Featured

Autumndaize.

Where it started.

Advertisements

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or 

autumn daize part 1. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

post

A little about me-I am the author after all. My name is Allyson, but most call me Ally, and this is my very first blog-go easy on me ūüėČ

I bet your all wondering about the blog name, so I’ll explain-which should help give away my reason for starting this blog. Autumn is my favorite season for numerous reasons.  To name a few, leaf peeping, crisp air, pumpkins, Halloween, apple picking, my birthday, and when I conceived my beautiful son Jayden. Basically it’s the best season ever,  but I’m a bit bias.

The daize part, well daze was taken so I added the I, but otherwise daize (or daze for all you grammar police) is the perfect description of what my life has been the last 3 years. Hence the name of this blog. So much has happened that I figured it best to put words to paper-well internet paper to be exact. Hopefully my story, which is still being written,  will inspire, make you laugh, or just keep you from boredom.

Succumbing to the intense need to settle down and be a real adult, almost three years ago I started house hunting. In total the process took four months. Shortly before signing the paperwork, my boyfriend of eight years proposed. Talk about hectic. The next year was a whirlwind between being my best friend of nine years’ maid of honor, settling in our home, and planning my own wedding. If I took away one thing from this time it was to take time to enjoy your surroundings; the planning, relationships you build, the big day, everything.  It went by too fast.

Almost a year after I tied the knot, Jayden came along. I literally am just starting to breathe. Despite a terrible high risk pregnancy and a traumatic delivery,  in addition to bad PPD, three months have passed and I literally couldn’t be happier. Word of advice to expectant mommies-do not commit to a new job/promotion upon leave ending. Luckily I’m finally settling in but coming back from leave is hard enough, coming back from leave to a new job is almost impossible. I literally felt like I was trying to run up hill with 20 pound weights; I was so physically drained from training and so mentally overtired that I crashed hard.

I finally feel like I’m in a good spot with personal and professional life. My takeaway from my experiences of a new working mom are simple; Jayden won’t love me any less for supporting him. If anything he’ll love me more. I’m a badass supermom, and I’m living with no regrets.

Stay tuned.

My ugly post-partum body.

It’s a Wednesday.

I am getting ready for work-brushing my teeth, my hair-you know-the normal working “hot mess” mom, running late as usual.

I try to avoid looking in the bathroom mirror. I find myself doing this a lot these days.

I even avoid looking at the car windows, for fear that I will see my reflection.

It’s not that I don’t think I am pretty.

I actually used to be very confident in my looks.

I even modeled for a while and made some decent money.

Those days seem so far off in the distance now.

Now my days are filled with work, caring for my toddler, my home, my hubby, and avoiding any mirror I encounter.

I go downstairs to get my day bag ready. Pack a water, which I likely wont drink. Pack a healthy lunch, which in a weird way makes me feel a tad better-but I will still hate my body regardless.

My drive to work is uneventful. I sometimes, in traffic, find myself looking at my face in the rearview. How did my body get this way? I look away from my rearview in disgust over my fat face. I pledge to start exercising more. A promise I have made myself a thousand times over.

But it isn’t that easy. I make excuses in my head. I am too tired from work, too busy, to focused on other areas of my life right now.

But today is different, I tell myself. I am going to make more of an effort, even if that means sacrificing the little sleep I get.

Work is uneventful. I go about my day, answering emails and calls. Watching my water bottle, still full, telling myself I will drink it soon. Water is important, after all. And I am terrible with drinking enough of it.

I leave work, as I normally do, and sit in about 2 hours of traffic. My daily travel affords me PLENTY of time to think. About my ugly body and how I WILL get back in shape. About how I am tired and will just go for a walk tomorrow. About how it doesn’t even matter if I walk because even though I have lost weight, my diastasis will prevent me from ever becoming confident again until it is gone (as I loose weight it is more noticeable). It’s a lose-lose situation.

I get home, and complete my normal nightly routine; baby fed, dishes and laundry done, dinner, etc etc. It seems like I have no moments to spare, so how can I possibly get rid of what has become a constant reminder of how I failed my post partum body.

My body was and will always be my temple. But I cannot even stand to look at it.

I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband who is still attracted to me when I cannot even look at myself.

But he doesn’t even know how ugly I feel.

How when I do accidentally look in the mirror, all I see is a body that disgusts me.

How I sometimes sit on the bathroom floor, and let the tears flow as I grieve what my body used to be.

Some say its just a body-what really matters is inside. That is 100% true.

But self confidence – or lack thereof – can break a person.

Whether it is Wednesday, or Friday, or Saturday – I hate my ugly post-partum body.

I hate that the diastasis is worse the more weight I loose, and makes me look pregnant – especially after I am no longer carrying baby #2.

I wear baggy cloths to hide my body. I no longer feel beautiful – which is a shame because of how confident I used to be.

I am motivated to exercise, but it isn’t easy for me like it is for others. I literally am so busy I sometimes feel like I am suffocating.

It makes things harder that I see post=partum mom bods in tip top shape. Like, did you even have a baby? How come I cant bounce back like that?

I know some will say “well you need to make time for your health”. Yes, I know this. But it is¬†not that easy. I cant even take the time lately to pluck my eyebrows. I am pretty sure soon I will have a unibrow!

