This Is Not Where My Story Ends: Giving Up Is Not An Option.

Life has a crazy way of kicking us when we’re down, doesn’t it? We’ve all heard the saying, “When it rains, it pours..” and I’m sure most of us have probably even used it a few times ourselves. Sometimes life can be so overwhelming, so exhausting, but that’s just all part of the journey. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. 

When I was young, just a pre-teen, babysitting my brothers and neighborhood kids, I dreamed of the days that I would grow up and become a mother, taking care of my own children. As I rocked my youngest brother to sleep, I’d fantasize about what my house would look like and how my life would be in the years to come. I imagined myself and my husband like most other girls my age did, everything fell perfectly into place and I got my happily ever after ending. I always joked that I wanted three kids and two dogs. I had it all planned out. It was picture perfect and over the years, I kept faith that my hopes would someday become my reality.

I’d like to think that I’m blessed with my relationship, I found a man that exceeded all my expectations and we make a great team. It’s a safe bet to say that we appear to be just like any other couple our age, from the outside looking in. Strangers would probably never guess what we’ve been through in the six, almost seven, years that we’ve been together. Overall, we’ve created a great life for ourselves, but my dream of my picture perfect family hasn’t quite come together just yet though. It’s not because we haven’t been close, because damn it, we’ve been so close more times than I’d like to admit, but unfortunately, we have yet to successfully welcome a child into this world that we can hold in our arms forever. In fact, this part of the plan has been nothing short of complicated, but this is not where our story ends.

I’ve had countless people ask me if we were going to be trying again and then proceed to ask me how I could ever “want to put myself through that again”. I’ve been repeatedly asked how I’m not “afraid” of possibly losing another baby and I’ve even had people say, “there’s always adoption!” as they continue to to tell me how crazy and selfish I would be, if I were to get pregnant again. I’ve literally heard it all. 

Let me start by saying, thanks for your input and excuse my language, but fuck off. If you’ve never gotten a positive pregnancy test, only to be told that there is no heartbeat; if you’ve never had baby showers or gender reveals only to be left with unopened and unused presents; if you’ve never felt a baby kick from the inside, only to hold it’s still and silent body in your arms just a couple weeks later; if you’ve never been through the loss of a child, then you have no idea what I need to do or how I should proceed with the decisions I make in my life and you will never understand the internal battle that I have with myself every single day.

Every time I’ve gotten a positive pregnancy test, my longing to have a living child has grown that much more. My motherly instincts kick in and I instantly become overwhelmed with emotions. I fight to not get my hopes up, but it’s close to impossible not to. I cry in fear of what may happen and I pray to God for guidance and a healthy baby. Every single time, it’s an emotional rollercoaster. 

To answer your question, hell yes I am terrified of losing another baby. I spend more time than not worrying about all the things that could go wrong, but to me, every single aspect of it, is more than worth it, if it means I’ll get my rainbow baby someday. I don’t regret a single pregnancy, because I felt a happiness and an unconditional love for each baby, that I never even knew existed. I don’t have anything ‘wrong’ with me nor have I been diagnosed with something that would prevent me from ever having a healthy child, so I will continue to take the chance and try for my forever baby. If that makes me crazy and selfish, then so be it.

Pregnancy is not always easy and I don’t just mean the awful morning sickness or the backaches that come along with it. You see, getting pregnant isn’t just an ‘oops!’ for everyone. It takes some couples thousands of dollars in treatments and medications before they are finally blessed with a child. For others, staying pregnant is one of the biggest challenges that they may ever face and sometimes, there just isn’t an explanation as to why. So before you question or judge someone else, try to put yourself in their place, it may not make sense to you, but it doesn’t have to. Giving up is just not an option, staying strong is the only choice I’ve got. 

The Life of A ‘Loss Mother’..

