People Who Inspire Me: Meet Alli

Alli and I have been friends for 11 years. Ironically enough, we met at her house during a Boy Scout event for her brother. I anxiously had to pee while at her house and she generously invited me in to use her bathroom. After that, her sister Andrea asked me to play volleyball and the rest is history. We have a running joke that if if weren’t for Jesus and my bladder, we wouldn’t have become friends. So thank you Jesus for my blessed bladder.

As much as Alli and I are friends, I think we are more opposite than alike. Alli is incredibly bold and adventurous. However, I am timid and like to play it safe. Alli likes to be physically and academically challenged. Where as I like to be more spiritually and emotionally challenged. Alli is great at observing and listening. I’m like that too, except for when I am with her, Then I am a huge chatter box.

In many ways Alli and I are alike. For instance we both have a similar sense of humor. Alli and I are constantly sending each other different memes and videos just to get the other to laugh. It’s great! We also tend to like to do the same activities including, swimming, shopping… especially at Hobby Lobby, going to the beach, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, being crafty and simply enjoying nature.

To say I’m proud of Alli seems like such an understatement. She is such an incredible inspiration, and I feel so honored to know her. Alli is a paramedic first responder. She does the work that many don’t want to do. She has seen, heard, and experienced things that no human ever should. She works on holidays, long shifts and takes long commutes all to save lives and help her patients. She’s a life saver. She’s seen the bad and the ugly, but has also helped every day people. She has a very important career and that in itself is truly inspiring to me.

When Alli isn’t working and saving lives, she is often either taking some self care and relaxing or spending time with her friends and family. Alli is a rare gem. She is one of those friends who actually puts effort into a friendship. She is also willing to keep in touch, and check in just to see if you are doing okay. I love her so much! Her dedication and loyalty as a friend and human is simply incredible.

Though life isn’t always perfect, and we all have ups and downs in life. When Alli needs a little more unconditional love, she often finds it in helping animals. She is so good with all animals, I am slightly jealous. I wish I could be that secure with animals in my life.

Alli, if you’re reading this… I just want you to know that you inspire me. You are beautiful, thoughtful, considerate, kind, sassy, funny, goofy, persistent, dedicated, adventurous and just amazing. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for being my person. Keep on keeping on, cause I can’t live this life without you. ❤️

My Summer 2019 Bucket List Check In

Here’s a quick update of my summer bucket list and what I have accomplished thus far.

My Summer Bucket List

  1. ✅ Take a weekend getaway with my husband
  2. Visit Lake Michigan 3 times 2/3 so far….
  3. ✅ Go garage sailing
  4. Visit 10 different cafés 5/10 so far….
  5. ✅ Write up to 50 posts on my blog
  6. Go to Disneyland
  7. ✅ See Aladdin in theaters
  8. Commit to a weekly workout routine
  9. Reorganize and decorate my apartment
  10. ✅ Complete my internship
  11. ✅ See Toy Story 4 in theaters
  12. ✅ Visit with old friends
  13. Read 2 new books 1/2
  14. Go kayaking
  15. ✅ See A Dog’s Journey in theaters
  16. ✅ Start Eating Healthier
  17. Lose 15lbs 4/15 so far….

Receiving the Healing and Growth Award

On Friday April 12th, we had our end of the semester Peer Educator Party at my internship. During the party we did some professional development training as well as had a catered dinner from Fazoli’s. It was a great way to end the semester. During the party the Health Promotion internship coordinators also handed out awards to a few very deserving peer educators. There were a variety of different awards including the Above and Beyond award, the Collaboration award and the Healing and Growth award.

When my coordinator announced the Healing and Growth award, I had no idea who it was intended for. As she announced the award she explained that the peer educator who would be receiving it was being recognized for overall dedication to the program, willingness to be introspective, dedication to self growth and healing, and dedication to survivor growth and healing. I looked around the room full of 20+ peer educators, excited to see who would be recognized. My coordinator Danielle then called me up. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I started crying as photos were taken. I gave my coordinator a hug and told her thank you.

Receiving the Healing and Growth award through my FIRE Internship was an awesome milestone. I had come so far this semester from getting pregnant, switching internship sites, having a miscarriage, having surgery, enduring the grieve process, finding myself again and doing my best to try and complete this semester. I was very thankful for this award, as it truly displayed my current goals of growth and healing after my miscarriage. It also inspired me to keep going, keep growing and keep healing.

My Grief & Mourning Playlist 🎧

There were many hours after my miscarriage I tuned out the world with music. I recall laying in bed sometimes sobbing, sometimes quiet and sometimes praying as I listened to the sweet songs that reflected my emotions. My husband found these songs super depressing, but they helped me. They helped me cope and get through the everyday moments. The following is my personal playlist I listened to after my miscarriage.