Self care is important to me, and I have written a ton about it – but sometimes I cant take my own advice. Sometimes I just need someone to relate – to listen – to understand my struggles and tell me what I am feeling is ok.

I do have a plan to loose weight. I also have a plan to fix the diastasis. But sometimes, I just want to “let it out” and say what I am feeling, and what I have been feeling for so long.

I hate my ugly post-partum body, and I know that feeling wont last and I can get through this Рbut right now all I can see is a fat blob in the mirror.

I want to love my body so bad – it grew my tiny little miracle, with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. But I just cant right now. And I am ok with that.

It’s ok to not feel ok.

Its ok to not be confident about your body.

Its ok to sit on the bathroom floor, tears in your eyes, and wish you looked different.

Its ok to avoid mirrors.

Its ok to have these feelings.

Not enough women express these feelings. Many hide behind closed doors for fear of judgment and ridicule.

I can hear the naysayers now “You can always make time to work on getting healthy”, or “You wouldn’t feel this way if you sacrificed a little and focused on your health”.

Yea, like it is that easy. I literally catch myself dozing almost every week driving home from work. It isn’t THAT easy for someone like me to make time. But I will. I just want to be able to feel how I want to in the meantime.

One day, I – and those that can relate to this – will look back on these struggles and breath a sigh of relief that that time in our lives is over. We will feel pretty again. We will feel good looking in the mirror. We will no longer be embarrassed at family functions or weddings when we have to dress up and we look huge in our dresses and try to hide in the back for pictures so we don’t look so¬†bad.

But until then, I will continue to avoid mirrors. I will let myself feel however I want to in the moment. I will move forward with my plans to loose weight, and however long it takes – it takes.

Don’t stand in the shadows embarrassed by your feelings. Let them out, feel how you feel, and let yourself move on. You cant avoid mirrors forever, but sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to build ourselves back up.

We are all a work in progress – emotionally and physically – after a baby. I will hate my ugly post-partum body for as long as I want, until one day, I love it again.

 

New Beginnings.

WE DID IT! We sold our starter home, and bought our forever home.

These last 6 months have been HELL on earth.

We have experienced loss.

We have experienced a lot of unknowns.

We have dealt with significant stress during the house sale/buying process.

But we did it. We made it through some ridiculously hard times.

I already miss our old house.

We got married in that house. We created a family in that house. But we also had some very sad times in that house between the loss of baby #2, my grandmother, and our family dog.

New beginnings for most mean starting over. It is no different for us.

But for us, we are leaving those sad memories behind, cherishing the good ones made, and creating new-happy-memories in our forever home.

Most wouldn’t understand the amount of weight lifted off our shoulders when we moved into our forever home.

For Rob, it is the excitement of having to do little to no housework (handy man stuff ūüėČ ).

For me, it is a clean slate. A chance to start over and hopefully expand our family. To watch my son enjoy his new backyard, new playroom, and new surroundings. It is a chance for me to make our forever home our own, with decorations, new furniture, and a new-positive-outlook on our future.

We needed this so badly. I needed this more than anything.

After the miscarriage, and losing my grandmother and our dog, I had a hard time picking up the pieces. Our old house, while it held some great memories, was a constant reminder of what we had lost.

I am so grateful to put that all behind us and move on. I needed closure, and I got it.

To anyone struggling right now, I can totally¬†relate.¬†And I wont tell you “it will get better”. I hated hearing that. But what I will say is create your new beginning the best you can. You may not be able to buy a new house, but even the smallest things can help provide closure and a clean slate. Start an exercise routine, paint your bedroom, or even get a new pet. Do whatever it takes to push out the bad and bring in the good. Paint every wall in your house if you have to. Do what makes you feel good-and whatever will help you move on. Its not always going to be easy, and sometimes you may feel like life just keeps kicking you when your down-but one day all of your struggles and tears will be worth it, I promise ‚̧

 

1 year ago.

It should be noted before you read this that I do not think any less of stay-at-home mothers. In fact, if you read my earlier blogs on this topic you will see that I find their jobs to be just as hard. Both staying home and working are completely different in their own ways and one is not harder than the other – they are just different.

Having said that, unlike my earlier blogs, This blog is strictly my experience as a working mom for the first year after having my baby. I hope all of the working moms out there can relate to this and take something away from it that will hopefully make them feel better about their situations if they are still struggling to cope.

1 year ago today I started a new job right after my maternity leave ended, only 3 months post partum.

Im not going to sugarcoat things, it freaking sucked.

Not the job itself, though it’s been tough at times and it took some getting used to (especially the 2am calls and inspections) -but it’s been easier to learn the job itself than I thought.

Being a working mom in general has been tough. I work 45-60 hours a week.

I had to learn a brand new job after having a new baby. On 0 sleep. It was a pretty shitty transition.

But through all that I’ve done well. I somehow manage to wake up at 5am, work, pick up Jayden at 5, do house chores, dinner, doctors apts, etc. Sometimes I go back to work on the overnight just to meet the needs of my son’s appointments. Sometimes weekends I have to go in. Sometimes I dont even sit down or eat until 8. I feel accomplished some times, but mostly im just exhausted.

What really is tough is missing so much while I work and my baby is growing into a little boy.

It’s made me realize how much we need to cherish our time together. I missed his first steps (happened at daycare), his first crawl (again, daycare). I miss him, every goddamn day.

