Day of HOPE Prayer Flag Project 2017

hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen

During pregnancy mothers and fathers hope for so many moments. They want to make sure everything goes smoothly and that they’re child has everything they would ever need. When a child dies, it feels like there is no more hope left. A person’s worst nightmare has happened. Nothing would ever feel as sweet as the before.

I have been in that place. Hope had been completely drained from my soul and darkness took its place. I’ve also survived life after loss for over sixteen months. Each day, I have felt the hope build back inside of me. Maybe it doesn’t feel as grand as it did before, but the promise of a new day to share Jensen’s story and for me to keep moving forward with his memory gives me hope. I have to celebrate the little victories. That’s what they would want me to do.

This day, the Day of Hope – They Prayer Flag Project, brings our community of bereaved parents together. It helps show all of us there is hope after loss. We are able to celebrate the lives of our children and share little parts of them. I cannot think of a more perfect way to spread hope.


Now, I’ve been extremely excited to share this year’s prayer flag with you all. My flag represents both Jensen and Huxley in different ways that I am happy to explain to you all.

Colors

There are three main colors: blue, orange, and grey. Of course, right? Blue and orange are forever Jensen’s colors. When I see them, I instantly smile and it brings me back to when I was pregnant and all the hope I had decorating and planning his nursery. The other color, grey, is his middle name. It felt like a strong color to use for the background. It’s what holds the flag together and his name felt so strong while we were choosing.

Buttons

When I was pregnant with Huxley, I started collecting buttons; a little fun fact. I had this craft I was so set on doing for him for his nursery. The mason chair in my closet is a quarter of the way full with different sizes and colors of buttons. When I was decided on how I was going to make this year’s prayer flag, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I went into the craft store and was lead straight to the button aisle. Then it all fit together.

Initials

Last year, Jensen’s flag had a huge J on it. I knew I wanted to include Jensen and Huxley’s initials somewhere this year. They seem like such simple letters, but for some of us, that’s all we have from our babies. I added them close to the heart because they’ll forever be in mine.

The Heart

I could go for the literal translation here and say I’m wearing my heart on my flag, but I promise there’s a little more meaning here. The heart is made of a ton of little buttons (sadly, I didn’t count them to give you an exact number), this resembles the pieces of my broken heart. In the same sense, they are all together, which resembles my healing process and the hope to keep waking up and doing my best every morning.

And yes, there is the literal translation of a heart representing love and my favorite poem from e.e. cummings.

Ribbons and Tassels

Mainly used for decorative purposes, I wanted to bridge a connection from last year’s flag to this year’s. Although I have grown tremendously since this day on year ago, I am still on the same journey of loss and love. What better way to represent this than some pretty ribbon and getting my aggression out by cutting fabric?


Thank you all for allowing me to share this year’s prayer flag with you. It has been such a healing activity and a great day to connect to other loss moms and dads. I hope you enjoyed my flag as much as I enjoyed making it and that you learned something more about Jensen and Huxley.

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Five Tips on Making a Prayer Flag for Your Child. 

The Day of Hope – Prayer Flag Project is coming up, in one week (August Nineteenth) to be exact!

This is my second year participating in the project. Last year was definitely a learning process for me in participating with the community and making something that reflected my grief, motherhood, and of course Jensen. I wrote a little post to introduce my flag and explain the meaning behind it, here. This year, I’ve been a little more relaxed with my flag. I had one design in mind, but when I went into the craft store, that idea went out the window and I came up with something so fitting. 

I’m not going to share the whole flag and it’s meaning until next week, but I wanted to show some snippets of the flag while I was creating today. Also, I wanted to give you all some tips if you’ve saw the project, but have been weary of committing. Hopefully this can inspire you to be apart of this great project and day. 


Check Out CarlyMarie’s Page for Information 

CarlyMarie is a beautiful loss mom who has been in the community for ten years now. She does all sorts of projects through the year to helped bereaved parents with their grief and honoring all our children. This page is going to give you the complete background of what the project stands for and how it came to creation. It also gives you a great starting place when it comes to purchasing items for your flag. Such as, the dimensions of the fabric you’ll use and videos of how others have made prayer flags. 

Also, it includes event links and social media hashtags to connect you more to the community and see what everyone else made. 

Get Creative 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a prayer flag for your child. Whatever you can think of, you can create. I know it. 

