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.

To The Girl Who Lost Herself In The Midst of The Chaos.

Listen, I get it. I totally do. We’ve all been there before. You didn’t ask to fall for him, it just kind of happened. But when the honeymoon stage has faded and the ‘fairytale’ has ended and you finally see his true worth, no excuse that you give me is enough for me to think that you should stay in this toxic relationship and here’s why..

“I don’t want to be alone.”
Since when did being ‘single’ become being alone? You’re only alone if you sit in the house and mope around thinking about and missing him. You have friends and family that love you and chances are they miss you, a lot, especially since most of your time has been spent with him recently anyway. Go out and have fun. Be the twenty-something year old you are and enjoy it while you can.

“I’m comfortable.”
Change is not always a bad thing. If you think about it, change is all around us and year after year things change, it’s a part of life. Just because you’re used to not being happy, doesn’t mean that it’s right. Plus, getting rid of him will be a good kind of change. You’ll no longer have to worry about pleasing anyone but yourself and we all deserve to be a little selfish sometimes.

“I’ve already put in too much time and effort.”
EXACTLY. This is a prime example of why you need to run away while you can. When it’s true love and it’s real, it won’t take months (or years) to make it work. It will just happen. Why spend even more of your time putting forth effort with a boy that isn’t doing the same for you? A relationship should always be 100/100. If you’re not getting what you give, it’s time to move on.

“He will change.”
Oh really? I mean, I guess I could totally believe this if I hadn’t already heard it a million times before. You cannot force him to change. A person will only change when they are ready and they see it fit. If he doesn’t want to change- and obviously he doesn’t given the last 20 chances you’ve given him- you can kiss that thought goodbye, because it’s not going to happen.

“I love him.”
Ever heard the saying, if you love someone let them go? It’s pretty accurate if you ask me. Loving someone, loving the idea of someone, is not the same as being in love with someone. When you are in love, you are fully committed to that person. You will find the good in their flaws and you will love them even on their bad days. Does he do this for you? I doubt it, because if he did, people would be able to see it from the outside and you wouldn’t feel the need to justify why you’re dating him.

“I don’t want to hurt him.”
If you’re still with him after all that you’ve been through, that just shows how big of a heart you have. Not many girls would stick around the way you have and that’s because you care about others so much, but he is not your problem. It is not your job to ‘help’ him. You are not his mother. He didn’t care to hurt you, did he? If you’re not happy, then staying isn’t fair. Sure there are times that you’ve been happy over the course of your relationship, but you deserve to be happy every single day.

I know it’s hard to believe, but at the end of all of this, you will be okay and you will be stronger than you’ve ever been before, but you need to let go. You’re never going find the man that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated if you continue holding on to the boy who doesn’t appreciate you. It will be difficult at first but it will get easier. I promise. One day, you will wake up and look in the mirror and you will be proud of the courage you’ve gained by simply walking away. You will learn to love yourself again.

So let goMove on. Find the girl you lost in the midst of all this chaos. She’s still there and she will be even better than ever before if you let her.

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.

There’s A Person Out There Somewhere Looking For Someone Just Like You.

     I believe that there is someone out there for everyone. Some may find their soulmate at 15 years old, while others are lucky at 40, but regardless of when we find them, I believe that there’s a person out there somewhere looking for someone just like you. We date, or at least most of us do, with the hopes of finding the relationship that has the spark that will never burn out. With each relationship, we open our hearts and pray that ‘this one will be it’, that all the tears and the lonely nights have come to an end, but even when we’ve found the one, how do we know for sure? Do we ever really know or do we just take the chance with the person that seems to fit best in our lives, because we’ve been so desperate to find love for so long? There is a difference between loving and being in love and trust me, when you’ve found your person, you will easily be able to discover it. Here are just a few subtle signs that you’re on your way to forever with ‘the one’..

1. You argue.                                                         Yes, that’s right. You disagree and you argue. I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for believing that arguing is actually a good thing, but I promise, arguments are key in a strong relationship. They always say that you can’t appreciate the good times, without experiencing the bad too. So don’t start planning the break up as soon as things get tough, we are adults. We should all know by now that nothing in life comes easy (especially not relationships with the opposite sex).

