10 May 2015

The Mothers We Are

So its Mother’s Day and most mothers are getting flowers, a spa day, and breakfast in bed. Usually when we are mothers ourselves, we get a dose of reality on this day and an even larger dose when our mothers have been called to glory.

There are so many types of mothers to be honored on a day like today. There are the birth mothers, adoptive mothers, aunts, grandmothers, Godmothers, and the list goes on. I’d like to recognize mothers like me. I am the mother that has longed for a child for quite a while. God blessed me once with the miracle of life and shortly there after, He had different plans for my husband and me. I won’t get into the story, but you can read it here.

This experience made me realize a lot of things about Mother’s Day as a holiday. I’d always had heartfelt feelings for those who’s mom had been called to glory, because they would be surrounded by everyone else celebrating their mom and I’d imagine that had to be quite the task to deal with.  What I didn’t realize is that Mother’s Day would also be a task for me. Year after year I would be reminded that I’d lost a baby and was not pregnant again. I hid behind being grateful for my mom and mourning my bestfriends mom. Not that these feelings for our moms wasn’t real, but it erased my feelings of failure, emptiness and expectation for a few moments.

For a few years, waking up on Mother’s Day was dreadful. I felt that I deserved to be called mom. After all, I had been pregnant. I also knew there was something not quite right with my pregnancy, and I loved for my child with out limit. That’s what mother’s do, right? In general, they have these experiences and feelings about their children. My mother has always known when there was something not quite right with me, she gave birth to me, and she truly loves me without a limit. I see other mother’s follow this same model, but somehow I was left out of the equation because my child was not physically present to anyone except for me.

Last year I decided to acknowledge that I was a mom. I realized that hiding my pain was no longer an option for me. I’d suppressed my feelings for far too long and I no longer desired the discomfort that I had on Mother’s Days following my loss. Despite the fear of judgment, I acknowledged that God had made me a mother and there are others like myself. We were mothers and no one knew it. Or counted us. We deserved to be counted.

I told my husband “I am a mother!” I saluted others and myself like me because we deserved it just as much as the mothers with physically present children. Our love is not any less deep than those mothers. We felt the same guilt that other mothers feel when things didn’t go as planned for our children. We still lost sleep at night concerning ourselves with our children. We missed our children when they’d left the nest. Yes. We are mothers.

Since then, God has blessed with and many others with children after a tragic loss. We still love our angel babies and will never forget the experience of loving and losing in this way.


If you know someone that has lost a baby at any point during gestation or after, please let her know she’s not invisible, that you see her and love her. Give her the Mother’s Day she’s dreamed of. After all, all she wants is to hear the words Happy Mother’s Day.


03 September 2014

The Ultimate Betrayal

A little over a year ago, I joined an online community of women that share similar experiences to mine with regard to fertility.  While under the care of a fertility specialist last year, I wrote this letter to my body. It was meant to be jovial, but meaningful to the other women within the community. They got it, and I hope you will too.
-Love and blessings to all in the "struggle".
Gen 30:22


Abbreviation Key: 
AF- Aunt Flo aka Period 
CM- Cervical Mucous
CP- Cervical Position
TPW- The Pregnant Wannabe
Gen 30:22

14 July 2014

Good Grief!

Two days after losing the baby, Keenan and I attended the Christening of our first Goddaughter. Somehow, I was able keep my mind on what I was asked to do that day. In fact, I don't remember shedding any tears that day. I do remember thinking, "I'm going to be ok. God is in control."

A few days later a friend of mine that I hadn't spoken to in a long time randomly called to say hi. She didn't know about the baby yet when I  asked her about one of her friends. She told me the friend had recently miscarried her first baby. My heart sank! She went on to say that she and that friend hadn't really spoken much in the months past because the friend thought she wasn't supportive enough during her time of need. My response to this was "Allow her to grieve the way she needs to. Losing a baby isn't easy and we are looking for answers and wish the world would stop to help us find them. Don't abandon her now, continue to check on her every so often even if she ignores you. She needs you. The truth is, I don't know if there will ever be enough support for a woman who looses a baby. Be there anyway. She's grieving. Forgive her."

That was as honest as I could be at the moment. I knew exactly how the friend felt. For me, hurt couldn't be verbalized and it ranged from 1-100 at any given moment. This kind of hurt is different, though. Its coupled with hormones. My body believed I was pregnant and my heart so desperately wanted to be. It was hard to push through day to day. Prayer got me through.