Last year, Jensen’s ‘J’ initial was the highlight of the flag. Incorporating their name or their initials is a perfect way to add a big touch of them. I also used his colors, blue and orange to focus on. These colors were used in his nursery and for my baby shower. You could possibly use a color you identify your child with or any theme. Another item I incorporated last year was flowers. I always picture Jensen sending me flowers and it was so peaceful adding them. If you get signs from your child, such as feathers or butterflies, add them. This is the fun part of seeing how all our babies are different. 

This year, I’m mainly using his colors and buttons… so excited to share what everything means next week. 


Don’t Overthink Your Design 

I was guilty of this last year. Sometimes (most of the time) I can be a perfectionist; I’m a Virgo, enough said. 

You know your child better than everyone else. Whatever you choose to add to your flag will be perfect no matter what. Everyone is in different stages of their grief too, which will be apparent in each and every project. Listen to that creative voice in your head and jump in. 

Here’s something else not to worry about, if you don’t find an item that you had pictured in your mind, don’t compromise, but don’t let it drag you down. You will be surprised of what you can create. For me, it’s always way better when it’s done than what I had originally planned. 

Have Fun 

The hard fact is we never wanted to be in this position of making a prayer flag for our child. There are hundreds of things we should be doing for them instead. Sometimes projects like these can be overwhelming depending on where you are in you’re journey. Believe me, I understand. 

I urge you to try it though. 

It is so heartwarming to be making something for them. This is one way we can still parent them and show our love. Working with your hands is so healing and, for me, it’s fun to actually hold items that remind me of Jensen. I put on some Jensen jams and rocked away with my glue gun in hand. Try to smile and even have fun while creating. 

Embrace the Community Cheering You On

Whether you decide to share you flag publicly or keep it private, we’re all here for you, always. There are times when we don’t feel confident in what we’re doing, especially after loss. There are people, like me, that are here to encourage you to keep going and just to listen. 

As I mentioned above, there’s usually an event page on Facebook that participants can share their flags with each other. It is such a supportive space to share and hear others stories. I would recommend joining in on this; when I find the event page, I will definitely post on Jensen’s Page. Another social media platform I recommend for the Day of Hope and just with grief in general is Instagram. Last year there were hundreds of moms (and dads) posting their flags and everyone had such kind words.  

Just some ending reminders… 

  • The Day of Hope – Prayer Flag Project is on August 19th. 
  • If you want to know more information, check out the event page, here.
  • There’s still time to participate and make a beautiful prayer flag. 
  • Check out some inspiration on social media. 
  • You got this!

Allowing Myself to Feel Whatever I Need. 


I’ve been staring at a blank screen for an hour. There’s so much to say, but the words can never accurately describe the madness inside. Sometimes I wish I could let this pain consume me from the inside out, that it would eventually take over and be in charge for good. 

It’s been six weeks. 

Instead of wanting to drink my sorrow away, I should have a happy sixteen week baby bump. I wouldn’t know he was a boy yet, but I would be happy to find out soon. I looked in the mirror this morning, thinking of the grey shirt that’s hanging in my closet. The one I used to document his short ten weeks. If things went differently, I’d be wearing it today wondering if my anatomy scan would go more smoothly this time around. 

This isn’t fair. Six weeks ago, I still had hope everything was going to be alright with Huxley. He had his big brother watching from above. 

Miscarriage hurts. 

Damn it, it’s more than hurt. I’m drowning over here in what could have been. My longing for Jensen is even more intensified, I’ve never squeezed his Molly Bear more than I have since I miscarried. I’m literally gasping for air and it feels like my head is continually being pushed under. 

I’m supposed to be ‘strong.’

I should just get pregnant again to mask the pain. 

At least I’ve already went through the worst part of my life. Miscarriage should be so much easier after having Jensen. 

Focus on the good in your life, not the pain. 

It’ll get easier. 

I don’t want to be strong. I don’t want to feel anything but how I’m feeling right now. Another pregnancy does not take away that they lived and they matter. You’re right, I have lived through the tragedy of having my full term child die before he was born. I’ve cried everyday for him and it hasn’t gotten easier without him. 

Why does our society diminish pregnancy and infant loss of any gestation or age? It’s not easy and I know grief and death is uncomfortable, but this is my life. 

I should have a sixteen month old baby boy and be sixteen weeks pregnant today and because they’re not, I’m allowed to feel whatever I need to get by to the next moment. 

Another Post-Op Appointment.

Seventy days are all I had with Jensen’s sibling.

In that short amount of time I took pictures, laughed out loud, and had hope for the future ahead of us. Everything was going to be right with this baby. We had an angel looking out for us. I was feeling so positive in that time, the anxiety of pregnancy after loss didn’t set in.

