I never realized I could love someone so much… I thought to myself as I held my brand new baby not even 6 hours old. I looked into his deep brown eyes and thought I love you so much. I love you more than I ever thought I could. As each moment passes I grow more and more in love with you. With these intense emotions and genuine endorphin high, also came fear and anxiousness.
I felt a piece of my heart leave my body when I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. It was beautiful but also incredibly terrifying. For 9 long months, 39 weeks and 3 days I carried my baby. I loved him, nourished him, prayed over him, worried about him and protected him. As a mama who knows loss, I knew throughout my pregnancy that at absolutely any moment this miracle baby I was carrying could very well be taken away. Throughout my pregnancy I continuously told myself things for me to make it through. I just have to get to 5 weeks… I just have to get through 6 weeks…. I just have to make it past the first ultrasound and if baby is okay, I’ll be able to breathe. I just have to get through the first trimester. And ultimately I would say I just have to get through this pregnancy. Once I get though this pregnancy I will be able to relax and all will be okay. Little did I know that my love, as well as my anxiety for my baby was only beginning.
While in the hospital the first two nights of my baby’s life I didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep not because he was crying but because I was so scared of losing him. I was afraid he would stop breathing if I wasn’t watching him. I was afraid he would aspirate. I was afraid he would some how suffocate from his swaddle or his organs would suddenly stop working. It was a never ending cycle that I’m sure a lot of moms encounter. It was exhausting and sometimes hard to live in the moment and enjoy my sweet newborn.
As the weeks went by I continued the roller coaster of postpartum anxiety. Was Matthew eating enough? Was he pooping enough? He sounds congested, did he aspirate? He’s crying, is it a hungry cry or is he in pain? He isn’t comforted when I hold him, is he mad at me? He failed his hearing test, does he have an impairment. Throughout this cycle I had a hard time taking care of myself. I would forget to eat, forget to drink which would ultimately mess with my milk supply and make me irritable and impatient. I would refuse to sleep because I hated hearing my baby crying even though I completely trusted my husband when he would get up to care for him. I kept putting my baby first but forgetting that I can’t be the best mommy for my baby, if I didn’t try to take care of myself too.
Postpartum anxiety is a real thing. I had no idea. I had only ever heard of postpartum depression. But these moments of mind racing, panicked anxiousness was real and hard to control. I wasn’t crazy, but going through what a lot of mamas do.
Since becoming an earth side mama, I love deeper, cry harder and laugh longer. I also fear the worse and struggle with just letting go and letting God do what he’s going to do. Part of that is just being a mom and part of that is postpartum anxiety. Motherhood is a beautiful blessing and I thank God everyday for my beautiful rainbow baby. And with time, meds and rest my anxiety and emotions will eventually settle down some. I’m getting the help I need as well as taking it one day at a time.
Motherhood is a journey. Just like how trying to conceive, pregnancy and labor are all journeys in themselves; motherhood too is a journey… and accompanied by love and anxiety.
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. ❤️
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.
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.
Extra Long Pads or Depends Adult Diapers
Aloe Vera Burn Relief Gel
Witch Hazel (the most natural kind)
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?
Hi, I’m Andrea! How do I know Kaylee, you ask? Well, Kaylee and I have been best friends for half our lives. If you ever get a chance to ask her how we met, do it. It’s quite the story! Today, I’d like to share with you about body image. However, before we dive into such a deeply personal topic, I should tell you a little about me. I enjoy crafting, hiking, anything nature-related, good conversations, board games, changing seasons, experimenting in the kitchen, and all things Christmas. Oh, and my husband is my favorite. We met in college (another great story for another time) and have been married for three years. We have an active, inquisitive 19-month-old son and are expecting a baby girl around Thanksgiving.
Enough about me. Let’s talk body image.
Remember when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) had their first child and gave the public their first look at their new baby? In the photos released, a beaming but tired William and Kate snuggled their newest addition. Kate wore a beautiful dress that tucked in at her waist and revealed her postpartum baby bump. To my surprise, media in the US centered not on the sweet little bundle of joy, but rather on Kate’s newly postpartum body. I couldn’t believe that after waiting 9-10 months to meet their baby, the public was more interested in how small Kate’s waist was, the fact that her belly still bulged little, and other features not worth noting.