​1 in 4. It’s that common. Did you know that more than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage? Over 23,600 babies are born sleeping a year in just the United States alone. So many parents are affected by the loss of a child and some families have even suffered from multiple losses. These statistics may seem minuscule in the big scheme of things, because every time you scroll through Facebook or refresh your Instagram feed, it seems like yet another person has announced that they’re expecting, but roughly 19% of the adult population has experienced the loss of a child. Regardless of what stage of pregnancy the loss occurred or how much time the parents were given with their child before they had to say goodbye, there are no words to fully describe the pain that is felt throughout life after that loss. There is said to be 7 billion people in this world and roughly, 1.33 billion are parents who have to go through life without their child (or children). So tell me, why is it not talked about? Why do so many parents feel so alone and hide their stories amongst themselves, when there are over one billion other people in the world who have been in similar situations and are familiar with the grief that takes over, when a child is taken far too soon? 

I am a loss mother. To my fellow loss parents, I know the heartache and the pain all too well and I am here to tell you that you are not alone. I have held back and kept quiet. I have shut myself out from the world. I have been bitter and I have pushed those that are closest to me away, because I didn’t know what else to do. There is no ‘right’ way to grieve. Death affects us all differently and it’s only natural that we find our own ways to cope with it. However, from my personal experience, I learned that not talking about it did not help. Not sharing my story, my life, didn’t change the fact that my heart is forever hurting. I was suffering alone, but that didn’t make my situation any less real. Regardless of if I held it all in and cried myself to sleep for months without ever telling a single soul or if I post novels on Facebook sharing my every emotion, I am still a loss mother and nothing is going to change that.

No two stories are the same; we may have faced different challenges, but we have one thing in common, the longing for our child(children) to be in our arms. The struggles we face as loss parents, never go away. For days, months, and years to follow, we are haunted by the fact that this is our harsh reality. If you are a loss parent or you know or love someone that is, try to remember the following things, when you see that they are having a rough day: (Trust me, they happen and sometimes the grief will hit like a ton of bricks.)

You don’t have to know what to say.

We don’t expect you to, because honestly, there is nothing that anyone can say to ease the pain. Sometimes we just need to know that someone is there to listen and to hold us while we cry.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

Chances are we are waiting for the opportunity to talk about our children. Talking about them keeps their spirit and memory alive and that’s all we have left, so ask us about them. I bet you’ll see the light in our eyes when we start describing the most intimate moments and reminiscing about the sweet little angels they are.

It takes time.

Everyone is different and we all grieve differently. Time does not heal all wounds, because some were just not meant to be healed. The hole in a loss parent’s heart is forever.  I know the emotional rollercoaster ride may seem never ending at times, but we will get there, when we get there and that’s okay.

Blame. It’s going to happen.

As a loss parent, it is impossible not to feel at fault. “What did I do wrong?” “What could I have done differently?” “How could I let this happen?” “I was supposed to protect my child and I failed.” It’s hard, so, so hard, but it is no one’s fault. We don’t always understand the plan that’s in place for us, but we’re not supposed to. Sometimes there is just no justification for when, where, how or why things happen.

Patience is a virtue.

There will be days when it takes everything we have just to get out of bed and change into semi-presentable clothes. There will also be those days where there are more tears than there are words spoken. There will be sleepless nights and a loss of appetite, but be patient. Figuring out how to put the pieces back together isn’t an easy task, but having support to stick it out through the dark days, makes it seem less impossible.

Tomorrow is another day.

Some days smiling comes easy. Our hearts are full of hope and faith. The memories we have bring joy and we are overcome with happiness because of the unconditional love the we felt from our little ones. Signs of our angels will appear in the craziest ways, letting each of us know when our babies are near. Those are the good days. They may be few and far between, but when they happen, it’s a reminder that we are going to be okay, that we are going to make it.

The journey of life after loss is just that, a journey. Every day is a challenge, but it is another day closer to being with our children again. Pregnancy, infant, and child loss are so common all over the world and the more we open up about it, the more we can come together. Losing a child doesn’t make someone any less of a parent; they just become an extra special kind, because their child is an angel. Share your story or be a listening ear. Let’s break the silence.

