This post was written in February 2021. I thought it would be nice to take a moment to reflect back on my life then, and how it has changed to now.
The Letter to Myself
In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic.
As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice.
For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:
What is something I needed to let go of?
What was something I was ready for?
What did I need to remember from the current time?
At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself.
What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself.
What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family.
What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too.
I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.
Growing up, I had always been familiar with the concept of Heaven and faith. Having an older brother who died as an infant, is what first introduced me to faith. Later in life, of course I had grandparents, and acquaintances who passed on as well, and though it was sad, these moments built my faith. However, my faith was shaken, challenged, and changed after I miscarried my babies.
When I was little, my mom used to find pennies all the time… in fact she still does. I on the other hand don’t find them much at all. When ever my mom would find them on the ground, she would tell me “It’s a penny from Heaven” or “Matthew is watching over me.” I thought it was so cool how my mom would find pennies so often.
Recently, my husband and I went to the store. I was having quite a rough day as I didn’t feel good, I was stressed from work, and just kinda blah. When we got out of the car I remembered praying for things just to get better and for me to feel better. When I opened the car and stepped on the asphalt, I heard a cling. I thought I was hearing things so I grabbed my purse and shut the door. I heard the cling again. I looked down and didn’t see anything. Charles asked me a question and walked around the car. As I started to walk away from the car, I heard a cling again and looked down. I found a penny.
For the rest of our trip in the store, I held the penny in my hand. It was a penny from Heaven. Just a little token from above that put a smile on my face, when I was having a not so good day. I was also reminded of my babies. I was reminded how even though they aren’t physically with me, they are always in fact with me in spirit.
This past semester, I took a public speaking class. I had quite a bit of apprehension before taking this class as I really don’t like speaking in public. In fact, I have registered for this class a handful of times before, but have always dropped it before the beginning of the semester. What can I say… I really didn’t want to take this class. However, since I am close to the end of my college career, I figured I better get it done, since it is a required course.
In this class, I had the opportunity to give a persuasive speech on a topic I am very passionate about. I took about a week to contemplate and brainstorm on my topic, until I was ready to present the speech topic to my professor. The topic I decided was miscarriage, but not just miscarriage. I wanted to give a persuasive speech and argue that their be a change in the way women are treated after suffering a miscarriage, in society and in the healthcare system.
I organized my speech into 3 main points:
1. Language, and what to say and not to say to a woman after suffering a miscarriage.
2. Policy changes that I would like to implement in the healthcare system.
3. Advocacy for women of loss.
The day of my speech I was very anxious. I was scared I would break down while speaking because this topic was too close to home. I was afraid I would trip over my words, forget something or go over my time limit. Ultimately, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. Regardless, when it was my turn to get up and present my speech, I took a deep breath, prayed that God would help me through, and began.
“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child… there isn’t a word to describe them.” – President Ronald Regan
The above quote by Ronald Reagan was my attention getter for my speech. I went on to argue my main points and why I feel there needs to be a change. I ended my speech by saying: It is likely you will know someone in your life who has suffered a miscarriage, and coming from someone who has suffered two miscarriages, my hope is that you take something from this speech and change the way we look at miscarriage.
At the end of my speech, my classmates applauded and asked me various questions about miscarriages, pregnancy and resources. When class was over and I was walking out, a girl in my class came up to me. She told me she loved my speech, and really appreciated the things I had to say about miscarriage and some good things to tell women who have suffered a loss. She even disclosed to me that she too had suffered a miscarriage, and it was the worst most terrifying experience of her life. As she confided in me, in the middle of the hallway, I so badly wanted to give her a hug, as I too knew her pain. But when I looked in her face, I could tell she was fighting back tears, and it took a lot for her to come and talk to me. So, instead I said “thank you for sharing that with me.” She smiled while still holding back tears and went the other direction.
In that moment, I knew I was meant to give that speech, and I again understood that I am meant to share my story and advocate for miscarriage/pregnancy loss. Even though it’s hard, and even though I didn’t really think this was my purpose, I now know I have to do it. Even if as an advocate, author or speaker I only impact one person… I know I will have made a difference.
