Big, curvy fun news

I’m going on an adventure! Okay, maybe not nearly as exciting or dangerous as Bilbo Baggins, which is what I’m now picturing, but still. It’s big. So I’ve got a spine, like everyone else. But mine is a jerk. It decided early on not to go the traditional route of straight. It decided to curve. And then, to keep things fun, it decided to curve again. It’s not as fun as it sounds. Here it is below, as of March, 2020.

Most recent x-ray


Maybe that’s not the best picture, or the best description. But I don’t know how to download the x-rays off the fancy cd the doctors office gave me, so this is what I’ve got. As for descriptions… Yeah I’m not much help there either. I can throw around big words like idiopathic scoliosis and osteoarthritis but I’m still not 100% sure what terms are correct for my actual condition. I do know that I have scoliosis. I know that I’m the only one in my family with it, and so far my kids look great so I don’t think it’s hereditary… I have double curves, and the doctor estimated about a 70% thoracic curve, and about a 50%….. um… bottom curve. Or maybe thoracic is the bottom. I don’t know, I also have ADHD and I don’t remember these things.

these hips don’t lie. straight. they don’t lie straight.

Quick backstory in case you’re new here. So my spine has been a bitch for my whole life. I started having pain when I was about 4 years old, and it’s done a hell of a job getting worse since. I was diagnosed at 12 by a chiropractor, who did his best to convince my mother to not EVER take me to a doctor because he swore he could fix me. (hint: a chiropractor cannot “fix” scoliosis, also maybe not ever seeing a doctor is a major reason I don’t know much about my own spine.)

Anyway, about that adventure. I have finally gotten to a point in life where I can actually do something about this. I saw a doctor years ago and although she was extremely empathetic and wanted to help, there was nothing she could do. She showed my x-rays to the surgeon in their office and he said there’s no way he would touch me. They recommended surgery immediately and begged me not to bother with anyone in my state. I needed a specialist. And honestly, I agreed. But life happens, another baby happened and I had to wait.

Well, I just had an appointment with a new orthopedist for a second opinion, and he agreed wholeheartedly. He said yes, I need surgery, and also had the same conviction of sending me out of state. Also said I needed not only a specialist, but like a special specialist, in the most special of places. He gave me some names of surgeons he recommended and wished me luck. I’ve looked those guys up, and my husband and I have agreed on who we want to contact. He’s the best of the best, and has fixed much worse cases than mine. So I’m about to schedule an appointment to see him.

Last weird crooked bone picture I swear

So I say all this because this is a huge life-changing thing for me, so obviously I will be blogging, Twittering and Tik Toking about it. I’m passionate about sharing my crazy, so I might as well share my healing too. I will be posting updates along the way, and I’ll probably even take some tearjerking videos when surgery time comes and I see myself for the first time as a cyborg. Or learning to walk again, but like, standing up straight. Looking in the mirror and not seeing a hunch in my back. Oh god I’m tearing up already. So I hope this will be as fascinating to everyone else as it is to me, and lastly, quick shout out to my husband, who is busting his ass to make this happen for me. Love you babe.

The horror that ended my breastfeeding journey

Okay, so this post is a little late for me, since I stopped breastfeeding my third, and last, baby over 6 months ago. But I’ve learned something new that I wish I had known then. And holy hell it is insane.

Breastfeeding can be the most wonderful, fulfilling act in motherhood. The bond with your baby, the way they look up at you with all the love in the world while they nurse. The way they squeeze your hand and smile with milk dripping down their chin. The way they decide then and there that they want to grow up to be acrobats in the circus and start practicing in your lap, still attached to your nipple. Wait… That last part isn’t wonderful or fulfilling.

There are some real downsides to breastfeeding. The judgements and scrutiny about every single decision, cover on or off, how long should you do it for. Everyone has their opinion and people love to make mothers feel like shit for not following what the masses feel is best. That’s only the beginning, and the type of thing we unfortunately see all the time. I found out first hand that it can get a lot harder than that.


Due to fear, I failed at breastfeeding my first. The doctor insisted that I NEEDED to supplement with formula and once I did, my baby was no longer interested in nursing. But with my second, I had done my research. I ignored my pediatricians formula pushing and went for it on my own, and I ended up nursing my baby girl until she self weaned at 16 months. And I loved it. Obviously there were baby acrobatics and the judgements for going past a year and all that garbage, but I was happy and proud. So once I had my third baby, I was sure it would go well. Why wouldn’t it? I’m no rookie mom anymore! I know what I’m doing and this is going to go great.

