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Miscarriage

do you like you, self-image, beauty, self-esteem

When you’re all alone by yourself, do you like you? Do you?

I never thought of it before. You see, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve spent all of my life trying to look and be and sound and appear a certain way. Even when I say that I don’t care. I care. We all do. We are all just a little bit vain and as much as we wish it didn’t, other people’s opinions matter when it’s personal.

Do you like you?

If you see me on most days of the week, I have no make up on. None at all. I wear it when I go out at night or if I know I’m going to be photographed, but I’m not one of those women who won’t leave the house until she puts her “face on”. But I care. I take pride in my appearance because it’s sort of like having a clean house, no one wants to live in filth but sometimes we just don’t have time to fold all the laundry, scrub the floors and dust the light fixtures because other things take precedence like loving on little ones and impromptu dance parties and trips to the zoo on sunny days.

But sometimes we forget that because it seems like everyone else has their shit together. But really, none of us have all of our stuff together. If you look behind the curtain you’ll see that the woman who has an amazing career may have a marriage that is crumbling, the lady who looks like a model in her clothes has an eating disorder that she can’t quit,  the mom with all the patience in the world has a house that looks like it was hit by a tornado and the mom who you hear yelling through her open window at the dog is because she’s dealing with a 3-year-old newly diagnosed with pediatric leukemia. We just never know. So stop measuring yourself by someone else’s success; by someone else’s anything.

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away

You don’t have to bed until you break

You just have to get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

So they like you, do YOU like you?

When you’re all alone by yourself do you like you?

Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you

~Colbie Caillat

 

The point is this, don’t waste your life trying to fit someone else’s mold. You are unique and at your most beautiful and sexy when you are yourself. I speak from experience, I’ve spent a lot of years being unhappy with what I have, wanting more, better, different. I’ve envied others for their ease and grace, their beauty, success but I don’t know their story, it all could have been hard fought and not easy at all.

I learned the hard way, or maybe I should say I am completely blessed to finally have learned the lesson that I am my harshest critic. Those who love me, the Big Guy, my family, my daughters, my amazing friends, they see me.They see the real me and they think I am beautiful, even when I feel ugly and that has to count for something. They see my soul. They see my heart. They see my strength. The same way that I see theirs. In fact, I am regularly astonished by how beautiful the people around me are. They are giving, caring, loving and understanding and it’s taken me half a lifetime to realize this. So, who are we trying to be perfect for if those whose opinion holds any weight already think we are perfect? Just be you and be happy. Do what makes YOU happy.

I just want to remind you that you are the most beautiful you there is. You don’t know how beautiful you are. But I see you.

The bigger question that we all must ask ourselves is this…

when you’re all alone by yourself, do you like you?

 

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miscarriage, loss, grief, May 1st

Is there a right or wrong way to experience loss? Is there a time limit on grief? I don’t think so.

May 1st is my annual day of mourning. I don’t know if this is normal or not but it’s what is normal for me. My miscarriage changed me forever. It’s how I get through this. It’s the one day of the year that I am completely still and I allow myself to feel all the feelings because quite honestly, this week just knowing that the anniversary of such a terrible event in my life was approaching had me walking around feeling like an exposed nerve. I changed forever on that day and I‘ll never be the same. No matter how hard I try or pretend to be.

I have cried at song lyrics and at the sound of the giggles of my daughters, knowing that one is missing. There is a hole in my heart that will never be repaired; not for my entire life. When my littlest daughter cuddles into me at bedtime and asks me for baby brother or sister, I hold my breath, push down the lump and pray I can hold back the tears long enough for her to fall asleep. Most days it’s a tiny little ache that I hardly even notice anymore but other days, it’s a sharp shooting pain that steals my breath away and others that confine me to my bed and the space in my head where I am allowed to dwell in my heartbreak.

It’s just one day and it doesn’t seem enough but at the same time, how do you quantify loss?

When I had my miscarriage, I wanted to die. All I could do was cry.I wanted to sink into one of my deep, tear stained sleeps where I had sobbed myself into exhaustion and never wake up. I was given pain killers and sleeping pills to help. I can’t tell you how many times in that first month that I mixed them, hoping to “accidentally” not wake up. The only thing that kept my weary mind and body grounded in this world were my girls and the Big Guy. I’ve never told anyone that.

