My Hiatus, My Miscarriage Story & My Comfort.

*DISCLOSURE* This may be a TRIGGER WARNING for some as it will graphically talk about miscarriage. Proceed at your own risk.

I had to take a break this summer and I’m gonna tell you why. I was originally going to write about our vegan adventure this last month, but I can’t type a single sentence. There’s this big fat blinder in my brain and all I can seem to be thinking of is my sweet 5th child. I think that’s the Lord telling me “you know what you’re supposed to write about”. So, we’ll start at the beginning:

Baby #5

We found out we were pregnant with #5 and it was a shock. Our daughters first birthday was that month! We usually wait until our baby is a year old to see if we’d like to try for another one but, SSSUUUURRRPRISE! Here comes #5. I was scared, then I was happy and then I was angry. Why? Because I wanted to shout from the rooftops that we were having another little baby. Instead of congratulations, I knew I’d be met with “you’re crazy” or “another one?!” or my favorite, “are you going to be like the Duggars?”. So instead we kept it to ourselves. Something I regret and will never do again. I hid my joy of having another child for the sake of others. I felt like a hypocrite. I write about not caring what other people think, yet here I am doing that exact thing. So we started to tell close family and people we thought would be genuinely happy for us.

The Miscarriage

I was getting ready for my nephew’s graduation when I went to the restroom and saw blood. I assumed I was starting my cycle and then I remembered. I was pregnant. I panicked and cried, then immediately shut off the water works and told myself that it was nothing but some implantation bleeding and everything would be fine. As the days proceeded there after the bleeding continued, so I went to the E.R. That’s when I saw my sweet babe on the ultrasound. They said it was a threatened miscarriage and that from their point of view the ultrasound didn’t look like a miscarriage. They said the baby was still too small to hear a heartbeat. The timing seemed off to not hear a heartbeat, I had been pregnant for at least two months at this point! I still had hope and told myself “maybe my women’s intuition allowed me to find out I was pregnant super early.” So, a few days later we got ready for Young Living’s Convention and had a mini vacay in Vegas!

The bleeding continued and that’s when I started googling everything about miscarriage. I talked to friends who bled through their entire pregnancy and ended up being totally fine. I continued to tell myself that that would be my same fate. The bleeding continued and then the cramping started. That’s when I knew, but I refused to admit it. I remember lying on the floor of a warm shower balling my eyes out with my husband rubbing my back and me bellowing “I CAN FEEL MY BODY TRYING TO PUSH SOMETHING OUT, BUT IT”S MY BABY!” I took lots of showers during that trip, it’s where I fell apart so my kids wouldn’t see. So then I dried off and we went to the arcade, even though I felt like I should stay back. We went to eat and I went to the bathroom. That’s when I found a gray ball in my toilet paper, a little bigger than a silver dollar. I started at it and quickly panicked, flushing it down the toilet. I went to the emergency room immediately after that. I knew that was my baby. But the protective mother instinct in  me would not allow me to accept that. I kept telling myself everything would be fine.

The Las Vegas ER is something else! I went to give a Urine sample and there was a lady legit passed out on the bathroom floor hooked up to an I.V.! I felt like I was in the drunk tank. The staff was incredibly rude and unprofessional. It. Was. Horrible. Then after a few hours I met the lovely doctor (insert sarcasm here) They had already done the ultrasound. And he walks in and says in a very loud voice like I won some sort of sick lottery “Hey! Unfortunately, it looks like you had a miscarriage so….” -I immediately cry and he says “uummmm” quickly walks out and tells his nurse “I’m gonna give this one a little time” He walks over to the next curtain stall and in the same jovial voice asks the next patient if they’re ready for their prescriptions. No consoling. No bedside manner. Not even a sad voice. Nothing.

The Aftermath

So there I was alone holding my now empty womb with this repeating thought. “I flushed my baby down the toilet in a Vegas buffet.” That’s my miscarriage, I didn’t get to put him/her in a final resting place. I don’t have anything to remember her/him by. That’s it. My baby is dead and my consolation prize is an empty womb as if nothing ever happened. I went on to convention and did just that, acted as though nothing happened. I thank God for my husband and my sister who were there and mourned with me in the evenings when things seemed to unravel like the song “round midnight”.