While stigmas surrounding body image affect every person, childbearing women especially experience this reality in a deep and raw way. Some women I’ve known have a newfound security in their body image while pregnant or even after birth, finding pride in what their bodies can do and how many incredible changes they face to nourish and care for a child. Other women face deeper and more extreme struggles when they don’t have the perfectly round baby bump they’ve always pictured, or stretch marks tear across new areas of their bodies, or they face pain with their previously normal activities such as walking, intimacy, or even sitting.
Pregnancy has a way of impacting every portion of our being, from physical to emotional to spiritual. From the moment conception takes place, our bodies begin a long process of growing, changing, and morphing in new ways. With my first pregnancy, I pictured glowing skin smiling through morning sickness, a perfectly round little baby bump, and minimal weight gain that would slough off with a few months of breastfeeding. Boy, was I wrong. I was instead met with an overall feeling of puffiness from my face to my toes almost immediately after conceiving. My fatigue was overwhelming. I didn’t just feel tired. I looked tired. Acne popped up. When my bump began to show (much earlier than anticipated, I should add), I was met with more insecurity. I’ve always had a rough relationship with my stomach. Attracting more attention to an area I’ve always wanted to downplay brought up even more feelings of insecurity, especially considering the many unwelcome hands touching it (another topic altogether). Yes, I was absolutely thankful to be pregnant, but I just didn’t look or feel the way I had pictured.
Once I was in the midst of the second half of my pregnancy, my weight gain – while in the healthy range on doctor’s office charts – felt like too much. My jeans were tight and my maternity shirts that had fit me at 18 weeks were creeping too high on my stomach while my bust pushed them too low on my chest. Everything was changing. By 30 weeks, my stomach had reached its limit for how far it could stretch. I tried creams, but my genetics won out. Stretch marks began to span across my growing belly. When I found the first one, I felt panic rise in my chest. “What?! This early?! How many more will I get before my baby arrives?” I’m glad I didn’t know the answer then. I needed time to accept and appreciate my changing body.
Eventually, I couldn’t see my toes. I could hardly do a patchwork job of shaving my legs. I was too uncomfortable to do much of anything. Basic hygiene took loads of effort. I didn’t feel very human anymore. I used to be excited for this stage of pregnancy when I was obviously pregnant and feeling every movement of my little son…but the discomfort nearly outweighed the excitement. Then I faced guilt for feeling this way. Much of my pregnancy was not what I had pictured.
Then, the day came. The day.I gave birth to my miracle son, my sweet little boy. I had pictured this moment in my mind’s eye countless times. I’d heard women say everything in their world melted away the moment they saw their baby, and nothing else mattered. It’s a bit of a dramatized statement, but it holds some truth. Looking at my son and recognizing that I was his most crucial caregiver brought new perspective to my life. My dislikes about the current state of my body didn’t matter so much anymore. I had more to think about than the size of my waist or how many stretch marks I had acquired.
Regardless of a shift in perspective, I still had the same body to sleep in, eat in, and see naked in the bathroom mirror. I had the same body to move in, breathe in, and use to care for my new baby. I had to come to terms with what it was. I remember lying in the bathtub at the hospital the first chance I had to bathe after birth. I was exhausted and thankful that I had completed the birthing process. Then, I looked at my stomach…and I couldn’t believe the words that came to my mind. “My stomach is floating.” That once-full belly with a little pregnancy fat and a little pregnancy stretch was floating. My stomach muscles were too tired and stretched to hold it. I felt another wave of panic. “Will my stomach always be like this?! How will I ever run again? How will I ever find another dress that makes me feel beautiful?” But thankfully, I was too tired to dwell on these things for long.
In the weeks following birth, I was still too tired to do much fretting about what my body looked like. I was caring for a new life 24/7 and adjusting to a new level of responsibility and purpose for me. Eventually, as I emerged from the fog of caring for a newborn, my insecurities began to eat at me again. It took longer than I had imagined for my stomach muscles to tighten again. My extra weight wouldn’t budge much until I had stopped nursing my son. Yet, this round of dealing with insecurities looked different than it had throughout my pregnancy. This time, I had a newfound empowerment. Yes, I was stretched out, tired, scarred, and a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be…but I had carried a life. I wore the battle scars of nourishing another human from the inside out. I plumbed the depths of my heart and mind for strength I didn’t know I could ever muster during the most uncomfortable moments of pregnancy, in that birthing suite, and in the middle of the night fits of colic. And in those moments, I had the opportunity to reassess my purpose in life, and how that intense difficulty served to point me to the One who made me, sustains me, and gave me my son to care for. He gave me meaning and purpose and used even my lowest moments to teach me about himself and draw me in to his incredible grace and tenderness.
