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.

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.

10 Ways A Guy Says ‘I love you’ Without Actually Saying It..

As girls, we tend to overthink everything, I mean everything. If an old friend doesn’t smile at us and say hi as we pass them in the store, we automatically assume that they no longer like us. When in reality, they were probably just in such a rush that they didn’t even notice we were there. If a waiter tells us he’s got a coupon for 25% off of alcoholic beverages for the evening; our minds are already trying to find ways to avoid giving him our number because we just know he totally wants our bodies.. When in reality, every waiter/waitress in the restaurant is giving out the same offer to boost their bar sales. When it comes to the opposite sex, no amount of reassurance will ever be enough to settle our wandering minds. You will always question if he loves you and worry when he doesn’t actually say it enough. But take a breather ladies and relax, here are 10 signs that he loves you without even saying a word…

1. He plays with your hair.                                While you’re laying there, binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, you randomly feel him playing with your hair. You didn’t have to ask, beg, or plead. Yup, that’s right, he willing did it on his own because he knows how much you love it. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t notice the little things that make you happy, such as, kissing your forehead or playing with your hair after a long stressful day.

2. He talks about you to his friends.                 He doesn’t talk about how the two of you got down and dirty until 3 AM the night before, but he talks about your date night and how awesome the movie was. He tells them how funny it was and how it made you laugh so hard, you were crying and everyone turned to look. He boasts about you and brings you along to hang out. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t care to share your totally awesome personality with the guys.

3. He talks about you to his family.                  This is important. His family is the people you really need to impress. So, if he’s not afraid to tell them all about you and talk about the future plans the two of you have made, he’s serious. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t care if the people he cares most about like you or not. If he didn’t love you, they probably wouldn’t even know that you exist.

4. He opens the door.                                                 Call me old fashioned, but I believe that chivalry is not dead. If he really loves you, he will do things like, save you the last bite of your favorite meal or pull out your chair when you go out to dinner, just to show that he respects you.

5. He shares the television.                                             We all know how much a guy loves his tv. Whether it be playing Xbox or watching Sports Center, if he gives it up to let you watch Lifetime or whatever reality tv shows you’re into this month, it shows he loves you. Guys wouldn’t sacrifice that for just anyone.

6. He lets you drive.                                            This one might be a little different than you were expecting. Typically the guy does the driving and the buying, but mixing it up a little bit won’t hurt. To some guys, their car or truck is their pride and joy. I mean some guys love it so much that they spend every paycheck they get trying to fix it up; they would probably date it if they could, but that’s not logical though and he has to settle down with someone.. Ladies, we know how we are with our shoes, purses, and other prized possessions, so if he shares his with you whether it be a car or something else, just know, that if he shares, it not only means that he loves you, but it shows that he trusts you as well.

7. He surprises you.                                                 It doesn’t matter if he randomly has flowers sent to your work or if he shows up at your house one evening unannounced, just because he missed you. If he’s willing to put in effort to surprise you every now and then, he loves you.

8. He holds you.                                               Cuddling is a huge stress reliever for both parties involved. So if he turns to you, to hold you and to cuddle, he’s expressing how comfortable and relaxed you make him feel. If he didn’t love you, he’d find something or someone else to turn to when he’s had a bad day. 

9. He laughs with you.                                                Did you know that laughter is a sign of true happiness? If the two of you have fun together and he laughs with you, rather than at you- even though at you is totally acceptable at times- he loves you. It’s proof that he enjoys being with you and that you are both happy.

10. He spends time with you.                       Spending time with each other is key to any relationship. It’s common sense that in order to grow together and for the relationship to work, you must spend quality time hanging out with each other. It doesn’t have to be 24/7, although some of us girls, may expect it to be; any amount of time together is acceptable, as long as it’s a regular thing. If he makes sure to make as much time for you as he possibly can, he loves you. Believe me, he’d fill his calendar with other people or other things if he didn’t.

The bottom line here is that guys don’t always have a way with words. They don’t analyze situations nearly as much as girls do and 99% of the time, they don’t even notice that they haven’t said, ‘I love you’ throughout the day or when they get off the phone. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love us, they just have different ways of showing it. If your hesitant or doubting his feelings, just remember ladies, actions speak louder than words.

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.