1. Small Bump – Ed Sheehan

2. See You Again – Carrie Underwood

3. Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

4. If I Lay Here – Burning Orchard

5. Someone’s Watching Over Me – Hilary Duff

6. Blessings – Laura Story

7. Need You Now – Plumb

8. Keep Making Me – Sidewalk Prophets

9. By Your Side – Tenth Avenue North

10. Calling All Angels – Train

11. Hold You Up – Shane Harper

12. Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood

13. Broken – Lifehouse

14. Gone Too Soon – Daughtry

15. In the Arms of an Angel – Katelyn Malloy

16. Here Comes Goodbye – Rascal Flatts

17. Heaven – Jamie Grace

18. She Waits – Gray Havens

Trying a New Job

On Wednesday April 10th, I had a job interview at the child care center on campus. I had applied for the assistant GSRP position for the fall, but received a response rather quickly. I was asked if I would be around this summer and was invited in for an interview. Before going into the interview I was slightly nervous, as I wasn’t sure if emotionally I could handle it. Since my miscarriage, I had struggled to be around kids, besides my three year old nephew. I hoped and prayed that whatever happens would be okay.

At the interview I tried to show confidence, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. I was asked many questions about my experience, how I feel about working with children, and what I hoped to get out of this job. I was honest with the child care director about my love for children, but I chose not to disclose my recent miscarriage. I didn’t feel it was relevant and or appropriate to discuss at that time. I was given a tour of the child care center, and I honestly wasn’t very impressed. It was very small, cluttered and kind of concerning as I felt the space didn’t have a lot of fire exits… but who was I to judge. After the tour I was offered the job on the spot and accepted.

On Wednesday April 17th, a week later I started at the child care center. My shift started at 8am and I walked in excited and ready to start this new journey. I was excited to work with kids again. When I walked in, I met with the director. She had just finished talking with some parents and came over to me.

“Hi, so I have some bad news.” She said to me with a stern face. Oh no, my stomach instantly turned into knots. No, I don’t need another bad thing to happen.

“Okay.” I said confused and concerned. Did she change her mind? Did she not want me to work here anymore? Did I do something wrong?

“So, we just got news this week that the university is cutting our funding and we are closing June 14th.” She said sternly. My heart broke. This would happen. I got excited for something and again it was torn away from me. This sucked.

“Oh.” I said plainly. I didn’t know what else to say. I was in a bit of shock and selfishly wanted to know what this meant for me.

“So, we are glad you are here and I am hoping you will stay with us until we close. And I am willing to help you try and find a job.” She said reassuring me. “Our staff found out this week, and parents were notified last night via email.” She said. She then told me how to clock in and directed me to the classroom I would be working in. As I met with the teachers I would be working with for the next two months, my head was still spinning. I wasn’t happy for this job anymore. I didn’t want to be here anymore.

As I went about my day working in the preschool room, there was a really weird vibe. It was a vibe of anger, depression and confusion. I could tell all the staff members were upset because the center was closing. As I interacted with the kids, I too felt sad. But I was sad for other reasons besides the center closing, I looked at these children, and I had the sad realization that my little Mackenzie is never going to be in preschool. She will never be able to build with blocks or run around the playground. She will never be able to get spaghetti sauce all over her face or sing songs at circle time. It was a heart breaking realization, but I tried my best to keep it together. I found myself distancing away from the kids. I didn’t want to love and attach to these kids. I didn’t want to create relationships with these children or families if in two months I would have to say goodbye anyway. I faked my way through the rest of the morning.

On my break I called my mom. I tried my best to play it cool… it didn’t work. I was upset. I told her how the minute I walked in, I was told the center was closing. My mom was now upset. She didn’t think it was fair that my director let all of the staff know on Monday, but neglected to tell me until I came into work on Wednesday. She made a good point. I explained to my mom how hard it was for me to be there, and how I honestly just didn’t like it. My mom helped me talk through my emotions and made me realize I didn’t want this job anymore, and that’s okay. Even though the center was going to be open for another two months, it was likely that since I was the last one hired I would be the first one fired. I may not be there until June anyway.

I finished out the rest of the day, and sent an email to my director telling her I quit. She understood as the center closing was unexpected and not an ideal situation. It was hard but I knew I made the right decision to quit. I got my old job back at the dining hall. Through this experience, I learned I wasn’t ready to be around kids yet. I also learned I was still slightly unstable when it came to unexpected things happening. I still had some things to work on.

