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.
For 4 years, this date has been engraved in my heart as a date of what ifs. I’m not going to say grief gets easier, but maybe a little less fresh. My first pregnancy was filled with dreams, promise and high expectations. Unfortunately, it ended sooner than I had prepared for or anticipated.
My daughter Mackenzie, my first angel baby was due September 16th, 2019. I have spent the last few years honoring this date, and taking time to pause and remember my pregnancy, and my baby.
This year things were so different. In the midst of teething, feedings, tears, a sleep regression, and the daily duties of motherhood… I kind of forgot about the day and it’s importance. Truthfully, In the back of my mind, I knew it was coming. But, it didn’t hit me until midway through, that the sacred due date was today.
I felt horrible.
I feel like I forgot about my baby. I didn’t mean to, but with the daily busyness and choas of life, it just happened. On the other hand when I did remember the day, I almost felt guilty, like I wasn’t being fair to my son Matthew. I am so incredibly grateful for my baby boy. I thank God everyday that he is healthy and I am able to raise him and love him earth-side. But by missing one baby, my Angel baby; I didn’t want my other baby to feel like I wasn’t grateful for him and that he is here. It’s complex and irrational thinking that I can’t seem to explain.
Today, I took my son to my Angel babies stepping stones and we laid a pumpkin gourd in honor of the day. It was simple but sweet.
Some may say I should just get over my previous losses by now. I mean, I got my rainbow baby. But it’s just not that simple. I know that without losing my other babies first, I may not have the baby that I have now. So all and all, I love my rainbow baby, my son Matthew. He is a treasure, and more than I could have imagined. But I also love my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase. Their presence was short, but their memory and my love for them lives on forever.
Today is one of the many days throughout the year that I remember all my babies, both in Heaven and Earth-side 💕
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.
Since my son was born, I have found myself going through a lot of old photos. My intention of this was really just to see how much my son ended up looking like me. But as I’ve perused different photos, I found myself going down memory lane, and really thinking back to the last 7 years and the experiences that have helped mold me as the person I am today.
In September of 2014, I met an 18 year old boy in Spanish class. He was kind, polite and a little nosey. I didn’t know it then that he would one day be my husband. ❤️
I didn’t intend to meet my future husband in Spanish class. I actually signed up for the class so I could prepare for a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in February of 2015. This trip changed my life. I learned how to be grateful for the things I have, like an indoor shower, a floor and air conditioning. I also grew more in love with helping others and teaching children. 🖍
In the fall of 2016, I became a lead preschool teacher for 3 year olds. I graduated from community college in the Spring of 2016 and instead of heading straight to a university, I decided to take a gap year and gain some experience in my field. It was wonderfully challenging to say the least. Everyday was an adventure. From potty training, to positive child guidance, to sickness, to coloring on the wall, to giggle fits, to Disney dance parties; it was enjoyable and one of the best years of my life.
While planning my classroom that fall I also planned my wedding. Talk about a lot on your plate all at once. Charles proposed in August and we got married in mid November. A beautiful fall wedding that wonderfully captured our love for God and love for each other. 💒
In Spring of 2018, I decided to go back to school to further my education. I had already received an Associates in Early Childhood Education and an Associates in General Studies at community college. My next step was to a university for a Bachelors in Child and Family Development.
While studying for my Bachelors, I hit a little bump in the road and got pregnant. Though it wasn’t planned, we were excited and ready to venture into parenting. Sadly our first pregnancy came to an end at 11 weeks.
After my first miscarriage, I started writing my blog, and sharing my story to cope with my grief and help others. I had the opportunity to get published in a magazine, and start a blogging platform on WordPress and Instagram.
After my second miscarriage, I got involved in advocacy work on my college campus. Even though I didn’t agree with everything that was taught, I did learn the fundamentals of what it means to be an advocate, overcoming trauma and standing up for what you believe in
After many twists and turns, I finally graduated with my Bachelors in Child and Family Development. I may have graduated in a pandemic, which certainly wasn’t planned, but I was able to finish my education and start my new career.
Shortly after graduating and getting back into my field of teaching and child care, I decided to work on a new project. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book about miscarriage and grief.
In August of 2020, my mothering heart was longing for a baby. And though we had decided to hold off trying for a baby, we decided to try adopting and caring for a kitten. We went to a local cat cafe where we met Breadstick. This little 4 month old kitten worked his way into our laps and our hearts. We adopted him on a Friday afternoon, renamed him Rocky, and the rest is history.