I started my breastfeeding journey again, and this time, life was determined to knock me down a notch and show me how hard things can really be. Things seemed fine at first. Baby latched on right away and seemed happy. But before we even left the hospital, I was already starting to worry about his feeding schedule. He seemed to try so hard that he would fall asleep. Then wake up a bit later, nurse himself to sleep, and on and on and on and nothing ever seemed to be enough. He had lost weight after birth, like babies always do, but he was taking way too long to gain it back. I supplemented with a bit of formula to make sure he would get enough to grow, and I figured that once he got a bit bigger, he would get better with nursing.

That wasn’t happening. Finally, the pediatrician took a closer look and noticed that he had a tongue tie. It wasn’t severe, but it was enough to make nursing difficult. They recommended I get it snipped. I was so hesitant because it seemed so scary and honestly formula isn’t a bad alternative anyway, but this was my last baby. I wanted that bonding, and I was determined to make it work. So we went and got his tongue tie snipped. It was so fast and he cried for maybe 2 minutes before nursing again and it was such a relief.


So at about a month old, he was finally nursing long enough and strong enough to get as much as he needed, and I slowly weaned off the formula. I baked lactation cookies and drank beer and tons of water and got my supply up and I was so proud. Again, I got a big head and figured we’d be fine now. I’d nurse until he was a year and a half! Maybe even longer, who knows! And things went really well for a while. They really did.

Until he got his first tooth. I don’t know if it was just teething, or if maybe my supply dropped and he was frustrated, but the booger started biting me. He was only 4 months old, and I just couldn’t give up so soon, so I tried to hang in there. But he got another tooth and the biting got worse. I pride myself in having a high tolerance for pain. After all, I birthed all three of my children naturally, without any drugs or help at all. I figured I could handle some biting.

But I couldn’t. My body started reacting in ways I couldn’t control and it was overwhelming and scary. Every time I needed to nurse, I would feel like I was punched in the gut. My stomach would drop and my heart would speed up and no matter what I tried to do to calm down, it just got worse. I would latch him on, cringing the whole time, and then yank my breast out of his mouth if I thought he might bite or if he was almost done. This continued for over a week, and my reactions got worse. I became nauseous, and I was basically having a panic attack every time he nursed. Sobbing and everything. I just got these intense waves of fear and depression and it scared the hell out of me.

I felt like I was going crazy.

After a very emotional outburst, my husband convinced me that it needed to stop. I was a wreck and only getting worse, and with my mental health, we need to avoid as much bad as we possibly can. So I made the decision to pump instead. I did that for as long as I could, supplementing formula when I couldn’t pump enough. And for a few months, I made it work. Every week I was getting less and less from pumping and I was supplementing more and more formula, until I decided it was time to put the pump away forever. And honestly, I felt so free.

What really got me, was that about a year later, I learned about something that sounded very similar to what happened to me. It’s called D-MER, or Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It seems to be tied to the sudden decrease of dopamine in the brain during letdown. Most commonly used words to describe it are: anxiety, sadness, dread, angst, irritability, etc, etc, just a wave of all negative emotions. Although anyone experiencing it would experience it a bit differently, it’s the same underneath. And it is devastating. I think my anxiety disorder made it a lot worse and made me fear the crushing wave that I knew was coming. At the time, I thought I was just majorly overreacting to being bitten, which is bad enough to experience! But I felt so weak and couldn’t understand how a little pain could make me feel so low.

The worst part of all this is how alone I felt. I had never heard of anything like this before. I even read a bunch of pregnancy and baby books cover to cover(years ago) and I do not remember ever hearing about this. And it kills me to imagine other women going through it, thinking they are going crazy, or thinking they are failing their baby, that they’re a bad mom, and none of it is true!

I hope my story can reach at least one person who needs to hear it. Because I wish someone had told me.


Halloween and special needs kids

I’ve heard so many grievances about kids and Halloween for years now and honestly I just don’t understand the big deal. If they’re a kid and they are trick or treating, just give them something yummy, a smile, and move on with your life. Same goes with teenagers because come on guys, they could be out making some terrible life choices, but instead they are holding onto their childhood a bit longer and participating in something innocent. Don’t complain.