Two years ago, I was an entirely different person. I was a newly college graduated, preschool teaching, fur mama, and wife. I struggled with grief on a daily and finding my purpose in the midst of the uncertainty that lie ahead. I aspired to be great. I aspired to do many things, but the one thing I wanted and dreamed more than anything was to be a mom.
Today I am a stay at home mom, blogger and aspiring writer. In many ways I’ve made it and in other ways, I’m still working on it one day at a time.
I remember the day I created this vision board, two years ago. I went to the dollar store and bought some poster board. The next day I got up early on a sunny Saturday morning, pulled out my scrapbooking stuff and went to work. I created a vision. I displayed through art the desires of my heart to be a mother. I had no idea how it would play out, but I knew with even the tiniest bit of faith, God would see me, God would hear me and He would grant me the desires of my heart as long as it was according to His will.
As hard as the waiting season was, I’m so glad I never lost faith. 💛
In January of 2019, my life took a turn and headed down a path that I didn’t see coming. Many of you know this story as it has been the foundation of my blog. I got pregnant for the first time. In February I suffered a loss that would not only be a defining moment in my life, but would also change the way I live my life.
After my first pregnancy loss, I spent a lot of time at home. As I grieved and healed from the loss of our baby, I spent a lot of time in my thoughts. I spent hours on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, watching other influencers on stories and in their posts.
In the summer of 2019, I put a pause on therapy. My therapist didn’t work through the summer, so took that time to really dive into what I felt my purpose and new found calling was… advocacy. I was passionate and felt led to advocate for women like me who had suffered a pregnancy loss.
In September I was ready, and I was motivated to share my story to anyone who would listen, and help those who had experienced loss. My what would have been due date was approaching, so in the midst of being passionate, I was also grieving. Then I got pregnant for a second time.
This was it. This was my rainbow baby. I was nervous but almost over confident I wasn’t going to have another loss. Things would be different this time. I went to school, went to all my appointments. I ate healthy. Everything was going to be just fine. Then at the end of September, I had my second loss.
I was numb. I was confused. I did everything right… and I still lost another baby. I beat myself up. I again had that intense passion and a little whisper in my ear that said share your story. Write a book. That was it! I should write a memoir. My blog was doing great. Why not take it a step further and start writing. The beginning of the writing process really wasn’t difficult because I just had to take bits and pieces of blog posts and turn it into a book.
In February of 2020, on a whim I created a rough draft of a children’s book that explained miscarriage in a child-friendly way. In March of 2020, I got a new job teaching, literally right before the big pandemic. In April of 2020, I graduated college. Being a new college graduate and starting a new job, my writing took a back seat.
In May of 2020, Charles and I decided to try for a baby one more time before pursuing adoption. It was frustrating, terrifying, and very much out of our control, but we said we’d give it a year.
In June of 2020, I decided to publish the children’s book I created back in February. I was touched by its’ small success and this motivated me to continue writing my story. I occasionally fiddled with my story on weekends or holiday breaks. But it wasn’t until December of 2020 that I finished my first draft.
In April of 2021, I was feeling very discouraged. We received negative test after test. It was feeling like my opportunities of being pregnant and having a baby had come and gone. At the end of that month I missed my period, and was pregnant for the third time.
For months, I had been experiencing writer’s block when it came to my book. I told myself I should have finished and published my book before I got pregnant, but that just didn’t happen. My blog continued to do well. I created stories, reels, posted pictures of my life, home decor and was hopeful to soon be sharing our pregnancy.
In May of 2021, I started telling a few people we were pregnant after having our first ultrasound. I fought morning sickness and fatigue which was awful, but also reassuring that things were likely okay with our pregnancy.
In June, I shared with the world that I was pregnant. I was hopeful that third time was it for us, and that this would be our rainbow baby. 3 pregnancies and we were finally able to make a public announcement.