May 1st is the day that I had my D & E. Two years ago, I went in to my obstetrician’s office for a little spotting, just like I did in both pregnancies previous. Today was the day that my entire world crashed down around me. Then, it became real. My body failed me and my heart shattered into one million tiny scattered pieces. May 1st is the day that I lost my baby. I was 10 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I will mourn that day for the rest of my life.

I feel like people don’t understand; not my family or my friends and certainly not the general population. I feel like people are thinking that I should get over it. After all, “It” was just a pregnancy. It wasn’t like I had a child who lived and then he died. The thing that I feel people fail to understand is that “IT” was not an “it” at all. It was my child; it was a Bella or a Gabi. In my heart and in my mind, I loved that baby just as much as I love the two I get the privilege of kissing good night every blessed night.  I lost everything and I won’t ever get over that.

I don’t linger in my loss anymore these days. I live each day knowing that a piece of my heart is missing and it hurts when I think about it. I give myself this ONE day of the year. I don’t need permission or to explain it to anyone. I just need this one day to not buckle under the weight of my own heart, to not choke from the lump in my throat, to cry until there are no more tears left and to be mad as hell that where my baby should be, my arms are empty and will always be.

The pain of losing a pregnancy or a child is like no other pain. If you’ve never experienced it (and I pray that you don’t) just take that all-consuming, unimagined love that you felt for your baby the first time you held her and then multiply that by a million in the opposite direction. That is what I feel like on May 1st, like I am being hit by a Mack truck and the worst part is that I know its coming.

I know I’ll always take pause in remember the day that my world was shattered. Some years the anniversary will hurt less and some years it will hurt more. But every year, on May 1st, I am giving myself the day to feel all of my feelings , even if I feel absolutely nothing but flat exhaustion. Or maybe one of these days, I will be happy dressing my daughter for her wedding or witnessing the birth of my 1st grandchild  and I won’t be overcome with grief or even tinged with sadness. No matter what I feel, it’s okay but I have to do this for myself.

Part of me shut off that day. I pushed it down, way down so I could function but it’s there bubbling beneath the surface. There are feelings that are so overwhelming that I’m afraid to let them in and that is what today is for, to sit still, alone and feel whatever feelings come up.

Can we ever truly recover from loss?

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pregnancy, loss, miscarriage, how to know when you're done

We are on baby watch 2014. My brother-in-law and his wife are in the hospital, as I type, being induced with their first child. I am so thrilled for them to welcome their little girl into the world. It brings back all those nostalgic excited feelings of expecting our first and then our second and then abruptly ends with a little pain in my heart that fills the hole left by loss. The hole is getting smaller but some days it’s a little rawer than others; a little less compact and clean. Some days it’s messy like the days when my 6-year-old begs me for a little brother or sister and I find myself not completely opposed to the idea.

Gabi is back on her “I want another baby” kick.  She wants to be a big sister in a big way. I tried. I really did and then we lost the baby and it scared me off the entire thing. Only now, when I should be planning a first birthday, I am trying to explain to my Gabi that I just don’t think a third baby is in the cards. She’s begging me. She spent the entire 30 minutes that we were cuddling before she fell off to sleep last night bargaining with me to just try just one more time. “Just try one more time mommy and if it doesn’t work. I won’t ask again!” Only I get pregnant if you breathe on me too hard, the scary part is the staying pregnant part.

Part of me wants to say yes. We are supposed to be five and we are only four but part of me is overcome with logic and memory and says hell no, remember that pain? To win big you have to be willing to lose big and I am not sure that the risk is worth it; for my heart. But still, my Gabi, my sweet dear child, has been asking for a baby to love for 3 years.

I thought maybe my new niece could help fill that space in my Gabi’s heart but she wants what she wants and she won’t let it go. She doesn’t know that with every ask she reminds me of my failure. How could she? She only knows that she loves me and a baby brother or baby sister would be a piece of me that she could hold in her arms and care for the way that I care for her. She really is an amazing child. Her heart is bigger than I could have imagined and her brain, she is wiser than most adults I know. If I could only give her this one thing. If things were different. If I were younger. I’d do anything for her.