When this child died, my world crumbled again. The days I was stuck on the couch, I looked at all I had from this pregnancy. It doesn’t dent the amount of things I had for Jensen, but this is what it is. I had a feeling this baby was a girl and planned the nursery out. There were clothes I had on my Etsy favorites and I even bought a little onesie for his or her arrival. The truth is, I didn’t know anything about the baby growing inside me, besides it was mine and I loved it very much.

Last week, my doctor’s office called and wanted me to go back in to hear more of the results from the testing on the baby. Today was the day I went back in.

I found out the exact reason why this baby died and that there was no fault on my part. That the reason I lost this child would be unlikely to happen again in a subsequent pregnancy, which I’ve heard before then lost again. From the testing, I found out that even if they baby made it full term, they would have died shortly after. Hearing that didn’t make it easier to know I miscarried. I guess I should be glad for future babies, but I don’t feel that. It just felt/feels like I was in a whirlwind of information, but it was always backed up by the hope of the future. Sometimes when we’re pressured just to look towards the future, we don’t really grasp how we feel in the present.

There was one, big fact I learned about my child, he was a boy.

The six weeks I knew about him, I thought he was a girl. Somehow finding out that little piece of information gives me a little more closure. He isn’t just a disregarded ‘it.’ Jensen has a little brother to play with in heaven. They can do what boys do and that makes me smile.

It has been a hard day. Obviously.

As soon as I came home, I pulled out all the papers I had on him and the things I bought so early on to put them in his own little drawer. Then I looked on my phone and saw the pictures I had of him. There’s not a lot, but it’s all I have and cherish.

His name is Huxley. This is a snippet of his life: his infinity.

‘Your Loss Makes Me Uncomfortable’ and Five More Things I’ve Heard.


Last year I wrote this post about hurtful things I had been told only four months into losing Jensen. It’s been one of my most read post and I think by sharing things that are painful to hear will help others know what they’re saying is hurtful.

Now fifteen months into my loss journey, on top of my miscarriage, there are comments said to me that really sting. Sometimes hearing them is just the tipping point of a complete grief attack. It’s horrible. Deep down I believe a lot of these are just a person trying to help, but it’s a little misguided. Other times it’s just complete cruelty from a person. I’m not sure if that stems from not having any empathy/sympathy for a person or they just don’t care.

With all that being said, here’s part two of my original post. As with any of my posts that could come off distasteful, this isn’t me trying to put anyone down. If you have said any of these things, I’m not calling you out. This is purely just to help break the stigma of child loss and open the conversation of how to treat the bereaved. Of course, every person is different and what bothers me may not effect the next.

Your loss makes me uncomfortable.

Oh, I’m sorry that my child who died makes you uncomfortable, I guess I’ll act like it never happened so you’re okay. HA.

Guess what death and grief is uncomfortable and I live with that every second of the day. Losing a child is hard, sad, and really indescribable. The moments I get to talk about Jensen and the love he brought into my life are the ones I treasure the most. If I’m sharing him with you, that means a lot. Yet, when I hear how uncomfortable you are about my stories and his pictures… it makes me never want to share him.

Of course I keep sharing him because that’s what makes me happy. Babies who have gone so soon shouldn’t be hid away, they should be celebrated.

At least it was an early loss, it doesn’t hurt as bad.

This has made way in the mix of comments since losing Jensen’s little sibling. I was ten weeks, which was a lot less time with that little baby then Jensen. Our time together wasn’t ‘long,’ but it was that child’s whole life. The moment I saw that pregnancy test flash positive, I was over the moon with happiness.

Then he or she died and I tumbled down.

Pregnancy and infant loss, heck any loss, hurts. It doesn’t matter how long with a person you had, they still mattered and made a difference. Honestly, people told me this with Jensen too. That it was a good thing I wasn’t attached to him because he hadn’t taken a breath outside my womb. My question with this comment is how long is long enough time with your child that losing them starts to hurt?

That’s in the past. You need to live in the present.

My eyes roll so far in the back of my head every time I hear this.

Yes, believe me, I know how many weeks and days it’s been since Jensen and his sibling died. Just like I know that I’m in this day right now. This comment usually is said when I’m having a bad day because I don’t have enough strength to look my ‘okayest’ on the outside.

It doesn’t matter how long it has been, my life should be different. My present should not be how it is now. Jensen should be walking around all over the place and I still should be growing his baby sibling inside my belly. When you look at it like that, how could you not understand why the present is so hard? Their death is deafening. Loss parents try their best to keep moving forward, never leaving their children and their memories behind, and continue healing in the best way they know how. We are living in the present we never thought was possible, don’t judge us while we’re trying to figure it out.