The People Who Reached Out to Me

The days, weeks and even months after we lost our baby; I had many people reach out to us and show us support. The topic of miscarriage is such a taboo topic. People don’t know how to talk about it. People don’t know how to handle it. It’s sad, especially since it’s so common. I believe one reason people don’t know how to deal with it, is because it boils down to beliefs and when we as people believe when life begins. Now, I’m not about to turn this post into a discussion of abortion… or at least that’s not my intention. But I do want to point out that since some people believe life begins at conception, while others believe life begins when a heart starts beating, and still others believe life begins once a baby is born; then that may be why people don’t know how to handle the topic of miscarriage. They don’t believe miscarriage is a big deal because they don’t believe a woman has lost a baby. They believe a woman has lost a ball of cells or tissue that was turning into a baby. Coming from someone who has had a miscarriage, that makes me feel like my experience, my loss and trauma was insignificant, and that’s not fair. Now, this is just my opinion and coming from my perspective but I believe life begins at conception. Whether I lost my baby at 8 weeks or 8 months… it still hurts. It’s still a loss. I will forever grieve that loss.

Despite the fact that miscarriage has a stigma and is such a taboo topic, I was definitely greeted by many woman who gave both me and my husband love and support through one of the most challenging times in our lives. My friend Alli was a major support for me. She came to the hospital when I had my D & C, she messaged me and checked on me everyday for weeks just to make sure I was still breathing and getting through each day. She would come over at a moments notice or take me out when I just needed to get out of the house. She would listen to me vent, give me advice and just find ways to make me smile even when I didn’t think I would be able to smile again. I have been friends with Alli for over ten years and I am eternally grateful for her friendship and all she’s done for me in my life.

My friend Christa was very kind as well. She would send me funny videos of her lip syncing songs and just goofing around with Snapchat filters… anything to make me laugh. She also sent me encouraging videos, telling me it was okay to be sad and it was okay to grieve any way I needed to. I talked to her on the phone a few days after my surgery and it was so comforting to talk with someone who just listened. She is a great listener.

My friend Reaghan was also a really good listener and empathetic. I tell Reaghan all the time she should be a counselor. She literally has a good sense of when to speak up and when to be silent and just listen. There were days I needed that. There were days I would go through every emotion of sadness, anger, depression, joy and everything in between. Reaghan would never interrupt me through my cyclone of emotions. She would sit and listen but also jump in and remind me that this miscarriage was not my fault. I’m so grateful for her.

My friend Andrea was also very helpful. When I told her the news about my baby, she was devastated. With her being a new mom herself, she couldn’t imagine the pain I was going through, and was also heartbroken for me. When talking to Andrea, I knew I could be brutally honest with her. I told her I didn’t want to feel this pain anymore. I told her I wanted to die. She was very supportive and encouraging, even though I wasn’t very accepting of her encouragement at the time. She said she would walk through this journey with me, and she sure has. She also reminded me it’s okay to be angry at God. We can be angry and we can be confused of His reasons why. It’s okay. I’m very thankful for her and her encouragement.

My mom… she has been my biggest support from my pregnancy all the way until now as I write this. After losing a child herself, she knew all too well the pain and loss I would go through when we found out my baby had died. Even though she didn’t have a miscarriage, and my brother died as an infant, she understood the loss of a baby, loss of control, and the loss of the dreams when losing a little life. She has understood and helped me navigate through every phase of the grief process. When I was little, I remember asking her “What if I lose a baby too?” It was a question I was scared to ask, but couldn’t help that it crossed my mind. My mom said “Well, I guess it just means we were both meant to go through it.” This answer scared me, and I hoped and prayed I never would have to go through it… but unfortunately I did. It sucks. Death is awful and apart of life. Grief takes a lot out of us. Trauma makes us remember we are not in control. So, through this experience even though it sucks, my mom and I have been able to bond and grow closer than we ever have. I thank God for her every single day.

My friend Jeanie also helped me navigate the grief process. She recently lost her uncle and knew all too well how grief can feel never ending and hit you when you least expect it. There were many times I would become triggered or simply fall apart, and she was almost always right there to hold me and tell me to feel what ever I was feeling. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone and she made it safe for me to let out my emotions. I’m thankful for her.

My internship coordinator Danielle was also very supportive to me. She believes self care is super important, and helped me not to feel guilty when I needed to take care of myself after my loss. She has been so incredibly understanding through everything. She has helped me through triggers and panic attacks. She reminded me the importance of being gentle and taking care of myself. She encouraged me on every little accomplishment I’ve made and helped me reach my goals. Lastly she has encouraged and educated me on how to be an advocate for miscarriage and infant loss. She has helped me reach my dreams.