For a long time after we miscarried, I thought anyone who tried again must be mad. How the hell can your heart take it? Mine couldn’t. I swore to myself that my heart couldn’t take it but I think I was wrong. We said the only way we would try again is if Gabi asked, if she meant it. I think her little heart broke as much as mine on that day I miscarried. She was able to verbalize her pain, even better than I was. I tell you, that kid is amazing. I wish I could do this for her but I don’t think I can. Not because I am afraid of losing but because there are so many things that could go wrong; so many ways to fail. The stakes are too high.

I’ve only miscarried once and it was after already having given birth twice so for me, losing my pregnancy was not losing a fetus, it was losing my child. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, the pregnancy was a Bella or a Gabi, not some far off could be someday, he/she was here and he/she was loved and when I lost him/her, it left a howling, primal pain in my heart that scared me. It scared me because I preferred to die than to live with that pain.

I am more cautious now because I know what it feels like to lose a child. I am overprotective and I worry a lot. Every potential threat is treated like the enemy because I don’t know who I am without these children. They complete me. I am broken. I will never be completely whole for the rest of my entire life. I will know that part of me is missing. Still, my head tells me that another child is not a possibility but my heart, my heart wishes it could grant my daughter her one wish.

After the miscarriage, I had convinced myself that I was done but there has always still been that little part of me that holds tightly to what if. I know many women just know they are done. I think it is something quite different to feel that you have no choice. It’s the difference between choosing to walk away and being turned away. One is a choice the other is a rejection; a failure; an unanswered question. How do you reconcile a decision under these circumstances? Is it wrong that I am looking forward to the day when I actually don’t have to think about the answer to the question of whether I am done having babies or not and just know that I am?

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

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los, grief, national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day

It’s been a crazy emotionally draining few weeks. The kind  that makes you take stock in who you are, where you are and what your life has become. Weeks that makes you stop and catch your breath and reassess what is important to you.

On Tuesday evening in casual conversation, I asked a my daughter’s ballet teacher when she was due. She said Thanksgiving and just like that, I was punched in the gut. Thanksgiving last year was my due date, this year I should have a one-year-old sitting on my lap. I don’t. It’s not fucking fair! I just want to collapse into a pool of snot and tears and cry until I can’t cry anymore.

It all started last week when the Big Guy and I were having a conversation about the big things in life, already happening. He feels like all the big things have already happened for us. He specifically mentioned our children and though he never said it, I felt that it was unspoken that maybe our loss was on his mind, even if he didn’t realize it. This made me sad because, I already blame myself and on some days the loss is too much to bear.

Then I had to take Bella to the hospital for passing out cold in my arms and for those split seconds I thought she was dead. I really did and my whole world exploded like a nuclear bomb went off and wiped me off the face of the earth. As I sat there in the emergency room waiting to hear the results, my mind went back to that moment on May 1st, 2012 when I sat on a stretcher waiting for them to wheel me back for my D & E. I remember seeing a mother holding her 18-month-old daughter on her lap as they awaited surgery for the child and I said to the Big Guy then, “At least I am not here with my sick child!”

I was thankful not to be sitting there with a sick Bella or Gabi waiting for them to be wheeled back to get surgery when in fact I was sitting there with my baby in my belly with no heartbeat. I had completely separated myself from the situation and that is how I’ve survived the loss. The Big Guy looked at me like I was crazy. I probably was but when I sat there with Bella on that Thursday morning, I felt more helpless and useless than I’ve ever felt before.

The baby that we lost has been on my mind a lot lately; practically daily. Maybe its because its fall and I know that the due date is right around the corner. Maybe it has something to do with seeing beautiful pregnant women everywhere I go. Maybe it has been triggered by the losses of my friends in the past few weeks. Or maybe I have still not yet let it go.