But my major issue surrounding adults and Halloween is that everyone tends to forget about the special needs kids. Halloween can be hard for them. The scary decorations, the bright jack o’ lanterns, greetings from strangers and the excitement of all the other kids running around. Even just at home it can be stressful.



I remember a few years ago, my husband and I didn’t feel like our son was ready to go trick or treating and he agreed. We still bought candy, gave him some, and dutifully answered the door when kids came knocking. But it was too much. After a while our son was visibly agitated and started melting down every time someone knocked on the door. He was looking outside and seeing all the scary costumes and with each knock he was getting more and more overwhelmed. So I wrote a note, telling kids to take a piece of candy and have a Happy Halloween, and I left it outside with the bowl of goodies. No more knocks, no more anxiety. (Believe me I was having just as hard of a time as he was. Anxiety disorder + people knocking on your door nonstop = bad news.)

The next year, he still didn’t seem ready, so I was prepared. I printed out a cute little poem about how our little pumpkin was autistic and got scared of the loud noises of Halloween. I asked for no one to ring our doorbell, and for them to enjoy some candy, and again have a Happy Halloween. And this time, it was better. No one knocked. No one rang the bell, and when people say the sign, they quieted down a bit. And this time, my son looked out the window and watched the trick or treaters walking down the street with curiosity mixed in with the anxiety.


Last year, when he was 6 years old, was our first year trick or treating. We put out our bowl of candy and set off on our own adventure and honestly it went well. We got a few people asking what my son was dressed up as (he wasn’t because he didn’t feel comfortable in a costume), which he got upset about, but our daughter, 4 at the time, was quick to step in and distract people with her sweet charm and adorable Sheriff Callie costume. So all in all, it was a good night. My buddy was polite, and most of the time said thank you without being reminded. He ran to each door with excitement and didn’t complain about what he got. I was so damn proud.

But I know in a different area it could have gone different. I’ve heard stories of adults demanding to know why the child wasn’t wearing a costume, or getting angry when the kid wouldn’t say the right words, or wouldn’t talk at all. Kids literally being bullied by adults for not behaving the way they’d expect a “normal” kid to behave. And that is unacceptable.

These kids might not be comfortable saying trick or treat. They might not be in costume. Costumes are itchy and different and different is hard. They might not be able to look you in the eye. They might forget or be too scared or shy to say thank you. They may get upset that the candy you give them is something they don’t like. But guys… This is not their fault. It’s not about you in any way and it’s not personal. They’re just kids, trying to enjoy an innocent tradition, just like other kids their age.


So remember, the kid who won’t look you in the eye, or say trick or treat; the kid not in costume, or the one having a meltdown instead of going door to door, they’re all so special and they are trying so hard. And they deserve a good time just like everyone else. So give them an extra smile, don’t put any pressure, and if they aren’t in costume, don’t mention it. Just wish them a Happy Halloween. It might not seem like much to you, but I guarantee you, their parents will notice and it will mean the world to them.

Miscarriage and Marriage

It’s been 6 years. I still remember that time of my life very clearly and it still kicks me in the gut. But October is the month to talk about it. So I’m going to join the brave souls who are speaking up. I’m going to talk about my miscarriage.

I don’t remember the details of the beginning. Like the day I took the test. I faintly remember that the line was not strong, but it was a line, and I was thrilled. I estimated that I was probably around 6 weeks or so, so I made an appointment at a local clinic since we didn’t have insurance and they’d help with the first ultrasound. That two weeks could not come soon enough.


I had all the same symptoms as my first pregnancy, but much less subtle. I thought I was lucky and I’d have it easy this time. I was smug. But then the big one, the nausea, started to taper off. I was happy it did but it scared me. That was when I first started wondering. But still, I pressed on and counted down until I could see the little bean for myself.

The day came. My husband was running late so we met up at the clinic, me toting our one year old. They had me take a pregnancy test, just to make sure they wouldn’t be doing a free ultrasound for nothing I guess, and it was faint again, but still positive. So into the room I went. I stripped from the waist down and relaxed myself as the doctor inserted the wand, happily chatting and looking for what we were there for. Then she stopped talking. The smile on her face faded, and the hand that was reaching out to turn on the sound stopped and pulled back.

“I’m so sorry, but I’m not detecting a heartbeat.”

