Grief & Mercy 7th Blog Post Round Up

Can you guys believe this is my 7th blog post round up!? I sure can’t. As of April I have been blogging for 3 years. Wow! Just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has been a loyal reader and a part of my blogging journey. And now, without further or do, Here is my 7th blog post round up.

DIY Padsicles and Postpartum Care

This post I wrote when I was very pregnant, maybe 37 weeks? I wrote a variety of different blog posts before I gave birth so that I could take some time to spend with my newborn before returning back to blogging. This was a recipe I found online and heard great things about from different moms who’ve gone through a vaginal birth. I added my own twist to this recipe and I believe many others found this post helpful as well

Baby is Here!!! (Our Birth Story)

This was by far my most popular blog post, on every platform including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and WordPress Reader. I will say this too is one of my favorite blog posts as this is the story of how my sweet Baby Bear was born.

My Baby Bear is 1 Month Old!

After my son was born, I quickly realized that any blog post that was about my baby, usually became a popular post. This one was about Matthew turning a month old.

Why We Named Our Son Matthew

This post was a very special one to write as I was able to share the meaning of my son’s name as well as how and why we came up with the name Matthew.

Anxiety and Motherhood

I have always been an anxious person, but my anxiety intensified even more when I became a mom. In this post I talk about the joys, the challenges and the anxiety of being a mom.

How to Style a Bookshelf

This post helped me to unleash my creative juices and my need to organize everything. I thoroughly enjoyed creating and sharing my ideas on styling a bookshelf.

People Who Inspire Me: Meet My Mom

This post I wrote about my momma. I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to write this post about my mom for a long time, but I was almost always too emotional to do it. Once my mom finally became a Grandma, I decided to just buckle down and do it, and I’m so glad I did.

My Summer 2022 Bucket List

If you’ve been here awhile, you all know how I love creating a summer bucket list every year. This year things are going to be looking a little different as I’m temporarily staying with family, but never the less we’ll make it work.

My Nursing Journey Part 1

Nursing is no joke. It is hard work and an experience that I definitely wanted to document and share to encourage other mommas on their nursing journey.

Physical Therapy for Phagiocephaly and Torticollis

I decided to write about my son’s health because I enjoy reading other moms and their experiences and I too wanted to do the same thing to help others. I also wrote this post, because I’m curious to see his progress in the next few months.

Our Love Story (Part 6)

On a chilly November afternoon almost 6 years ago, I married my best friend. This is the story of our wedding day, and by far one of my most popular blog posts.


A Look Ahead…

When I Went to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

My Nursing Must Haves

Did I Technically have an Abortion?

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.

My 6 Week Postpartum Appointment

At 6 weeks postpartum, I left my baby for the second time. The first time I left him to go grocery shopping for about an hour and a half. The second time I left for my 6 week postpartum appointment and my 2 hour glucose test.

On a chilly Tuesday morning, I went to the hospital and did my two hour glucose test. The drink was disgusting and I didn’t enjoy sitting in the waiting room for two hours. The entire time I texted friends, checked in on my baby as he was getting babysat by Grandma and Grandpa and thought about what I was going to have for breakfast the moment the test was completed.

Thankfully, my glucose test came back normal and I no longer had any form of diabetes. I then had an hour to kill before my OB appointment. I enjoyed a salad and sandwich at the nearby cafe and continued calling my mom to check on my baby. To my surprise he was doing great. He played, took a nap, and ate just fine. For a moment or two I was able to sigh with relief knowing he was being taken care of and I could take a moment to enjoy some time by myself.

At my 6 week postpartum appointment everything looked great. To my surprise, I had lost weight since giving birth. The scale showed that I now weighed 9lbs lighter than I did when I first got pregnant. I was put on birth control and made a plan to continue my anxiety meds. I was also told my abdominal muscles weren’t completely fused back to where they were pre-pregnancy and I needed to take it easy when it came to strenuous activity and working out.

After a long 4 hours I was finally able to see my baby. I missed him so much. It was a huge milestone for me to leave for a little while and trust others to take care of my baby, but I did it. ❤️

My Postpartum Journey

I’m 6 weeks postpartum.
.
My skin is stretched, my joints are loose, my hips are wider and I have stretch marks that serve as battle scars from my pregnancy, labor and birth.
.
But postpartum isn’t just about the body, it’s about the mind and heart too. I am forever changed by the journey I endured of growing, and birthing a little life. Just like how I was forever changed after I lost two babies.
.
In the last 3 years I have been pregnant 3 times. I’ve had surgery, became anemic, was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Endometriosis. I’ve suffered with grief, anxiety and depression. I’ve lost 2 babies, went through an anxious pregnancy after loss, fought covid during pregnancy and birthed a beautiful, healthy baby.
.
In the last 3 years I’ve cried more, I’ve loved more deeply, I’ve grown stronger and I have transformed.


I’m 6 weeks postpartum and I am changed yet again.
.
I never knew I could love someone so much… but now I do.


I never knew I could be so afraid of losing someone and stay up late thinking the worse case scenario… but now I do.


I never knew my anxiety could get 10x worse and I could have postpartum anxiety… but now I do.


I never knew another human life and I could have a strong unbreakable bond… but now I do.


I never knew I would look in the mirror weeks after giving birth and not recognize the woman staring back at me… but now I do.


I never knew that looking into my son’s eyes and seeing the way he looks at me would give me the strength to keep going… but now I do.


I never knew how emotionally and physically tiring life with a baby could be… but now I do.


