Loss, continued. | #notthemamawho

Showing up to the hospital to have your dead dreams sucked out of your uterus is a dreadful errand. First, a quick stop at the pharmacy where another cold woman spoke to me in a language that was not mine: “Pills, to make you to do not care.” I actually laughed. That is, if you can call the dry wretched bark of a sound that escaped my larynx a “laugh”. My face contorted into a wry, bitter expression I intended as a smile. Yet another thing that didn’t translate.

Then, you wait. The vibe in the waiting room made it clear that this was D&C day for more than just us. An immaculately dressed biracial couple wearing no rings clutched a sonogram and softly wept, occasionally speaking in hushed accents. A lone hispanic woman with a distended belly leaned her head back and closed her eyes, weary from the weight of it all. Their expressions required no interpreter: sorrow is universal and loss does not discriminate. I’ll never forget them. Their faces are stitched into the burial shroud that covers that day.

Some time passes… seconds and minutes both dragging and hurtling toward our “turn”. I blink, the slow drugged blink of “do not care”. Next scene: I’m on a table. On the wall of the sunless room is a macabre scene of sunflowers and a red barn, on the ceiling: clouds. It’s almost insulting, that someone tried to make this room cheerful. I’d have preferred the sterility of hospital green. The obscene sunflowers stare back at me. I am vulnerable, exposed, broken. But I am not empty. Not yet.

This is the part where the pain begins. (I’ll let you know when we get to the part where it ends.)

D&C is an acronym for ‘dilation and curettage’. This means they literally dilate the birth canal and then either dice apart and skewer or vacuum the baby out. It’s a vicious process, and indescribably painful. Every. single. other. woman I know who has undergone this procedure was put under general anesthesia, but for reasons that remain unclear to me, I was never offered that option.

So many things about that day are inescapably, hauntingly clear.

The Sadness, The Pain, The People.

But the thing I remember most, the thing that is seared into my consciousness, the thing I desperately want to erase is The Sound.

You know at the dentist, after they rinse your mouth, when they suck out the rinse water? Can you hear that sound of choked off air as suction meets flesh, then the gurgle as it is released down the hose? I can. Only this is not the dentist, and it’s not rinse water.

For years, The Sound echoed into the darkest places of me, it reverberated in the emptiness, taunting me, judging me, dragging my failure into full view and brutally morphing it into fear.

Anyone who has ever endured losing a pregnancy, or several, or been dealt the cruel card of infertility can tell you that while the pain is deep, the fear is what cripples you.

Pain is lessened by time, fear is nourished by it.

Fear tells you you’ll never have the most desperate desire of your heart.

Fear tells you you’re broken and a failure.

I am beyond blessed to have two healthy, happy, whole children. I carried them, gave birth to them, and have cared for them well enough to keep them alive so far. Those empty rooms that once contained only screams of disappointment were filled twice over, and my heart is full to the brim, still I can occasionally hear The Sound.

My hope is that if I refused to keep it locked away, if I tell the world, then the echo will have no walls off which to bounce. My hope is that if I talk about the dark places, however small they’ve shrunk, light will find its way in and they’ll be gone.

Why don’t we talk about miscarriage and D&Cs and infertility? Why was it so automatic for me to attach shame to a tragic event that happened TO me? I hope that if you’re going through something similar you won’t keep it in and let it fester. Please, do not bear your agonizing burden alone. Join me, share your story, and together we will #silencethesound.

Writing this post was rough. I found some remaining shards of depression, anxiety, and shame. Ultimately, the process has been intensely therapeutic and I am so glad I chose to take it on. I am eternally grateful to:

BJ, my rock. Thanks for loving me no matter what. 

Lauren of By Love Refined for your friendships and for sharing your own story of pregnancy loss. Your humble and graceful response to this particular hardship inspired me to rethink my own, and to seek the closure I didn’t know I needed.

Ryan, for the encouragement, for reading, for the kind words.

Finally, I am most deeply thankful to Jillian of Southwind Jillian who has graciously agreed to join me in the #silencethesound project. Her editing and helped refine this post and give me the courage to go through with it.

Please visit these blogs and watch for more posts about Silencing the Sound here and on instagram.

 

a story of loss | #notthemamawho

It’s been TWO years since I’ve been back to this space! For the most part I haven’t missed it. But lately the words have been back and I feel the need to get them down somewhere before they again disappear into the mountains of laundry and dishes and unorganized basements that threaten to swallow me whole.