The next few minutes she gently told us that the fetus was only measuring at 6.5 weeks and she didn’t know how long it had been since…. She mentioned going to the hospital for a D&C if my body didn’t let it go naturally soon. I didn’t hear most of that. I was too busy trying to breathe and control my heart rate so I didn’t lose it in front of a stranger.

I barely made it out to the car, tears falling as I strapped my son into his carseat. Turning to my husband, I looked him in the eyes and lost it. Full on panic attack in the parking lot of a pregnancy clinic. My husband tried to calm me down for a few minutes, and then said he would meet me at home and he left. He just left. I sat in my car for I don’t know how long crying and thinking that it couldn’t be real, and how my husband just LEFT me there and….

I was a mess.

Turns out my body held on just long enough for me to get that ultrasound picture, and that night, the process started. I couldn’t deny it any longer. I was having a miscarriage. Me. This doesn’t just happen, right!? I must have done something wrong or not done something I should have done or… I didn’t know what to blame or what to think. In my grief, I got more and more angry, and in the end I found somewhere to direct my anger. My husband.

While I was spending every spare second thinking of what might have been, crying my eyes out and longing for answers, my husband just went on. He went to work the next day, the gym a little more often than normal, and went to bed early. He was avoiding me.

The more time went on, the more angry I got with him until I almost hated him. That was our baby, how could he be okay!? We grew further and further apart and neither of us seemed to have any desire to fix it. I don’t know what stage of grief I was at, but at some point I fell into a deep depression. The more I hated my husband for not caring, the more depressed I got, but every time I got a little lower, I started to feel a little less. I was starting to feel everything less. Less angry, less sad, less happy. It was all just fading away and I welcomed it. 

Then I finally got the perspective I needed. I overheard my husband on the phone with one of our church pastors, telling him that I was pregnant. I stopped where I was, out of sight, and listened. He told the pastor that we had lost the baby, voice breaking on the word baby, and then he started sobbing. It took him a few minutes to get himself together to finish the conversation and I spent that time in a whirlwind of emotions.

There was anger: How can he talk to the pastor about it but not ME? It happened to both of us! I’m the one who physically lost the baby!

There was confusion: I didn’t think he cared at all, why is he crying now?

There was relief: Maybe I’m not the only one mourning.


And finally, it hit me. He had been mourning the whole time. He was just as broken as I was. But despite the stereotypical manly vs womanly ways of showing grief, we had different childhoods and upbringings and his way of dealing with something that hard, something that could break him, was to turn it off. He needed to not think about it. He needed time to process it without pressure and without guilt. And I had not given him that at all. All I had done was make him the bad guy in a situation where there was no one to blame, and no winners. We both lost something huge, and I got angry because my husband didn’t grieve the same way I did. I felt like the worst person in the world. 

So I went in and just sat in his lap and hugged him. We cried together, and I don’t remember if we talked at all, but I felt a change then and I hope he did too. I wasn’t angry anymore. From then on, I took his cue and I didn’t talk about it to him. I knew he needed time, so I let him have it. 

And we did talk about it eventually. When he was ready, we talked about whether we thought the baby was a boy or a girl, and agreed we both thought it was a girl. (It was way too soon to tell, and we went with our gut, that’s all.) We gave her a name and I often visited the spot in the backyard where I buried her. 

Now, we can almost talk about her without tears. Now we imagine her waiting for us in Heaven, and we have imagined what she would look like today. I think she would have had curly light brown hair like I did as a little girl, blue eyes like her daddy, and the cute little button nose that our next daughter has. Her name is Kaelyn Anne and we will never forget her, even though our time with her was short. 

But the message I want to get across specifically is this. Going through a miscarriage is one of the worst things someone could ever experience. Don’t do what I did. Don’t shut out the person in it with you. And remember, people grieve differently. Respect that, both of you, and stick together. Your marriage deserves that. You deserve that. And you are not alone.

Self care for the chronically sick

In the past, I’ve always related self care to “selfish” things. Just doing things that you want to do but never have time for. Taking bubble baths, doing your nails, going out for a haircut or manicure. When I made self care a priority for the new year I was still thinking along these lines. And while I enjoyed the Epsom salt baths I treated myself to those two times, I’m starting to learn that there is way more to this than a half hour of sitting in hot water.

When you suffer through chronic illness, disability, mental illness, whatever, taking care of yourself is more needed than ever, but it is hard. I’m not going to pretend that any of this is easy, but the things we live with aren’t easy either. And taking the time for you might be hard at first, but it’s so worth it in the long run. You are worth the effort. So if you’re like me and can’t seem to look past manicures and bubble baths, don’t worry, I’ve got some ideas.