All of my professors this past spring semester were also helpful and understanding through my loss and miscarriage. Without me even asking, they offered me incompletes, extensions on assignments and everything I needed to succeed this past semester. It was hard at times to be open with both of them about what I was going through, but because I left that line of communication open, they were willing and able to work with me and help me succeed.

My friends Maryanne and Ally offered me many prayers through my grief along with so many others. I didn’t truly realize how strong the power of prayer can be, until my husband and I experienced this loss. I didn’t understand how a loss can bring people together and encourage people to support each other. I am so thankful to everyone who sent good thoughts and prayers to me and my husband.

Another thing that surprised me when I decided to share my story, is how many people came forward and told me they too had had a miscarriage. They too understood the pain and loss that I was experiencing. They too knew just what to say in order to help me in this difficult season in my life. I had one friend who messaged me and told me she thought I was very brave for sharing my story. She said she herself her suffered a miscarriage with her first pregnancy and suffered in silence. She now has her beautiful rainbow baby. She has been such an inspiration to me. I had another friend reach out to me and send me bible verses, gospel songs and words of encouragement as she too experienced a miscarriage a few months prior. I had another women private message me and tell me they had had miscarriages many years ago, and now they have other living children of whom are healthy and doing well. But they all told me they never forget the babies they lost and how they can’t help but wonder who those children would be if they weren’t called home so soon. I also had another woman message me who has suffered many miscarriages, and now has two children whom she has adopted.

All these women who reached out to me, have truly inspired me and helped me as I grieve and heal after my miscarriage. I never in a million years thought I would become a part of this club that has babies in Heaven. It’s not a club you ever wish to be a part of. But there’s something about all these women, as well as myself that we all have in common. I firmly believe we have an angel in Heaven watching over us. Through the loss of losing our babies, we look at life differently. We learn to appreciate the little moments, and even find some strength in our short comings. I personally, also have found comfort in God, and how yes He called my baby home and it hurts, but I find comfort in knowing she never felt pain. She is in a beautiful place where she is living her best life and watching over me.

“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child who never comes.” – David Platt

Presenting on Trauma

On Monday April 1st, I had to give a presentation on trauma on the brain for my internship. I originally picked this topic when I transferred to my new internship site. The topic of trauma and how it affects the brain and development really interests me. I spent a lot of time working on this project through my recovery time at home. I decided to create this presentation using a trifold presentation board. Not only was it therapeutic for me to understand the affects of trauma, but I also enjoyed being creative and assembling this presentation.

When it was time for me to present at 12:30pm, I was a little nervous. I don’t enjoy public speaking, but at the same time I was up to the challenge and wanted to do well in this internship. The presentation was only going to be about 30 minutes and I was presenting to about an audience of 10 peer educators. When I started the presentation, I did okay. I tried sounding enthusiastic as well as professional when presenting on my topic. Towards the middle of the presentation, I remember reading my notes and feeling a lump in my throat. I wasn’t really sure why. I had practiced this presentation many times, and yet I was getting choked up. My voice started to crack as I read to the audience different traumatic events that can affect people

“Car accidents, natural disasters, losing a child, including miscarriage, infant loss or still birth…..” Then I involuntarily stopped talking. My mouth could open but no words were coming out. It was the same problem that happen when I tried talking to the receptionist at my OB’s office. “Um…” I said trying to talk. My mind was blank. Why couldn’t I talk. Why did I feel like I was about to cry. I felt humiliated standing up there not being able to talk. I had practiced this and I was fine, but now that I was presenting I was being triggered by my own presentation. Eventually, I was able to start talking again. I don’t know how but I did. I don’t remember much more after that. I know I finished the presentation but I’m pretty sure I rushed through it and didn’t make a lot of sense.

Once I was done I was ready to get out of there. I left all my stuff and stepped into the hallway. I broke down and started crying. I felt humiliated I couldn’t keep it together. My friend Jeanie came out in the hallway and held my while I cried. She could tell I was triggered too. We both went to a different room where we could cry and calm down. My coordinator Danielle told me I did a good job even though she could tell I was having a really hard time. Despite the fact that I was triggered while presenting on trauma, I was still proud of myself for coming as far as I had and for getting through the presentation. I was also very thankful for the opportunity to research and present on the topic of trauma, and hope to have the opportunity again someday.

