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. 💕
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. ❤️
So, if I’m being honest… it has been a rough week. My week has been filled with deaths, grief, sickness and stress. But come to think of it, these things are pretty typical around this time of year. Since I am home sick with not a whole lot of energy, then why not write a blog post, right?
7 Things about myself, hmm…. this blog topic I found on Pintrest. Honestly, I feel kind of weird talking about myself, but it’s important. One of my goals this semester is to be more authentic. I want to be more real and open about myself, my struggles, my success and my life. I guess this blog post is a great place to start!
7 Things About Myself
1. I have NEVER been on a cruise and have no desire to go on a Cruise.
Cruises I’m sure seem fun for some, but for me does not sound appealing at all. I get sea sick super easily. I would freak out if I was stuck on the boat for too long, and I have watched the movie Titanic WAY too many times. Enough said.
2. I am TERRIFIED of airplanes!
I have road on a plane a total of 8 times. One round trip to the Dominican Republic with a connecting flight in Florida, and a round trip to Disney World with a connecting flight in Detroit. Planes are just not my thing. I don’t like the noises. I don’t like the feeling of landing and taking off. I don’t like the small windows, closet size bathroom, germs from passengers and tiny seats. I panic when I am on a plane as I am terrified something will go wrong. I hold my breath and pray to Jesus until I am safely on the ground. So, yeah… planes are not for me.
3. I met my friends only because I REALLY had to pee.
It’s a long story, but basically there was a gathering at their house and my parents and I were invited. My parents put on a flag retirement ceremony. Before the ceremony started, I really had to pee. My mom asked Andrea and Alli’s Dad if I could use their bathroom. After Alli showed me the bathroom, Andrea asked me to play volleyball… and the rest is history.
4. I am an Aunt to lots of nieces and nephews… none of which are biological.
If I were to count all of my husband’s nieces and nephews as well as friends of mine that have kids that are considered my nieces and nephews, that would mean I have a total of 11 nieces and nephews. 🙂
5. I hate matching socks!
As a child and as a adult, I have hated matching socks. I probably do it a total of 4 times a year. It drives my mom crazy, but Charles doesn’t seem to care. 🤣 I guess I figure, no one is going to see them anyway, so what’s the point?
6. I have NEVER had a bloody nose.
Yep, never had a bloody nose a day in my life. In fact, when I see others having a bloody nose, I freak out because it looks painful. But I’m told it doesn’t hurt at all, and it’s like a runny nose. Who knew?
7. I have always wanted to go to New York City.
I’ve always had a fascination about the big city and wanted to go visit. I want to see everything from the Empire State Building, to the Statue of Liberty, to Times Square, to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, to Studio 1A to the Brooklyn Bridge. Someday soon I hope to visit New York. It’s kind of ironic though, how I have always dreamed of New York, and I even married a New Yorker.
Well, there you have it. These are just a few interesting facts about me. Thanks for reading!
This semester, I decided to take a class for my health. Since last spring, I have been striving to do better, and become a healthier me. One of the ways I have been doing this is by taking a yoga class.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this class. This class was not required for my degree, or needed for me to graduate. Therefore, I was afraid I may not be motivated to go to this class, and even look at it as a obligation, instead of a reward or opportunity.
In my first yoga class we learned how to find our breath. We did some deep breathing, learning how to be still and and relax. I felt like the class was very simple and didn’t notice much of a change in my mind, breath or body. However, a few hours later, as I made pizzas at work, I felt different. Even though I was physically tired from the day, mentally I was great. My mind was clear and I felt very zen.
Throughout the first few weeks of the semester, each yoga session has gotten a little more challenging physically, but has also had me feeling very calm, peaceful and zen. Even on the days I don’t have yoga, I find myself finding my breath and taking a moment to rest my mind.