My Comfort

I came home and was told things like “everything happens for a reason”, “God was protecting you from something horrible that was wrong with the baby” and “maybe one day you’ll have another”. None of that was a comfort to me. My baby is dead and there is no bright side to death. It reminds me of when Lazarus died and Jesus wept. He knew He was going to resurrect him. Jesus was mourning the fact the death exists in the first place. Its reminds me of the scripture in Romans that says “sin came alive and I died.” In the garden of Eden we were in perfect sinless harmony with God; then sin entered and we could no longer live forever. Death was not a part of the original plan. Death is not normal and I refuse to treat it as such. This may sound morbid, but my hope is in my coming home to Heaven. My comfort lies in the fact that my child is with the Perfect God man who could care for them better than I ever could. My joy is that my child has only ever known love in a womb and glory in Heaven. When we broke the news to the children that they would not be able to meet their newest sibling, their reaction was my favorite. Jesus says to have faith like a child and I get why now more so than ever. We told them that the baby is in heaven with God, their response was all smiles. My eldest daughter asks me “well, then why are you crying mom? The baby is with Jesus!” They get it. “To live is Christ and to die is gain”. I only hope to have their faith one day.

There are days I’m consumed with the feeling that I’m missing something, I’ll head count my children only to be reminded that there IS someone missing. Every time I’m asked if I am planning to have any more children I usually respond in my head with “I did” and then proceed to smile and say, “who knows!”. I spent a lot of time just trying my hardest to not ball my eyes out in public. Although I’m usually not a big fan, small talk has been a favorite of mine this summer.

There are days that are harder than others they’re usually spent walking around depressed and crying sporadically. Lots of movies and snuggles, which the kids don’t mind. It doesn’t just go away overnight, and that’s okay. You take as long as you need to process and grieve. If you’ve have had a miscarriage, I’m mourning with you and if your hope is in Christ, I’m also rejoicing with you. Sometimes they’ll happen at the same time and that’s okay too. I’ll look crazy with you.

 

Dear Fellow People Pleaser

I have a confession. There’s this continual battle I have going on in my head. I care about what other people think of me and I hate it. I over explain myself and get deeply hurt when I don’t get everyone’s approval, so I tread lightly. Even as I type that statement, the question “what if people disagree with own my personal assessment?” is running through my head. It’s that bad. After doing some reading and watching an interesting video on mindfulness, it got my gears turning. Why the hell do we care in the first place?

It’s Science

Back in “simpler” days there were some essentials in life to survive. Water, food, shelter and procreation. People formed groups because there’s safety in numbers, if you didn’t fit in and weren’t productive, you got kicked out of the group. If you thought it would be nice to befriend a wild animal instead of eat it, you weren’t an asset. Thinking differently or being different made you a risky individual and in the days of survival risky wasn’t a good thing. Even to find a mate and procreate, you had to present yourself in a way that made you look appealing. I think fitting in is a genetic trait passed down from our ancestors.

Your Brain is Trying to Protect You

No one likes rejection and no one likes to be embarrassed. If there’s a funeral, what color clothes will you be wearing? Probably not fuchsia. That’s your brains way of protecting itself. It makes sure you stay in the status quo to prevent embarrassment. One last reason is that people who hurt others with cutting remarks or judgments are usually very hurt themselves. It’s a defense mechanism that allows them to hurt first before being hurt by others. How exactly can you silence the voices? I’m not sure you can, but here are some ways you can make them much smaller.

#1 – Your Comfort Zone

You have to get out of your box of comfort to grow outside of it. There will be temporary discomfort, BUT that box of comfort will grow bigger and bigger and the discomfort will slowly go away. Eventually you will find new challenges and new ways to get out of your comfort zone. That’s how personal growth happens.