The year I graduated college one of my moms best friends passed away. It was then she said to me "Grief is so personal. No one will understand how you feel; two people can loose the same person and respond differently. It doesn't mean one is grieving more or less than the other." It wasn't until my Granny died that I was able to semi understand what she shared with me. My world was turned upside down in a way that had never happened before. The day she died I called Keenan and told him "My granny died and I'm going to need you". I didn't know how long or in what capacity, but I knew I needed him. I would go to bed praying to dream about her just to see and touch her again and for the first three years on the day she passed, I would ball up and wail as if I had just gotten the news. To this day, I still cry when I think about myself during that time. It was like an out of body experience. I didn't know who I was.

Eventually, the wailing turned into tears of gratitude and joy. Joy that I had know exactly what unconditional love is. There was someone in my life that I could never disappoint. NOW I know what being enough really means. My grief had turned good on me!

Same thing with our baby. I felt that I truly had someone that would depend on me, and what I gave them would be enough. I would never feel used and abused because giving her him/her would be giving to me. The grief was unreal. However, God sent people to me that needed to hear my testimony. Like my friend that called that day; she'd never lost a child, so she wan't able to comprehend what her friend was going through. Their friendship is was on the mend not long after we spoke that day. There's countless stories of women that have crossed my path that needed my testimony and I gave it to them. My grief turned good on me! Again!

I am still unappolgetically hurt by the loss of our baby and if I could change it, I would. What God has given me in return, is good for my heart. Knowing that I have spread His word through giving hope to others is good for me. I asked Him to use me and He is.




07 July 2014

5

I've been sitting with my laptop for a few hours now and still cannot decide how to start this. I guess I'll start with stating my purpose: As you read this, I want it to be known that what you read isn't just about me. In fact, I don't believe any of it is about me. I believe that God is using me to help others the way I've asked Him to for the better part of five years. In a short time, I've learned what its like to gain and loose only to gain from loss. Its the most powerful feeling I've ever had. I mean, how on earth can I loose the one thing I've ever wanted and still feel I've gained the world at the same time. I guess that's what motherhood does to you.

Yep, I said motherhood. What many people don't know is, I've been pregnant once and it was the best three weeks of my life. I can recall the day I found out as if it happened this morning.

That morning, on the ride to the train station, my husband was driving my crazy just because we were in the car together. LOL! I couldn't stand him and couldn't figure out why. It was 5:30 in the morning and I had a major attitude with him. Once I dropped him off, I missed him as if he'd been gone for three months. I went on to work and on my way home from lunch, I called my husband and without giving it much thought, I told him I was going to take a pregnancy test because "what God had for us is for us"; he agreed and we hung up. When I got home (I lived 10 mins from my job and had a 2 hr lunch), I decided to use one of the Dollar Tree test I had tucked away and left it on the counter to fix myself some lunch.

As I stood in front of the fridge I began to feel disgusted at the thought of having a sandwich because that meant I would have to eat bread so I opted for a salad. After I ate, I went back to the bathroom nearly forgetting about the test. When I glanced at it, there were two pink lines! I hyperventilated for what seemed like an hour...I called one of my best friends to ask her what she'd told me about dollar store tests; she'd told me that they can give false negatives but are always right when they're positive. I couldn't believe my eyes or my ears! She was the first person I'd said the words "I'm pregnant" to. Pacing around my bedroom, and asking her 100 more questions, I finally realized I needed to call my husband.

I'll never forget the feeling of telling him he was going to be a papa. The love in his voice will stay with me forever...Since my lunch break was so long, I opted to run a get a few more tests. They all read the same thing "pregnant". I'd told my sister the weekend before that I thought I was pregnant, so it came as little surprise to her when I called to confirm. My mom was over the moon and I hadn't told my dad yet. The next day, my mom and sister went to the doctor with me for a confirmation appointment. I was only about three weeks along and was set to go back at six weeks to hear a heart beat.

For the next two weeks, throwing up was a pleasure and I was happy to have crackers at my bedside for when I woke up in the wee hours of the night hungry. It didn't take me long to discover that if I didn't eat in a timely fashion, I would get sick. I remember one Sunday morning calling my mom just to say "I threw up! This baby is already running my life!" She was elated and so was I. Hunger was just as constant as fatigue and it boy was it ferocious, but I loved it. I'm pretty sure I drove my husband crazy with my demands in that short time, but he was beyond happy to meet all of them.