When I first lost our baby, I was terrified of ever feeling that pain again. I still am but every once in awhile I see a glimpse of what if? I allow myself to wonder. But I’m older now  and so are the girls and it feels like the gap is unsurmountable. That part of our life has been forcefully surrendered and I know I could not survive another loss. That I know for sure. It put me in a very dark place that I never want to revisit. But still it hurts, I don’t know if it will ever stop hurting; the loss of our unexpected blessing.

When will I stop marking time by events of loss? I feel like I am coping well and not dwelling on the sadness and then just as suddenly, my heart is in my throat and BOOM! emotional time bomb.

Maybe we should have tried for another baby. Maybe it would have helped take up some of the room in this hole in my heart and then I realize, no, you can’t fill that void. I just have to learn to live in my loss and not being able to give my daughter a little brother or sister. When will I stop feeling like I need to be still and hide on these annual occasions of conception, miscarriage and due date?

It’s all I have. I never got to hold my baby in my arms. I cling to these tiny milestones like they are my last breaths. When will I be able to exhale?

Our babies who have gone on to heaven may not be here in our arms but they are always in our hearts. During National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, please remember what we can never forget.

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September 11th, 9/11, New York, September 11th Memorial, #NeverForget

September 11th ~ Vulnerable. Like an open wound, that is how I would describe how I felt when I woke up this morning. There are instances in life that are so shocking, so painful and profound that you are stunned that they are actually even taking place. These are the events that your brain may willfully try to forget but you cannot because those same events are imprinted on your heart forever. We all have these moments. September 11, 2001 is one of those days. It is a day I will never forget.

I don’t want to write too much about September 11th this morning because I’ve written about it before. I just want to share with you this morning. This morning, I woke up and immediately remembered what day it was. Then I remembered what I was doing that beautiful day in September 12 years ago.

My husband was in Pennsylvania traveling for work and I was walking into my office at the small publishing house where I edited in North Carolina. I was 28 years old at 8:46 when I walked into work just in time to see the first plane hit the tower. I was stunned. All the air was sucked out of me. We sat in silence and then my first reaction was to call my husband. I desperately needed to hear his voice. I couldn’t reach him. The phones were down. I never felt so alone in my entire life. A nation full of people sharing a single event and I felt completely alone in my grief, my pain and my fear. I know that I wasn’t but pain is personal.

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Today, 12 years later, I have everything. I have the Big Guy and we have been blessed with our two daughters. We have our health and are surrounded by love. Life has moved on in many ways for many people. We all fly again and we are learning to trust again. Our hearts are still heavy and cracked but no longer busted wide open. Only, maybe they are.  12 years later, I woke up on another gorgeous day in September and all it took was to hear sirens blaring past my neighborhood to send me into a full panic. My heart demanded that I not send the kids to school and I listened.

You see, though my brain has learned to deal with the pain of September 11th, my heart is still fundamentally broken and it is still haunted by the grief that was there not so long ago. My heart would not allow my girls to leave my arms today. It felt like the right thing to do if not the logical one. I feel like we need to spend the day remembering those who were taken from us on that day, mourning their deaths, celebrating their lives and marking that moment in time. I think we need to stop and feel the full weight of our loss. This is how I process.

I explained to my girls why I was keeping them home and what today was. They are 6 and 8. They’ve learned about September 11th in school but it’s not real to them; not the way it is real to all of us who witnessed that awful, horrible, heartbreaking day. They weren’t there that day when the entire world stood still and held its breath as terrorists put a gun to our united head. It was time. I showed them the video footage of the planes hitting the towers. We had a discussion. They now understand. There is reverence in our home today. We are happy to be alive. Blessed to be together and just a little nicer to one another.

You will not see me on social media today because I can not read the stories. My heart is too heavy with sadness from the stories of the past 12 years, instead  I will be holding my children in my arms and thanking God that I am able to do so. Hug your children. Tell the people you love that they matter. Commit a random act of kindness.

Today, I kept my children home with me because I can. Some mothers were left childless on September 11th  2001 and for them, today I am silent. For them, I pray. For all the souls taken too soon, I will live completely, love fully and never take a single day for granted to honor their memory. I will never forget.

september 11th, 9/11, New york,

Please share your stories in the comments.