#2 – Have a Tribe

I have trouble with this but it is so necessary. Find a group of people that love and care about you who are driven and self-assured. Cut out the emotionally draining people that don’t add to your life or in the least limit your time with them. Find people that challenge you in your field and who will lovingly tell you not to wear that outfit.  Value their opinions and critiques of you.

#3 – Listen to Your Critics

I’ve noticed it’s common for people to tell you to ignore the opinions of others. I disagree. I think it’s helpful in a way. Did someone say you yell at your kids too much? Did someone say you’re a pushover? I challenge you to step back as if you’re not in your body and objectively see if there’s any truth to that. Is there? If not, keep it pushing, their opinion doesn’t matter anyway. If there is truth to it though, you have found something that you can add to your list of self-improvement. Your tribe is helpful but sometimes an outsider’s opinion can valuable, even if it’s harsh.

#4 – Social Media Sucks Sometimes

People only post the better side of themselves. We’re all guilty of it. We only post on social media the prettiest parts of our home. We take seven selfies before we choose one. We’ve probably screamed at our kids seventy times to get them all to look at the damn camera. Only for us to brag about what angels they are as they crush a bag of cheese crackers into the floor. Social media is a platform when everyone puts their best face forward. Don’t rely on that to determine what “normal” looks like.

#5 Rip Off That Band-Aid Boo

Rip off the band-aid and just be you! Stop over-explaining yourself to seek others approval. Everyone is going to see you through their life’s lens. Don’t forget that. I may have my car paid off and be debt free, but I still may be considered broke to a rich person. If a person can’t meet you where you’re at and love you, flaws and all, drop them like a bad habit, for now at least. They’ll come around when they’ve grown up. You are not Baskin Robins and you shouldn’t have to come up with a new flavor every time someone doesn’t like something you do. I am currently in the throes of finally accepting and embracing my strengths and weaknesses. Quite honestly the facade of being a happy go lucky Suzie homemaker is an act I am too tired to keep up with nowadays. In the wise words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and you shouldn’t either. Go live your weird (just me?) little life happy enough and surrounded by people who love you….. all of you.

 

 

Perfectionism.

I REALLY did not want to write about this. Not because I don’t desire to talk about it, but because it’s easier not to. I came to sit at a coffee shop to write about the chemistry of essential oils and I brought out my handy thumb drive which has my aromatherapy books on it. God disagreed with this decision and when I opened my files it was the wrong thumb drive, so here I am. Time to emotionally vomit. I’ve been going to therapy and talking about feelings and you know, feeling them more. Growing up in dysfunctional families everyone usually takes up a roll. Mine was to be funny, smooth things over and act oblivious to the chaos around me. For me to believe my Mom, with all my little heart, that the scale in the garage she was using to weigh drugs was just a “jewelry scale”. To go to school for months and hop from one hotel to another, while pretending it was an adventure. Given her abusive upbringing she did the best she could; however I still came out with a lot of scars.

For a long time, I’ve turned that emotionally vulnerable part of myself off as a protective mechanism. It’s easier to not feel… for now at least. As a result, like a bad comb over, I have acted as though everything is fine. I’ve been going through life forcing myself to be everything I thought would look normal and happy. I envisioned cheerfully waking up at five with rollers in my hair, quietly enjoying a cup of coffee, reading my bible, waking up my beautiful angelic children and husband and welcoming them to a table full of breakfast. My house would always be clean, I would never yell at my kids, my husband would always be happy and LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT. All because I said so. That’s where perfectionism creeps in. I’m not talking about the normal kind that takes pretty notes and makes pretty things. I’m talking about the maladaptive kind that makes you hate yourself when you fall short. I spend most of my days disappointed with myself, forgetting that I am trying to create an environment for my family that I didn’t experience as a kid. Forgetting that I had seven mattresses in my room and VCR parts everywhere making it difficult to clean. Forgetting that while all the crazy stuff was going on around me, I was just THERE. No chores. No sitting down at dinner tables. No waking up to breakfast. JUST. THERE. Yet I sit here and expect to do all these wonderful things over night. I expect to do things parents have been teaching their kids to do for years; since childhood. Those expectations I’ve set for myself are tearing me apart and most people have no idea.