On Mother’s Day of 2020, my husband and I decided to try again one more time. We prayed and hoped and waited for a baby. Our trying to conceive journey lasted a year and was full of ups and downs, negative test after test until finally we got out positive.
Pregnancy after suffering two losses was not easy. I worried constantly about the unknown, the past and things I couldn’t control. Thankfully with faith, prayer and encouragement I learned to be thankful for pregnancy and appreciate each moment as it came.
During my pregnancy, I mentally and emotionally prepared for my upcoming roll of motherhood. I leaned on other mom friends as well as my mom as I prepared for the journey ahead.
Giving birth was one of the most life changing experiences of my life. No things did not go as planned as I did not plan on being induced or being in labor for 3 days. But with the support of Jesus, family, friends and my medical team… I realized what my body was capable of and I had the strength to give birth to my beautiful miracle baby.
On January 2nd I became a mom, a mom earth-side that is. I’m not just a mom, but I’m a mom to two angel babies as well as one pretty incredible rainbow baby.
These last 7 years have been amazing, stressful, exhausting, entertaining, relaxing, memorable, wonderful, hilarious, beautiful and challenging. I love my life. It is exactly like and nothing like I had pictured. As a 19 year old girl, taking classes at a community college, to a new mom, with an education in children… I have to say, so far my life has turned out pretty great.
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.
I wrote this post two years ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. I will be thinking of all Mommies this Mother’s Day, no matter what motherhood may look like to you. ❤️
It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.
Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?
ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE.
And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way.
This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year.
Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss.
THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared.
Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven.
I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.
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.
The following post was written after my first loss in 2019. In this post I discuss my crisis of faith and the peace I felt when I had finally come to terms with my first loss.
So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.
Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.
When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.
“WE GOT MARRIED IN THE SAME CHURCH MY GRANDPARENTS WERE MARRIED IN 50+ YEARS AGO.”
Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.
My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.
“MY ANGER AND MY HATRED WAS SO STRONG AT MYSELF AND AT GOD.”
The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.
The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.
By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.
” I DON’T REALLY THINK I HAD ONE ‘COME TO JESUS’ MOMENT, BUT RATHER A BUNCH OF LITTLE MOMENTS…”
So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.
Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.
It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.
I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.
The following blog post was written in May of 2019 after my first loss.
Mother’s Day Part 1
During one of my counseling sessions in April, I discussed with my counselor how I was dreading Mother’s Day. Even though my baby would not have been born during this Mother’s Day, just the thought of seeing kids celebrating their moms would be triggering for me. My counselor suggested that I make plans for the day and how I wanted to celebrate.
I talked it over with my husband and we decided to take an over night getaway to Silver Beach, St. Joe. All week long as we prepared for the trip, I obsessively watched the weather. It wasn’t until Thursday that it said it was going to rain all weekend. Bummer. Never the less we still went.
On the drive there we picked up some coffees from Biggby and enjoyed the ride. We had a really nice conversation about work, school, our future together and everything in between. This trip was relaxing and well needed. When we arrived at our hotel, we checked in and went to our room. It was gorgeous. We were on the 6th floor with a beautiful view of the city and Lake Michigan. We spent that afternoon doing some shopping and heading to dinner at a local brewery. We enjoyed some delicious burgers and fries, and continued talking about our future as husband and wife and as parents.
I brought up the topic of kids and when we wanted to try again and start a family. As much as both our desires are strong and we want kids, we both knew we still had some healing to do. I really wanted to work on myself this summer by physically losing weight and being healthier. I also wanted to be emotionally and mentally in a better space. Lastly, I still needed to find some spiritual healing and make peace with God as I was still quite angry with him. Charles wanted to work on himself as well by getting a better job, saving more money, eating healthier and just continuing to grow in our marriage.
After dinner we went back to the hotel and went swimming in the pool and hot tub. There weren’t a lot of people and it was very relaxing. After swimming we rested in our hotel room for a little bit. As the sun started to set we headed down to the beach. It was very chilly but comforting. As one way to remember my baby that Mother’s Day weekend, I wrote her name in the sand. I knew she was in Heaven and I had faith that she could see it from where she was. 🧡
Mother’s Day Part 2
On the morning of Sunday May 12th, 2019; I was greeted with a variety of different emotions. It was Mother’s Day. It was the first Mother’s Day that I felt different. Every other Mother’s Day in the past I celebrated my mother, grandma and other motherly figures in my life. However this year, when that pregnancy test turned positive, I immediately had dreams of spending my first Mother’s Day pregnant, and my second with my beautiful baby. Everything in me wished things were different, and I was still pregnant. But sadly that wasn’t the case.