A long time ago I promised you that I’d talk about the difficult things. Lately, I’ve been particularly inspired to be honest and open with the tough stuff. The following is something I wrote shortly after our first year of marriage.

This is a story of loss.

I’ve always hated when people used the word ‘loss’ to describe death. “We lost grandpa back in ’06.” well actually, no, you didn’t lose him, in most cases you know where he went… But this past year I have come to really understand the term.

Let’s start at the beginning… My husband and I were married on an unseasonably sunny and warm January day, on a beautiful hillside overlooking the golden gate bridge. It was the first day of my life, (our song by Bright Eyes) figuratively and literally.

We had a steamy dreamy honeymoon on the side of a volcano in the jungle of costa rica, then returned to begin our lives as a married couple in the real world. The real world wasted no time. I spent my days commuting over an hour each way to a job that (to plagerize a phrase from a facebook friend) ‘sucked my soul out of my ass’ and BJ nervously rode out a series of layoffs that cut the company in half and an increasingly dire forecast for the building industry.

About three weeks after our honeymoon, my mom called to tell me that my Noni had finally died (she’d had a massive stroke in October and it had been a cruelly slow and painful process) and to book a flight home for the funeral. I went home from work, drank some cheap white wine with ice cubes in it, packed the most ridiculous random assortment of items (I made it home with 5 pairs of jeans, 3 shoes- individual shoes, not pairs, 1 shirt, a dress that wasn’t remotely appropriate for a funeral, and some dirty workout clothes) and headed out early the next morning.

Most of that weekend is a blur, but the visitation and her funeral stand out of the haze in acute clarity. My only paternal cousin’s three year old daughter kept saying ‘Noni, Noni’ when seeing her picture. I looked in the coffin and saw a scary wax version of the once real woman I loved so. People came in droves to pay their respects, and everyone had a story. My sweet husband never left my side, amd shed tears with me and for me. My aunt gave a eulogy that told the story of my Noni’s life, and my father gave a eulogy that told the story of my Noni. I held my brother’s hand as we faced the endless stream of sympathetic faces, tears running down our cheeks.

I began to understand what loss is. It’s a hole where there was once a house with a pink kitchen and peaches with ice-cream. It’s someone else’s corn pudding on Thanksgiving, it’s narcissism outliving generosity. It’s an absence so keenly felt by everyone who knew her. It’s feeling like no one has the right to be as sad as you, because she was your Noni, and she was most special to you.

A few months went by, we celebrated our marriage with a big party in my hometown, and invited almost everyone we knew. We were so busy I barely had time to think about my Noni, but I was careful not to go over to her house, and she was at the back of my mind. I smiled to myself thinking how she’d have been in a tizzy trying to cook and clean and take care of everyone but herself. I wanted to visit her grave, but I just couldn’t yet.

Another month went by, we moved into a new house, celebrated my 25th birthday, and found out I was pregnant. We planned to name the baby after my Noni if it was a girl. Two weeks later I flew to Chicago for my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party. While there, miles away from my husband and my doctor, I began to miscarry. It was terrifying and confusing and sad. And again, I knew loss.

Miscarriage is such an inept word. It first of all implies that the ‘carrier’ did something wrong. Like you made a mistake instead of surviving something terrible that happened TO you.

In a way I felt silly, we hadn’t planned the pregnancy, after all, I’d only known for 2 weeks, plus I was in the middle of someone I loved’s celebration… I needed to suck it up and accept “meant to be”… So, I had a good cry with my dear mother-in-law (for whose presence I am so grateful), got hugs from wonderful friends, the most encouraging words from my new cousins, put on my big girl panties and didn’t deal with it.

A doctor’s appointment confirmed our fears as a cold woman told me in a language that wasn’t her own, ‘Sorry. You lost it.’ Indeed. But I thought, “Well, this doesn’t mean anything, we can try again right away. These things happen.”

So we waited, and waited, and waited. My hair came out in fistfuls. My back broke out like a teenaged boy on steroids. The opportunity to try again didn’t come for 11 long weeks. I felt loss. I felt lost. Things at work weren’t helping anything. My boss was verbally abusive and manipulative and I just didn’t have the energy to deal with him. My numerous pregnant friends were afraid to talk about their own joy for fear it would highlight my pain. I felt isolated from my husband and friends, like they were all worrying at me instead of worrying with me.