Call me crazy, but I’ve found more confidence and strength in my postpartum body than I ever had in my pre-baby body with my flat, smooth stomach and well-exercised body. Defining my purpose and looking beyond the moment to remember it was more impactful than a few stretch marks could ever be. I’ve been scarred by childbearing…but the confidence I’ve found has meant more than any of my previous body ideals. And that confidence could only be found in seeing beyond the moment and shifting my perspective to my body’s purpose. I am so much more than my body.
Whether you’ve ever experienced pregnancy, birth, or caring for a baby postpartum, you’re bound to at least experience some form of body image issues. Remember, your body is a vehicle to carry out your purpose in life. It’s not the prize at the end of a race. You have a chance to live every day in this vehicle that will continually morph throughout your life, with or without childbearing. And it’s worth it. Don’t let your body be what defines you. It’s about what you do with your body that matters. Who are you? What do you think? What makes you tic? How do you spend your time? What gives you purpose?
Take a drive somewhere, anywhere and do some sightseeing on the way. Take a look at the trees and fall colors. Explore your city or another city. Drive to a pond or lake.
2. Go Out for Coffee
Find a cute little cafe in your downtown area, and go out for coffee, tea or a vanilla steamed milk.
3. Have a Game Night
Have a game night with a group of friends or just with your significant other. Play some cards, board games, video games or whatever floats your boat.
4. Have a Movie Night
Go out to the theaters and watch a new release, or plan a movie night at home. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and play one of your favorites, or a series of movies. I love watching the Toy Story movies. 🥰
5. Go on a Beach Day
Plan a trip to the beach. Pack the towels, sunscreen, umbrella, and snacks and spend some time soaking up the sun.
6. Dinner for Two
Go out to eat and enjoy each others company at a favorite restaurant or dine in at home. Whether it’s something simple like pizza, or fancy like lobster, find something that hits the spot.
7. Try Something New
Plan a date of trying something new with your significant other. Maybe you’ve never gone downhill skiing, rode on a ferry or eaten sushi. Try something new together.
8. Cook Together
Plan out a fun meal at home, and cook together! Maybe you both like Italian, one of you could cook the pasta while the other could cook the garlic bread and you both could toss the salad. It could be a great opportunity to bond in the kitchen and enjoy some great homemade food.
9. Go On a Shopping Trip
Maybe you need to spruce up your home with some new home decor. Take a trip to Hobby Lobby and spend a few hours buying some new home decor that you both love for your home.
10. Plan a Cabin Trip
Plan a trip to a cabin, deep in the woods. Maybe even plan it in the fall or winter when you can keep warm with a fireplace or wood stove. Enjoy the great outdoors and being alone with each other.
Monday through Friday, work 8 – 5pm. On Saturdays catch up on house work and errands, maybe take a nap if there’s time. Sunday do absolutely nothing if you can besides watch a virtual church service and catch up on your latest drama on Netflix. If you’re like me, this too is what your life looks like in a nutshell, week to week. For me, I am usually feeling the stress and slight dread of Monday by 4pm. I start to think about if my uniform is clean, if I have anything to pack for lunch the next day, if my lesson plans are all set and ready for the week, and if there is anything else I am forgetting. I also consider if there is anything that I can do to wind down and relax so I am ready for Monday. I will be honest with you though… I sometimes push off my selfcare in order to be productive, which I sometimes end up regretting. Regardless, I am here to assist you in how to wind down and rest on a Sunday night, as well as take my own advice; in order to be ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
I know it may sound tedious, but in order to help me wind down on Sunday and actually set aside time for self care, I create a schedule. I get it, I do… it may sound like more work and stress to create a schedule, but it will honestly help in the long run. Orginally, I used to rely on sticking notes that I would use to jot down my to do lists on Saturday evening. But now, I have created a very neat and organized schedule I use for Sundays.