In August, we found out we were having a baby boy. I was engulfed with sleepers, nursing bras, bassinets and diapers. My manuscript continued to take a back seat. To be honest, I was slightly afraid to read it while being pregnant. I knew by reading my memoir I would be reliving the pain and grief of our previous losses, and I didn’t want to do that while caring for my so far healthy third pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was actually going perfect. Every ultrasound and appointment seemed to be right on track, until October when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and November when I got Covid. This led to non-stress tests 2 times a week along with my normal OB appointments. This took up much of my time on top of working 35-40 hours a week.
We had our rainbow baby in January of 2022. Everything fell into place. My husband and I both had great jobs, and we were blessed to finally have our rainbow baby. You could blame it on hormones or endorphins, but at the time I felt like I had it all and didn’t feel a need to share my story anymore.
It wasn’t until I wrote out our birth story, and it occurred to me that there was a reason I hadn’t finished my memoir yet. Maybe my story wasn’t finished with the miscarriages. Maybe my story wasn’t only about loss and grief, but faith and hope. I pondered this for awhile and realized deep down, I still indeed wanted to write and publish my memoir.
So here we are, 8ish months after I gave birth and 3.5 years since my story began. In these times of chasing around a mobile baby, I find myself with the desire of changing my focus from influencing to writing. I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, but it’s just not me anymore. I’m ready to focus on my writing and focus on sharing my story through print.
Through this process of fine tuning my purpose, I have wrote out a few general goals/ideas I hope to pursue in the near future:
Sign up for a Writing for Beginner’s Workshop
Scrap my first draft, start fresh but also continue the story and add my third pregnancy and birth.
Back off from my blogging IG, and focus mainly on the blog.
It’s been fun being an instagrammer, but I’m ready to come back to my first love so to speak, which is writing. ❤️
The smell of a specific perfume, or the noise of a powerful laugh; the thought of a memory that happened many years ago, yet feels like was only within a few moments. The thought of missing someone so heavily that all of time stops, and your entire body grows cold.
This is grief.
I recently had a dream that my grandparents came over to my home. They were over the moon and all smiles about my son. They snuggled with him, played with him and laughed so deeply that it shook the house. They were honored to be great grandparents. They were in love with my son.
Then I woke up.
I woke up and remembered my Grandma and Grandpa were gone. Both had been gone for a few years now. One died from Alzheimer’s and the other from cancer. I remembered they were no longer apart of this life. They never got to be great grandparents and they never got to meet their great grandson.
This is when grief returns.
There are moments, I look at my son and I just can’t believe he’s mine. He’s a perfect mix of both his father and I. I can’t help but think of his siblings, the babies we had before him that we never got to meet.
Grief hits hard.
Last year when I was pregnant for my son, my best friend was pregnant with her daughter. My best friend lost her baby before 21 weeks. It was painful. It was excruciating and it wasn’t fair.
Grief has defining moments.
My senior year of high school, a girl I knew from youth group drowned. At the time I could hardly fathom someone around my age dying. How could it be? She had so much life to live and so much love to give. Why?
Grief is apart life.
Without death there is no life. Without life there is no love. With love comes risk. We risk loving someone even though we know we could lose them. Love is more than a feeling, yet with it sometimes comes loss which can be excruciating. If we don’t love we don’t live. And if we don’t live then, what’s the point?
Grief is a reminder.
As hard as it is to grieve, it reminds us of what we had. It reminds us of the good in our lives, the relationships and the memories. By grieving we aren’t forgetting those we love, we are remembering and we are honoring those gone, usually way too soon.
This post was created in December of 2019. I had a lot of hardships in 2019 that let to a lot of grief, depression and anxiety. I decided to share this post as a way to reflect on the things I’ve overcome and the strength that Jesus gave me. ❤️
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.
At my son’s 4 month well check appointment, it was discovered that he had a mild case of Phagiocephaly. This meant my son had a flat spot on his head. We were referred to physical therapy to have him evaluated and to determine whether he needed to go through therapy for the next few months and if he would need a helmet to help reshape and correct his head.