Thanksgiving came, and we spent time with my husband’s extended family. I found such comfort in their warm company, my body seemed to relax, too. It looked like we could finally begin trying. I felt excited, looking back, I see a scared unhappy girl frantically trying to put a bandaid on a gunshot wound.

Christmas arrived, and with it a series of high basal temperatures I outwardly attributed to our presence in Mexico. (No one wanted a holiday at home without my Noni.) Secretly, I dared to hope they indicated a pregnancy. We spent New Year’s Eve shooting off sparklers and dancing on the beach and it seemed like happiness was imminent.

A test and doctor’s visit confirmed that I was indeed pregnant, and we were even fortunate enough to see the baby and hear the heartbeat. BJ was in awe at the experience… I felt oddly unimpressed. The doctor told us that the chances of miscarriage were now under 10 percent. We began to plan and prepare and I felt sure that everything would be okay, it had to be, it couldn’t not be. We stopped worrying about keeping it a secret, we were so happy we wanted everyone to know!

My cousins had just welcomed their beautiful baby girl and I wanted to give them a party celebrate her birth. I spent so much time on the details (turns out I’m just a wee bit like my Noni) cooking and decorating. BJ was such a good sport, hanging colorful tissue puffs from the ceiling amd running countless last minute errands. I smiled thinking that someone would be doing the same for me soon.

The night before the shower the spotting began. It was just a little… No big deal, this happens. In fact it had happened to my cousin and everything had turned out fine! I called the advice nurse, she said to take it easy and they’d see me first thing Monday. The spotting increased, but once again I was celebrating someone I loved, and didn’t have time to think about myself. Besides, everything was fine, it had to be. If the baby was a girl we were going to name her after my Noni. 

Monday morning. Doctors office. No heartbeat. I heard the words ‘sorry’ and ‘procedure’ and ‘easier’. I looked up blankly at my husband. He took over decisions and gave me a sturdy place to lean. Once again he cried with me and for me, and for himself and for us. I just cried for me.

To be continued…

alt-j – left hand free | #notthemamawho

Hey, shady baby, I’m not like the prodigal son
Pick a petal eenie meenie miney moe
And, flower, you’re the chosen one

Well, your left hand’s free
And your right’s in a grip

With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip
Towards his gun, oh, no

N-E-O, O-M-G, gee whiz
Girl you’re the one for me…

I’m a mother of two. Neither of my hands are ever empty, nor will they be for quite some time.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is the story of how we met our Millsy girl.

13

November 19th and 20th were wondrous days, our last as a family of three, our first as a family of four. Our {suddenly GIANT} firstborn son, our last born baby daughter {with the most amazing hair}, and us.

We spent the day before with Worth. We went to a fun kid’s activity center, snuggled him, and generally spoiled him rotten. I had BJ take a picture of my gigantic belly and then we settled in for our final sleep before baby. We woke up the next morning and drove to the hospital in the cool quiet darkness. They prepped me, cut me open, and handed me a baby with a  head full of hair. She was healthy and went straight to the breast for her first meal. It was all so very… calm. One of these days I’ll write Worth’s birth story out, and the contrast will shock you.

4a968101112QO1A8874

QO1A8901QO1A8891

We’ve talked endlessly about the differences between our birth experiences. So far, the experiences seem to align with our children’s personalities. Worth’s was exciting and tumultuous and challenging and endless and surprising and joyful. Mill’s was scheduled and easy and peaceful and mellow and simple and sweet.

Worth is a doting, attentive big brother and a wonderful helper {besides a few attention-seeking episodes involving absurd amounts of diaper cream…}. Mills is a content, happy baby. Watching their interactions has been the most rewarding part. Worth can’t get enough of holding his baby sister and Mills can’t stop smiling when he’s in sight. We’ve termed him “aggressively affectionate” and I think, “GENTLE!” is the most commonly spoken word in our household.

The weeks since those days have flown by, and my hands {and my heart} are always full. As I type this, I have a newborn asleep on my chest and a toddler tucked under my arm. My house and my kids are dirty and writing this is my current version of “doing something for myself”, but {for maybe the first time in my life} I can say that I am entirely content.

You can find the song here.

Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back | Love

I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung…

Full disclosure: I wrote this while watching the Parenthood series finale. Don’t ever do that two months after having a baby and five minutes after doing your makeup. Prepare for a little bit o’ sap.