  1. Ask for help. Life can get overwhelming fast and no matter what it is holding you back, it’s tough to move past a bad spot when you don’t have the energy to do it. But over the years I’ve learned to ask when I need something. It helps me regroup to see something get done, and when I can check something off my mental to do list, my OCD chills out a bit. In turn my anxiety calms down just a bit and when all of that is chill, the depression doesn’t have as much fuel.

  2. Meal prep. I know. This doesn’t sound fun at all! But we all know that diet can play a huge part in how we feel. If you aren’t feeling well, you’ll be more likely to reach for food that doesn’t take long to make, or worse, something that’s prepackaged and not very good for you in the long run. Instead, try to get ahead of the game. Personally, I’ve found a diet that not only helps my PMDD, but it also combats my arthritis and helps me stay at a good weight so my back pain stays manageable. (Read about the keto diet and it’s role in mental health here.) It’s important for me to stick to this way of eating, so whenever I am having a good day, I plan ahead. Chop veggies to prep for the week or cook a huge dinner and put a bunch of leftovers in the freezer for a rainy day. Even if all you do is make a healthy dessert to lift your spirits when you’re down. On bad days, it’s nice to reach in the freezer for a good meal or a pick me up in the form of chocolate that won’t break your scale.
  3. Taking care of business. I know first hand how hard it is to make a phone call when anxiety levels are at an all time high. Or realize that your home is a mess when you are in too much pain to do much about it. Believe me, making a dreaded phone call on the wrong day has ended in panic attacks more than a few times. It’s not pretty. But the trick, which I’m admittedly still working on, is to take care of things when you can. When I’m having a good mental health day, I try to tackle one thing that I know will be too much to handle on a bad day. Likewise with pain. When I’m having a day where I feel good, I try to pick a job that I can’t handle when I’m hurting. This way, when the bad days strike, the stress may still be there, but at least that one thing isn’t lingering in the back of your mind. At least your living room is clean, so lounging on the couch doesn’t feel so horrible.
  4. Find yourself a hobby. Ok, this one sounds like the self care that I talked about in the beginning. But having something all to yourself, that can benefit you and your own mental health, can help in all areas of your life. I freely admit that I am terrible with this. This blog is a hobby, along with Twitter, but I’m on the hunt for something away from the computer.
  5. Keep up with your therapies. Whether you take meds, do yoga, pet all the dogs or go to actual therapy, make sure you keep at it. Go out with friends if it helps, volunteer, talk with strangers on the internet, hit the gym, do anything that helps you feel good.
  6. Reach out. Talking to someone who understands your struggles is so important and can really help. There are so many great places to look for support. I recommend browsing The Mighty for articles from real people with real conditions, writing about their personal experiences. Also, check out Facebook groups and search hash tags on Twitter to find likeminded new friends.
  7. Space out. Sometimes life can be too stressful all around and I totally get that. Diving into a good book or putting on a movie can help you get out of your head for a little while and calm your mind. You could do meditation, yoga, browse social media or get lost in a YouTube rabbit trail of videos. Even just going for a drive on some back roads with no destination or time constraints. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something positive that won’t bring your stress back to the forefront of your mind.


No matter what it is you’re going through, you need the self care. You deserve it. Now go on, get off my page and go do something. Or stay and hang out, whatever works. I’m here.

I’m back baby!

It’s been a long time but I can finally say, I’m back baby! And with a baby. I survived labor and delivery for the third time and life has been a whirlwind of chaos and cuddles and cute. It’s also been a lot of stress, highs and lows, but we’ll get there.

While I was gone one more miracle happened and my daughter was accepted into school! THANK YOU GOD. So now I’ve got a bit over 2 hours of baby and me time while both kids are in school and I’m attempting to make that baby nap/ mama do whatever the hell she wants time. And in turn make that into writing time.

In the next few months I’ll be easing my way back in here and sharing about how little man has been, about breastfeeding and stopping too soon, about finding a therapist and going on meds again… So much more but babe is waking up already. I hope to become more connected in the blog community throughout the rest of this year and I hope I can help someone by sharing a bit of my crazy. I’ve missed you all and it’s good to be back!


