Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Lesson from Disney

I loved Disney as a kid. Watched all the movies, went to all the Disney on Ice productions, and the Disney Store was my favorite store ever. My older sister loved Cinderella and had an enormous collection of Cinderella memorabilia. I was envious of it. But, I couldn't relate to Cinderella. Nothing about her seemed to resemble me. I thought about each Disney princess but none of them seemed like, well me. Then there came Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Well, that was me. Kind of. Take Belle and subtract the being raised by her father deal, and the beautiful deal. What was left over was me. Bookworm.
Then, there's another whole concept. I see people for who they are on the inisde rather than the outside. Caring. The movie Beauty and the Beast became an obsession for me. I began to collect a large amount of Beauty and the Beast memorabilia. It's what I asked for as gifts. I even went to the Disney on Ice production of Beauty and the Beast when I was 14... and sat front row! My collection got stolen several years ago. I never have understood why a foot locker of Beauty and the Beast memorabilia would be stolen, but it was.

I love the message of the movie. "Never judge a book by its cover" Belle saw the Beast for who he was on the inside rather than as the hideous beast he was on the outside. This is how I live my life. I see a person for who they truly are. This is also a lesson I try to teach my children. Maybe if we all practiced this, there would be a little less prejudice in the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

♥ Heartache ♥

On March 20, 1997 I was a scared 18 year old. I was 18, pregnant, unmarried. So, yes, utterly scared. I was still with the father (and actually, still am). On March 20, 1997 my life changed forever. I lost that sweet, precious baby I was carrying. I was 7 weeks pregnant one minute and not pregnant the next. It was heartbreaking. And it ranked up there in my top 10 worst moments of my life. I sank into a depression. I didn't want to be near anyone. I didn't want to do anything. I literally had to coax myself into getting out the bed and doing what needed to be done day to day. In reality, all I wanted was my baby. I wanted to hear its heartbeat. I wanted to see it on ultrasound. I wanted to feel it kick. I wanted to give birth. I wanted to see its beautiful face. But, I would never have any of those moments; at least not with that baby. I cried on a moment's notice for weeks. Seeing other babies made me cry. I lived in a fog for a long while. I finally started to come out of my depression. I wanted to name my baby. I wanted it to have a name other than "Baby {Our Last Name}" or "Baby S". We didn't have any idea what the gender of our baby was. We could have just given our baby a gender-neutral name, but none really stuck with us. So, after talking for awhile, we decided to assume our baby was a girl (it's what my husband wanted) so he named our baby "Alexis Marie". If this name is accurate, we don't know, and we won't know until we are reunited in Heaven but it helps us through the grief. I went on to get pregnant again 5 months after my miscarriage. That pregnancy resulted in my oldest, living daughter.

Several years went by and I got pregnant again in November 2001. By this time, we were married and raising our daughter. I lost this pregnancy at 6 weeks. Again, I felt hurt and pain. I wanted this baby just as much as I had wanted my others. I cried, but I used my daughter as my reason to keep on going. That was when I sought online support to help me through the process. I came to name my angel, Dakota Lee, as I felt it was a boy. Now, here's where my story gets tricky. Ovulation and cycles are completely off after a miscarriage. So, when I immediately got pregnant again, dates and calculations were off. Based on using the date of my miscarriage, my due date for the next pregnancy was one date and then it was moved because of ultrasounds.

This pregnancy was seemingly going good. I had an ultrasound, saw a baby and relaxed. But, at 12 weeks, my life was again turned upside down. I began heavy bleeding and was admitted into the hospital. My water broke and I was told to prepare for the worst. The doctor came in and there on the ultrasound monitor was my baby! Doing somersaults! Now, the explanation of what happened to cause me to bleed and for my water to break: My baby had a twin that did not make it. This twin had been hiding during my ultrasound. Another loss, but I still had a baby to nurture. My daughter was born 3 days after her original due date, 10 days after her modified due date. We named her twin Ashleigh Rose.