One Month Later…

The last week of March wasn’t easy. I didn’t realize it until later, but since the month of February only has 28 days, the month of February as well as March fall on the exact same days of the week. For instance I had my ultrasound and was given the worst news of my life on Monday February 25th, and I had my D & C on Thursday February 28th. Since February has 28 days instead of 30 or 31, March 25th also fell on a Monday and March 28th also fell on a Thursday. I found this really interesting as I approached the one month mark of having my miscarriage. It almost felt like déja vu. The 25th of March wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure I was sad and I reflected a lot on what had happen a month ago, but since I was in so much shock that day, I think that’s why it didn’t affect me as much. Thursday March 28th however, was rough to say the least.

I woke up that morning feeling the heaviness of fresh grieve once again. It was as if I was under a weighted blanket and I honestly did not have the strength to get up. I called in sick to my internship, and my coordinator understood. My husband was worried about me. He had to go to class and work, but he was hesitant to leave me alone. I told him I would be okay and I was just gonna get some rest.

I remember laying in bed and pulling out my phone. I started scrolling through social media pages, which I now know was a big mistake. Within minutes I saw two pregnancy announcements for babies who would be due in September and October…. I lost it. I laid in bed and sobbed. The pain, the grief, the sorrow it all flooded back as if the miscarriage had just happen yesterday. From that point on everything set me off. My arms ached again as I longed for my baby. I grew angry and started yelling at God again for taking my baby. I was also still lactating and it was becoming unbearable. Every time I cried, I would lactate. It was ridiculous. It was a constant reminder that I no longer had a baby. It wasn’t fair.

That afternoon I became very emotionally unstable. I decided to call my doctor. She had mentioned at my last appointment that if I am not doing well emotionally, or physically then I need to call her. When a nurse at the office answered I was already crying. I tried holding back my tears so she could understand me. I told her how frustrated I was that I had been lactating for over three weeks. I also explained to her that my surgeon had told me to give the office a call if I wasn’t doing well… and I obviously wasn’t. She asked me if I wanted to speak with a social worker. I paused and said “Yeah, it would have been nice if you had offered that to me a month ago!” I probably shouldn’t have yelled at her, but I was so frustrated. I was still angry the social worker was too busy to see me the day of my surgery. I had so much support when I was pregnant, but once I miscarried, I slowly felt the support dwindle away. She ended up transferring me. I left a message for the social worker stating I wanted to talk, I wasn’t doing well and I would like some resources to help me cope through my miscarriage. When I hung up the phone, I felt like nothing was accomplished. All I did really was cry and leave a message.

After that intense meltdown on the phone with the nurse, I took a nap. I was emotionally drained. When I woke up about an hour later I got a text from my best friend. I unlocked my phone and read it. I instantly got a pit in my stomach and tears started to well up in my eyes again. My best friend was 5 weeks pregnant… and I started crying again. Part of me wanted to fake it and say congratulations, but since I was so unstable I knew it wasn’t a good idea. I had already yelled at the nurse over the phone, I didn’t also want to yell at my best friend. This was a happy thing, and I didn’t want to be selfish and make it all about me. So, I decided not to respond.

I ended up calling my mom and crying to her, as well as reaching out to my online support group. I talked about how challenging it is to see pregnancy announcements. On the one hand I wanted to be happy for them, but I wasn’t…. I was jealous. I was suppose to be pregnant! I was suppose to be showing and getting congratulated. Secondly, it’s challenging because I instantly had anxiety for everyone else who was pregnant. What happen to me was awful, and I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else. Even though I was jealous and angry, I still prayed for those women and that their babies would be okay. After this emotional day of seeing three different pregnancy announcements, and the fact that it landed on one month since my surgery; I decided to unfollow some of the pregnant and young moms on social media. It wasn’t going to be forever, but just for the meantime until I reached a place where I could handle it better.

That evening I went to dinner at the dining hall with Reaghan. I wasn’t hungry for anything except ice cream. I ate three bowls of it. I had no shame. I needed comfort food that day. Reaghan was so supportive and such a good listener as I talked, cried and stuffed my face with ice cream. After being quiet for a moment I remember telling her “I miss my baby.” as I silently cried over my ice cream. She said with compassion “I know… and it’s okay to be sad Kaylee. It’s okay to feel everything you’re feeling” she knew exactly what I needed to hear.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

People Who Inspire Me Featuring: Maryanne and Just Craftin’ Around

Hello Everyone! I have decided to start a new feature on my blog all about people who inspire me! This week I am featuring my good friend Maryanne.

Maryanne and I have been friends for awhile. We met at work and have both bonded over crocheting, Qudoba, Mean Girls quotes and just being crafty. Maryanne is an amazing artist! She has created a page on FB called Just Craftin’ Around. This page features all her awesome paintings! Check them out!