Signs your PMS might be something more

We all know what PMS is. It’s the butt of jokes and the bane of many women’s’ existence. But sometimes PMS isn’t really PMS at all.

It’s those typical symptoms that women can sometimes get before their period. We all know, the mood swings, the cravings, the bloating! For some women it can be on the mild side, with slight cramps and an indulgence or two in ice cream, or nothing at all(lucky!) For some, it’s on the other end and they may experience debilitating stomach pains, bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, bowel changes, a whole list of very not fun stuff. I think most women who do experience PMS probably fall in the middle. I know I did. I’d be moody for a few days, like any typical teenager, bloat a bit, crave some ice cream and my breasts would ache a bit. Despite the hope though, it never meant they were growing. Dang it. 

But as I got older, things changed. I’m not sure when it started but there were such severe symptoms that I kept thinking I was pregnant over and over again. After months of torture of am I or am I not, my husband and I agreed that there was something wrong. The poor guy looked braced for an explosion at all times and he could barely look me in the face anymore. I started looking into it and one day I found a video about PMDD(Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It listed off 11 major symptoms that can accompany PMDD, and if you’ve got 5 or more, you’ve got it. I checked off all 11 easily.

But… how? How could I be suffering from a disorder this debilitating when I didn’t even know it existed? I felt betrayed, like this was something that should have been mentioned in health class along with PMS. “Sorry girls, PMS is a thing, but it can be worse!” A heads up would have been nice. But when I started talking about it, I discovered that most of the people around me hadn’t ever heard of it either, and that’s including a few doctors.

Woman Suffering From Depression Sitting On Bed And Crying

So, how do you know when your PMS isn’t just PMS anymore? The best thing would be to start tracking your symptoms, and pay attention to these things:

  • Increase in appetite
  • Food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Mood swings
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty concentrating(brain fog)
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Random bouts of crying
  • Feeling out of control
  • Rage/Extreme Irritability
  • Feeling disconnected with your life
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Less interest in relationships/hobbies
  • Depression
  • Feeling numb
  • Suicidal thoughts/tendencies
  • Symptoms severe enough to interfere with life/work

If you need a good monthly tracker, I highly recommend the new one from ME vs PMDD. It’s free and created specifically for us who struggle with PMDD. You can also check out the C-PASS scoring system to check off whatever applies to you. I included a few more things here than are mentioned in the 5-DSM, but things that those suffering may also struggle with.

If you think that you may have PMDD, check out Gia Allemand Foundation to learn more and find resources for help. My recommendation would be to find a gynecological specialist who specializes in PMDD, a psychiatrist who specializes in women’s health, or a psychologist specializing in women’s health. Ask if the doctor is experienced in treating PMDD before booking an appointment. And be warned, they aren’t that easy to find.

Read about my bad experience with a “specialist” here.

But most importantly, if you think you might be struggling with this, know that you are not alone. What you’re feeling is real and valid and not your fault, and there is help out there. There are diets and herbs and medications that can help, even surgeries to try if you exhaust all other options. But better, there are some amazing women around to talk to. They can be found on Facebook and Twitter, ready and willing to answer any questions or commiserate with you. We may be suffering from something horrible but we are worth the effort and we will thrive.

Click here for more resources and to connect to women fighting this together.

A tiny announcement

I have been MIA for a while. Even my last post was something that was written and scheduled weeks ago and I had no hand in it the day it was published here. Life has been crazy. And this mama is definitely a hot mess. But I’ve got some crazy, exciting news! I am expecting one last little one and my family is about to get even crazier.

This means big changes, between what I can do here, and what I can handle at home. I’ll be writing more soon about what a pregnancy means for someone like me right now. But for now, thank you for everyone who reads, shares or follows. I appreciate you all and I’m excited to get to writing a bit more very soon.

What a miscarriage leaves behind

It was in between the two adorable little hooligans I have now that I had a pregnancy that did not go so great. It started and ended in such a whirlwind that I barely had time to grasp what had happened to me. One minute I was puking for no reason, then came that positive test and all of the emotion that goes with it. I was thrilled. I started off with the usual morning sickness, but then started losing it very quickly. I was getting less and less nauseous, and although it was great, it worried me. It felt wrong, but I held onto hope that things were okay.