We went to the first appointment anxious about what they might find. The therapist did a variety of different stretches and evaluated his gross motor skills and mobility. It was determined that he did in fact have a flat spot on his head that just barely qualified as a moderate case, therefore requiring the physical therapist to refer him to be further evaluated for a helmet. We also were told that he had a mild to moderate case of Torticollis. This meant that he preferred to look more to one side over the other and that one side of the neck muscles were tight and needed to be stretched out. It was likely something he has had his entire life and even in the womb. This made a lot of sense to me as he preferred to sit on my left side the last 8-10 weeks of my pregnancy.
The therapist sent us on our way with some exercises and neck stretches to continue at home. The next two weeks my son and I worked hard. I was so thankful to be able to be home and work one-on-one with him so that I could best help him in stretching and strengthening his muscles, as well as possibly avoiding the helmet at all costs. I was also thankful for my education and my background in human anatomy and child development as I was able to help my son in all aspects.
Two weeks later at our next appointment, my son’s therapist again reevaluated his gross motor skills and mobility. She said she was very impressed with Matthew and thought he was a quick study. His Torticollis had improved tremendously and he was very close to sitting unassisted. Unfortunately, his flat spot on his head hadn’t changed much and we were still being referred for further reevaluation to possibly get a helmet.
Another two weeks went by and despite packing up our apartment and moving, I still diligently spent one-on-one time with Matthew doing his exercises and stretches.
When we returned to therapy the therapist noticed he was continuing to improve his Torticollis and even his flat spot was starting to improve. I was so thankful to hear that my son’s hard work was starting to pay off.
We currently are still going to therapy for both his Phagiocephaly and his Torticollis. But, I am confident that if we continue to work with him at home, then we will be able to avoid the intervention of a reshaping helmet very soon.
With the news of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court on Friday, Facebook, Instagram and the mainstream media have been filled with both pro choice and pro life opinions on the matter. I have found myself reading and scrolling through social media as we all see the drama that unfolds across the country.
Now, I’m not usually one to write and or speak on political matters, but today I’m going to. I’m going to because this issue really shouldn’t be political but has certainly become political. In many ways I fear that I will lose friends on this matter, but in other ways I don’t care. We live in a free country and if they have the right to speak their mind then so do I.
I am a born again Christian. I am pro life. I believe life begins at conception. I do not like abortion. I understand that it is done and for many women they either choose that option and or feel that is their only option. I do not hate women who feel this way. I just know it’s something I could never do. At least that’s what I thought before this past Friday’s ruling….
On Friday, I started reading about women who use the pill to have an early abortion. They went on to say how this option will be illegal in some states and will no longer be available. This discussion reminded me of my first miscarriage. I had a missed miscarriage meaning my baby’s heart stopped beating at 8 weeks and 5 days but I didn’t find out until my 11 week ultrasound. My sweet baby, laid lifeless inside me for 2 weeks and 2 days until we found out at my ultrasound.
After my ultrasound I was sent to another room to discuss my options. They said I could take a pill to help my uterus contract and pass the baby, I could have a D & C procedure, or I could just allow my body to pass the baby on its own. At the time I remembered struggling on deciding what to do. Ultimately, I decided on a D & C.
It occurred to me on Friday that I technically had an abortion. I had an abortion procedure not to kill my baby and not to terminate my pregnancy but to clean out my uterus for my own health, so I didn’t become septic.
With the most recent ruling, I can’t help but wonder Did I do the right thing getting a D & C? Should I have not done anything? Should I have let my body pass my baby naturally? Did what I decided go against my ethics and morals?
These thoughts troubled me for a while. I know I didn’t kill my baby, but I did allow medical intervention for my own health. I also started to wonder how this new ruling will affect other women of pregnancy loss. Will they now no longer have the option for a D & C or a pill after losing their pregnancy? Are more women going to die from pregnancy complications and pregnancy loss?
I’m not sure. I don’t think there is a clear cut, black and white answer.
Do I think I had an abortion? Technically yes. According to the medical definition… yes. But if Jesus were to take me today, and I were to go before God, I don’t think I did anything spiritually wrong for putting my health first and choosing to have a D & C instead of naturally miscarrying.
This Roe v. Wade overturn is complicated and I don’t completely know what this means for our country. I’m scared and interested to see what happens next.