It certainly doesn’t get easier. Many told me “it’ll hurt for a while but definately gets easier”- hell I’ve even said it. But it doesn’t. It just becomes a new way of life and you eventually accept it.

So to all my working mommies out there, whether you’ve hit 1 year or 5- just remember your doing amazing.

It does suck, and it won’t get easier-but you got this. Keep kicking ass at being a working mom. But take the time to really cherish those littles outside of work.

And don’t be sad for the memories you’re missing, you’ll surely make new ones. It definitely sucks missing their “first times”, but when they’re older they will understand the reason behind why you missed them.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a working mom it’s that the excitement of seeing our littles at the end of a hard stressful work day never goes away. Hold on to that excitement for as long as you can. Let it drive you to be even more successful in supporting your family. Once grown, your children will certainly appreciate all you’ve done for them and all of the days or nights that you have sacrificed to support your family.

While the pain of dropping them off at the beginning of the day and not seeing them all day will probably never fully go away, try not to think about that. Try to think about what you will do with them when you do see them.

I’ve always found the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” to be true, and feel like everytime I pick my little boy up that my heart is going to explode. Give those extra kisses and hugs and cherish any time you do get together. All of the tears and hard work will be worth it ‚̧

Expecting the unexpected.

When Jayden was born, we knew he was special.

He came into the world with quite a bang after all, making the family and friends who so eagerly anticipated his arrival a ball of nerves.

Making me and his daddy tear up with worry about how he would be on the outside when he unexpectedly could no longer stay on the inside.

For 37 weeks I carried my little stubborn and opinionated baby boy.

For 37 weeks we laughed, cried, and smiled within one body.

Those 37 weeks were the toughest and scariest of my life, not knowing what would happen to my little man.

Many days I just cried-partially because of the hormones, but also because I was just so scared about if he was ok with all of the issues I was having during the pregnancy.

Until one day, 3 weeks from my induction date, he decided it was time. Or rather, my body decided it was time and could no longer nourish him. In fact, my body had given up some time before this specific day-as evidenced by the tiny underweight body that I was terrified to hold in my arms for fear that I would break him.

I had never seen something so perfect, yet so sad, in my entire life.

Fast forward to fall 2017-my baby was doing well. He had the normal hurdles many babies do; slow weight gain, reflux, some small delays. But he was alive, seemingly healthy, and happy.

Until he wasn’t.

It wasn’t until his 6 month NICU assessment that we started to notice he was behind developmentally. In addition, during this time, he¬†was diagnosed with a respiratory condition called RAD and put on a daily inhaler. Among his many illnesses, blood draws, X-rays, doctors and specialists visits, and hospitalizations during the months following, he continued to have little achievements which made me feel better about his diagnosed delays.

By late winter¬†I was bringing him weekly to his appointments, between his regular pediatrician, emergency appointments,¬†and specialists. I would either have to work from home, or rush home¬†from work 2 hours away¬†to get him. I had to call the doctors offices more times than I want to admit to tell them I was running late for appointments. I felt like a chicken with its head cut off constantly. I was often¬†embarrassed¬†because I felt like THAT “hot mess” mom when I finally did arrive, sometimes with a naked baby who had just vomited all over himself and my car.

During this time were told he had a weak immune system due to the RAD and would likely get sick often. We were told he had a swallow disorder. We were told he needed to be seen by Allergy for his hives and vomiting. As of today, we are up to 5 specialists-ENT, GI, Pulmonary, Speech, and Allergy/Immunology, and expect to start with 2 more in the coming weeks.

I was constantly overwhelmed and repeatedly asked God why my baby boy had to have all of the issues he had. I was angry, not at my poor son who had already been through so much in his short life, but at myself. At my body for failing him on the inside when it could no longer nourish him, and on the outside when I could not give him the “liquid gold” that he desperately needed to give him the nutrients that¬†he needed to stay healthy.

Spring came and he was referred to a Speech Therapist for his swallow disorder. It was then that I learned more about his developmental delays and potential neurological disorders.

I left that first appointment terrified. I was already struggling to keep up with his medical issues- how was I going to keep up with these additional developmental/potential neurological issues? It seemed like so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of parents have much more medically complex children. But as my first child, I expected things to be so much different. So much less complicated. But my child was special, after all, and special children keep us on our toes for sure!

I just had my second appointment yesterday, and what his therapist said to me has stuck with me; “We know he has issues medically.¬†We know he is developmentally behind. We know we are working through some neurological diagnoses. Try not to get frustrated and overwhelmed-as hard as that is. You certainly have your hands full and it is normal to feel the way you are feeling.”

She didn’t try to tell me it would get better. She didn’t try to emphasize positive thinking. What she did for me helped me realize that¬†I am not alone. She too, has dealt with some similar struggles. She was connecting to me and trying to get me to understand she was beside me, and would help in any way she could. She made my feelings feel validated. She made me realize that I need to expect the unexpected with my special little boy and enjoy who he is in the moment. She also made me realize something else that is a HUGE part of being a parent; trusting your gut.

For a while now I have had a gut feeling based on Jayden’s behavior and delays that something more was wrong –¬†that it was more than just him being developmentally delayed. I tried to ignore my gut. I tried to move on and convince myself it was just a common¬†set of delays and that¬†he would bounce back.