I am truly looking forward to this semester and how my yoga class will help me in any challenges I may face. Namaste 🙏
So remember last year, how I set a goal to donate a bunch of handmade baby hats to the hospital in remembrance of my angel baby Mackenzie? Well, I’m sure you can probably guess that, that didn’t happen. I did not make enough baby hats, and I also got pregnant a second time a lot faster than I expected. So… I pushed it off and said I would donate around Christmas. To be honest guys, I couldn’t do it. Emotionally, Christmas was HARD. I didn’t think I was going to survive it. Long story short, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this project. As much as I want to donate to the hospital, it’s like it’s a reminder of what I don’t have. When I think about giving new moms, hats to put on their babies… I am reminded that my babies never got to wear the hats I made them. Is that selfish? Maybe. But when I donate and do something good for others, I too want to feel good about it… and not filled with jealousy, envy and anger. So, I guess the project is on hold for now. We will see where this project goes in the future.
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.
As many of you know, I spent a handful of hours in counseling last year after my first miscarriage. Through counseling I was able to develop coping skills such as self talk, reflection, and anxiety management. I was in counseling approximately once a week from March to July. At the end of June I essentially “graduated” from counseling for awhile until I felt a need to return.
Since coming back to counseling after suffering my second miscarriage at the end of September; I have begun to rebuild the skills I had started to lose. This time around in counseling, not only have I gone more in-depth about grief and advocacy but also on how I can be in the NOW. As a student, planner, organization freak and perfectionist, I take pride in planning the future. Planning helps me prepare for change, and also prepare if things don’t go as planned. However, I really struggle with living in the NOW. I have lost that feeling, and that state of just being.
My counselor, who is a AMAZING I might add; had an idea for myself, and other students just like me. In her office she has on her desk a bowl of sea glass. Each piece of sea glass is different. Some are round. Some are rough. Some have cracks in them. Some are shaped like diamonds. Each piece is unique for each person. My counselor allowed each one of her students to take a piece of sea glass to hold on too. She explained to me that we as people need something tangible. We need something to hold on to. We need something to ground us.
So, everyday I carry with me my little piece of sea glass. I reach into my pocket and feel the smooth diamond shape. Sometimes I pull it out of my pocket and admire its’ little crack in the center. This crack reminds me of myself, in the sense that I’m scarred but I’m not broken. It is a wonderful, real item that I feel, and serves as a reminder that it is okay to live in the now.
Miscarriage – The act of losing a pregnancy or the act of a baby passing away in the womb before 20 weeks of gestation. To be honest, I’m not very fond of the word “Mis” carriage. When I first suffered a miscarriage, I used this word often. When I googled reasons on why a loss such as this happens, the word miscarriage was something I typed into google daily. I used the word miscarriage when sharing my story and talking to other moms who have suffered a miscarriage. But now, I am really starting to detest the word.
The reason why I am not fond of the word miscarriage, is because of what it implies. Sure, many of us know the politically correct meaning of the word, but imagine if you first heard it, break it down and sound it out. Mis-carriage. As I think about it, this word was written as if it implies that this little baby that a momma is carrying is no longer being carried… or being carried improperly. It’s almost as if it’s implying that the mother is to blame because she can’t carry her baby. If that is the case, then it’s not a very accurate word. Studies show that the cause of miscarriages is more often than not chromosomal abnormalities, and not anything that the mother did.
Since I am not very fond of the word miscarriage, I am starting to use the word pregnancy loss instead. Saying pregnancy loss instead of miscarriage doesn’t seem as harsh. It also seems to imply that a mother lost her baby verses didn’t carry them properly. Implying that there was a loss not only shows that the pregnancy loss was out of the mother’s control but also is a devastating ambiguous loss.
Therefore, when someone asks me about pregnancy, kids and the like… I will say I have suffered 2 pregnancy losses, instead of 2 miscarriages. Because I lost my babies… I didn’t improperly carry them.
• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them. • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger. • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions. • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts. • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or blog site.
I want to thank Pooja over at lifesfinewhine for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Check out her blog at lifefinewhine.com
1. Road trip or flight, which one do you prefer?
Personally, I am not a fan of flying. I know it’s safe, but my anxiety often gets the best of me and I can not breathe easy when I am on an airplane. In fact the last time I was on an airplane, my aunt asked me if I had something that could knock me out until we landed… if that tells you anything. I think roadtrips are more fun because I enjoy sightseeing and being able to stop along the way.
2. How loyal are you?
I consider myself pretty loyal. I don’t ever maliciously try to hurt others, and I try to be there for those I love.
