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.

A Letter To The Woman That Raised The Man of My Dreams..

Dear _______,
​It’s me, the girl who will hopefully become your daughter-in-law someday. I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for you. There are so many remarkable things I could say about you since getting to know you over the last couple years, but the one thing that stands out the most, is your son and the way you raised him. We both know he’s a handful so it couldn’t have been easy, but I praise you for a job well done, as he is truly one of a kind. I just wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated and express my gratitude..

Thank you for accepting me.

You have accepted me into your home and welcomed me with open arms from the very first day I met you. You have made me feel comfortable and it’s as if I am just part of the family. Thank you for your hospitality.

Thank you for teaching your son the definition of trust.

In today’s society, lying and cheating are just part of the norm. It’s not unusual to hear about couples failing due to trust issues, but because you’ve shown him how to be open and honest, I have no worries.

Thank you for setting a good example.

Not just for him, but for me as well. You can light up any room with your free spirit and quirky personality. Sometimes, I question if you ever have a ‘bad’ day. I look up to you for the happiness you bring to your household and I hope to bring the same light to my own family someday.

Thank you for showing him how to love.

You loved him first and it’s because of the way that you loved him that he’s now so passionate and loves so strongly. The support and devotion you’ve given him over the years has helped to shape him into the caring and generous man that he is today. You have such a big heart, as does your son. It’s obvious that he got that trait from you.

Thank you for understanding.

You are always there to listen and to provide advice. Regardless of the situation, you never pass judgment or discernment. You are unbelievably compassionate. We can come to you for anything and talk to you about everything, with no questions asked. You are one of our biggest supporters and it’s truly a blessing to have you.

Thank you for everything.

For letting me in and sharing your son. For giving me some of your cooking tips and sharing all of your knowledge. For believing in me and in your son. For encouraging us as a couple. For laughing with us and showing us what happiness is all about.

I could go on for forever as I think so highly of you, but I will spare you and sum it up. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I met your son; I definitely didn’t think that I would gain a second family along the way, but I couldn’t imagine things being any different now. Your approval was so very important to me and I am forever thankful to have the relationship that we do now. You raised the love of my life and there are no amount of words that could ever express how truly grateful I am. Thank you for being you.

To My Future Husband..

To My Future Husband,

    You deserve an award. I will never understand how you’ve managed to put up with me for so long and to think, you’re okay with doing it for the rest of your life.. You’re truly heaven sent.

   I’m not the worst woman in the world; however, I will be the first to argue with you over which football game were watching on Sunday’s and I might get a little attitude if you shame my cooking skills, but I promise to be honest and loyal for the rest of our days. You will never have to question who has my heart or where my mind wanders.

  I apologize in advance for anything I may break around the house and then try to fix on my own. I’m a little clumsy, but I will try my hardest to never let you see that. Trust me, it’s embarrassing. To make up for it though, I’ll get down and dirty, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning. I just can’t promise that our house will be spotless every day. If it’s up to me, we’ll have plenty of kids and dogs running around to make sure that doesn’t happen lol.

  I’m sorry if my clothes take up most of the closet (your t-shirts included, we both know those are now mine too) and if there’s no room for your shoes. It’s hard being a girl when there are Targets allover. You should also be warned because I may steal the covers, but I promise to always keep an extra blanket nearby for those cold winter nights. Believe me, we’ll need them- I need a fan on no matter what the weather is like.

  It’s a rule, I get to shower first. I have my hair and make up to do, while you can just rinse and go. I am not always prissy and I won’t always look like I did on our first date- I spent three hours trying to perfect my looks that night- but I will always be myself. My laugh is ridiculously loud and obnoxious and I don’t find tickling funny. In fact, unless you want to start an all out war, I’d be careful if I were you.

  That’s another thing. I’m down to play fight and wrestle with you for hours, but don’t get mad when I beat you. I’ve got three brothers, I’ve been ‘fighting’ for the last 10 years. I won’t get mad if you play the game, as long as you don’t mind if I join in every now and then.. I’ll be sure to give you a challenge, but I can’t guarantee I’ll be good at it, I just think it’s fun.

  Lifetime movies are great and I can’t miss my weekly tv series. We’ll just have to compromise. But isn’t that what this is all about? I do things that drive you crazy and you piss me off more times than I count. We laugh until we cry and hold on tight when the ride gets a little bumpy. This relationship won’t be full of wine nights followed up with pizza (although, wouldn’t that be nice?!), but if we’ve made it this far, I have no doubt that we can overcome whatever life throws our way.

  I have prayed for you since I was a little girl and I’ve spent countless nights on Pinterest planning our lives together. Believe me when I say that you are so much more than I could’ve ever imagined and more than I will ever accept that I deserve. Your reassurance and support will get me through the tough days and your smile will make the good days better. Don’t ever change, you are my soulmate and my best friend. My happily ever after and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my days with you.

– Your Future Wife.