Jayden’s therapist had taught me, in just two sessions, that I need to TRUST my gut. I am a mom. I am his advocate. I know my child best. If something feels wrong, it likely is.

Jayden’s plan of action, as I like¬†call it, is so much clearer now. We have a plan to nail down an official neurological diagnosis, that could explain some of his delays. We have a plan for his¬†medical issues and trying to diagnose those as well.

A while back I was convinced that by his NICU assessment this coming August, he would be able to pass with flying colors. Maybe he still can. But whether he passes or not is no longer a concern to me.

My concern now is to help him get the best care. My concern is to help him get what he needs to thrive and stay happy. I don’t care if he passes the assessment at this point, as long as we work toward improvement and growth-that is all that matters to me.

I will likely still get overwhelmed. I will likely once in a while feel like we need to throw ourselves a pity party. But Jayden has an amazing team of specialists, and family and friends who love him dearly. We will get through these hurdles, just as we have others in the past. We will continue to expect the unexpected and go with the flow, so to speak.

I would encourage anyone in a similar situation to reach out – its not okay to feel alone in these difficult times that many encounter. Support is essential to cope.

I would also encourage anyone in a similar situation to remember and live by this; Sometimes the things in life that challenge us the most, teach us the most –¬†and through life’s greatest lessons we are left with the greatest gifts.

My son is my greatest gift. From the very beginning when he was still inside my belly, he taught me to be strong, even when I was scared and felt weak.

From when he was born until this very day, he has taught me to see the light in the darkest of days with his contagious smile and laugh.

Cherish your gifts, and use your what your challenges teach you to brighten someone else’s day, even if just for a moment. They will remember that moment forever.

 

 

 

Let It Be.

First, let me start this post off by stating that I am not writing this looking for pity.

My blog is my “safe” haven.

My go – to for healing, stress relief, and to help others who may be in similar situations as myself.

It has helped not only myself in times of need, but others who can relate and sometimes need a pick-me-up.

I am writing this because I am human, and I am feeling weak.

I am writing it as a way for me to vent, whether it is read or not read.

I am writing it to cope.

I am writing it because I am struggling right now, and writing helps to lift me up and feel OK.

I have always loved the Beatles, but during my recent struggles I have fallen even more in love with these ever so relatable verses; “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me – speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be”.

I find myself whispering “let it be” often these days, especially after an event that has resulted in me struggling. I try to move on. I try to change my perception. I try so hard to “let it be” and trick my mind into thinking about something else.

Sometimes it works, but recently most of the time it doesn’t.

2018 has not been kind to me.

Let me start from the beginning, for those whom don’t know me well. We will start in 2016, as one event seems to lead to another, which leads to another-so to get the full picture, you will need some background. It is my hope that with my struggles and how I handled and am currently handling them, someone else can relate and maybe my words can ease their struggling too.

April 2016. Flood of emotions this month. Was set to get married in May.¬†The whole wedding planning process, as it is for many women, was brutal. I was tired, stressed, and anxious for it to be over. I am sure many of you can relate. Sure, it was fun in the beginning when it was “new”. But I was done. I was fed up, and¬†just wanted it to be over. Throughout the month I became increasingly emotional. Almost like I was hormonal from a period. Yet, I wasn’t on my period, so these emotions made me more upset since I had nothing to blame. I went to¬†my primary care doctor, whom I LOVE, and she ran some tests, just to make sure it was just the wedding causing these emotional issues and not an underlying medical issue. Figures that nothing in life can be THAT simple. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a severe vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency. It was so severe that I needed injections and prescription D3. I had never had these issues before-but I didn’t even question it. The doctor told me the symptoms can¬†range from fatigue and muscle weakness to emotional instability.¬†I felt better that I KNEW why I was feeling so crummy, and it wasn’t just the wedding. I finished my wedding planning, started meds, and then started to feel better!

Fast forward to June 2016. I was finally married to my best friend and we were so happy and relieved that the planning was over! Like many, we decided that¬†we wanted to start a family right after the wedding, so we began the TTC journey! Month after month passed of negative pregnancy tests. I became emotional, though I knew that many many women suffer with infertility and try for so much longer than I did. I felt guilty for feeling this way¬†and in August, gave myself a pep talk. I told myself that it can take up to a year and that I just needed to relax and enjoy the process. So I did just that. My deficiency levels were stable, I was eating well, so all that was left was to just relax and let¬†whatever was going to happen, happen (no matter how true that statement is, I hate it!). September rolled around and we could barely baby dance. I had a work trip so time was limited. We did what we could and off I went on my trip, where I indulged in some wine and relaxed even more! When I came home, 2 days after my birthday, I found out¬†I was pregnant. I¬†was ecstatic. That feeling slipped away soon after I found out, however. See, I am a constant worrier, and was POAS every day for extra confirmation everything was ok. I tried during this time to “let it be” and be happy with being pregnant. I tried to tell myself that many women do not conceive as fast as I did (4 months)¬†so I needed to relax and be grateful. But nothing helped my anxiety. I was¬†constantly in the bathroom checking for blood, even though I had never miscarried. Which is¬†ironic in retrospect because as most know I did miscarry¬†in April of 2018 and I did the same silly checking for blood-which was clearly a waste of time because if it was going to happen it was going to happen and I would have¬†never been able to prevent it.

