reveal my newest project very soon!
For the last few weeks, I have been having some crazy, comforting and vivid dreams. Now I know a lot people these days have been having weird dreams, but I have to wonder if the dreams I have been having have a deeper meaning.
At the beginning of December, I had a dream I was in my bathroom taking a pregnancy test. I stared at the test and waited for it to show a result. I watched as two bright pink lines showed up on the test, and I got so excited…. then I woke up and I was disappointed because it was a dream.
About a week later I had another dream that I again was taking pregnancy tests in my bathroom. I had a whole pile of them on my counter and they were all positive.
Near Christmas, I had a dream I was pregnant, and I looked down at my feet and I couldn’t see them. My big belly was in the way. I woke up confused and checked my belly, nope not pregnant.
On Christmas Eve I had a dream Charles and I had a baby girl. We named her Mercy. I’m not entirely sure why, but we did. In the dream I was wearing a necklace with an M on it. I woke up and told Charles. He wasn’t entirely sold on naming our kid Mercy as a first name, but he wasn’t against a middle name.
On New Year’s Eve, I had a dream I was walking through the woods. I reached the edge of the woods and entered a valley. Above the valley was a bright and beautiful rainbow. It was so beautiful I started screaming and crying. I was so overjoyed, then I woke up.
These dreams are so interesting, and I have to wonder if I am just obsessing over having babies or are these actually signs from above? Maybe, and maybe not. Only time will tell I suppose.
I have tossed around the idea of posting this photo. I have contemplated if I should even write a blog post about this particular topic as it is so incredibly personal. I have weighed the pros and cons of this post and decided on this. On my blog I have always been real and raw when it comes to my life, my challenges and my grief. Over the last twoish years I have shared the details of my grief and miscarriages because it not only helped me heal and process the trauma of that season in my life, but I knew one day my story could help someone else. Therefore, if I share my stories of pregnancy loss, then I can also share my challenges of trying to concieve and start a family.
Last May around Mother’s Day, Charles and I decided we again wanted to try and start a family. It had been 8 months since our second miscarriage and though I don’t think we can ever fully heal from a loss such as this, we both have gained a lot of growth, wisdom and strength from suffering two losses. So in May we decided to start trying again.
When deciding to try again, we discussed how we did not want to obsess over trying to get pregnant. Rather we were just going to allow what ever happen to happen. I wasn’t going to track my temp or track my ovulation. We decided we were going to try and live our lives and allow God to move when He sees fit.
In September, after 4 months of trying and no luck, Charles and I looked into adoption. The desire to become parents in the last few years has grown so strong, and we both love the idea of conceiving our own healthy baby, or adopting a child. Since September we have continued to research the option of adoption and have found there are a few steps we would need to complete before going any further. So in some ways we are at a stand still.
This past month we reached 6 months of trying. And I was convinced that I was pregnant. I was super hungry, tired, had a cold, emotional, my boobs hurt, my hips hurt, I had some cramping that was different than my normal period cramping, headaches and I was three days late. I hoped and prayed that I was pregnant as it would have been a sweet ending to a crazy year. But that wasn’t the case. Another negative yet again.
The day I took the test I was down, defeated and devastated. But as I write this over a week later, I realize that it was for the best. I don’t know why, but I know it wasn’t meant to be right now. Since my second miscarriage I have asked God to please not let me get pregnant unless I am pregnant with a healthy baby. And so, since getting another negative I look at it that way. As much as not getting pregnant right now is hard, it’s not as devastating for me as it would be to lose another baby.
I keep thinking God just wants me to do more, before having kids. Maybe that’s publishing my memoir. Maybe that’s moving up at my job. Maybe it’s making money through my blog. And maybe it’s just sharing my story with all of you. I don’t know the reason. But I know that I’m not in control. As scary as it is, I want to have a baby. I want to be a mom to a baby here on earth. But I know that if that stick had two lines, I would have been happy, but not excited.
When you’ve suffered a loss, getting pregnant again feels different. Since you’ve already had the worst happen, you’re extra cautious and it’s always in the back of your mind. Is it going to happen again? Am I going to lose this pregnancy? Will this be a healthy baby? Only God knows the answers to those questions. And only time will tell what’s in store for us.
For now, I am going to do my best to keep living my life, teaching preschoolers, loving my family, writing, and appreciating the little things. ❤️