As of late.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted. Life has been its usual self… crazy. I started school last week so since then have been juggling school, work and life outside of both. I was bumped down to part time at work yesterday which is, of course, a huge pay cut BUT I am grateful nonetheless. I’m determined to make it work- because in the scheme of things, money doesn’t matter. What matters for these next few months is:

  1. That I do my best in school (already scored a 95% on my first assignment)
  2. That I spend as much time as possible with Zack and Hudson
  3. That I practice my skills as much as possible so I can…
  4. PASS MY BOARDS!!! Then…
  5. Get a job as a CNA… preferably in L&D.

Goals, goals, goals. I’ve never been a huge goal setter. I’m sure it has something to do with my self esteem issues, never feeling good enough, etc. But times they are a changin’. Since starting school I have been a completely different student than I used to be. I actually STUDY (What!?), do my homework before the last minute, AND I’ve been taking full advantage of our open practice hours.

As a CNA student, I am learning 22 different skills among other things (LOTS of other things). Among those 22 skills, we will each be asked to perform 3 of them for our state boards in September. We won’t know which three skills we have until the day of. This means, obviously, we need to perfect each and every one so when the day comes, we knock it out of the park.

Lately I’ve had a full plate of emotions rollin’ around in myself. I am happy, excited, stressed, exhausted, nervous and optimistic. Being so busy makes me happy. It makes it difficult to dwell on sad or negative things. Knowing that boards are only a couple months away makes me excited, stressed AND nervous. I’ve never been so determined to do well. This career will have such a huge, positive impact on myself and my family. I’m optimistic in the hopes that I do well and succeed in my goals. And a few years down the road I will set more goals for myself to advance my career further. But for now, I am determined to do well in school and enjoy working as a CNA (God willing I pass) for a few years while soaking up time with my family and hopefully adding another mini into the mix.

Stay tuned…

Movin’ on

I got in!!

Right after the miscarriage I decided I would go back to school to become a CNA. I applied, went to the info session and waited a few weeks without hearing anything. Well, on Friday I received a call letting me know that I was accepted into the July class!!

I am so excited. After a month full of heartache and disappointments I finally got some good news that has me looking forward to the future. My plan is to start school in July, finish in September and secure a job as a CNA in a hospital (preferably in the L&D unit) and continue school online to become a RN.

Life is starting to look a little better. I still have my bad moments where I find myself mourning the loss more than others, but I know they’ll be around a lot, especially as I near the due date.

I’m aiming to get pregnant again once I’ve been at my new job for a few months and have insurance and all benefits.

Yesterday

Yesterday was three weeks. Three weeks of knowing our baby didn’t make it past its ten week mark in my womb. Three weeks of not knowing what my future would hold. Three weeks of planning for a better future. Of hoping our baby knows how much we cared about it during its short time in my tummy. Three weeks of seeing more pregnancy announcements and genuinely being happy for the soon to be parents.

The three weeks have been chock full of sadness, happiness, hopefulness and hopelessness. Full of planning, making changes, researching and praying. Tons of praying. Praying for strength. Praying for faith.

I’ve come such a long way from who I was when I first found out. I’ve been surprised at how strong I truly am. I haven’t been dwelling on the tragedy. I haven’t been petty or attention-seeking. I have focused my energy into positivity. I’ve focused on Hudson and giving him an amazing first Easter that he will remember. He was only 4 months old when Easter hit last year so we didn’t make a huge hoorah about it. This year I hand painted his basket and got him a bunch of goodies to fill it with. I can’t wait to watch him hunt for eggs!

You learn a lot when you face something you’ve never faced before. You learn to truly appreciate the things you have a lot more. It’s easy and common for people to say they’re thankful, but to actually feel thankful is a new feeling altogether. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found that “love” has taken on a new meaning. I can be down in the dumps and feel like crap but the second I see Hudson I’m immediately better. He makes me laugh daily and makes me smile every time I think of him. I constantly find myself looking at his picture just because I miss him.

I’ve used this tragedy as a way to look at my life and the bigger picture. As a way to turn my thoughts around and not settle. I’m not settling for a mediocre, dead-end job. I won’t do it. I’m going back to school, earning a degree/certification and getting a job that I love and that provides me with what I need.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that day three weeks ago. When I hug my sweet Hudson, though, it makes the pain a little lighter.

 

One year. 

Two weeks ago today we found out our baby had no heartbeat. Tonight, we sat down and planned out our course of action as far as when we want to start trying for another baby. I initially wanted to start right away, but I finally devised a plan that we both agreed on. 

Tomorrow I go in for my post op appointment and will ask for some birth control pills to start after my next cycle. After my appointment I’ll go to CTAE and turn in my application, and if it’s accepted (fingers crossed!) I’ll start school in July. It’s a ten week course so I will graduate with my credentials in September. Once I secure a job, I’ll wait the 90 days it takes to get benefits and then we will stop the birth control and start trying for our next baby. 