What were you doing on that morning of September 11th?

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baby shoes, never worn, loss, grief, miscarriage

Anyone who has ever read this blog before knows that I don’t write flash fiction. In fact, I write the complete opposite of “flash fiction” I write drawn out nonfiction. I’m a story teller who tells you my stories in their entirety, even a moment can last 350 words.But when I saw the Hemingway piece, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn” again with new eyes, new experiences, they were no longer 6 words. They were like a brick thrown at my heart and the weight of those words brought me to my knees.

I’ve read these words before but I never really knew what they meant, not truly. I never knew the hole in your heart that could be left by losing someone you never got to meet; never got to hold, kiss and cuddle. Never got to hear them call out to you, “Mommy” or wrap their tiny arms around your neck. But, I think you miss them even more because you are missing the promise of something that never came to fruition. You have to cling for dear life to that one single memory, the loss.

Thankfully, I haven’t lost a lot of people who were close to me. I lost my grandparents that I never really knew and I’ve lost two uncles who I was very close to and that hurt. It hurt bad. I felt those losses and I still miss their presence in my life. I wish my daughters could have ran to them when they came to visit and known the giving hearts and comforting smiles of these men. I’d like to say it taught me to appreciate those who are alive even more. It did, for a little while, and then as some sort of a survival mechanism, I had to put that loss on a shelf, so I could continue on. I think that is how we are made; this is how we survive the pain of loss.

Not until I lost a pregnancy, my third child, did I feel the true weight of loss. It nearly killed me. There is nothing like it. The only thing that I can imagine that would come close would be losing a spouse or a parent. I know that sometime in my life I will lose my parents and that scares me. It terrifies me but not for the reasons you might suspect. Not because I won’t know how to live in the world without them but because I didn’t have enough time to know them; to really know them. The hole left by words unspoken and memories not made is an unfillable one. I know that now.

I don’t know why these words have been haunting me over the past couple days. I think it was triggered by watching my friend go through the painful loss of her dear mother and watching another friend give birth and struggle with complications and a very sick baby after losing her twin pregnancy last year. My heart is breaking for these two women. I have all of these feelings swirling around in my mind, in my heart and I I can feel my own scabs being ripped off. I can imagine how their hearts are aching with these fresh wounds. I wish I could do more than pray for these women but they need their space to process; to contain the hole that feels like it will swallow you up. It’s survival.

The pain of losing someone you have so much love for leaves a giant hole in your soul and with them they take a part of you. You don’t feel whole. You feel fractured and broken and it hurts it ways that you didn’t even know it could. It’s an indescribable, all-consuming pain.

Please pray for these two women, Alexandra Rosas and Diana Stone, that their hearts might know peace and comfort again someday soon.

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

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cory monteith, lea michelle, trayvon martin, Glee, tragedy

COry Monteith. Glee, Trayvon MArtin,Lea Michelle, tragedyYesterday, Cory Monteith was unexpectedly found dead in a hotel in Vancouver at age 31. Last night, I went to bed appalled that George Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing Trayvon Martin. How can he get away with no sort of punishment for taking a human life? This morning my heart is breaking for all the parents involved especially the Monteiths and the Martins. What the hell is this world coming to? As a parent, all of this freaks me out.

Vancouver police confirmed Saturday night that the body of Glee star Cory Monteith was found at the Pacific Rim Hotel. Mr. Monteith checked in on July 6 and was supposed to check out yesterday, hotel workers checked the room when he never came down to check out. The hotel called the ambulance and paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. He was alone and surveillance footage shows that he was alone from the time he arrived in that night.

I am shocked. I am a long time follower of Glee. My daughters listen to their music and have seen some of the episodes. Finn Hudson, Cory Monteith’s character, has always been one of our favorite characters on the show. He was a heartthrob jock with a heart of gold and a voice like butter. He always had sad eyes and a dedicated love to his on screen romance and off screen love, Lea Michelle, whom I can only imagine is beside herself with grief. Poor woman, I cannot even imagine how distraught she must be.