Maryanne also sells her paintings at local craft shows and online. Her paintings are beautiful and absolutely affordable! If you are interested in one of her paintings, feel free to contact her at her Just Craftin’ Around FB page.

Check Out Her Page Below!

Just Craftin’ Around

Making a Memory Box

At the end of March, I compiled all of my baby items that I specifically wanted to put away into a memory box, dedicated to my baby. I also gathered sympathy cards, hospital bracelets, pregnancy photos and my ultrasounds. I had gone to the store with my mom and picked out the box and letters to decorate it. I was officially ready to begin this new project.

One evening, Charles went to a hockey game while I stayed home. I thought this would be a good opportunity to put together my memory box, since Charles just wanted this to mostly be my thing. I laid out all the letters on the table, and plugged in the glue gun into the surge protector to heat up. I picked out the letters I needed for Mackenzie’s name, and placed them where I would want them. Once the glue gun was heated up, I began gluing the different letters and designs.

Once I was finished, I began placing the different mementos in the box. I started to tear up as I put away the onesies, and the baby hat. I was absolutely so excited to have my baby girl, and dress her in the cutest outfits, I reflected. Sorrow filled my heart yet again as I folded each piece of clothing and placed them in the box. I guess I would have to wait to have a baby, if I ever get the chance. I thought.

As I finished filling the box, the craziest thing happen. I was deep in my thoughts when… BOOM! I saw a spark about ten inches from my face come from the glue gun. I jumped back into the couch stunned. I looked around and noticed my tv which was playing, was now turned off along with half the lighting in the living room. I looked at the once blue, but now black smoking glue gun on the table. My glue gun exploded. I ended up calling my parents and calling maintenance to help me as I had blown a fuse. That night I learned you are not actually suppose to plug a glue gun into a surge protector. Apparently, since it has a heating element, the surge protector can mess with it as I had seen first hand… lesson learned. All in all, despite that minor near death experience… I loved my memory box and how beautifully it turned out.

“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly… always knew love.” – J Clark – Coates

Cutting Ties

The interesting thing about trauma, is we lose control. An absolute terrible event occurs and we are powerless with no way to stop it. Trauma effects everyone differently depending on what the event is and how we as people react. My personal trauma of suffering a miscarriage affected me in a very emotional way. I naturally am an emotional person. I am very in touch with my feelings. So, when something awful happens in my life I may cry, I may get depressed, I may get angry and I may just shut down. After I shared my story of my miscarriage, many people reached out to me. I was very thankful for their compassion, but I didn’t really have much to say in return… except thank you. This could have come off to people as stand offish, but honestly that was never my intention.

The day I lost the baby, I told one of my friends. This friend was very sad and sorry for our loss. Throughout the evening she kept asking me questions about my pregnancy. Questions that I had either already told her or didn’t really think were important to talk about that day. She asked me questions like Were you trying? Did you use protection? Were you on birth control? How did you get pregnant? It was question after question. I was still in a state of shock and was beginning to get frustrated. Why was she interrogating me with questions? I didn’t owe her anything. I’m sure she probably had good intentions, but it didn’t help. It hurt. After so many questions, I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt like through all the questions she was trying to imply either the miscarriage is my fault because I accidentally got pregnant or that I shouldn’t be sad I lost my baby because it was an unplanned pregnancy. I finally said “Why’s it matter now, my baby’s dead!” She apologized and after that we didn’t talk.

A month went by and I didn’t hear from her. I get that I yelled at her but I thought it was weird and somewhat hurtful she didn’t bother to check in on me. And who knows, maybe she did and I just never got the messages. She reached out to me again a month later and said she wanted to hang out. I was still really angry about our previous conversation and still wasn’t in a good place. We started fighting and I realized we were just going to continue to go back and forth. She herself wasn’t in a good place either for other personal reasons. So, even though it wasn’t easy, I made the hard decision of putting our friendship on hold. I told her, right now I did not want to be friends, and I still to this day think it was the best decision for our emotional and mental health.

Part of the reason I made this decision is because the blind can’t lead the blind. Two depressed people can’t take care of each other. We would end up destroying each other. Neither one of us had the strength to hold each other up. As much as I wanted to remain friends, I could feel myself resent her the more we would talk. I wanted to stop the bolder of my crazy emotions before I said something I regretted. Maybe in time we will be friends again, but for now I am going to work on myself so I remember the person I once was, let go of what I need to let go and take control of what I need to get a hold of.