I Found My Faith In You.

The news channels are constantly filled with tragedies and sadness these days, from murders and robberies to different disasters occurring all over the world; yet, in the midst of all the chaos and madness going on, I have found my piece of faith in you little one.

You see, right now you’re still growing and you’re still developing. You are completely unaware of what’s happening all around us. Your innocent eyes have yet to witness pain and your pure heart knows nothing but the love that your daddy and I express to you daily. To you, crime and evil don’t yet exist and I wish more than anything, I could keep it this way forever.

You know, I have a huge job lying ahead of me, as your mommy.. There are so many things I’ve jotted down in journals and lists I’ve made in random notebooks, in order to try to remember everything that I want to teach you. But as I sit here, thinking about all that is going on in the world, something became very clear to me..

All the lists, the notes, the ideas that I’ve come up with, in hopes to help you grow into an amazing man, are nothing compared to what I need to show you about cherishing each and every moment of your life. Sure, you’ll need to know your ABC’s and how to count to 100. Your daddy will teach everything important about how to throw the perfect spiral and hitting a line drive that not even Brandon Phillips can catch, but at the end of the day, on top teaching you all the necessary hacks to life, I hope I can show you how to love..

​You’re going to be told the same thing for the rest of your life, that “time goes faster than you think,” but trust me, it really does. So love hard and love passionately while you can, because things won’t always be the same. Your friends will probably change like the seasons, but you’ll meet the select few that will stick by your side through thick and thin. Your favorite sport will change as you realize which one you’re better at or maybe you won’t even like sports at all. Everything that seems to make sense one day, will make you feel scatter-brained the next, but that’s okay.

Hold on to each moment that you’re given, even the struggles, because although it may seem like your world is crashing down at the time, when you look back, you’ll see how every obstacle you faced had a part in shaping you into the perfect gentleman that I know you’re going to be. Spend your life doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Make memories with anyone. No, actually make memories with everyone, because there will come a time when memories are all that are left. I know I’ve told you a lot of things, most that you won’t understand for a little while longer, but I have one more request of you..

Always remember that you are my entire life and that is the one thing that will never change. When things get tough and when you want to give up, don’t. I can’t promise you that this life will always be easy but I can promise you that we will face it together, because you will always be my baby.

A Letter To My Unborn Child.

Dear Little One, 

    We have yet to look into each other’s eyes and I have yet to hold you in my arms, but it’s crazy because somehow, I feel as if I already know exactly who you are. It’s only been a handful of weeks since you became a reality, but in that short amount of time, you have changed my entire world. We haven’t officially been introduced yet, but over the next several months, we will continue ‘growing’ together, as will the bond that we have already formed, and before long, you’ll know exactly who I am, you’re mommy.

    Saying those words makes my heart fill with so much joy and excitement. I cannot wait to feel your kicks and movements as you are developing in my tummy. I cannot wait to start shopping and spoiling you to ensure that we are fully prepared (but no worries, because that won’t stop once you’re actually here). I know the days will get longer and the nights of sleeping that I enjoy so much will soon become a thing of the past, as you take a toll on my body, but I am beyond ready for this journey with you. I promise, I won’t complain too much when the backaches kick in or when the restroom becomes my new favorite place because you like to use my bladder as a pillow. As odd as it sounds, I’m ecstatic for those moments; the challenges, the hardships, the pain, all of it.. because the end result is you and I know you will be worth it.     

    It won’t be long before I get to see your sweet face and smother you with kisses, but until then, I will continue talking to you from out here and doing my very best to keep you safe in there. I try to imagine who you will look like. My nose and daddy’s eyes or maybe daddy’s lips and my chubby cheeks? But regardless, I know that you are going to be the most beautiful baby and your daddy and I are so very blessed.

    I look forward to all of the ‘firsts’ that I will share with you and the many more that will follow after. I am counting down the days until I get to hold you for the very first time. But for now, I find myself reading up on your progress daily to see what new things you can do and how your little body is forming into my very own dream come true. Every day for the rest of my life, I will have you to look forward to.