As I neared the 2nd trimester I began to feel myself get excited for the baby. I felt less anxious as more time went on. Then, from 13 weeks on, everything went downhill. I encountered numerous issues during pregnancy and eventually became high risk. As many know, I also had a very traumatic birth and  recovery.

June 2017. My baby was doing well despite the issues he had during and after pregnancy. But I started to feel “off”. I was emotional, but disconnected and distant. I felt sad and angry and guilty all at once. I felt like I did not love my baby like I should, but then a minute later felt a love I almost couldn’t contain. It was confusing to say the least. I was anxious about going back to work. I felt that these feelings were normal from what everyone told me, as my hormones were still regulating. But I still had this gut feeling like something else was wrong. It was then that I¬†was officially diagnosed with PPA and PPD. I was immediately put on meds and began weekly therapy (as opposed to my normal bi weekly scheduled sessions).

I began to feel better with the medication and therapy combined. I started to feel like myself again. I had gone back to work at this point and was really starting to feel more settled and ok with being a full time working mother. I felt more connected to those that I had previously felt distant from prior to being diagnosed. I felt well enough to start this blog, which was a huge step for someone whom has NEVER had one or written for one.

November 2017. Bad decisions – but the best intentions. The biggest mistake of my life at the time was inviting family to move in with us. At first, it was nice. I felt compelled to help my husbands nephews girlfriend, who was a recovering addict and had two small kids. I took her to her meetings, helped write her resume, got her involved with the local recovery center. I gave her advice, I let her use my car-and sold it to her eventually for like 300 bucks. I helped her with the kids. I felt a deep need to help her become better. Almost like when you find a scared lost animal. I felt compelled to help her and show her I cared. As time went on I started to notice that I was becoming increasingly resentful toward her and my husbands nephew. See, we had given them a “list” of things we wanted them to accomplish and in turn they could stay until March. They had to give us money for utilities. They had to save money-which I opened an account for them to do so and always deposited the money so they wouldn’t spend it. They had to stay clean. They had to help around the house. And the girlfriend had to get a job. As we neared the new year, I started to realize that they didn’t want to change-¬†and that you cant help someone change if THEY don’t want to change. We tried talking to them. They said they would improve. But things only got worse and my anger and resentment grew. Things ended pretty badly in March of 2018, when they were required to move out (which they’d known about for months!)-but I came home to a house full of their items-and their bedroom was¬†a disgusting disaster. What did the girlfriend do ALL DAY LONG? She should have been packed by¬†now and started to move out. Their move out date was the first of the month, and I’d be damned if they were going to stay any longer. So-whether voluntarily or not-out they went-and lets just say we are no longer on speaking terms and I want nothing to do with them. I feel terrible for their children, and hope one day that they truly do change for the better, but I wont hold my breath. Sure, this event in my life taught me a lot about decisions and family, but it also caused marital stress and my own well being to be jeopardized.

December 2017. Jayden had been in and out of doctors offices at this point for months. He was always ill, it seemed, with something. His immune system, like most babies, was weak. But my gut was telling me different. We were referred to a pulmonologist (whom I LOVE), where he was diagnosed with RAD and put on a daily inhaler. At this point we were told he would have an ever weaker immune system because of this medical issue. My poor baby had struggled so much in his short life, but as I would soon learn, he was a warrior and so very strong.

February 2018. It is literally the saddest thing to have your baby, especially first baby, hooked up to O2 and machines. It is so sad watching him wail because the nurses couldn’t get blood from a vein, so they¬†had to try a finger then a foot. It is heartbreaking to see him get an IV-repeatedly. I had seen enough with him in the NICU and wanted him to be healthy and like a normal baby. But my son became a pin cushion. From February until today, he has been seen by multiple specialists. He has had 5 ear infections in 2.5 months. He has been hospitalized for the Flu and RSV AT THE SAME TIME. He has had 106.4 degree fever that scared the ever loving shit out of me. We are 3,000$ in medical debt because my little boy is always so sick. Just yesterday I brought him to speech therapy and he vomited as I was pulling into the lot. He cant maintain weight because of the vomiting, and has been referred to OT and PT for a list or various other issues. He wakes up in the middle of the night choking and coughing, so we are terrified for him to leave our side. But through it all he is strong. He¬†is almost always happy. ¬†And don’t even get me started on his flirtation with nurses – he is quite the charmer. He has taught me so much about pain, love, struggle, and strength. Imagine that, a 1 year old teaching his parents when normally it is the other way around. I cant imagine going through what he has gone through and continues to go through.¬†One day I hope to be as strong as he is.

March 2018. I had been seeing a diabetes doctor because the GD had turned into actual diabetes. I was one of the unfortunate moms to keep good ole diabetes around after pregnancy. My sugars were not lowering with weight loss and I hadn’t been ovulating for 7 months, which was upsetting as we were TTC #2. Non ovulation, as I found out,¬†can be caused by insulin resistance. The decision was made by my team of doctors to start me on Metformin. I started it right at the start of the month. 2 weeks on it, I ovulated. 2 weeks after that-BAM-pregnant! I assumed the Metformin helped lower my sugars which resulted in ovulation. But per my doctors, we cannot confirm or deny. This point will be important for a event in my life later on in the post.