Here is an example of the organized schedule I use. In this schedule I created an area for my to do lists, and I have divided it into morning, afternoon and evening tasks. I also have a section for various self care areas I hope to focus on throughout my Sunday. Sometimes, life is crazy and I’m not always able to devote each area of self care, but I try to focus on at least 3. Lastly, there is an area for a deadline in which I hope to get things done for the day, as well as reflection questions.
I will say that planning and scheduling out each part of the day isn’t for everyone. Some people find it more stressful, while others find it very helpful. Either way, I hope this tool helps in some way. For me personally, I absolutely love seeing everything I need to get done in black and white. As I am able to get them done, I also find it so satisfying to be able to cross things off my check list and keep going throughout my day. Sometimes life gets repetitive and hard. We all need a little reminder now and then that it is okay to stop and take care of you. So please do whatever helps make you feel good, rested and refreshed for the week ahead.
If you are interested in using the My Sunday Schedule template, Click below to Download the PDF. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
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. ❤️
Officially 8 months pregnant! 32 weeks and Baby Boy is the size of a squash! We only have 8 weeks to go!
This week has been crazy and I’m a little late posting a bump update, but trust me… I’ve had a good reason. About a week ago I was exposed to someone with Covid. I got a test on Wednesday and tested negative. I started to develop Covid/flu like symptoms Wednesday night. I got retested yesterday (Sunday) and tested positive for Covid.
This week has been exhausting, challenging and scary to say the least. I am fully vaccinated, and have known full well that I could still get Covid while vaccinated but I can honestly say I did not expect to get Covid 8 months pregnant. I have developed pretty much all the symptoms of Covid these last 6 days including cough, fever, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, headaches, loss of smell and partial loss of taste.
A lot is up in the air at the moment as I am still waiting to hear from my OB about any testing or extra monitoring for baby and I that may need to be done. All in all, I’m doing okay. It honestly depends on the moment.
Baby is still moving and grooving which gives me great peace of mind. I am also doing my best to rest and take it easy at home while I can before I return to work and leave for maternity leave in a few weeks.
I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for my hubby, baby and I. It’s a scary time and there is so much unknown still about Covid. Regardless of our fears we are still doing our best to trust and have faith that we will get through this and all be okay and healthy very soon. ❤️
This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. As many of you know I have experienced two losses and now our Rainbow Baby is on the way. Because of this I would like to share some resources I created at the time I was going through my losses in 2019.
1. THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN SAY IS “I LOVE YOU, I’M HERE FOR YOU, AND I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS”
Wouldn’t you agree that after someone dies, there’s not really much of anything that people can say to take the pain away. Even though people don’t like to see you hurt, they also don’t know what to say. And when it comes to experiencing a miscarriage, people really don’t know what to say. They can see your grieving, but they don’t feel the loss nearly as deeply because they didn’t meet or have a bond with the life that was once inside you. Unfortunately, our society does not know how to treat miscarriage as a loss or death.
When I was grieving and at my worst, people didn’t know what to say to me either. There were people who said a lot of the wrong things, and there were a lot of people who just left me alone. But the best things people said to me that were not hurtful, did not offer unsolicited advice, and were sensitive were: “I love you, I’m here for you, I’m sorry for your loss, if you ever want to talk let me know, I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you.”
2. OFFERING TO CLEAN, COOK AND RUN ERRANDS.
You know how when someone dies, people make you food? Well, I really appreciated this. I don’t know why food is such a comfort, but it is. It seems that when people don’t know what to say they make food. I had a neighbor make dinner for my husband and I, a yummy dish from the Dominican… it was amazing. Our associate pastor and his wife made us chicken, green beans and potatoes…. so good. My sister in law, who worked all day invited us over and made us a feast! Bless her heart. And my Momma provided me with lots of comfort food when I was recovering from surgery. Food doesn’t make everything better, but in that moment of grief when you need something to numb it for awhile, food helps.
3. PAMPERING THE ANGEL MOMMY
Being pampered by friends and family helped me in many ways. My momma bought me a massage right before Mother’s Day. I had no idea how badly I needed it, until my tears and emotions came out all over the table. My husband went out and bought me chicken wings at midnight when I was having a really emotional night and couldn’t sleep. My bestie Alli came over in the middle of the night and we drove all over town eating Oreos. So many people did kind things for me, when I needed it most, I highly recommend this. Of course I also would recommend proceeding with caution and sensitivity.