I can walk into church with my hair done and my little row of ducklings in tow and I can perfectly tell you “I’m fine, thank you for asking”. I can make sure that the downstairs part of the house is immaculate when you come to visit. And when I’m struggling, I can perfectly and nonchalantly tell you “life is tough” with a smile on my face. Meanwhile, I have four laundry baskets upstairs that the kids keep knocking over that I haven’t put away in weeks, dirty dishes shoved in the dishwasher I have yet to scrub off, my garage is filled with a bunch of crap shoved away before guests come. And when I’m home I cry all the time. I’m like a perfect sunny side up egg that has a rancid yoke. By appearance everything is just peachy, but inside is something rotten.

I write this to encourage you and myself. God has a purpose for us and our families even if we can’t see it now. Our children will see our imperfections while also seeing how hard we work to be different. We are doing this whole normal family thing for the first freaking time and we need to lighten up, acknowledging that we are learning as we teach too. Whatever family we see that we want to exemplify has their own imperfections behind closed doors and has probably taken generations to get as put together as they are. I am in the trenches with you, friend. We are so messed up and that’s okay, there’s a beautiful vulnerability and understanding you have because of it. We can only improve from where we are. Stay hopeful.

This Marvelous Mess: Ze First Post

SO! I’M FINALLY DOING IT. I’m sharing my life on the internet. It’s easy to post funny meme’s about a messy house, but it’s super hard to post a picture of your laundry room that used to have a visible floor. You may not even have a laundry room. You might eat takeout every evening because you struggle with depression and can’t seem to get yourself out of bed to cook dinner. You might be on food stamps and can’t afford super fancy, gluten-free organic meals plans served with chickens who learned their freaking alphabet before they were slaughtered. Sometimes, LIFE HAPPENS.

One of my biggest fears lies in showing my “real self” and leaving others to take it or leave it, with all the opinions and judgments that come with it. What do I mean by “real self”? When someone asks me how I am, it’s easy to say “I’m having a rough week, pray for me!” What’s hard to say is “I’m having a rough week because I feel like I yelled at my kids too much and I got into a huge fight with my husband over something stupid.” THAT is what I mean by real.

Before I share some of my mess with you, let me give you a visual: I’m big and uncomfortable because I’m pregnant and I’ve been having contractions for pretty much a week straight. My youngest is currently making a mess with a plate that I left out last night that had some frosting on it. And I’m totally babysitting my two eldest with a few episodes of “Hey Arnold”, just so I can write this post. Oh and throw in the very timely body flop to the tummy while I’m having a contractions courtesy of my youngest, she’s trying to hug me with her now frosting covered body.

A little bit about myself, I’m a young mom of three kids under five and we are expecting number four any day now. I’ve been married for six years to a man who is as equally strange as I am, possibly worse. Together we make a crazy bunch of folks just trying to find out what normal is for us. My life growing up was not your typical middle class American dream where everyone has the same last name and owning a home was in your future. I come from a single parent home. We were on welfare. We’ve moved more times than I can count and sometimes we lived in hotels for long periods of time. My mother has been clean and sober for 16 years from drugs and alcohol, she did the best she could with what she had. I was in foster care for a little bit. Eventually my mom got clean and then things started to change, we moved less and she got a job that she still works at to this day. I share this with you because as I raise my own children, my normal growing up is nowhere near their normal. They have a stay at home mom for crying out loud! I share this because everyone comes from a different climb and place. My place just so happens to be pretty much from ground zero.  That’s my mess.

What you read here will be from that perspective. What is meal planning and how do you start? What are essential oils and how the hell do those work? What does it even mean to be “real”? How can I eat healthy (sometimes healthy-ish) and not become broke? Each and every individual has a struggle, but that struggle will mold and shape you into something stronger. That’s why my starting point which may be messy, is wonderfully MARVELOUS. Now, let’s do life … shall we?