This post was written back in 2019 after my first loss.
Closure…. something we all needed. On a gorgeous sunny day in June, my husband, my mom, my dad and I all created a flower garden in honor of our baby girl. We cried, had a moment of silence and planted beautiful purple flowers. My mom also bought some solar lanterns that glow at night and have a beautiful butterfly each on the inside. It all turned out beautifully tranquil.
Two weekends later we created the stepping stone. My dad, husband and I placed letters in the cement while my mom took pictures. There was some form of healing in this activity. One of my biggest fears is others not believing or cherishing my baby’s life and the fact that she was and is real. By placing letters in the cement and creating a garden and stepping stone for her, this again reaffirmed that she is real and she will always be loved.
Though the letters aren’t straight, the symbols aren’t center and it doesn’t look perfect, to me it’s beautiful. A few days later my mom said she looked out the window at the garden and saw a beautiful butterfly fluttering near the lanterns. This warmed my heart. ❤️ I’m so thankful to my parents to allow us to create a garden in their backyard, since we currently live in an apartment and don’t have the means at this time. I’m also thankful to not only my family but everyone who has shown love and respect for my baby’s memory.
On Friday April 30th at 4 something in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. With my eyes heavy, and body exhausted from the work week, I contemplated on whether or not I should take my very last pregnancy test. I was only a day or two late for my period, which wasn’t unusual for me. And to be honest I was feeling pretty defeated. I was tired of wasting my money on pregnancy tests, and getting my hopes up month after month only to receive negative after negative.
I had one final digital pregnancy test under my bathroom counter. It would expire by the next month anyway. I thought why not? It was my morning pee, and they say that’s the most accurate anyway. I peed in a cup, took the test and waited. I prepared myself for disappointment yet again. While I waited something told me to take pictures and document the moment. I figured whether the test was positive or negative, it was apart of my story that I could one day share to help others, so I did.
I watched as the test counted down, and a word flashed on the screen. I instantly thought, it’s broken it sayspregnant, where’s the not? I had grown so accustomed to reading the words Not Pregnant that it took a moment for me to realize this was a positive test. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby… and the rest is history.
I spent the next few weeks harboring this little secret until around 6 weeks when I told close friends and family. I told my job around 7 weeks and publicly announced between 11-12 weeks.
Pregnancy was one of the best and most anxious times in my life. I constantly feared we would suffer another loss, but as each week passed I started to calm down and enjoy pregnancy little by little. During pregnancy I dealt with morning sickness, sciatica, grieving for a friend who suffered a loss, gestational diabetes, Covid and a long and painful induction. Pregnancy was not easy, but overall baby and I both remained relatively healthy.
On January 2nd, 2022 God blessed us with our beautiful Rainbow Baby. Matthew is our world. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. He’s a perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy.
I share this all with you because in many ways my story has come full circle. Mother’s Day is approaching and I know first hand the feeling of dread, and grief that comes with this holiday to women who struggle with infertility and women of pregnancy loss. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I also want you to know that I am living proof that God answers prayers. He hears you. When the doctors say something is impossible, He is able to make things possible. He can turn ashes into beauty. He can do anything if we just have a little faith. I thank God for my beautiful rainbow baby every single day, and even though it was hard and sometimes excruciating, I thank God for the journey he took me on because it molded me into who I am today as a person, as a writer, and now as a mom.
If you are reading this and you long for a baby… I see you, I hear you, I was you and I’m praying for you. Remember the bigger the storm, the brighter the rainbow. 🌈 I pray you are blessed with a baby and a family of your own. It may not be the way you pictured or when you wanted but I pray it happens for you. God is bigger than anything else and He can make a way, if we just have a little faith. ❤️
Easter this year did not go as planned. I had all these high expectations that everything would go smoothly and my son would have the very best first Easter. My expectations were we’d get up, listen to worship music, have breakfast, dress up for church, read the Easter story from the Bible and children’s bible as a family. We’d find some church service virtually to view online, and/or go visit some church for a sunrise service. We would then head to my parent’s house for lunch, spend time with family, take some gorgeous family photos outside and create precious memories until the sunset and we headed home.