Cory MOnteith, Lea MIchelle, Trayvon Martin, GLee, George ZImmerman

There has been no cause for death given but Mr. Monteith has been in and out of rehab a couple times and I don’t like to make assumptions but I’ve always felt he was a bit of a tortured soul. We will definitely miss his smile and sweet disposition on Glee. Sending prayers for his family and loved ones in this time of need. It is so tragic that someone so young with everything to live for can just as suddenly be taken away. In times like these, life doesn’t make sense.

When I went to bed last night, the last thing I heard on the news was that George Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing Trayvon Martin. The internet was in an uproar calling the entire legal system afoul and corrupt. The term racism was being thrown around like the air we breathe and everything suddenly became black and white.

Personally, no matter what the circumstances, one thing remains George Zimmerman killed some parents’ child. He took away the reason Trayvon Martin’s parents take breath into their body; he took away their reason for living, he killed their son. It is my belief that this part of the case is fundamentally true without dispute, in the very least, he should have been given involuntary manslaughter and some sort of sentence to give Trayvon Martin’s parents some sort of , be it small, satisfaction. As a mother, I could not carry on in the world knowing that someone who caused the death of my baby was still walking free as my child turned to dust in the ground.

If the last two days have taught me anything that is that life is not fair and bad things happen to good people. People die before all of their living is done, or in some cases, even begun. Do not start today with hatred in your heart, cast your eyes upward to the sky and pray; pray for the tortured soul of Cory Monteith that is gone much too soon from this world. Pray for his parents, his friends and the woman who loved him and has to go on living without him.

Pray for the parents of Trayvon Martin that they might have some kind of peace in their heart knowing their son will never feel the fear he felt on that last night he was on this earth. Pray that we all spend more time enjoying the people that we love because they can be gone forever in the blink of an eye. Today, be a little more tolerant of your children, forget for a moment that 1 million obligations you have and enjoy the moments with your family; don’t rush through them or get annoyed knowing that you have work to do. Today, hug your loved ones and know that life is fleeting so make every moment count. Be present.

corymonteith3

It’s Sunday and so I am just going to say it, God bless you all and please pray for the families of Cory Monteith and Trayvon Martin that they might get through this tragic and horrible time in their lives.

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paper lanterns, loss, miscarriage

loss, moving on, friends, life, letting goSitting there, immersed in the moment of a baseball game, the ordinary; the laughter of my girls, the deep, baritone voice of my father-in-law excitedly recounting the last play, my husband sitting quietly by my side and then I glanced upwards towards the sky. I don’t know why, I looked to the outfield and then it happened and everything changed.

 

There on the horizon, just beyond the energy of the ballpark, where people were cheering and happily enjoying a popular summer pastime, in the darkness beyond the cathedral; slowly and one by one, Chinese Paper lanterns lifted higher and higher into the July night sky. For a brief moment, my heart leapt into my throat. I was still and quiet. I did not move. Then I glanced at my husband and gestured in the direction of the soaring, fiery lanterns. He knew.

 

The sight of so many of those Chinese lanterns floating up to the heavens was glorious and magical, especially in such quantity. I am assuming they were being set free in celebration of some newly married couple’s wedding; their first act of creating their happily ever after. I couldn’t move or breathe. I was still.

 

Those airy, delicate Chinese Paper lanterns will always remind me of something bittersweet. That is why I found myself sitting there at the ballpark, surrounded by strangers and the smell of popcorn, unsuspectingly overcome with emotion.

 

Last year, when I miscarried our third child, it emotionally crippled me for most of the following twelve months. I mourned almost constantly. But one day last fall, after my heart had been completely shattered, I received a message on my phone from a friend I’d gotten to know online who had virtually held my hand and helped me through on of the hardest things I have this far had the misfortune of experiencing. I looked at my message and there was a photo of one single beautiful Chinese paper lantern, floating gracefully up into the sky as the sun set at that moment when day meets night. That one single Chinese paper lantern ascending into heaven meant the world to me. I get choked up just thinking about it.