Seeking Counseling

Last October I started seeing a counselor at my university. I decided to start seeking a counselor to help me get a handle on my anxiety as well as getting help in dealing with the daily struggles of college. In the spring semester I didn’t have any appointments scheduled at the beginning. In December my counselor and I decided I was on the right track, but if I ever needed to come back I could always make an appointment. When I found out I was pregnant, I realized I should definitely make an appointment as this was an added stress to my life… in a good way. Unfortunately, due to the many snow days and OB appointments, I didn’t actually get in to see my counselor until I was 10 weeks. At that appointment I was stressed but so excited. My counselor helped me talk things out.

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After I had my miscarriage, I didn’t get in to see my counselor until about three weeks after. I hardly ever cry in counseling. It’s almost like I think it’s more important to talk since I have the opportunity so I just don’t feel like I need to. However, at the appointment after my miscarriage I sat in silence for awhile. I stared at my counselor. I wanted to speak but I couldn’t. My mouth wasn’t working. After ten minutes I ended up finally saying “I had my 11 week ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. My baby died” and that was it. I cried for the rest of the hour long session. I was able to say a few sentences here and there, but overall I just cried.

From that point on I have had a weekly appointment with my counselor. She has been incredibly helpful. I absolutely love counseling and would recommend it to anyone. I realize there’s a lot of stigma and shame when it comes to counseling, but honesty I think it’s just nice to word vomit all my problems, and someone is obligated to listen. I am also someone who loves hearing about different strategies and coping skills, however I am usually too stubborn to try them. For example, I have signed up for a yoga class three times… and still have yet to go. Regardless, I know I still have things I need to work on and I’m so thankful I am able to get the help I need.

Returning to the OBGYN’s Office

On Wednesday March 20th, I had my follow up appointment with my OBGYN. I had nothing else planned that day except spending time with my mom. Since Charles still had class in the afternoon, my mom went with me to my appointment. I was slightly nervous for this appointment as I often still became emotional when talking about my miscarriage. I was still having more bad days than good and I was still really unstable.

When we arrived at the hospital, I became fidgety. I could feel my anxiety increasing. Even though I knew my doctor was only going to talk to me and possibly do an exam, I was still really nervous to return back to the office. When we walked into the hospital. I did okay for the first few steps. We followed the signs hanging from the ceiling that pointed to my doctor’s office. I read the word ultrasound on one of the signs and began to hyperventilate. I gripped my mom’s arm, thankful she was there and walking beside me. She held me, rubbed my back and told me it’s gonna be okay. I began to start crying. All the feelings of excitement from when I was pregnant came back. All the memories of the last time I was here flooded back as well. I knew this was going to be hard.

When we got to the waiting room and sat down, I immediately didn’t want to be there. All the pregnant belly’s were staring me in the face again. I continued to be fidgety and experienced the flashbacks and memories of my ultrasound, walking out of this office heart broken, my surgery and everything in between. We sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes. I tried my best to stay distracted, but I couldn’t. I went up to the front desk and asked if I would be seen soon. The receptionist said it should be only a few more minutes. Okay, I think I can hold on a few more minutes, I thought.

Just then I heard the door open from the ultrasound room. I then heard the worst sound. The sound that I knew all to well. A young woman about my age came out of that room. She had her hand covering her mouth, and her other hand gripping her belly. I heard her sob. Immediately I knew what happen. I suddenly felt sick and heart broken all over again. This young woman just received the worst news of her life. She just lost everything. I didn’t mean to stare but I couldn’t help it. I was all too familiar with what she was experiencing. Part of me wanted to rush over to her and give her a hug, but part of me knew I wasn’t strong enough. I was currently fighting my own battle. I watched her sob in her chair. She was broken. She just received news her baby was gone. They called her back rather quickly. I was glad. She didn’t need to feel humiliated. I said a small prayer for her. I prayed God would hold her as this is likely the worst day of her life. I so wished I was wrong, but somehow I knew I wasn’t. A few minutes later a man came in and asked to go back with his wife, I’m pretty sure that was her husband. I’m glad she was no longer alone.

I was finally called back after a 45 minute wait. When my doctor came in the room she asked how I was doing. How am I doing? I just sat in your waiting room for 45 minutes staring at pregnant ladies, and being retraumatized by another woman who just lost her baby. How do you think I’m doing!? That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t. I told her I was still having a really hard time. She seemed surprised and said she expected me to be more stable by now. Excuse me!? It had only been three weeks since my surgery. Of course I’m not stable! Again I didn’t say that… but I wanted to.

My doctor talked with me about starting birth control and trying an anti-depressant for my depression and anxiety. She also gave me a pelvic exam and told me she would see me again in May. Before leaving the office my mom gave me a hug. She told me she was proud of me for being so strong, I still don’t know how I showed strength that day, I was just thankful the appointment was over.