I never knew how lonely postpartum could be… but now I do.
.
Postpartum isn’t just about losing weight or fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans. It’s about remembering the person you once were and finding the person you have become, between being a new mom and being a woman. This is my story and the journey I am taking. 6 weeks postpartum is only the beginning and I’m going to continue to embrace the changes and learn as I go. I’m still finding the person I’m meant to be and I’ll continue to transform. ❤️

Reblog: Let’s Talk About Postpartum Body Image

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.


January is Thyroid Awareness Month

This month is Thyroid Awareness Month. As many of you know, I have struggled with my thyroid since my first pregnancy. I didn’t realize I had thyroid problems until my second loss. My TSH was elevated and I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.

During my second pregnancy, I was put on thyroid medicine to regulate my levels. The medicine worked, however my second pregnancy ended in an additional loss.

After experiencing two losses, I continued the medication for about a year. I got my blood work done every 3 months and noticed some change in my every life. Before taking the medication I had dry scalp, dry damaged hair, dry skin, consistent fatigue, obesity and slow metabolism which resulted in gaining weight and low energy levels.

After about a year of being on the thyroid medication, I ran into some issues with my pharmacy and not getting the meds I needed. After about three months without the meds, I had blood work done and my levels were still very stable. My doctors had different opinions at this point on if I truly had hypothyroidism or if I had another auto immune disease disguised as thyroid problems.

Fast forward to my third pregnancy, when I had my levels checked in the first trimester. After not being on the thyroid meds for over a year and a half, I expected my levels to be elevated. Surprisingly, my levels were great and ideal for pregnancy. In the third trimester my levels were checked again, and my thyroid was off. I was considered to have normal thyroid numbers when it comes to the average person, but for pregnancy they were considered elevated.

At this point I was put back on the thyroid meds and considered to just have thyroid problems related to pregnancy.


I share all of this with you because thyroid problems are quite common. Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and thyroid problems related to pregnancy are very common, even though they aren’t talked about very often. It amazed me the first time I find out I had thyroid problems. I never realized how much the butterfly shaped organ can affect the everyday function of your body.

If you have problems with your thyroid, or suspect you do, I encourage you talk to your doctor and search for different resources. There’s a lot of things out there that can help.

DIY Padsicles and Postpartum Care

Are you a first time momma, who is planning out your postpartum care and recovery? Then you’ve come to the right place! As I write this I am currently 36 weeks pregnant, but I am hoping that once you read this I will be at least 2 weeks postpartum with my baby boy.

After getting pregnant, a friend told me about these things called padsicles. Padsicles are literally a combination of a pad and a ice pack. I have heard great things about padsicles from other mommas as not only are they cold but also are incorporated with witch hazel and aloe vera.

After hearing about padsicles, I searched Pinterest and the internet for different recipes. I found so many great ones, that I decided to make my own!

Here is the How to on making padsicles.

You’ll Need
  • Extra Long Pads or Depends Adult Diapers
  • Aloe Vera Burn Relief Gel
  • Witch Hazel (the most natural kind)
  • Gloves
  • Large Ziploc Bags
  • Spray Bottle with Water

For reference, I bought all of my materials at Walmart. Some recipes suggested adding the essential oil lavender. I didn’t add this to mine, but you can if you want. I also chose to use Depends over pads because I didn’t want to have to worry about any sort of leakage while trying to recover and care for my newborn baby.

How to make Padsicles

First, open the Depends or pad and try to make it as flat as possible.

Next put on a glove, to help spread the Aloe Vera and witch hazel.

Next, use the spray bottle, to make the inside of the pad or Depends very wet. This will help it freeze.

Then gently pour the witch hazel across the inside of the pad or Depends. Try to cover the whole thing, not just the middle.

Squeeze the Aloe Vera onto your glove and spread it evenly.

Finally, spray the pad or Depends one more time, fold and put it in a Ziploc bag.

Once you have finished making all your padsicles, make sure to seal them tightly in a Ziploc bag and place them in a freezer. When the time has come and you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw for 2-5 minutes, put them on and enjoy..

A few other things I added to my postpartum recovery stash include Tucks, which are used for hemorrhoids. I thought this would be something good to have on hand in case I need them.

I also bought a big bag of epsom salt to use when I am cleared to take baths. This is actually something I have been using since the third trimester, but also thought it would be nice to have on hand postpartum.


Have you gone on a postpartum journey recently? What are your go to items when it comes to postpartum recovery?

My Goals for 2021 Check In!

Can you believe it is already March!? Where did the time go? Anyway, we are already 2 months into 2021. So here is my first check in for my 2021 goals!

1. Publish my Memoir

The first draft is done, and I am in process of editing!

2. Pay off my Car

Every month I am one step closer to paying it off!

3. Recieve my FLE Certification

I haven’t touched this goal yet. 😇

4. Lose 20lbs.

I wouldn’t say I’ve lost much weight since the new year, but I have cut back the sweets and junk food.

5. Buy a New Car

Charles and I have been researching and trying to figure out what we want.

6. Publish a Second Children’s Book

In process…

7. Read the Entire Bible

I have actually made huge progress with this goal. So far I have read:

Genesis

Exodus

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

I am currently reading Leviticus.

8. Publish a Self Care Journal

In process….

9. Pay off my Credit Card

In process…. it’s hard sometimes.

10. Start a Family

This goal isn’t really in my hands. The Lord’s going to do what the Lord is going to do.

Discussing Family Planning with My OB

Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.

I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.

At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.

Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.

In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.

Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…

1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily

2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily

3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,

4. Continue to be active daily.

5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.

6. Drink plenty of water daily (48 oz.)

How Does Yoga Help?

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 🙏