 

You see, my friend, Jessica Watson, is an angel in my eyes. She made a gesture on my behalf and she helped me to heal. Though, I am not sure I could ever repay that act of kindness. I will always remember the evening, a mom who understood the weight of loss, did the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. She heard the unspoken words that I could not voice, she felt the pain that comes with losing someone before you truly get to know them, she saw the hole in my existence that this blow had left and without asking, she gave me the gift of gracefully letting go. She may never know what she did for me that evening but I will never forget her or her beautiful and kind heart.

 

And so as I sat there in the ballpark on Friday night, stunned and transported back to that overwhelming loss, I was reminded that our sweet baby is in heaven and that there are angels here among us. As I watched the paper lanterns ascend, my heart followed into the moonlit sky and then I smiled and heard the excited laughter of my daughters’ beside me, of life going on.

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cancer, cervical biopsy, when cancer's on the table, waiting for biopsy results, FemiLift, vaginal lift, pap smear, cervix, xanax, miscarriage

My cervix and I had my yearly this morning. I kinda hate it because I have an abnormally deep cervix and so they have to use the world’s largest speculum and push really hard and they call in interns to show them my really deep cervix so that they can marvel at how deep I am. I lie there twiddling my thumbs, while 17 strangers marvel at my vagina, praying that my landscaping job was up to par, as it is now on display. It’s awesome. Who wouldn’t be ecstatic to do that?

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angels, national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, miscarriage, parenting, friendship

angels, national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, miscarriage, parenting, friendship

Sometimes something unexpected happens, when you least expect it. Awhile back, my dear friend, Jessica Watson, asked me to join in on a pregnancy and infant loss memorial. I was happy to join in but when it came time to contribute my photo of me holding the last ultrasound of the baby that we lost, I just couldn’t do it. I’m still muddling through the muddy waters of loss and just when I think I may be getting to a point where I am less affected by our loss, I’m slapped  upside my head with the realization that it’s still actually a gaping wound on my heart. But this is not about that open wound, this is about the amazing women who have held my hand, cradled my heart and come to my rescue. There are angels among us.

I’ve known these women for quite some time. Mostly we know one another through our blogs and social media. We’ve never met in person. I’ve never had the honor of hugging them or thanking them for what they have done for me. They are beautiful, humble and genuine to the core. We are connected, some through our shared wound and some who just have hearts so big that they completely envelope you when you are in animalistic pain and they soothe your soul with their kindness and caring.

They don’t know me. Not really. I am practically a stranger by most standards but it didn’t matter. They are not restricted by time and space, they are angels. What have they done, you ask? They are the type of women who see past what you are saying and see what you are feeling. When I had my miscarriage, so many wonderful friends online and in real life, sent me condolences and cried for my loss. They shared their stories and they eased me gently back into the world of the living when all I wanted to do was curl up and disappear. You can’t imagine how badly I wanted to just disappear from existence. I just felt like part of me had died on that day.

But these women have never forgotten. They check on me periodically, ask how I am doing and genuinely care what my response is. Erin (@ErinMargolin) is my first angel. This lady has done so much on so many different occasions that I will never be able to repay her kindness to me. There have been cards to make me smile when I thought I never would again.We may have never met but make no mistake, she is my sister. She is truly one of the most amazing human beings that I have ever known. You all know I don’t gush, so you realize that she must really be someone special and I am sure if you know her, you know this already. She is just a really great person. I don’t know how else to explain it. She is the standard by which all people should hold themselves to.  @mommaKiss sent me a card, in the mail and to my house. I know it sounds like such a simple thing but for someone to take the time to choose a card, sign it and mail it is a big deal these days. It meant so much to me and it made me feel connected when I felt disjointed from the world. Jessica (@JessBWatson) this dear and beautiful soul, who deals daily with the pain of her own loss, made time in her life to check on my during mine and , more importantly, to check on me still. She knows the lingering pain of loss. Sunday night, she participated in a lantern launch in memorial for our babies in heaven and I had no idea that she was going to include me until I received a photo via tweet of the lantern this sweet woman launched in memory of our baby that we lost before we ever got to hold. This small gesture has renewed my faith in humanity. It meant  more to me than words can ever convey.

Believe me when I tell you that my online friends are real and there are angels among us.

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Watson/ Four Plus an Angel

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