“I will never be the same as I was before. I endured the heartbreaking task of saying goodbye to my child.” – Jennifer Ross

You’re in Heaven

The day I found out you were gone, was the worst day.

I didn’t see it coming, and I didn’t want to believe it.

I wanted to scream, cry and run because I was so afraid.

I didn’t want to feel the heaviness of grief wash over me.

I didn’t want to believe you were gone.

As the weeks go by, I hate this but know that this is how it has to be.

The doubts and anger sometimes flutters back.

I thought you were okay, but I guess I was wrong.

I think about you every single day.

I wonder where you are, and if you are happy, safe, near or far away.

It gives me peace knowing you are in a beautiful place.

You’re in Heaven where there is no pain.

I so wish I could meet you and see your face.

But since that’s not a choice I have, I instead wait for the rain.

After the rain there is usually a rainbow.

I see this as a sign from Heaven, that I had to let you go.

You are doing good.

You weren’t meant to live this life with me like I think you should.

You are in Heaven watching over me.

And everyday I feel you with me. ❤️

The Birthstone Ring

On Saturday March 16th, I was still doing my best to rest and recover from surgery. By now I had noticed a drastic drop in my pregnancy symptoms including losing my strong sense of smell and my gagging reflex. I still felt bloated and fatigued but not nearly as much as before. On this day, I remember reading posts on my online support group. I remember hearing about how angel mommies find different ways to remember their babies who have gone to Heaven. In a poem I had read online, it had mentioned how a mom had had a ring of her baby’s birthstone on her hand. This was a symbol of two things. 1) the birthstone represented the month the baby was born and or was called home and 2) the momma had the ring on her finger to symbolize her baby holding her hand. I loved this idea! I told Charles what I read and he thought it was neat too. In fact, with him being the amazing husband he is, he decided to take me to the jewelry store to pick out a ring. ❤️

On the way to the store we tried to decide what birthstone I would want for my ring. Should we choose sapphire since my due date was in September or should we choose amethyst since we lost our baby in February? We pondered this on the car ride there and ended up deciding on February. We chose February because that was the month everything happen. That was the month I had both my ultrasounds as well as my D & C . It was also the month my morning sickness was the worst and we decided on the name Mackenzie. I also took into consideration that once I have my ring, I would not only be reminded of Mackenzie but also when I was pregnant, which was for the whole month of February.

When we got to the jewelry store we asked if we could see birthstone rings for the month of February. The cashier took us over to the counter where they kept the rings. Charles and I could both tell she didn’t seem to be in a good mood. She showed us the four different options for the amethyst birthstone.

“Is this ring for you?” The cashier asked me.

“Yes, but it’s not my birthstone… but I will be wearing it. Can I try on that one.” I said pointing to the ring with three hearts.

“So, it’s not for you.” She said looking confused, and handing me the ring to try on. I was conflicted on if I wanted to tell her it was in memory of our baby. I didn’t know if I was prepared for her reaction… what ever it was. She kept staring at me as if she wanted an answer. I tried on the ring.

“It’s for our baby.” I said. She stared at me.

“Oh, so you need a kids size ring?” She really didn’t understand and I was starting to get frustrated.

“No, it’s in memory of our baby. We had a miscarriage in February.” I really didn’t want to share this much with a stranger, especially since I was still sensitive about the topic. But, I still felt obligated to give it to her.

“Oh, well… you’re young you’ll have more.” She said. She had absolutely no emotion. No compassion. I looked at my husband with hurt and rage in my eyes. Did she really just say that to me? He looked back at me with empathy as if trying to say I know you really want to slap her, but please don’t do it. “So you were due in November?” She asked as if not sure what to say.

“I was due in September.” I didn’t look at her. I was done with this conversation. I was done talking to her. I was really hurt by what she said. I told Charles I wanted the ring I had tried on and we bought it. The cashier tried to get me to sign up for a credit card. I sternly told her no and walked away. I was done.

When we got to the car I cried. I cried with happiness because I got my ring but I also cried with sadness and anger by what she said. It was so hurtful. I think what made it hurt the worst is the fact that she acted like she did nothing wrong. It broke my heart. Why would you say that to someone? You don’t know if I will ever be able to have another kid, and also if you don’t know what to say when another human tells you something sad, at the very least try and be humane and say I’m sorry.

Regardless of the fact that the cashier hurt my feelings that day, I was very happy and thankful for my ring. It really meant a lot to me that Charles wanted to get one for me. It’s not even the fact that he bought me jewelry, but it’s the fact that he was trying to be there for me and understand what I was going through.