Now, why am I blogging this? Not because I want something from anyone. I grieve every day on my own. I want to spread awareness. There are women out there who have suffered a loss, and if it's an early one, are told to move on because it wasn't a baby. Wasn't a baby? Then what was it? To me, all 3 of my losses were babies. My babies. Babies I would give anything, short of my living kids' lives, to hold. Please do not tell me to move on and forget the memory of my BABIES. And please don't mock my heartache. Until you have walked in those shoes, you don't know what the heartache feels like.

Yes, I have written 2 posts in the last few days about pregnancy and infant loss. But, lately a lot has happened that has made me feel the need to explain this over (and seemingly over).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WWTKW: And off to the Grocery Store We Go!

Make sure to visit the hosts: Mamarazzi and Crazymama

This week's questions are from Crazymama:

{1} walking down the cookie aisle at the store, what do you pick?
      Usually, Chewy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chips Ahoy. I love these things! My husbands prefer the original Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chips Ahoy, but trust me, the Chewy is so much better!

{2} would you rather eat chips or crackers? which kind?
      I prefer chips. My favorite is Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. I also eat the Fritos Scoops or Tostino's Scoops dipped in salsa con queso. If I eat crackers, I eat Cheese its. Usually the Pepper Jack flavored or 4 cheese italian ones. I also love me some cheese on wheat crackers by Lance. Loved them since I was just a kid.

{3} what kind of pickles do you like?
      I want to say kosher dill. I love pickles. But only when I'm not pregnant. Can't stand them when I am pregnant. So, so much for old wives' tales, huh?

{4} what is your favorite candy?
      Candy Bar? Mint 3 Muskateers. I have to search for them here though. Candy? Mint M&M's, Peanut Butter M&M's and Nerds.

{5} marycate @ wants to know about your beverage preference.
Coke....Or Pepsi? Diet Drinkers?
      Mtn Dew. I prefer Pepsi over Coke though. But, always Mtn Dew above all others. I need to eliminate all soft drinks but my will power isn't strong enough!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's A Slap in the Face

Back in early December of 2001, I suffered my second miscarriage. I had just gotten into the whole on-line thing. Four years earlier when I had suffered my first miscarriage, I suffered alone. I knew no one who had a miscarriage before. I had no support, no one to get advice from, nothing. So, when I had my second miscarriage, I began looking for websites to get support. I came across Pain-Heartache-Hope ran by a wonderful woman, Robyn. Her Pregnancy and Infant Loss group was the very first yahoo group I ever joined. Over the course of time, I was a member of each of her groups - Loss, Trying to Conceive after Loss, Pregnancy after Loss, Children after Loss and even a Twins-Triplets-and-More group. I bared my heart and soul with these ladies. We cried together, we mourned together, we laughed together, we rejoiced together. We were a family of moms who lost, mourned and helped one another. Shortly after I joined Robyn's group, I joined her efforts to have October 15th recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day by becoming the Virginia State Leader. I worked hard for her cause as a way to remember my precious angels. During the course of this effort, I went on to lose another baby and successfully carry its twin to term. I also had a set of twins. I spent free time writing letters and contacting my House and Senate representatives. I cried during the 2006 House Resolution. Seeing the hard work we all worked for come this far was a rewarding and satisfying moment.

I lost my first baby in March 1997. It has been 15 years and the pain is still real. I still wonder "What if..." for not only that loss but my others as well. There isn't a day that goes by that they don't cross my mind. When I hear of other's pain whether it be a miscarriage, still birth or infant death, I feel the pain for them too. I want to make their hurt go away. I want to give them back their precious angel so they don't have to live with the pain I do. I don't always talk openly about my angels. There are days I want to be alone in my grief. There are days I'll be more than happy to share anything you want to know and anything you want to hear about. But, do not EVER make up a pregnancy or a stillbirth to gain sympathy from me. It will not work. That is just a slap in the face of any mother who has lost a pregnancy or baby.

Hundreds of people put in a lot of hard work and energy in making a day for our precious angels. Don't tarnish it by trying to gain sympathy for an angel that never existed. Don't mock the pain and agony that many women endure on a daily basis. I wouldn't wish pregnancy or infant loss on my worst enemy. So, don't pretend that you are if you aren't.