Then my appointment finally came. I went with my husband, practically bouncing with excitement and chattering nonstop in an attempt to distract myself from my unease. But when it came time for the ultrasound, I found why things felt wrong. My baby was gone.  She should have measured at least 8 weeks, but only measured 6 and there was no movement or any heartbeat detected at all. She was just… gone. I nodded along with whatever the doctor was saying to me, as my throat closed up and my heart started to race. My eyes started welling up with tears and I was desperate to get out of that office. I practically ran out of the building to confront a massive panic attack the second I was outside.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, as far as losing a baby goes, a loss at only 8 weeks doesn’t sound nearly as bad as it could have been. I think the further along a pregnancy is, the worse the loss feels and the harder the grief. Even though this is the worst I’ve been through, I truly believe it could have been worse. But once thing you can’t deny, is that after a miscarriage, stillborn, whatever, you’re still losing a child. I had previously been one to think that an early loss wouldn’t be that bad, but there are things that I found linger long after that baby was gone.


  • Grief

Good ole grief and all its five stages of suck, and it all happened so quickly. Of course there was denial, because I swear to you I refused to believe my baby was gone until I was holding her in my hands and putting her in a little bracelet box to bury in the backyard. I told myself that the ultrasound machine was probably old and faulty. They never turned the sound on, so I didn’t not hear a heartbeat. Anything made sense to me at that point, until logic hit and it didn’t.

Then of course there’s anger, in this case it was, “Why God, why would you let this happen!” It took a toll in my marriage too. My husband was grieving in his own way, but not in a way I understood. So I got angry. I lashed out at him over and over, accused him of not caring that we lost a child, accused him of not caring that I was in pain. It wasn’t until I overheard him on the phone with a church member that that changed. I heard him say that we lost the baby, and then he just started sobbing. I’d never heard him cry like that before, and I never have since. My heart broke all over again and I hated myself for treating him the way I did. But the anger died down.

Bargaining made no sense in this scenario but I tried anyway. I begged for God to take the pain away. For me to wake up and realize it was all a horrible dream. I begged for the whole thing to have been a miraculous mistake and that I’d soon be puking again and rushing to the hospital to find that I didn’t lose my baby after all.

And of course, there was the depression. As I struggle with major depressive disorder in the first place, something like this can easily send me spiraling. All of the anger, the lashing out, the expressive sobbing, it all just stopped. I walked around numb for months, even when I found out I was pregnant again. I couldn’t bring myself to be happy about it. I couldn’t bring myself to feel anything at all.

Acceptance is the last stage of grief, but that part had to wait.

  • Guilt

First there was the feeling like I could have done something to save my baby. Then it was guilt for how I treated my husband when we were both suffering. But then I was pregnant again and guilt became my number one emotion. When I got that positive pregnancy test, I had a feeling in the back of my mind that I should be excited. I decided that I was happy about it, even though I couldn’t feel that yet. But I sure as hell felt guilty that I didn’t feel happy about it. Every step of the way, every bit of happiness that should have followed with that pregnancy was tinged with lingering grief from the baby I hadn’t given myself time to mourn. And every time I felt sad instead of excited, there was that guilt. I felt like a horrible mother for not being happy about my own baby. And it lasted until well after she was born.

Until one day, I finally reached that point of acceptance. Yes, that other baby was gone. I was never going to forget her, but I wasn’t going to let the pain take away from the one in my arms either. I think my daughter was a couple months old before I really let go and was able to really feel the whole impact of her.

  • The ghost

This was the part that I’d never heard of. But something changed that shook me to the core and over four years later, it’s still sometimes there. I’ll just be sitting in the living room watching my kids play, and out of nowhere get this overwhelming sensation that I’m missing someone. I take another look, count one, two, and for a split second, my heart asks me where the third is. My sweet babies will be playing so happy and my heart will just lash out and remind me what I’m missing. I’ll think something along the lines of, “there should be three playing here. I hate that they’ll never know their sister.” But then I remember that that would be impossible. My daughter was conceived fairly quickly after our loss. If that baby had survived, the daughter I have now would have never existed. And wishing it was possible, even for a second, brings back all of that grief, that guilt and that pain.

I’m not saying that there’s an actual ghost. I don’t even know if I believe in that stuff or not. But I never expected my heart to hold a place for a baby that I won’t know in this life. I didn’t expect it to betray me and suddenly start wondering why she’s not here. And I certainly didn’t expect the feeling to linger for so long. My heart aches and longs for someone I can’t ever see or touch. I expected it to fade, and it has, but it doesn’t stop, and it hits me like a ton of bricks every time.