     I pray for you each and every day, just as I prayed for you long before I knew you existed. I pray that you continue to grow and be healthy and strong so that when you’re ready to finally make your grand entrance, it’s absolutely perfect- just like I know that it will be.

    It’s amazing how many people already love you and ask about you often. Can you imagine how they will be once you arrive? You have so much love surrounding you already, but you just have to promise that mommy and daddy will always be your favorites!

    Little one, you’ve already completely stolen my heart and I will cherish every second that I spend carrying you, not only in my belly, but also in my arms. I am beyond thankful that I have been blessed with you. Life is full of adventures, but this is by far my favorite one.

Love always,

Your mommy.

The Life of A ‘Basic’ Girl’s Boyfriend.

​Ladies, we all know how we are, although some are more willing to admit than others.. We can be overly sensitive, a bit melodramatic at times, occasionally emotional, and sometimes feisty, but let’s be real, what’s not to love about that perfect mess?

​It’s hard for us to accept the fact that most guys just don’t understand us and probably never will. Sure we can burst out into tears when our eyeliner just won’t ‘wing’ right or when we have to decide if being late to work is worth the long line at Starbucks (because a Venti Iced Espresso Vanilla Latte is literally life) but that’s just normal issues that everyone has at some point, right? Eh, wrong, at least for a man, that is.

​As you can see, the life of a basic girl’s boyfriend can be somewhat exhausting with trying to keep up with our ever-changing emotions. So guys, here are some pointers to prepare you before you take the plunge and finally make it ‘Facebook official’ with what seems to be your dream girl..

Food is not just for eating.

Don’t even think about touching your plate before it’s positioned just right for the perfect picture to upload on Instagram and don’t be offended when the conversations are paused for at least five minutes after the picture is taken as she makes one of the most difficult decisions of her day, which filter to use.

Buy an extra TV.

Trust me, this will not be a waste of money. Whether it’s Orange Is the New Black or Pretty Little Liars, The Bachelor or a classic Lifetime movie, she will want to control the television. Unless she’s one of the lucky ones that finds a man who will enjoy these shows with her, I guarantee you’re going to want your own TV at some point, either to play Xbox or watch College football.. I promise, you’re going to thank me later.

Get used to the camera.

Along with your fancy plates, your face will be allover Instagram too. Prepare yourself for millions of selfies in one day, wearing the same outfit, until she finds the perfect angle. Before long you’ll be used to it and you will no longer mind the fact that you have become the designated picture taker because you’re arms are longer so selfie’s are just easier for you.

You will listen to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

You can deny it all you want and you can try to fight it, but believe me, you will. You’ll end up knowing the words just as well as she does. You’ll find the songs stuck in your head even when she’s not around. It’s worth it for her though, because she’ll really appreciate your jam sessions together.

Diamonds? Sure, but make-up? Always.

You will never believe the amount of time she has spent on Youtube watching videos trying to conquer the perfect contour and highlight to make her face look like Beyonce when she wakes up, flawless. You’ll never guess how much money it cost for her to get the perfect color locks. Compliment her. She will notice when you don’t.

Time management is not a thing.

5 minutes means at least another hour and rushing her will only slow her down, because then she’ll get stressed and you know how emotional she is when she gets stressed out.. so, just make yourself comfortable. If the two of you need to be somewhere at a certain time, tell her it’s an hour before when you actually need to be there and you might just make it when you’re supposed to.

Her friends will know everything.

If you mess up, be prepared for her friends to know all about it. If you hurt her, you hurt them all. You think one girlfriend is rough, try one girlfriend and her three best friends, you will never win that war. So remember what you got yourself into and don’t be an, excuse my language, asshole.

Snapchat is her diary.

You can pretty much figure out anything you need to know about her day by checking out her Snapchat story. She loves to document when her favorite song comes on the radio while she’s driving and she is obsessed with all the different filters. If you have any questions or she’s not answering your calls, check her story, I bet you’ll get all the answers you were looking for.