You can always have more.

This was on the last list too, but I think it’s important to mention it again.

Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re wrong. I don’t know infertility rates off the top of my head, but I do know there are tons of men and women who are battling to get pregnant. There’s also this little thing called secondary infertility. Just because someone was able to get pregnant before does not always guarantee a future pregnancy.

Let’s take this in another direction, that I’m all too familiar with. What happens if you do get pregnant and that child dies too? Yeah, that’s real talk. The truth a pregnancy doesn’t always result in a living child. Multiple loss happens to so many parents.

My advice on this one, mind your own business. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes.

I couldn’t go on if my child died.

Each time I’ve heard this I’ve wanted to scream.

One, I’m not strong or cold-hearted to have ‘kept going on’ after Jensen’s death. There’s really only two options of what I could do. First, try to make sense and keep moving forward in life after loss. Second, not go on. That was nicely put. When you say you couldn’t go on, you’re implying you would die if you children did. So frankly the other option I would have is to just die and then it would be pity her she couldn’t handle life.

Two, when you say this, it feels like you’re downplaying the love I have for my child and the pain I feel. The truth is you can never predict how you’re going to react after you child dies, but you have the two options I stated above: to keep going on or taking your own life.

So you have NO children.

This is a newly inspired comment to add to my list of horrible things I’ve heard. If you haven’t heard the whole episode of what happened during my post-op appointment, you can read it, here.

I’m going to put this in a perspective anyone could understand. If your mother dies, are you still her child? Is she still your mother? Does death take away the relationship you had with her? If you answered, yes, yes, no. Then you should understand why hearing this would make you livid. Now, let me flip the switch. If you died, right now as you’re reading this, would your mom still be your mother? Or would your death just take that away from her?

She would still be your mom, just like I’ll always be Jensen’s and this little baby’s. Death does not take that time away. It steals your future, of course, but not the unique relationship with that person. SO, how could a person look at a mother who has went survived pregnancy and infant loss and tell her she has no children. It’s cruel and completely untrue.

Again, this post is not written to throw anyone under a bus. It’s meant to help educate to make others aware that child loss is a real tragedy and words really can hurt.

Learning How to Swim, Again.

Yesterday, as I floated alone in my parent’s pool, I was fueled by anger. In my head I was screaming so loud, but my exterior just seemed like I was uncomfortable. I tried to calm myself by watching the clouds, feeling the sun’s warmth, and letting the cool water extinguish the flames of madness inside me.

How is this my life?

Let me back this up a little bit. Since my D&C, I’ve had this horrible cough. I can’t sleep at night due to it and nothing seems to ease my coughing fits. In trying to figure out why I am lacking in sleep, I realized it was from the breathing tube they had to put in my throat for surgery. The lasting, physical evidence from this pregnancy. The combination from the lack of sleep and headaches from constantly coughing and drinking hot tea has me on edge: emotionally and physically.

Knowing all of this, I wanted to try my best to relax yesterday since I had the pool to myself. Right before I plugged my iPhone in to blast music, I scrolled through Instagram like I normally do. Now, I follow lots of loss moms, motivational accounts, and profiles that have journal prompts. If you didn’t know, I write a lot for myself, that no one ever reads. Sometimes it’s nice to be guided in writing. One of my favorite accounts, @rusticojournal, posted a seemingly fun and innocent prompt yesterday…

@rusticojournal


The mix of no sleep and my emotional battle twisted this nice, light prompt into a soul crushing reality that is my life.

Dramatic? Probably, but that was the spark that lit the fire in my mind. Since I felt so emotional after reading the prompt (and spewing while floating) I decided to write a response and wanted to share it with you.

I learned how to swim in this new life after loss because I was pushed off the highest mountain into an ocean that’s undercurrents pulled me down to the bottom. During the fall, I forgot how to swim or even which way the surface was to swim. I succumbed to the ocean of grief and let it twist me around. It would have been easy to just stay there in the darkness, for I was afraid of what would happen when I came back up. The world had defied me and how could I trust it ever again?

Something inside me made me want to begin swimming, to try to heal from the loss of my son. Stroke by stroke, I became stronger and reached the surface. There were waves so tall and big that knocked me back under, but I refused to sink. Each time I was plummeted down, it took me less time to swim back up. When I resurfaced I saw different beautifies that didn’t exist before. Yes, the world had looked different, but I couldn’t go back to how it was before. I didn’t want to go back to a world without Jensen, so I had to accept these pains and joys.