  • Fear

What if it happens again? For the longest time this was just an almost harmless thought in the back of my head. But then something happens, and it shoots to the surface, menacing and terrifying. I’ve been going through this recently. Finding out I’m pregnant again, my husband immediately asked to wait for a while to tell people. “Just in case.” Of course I knew what he meant and I agreed. I wouldn’t want to announce it to the world and get all excited only to lose my baby again and have to share that with the world.

Weeks I spent counting down until I hit that second trimester, that beautiful safety net where experts agree risk of miscarriage drops dramatically. And I made it. But not without some sleepless nights and worrying my days away. Round ligament pains, nausea, absence of nausea, back aches, headaches, all the normal things you go through during that first trimester suddenly aren’t just annoyances anymore. They’re doubts and fears and torments, hinting at destruction to a fragile mama just trying to be okay. Just trying to hold on until she can feel confident that her baby is okay.


In the end, what I expected was to grieve for a while, work through it, and move on. Instead, I know now that she’ll stay with me forever. Things are different now though. I can think about her without immediately bursting into tears. I can look at her ultrasound picture and smile fondly. Hell, I can even talk about it out loud without breaking down(most of the time).

Miscarriage is so common and so often kept quiet that it’s easy to think you don’t know anyone who’s been through it. But I bet you do. I learned about family members and friends who suffered in silence, even as many as 7 times! You don’t need to be quiet about it. It may be an uncomfortable topic for some, but there are plenty of us out there(unfortunately) who have been through this too and we are happy to lend a shoulder to cry on. Whether you lost a baby at 8 weeks, 28 weeks, or gave birth to a stillborn, you still lost a baby. You are still a mom and you deserve to grieve the way you need to. Hang in there mama. It might not ever go away, but it does get better.

Keep the pictures

So I’ve been working on the blog, trying to make it look like a 10 year old didn’t design it, and I wanted to see if I had a good picture of my own that I could use for a header. I decided to click through my photos on Facebook to search. Instead of finding that picture perfect header, it turned into a half hour of clicking through old photos, reminiscing about old times and smiling so much that I’ve given myself a headache.

There was something that I couldn’t help noticing. Through all the pictures I looked through, I remember considering deleting so many of them for the silliest reason. I didn’t think I looked very good. We all want to look good in our own pictures, and I totally get that. But sometimes you’ve got to look wayyyyy past that.

I’ve got old photos of my youth group days and most of those people look so different now. We’ve all grown so much, and honestly, grown into ourselves, and it would be so easy to say, “I didn’t look good in this pic. I’m just gonna delete…”

Don’t do it!

In all those pictures that I was criticizing my own appearance, there were so many other things going on. In some, a friend was in the picture and they had the biggest smile on their face. In others, it brought up memories that I’d never wanna forget. Others still were just awash with nostalgia and impossible to trash. There are even old friends in some that I fell out with years ago, and there might be a bit of resentment there, but looking at those pictures doesn’t bring that up. It only shows how happy we were back then, and looking back helps to soften any hurt feelings that might still be lingering.

There were family members looking great who aren’t so healthy now and don’t smile much anymore. There were old friends who we haven’t seen in years. There were even memories of, “holy crap I forgot that I was ever thin!” And of course, there were the new parent pictures that I kind of hated at the time. I always thought I looked too big, or too tired, too something. But I don’t care anymore.

I’m no supermodel. Most of my pics, new or old, I’ve got a bit of a gut because my scoliosis has taken away my waist. I’m Irish and English and it’s impossible for me to keep a tan, so most of my pics I look like a ghost. Many pics that I wanted to be perfect weren’t because my glasses were broken. I’m extremely unphotogenic and many more photos have me blinking or making an awkward face or, whatever.

But my point, is that despite how I used to feel about my appearance in these pictures, I looked at them today and I smiled. I even got a little teary eyed.

So let this be a lesson. Take the picture with your friends, with your kids. With your spouse! Who cares if you didn’t have time to put makeup on? Or if you think you look tired or you think you need to lose weight first. Life won’t wait for you to put on your makeup. Life won’t wait for you to lose weight or get a tan or look your best. Life is happening, right here, right now, and I intend on capturing it. Makeup or not, sleepy mom eyes or not. My kids wanna look back on pictures and see their mama, and I wanna look back and see us all together. And now, I’ve got a new lifelong resolution.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.