3. Are friends or family the people who influence you more?
To be honest, it’s a tie. Both my family and friends influence and inspire me every single day.
4. You have been shipwrecked, and there is only you and one other survivor. What do you do to occupy your time as there are no books or electronics?
Talk, sing, dance, run, play hide and seek, tell stories.
5. What is your favorite animal? Share a picture.
At the moment I really love pugs. My husband and I both get super excited when we see pugs.
6. Do you enjoy camping?
Yes! I haven’t been in years, but I sure do!
7. Would you prefer to live by the sea or by the mountains?
The sea definitely! The beach is tranquil and my happy place.
8. Considering the times we live in, if your family member or friend told you they are gay, what would your reaction be? How would you handle it?
I would love them, just as I always have.
9. If you caught your family member watching something inappropriate, how would you handle the situation? What would you say to them?
I would be concerned and offer resources and a listening ear. Honestly, I’d probably pray for them too.
For the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a little thing called… writer’s block. I’ve had writer’s block before, but never to this extent. To be honest I believe it’s a mixture of writer’s block, exhaustion and procrastination. I am exhausted because I am on holiday break, and have been doing my best to soak in every moment of rest and relaxation before I return to college for my last semester. I am procrastinating because as much as I love writing, it can be tiring. It takes a lot of brain power to figure out what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and have it all make sense. I sometimes feel pressured to write about something worth while so you as my readers not only enjoy what I am writing, but can also relate to it. I don’t get this pressure from any of my readers, but more myself as I am my most harsh critic. Regardless, I am dedicated to blogging. I love writing and blogging about my life, advocating about pregnancy loss, and connecting with my readers. So, I will continue writing, despite the exhaustion, procrastion and writer’s block.
If you are a writer and you too are suffering from writer’s block, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned that may help YOU feel inspired to start writing again.
10 Things to get Inspired and Fight Writer’s Block
Brainstorming is something I didn’t truly learn how to do until I came to college. I have done the exercise in a variety of my classes. First pull up a blank document on your computer, or grab a piece of paper from a notebook. Set a timer for 2 minutes and instantly jot down different ideas for your blog, paper, or whatever you need to write. For example, if I am trying to think of a new blog post topic, I may write down ideas such as my dream vacation, my love story, 10 things I love about blogging, my favorite foods, etc. As you write down your ideas, don’t second guess yourself. Don’t stop to think about it. Just write it down. When the timer goes off, stop and take a look over your ideas. Through process of elimination, decide which idea works best for your project, and begin writing. For some reason, brainstorming has been found to be very effective, because it allows our minds to have quick ideas… and sometimes the best ideas come when we feel pressure and put our minds to it.
So this isn’t always the best idea, but it can be affective at times. However, I don’t recommend this tip if you are in a time crunch. Sometimes when I need to write a paper for school, I have to distract myself in order to feel inspired and know what I want to write about. Some ways I distract myself is by cleaning my house, cooking a meal, doodling, watching Netflix, or going for a walk. Often when I am distracted, I am allowing myself a little mental break so I can return with fresh eyes, and a focused mind to begin writing.
Pinterest is truly my favorite. Who ever created this platform was truly a genius. Pinterest is the place I go to get inspired. You can practically search anything and find it on Pinterest. If you are looking for essay topics, blog post ideas, novel themes, etc., odds are you will find it all and more on Pinterest. I would advise caution when going on Pinterest though, If you are anything like me, you could easily spend hours looking at different ideas on Pinterest. So, I would surely advise that you be vigilant of time while on Pinterest.
Selfcare is incredibly important, and I advocate all the time how we all need some selfcare in our busy crazy lives. Sometimes when I’m stuck, and I don’t know what to write, I have to be kind to myself and do a little selfcare. Some ways I practice selfcare and pamper myself are by taking a bubble bath, deep breathing exercises, listening to music, and doing something I love. When I’ve taken the time to take care of myself, I feel more relaxed, recharged and ready to begin a new task.