For a year, I learned how to swim in the ocean of grief. I was actually getting quite good at maneuvering and predicted the waves. Then it changed when I got pregnant again. There were still huge obstacles ahead and it didn’t take away all those I had overcome, but something new had come into play, hope.

My short pregnancy after loss experience was smooth, until the hurricane came and I had to learn how to swim again.

I hate comparing this loss to losing Jensen. They’re so different in many ways, but the pain I feel… it’s still heartbreaking. My hope for the future was extinguished and the flames of anger and the intense grief is back. Yes, I’m still in the ocean of grief, I’ve never left. I was pulled down to the bottom again and am still swimming up.

This time though, I’m not afraid of getting back to the surface. I know what’s there now. Learning how to swim this time is easier than what it was when Jensen died. My muscle memory is guiding me in how to grieve, even though it is different from before. The movements and waves are tricky, but I want to be on top. I want to see where I am in this sea and how far this hurricane threw me. There’s no way I can go back to where I was before this miscarriage. It’s a new terrain for me that created completely different situations and experiences.

Loss has altered me and the world around me, but it hasn’t taken away my ability to learn how to swim.

Usually it helps getting all the built up words out on paper, but this wasn’t the case yesterday. My cough kept me up again last night and since I released some of my pent-up emotions, they just wanted to spill out. I questioned God why He had to take Jensen, when he’s all I want, or why He had to take his little sibling away, when he or she gave me so much hope for the future.

If I could share anything from my experience in learning how to swim again (navigate life after loss), is that no matter the loss, it hurts like hell. There is no reasons babies should die and parents to be subjected in this pain and grief. No words can take away that pain, no future living children can erase what has happened, and no matter how much time has passed, a parent can feel how deeply their child’s loss impacted their life. All we can do is help each other swim.

Post-Op Appointment Update.


I woke up yesterday with so much anxiety just sitting on my chest. It’s going to be the day I found out what I did wrong; why Jensen’s little sibling died. There has to be something wrong with my body or maybe I had been in the wrong while pregnant. My brain is starving for some sort of answers and steps for if I would have another child in the future.

As usual, I put off getting ready for my appointment till the last-minute. Somehow I think if I just act like I don’t have to do something, it’ll magically become reality. Then all I knew I was in my mom’s car and we were talking about… I forget what. My thoughts were consumed. I should be out of the first trimester and getting excited to find out the sex of my child. Not this. Going up to another post-death appointment for one of my children. My nails, that I’ve tried so hard not biting lately, were bitten down so much. All while my mom kept talking. I feel so bad, I should have paid more attention to what she was saying.

When we got to the office, I swear every pregnant person my doctor sees was there.

A few weeks after New Years, I stopped really paying attention to those big pregnant bellies. Sometimes they’re just unavoidable. Well, after my miscarriage, I just want to not see pregnant people. Also, why isn’t there such a thing in the doctor’s office as a designated loss mom appointment day or maybe a little side waiting room. No, the mental torture I was already in just magnified. I probably looked like a complete bitch sitting there not making eye contact with these joyous women and the off-chance I did, I didn’t smile back.

My name finally got called twenty minutes after my appointment time. I didn’t mind the wait time, I get it. Everyone waits, I just wasn’t in the best of moods. The nurse asks, almost too peppy, how I was feeling and just smiles back at me. Again, remember my heavy anxiety and overall hellish weeks and months I’ve had. Coldly, I told her I could be doing much better and stared back. I thought that’d be it, no more dumb questions or statements, but that’s not my luck.

Now I don’t know what’s on my medical charts, but I’m guessing the nurse knew I was there because of a D&C due to a miscarriage. I’m also guessing, that my past history, you know my son dying at thirty-eight weeks in my womb, would also be in there. Thankfully she took my blood pressure when we first got in the room because it skyrocketed soon after.

I’m Jensen’s and this baby’s voice and I will never deny them as my children. They died, but they lived too. I am theirs and they are mine.

This nurse, doing her job I understand, looks me straight in my eyes and says, ‘you have no children, right?’ My loss mama heart fired up and said, ‘yes, my son was stillborn last year. Last April.’

Then it was like a slap in my face.

‘And you just had a miscarriage, but you don’t have any children.’

I felt all the blood in my whole body boil. Then I repeated, ‘I have a son. Unfortunately, he died, but he is my child. So I don’t have any living children, but I do have children.’ Somehow I didn’t scream it at her, maybe that’s because I was trying to keep the tears that were filling up my eyes from falling down my face.