One afternoon during lunch I noticed some light spotting. I called my doctor's office and was assured by someone that the spotting was normal, but if it intensified or was coupled with cramps, to call back. The next day, it intensified, I called back and was told if it turned bright red to call back. I called my best friend who had a 5 month old and told her I didn't feel pregnant anymore and that I was bleeding. She told me that I will not always feel anything and reminded me she bleed during her first trimester. That conversation gave me some reassurance, although I was still quite sure things weren't going to end well.  By the next morning the spotting was bright red and when I called the doctors office, I was told to head to the ER if it turned more into a period flow. That night after work, my husband and I headed to the ER because I was not comfortable with what I'd been told especially since I hadn't spoken directly with my doctor. We left before I was seen because I was horrified with the smell and appearance of the waiting room. The next morning, when I got up to vomit, things were different and I knew it. The bleeding was much worse and I called my boss and told her I was headed to the ER again.

It was an early Friday morning around 5 or 6 am when my husband and I got into the car and headed to the ER (we decided on a different hospital). On the way there, I remember praying to God that His will be done and that I survive the outcome no matter what. I told Him that I trust Him to do what is best for me and my family. When we arrived, I was seen almost immediately. After my vitals were taken I was wheeled into a dark room for an internal ultrasound. I asked the technician if she could see anything, and she simply said "the doctor will go over my findings with you". I looked at the screen to see if I could determine where my baby was, but I didn't know what to look for. I lay there praying with all my might that my baby was ok and that Gods will be done.

Once I was wheeled back into my room, my husband asked if everything was ok, and I simply said "I hope so". It seemed like a good while before the ER doctor came to speak to us about the baby. He explained to us that my pregnancy was ectopic and that I would need to be administered a shot that would dissolve the cells of my baby. He would call my doctor and go over his findings, but was sure that she would agree. Not long after, my doctor arrived to confirm what the ER doctor said to be true and to have me roll over so that she could shoot me in the hip. Just like that, I was stripped of motherhood.

I've only wailed like that one other time in my life, the day my granny died. Only this was worse, because I knew one day she would be gone. I was certain of it, I just wasn't prepared when she did. I never in a million years expected to be pregnant for two weeks and five days before I would ultimately have to say goodbye to my baby. I was supposed to hear a heart beat that following Monday. I've never felt so robbed in my life! I felt robbed of my choice. It all happened so quickly and I grew to resent that doctor and hospital for a long time.

Over the course of the weekend, I got various calls and someone came by to take me to the mall. I truly felt that I would be ok; in fact, I knew I would because I'd prayed for it. The following week, I was advised to stay home from work and rest. During that time, I don't recall getting off my couch very much. I do remember telling my husband that I felt blessed that I was able to keep my fallopian tube and that I was happy that I listened to my body. I remember praying most of my days and asking God to help me move forward, telling Him that I know the He was my only way out of the abyss of hurt I was feeling.

After a while, I began to start my morning with some stretching, deep breaths and prayer. I would ask God to use me in a way that people would know Him through me. I believe he did and still is in many ways. I'm just a few weeks short of 5 years since I had to say goodbye, but I still love our baby. I suppose that feeling will never go away, unless I allow it to and right now, I don't want to. I'm not holding on to the past, I'm holding on to my present. My gift.

I was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager and told I would need help getting pregnant. I wasn't concerned then, but as time moved on and I got married. When my husband and I decided we were ready to be parents I went to a holistic doctor and she gave me some dietary instructions and an over the counter product to use to regulate my cycles and within three months we were expecting a baby. That was nearly five years ago. I've seen numerous doctors since and have researched PCOS backwards and forwards to no avail. All the while, crying and praying almost daily for peace.

I've found some peace as I had a revelation not long ago that all this time I've asked God to use me and He is. For me, it is heart warming to actually see God using you. At times its painful, but who am I to deny God's gift that I asked for? I know how He's made me. He didn't make me to be full of shame and doubt. He didn't make me strong either. He made me to be His. He's given me a task, and I'm up for it. I've always wanted to be helpful to people and in many ways, I feel trampled on trying to quench that desire. I know now that being helpful does not always mean I will see the results nor does it mean I will always be appreciated. I've become increasingly ok with that because I know what I am made of and with each day, I am becoming less and less concerned with being appreciated.  I KNOW in my heart He has chosen me to spread His word in this way.

With all of that said, I've decided to share the last five years of my life. I'm giving Him glory with my story!