Okay, so if I had to guess, I can imagine a majority of you wouldn’t have thought that procrastination would be something that will help with writer’s block. As a matter of fact, it is usually a root cause to our writer’s block. Well, believe it or not, procrastination can actually be very beneficial. When we procrastinate we wait until the last few moments to do something. This could be waiting to clean your house an hour before a family gathering, or it could be waiting until you are almost on E before filling up your car with gas, or it could be waiting to write a paper until it is due the next day. This isn’t neccisarily a good idea, because when we procrastinate we are on a time crunch and are not giving ourselves enough time if technology fails or something goes wrong. However, just like what I said in the brainstorming tip, sometimes putting pressure on ourselves helps us to get stuff done. With pressure from limited time, we often can get tasks done quickly. Oh and I will even admit that I have procrastinated to write something, and because of it I actually produced some of my best pieces of writing because of the pressure I put on myself.
Making lists can be helpful when wanting to feel inspired and get motivated to get stuff done. On days when I am very unmotivated, I force myself to sit down and write a list. I make a list of all the things I hope to accomplish that day. If it is a big project or paper, I will divide it up. For example instead of writing 1. Write my 10 page paper for English, I will write something like 1. Write 2 pages of 10 page paper for English. This not only makes the task more manageable, but helps me to decide how much time I should dedicate to each task. Somedays I get everything done on my list and some days I don’t. I do however reward myself when I get things done so I don’t get burned out and want to call it quits.
When I get stuck and don’t know what to write, sometimes it helps to talk to others. I ask friends, family members, my Instagram followers and others ideas on what to write on here. Feedback from others can be very beneficial and can help us to see new perspectives, and run with a new idea.
Being creative through a different task besides writing can help get your creative juices flowing. Sometimes I will spend a few hours crocheting, trying to decide what to write about. It’s not the crocheting that inspires me, but rather the fact that I am keeping my hands busy, so my mind has the ability to wander off, daydream, and think of other things. This usually helps me to get inspired and begin a new blog post.
Sometimes I am blocked and can’t write because I have no idea how to relate my topic to anything, mainly my own life. It’s as if I have an idea, but I don’t know how it applies to my life. Do you remember creating those writing webs in grade school? Do you remember how we would have to start with a subject, circle it and brainstorm other ideas around it? And then, we would have to figure out how to connect the supporting ideas together. To be honest, those things drove me crazy, but I now see how beneficial they can be. If I’m stuck and can’t figure out how to relate my idea to my life, a certain concept or a class, then I usually create a writing web.
Getting organized is the best feeling… in my opinion. Taking the time to organize my thoughts, ideas, and topic is the first step in writing something powerful. Write out your title and your headings. Just seeing them in order and laid out can help you start writing. I guarantee you if you take the time to organize, you will be that much closer and more motivated to write and create something amazing.
It’s a new year, new decade and new chapter. As I consider last year to be a year of grief and growth, I believe this year will be a year of strength and serenity. This year is going to be different. I am praying for it. I believe it, and I am speaking it into existence.
Even though life is unpredictable and we don’t always know what’s around the corner, I do have a few goals I will strive to accomplish.
1. Graduate with my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Child and Family Development.
2. Complete my certification as a Family Life Educator
What can I say about 2019? This year has been life changing, hard, emotional, shocking, grief stricken, crazy, a whirlwind, encouraging and just down right challenging. Regardless, of the fact that the bad often out weighed the good, I’m thankful. Another year is in the books. I would like to take a moment and take a look back at my 2019.
I found out I was pregnant
I started my first internship at a government agency.
I became president of a student organization.
I saw my baby on ultrasound
I suffered my first miscarriage
I had a D & C
I switched internship sites, and started interning for the Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign on campus.
March is a blur.
I recovered physically from surgery.
Emotionally I was in a fog.
I presented on Trauma in my internship.
I received the Healing and Growth Award at my internship.
Started my Blog!!!
I celebrated my first Mother’s Day
I took a getaway to the lake shore with my husband.
I completed my internship.
Got diagnosed with hypothyroidism
Committed to a Summer of Self care
Started another internship
Reopened my Etsy Shop.
Published for the first time, my story in a magazine.
Started working out regularly.
Started my senior year of college.
Attended a University football game.
Got pregnant for the second time.
Honored my due date
Took a weekend trip to the cabin with my girls
Suffered a second miscarriage.
Started writing my book.
Became temporarily anemic
Celebrated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day.
Hubby got in a car accident.