I’m impatient. I’m still sad. I still want two kids close together. But this tragedy has opened my eyes to the fact that things happen. Not everything goes as planned. Life happens. This plan for the next year may not go as we hope, or it may even go better than we could imagine. Regardless, it’s important to set yourself up for the life you want. I want us to be ready for the next baby financially and mentally. 

My story matters

Have you ever attended an event that completely changed your outlook on life? Read a book that made you really think about yourself? Heard a song that resonated with you? Last night I attended an event called Becoming Me which was hosted by one of my friends from college. It was for women and the purpose is to lift women up and they did this by having a few share their stories.

The first story was from Katie Gilligan who I’ve seen on Instagram, etc and only knew as a gorgeous woman who owns an adorable boutique. It was easy for me to assume from her Instagram posts that she is “perfect”. She always looks put together, even with two kids. Last night she shared her story and it was honestly so eye opening. It was raw, honest and messy. She shared things you wouldn’t expect to hear from someone who seems so “perfect”. We all know there is no such thing as a perfect person but it’s easy to compare yourself to others and wonder what they’re doing right that you’re not. Her story really touched me and inspired me to share my story.

I learned from the event and the speakers that even when you don’t feel important, you are. Your story matters. MY story matters. I’ve been abused. I’ve been raped. I’ve felt unloved and looked for it in the wrong places. I’ve done drugs and drank alcohol trying to numb the pain. I’ve had an eating disorder for over 12 years. I’ve hated myself, blamed myself and wished I were someone else. After my miscarriage I have changed. I’ve grown. I don’t want to be the person I’ve been, I want to be better. Sharing my story is the first step in my journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Tonight I came across the two positive pregnancy tests that I took a couple months ago. I immediately started crying, but then I started thinking of how I felt when I took these and saw the results. It was 2 days before Valentine’s Day and I’d wanted to be pregnant for months to no avail. I remember how excited I felt. How happy I was bc this was what I wanted! I remember that after I’d let it somewhat sink in, the stress started coming in with it. I didn’t have insurance that covered maternity. Could we afford another baby? What if something went wrong? Would Hudson feel less loved with a sibling? The thoughts flooded my mind and led to even worse thoughts such as, “will this baby even know me since I have to rush back to work after I have it?” I beat myself up for not being better prepared for something that I’d wanted for so long. 

The weeks went by and we got closer and closer to my first prenatal appointment. The excitement grew bigger and the stress evened out some, but still lingered. As my tummy grew to accommodate the baby, the anticipation of that first ultrasound grew with it. My morning sickness had calmed down and all I could think about was the baby. 

We’d talked about names. The girl name picked out, the boy name still up in the air. We were both so excited. We couldn’t wait to have another little one to share our love with. 

It’s been 12 days since we found out we lost our baby. 12 days of crying. 12 days of wondering why. Why us? 12 days full of mixed emotions. Full of family. Full of awkward silences when people just don’t know what to say. 

I’ve smiled and then wondered if that’s wrong of me. But I know it’s okay. I know I’ll never get over this. But I will get through it. Because I know that it happened for a reason. The timing wasn’t right. I didn’t have any goals for myself as far as a career goes. Now I do. In July I will go to school for 10 weeks to become a CNA. 

I want to be pregnant again. I’ve researched it and everyone says something different as far as how long to wait after a miscarriage. I’m definitely not in any rush, but I do want to try again. Nothing will ever replace our angel baby. And I know that my next pregnancy will be full of fear. Full of sadness. Full of doubt. But nonetheless it will be full of love. We loved our little baby. And we still do. We always will. But it’s important to know that I can’t do anything to change what happened. And dwelling on it will only make me more miserable. 

February 11th, 2017 I got a positive on a pregnancy test and my life changed forever. march 22nd, 2017 we were told our baby’s heart was no longer beating and our lives changed forever. 

Hudson

Now that I’ve rediscovered my blog, I’ve realized I’ve not written about Hud. I guess I was too busy experiencing motherhood and loving every second of it. Hudson Neal is the absolute best thing to ever happen to me. He has the most contagious smile/giggle and is so friendly toward everyone he meets. He is 16 months old with 6 tiny teeth and says more and more every day. He surprises me constantly with how smart he is. 

Becoming a mom has truly changed me. It’s led me to be more patient, caring and just really opened up my heart to its full potential of loving. It isn’t easy, by any means. There have been countless sleepless nights full of tears (his and mine) and prayers for strength and patience. There have been times I’ve wondered if I am doing the best I can and whether or not I deserve such a wonderful son. 

It’s easy to doubt yourself, especially as a mom. These days Instagram is full of gorgeous pictures of mothers who seem to have it all together with five kids in tow and it just baffles me. In my times of worry though, I sit back and think of my son. 

He is head over heels for his mommy. When I get home from work he runs as fast as he can to me. If I’m doing dishes, he comes up behind me and hugs my legs. He blows me kisses and smiles the sweetest smile while waving at me just because he wants to say hi. 

Hudson makes leaving home hard and coming home something I look forward to. I miss him when I’m gone and I’d rather spend every second of every day with him, than anywhere else. 