2. You make up.                                                        If you understand that you are both human and make mistakes (don’t get me wrong, there are certain mistakes that this rule doesn’t apply to) and can forgive each other; if you never go to bed angry with one another, and you both learn to compromise because suddenly, it’s not just your own happiness that matters anymore; what you’ve got is something worth holding on to. Making up is the best part about arguing, it’s an opportunity to remember just how much the other person means to you and value the fact that you’re both willing to accept each other’s craziness.

3. You are happy.                                                    Completely and utterly, 100% happy. When being in their presence gives you butterflies and looking into their eyes makes you smile; when doing nothing at all becomes more fun than going out every weekend; when the only time they make you cry is from laughing too hard and you really only get mad when they don’t share their food with you.. Know that what you have together is rare and it’s special. Cherish it.

4. You have no questions, no doubts, no worries.                                                                        You don’t wonder about where they are or what they’re doing, while other people are stalking their significant others’ social media pages to make sure they’re not up to no good. You don’t question when they will be home, because you trust them without a doubt. The two of you are capable of being away from each other, but at the end of the day, you’d much rather be together. When there are no questions because there are no secrets, it’s real. Trust is pertinent in a lasting relationship.

5. You just know.                                                     When they are the first person on your mind when you wake up and the last person you think about before you fall asleep; when it doesn’t matter what happens in life, they are the one you always want by your side and the first person you tell all of your secrets to; when they are your best friend, your partner, your confidant, don’t let go. 

The truth is, there’s always going to be obvious hints that can either make or break a relationship, but when you’ve finally got the right one, it’ll be hard to find all of the words to describe it, there will be no uncertainty. No argument could ever break the bond between the two of you and none of life’s obstacles will bring you down for too long, because your partner on this journey through life will be there helping you back up, every single step of the way. When you’ve got ‘the one’, you will feel it in your gut and know with every inch of your being, that they are your soulmate and your happily ever after. 

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.

It’s Unbelievable Where Life Could Take You.

Ya know, life is just crazy sometimes, better yet, MOST of the time. Just when we think we’ve finally got it all figured out, it’s like life sees us getting too comfortable and bam, just like that, another curveball is thrown at you, completely ruining your plans.

I thought I knew everything at 16 because sitting behind that wheel for the first time gave me all the power in the world. Again at 18, I knew I had it all planned out because I was finally legal and officially recognized as an adult. As 20 came along I was no longer a teen and was determined to take on the world. Here I am, 23, more lost than I’ve ever been and I’m realizing that this is perfectly okay.

I’ve spent most of my time trying to find ways of perfecting my life and making sure I was fully prepared for any obstacle that may my come way. When I tried college but it wasn’t my gig, I felt like a failure. When I quit my job to start all over again somewhere completely different, I felt like a loser. I’ve made an endless amount of mistakes, as I’m sure most of you have too. For awhile, I regretted them. I constantly thought about the ‘what if’s’ and pictured where I’d be if would’ve done things differently, but one day I realized that I was doing this thing called life so wrong..

I’ve learned that the key to life is not about living it perfectly and there is no way to ever be prepared for all of the challenges that may come your way. It’s not about doing everything ‘right’ and always having the answers.

From the time we were in grade school, we were told that the plan is to graduate; go to college; become a teacher, doctor, nurse, etc.; find a life partner, fall in love, get married, and start a family. Doesn’t that sound perfect? Isn’t that how 99% of the movies we’ve grown up watching portray life to be? Well guess what, that’s not always how it works. Some people will do it backwards, some may never follow it at all. But, to each their own, because there is no set in stone way of life. What’s right for someone, may not be good for someone else. What works for one person, may not go over well for others. The mistakes I’ve made are not because I’m a mess or don’t know what I’m doing. Their purpose was to bring me to the place I am today. They have helped shape me into the woman I am now and I no longer regret them. I don’t have to know exactly where I’m going, in fact, the unknown is part of the thrill.

I’ve found that the purpose in life, the reason for our individual stories, is to be happy. Fully, completely, and genuinely happy. If there’s something you don’t like, change it. If there’s negativity surrounding you, let it go. If you’re doubting your decisions and questioning why you are where you’re at in this very moment, know that it’s because that’s exactly where you’re meant to be. John Lennon once said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” So don’t worry too much if you feel lost or uncertain, hold on to the things, places, and people that make you happy. It’s unbelievable where life could take you.