I spent the morning watching the sunrise and writing a blog post. When my husband woke up he wished me a happy Mother’s Day. We got dressed and headed down to the continental breakfast that was being served downstairs. As we ate breakfast I messaged and wished all the moms I knew a happy Mother’s Day. I also received some very heart felt messages from my mom, friends and other family members.
That afternoon Charles and I headed back down to the beach. As a part of my mission to advocate for Angel Mommies, I decided to join in the Blue Mother’s Day Campaign. This is a campaign that brings awareness to all kinds of moms, whether their babies are here on earth or in Heaven. To show support this Mother’s Day I drew a blue heart on my hand in memory of my baby girl Mackenzie.
Mother’s Day Part 3
On the way home from the beach, Charles and I stopped by my parents house. We ate dinner with my parents and gave my Mom and Grandma Mother’s Day gifts. It was a bittersweet day, but I was thankful to celebrate it with my family. Before leaving my mom let me go into her flower garden and pick a few flowers to take home.
On the drive back home, I admired and appreciated the beautiful flowers that rested in the vase on my lap. I cherished their beauty and reminisced the day. I thought about how I celebrated Mother’s Day. I also reflected back to that January evening when I found out I was pregnant… and all the many memories that led me to this moment. As I reflected back I became overwhelmed with emotion. All of the feelings of this day had hit me and I sobbed on the way home. Rain hit the windows of the car, and it was as if God was crying with me. As I continued crying, I looked down at the flowers in my lap, and was simply amazed by what I saw. The beautiful flowers I had picked out of my Mother’s garden were now opening and blooming right before my eyes. In between tears I watched in amazement and pointed it out to Charles. Even through my grief and sadness of this day, I was still able to find a little joy. ❤️
After my miscarriage, I was very angry with God. I appreciated people who prayed for me, but I did not want to hear of God’s promises or biblical scripture. I was having a crisis of faith. Eventually, I was able to find joy and forgiveness in God and what He has planned for me. The following is a list biblical scriptures that I found helpful after my miscarriage. My hope is that if you are reading this… you can also find joy and comfort in these scriptures.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” – Isaiah 40:31
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalms 56:3
“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.” – Psalm 46:5
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6 – 7
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
This post was written following my second pregnancy loss. I do plan to write a follow up post very soon, about my postpartum journey after the birth of my son.
Hour glass figure, hips, tiny waist, big boobs, clear skin, luscious hair, big eyes, big butt, long legs, small feet, no stretch marks, straight teeth, and perfection. If you are a woman, odds are you have grown up hearing these unrealistic expectations, These expectations and many more, are what our society deems as perfect, beautiful and sexy.
Growing up, I was never completely confident in my body image. I struggled with acne, I was short, blessed up top and down low. I had to have braces, wear glasses and struggle to figure out how to make myself look presentable. I had to overcome the awkwardness of being a teenager, and transition into young adulthood
BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT THE FIRST TIME, I STRUGGLED WITH STRETCH MARKS, NOT REALLY ON MY STOMACH, BUT IN OTHER AREAS OF MY BODY.
In my first few weeks of pregnancy, I started to develop stretch marks on my stomach and around my belly button. After I suffered my first pregnancy loss, I felt completely horrified by the shell that once held my baby. I had gained weight, developed stretch marks, and had suffered postpartum hair loss as my hormones began to drop. I felt like a teenager all over again, as I struggled to look at myself in the mirror. I know body image can be a struggle for many women postpartum after birth, but nobody really talks about how it is a struggle for women postpartum a miscarriage.
Last summer, I took the initiative in getting back to a healthier me. I focused on my physical and mental health, as well as dedicated any spare time I had to selfcare. I started intermittent fasting, going to the gym a few times a week with my bestie, and started eating healthier. These little changes in my lifestyle helped me start to feel better. At the end of summer I went to a doctor appointment, and I was so disappointed to find out that despite my dedication to these lifestyle changes, I wasn’t losing any weight. I had gained 3 lbs. instead.
For a few more weeks I continued this lifestyle, even though I felt highly discouraged. I tried researching, online reasons why it may be challenging for someone to lose weight and become healthier after a miscarriage. To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything. I continued to feel discouraged, and not interested in even trying to be healthy any more. I figured, what was the point? I started to have the mentality of, my body is ruined, and I don’t even have a healthy baby to show for it.