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary. Fifth! I thought I’d celebrate by sharing a few wedding photos. It was so hard to choose! I love my wedding photos so much, it was such a perfect day. People always say that, but for us it’s actually true. We got the only sunny day in January for weeks in either direction – we had purchased umbrellas fully expecting it to pour on our outdoor ceremony. We all ended up rosy-cheeked with joy AND sunburns.

Year five.

It’s been a very busy one, in all the best ways. We got a new sister, nephew, puppy, and daughter. Our son is happy {most of the time}, healthy {most of the time}, and too smart for his {or my} own good. We have faced challenges as parents and as a couple and have ended up learning and growing. Okay, this is starting to sound like a Christmas letter… Though much has changed since our wedding day, the heart of our relationship remains the same – we laugh. A lot. We play, we argue, we love, and we laugh.

I chose this particular number from the list of “our songs” because it reminds me of when we were first dating . We were never very romantic, haha – but this man, this man that I love so much – I don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am to have met him. I don’t have the words to describe how kind and honorable and good he is. There is no grey area with my husband, if he loves you, you are loved absolutely. And oh how he loves us, me and this little family of ours.

094b466b499b522b 550b 586b 602 632bWedding3 721b 1142 1202 1249 134256325655Blogger bennebelle Marin Headlands Wedding
And oh how we love him.

This is the first milestone in my life that has made me feel just a little bit old. You’d think getting married, or having a baby, buying a home, having a second baby, or the prospect of turning 30 later this year might do it. But no, it’s having been married for five years. It feels like a real accomplishment, like I’m actually now grown up. {If you know me, you know that this is a ridiculous notion.} The count is now 5 years, 3 states, 2 kids, and one house.

I can’t wait to see what the next {fifty} five bring.

Song here.

Bright Eyes – One for You, One for Me | #notthemamawho

One for the bread lines, one for the billionaires
One for the missing, one for the barely there
One for the certain, one for the real confused
One for me, one for you…

 

Do you ever just get really good and sick of yourself? Like, if you hear you say one more word you know you’re going to vomit? That’s how I have been feeling, and it’s the reason I haven’t been writing. It’s not that I’m sad or angry, in fact it’s quite the opposite – I’ve been so happy I’m flat boring. I just haven’t felt like I have had anything good or intelligent or interesting to say. I think that’s because I usually write about myself.  So, to get the words flowing again, I will write this one for everyone else. There are so many people in my life that I find good and intelligent and interesting. This one is for you.

 

I don’t have any photos for this post, only words.

I don’t have any words for myself, only others.

Words for my baby, who is growing and moving and often neglected.

Words for my son, who illuminates my soul.

Words for my husband, who ignites my heart.

Words for my mother, who is healing from an injury left untreated too long.

Words for my father, who has made many sacrifices.

Words for my brothers, who are waiting.

Words for my sisters, who give me patient perspective.

Words for my friends, who have recently had to face the mortality of their children.

Words for my friends, who must parent their parents.

Words for my person, who constantly stretches for more, in every way.

Words for my grandmothers, who provide the example to guide me daily.

The words are all the same.

The words are: I love you.

The words are: Thank you.

 

You can download the song here.

Pharrell – Happy | Style

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space

Things have been a lil heavy ’round here these days so I thought we’d lighten it up with another Emily post! Not Emily Post, an Emily post… okay I’m done with the bad jokes now, promise.

Emily says, “Being a stylist, I come across so many fabulous products. These are some of my favorites for the spring season. Heading into warmer weather and sunshine is always a great excuse to update your stash of goodies!”

My 10 Favorites for Spring:

spring products for hair, pureology product

Pureology Sea-Kissed Texturizer:
Who doesn’t want beach hair all the time? I know I do. This allows for the tousled hair and beachy waves without the salt (non-stripping). Its lightweight, shiny, and smells delish! If you live in the St. Louis area come by Studio703 to get this (and all other Pureology products).

moroccan oil, spring hair

Moroccan Oil (Medium) Hairspray:
For those of you who haven’t tried this, you are missing out! It’s lightweight and not crunchy (Thanks, hair geniuses!) I wear my hair up in a high bun, down in waves, or in a fishtail braid a lot. This gives me the hold I need without the crunch and I can still run my fingers through my hair.