Those were my expectations…..
This was my reality:
Matty woke me up around 6:30-7am. I changed him, nursed him and we played. He was in the best mood! Everything was going great. I turned on some worship music and got some breakfast. After that it was like a switch flipped. Matty got fussy and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I changed him, burped him, tried feeding him, putting him in the swing, letting him play on the floor… nothing was working. I woke up my husband and he was exhausted and struggling to get out of bed.
I then decided to get Matty dressed. Now as a new mom, I knew better than to put him in his outfit I wanted his pictures done in until right before hand in case he had a blow out or spit up. I however didn’t factor this in when I was putting on my Easter dress. Matty started screaming as I got him dressed. I became frustrated and impatient as I quickly tried getting him ready. I picked him up so he would stop crying… and… he burped. It was quiet and I figured that’s why he was screaming. He had a bubble. And within seconds a waterfall of baby spit up went down my dress. Of course.
Charles got up and got breakfast. I walked around the house bouncing our 3 month old trying to get him to calm down. I tried different positions, singing, rocking… nothing. When Charles was free I handed him off. Low and behold Matty stopped crying immediately.
By this time it was already 9:30, and I was at least an hour behind on where I wanted to be with our morning. Charles pulled out the children’s bible and handed it to me. I read the scripture about the empty tomb, and Jesus coming back. Matty sat on his Daddy’s lap smiling and listening. The minute we were done he started screaming again. I nursed him and put him down. We started loading up so we could decide where we wanted to go for church.
By the time we got the car loaded, and Matty in his car seat it was already almost 11. No matter where we went to church at the this point the service would be almost over. And of course Matty woke up in his car seat and started crying. The morning was not off to a good start.
We got to my parents close to 11:30am. Matty fell asleep in his car seat just minutes before we pulled in. When we got in the house Matty was all smiles at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Me on the other hand, I was officially in a funk. I was taking it rather personally that Matty was in a bad mood at home, but all smiles at Grandma and Grandpas. I was disappointed things weren’t going as I had planned and I felt the weight of grief on my chest that I just couldn’t seem to shake.
My mom made ham, green beans, corn bread casserole, jello salad, deviled eggs, hors d’oeuvres, and baked potato which tasted great. Everybody was exhausted after dinner and we all took little cat naps throughout the afternoon, even Matty… thank goodness cause that baby needed sleep.
In the afternoon, Matty seemed off. He had a bellyache, acted like he needed to poop but couldn’t and was gnawing and drooling like crazy as if his mouth hurt. Poor baby, it felt like one thing after another. I tried handing him off when I could so I could get rest while I had help but when your baby doesn’t feel good, sometimes the only thing they want is mom.
In the evening before getting ready to leave we tried taking family photos. There were more outtakes than good photos. Matty seemed uncomfortable and didn’t want to smile in any of them… and if you know my baby boy you know he is very photogenic and loves to smile. We were also stuck taking pictures inside since it was a chilling 45° and I didn’t want to take Matty out in the cold if he already didn’t feel good. This all made for awkward, poor lighting family photos.
By 6:30, we said bye to my parents and headed home.
On the way home, I found myself sitting in the backseat with my baby, sobbing on the way home. Some big emotions I had been trying to keep buried all day were welling up to the surface. It dawned on me how old my other babies would be on this holiday. Mackenzie would be two and a half and Chase would be one. Grief never really goes away. I then found myself feeling guilty looking at my son with a tear stained face. Was I being selfish for wanting things to be perfect? Did I seem ungrateful because he was now here, but i still missed my other babies?Was I being a bad Christian for focusing on my grief and motherhood rather than remembering the true meaning of Easter?
By the end of the day, I felt defeated. I tried. I tried making my son’s first Easter the best I could. But you know what, he’s not going to remember it anyway. All he is going to remember is that he was loved. And as he gets older he will continue to feel loved and learn the importance of Easter as his Daddy and I teach it to him. And that’s what matters, not some picture perfect holiday.