4. PROVIDING SPACE TO THE GRIEVING COUPLE
I feel this is super important. The Momma is not the only one that experiences a pregnancy loss. Sure, she is the only one that experiences the physical pain of loss, but it’s also important to remember that father’s grieve too. I know of many men, my husband included who not only struggle to help their wives grieve, but also felt somewhat disregarded when it came to their grief and emotions. So, it is super important to allow the grieving couple time and space. Even recommending a getaway could be beneficial… but again proceed with caution.
5. CHECK IN
Hearing the worst news, that your baby is gone is heartbreaking. It honestly numbs you. Looking back now, I barely remember the time in between my ultrasound and my surgery, and the whole month of March is a blur. I do remember laying in bed a lot, eating occasionally, crying until my head hurt and listening to sad music. I also remember having people check in. It’s something I would have never asked for, but truly appreciated. I had friends and family call and text me daily just to check in and make sure I was alive. So many of them opened the doors for communication and gave encouraging words to my tender broken heart. I highly recommend checking in on a friend or loved one if they have suffered a loss. It’s not much, but also not to pushy. Even if they don’t respond it is still nice that people care for you when you are feeling so alone, Sure, there were many times I didn’t want to talk, but I still loved that so many people cared. ❤️
6. BE SENSITIVE WITH YOUR WORDS
This is a big one… and I can’t stress this enough. Please be very careful with your words. After suffering a loss your mind and your heart are in a truly fragile state. It is likely that the grieving mother is heart broken, constantly blaming herself and hating life. So, it is truly important not to contribute to these emotions of anger and sorrow by saying things like “You’re young you’ll have more, or You shouldn’t have stressed yourself out so much, or at least you already have a baby.”
7. HONORING THEIR LOSS
Above anything else I’ve said, I think this is actually the most important. One of the biggest fears that I and so many moms have, is that the child they have lost will be forgotten, as if that little life that lived in them had never existed. It means the world to me when friends and family talk about my baby. It may make me sad and weepy, but also makes me feel loved and my baby never forgotten. I really appreciate it when friends and family are sensitive and saying they are thinking of me on holidays and anniversaries, because they know it’s not going to be an easy day for me. Showing love and honoring the baby’s memory is literally the best thing you can do to help a woman after a miscarriage.
I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, just a woman, a writer and a woman who has lost a baby. I hope these little pieces of advice help in some way. If you are reading this and you have suffered an unimaginable lost, I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, reach out to me anytime.
I know I’m a little late to the game as far as giving you a review of my summer… especially since it is already the end of September. However, I’ve been able to find some time this week to write and reflect on my summer, and how I can best share it with all of you. So, without further or do, here is my Summer 2021 Bucket List in Review!
MY SUMMER BUCKET LIST
1. Publish my 2nd Children’s Book
My book is written and illustrated. I just need to edit and publish it!
2. Go to the Lake Shore at least once.
I didn’t do that this summer. It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity, more less it was just too hot.
3. Finish reading the Old Testament
I didn’t quite finish reading the Old Testament but I did read through a lot of books, including:
4. Have a successful Balcony Garden
I kind of failed as a plant mom this year. Things were looking promising in the beginning, but once it hit 90° everyday in August, I kind of gave up. I realized this summer how much I dislike the heat. 🥵
5. Organize my Bedroom
Hey, I actually did start on this goal as well! We started organizing our bedroom by moving the pack n’ play/ bassinet by our bed, moving a bookshelf and going through some storage totes.
6. Buy a new Wardrobe
I have bought a lot of cute maternity items this summer. 🥰
7. Publish my Memoir
This project was put on hold for the summer. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to write about my previous losses while being pregnant with our rainbow baby.
8. Make a Big Announcement
On June 18th we were able to make our big announcement and say…
Guess what? For this baby we have prayed… our rainbow is due in January 2022!
9. Reach 300 Blog Posts
I didn’t quite make it to 300 blog posts, but I came very close with a total of 291.
10. Take lots of Naps
Yes, Yes, and Yes! I found out I was pregnant on the last day of April. This meant that I hit the worst of my morning sickness in the beginning of summer, which in turn allowed me to take lots of naps. 😴
Well there you go, a review of my summer! Can’t wait until next summer! ☀️