facial, mask, style, fashion, beauty

Mask of Magnaminty by Lush:
I’m obsessed with all things Lush. They are a fresh, handmade, cruelty-free cosmetics line. This is a deep cleansing and seriously minty mask. It’s super gritty and infused with peppermint oil. It leaves your face (or body) feeling fresh and clean.

peel, facial, beauty, product

Dr. Gross Peels:
Everyone loves a good peel. These are a daily, anti-aging facial peel on pre-soaked towelettes. I was having issues with my skin and these guys saved me! These come in an original formula and an extra strength formula (both of which I have tried and loved). Seriously, amazing.
Side-note: These make the skin more sensitive to sun, wear a sunscreen and follow the instructions on the box!

beauty product, benefit, makeup, style

Big Easy by Benefit:
This is new to my daily routine and I love it! Its a “multi- balancing complexion perfector.” A BBcream/CCcream/Primer/everythingyoucouldeveraskfor in one tube with a built in 35 spf! It goes on like a liquid yet dries like a powder. If you like a very matte look and not dewy (like me) this is a product for you. It will be great this summer for a light coverage and an spf. Big Easy comes in 6 tones for you to choose from.

glo minerals makeup beauty product

glo-Minerals:
I started wearing this a couple years ago and I can’t switch. Their pressed bases are talc-free and non-comedogenic to nourish, correct, and protect your skin. They allow for light (apply with a brush) or full coverage (apply with a sponge). And always apply following your daily moisturizer. There are tons of colors to choose from. They also have a translucent Perfecting Powder to mattify and absorb excess oil (great for the humidity and summer).

pure, fruit, lips, beauty product

Cheek and Lip Tint by 100% Pure:
I LOVE this stuff. It’s 100% natural, vegetarian and gluten free. It’s colored with fruit and vegetable pigments and nourishes skin with shea and cocoa butters. It’s a cream consistency that goes on smooth for a cream blush or a lip tint. Perfect for a little pick me up if you are running out of the house quickly, going to the gym, or laying by the pool (can’t.wait.for.the.pool.to.open). The color shown is Cranberry Glow, but there are 6 to choose from.

hypnose, lancome, mascara, beauty, beauty product

Hypnose Drama Mascara by Lancome:
I get asked one of 2 questions weekly: 1. Am I wearing fake lashes and 2. What mascara am I wearing. Well, I don’t wear fake lashes but I give credit to this mascara. It rocks!

vinylux, nail polish, red, pink

Vinylux Nail Polish by CND:
This is the latest and greatest in nail color. The closest thing to a gel without having to cure it under a light (skin spots..ick). It cures best in natural light but I have done a late night manicure countless times and it works just as well. This week-long polish doesn’t require a base coat, just 2 coats of color and a coat of THEIR topcoat. It comes in 71 Fashion colors as well as 60 colors that match Shellac shades. The absolute best thing about your manicure? COMPLETELY dry in 8 1/2 minutes! You can do you hair, put on jeans, reach into your purse, without fear. WHAT? The colors here are Lavishly Loved (pink) and Wildfire (red).

satsuma body butter, scrub, orange, beauty product

Satsuma Body Butter by the Body Shop:
This smell! So fresh and citrusy. It leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth but no greasy, it melts straight in to the skin. Get your skin ready for those short shorts and skirts!

Click any of the product titles for more information and where to purchase! We’d love to hear how you are liking these products! Visit our Facebook page or leave us a comment!

Oh, and the song! here ’tis!

Bright Eyes – Bowl of Oranges | #NOTTHEMAMAWHO

The rain, it started tapping on the window near my bed. There was a loophole in my dreaming,
so I got out of it. And to my surprise my eyes were wide and already open.
Just my nightstand and my dresser where those nightmares had just been.
So I dressed myself and left then, out into the gray streets.
But everything seemed different and completely new to me.
The sky, the trees, houses, buildings, even my own body.
And each person I encountered, I couldn’t wait to meet.
I came upon a doctor who appeared in quite poor health.
I said “{I am terribly sorry but} there is nothing I can do for you
{that} you can’t do for yourself.”
He said “Oh yes you can. Just hold my hand. I think that would help.”
So I sat with him a while and then I asked him how he felt.
He said, “I think I’m cured. No, in fact, I’m sure.
Thank you Stranger, for your therapeutic smile.”
So that is how I learned the lesson that everyone is alone.
And your eyes must do some raining if you are ever going to grow.
But when crying don’t help and you can’t compose yourself.
It is best to compose a poem, an honest verse of longing or simple song of hope.
That is why I’m singing…
Baby don’t worry cause now I got your back. And every time you feel like crying,
I’m gonna try and make you laugh. And if I can’t, if it just hurts too bad,
then we will wait for it to pass and I will keep you company
through those days so long and black.
And we’ll keep working on the problem we know we’ll never solve 
Of Love’s uneven remainders, our lives are fractions of a whole.
But if the world could remain within a frame like a painting on a wall.
Then I think we would see the beauty.
Then we would stand staring in awe at our still lives posed like a bowl of oranges,
like a story told by the fault lines and the soil.