She just nodded and gave me this look of pity. It was so demeaning, like she thought I was just grasping at these straws to be a mom. Then she left.

There have been many times in just the past two weeks where I’ve felt so low and down. Even in this state, I never questioned my motherhood or my value. But in that room, I felt stripped down and worthless. This invisible motherhood felt taken away from me, like the time I had with Jensen and all that I do to mother him now didn’t matter. How can you devalue someone in such a vulnerable state and place.

So many emotions and thoughts flew around before the knock at the door halted them all. The time was here where he was going to tell me I was broken and that my womb was a death-ground for my babies.

I physically felt my fingers tighten the seat underneath me. Then everything happened all at once.

‘Don’t try again for two months.’

‘Keep taking your prenatal vitamins.’

‘Baby’s results won’t be here till Monday, call us then.’

‘There should be no problem during future pregnancies.’

‘Call us as soon as you get pregnant again.’

My head was still in a whirlwind from getting all that information in a matter of five seconds. Just as they started walking out, my mom started asking questions because none of mine were coming out.

Not to get into the entirety of their conversation, I’ll give you the quick details. Pretty much, all my blood work and testing has come back completely normal, again. I did extensive testing after Jensen was born. They didn’t find anything abnormal with me. There was no answers as to why this happened other than it just happened. I should be able to have healthy, living children in the future. Of course I’ll get extra monitoring in future pregnancies. But there’s nothing else I could’ve done to prevent this miscarriage or Jensen’s death for that matter.

I should be ‘happy’ to get that information. I know it.

There’s so many women who definitely cannot have children naturally. It happens to so many and it’s heartbreaking. That desire to grow a baby in your belly is such a natural one. I get that and I can’t imagine getting that news for myself.

With that being said, I was angry walking out of the doctor’s office today. Why is there no answers that loss struck me again? What more could I have done? Isn’t there any explanation as to why I do have a death-ground womb? I have so many questions that are just left unanswered, just to try again and do monitoring. My brain cannot accept that is the only half answer I’m getting; but that’s what I’ve gotten from three different doctors.

To say the day was anything but stressful would be a complete understatement.

I don’t really know what the future has to hold for me right now. There’s some options that I have been considering, but I’m going to see how I feel in two cycles and go from there. When I first lost Jensen, I didn’t want another baby. It took me a while to be ‘okay’ with giving him a sibling. Right now, I don’t know. Yes, I want a living child in my arms SO bad, but I’m not strong enough to keep experiencing loss. It’s just a question that will only be answered with time and a lot of thought.

Anyways, I just wanted to keep you all in the loop with what happened. I appreciate all the positive thoughts, vibes, and prayers you all sent my way.

A Little Light in the Darkness. 

Every month I try to do an outlook of what I have planned or what’s going on. Just four short weeks ago, I announced ‘June’s Name Project‘ and how I had a surprise for you all. Of course that surprise was the little baby inside of me and unfortunately I told you all, just not in the way I had planned. It’s cause the outlook for July to be a little different. 

Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on right now with me. It’s been less than two weeks since my surgery and I’m in am emotionally chaotic state, understandably. My doctor appointment this week will give me a better perspective of what’s going on with my actual body and hopefully brings me some sort of peace with the upheaval of losing this baby. On the other hand, I’m terrified of the possibility that there’s something more wrong with me. Something unfixable and that I actually hurt Jensen and his siblings. Maybe a mid-month update will be better this month when I have some more information, but only time will tell. 

I’m going off track of what I originally wanted to say…

A couple months back, Still Standing Magazine called out for writers to apply to be on their writing team. Since I backed out of Still Mothers due to my pregnancy, I really wanted to continue writing for a huge and incredibly helpful source for grieving parents. The timing was perfect and I knew I had to at least apply. 

For weeks I was so nervous. I’ve fought with anxiety since Jensen has been born and this was no different. Everyday I checked my email hoping to get good news. There were new writers being added to the writing team and I truthfully thought I was out. 

On the morning of my miscarriage, I received an answer. I was in. Although I didn’t know what was going on with me and my pregnancy when I read that message, I was so happy and excited to be able to share about my little family and more importantly to try and help others through their grief journey. My response was haulted with the tragedy I found myself in, but I finally was able to accept and today my bio went up. 


I’m truly honored to be writing for Still Standing Magazine. Being able to write about my grief has helped me heal in so many ways. My other hope in writing is to be ab to let someone know they’re not alone in their journey of loss and love.

Five Unexpected Experiences I Faced During My Miscarriage. 