As most know from my miscarriage series, I was much more anxious this time around, and subconsciously I truly believe I knew something was wrong and that was why I was so stressed out.

April 16th, 2018. The worst day of 2018 so far. Loosing my 2nd pregnancy. I wont get into too much detail as most have read or can choose to read my miscarriage posts. What I will say is I learned to true meaning of loss. I learned how it feels¬†to have¬†your best¬†dreams ripped out from under you. I¬†felt empty inside, like I was a shell.¬†Physically, it wasn’t so bad-the recovery that is. Emotionally though, I am still dealing with the emptiness. I see pregnancy announcements or pregnant friends and feel a surge of jealousy, constantly wondering why that couldn’t be me. I try to be happy for these friends, but all I feel is sad for myself.

May 2018. My sons medical complexities at this time hit an all time high. He began more testing and saw more specialists. His weight was unstable. He was always sick and had hives 24-7 with no known cause. I began to take more time off of work. Our pediatrician even asked if I would consider taking an intermittent medical leave. I found myself late for every appointment because I was trying to squeeze it all in; work, appointments, stuff with the house. At this time we decided to list our house for sale so we could buy our forever home. Terrible timing, I know. But I figured it would help distract me from my emotional state. If anything, the issues with selling our home have done the opposite and I am more stressed now than ever. Who knew selling a house could be so difficult? I sure as hell didn’t. This month my son also turned one. It was a sad and happy day for me. Sad because my baby was growing to quick, but happy because, well he was growing. Confusing, I know. I was excited for what was to come for him. Walking next? maybe words? It was just so exciting, scary, and sad all at the same time!

June 3rd-4th, 2018. I had planned to visit my Nana this day. I visited her often, both with and without my mom. I used to joke that¬†she liked when I came so she could see Jayden, but never so she could see me. He lit up her life. Her smile when she held him was heartwarming. She was in her late 80s, but still holding onto life strong, as stubborn and sassy as ever. She loved games, and though the running joke was that she cheated sometimes, she was always damn good at them, cheating or not. I grew up visiting her often for family holidays, sleepovers, and vacations. After my fathers parents died, she was all I had, and when she moved to NH a couple of years ago I made every effort I could to see her. I visited on average 2-4 times a month. We enjoyed lunches together, activities at her assisted living home, play time with Jayden, mothers days, etc. It was always so fun to hear about her latest “gossip” of the facility. And she loved hearing about my life. So, when I was driving to see her as planned with my mother that Sunday afternoon, the 3rd of June, I expected the same thing I normally do. A smile when she saw Jayden. The humor I found when she called him “her baby”. Maybe lunch or a card game. What I didn’t expect was to hear that she was rushed to the hospital. As I drove to see her at the hospital I was just so confused. My mom made it sound serious, but how could it be? She has been fine for the most part. When I arrived at the ER we couldn’t see her. My hope was that I could bring Jayden in to see her before she was moved to the ICU, since babies cannot go there. Maybe he could help her feel better. But that never happened.

Nana lasted overnight, but was touch and go. My mom told me they had hope to treat the double pneumonia and maybe her kidney function would get better. As Monday came, that hope dwindled, and by 5pm, any family that could make it was bedside in her room. At this point she was in a medical coma, but I know she could sense and hear us. I came in with Rob around 6, and it was then that I was told that the decision was made to take her off of the machines. While her death was peaceful, surrounded by love, it was one of the most difficult things I have been though, and I am heartbroken for my mom. She passed within minutes, which made it even more clear that it was time. A good friend told me that the machines were not life saving, they were only¬†keeping her alive. that gave me some comfort that she was ready – I have never heard a truer statement. The services and memorial lunch were amazing. The weather was beautiful and the memories flowed like the tears that rolled down everyone’s cheeks. It was hard to accept, loosing her so suddenly, but I am so grateful for the time we had together, the time she spent with Jayden, the memories we made, and the 100’s of pictures I have of her, especially loving on “her baby”.

June 6th 2018. Dogs are truly best friends to their humans. When I woke up the morning of the 6th, I was motivated to go to work and push my sadness of my Nana’s passing away for a while. Around 10am I called our vet, to try and get my pup in sooner than his appointment the 22nd. He had been acting increasingly “off”-weak, tired, uncoordinated. Not to mention the vomiting and red in the corners of his eyes. I got in right away and went as fast as legally possible from Needham to Manchester¬†to pick him and bring him to Londonderry. My dad met us there. He helped us raise him, so his support was appreciated.

We were brought into a room that appeared to be the “death” room. I say that because it was full of things for pets that would make their last moments on earth amazing; a comfy bed, cookies, plants, etc. My dad tried to prepare me for the worst. I didn’t want to listen. He stated he believed our pup had cancer and it didn’t look¬†good. I responded that he didn’t know that was the case and changed the subject.