cracks

I don’t normally post the whole song, but the harder I tried to select some lines, the more it became clear that they all fit this post. Oh this post. Deep breath.

We have been trying to have another baby. First, just let me say how much I HATE trying to get pregnant. I mean the required activity isn’t so bad, just the planning and checking and waiting. Ugh the waiting. I’m terrible at it. I loathe it. Every month I wait what seems like years {usually about 3 days} all the while convincing myself I’m having symptoms, then take a test that turns out to be negative, then start my period the very next day, then get mad I wasted the test. And ohyeahalsomadthati’mnotpregnant.

And then there’s the alternative sequence: I take the test and get a positive result, then live in fear and a constant state of anxiety for the next several weeks {months}. Keeping my joy {and terror} secret for fear I’ll have to retell them something else later. I’m honestly not sure which is worse.

so. much. fear.

There’s the fear it’s a chemical pregnancy and no baby will ever form. There’s the fear that something will happen to me or the baby and I’ll have another miscarriage. There’s the fear that I will feel the pain of loss for a third time, and that this time I’ll know the full weight of what I’m missing.

There is fear that maybe I don’t deserve another child because I’m not a good enough mother to the one I already have. Fear I don’t give him enough of myself now and that I’ll have even less to give him if another arrives. Fear that I’ll be overwhelmed and miserable with two children.

A dear friend contemplating parenthood recently asked me if I’ve ever had a moment where I’ve thought “I shouldn’t have done this” (become a mother). At first I interpreted the question to mean, “have you ever regretted having a child?” to which the answer was a resounding no. But the more I thought about it and the rest of our conversation I realized she meant, “do you ever think you’re a terrible mother” (her worst fear about parenthood) and in that moment of epiphany I thought, “Hell yes! Every damn day.” Maybe terrible is the wrong word, but “not good enough” sure fits.

But I’m tired of living in fear, and I’m tired of fear living in me. I’d like to grow a little faith there instead.

I don’t want to look down this hallway and see nothing but pain behind each corner.

IMG_5731

I don’t want to deny myself the joy of announcing a pregnancy to avoid potential pain down the road. I don’t want to wait to decorate a nursery on the chance that later I’ll have to walk into that room and feel its emptiness, and mine. I want to shed this weight that is bowing my shoulders. I want to end the isolation pregnancy loss and infertility creates. I want to dissolve the stigma around talking about these experiences.

and most of all. I want to shout to the world that I am 6 weeks pregnant. Six tiny little weeks. With a lifetime yet to go.

My pregnancy app tells me that this week my baby’s heart has started to beat. Well, little baby, I think of you with every beat of mine, and no matter what happens I’ll always keep you there.

I can’t promise that I’ll share everything that happens, but I can promise to try not to be afraid all the time. I can promise to write about my fear in hopes of emboldening you to overcome yours. And I can promise that if you’re experiencing something similar, I’ll hold your hand and listen, as long as you don’t mind holding mine right back.

I’m so grateful for the people in my life who gave me the courage to write all this down. My own metaphorical and literal hand holders. They’re some pretty inspiring people. My husband, my friends, and some other brave writers. Take a look at “Behind the Blue Door” by Jillian of Southwind Jillian, her courage to write about her struggles made me want to write about mine. Casey Leigh Weigand’s posts about her sweet lost baby Addison for when you need a good cathartic cry. And then there’s Jenna Rammell of Small Fry blog, if you read this and this you won’t feel alone anymore. These are just a few of my favorites, but there are endless stories and support out there. Going forward, I’ll still need your stories and support, but I already feel just a little bit stronger.

I want to look down this hallway and see this. I just have to remember that I got here before. and I got the best reward on the face of this earth.

belly

Download the song here.