I woke up before the sun rose this morning. As I watched the light creep up the sky a harrowing reality entered my mind, I’ve been in my post loss world for almost fifteen months.

Jensen was born at thirty-eight weeks and two days. With his birth and death, I learned so many things about my loss and so many other people’s losses. For all those months, I focused on stillbirth and how each situation was different.

I knew about miscarriages through talking to others about their experiences and journeys, but I didn’t understand this type of loss. That, unfortunately, all changed with losing Jensen’s little sibling this month. In this past week and a half, I’ve been immersed in thought and physical changes that I didn’t know went along with this loss.

This post is long, raw and in your face. Writing and being able to authentically share my experience helps me and my healing process. I hope it will be able to help someone else in knowing they’re not alone. This is my experience and every situation is as individual as the person.

Fear of miscarrying naturally.

When I first found out that my second child’s heart had stopped beating at ten weeks, I didn’t want to have a D&C. I wanted to miscarry naturally and give this child this labor of love. It felt like I needed to feel all this pain and let my body do its job.

That all changed when genetic testing on the baby and information about infection was presented to me.

I had to wait from Saturday to Wednesday to get my D&C. It was so stressful. I was terrified to go to the bathroom and see my baby right there. Every pain or pressure I felt in those few days made my heart drop. Although I wish I was able to give this baby a natural birth, I needed the closure to see what was wrong or what happened. I never knew this fear of not wanting the baby to come. Honestly, I was also afraid of that ‘what if’ I did miscarry. Expectations can warp your mind.

Before this loss, I didn’t even think of how it would be to wait to miscarry naturally. That sounds crazy coming from me, but with Jensen I had an idea of what was supposed to happen. My body took over my mind during birth and I was able to give birth. With this loss, my mind was so present and terrified of what I would see or feel. Those thoughts turned into pure fear that I didn’t know would happen.

Physical trauma.

There is a difference between having a stillborn baby and a miscarriage on your body. With Jensen, I have PTSD. Losing him and those two days were traumatic. I completely blocked them out still to this day. When I learned this baby’s heart had stopped beating, I didn’t know the extent of trauma it was going to do to my body.

The doctors tell you, it’s like a heavy period. I disagree. For me, when I started bleeding it was more than a heavy period. It was days of knowing my child had passed inside me and slowly seeing discharge getting heavier. Seeing that bright, red blood made my stomach drop, even knowing there was no heartbeat. There were literal days of feeling that way and experiencing my body trying to miscarry, then came the D&C.

When I say I had surgery, it sounds so passive. One, surgery is hard on you no matter what you go through, but knowing you’re going under with a baby in your belly and waking up feeling empty… it’s anything but passive. I can remember moving on the operating table and having my arms strapped down. The lights above me were so bright and I was just so defeated. It was really happening. This was trauma and I keep replaying that scene and what happened when I woke up.

The thing is although it’s a different trauma to stillbirth, a miscarriage is just as traumatic.

Anger.

This might be a mix of my miscarriage and experiencing multiple loss.

I don’t like to swear, but I’m pissed. There’s constantly a scream in the back of my throat knowing that Jensen and this child have died. Death is hard. It’s so hard when it’s your child and you can’t do anything about it. You feel hopeless and like a failure. That angers me.

Truthfully, I hate that I keep comparing losses, but this one has to be compared. With Jensen, I knew so much about him. Of course there’s so much I will never know, but I can imagine with him. I saw him so many times on the ultrasound screen and felt him grow. That time was gold. With this baby, I didn’t get that time. I don’t know who this little person was and he or she is my baby. That makes me so mad. It is unfair and like another loss mom friend of mine said, insulting. I didn’t think of it that way until she said it and it’s so true.

This anger… it’s not something I expected to be this strong.

Welcoming the feeling of isolation.

As I said in the beginning, each loss and how a person grieves is so unique.

When I got home from the emergency room Saturday, I texted a few people who I knew had miscarriages and wanted to hear their experience. After that, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I wanted to be alone and wrap my mind around how this was happening again. With Jensen I was afraid to be alone, but this loss every encouraging phrase or really any words to me felt like a slap in the face. Hence why I didn’t get on social media or read any texts. I’m sure this mixes in with the anger, but they feel so separate in my mind.

I wanted to be isolated.

I wanted to feel what I needed without any other words coming my way.

I didn’t/don’t want to hear how strong I was/am or how I’d get through it because frankly it sucks. This shouldn’t happen to anyone. Going with that, I’ve been keeping everything to myself because I don’t want to show the pain or have others feel it. It’s like I have to soak up every feeling before I begin processing then to talking about my miscarriage.