We were moved to an exam room, and with a doctor whom myself and my dad knew well from our other pets. She was kind and calm. That helped. She looked at his eyes after getting his weight and told me it was blood. My heart sank. I asked what caused that. She responded that it appear he was bleeding internally, and that his eyes hemorrhaged because of it. I felt guilt.¬†How could I not know this was happening? I have had this dog for 10 years! I heard her say that it likely is a spleen tumor, and she could run an ultrasound to confirm. 2 minutes later she confirmed that she believed there was a large mass on his spleen and that at his age and with his heart troubles, it was unlikely that he would be a candidate for surgery. I was devastated. I felt myself tear up. I called Rob and he was seemingly in denial. We went back in forth, the three of us (myself, Rob and my dad). Could he get another year? I was terrified to come home to a dead dog. We decided to do an X-ray to confirm extent of the tumor and thus make the decision based on that. The result were not good. Rob rushed to us from work. There was cancer everywhere. Lungs, spleen, everywhere. There was no coming back from this. The chances of him lasting much longer were very little, so we made the decision to put him to sleep. Rob and my dad stayed with him as he passed. I cuddled him and gave him treats and loved on him and left. I couldn’t bare to watch someone else I loved¬†die this week. I felt sad but angry leaving him. I didn’t think it was his time. On my drive home I was pretty much numb. Cried out. Unable to feel anything. Did I deserve these misfortunes? Why was this happening to me? My stages of grief seemed all screwed up. I couldn’t stick to one emotion.¬†But I didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep and forget it all.

June 11th, 2018. A new week. A better week. Or so I thought. House troubles continued, combined with more issues and specialist referrals for my son and more medical issues that arose with me that are preventing me from conceiving baby #2. Earlier this week I felt like my world was crashing. I felt suffocated by bad news. I felt mad at God for allowing 2018 so suck so bad. I thought 2016-2017 had its struggles, but 2018 was in a league of its own.

Which brings us to today, June 15th.

I am feeling oddly at peace today, having cried as much as my body would allow yesterday and the day before.

This is one of the few days lately where I am feeling able to “let it be” and move on from the worst 8 months I have had in a long time.

I am feeling positive. Not just thinking it, but for once in a long time I am physically feeling an emotion OTHER THAN sadness and pain.

I am feeling confident that mine and my sons medical issues are being handled by the best of the best and we will both be feeling better soon. We have both been through the ringer, but every hurdle we pass makes us stronger.

I am feeling OK about my decision to let family live with us. We knew the risks. We did what we could and failed, lesson learned. I am feeling a closure on this specific struggle that I no longer felt before. I am also sure it has something to do with a comment the girlfriend made to me when we changed the locks; ” your not even a good wife-you cant even cook for your husband”. Those words burned me. See, she doesn’t know our dynamic. She doesn’t know I bust my ass taking Jayden to all his apts., handling the financials, and cleaning the house and that Rob is in charge of the cooking. She also doesn’t know that I proved her ungrateful little ass wrong. Not only do I cook now, but I cook damn well.¬†I needed to prove to myself she was wrong, and I did. So this whole unfortunate event I am “letting be” and putting behind me. All adventures, good or bad, teach us valuable lessons with which we take through life and can pass on to our children. This was just one of those lessons.

I feel content with the fact that I have one beautiful baby, and once my fertility issues are resolved I will have another. I still feel sad about loosing #2, but God needed him or her more than I did. I still feel a pang of jealousy seeing friends pregnant or seeing pregnancy announcements, but I am trying my best to be happy for these friends and “let it be”. I am not a fan of the “whatever is going to happen will happen clich√©”- that is hard to hear in my situation-although very true. What I will say is that¬†God has a plan for me, and anyone else struggling with this particular issue, and one day, hopefully soon,¬† those struggling to conceive will be blessed with another child.

I feel comfort in knowing my Nana had a long, beautiful life. I feel comfort knowing she died among those who loved her so much, and were there to help her pass peacefully. Though still hard to accept, I feel good knowing how many people loved her. I will continue to visit her best friend at the assisted living home. She too was devastated in Nana’s passing and I just know Nana would love to see her smile ear to ear when she gets to see Jayden. Death is an unfortunate event, but if I have learned anything from loss it is that with memories, we can continue to allow those passed to live on in our hearts and minds.

I feel comfort that my pup lived a great 10 years with me and he is no longer in pain. I still have his blanket, which I can still smell him on and weirdly that also provides comfort. I get sad sometimes, but I am so grateful we could be with him before he passed and get pictures with him and love on him. The memories I have of him will forever be with me, and one day I will see him again. Animals, like humans, hold a special place in our hearts, but with the memories created, you can always have them close to you.

I feel positive that one day soon, I will feel strong enough to completely “let it be” and let God guide me to the happiness I crave.

We all have struggles. Mine are different, but not any less important than yours.

We all feel pain. Yours may be for a different reason than mine, but it still exists among us like a dagger to our heart.

We all feel weak. We feel out of control. We feel anger. We feel resentment.

We feel all things humans should and do feel, because we are human and none of us are perfect or lead perfect lives.

But we can all eventually let the struggles that hinder us, be. We can move on. We can forget.

And the next struggles that we encounter will be easier to handle, because we are that much stronger.

So the next time your heart hurts – the next time your mind hurts-try to remember how loved you are.

How many people need you in their life.

Remember the memories that you hold within.

Remember that is ok to grieve. It is OK to vent, like I have. It is OK to be angry or sad.

Remember that you are not alone and that these feelings are OK.

Eventually you to will be able to “let it be” and move on-but allow yourself to feel in the moment.

After all, struggles may make us fall down momentarily, but getting back up again makes us stand that much taller; always remember that the struggles you feel today may be your strengths for tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration.

