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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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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.

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15 Signs of True Friendship..

In our generation it's unbelievably hard to know who's with you for the long haul and who's only with you until someone else comes along. So many people you thought would be in your wedding someday haven't talked to you in months and others you'd thought would be your child's God parents disappeared without any reason. It's hard to accept it sometimes, but don't lose hope. Occasionally, out of nowhere and totally unexpected, you'll meet someone knew and before you know it, it's like you were destined to be best friends for life. Before you get too comfortable, here's some tips to prove that your friendship is as real as Monica and Rachel's from 'Friends':

1. There are no secrets.                                                         I mean none. Even when you try to lie or hide something, she knows you so well that she can tell by your facial expressions that you've got something to tell her.  

      

2. The only time she makes you cry, is by laughing.                                                                                 You don't question why you like her so much, she's the only one who appreciates your laugh and laughs right along with you. The only time a true friend should make you cry is when your cheeks hurt because you two are insanely crazy together. 

3. You can have fun doing nothing.                             Not a single word needs to be said for you to have a perfectly great night together. A large pizza, bottle of wine, and Netflix is one of your favorite hobbies together. 

4. She’s in all of your favorite memories.       Since she's came into your life, it's like the two of you became sidekicks. It's rare to see one without the other and not just for the two of you, but everyone else notices as well. You have more inside jokes that others would never understand and memories that will last a lifetime. 

5. You understand each other.                                                With just one look, you can tell what each other is thinking. You can vent for hours and talk about life for days, she always sees your side of things and you understand hers.

6. Your family is hers and vice versa.                          You basically share siblings and parents. In fact, your parents eventually become friends as well. It's like you gained a whole new family when you met her.

7. People start to question if your lesbian lovers.                                                                                   You share clothes and a bed most nights. You triple date with her and her boyfriend and she doesn't hesitate to interrupt any alone time you thought you may have had with yours. Sometimes, your boyfriends feel more like the outcast. You just laugh when people make comments because it's not the first time you've heard it.

8. You cry together, the ugly cry.                                      She's there through the good times, but even more so during the bad. She will hold you and cry right along with you. She never hesitates to lend her shoulder. It's like your pain is hers and you would never let her cry alone.

9. You’re honest and always tell the truth.                                                                                             There's no sugar coating anything when it comes to the two of you. If she doesn't like your outfit or if you think her hair looks like she's from 1978, you tell each other like it is. You will tell one another all of the things that everyone else hesitates to say.

10. There is no judging.                                                            Whether it be from your past, present, or your future. You never point fingers nor judge each other. It goes back to the understanding each other part. You don't care about her mistakes because you know you've made them too and you accept that everything that's happened has lead to both to where you are today. 

11. You help each other, push each other,  and support each other.                                                       No matter what goals, dreams, or ambitions you have, she's always the first one there cheering you on. She's your #1 fan and believes in you more than you believe in yourself. You inspire her and keep her pushing forward when she just wants to let go. You two are a team and have each other's back.

12. You do most things together, but not everything.                                                                      Like I said earlier, most people find it weird to see you out about without her, but you both make time for other friends as well. You are always down to add another friend to the group, it's just a known fact that the bond the two of you have, could never be broken.

13. She’s always been there and so have you.                                                                                                        No matter what obstacles life throws your way, you know that you can count on her to pick you up when you're down and she can always count on you for your words of wisdom. You don't know how you got this far without her and she can't imagine going on in life without you.

14. You are two of a kind.                                                   They say opposites attract and in some ways this is true for the two of you; however, 9 times out of 10 you guys are the exact same. You always finish each other's sentences and you definitely have the same sense of humor. You are partners in crime and always getting in to some sort of trouble.

15. You are so much more than ‘just friends’, you’re sisters.                                                             They say that blood is thicker than water, but when it comes to your friendship, the two of you see no difference. It doesn't matter how long you've known each other, forever started at 'Hey girl!' and it will never end.

Having a friendship like Monica and Rachel is like finding a four leaf clover in a field. It's hard, but consider yourself lucky once you've found her. It's like having a soulmate in your best friend's body. Nothing will compare to the strength of true friendship, so never let it go.