Through the toughness of this past week, Hudson has been my beacon in the darkness. He is so unaware of what’s happened, it’s refreshing to just be around such a happy, incredible baby. In my times of doubt and depression, I know the God has a plan for us and though I mourn my beloved angel baby, Hudson is proof that God has not forsaken me. 

Dear angel

It’s been 6 days since I found out about our baby not having a heart beat and 5 since my surgery. We spent the weekend at the beach with my family who made an effort to not talk about it and try to keep me happy and occupied.

It’s hard. Every second of the day I feel the emptiness. Nighttime is the hardest though. When I lay down with Zack and just cry and let him hold me until I stop weeping. When he looks at me and tells me he loves me I cry harder. I miss knowing that I’m growing a baby to share our love with. I miss last week, before I found out. When I could plan for the future, wonder what day I would be welcoming my second child into the world. I miss it.

I wanted to write my baby a letter to get what’s in my heart, in writing.

Dear angel,

I hope you’ve found Neene and Sherry and that they’re taking the best care of you and only telling you good stories of your mommy. I hope you know how much your mommy and daddy loved you already. I hope you know that your brother would’ve helped you have the best life and I know that the two of you giggling together would’ve been the absolute best sound.

I want you to know that no matter how much time goes by, we will never forget you. You are and will always be loved beyond measure. You grew in my womb for 10 weeks and I loved every second, no matter how sick I may have been. Learning that your sweet little heart was no longer beating was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to let sink in. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, I’d barely said hello.
I wanted to see all your firsts. I wanted to watch as you smiled for the first time and said your first word. I wanted to hold you, to kiss you, to cuddle and cry with you. I wanted to be your mommy. I wanted to love you in person, but since I’m unable to do so, loving your spirit will have to do.

This world is a cruel, mean place and it can surely be scary at times. But I’ve learned that if you surround yourself with people who love you and constantly lift you higher, you can get through anything. I will never get “over” being without you, but I know that I will get through the pain. I will love you ’til the day I die and get to meet you and I hope you will look over us down here.

Dear angel, we love you so much and we miss you more than anything. Everyone keeps saying time will make it easier but I know I’ll never go a day without thinking of you and what we could’ve had. I hope you opened your eyes to God and are resting peacefully. I hope it’s beautiful where you are and I want you to know that daddy and I will love you forever.

Love, mommy.

Gone

I am just so sad. Today I had my D&E and Dr. Delcharco removed my baby from me. I am in so much pain, I woke up from the anesthesia crying and asking for chapstick. I threw up at the surgery center when I got out of bed. Zack got me a sandwich, fruit and a cookie from McAlister’s on the way home. I felt ok when I got out of the car but once I started walking down the hall I passed out and woke up on the floor. I only remember having my hand on the wall to steady myself and then waking up to zack asking if I’m ok. He caught me when I fell. I got to bed and threw up again.

I was able to keep down my food and am watching Pitch Perfect and planning my tattoo for my unborn baby. I am just so sad. I can’t even begin to believe I’m not pregnant anymore and that all the things I’ve been planning… names, finding a double stroller, getting a maternity bathing suit for the keys… it’s all just gone now.

I know time will ease the pain and I know my next pregnancy should go perfectly fine. But I just can’t believe this has happened. I went to my appt so confident and excited and I left feeling like someone ripped my heart out of my chest. I’m so sad for my baby and I’m so sad for my husband. I’m so sad for me. I wanted that baby and loved it so much and I never got to even tell it. I just don’t understand why this had to happen to my sweet baby.

Bye baby

Nothing prepares you for death. Absolutely nothing. No matter how many people you’ve known that have passed away, it doesn’t make another life lost any easier.

Our baby has no heartbeat. Typing this is killing me. We went in for our first appt today and I’d managed to snag an ultrasound even though it isn’t customary at this point in a pregnancy at that Dr. We went in and the tech took some photos and left the room. The baby wasn’t moving nor did we get to hear a heartbeat. I knew in the pit of my stomach something was wrong- but I’d never have admitted it.

When they came in and told me that my baby had no heartbeat I just couldn’t stay composed. I can’t put into words how I felt and feel. Nothing anybody says can change this feeling. I know how common miscarriages are. I know it happened for a reason. I know I have one healthy child whom I should be thankful for. I know.

But I love this baby more than life itself. The second I saw the positive test I fell in love. I planned for its future. I pictured it with Hudson, I gave it a name and argued about the boy name with its father. A part of me is dead. Literally. I have a dead baby inside of me and I can’t fathom it.

This isn’t supposed to happen to us. We were supposed to see a little baby wiggling around in my tummy and laugh and cry with excitement knowing that in October we would be meeting it.  I cannot wrap my head around this tragedy. I had absolutely no signs pointing toward this.

I don’t know what to say to people who are worried about me. I don’t know what to say to my husband. I don’t know what to say to myself. I feel like I’m in a nightmare and I wish more than anything I could wake up and see my sweet baby moving around and hear it’s sweet heartbeat.