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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. 

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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.

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We’re At War With Ourselves..

Children are crying,
The innocent are dying.
People are shooting, killing, and lying.

This drug epidemic is taking authority,

Heroin is a killer, yet it’s still a priority.

Why are we allowing racism to still exist?

People’s response to everything, is talking with their fists.

When did violence become the answer and love become the crime?

Since when is the guilty no longer made to do time?

Why is racism still in existence?

We’re at war with ourselves, because the justice system is so inconsistent.

Open your eyes to the issues at hand,

Are we just going to sit back without taking a stand?

My heart breaks for this country, my eyes cry for our future,

How can we live in a world full of torture?

Until we come together and act as one,

Until issues can be solved without using a gun;

Until you and I aren’t seen as color,

Until we can all learn to love one another;

We can hope and plead and pray for change,

But as long as we allow it, this world will forever be the same.

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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.

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Why Fix Something That Isn’t Broken?

Most of you reading this probably have some form of social media right? Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. I know that for me, those sites become my favorite go to’s when I get bored as I’m trying to force myself to sleep at night or before I find the energy to actually get out of bed to start my day of a morning. Scroll through Facebook, check out Instagram, take a look at Twitter, and repeat. It almost becomes a cycle. 
Well, today I woke up and was doing my usual (just checking my notifications and trying to kill time since it was only 8:07 a.m. on a Saturday!) Anyway, I was scrolling through pictures on Instagram and I saw really rude comments on a girl’s picture. Usually, I look at the pictures and just keep scrolling, but a comment that read, “Lol, if I looked like that I’d never post a selfie!” caught my attention. Surprisingly, the girl in the picture was someone that I’ve always found beautiful, like an Instagram girl crush (don’t lie, we all have them!). So I was taken back when I saw someone being so hateful. I decided to dig deeper and saw more comments such as: “Eat a cheeseburger and while your at it grab a fry you look gross” and “How much money do you spend on make up a week.. Prolly costs more than my groceries.. your face looks fake.” I’m sure these poorly grammered comments don’t have much affect on the girl in the pictures as she has some hundreds of thousands of followers, but it was still eye opening to me. What has this world come to?

Don’t get me wrong, judging is a part of human nature. It’s something we all do, I know I’m guilty. But why? If a girl that lives thousands of miles away is in to fitness and has the perfect winged eyeliner, HOW does that affect you? WHAT does it have to do with you? That’s right, absolutely nothing. Is it hurting you? Is it changing your life or happiness in any way, shape, or form?

“Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of reality is not your reality.”

       – Shannon Alder

We, as women, are victimized daily for our bodies; how we dress, what we eat, the clothes we wear.. The list goes on. Did you know that 73% of women have low self esteem? Yupp, that’s right.. The majority of us feel the same way about ourselves- we don’t like this, want to change that, wish this looked like hers, and so on. If this is the case, which statistics show it to be true, then why do we continuously put each other down?
We are ALL human. Which means that we ALL have flaws. Whether you’re a part of the LGBT community, a size 0 or 18, can contour like the Youtubers or don’t wear make up at all.. Whether you’re Asian, Puerto Rican, White, Black, or Indian.. Whether you spend hours at the gym or hours in the kitchen; we are all still in so many ways, the exact same. 73% of us are unhappy with ourselves or there’s something about ourselves that we want to “fix”. The saying goes, why fix something that isn’t broken? So why do we all see flaws as issues or something negative, something wrong? My thighs might be thick but I can still walk, her calves may be tiny but she moves along just fine. 

The truth is, WE are not what needs to be “fixed”. Our flaws give us individualism, they make us who we are. The idea, the perception, of perfection existing, for example: in the celebrities or the famous people that we all idolize so much, that needs to be fixed. Because just like all of the average women across the world, they were born with flaws too. We were made to be different, we were made to be unique. Our imperfections should not be determined by anyone else. So don’t let others change the way you perceive yourself. Embrace the fact that you are  one in a million. This world can make life difficult at times, but know that you are not alone. We are all in this thing together and the majority of us are fighting the same exact battles.

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

       – Mandy Hale