Sometimes writing comes best to me when im sitting in traffic at 5am.

Other times it comes during an especially busy day at work.

Still, other times it comes when all of my world is quiet. When I’m alone, no distractions, no problems, no fires to put out.

I must say, it is heavenly. It offers a rare opportunity for uninterrupted reflection.

I decided to go for a jog at 6am this morning, because, why not?

I haven’t told many but hubby and I started to try to conceive again. It took almost 8 months of disappointment and finally realizing that something wasnt right before we conceived and lost my last pregnancy.

I know, it isnt nearly as long as others try for. But when you want something so bad in life, length of time becomes insignificant. Whether trying for 3 months or 2 years, it is an emotional rollarcoaster.

Every negative test becomes another month trying. Every random pregnancy announcement becomes so painful, even if your so happy for that person.

So once I miscarried, my disappointment became that much worse. I had to unfollow friends. I even deleted social media for a while.

I blamed my health for a long time. My insulin restitance was bad. I blamed my weight. I blamed a lot of things.

But the reason why it happened doesn’t matter anymore. The last 8 months doesn’t matter.

I’m alive. I’m in a successful career. I have a loving husband and adorable 1 year old. I have supportive friends and family.

It’s been 1 full cycle and now half of my second since losing the baby and emotionally and physically I feel ready.

Physically, when I lost the baby I promised myself and my next baby that my body would be ready. My sugars would be good. My weight would be ideal. So that’s what im doing.

I’ve lost 3 lbs since the miscarriage, and to some fitness fanatics that may not be enough fast enough. But this is my body. Therefore, it’s my choice how I loose, as long as it’s healthy.

My sugars are great, the best they have been since the miscarriage, due in large part to healthy eating.

I am still struggling with water intake and exercise, so this weekend I decided to start to walk/jog again. Afterall, if I lost 3 lbs without much exercise, imagine what exercise could do?!

What’s also helped me to reflect? The support fron my close friends and family.

Last week, instead of saying “if we conceive” (I’d been really negatve about getting pregnant again-always using the term “if”), I had said to one of my closest friends “when i conceive”. The monent I said it, she told me how proud she was of me. That’s all it took to push me further into positivity.

Yesterday, I was complaining to hubby (I have always been self conscious) that I looked so fat. His response? “No you don’t. Your beautiful”. Simple but powerful. I put on that dress and ROCKED IT.

Everyone faces struggles in life to varying degrees. That’s life.

Some struggles are small, and some are life altering.

I struggle with many things. My sons medical issues, my medical issues, currently buying/selling our house, work, trying to conceive, the list goes on. And on. And on.

But I am inspired. By the support I receive on a daily basis. By the desire to have another baby. By my career and achievements. By my wonderful son who remains happy throughout all if his hardships and medical poking and prodding this last year- a true reminder of incredible strength. By my jog this morning. By the beauty of silence and nature.

The list of what inspires me goes on and on. And today, as I walk – alone – and take in the beauty of the mountains that surround me, I reflect and feel content.

I may not have everything I want in life, but in this moment I have everything I could possibly need and more.

I have an infinite amount of love and light in my life.

What brings you out of the darkness and inspires you?

The best mothers day present.

Mothers day 2017.

Waking up, hubby and I felt so much more positive. We had two good draws, and overnight Jayden was off of machines and had his car seat test.

The nursing staff had made us these cute mothers day cards since our babies were in the NICU. It was heartwarming. However, reality that we may spend my first mothers day in the hospital was upsetting. I tried throughout the day to stay positive and keep my mind off of where we were. I held, cuddled, dressed, changed, and fed my sweet 4 lb 9 oz baby boy.

Afternoon rolled around and we got the news we had prayed so hard for-we were being discharged. After paperwork, meeting with the doctors, etc, we were finally on our way home.

On the way home, I thought about how my experience had changed me. Sure, we weren’t in the NICU for as long as some others. Sure, my son didn’t have life threatening complications. But a NICU mom is a NICU mom, no matter how long or what the situation. We all deal with the guilt of not being able to be with our children 247. The sadness we feel when we are away from them. The anxiety about leaving. My experience made me realize how precious life truly is.

Leaving the hospital, still feeling the emotional roller coaster caused by post partum hormones, I decided to live. I decided to not let my emotional state control me, and to allow myself to be excited for the future and raising my precious boy.

This past year, my life has continued to be a roller coaster. I battled PPA and PPD, I started a new job – farther away – that I knew nothing about, and had to leave my baby boy only 3 months after he was born. I watched my son get poked and prodded as a result of his medical complexities. I felt the sadness when he did not pass his NICU assessment and was scheduled for another this coming August. I felt the pressure of our increasing medical bill debt from hospital visits. I experienced frustration with my sons doctors. As a family, we dealt with so much heartbreak and emotional turmoil between Jayden’s health issues, my health issues, and then loosing Jayden’s little brother or sister that I am surprised we are still holding it together. But despite the challenges my family faced this year, we are stronger than ever.

My baby is fighter. My baby has taught me how to live, love, laugh, and let go in his short time on this earth. He has taught me that no matter the struggle, we are a family and we will stick it out together.

I will always remember every mothers day as the day we officially started our lives as a family of 3 in our home. It was the most amazing present I ever did receive ‚̧