When I was about ready to give up, a conversation with a dietitian encouraged me more than any conversation I had with anyone else. I went to a WIC appointment after my second loss. The dietician asked me questions about my diet, physical activity and mental health. I explained to her that I try to eat right, do intermittent fasting, excericise, struggle with hypothyroidism, and still have yet to see any results after both my pregnancies. The dietician listened and was very understanding. She disclosed to me that she too has hypothyroidism, she has had a miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy and also struggles with anxiety. She explained to me that unfortunately it can be very challenging after a pregnancy whether you give birth or suffer a pregnancy loss to lose weight. It is often hard for women physically because of the hormones that linger after pregnancy. It can also be challenging to lose weight in general if someone struggles with anxiety, depression or grief because our bodies like to hold on to the extra fat, almost as a protection. She encouraged me not to give up and that it can definetly take a while, especially if I am struggling with all these things. She also suggested eliminating late night snacking, drinking more water, and getting plenty of rest.
I’ve learned a lot about body image since my first pregnancy. For one, pregnancy affects a lot of things in a woman’s body. Anything from a woman’s mood to her thyroid, weight and blood pressure can be very effected. I’ve also learned that weight gain isn’t always your fault. Sometimes as much as you try to lose weight, there can be certain factors that affect how fast you lose weight. Learning this eased my anxiety and discouragement. For weeks, I was beating myself up about my weight, when in reality I was truly doing all I could do. So if you are a woman and you too are struggling with postpartum body image, please show yourself some grace. It’s hard losing weight, but it can be extremely hard when you have other physical and mental struggles going on.
SO, DON’T GIVE UP. EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT SEEING RESULTS, AND EVEN IF THE SCALE IS DISCOURAGING, IF YOU ARE INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO BE HEALTHIER, AND PUTTING YOUR HEALTH FIRST… YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
For many, the holidays can be an exciting time of year, with family and friend get togethers, gift exchanges, overwhelming generosity, and the reminder of what really matters in life. But to others, the holidays can be a harsh reminder of grief, those gone too soon, and memories that will never take place. I wrote this post back in 2019, after losing two babies. The holidays were an awful reminder for me of the little family my husband and I were trying to start, but instead we lost too soon. 2019 was overwhelmingly challenging. If you are reading this and you too are just having a year of obstacles that just keep adding up, let me first say I’m so sorry. Secondly, I’m here for you if you need to talk and lastly I hope my story and this post gives you some sort of comfort around this holiday season. ❤️
To be honest, I’m not feeling very festive this Christmas. This past year has been a tidal wave of grief that I didn’t plan for, nor did I appreciate. On top of grief I’ve had other struggles including anxiety, depression, weight gain, self doubt and distress. Some might say this past year has made me stronger, and in many ways I believe that. But in this moment, this past year has only made me hate life.
When you’ve faced trauma, something changes in you. You see things differently, and you know things can get worse because you’ve lived it. When you’ve faced repeated trauma, not only are you traumatized, but also on edge. You’re just waiting for something bad to happen, or something else to go wrong. It’s exhausting, but if you’ve already been blindsided by trauma before, it’s almost an illogical effort to worry and fret for the bad things, in hopes that you will be somewhat prepared if they happen. I have lived this way almost every day this past year, and it’s really not anyway to live.
THIS CHRISTMAS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT.
I have thought about Mackenzie everyday since she’s been gone. Losing her, has changed my life forever. She made me a mom. Even more, she made me an Angel mommy. This year I envisioned caring for an infant at Christmas time. Charles and I would head over to my parents on Christmas morning. She would be spoiled by her Grandma, and cooing at the cats and her Grandpa. She would be wearing the cutest Christmas jammies, and be smiling from ear to ear. Everything was going to be perfect as I celebrated my first Christmas as a mom.
Instead this year, I am celebrating Christmas as an Angel mommy. My baby Mackenzie will not be in her Christmas jammies, and my baby Chase will not be warm in my tummy. Instead I will be here loving and missing my babies, while Mackenzie and Chase will be in Heaven celebrating at Jesus’s grand birthday party. They will be having more fun than I can even fathom. As much as I want them here with me, I know they are safe and happy right where they are.
It won’t be easy… It won’t be easy this Christmas seeing friends and their baby’s first Christmas. But no one said this life will be easy. No one said we are all meant to take the same journey. And no said this world is prefect. So through my tears and heartache, I will get through this Christmas with my family, because my babies deserve to see me have joy my first Christmas as their mom. ❤️