​Having a ‘basic’ girlfriend really isn’t all that hard and you will get the hang of it eventually. We’re easy to please for the most part, if you can see past our expensive habits and accept us for the princesses we are, lol, you’ll be just fine. So, remember these few tips and others that you’ll learn as you go and you will be in there like swimwear. You might as well skip the dating scene and put a ring on it, you’re a keeper

One Wrong Decision Can Change Your Life..

Within the last 72 hours, there have been over 60 reported cases of heroin overdoses in just Cincinnati, Ohio alone. Yes, you read it right, SIXTY. I’m thanking God that I can say that no one close to me is a part of this epidemic, but sadly, that could change any minute and that goes for all of us.

Over the last few days, social media has been flooded with posts, some praying for these lost souls and others hoping for their deaths. Regardless of how you may feel about addicts, we all need to take a step back and see the bigger picture here. This is not okay. Whether you agree with their actions or not, they are still people; they are someone’s loved one.. someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, or so on. Life is hard for all of us. We’ve all been faced with challenges and have had to overcome obstacles that we never saw coming. The answer for some of us, just doesn’t work for others. I know myself, when I’ve been lost in my darkest days, unsure of what to do next or what my future may hold, the only thing that helped me keep pushing forward, the one thing that helped get me back on my feet, was the love and support of those closest to me. God only knows where I may be today if it weren’t for people helping me.

Call me crazy if you want to, but that’s exactly what we need to do for the people we see struggling through this horrible, horrible condition. Kicking someone when they’re already down, will not make them want to get up. You’re probably thinking that I’m a sucker; that I’m babying addicts instead of ‘giving them what they asked for’. But that’s totally incorrect, because I do not condone this. I never have and I never will. I honestly don’t understand what makes someone start doing heroin in the first place, what makes them want to do something that they know has destroyed the lives of so many others? I cannot imagine what they’re thinking as they pick up the needle that could very easily take their lives away.. I just can’t grasp the concept of it all; however, I do understand that we are all human and we all make mistakes. I also understand that once a person does it for the first time, they may end up addicted to it and then it suddenly becomes a habit that they need in order to get through their daily lives. They made the decision to try it, but they may not have had a choice, but to continue doing it. It’s like people that text and drive.. They know how many wrecks that causes on a regular basis, but they never believe something like that could actually happen to them, so they continue doing it. Someone tries heroin for the first time and they feel alright, so they do it again, only to end up getting addicted. It can happen to anyone, one wrong decision can completely change your life.

ad·dict

 (ə-dĭkt′)

1. to cause to be physiologically or psychologically dependent.
 

ad•dic•tion 

[dəˈzēz]

1. the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.”


dis·ease

[dəˈzēz]

1. a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.


hab•it
[ˈhabət]

1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up 

 

I hear more often than not, that people don’t believe that addiction is a disease. People instead believe that an addict can just drop the needle and walk away with no repercussions; but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Look at the definitions above, do you see the correlation? Don’t get me wrong, an addict should not receive handouts and they shouldn’t receive any ‘extra special treatment’ as they’ve slipped up and have broken the law, but a push in the right direction, a support system to keep them away from the wrong crowd, a hug when they’re down on themselves, or a motivator to keep them on track, could do more for them than you may realize.​

Yes, just like most of you, I think this epidemic is ridiculous. It’s sad that heroin is the topic of so many discussions and it is definitely not the answer to anyone’s problems. In the end, it makes things so much worse for everyone involved, but until we do something, this will not stop. As a city, as a country, as people just trying to find peace in a world full of chaos, we need to stand by each other. If you know an addict, please call (888-987-0721) or go to http://www.americanadditioncenters.org and get them help. You may just be the reason that they live to see another day.

You’re My Kind of Person.

