In Friendship link up loss monthly learning support Things I Learned

November Learning

Happy End of November! Hope your month has been exciting, maybe full of family, and has left you prepped for Christmastime! Here's what I learned this month:

1.) Sharing my loss was the smartest move I could have made.
Losing a baby left me depressed. I'm still dealing with it, but having support has made it much easier. The week after surgery, members of our church volunteered to bring us meals, and it was helpful on more levels than can be understood. I still receive texts asking how I am and hugs for no other reason than to remind me that I am loved and valued.

2.) Christmas decorations still have their mood enhancing power.
I decorated early this year, and as usual went slightly overboard. Jace and I put Christmas lights in nearly every room in the house, wrapped all the pictures on the wall to look like presents, and set up snowmen everywhere. I find it very hard to be sad or stay sad when Christmas lights in the window greet me as soon as I pull into the driveway.

3.) Jace loves responsibility (in small doses).
As he gets bigger I like to give him little jobs, and I love to watch his face when he's able to do something. I was cooking dinner one evening and he wanted my attention, so I decided to have him help me. We were making homemade pizza, so I had him sprinkle on the cheese and add on pepperoni. Was it visually the prettiest pizza? Not at all, but Jace loved being able to help. I'm still figuring out what jobs I can give him at his age, but he is quite an eager learner.

4.) Sometimes my crazy list making is really a good thing.
We're on vacation right now, which meant packing. And not even normal packing, for Nathan and I we had to be prepared for the winter in Ohio, and summer weather for the cruise! So I responded with a giant list literally planning out each outfit for every day, and managed to fit everything into the appropriate suitcase, and then into the car with space to spare. It was quite a wonderful feeling.

What did you learn in November?

This post is linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky!

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Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Social media fads and games often tend to annoy me.

For example, let's all fill out the map and share it so everyone knows how many states I've been to! For two days every times I logged into Facebook all I saw was map after map. While it wasn't the worst thing, it was still annoying by the second day.

However, there's one trend that doesn't usually bother me. In fact, I almost look forward to it, but this year the trend went away.

Normally, all through November, you see a daily status proclaiming what the user is thankful for leading up the Thanksgiving. It makes November feel very appreciative. But this year not one of my friends did, which seemed strange to me. 

Of course I didn't either, but I really would like to proclaim that I am thankful. 

2014 hasn't been my easiest year, but as I sit right now I cannot help but be overwhelmed by all that I have. I have a steady job that affords sick time, vacation time, and a set schedule, which makes it a lot easier to raise a charming, inventive, handsome boy that is in wonderful health alongside a faithful, doting man.

No matter what else has happened, this year I have always had a warm bed to crawl into with a sturdy roof over it. I never had to miss a meal because we couldn't afford it, and Nathan and I both had jobs to go to.

I am thankful that I live in a country where having enough food is not unheard of, and that this year, for the first time, my entire family has medical coverage so that I was able to seek medical attention when I needed it.

I am humbled by the friendships and relationships that have challenged me, spoiled me, and cared for me this year. Words are inadequate to convey the warm and fuzzy feelings.

And above all, I am grateful just for life. To be able to learn lessons, even those that are painful, means that I am alive and when I get hurt it means I was afforded the ability to take a risk and to want something. I live a life of hope, so how could I not be appreciative?

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In life

Making it Normal

Every woman's story of miscarriage is unique. There's no "right" way to feel, "right" way to react or "right" way to move forward.

Where I'm at right now, I have accepted what has happened.
I lost a baby. It happens to one in four pregnancies. It doesn't mean it will happen again.

My body is going back to normal, I cry and tear up less frequently, and though I sometimes still don't recognize the emotional creature in the mirror, I am trying to regain a sense of normal.

Here's where it gets hard. For me to continue to move forward, I need what has happened to become a part of my life, and to do that I need to be able to speak it freely. I need to be able to use phrases like "I was pregnant."
"I miscarried."

But society isn't set up for that. Society has set up such a cloaked, hushed community surrounding miscarriage that when I say something about it, no one knows how to react and instead they uncomfortably look away from me.

It's not their fault, I would probably do the same thing in that situation, but I would love to see it change.

Last night Jace and I were walking through Goodwill when an older woman stopped and was just taken with Jace. She cooed over how adorable he is, remarked on how happy he looked, and told me that he had just the cutest smile she'd ever seen.
She then studied my face for a moment and asked if I had a daughter.

The word caught in my throat for a minute before I could say, "No."

What I wanted to be able to say was that I don't know, that the baby I lost could be my daughter. But that's not how society works. We can't say that we lost a baby too small to know the gender.

The encounter ended there, she waved bye to the toddler that was playing shy and half hiding behind me and Jace and I headed to the register.

It just seems to me that if we were to create a society that would allow us to own that part of our life, say what happened as if we were sharing other sad news, it would be easier for mom's who miscarry to move forward.

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In loss miscarriage pregnancy


There's a rule when you become pregnant that a lot of women follow.

"Don't share your pregnancy publicly until you're 12 weeks along."

The idea is that by that point the highest risk of miscarriage is over, because if you miscarry before that, it should be kept secret. Mourn and grieve privately.

I was never going to follow that rule, I was only going to wait until my almost 7 week ultrasound to see the beating heart before I told the whole world that Jace would be a big brother. I was ecstatic, thrilled, and couldn't wait for June to meet this little baby.

When I went in for the ultrasound I had already told a small group, including my coworkers because I was sure I'd start feeling morning sickness soon just as I had with Jace. But instead I found that they couldn't find a baby at all.

I don't exaggerate when I say that I believe this has been the worst week of my life. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed in a blur of bloodwork, tears, and scheduling surgery for Friday morning. There isn't a physical reason, no one is at fault, and no one can explain why I lost it.

I know other mom's that have miscarried, some recently, some a long time ago and each one does what they need to get through. Some tell a close group of people for support and otherwise keep it hidden. Some have moved so far past it that they can bring it up in casual conversation. I'm choosing to share it because I am mourning. I am mourning for so much more than the loss of a cluster of cells, I am mourning for baby Ava or Sawyer and what could have been. And I don't believe that I should have to grieve secretly for someone that I loved.

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