Applied and got approved for graduation in April 2020.
Decorated for Christmas
Hosted a Friendsgiving with my college friends.
Celebrated 3 years of marriage.
Cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and I.
Presented a speech on miscarriage.
Finished my second to last semester of college.
Got another car.
All in all, this year has been a little crazy. I pray that the new decade and new year is sweeter, and smoother for everyone.
This year… I feel like Job. In the Bible, in the book of Job, it talks about a man. This man had the highest integrity in all the land. He had favor and perfection in God’s eyes (Job 1:1). One day, Satan challenged God. He wanted to know if Job, this man of God with great faith, would still have great faith if he was put to the test. So, God allowed bad things to happen to Job (Job 1:6 – 12). He was put to the test. Job lost his children, was stricken with boils, felt grief, and pain (Job 1:13 – 20). Through this season of trial and tribulation, Job didn’t lose faith… but he did ask the question of why?
I ask myself this question everyday. Why do bad things have to happen? Why do we have to suffer? Why do we have to feel pain? Job asked and argued these questions with friends and with God. He wondered and pondered that as a follower and believer of God, why did he have to struggle? Why did he have to suffer? Why did he have to lose his children? If God is such a good God, why does he let these things happen? if we are followers of God, shouldn’t we be blessed for being faithful and not have to face pain and heartache? Job goes on to argue his case with God for many chapters. Through each chapter, I feel as if I too have asked each one of these questions, trying to fathom why bad things happen to good people. One question that I couldn’t really find, that I’ve asked this past year is Where was God?
Where Was God?
Where was God through Job’s suffering? Where was God when he lost each and everyone of his children? Where was God when I lost mine? Where was God when I anticipated my second ultrasound, only to hear the words I’m sorry, but there isn’t a heartbeat. Where was God when the grief and heartache hit me as I woke up from surgery? Where was God when I was bleeding, and feeling labor pains knowing full well I was going to endure a second loss. Where was God this past year when my car got totaled, losing my job, my husband’s health, my health and all the crap I’ve had to suffer. Where was God!?!
God Was There
As much as I don’t want to believe it, God was there. God was there through every moment of Job’s suffering, and He was there through every moment of mine. When bad things happen, he doesn’t just vanish, even though he seems so incredibly distant. He’s their, watching, and waiting. He waits to see how we will respond to a situation. In the waiting He isn’t closed off, but rather he’s there with open loving arms. It is up to us in every rough situation to run towards Him, or run away from Him. He is a just God, and He is a good God. He is perfect in every possible way, and we are sinners and honestly don’t deserve anything good. We don’t deserve good things, but he gives them to us anyway… because He is so good.
If there is one pet peeve I have, it’s not knowing the reason. When things happen good or bad, but especially bad… I want to know the reason. I want to know the reason why my babies had to die, why my Grandma died of Alzheimer’s, why I’m vision impaired, and why my brother died before I was born. I want to know the answers to all of these questions, and have wanted to most of my life. But unfortunately, I may never know. I may never know the specific reasons why bad things happen in this life. But I do believe this. We live in a sin tainted world, and we are sinful creatures. Nothing in this world is perfect, therefore bad things are going to happen. I don’t believe God inflicts bad things on his children, but I do believe he allows them to happen. I think one reason God allows bad things to happen, is so we can appreciate the good, and we can be thankful for the blessings that we receive. I also believe it is a reminder that this world is only our temporarily home. We will not be apart of this world or live this life forever, there is a perfect world ahead if we receive the grace that God has for us.
So, to bring it all full circle. I feel like Job this year. I have had a rough year of two miscarriages, a surgery, grief, losing a job, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, hypothyroidism, totaled car, and on and on and on. It has been one thing after another. 2019 has been the worst year of my life. With that being said… I know greater is coming. I have to believe that things are going to look up from here. Otherwise, I would just be giving up. This year has been hell, but has made me stronger. God allowed a lot of trials to happen this year, but I know he never stopped loving me. At the end of Job, God gave Job abundant blessings… not because he particularly deserved them, but because God loved him. Therefore, as hard as it has been, and as much as I want to give up… I won’t. Satan won’t take me out of the game that easily. I have faith 2020 is going to be great. I won’t lose faith.