​Don’t we all have an idea of what we want our ‘type’ of people to be like? Like a mental list of all of the personality traits we’d expect our significant other and/or best friends to possess? I know I do. It’s ironic because most of us get on Social Media and see posts from random people and immediately think, “Oh my gosh, we would totally be best friends.” or “OMG, that’s the exact same thing I always say!” But if you are anything like the type of person I am, you probably won’t be the one to initiate conversations with just anyone, especially on the internet (lol). They say that friendship is a weird concept to think about.. You just pick a human you’ve met and decide, ‘Yeah, I like this one’ and then you just do stuff with them. Well, I’ve been lucky with the people I’ve met in my life and the friendships I’ve made. We’re all so different, yet so alike in so many ways. You’re my kind of person if you are anything like any of the following..

You’re my kind of person if you don’t mind having concerts in the car.

I mean, full on, singing at the top of our lungs to a 1999 Britney Spears song or throwing it back to ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston (have to represent one of the greatest) type of concert. I am not afraid to roll the windows down and perform for anyone stopped next to me at a red light. If you are willing to let loose and belt it all out, we would be best friends.

You’re my kind of person if you love food.

Love is a strong word, but there’s no other way to describe how I feel about food. I may be the pickiest eater you will ever meet, but give me something I do like and I can throw down, no joke. Ice cream, pizza, chicken wings, all the good stuff.. If you don’t mind pigging out every now and then, I guarantee we would get along great.  

You’re my kind of person if you are down for ‘Netflix and chill’.

Let’s be real, how can you not? Netflix is one of my all-time go-to’s for a relaxing night inside. I can binge watch any series for months and not care at all. If you can kick back and enjoy a good tv show, we could definitely plan weekly Netflix nights.

You’re my kind of person if you’re tough.

I say this because there are times that I can be the typical emotional female and need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent to. If you can put me in my place and put up with me during that time of the month or any time for that matter, I promise I’d keep you around forever.

You’re my kind of person if you can just go with the flow.

I am so laid back, some may say too laid back at times. I am indecisive and when I do make a decision, it’s totally spur of the moment and random, but there’s no turning back. If you are a semi-unorganized, non-planner like myself, I bet we would make a fantastic mess together. (However, if you are a planner and have a schedule for everything you do in life, that’s totally okay too, I’d appreciate you showing me the ropes and teaching me your ways lol.)

You’re my kind of person if you are straight forward.

As much as it sucks, sometimes having someone tell me like it is, is exactly what I need. Having a brutally honest person in your life that won’t beat around the bush or coddle you, is such a good thing. If you’re the type of person that will tell me that my hair looks ridiculous and that my favorite outfit, actually isn’t as cute as I thought it was or if you will step up tell me when I’m being overdramatic as I’m arguing with my boyfriend and save us all from my pettiness, we could have an ever-lasting friendship.

You’re my kind of person if you see the glass as half-full.

This journey we’re on is crazy and complicated. It can break you down and stress you out if you let it. Negativity can consume us, especially if we surround ourselves with negative people. We all have those rough days and some more frequently than others, but if you can take a deep breath and drink a margarita or five and just enjoy the good things in the middle of all the chaos, I need you in my life.

​I wouldn’t change any friendship I’ve ever had for anything, because each and every one, whether we still talk or not, have helped to shape me into the person I am today. True friendship is hard to come by so I will hold on to the people in my life extra tight. If you’re my kind of person and I’ve already met you, I appreciate you more than you will ever know. If you’re my kind of person and I don’t really know you just yet, I hope that someday, I’ll be lucky enough that our paths will cross.

I Believe..

I believe in chasing your dreams, going after something, seeing the unseen.

I believe in love until death do us part,

putting in effort, pouring out your heart.

I believe in destiny and in fate,

pushing on before it’s too late.

I believe in equality and being unique,

never being afraid to stand up and speak.

I believe in trust and in honesty,

letting someone in, having serenity.

I believe in just living life,

taking on each obstacle with all of your might.

I believe in giving your all,

taking a chance and not being afraid to fall.

I believe in you and me,

conquering everything, making the perfect team.