Me wanting to be isolated for this past week was unexpected and new to my grief, but I’m adapting and figuring out as each day passes.

My body returning back to ‘normal.’

Throughout this pregnancy I ate extremely healthy and walked every night. I did this because I wanted the best for my baby and my body too. This routine was great for me. My body felt good and my brain was clear. I didn’t realize how bloated my belly (my whole body) was from the pregnancy until the day I went to schedule my D&C.

The days prior, I felt like my body was normal. It had to be too early to start showing or so I thought. I put on a pair of denim shorts that had been a little tight the past few weeks and magically they were almost falling off. No lie. It was crazy how big these shorts and all the shirts I tried on. When my mom came over she kept looking at me and asked if I had looked in the mirror. She kept telling me my face and legs looked like they shrunk.

I couldn’t believe how much my body had changed with my baby still inside me. After surgery, my body has continued to go down, quickly. This has a whole entire different level of grief. Physically seeing my body just go back to normal, like I hadn’t just been growing a baby, is hard to see in the mirror.

With Jensen, it took my body a while to get back to a somewhat normal, pre-pregnancy weight. With this miscarriage, I don’t have my body showing what I did. It’s disheartening and I didn’t expect my body to react in this way.

Again, this is just my experience with my miscarriage that happened not even two weeks ago. Everyone experiences loss differently, but these are somethings I didn’t expect to feel or happen.

Miscarriage is a hope-sucking tragedy that shouldn’t happen. Just as any loss. I try not to compare how I’m feeling like I did with Jensen, but it’s hard because that’s my only experience with having a child. No matter how angry I am or in shock of what has happened, this child is loved and missed. Just like my sweet Jensen is love and missed.

A Week of Tears, Silence, and Heartbreak. 

My world changed again, even when I thought it’d be impossible to do so. In the blink of an eye my optimistic dreams of the future, for the little life inside me changed to despair and disbelief. Once again I came tumbling down the rabbit hole of grief and empty arms.

The hope draining out of me is as painful as an animal who is left to bleed out; lonely and slowly turning cold. I feel like I’m hanging here upside down, the world is making sure all the hope is out of me before it turns me right-side up again. This is how I felt after Jensen was born, but with this loss there isn’t a cloud of grief numbing me. The sting of the cut is so fresh and right through the wound of where I was originally cut with Jensen.

This past (little over a) week, I found out Jensen’s sibling has died, had to wait in fear of miscarrying naturally so the doctor wouldn’t be able to get a tissue sample, and had to undergo a surgery. Somehow just saying surgery or a D&C doesn’t give the justification of what it actually felt like, but maybe I’ll get to that another day. I’ve slept, a lot, trying to escape my reality. In my dreams I’m able to see Jensen and to forget that this heartbreak actually happened.

I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone, maybe besides my mom, dad, and brother. There are unread messages and emails on my phone that I don’t know when I’ll get to read. Just seeing people say ‘I’m sorry’ is so triggering right now. I’m sorry for myself. Sorry that I couldn’t help bring another child in my arms.

My motherhood feels like a failure.

When I went to the hospital last Wednesday, I walked in the room and saw this beautiful gift bag from my sweet friend, Jessica at Lettered Hope. I remember not being able to go through anything before I went into surgery, it hurt too much. The only thing I read was the prayer she wrote. Those words repeated in my mind before I went under. I kept thinking of Jensen and his little sibling too.

It’s moments like those where I realize I’m not a failure and neither is my motherhood. I didn’t ask for any of this to happen; no one would ever ask for pregnancy loss. Yet in her words of letting me know I’m not alone, God is with me, and thinking of how Jensen is always with me calmed me. The calmness stayed with me until they doctor put the anesthesia into my IV.

I dreamt of Jensen when I was under. We were on the beach and playing in the sand. In that dream I was so aware of what was happening, he was right there in front of my smiling and laughing. I was happy and the weight of anxiety and grief vanished.

When I woke up, I was sobbing. Tears flooded my face and I couldn’t catch my breath. The nurses probably thought I was crazy. I kept saying Jensen’s name wishing I could go back to my dream or wishing that was somehow my reality. That sobbing and feeling of emptiness has stayed with me and I’m not sure when it’ll go away.

The only thing that has helped hold me together was the contents in Jessica’s gift to me, Jensen bear, and my family including Leo and Poe. Seeing the immense support I’ve gotten online from the loss community has been so helpful. Even when I feel lonely, I know there’s other people who are cheering me on and sending me positive vibes. There have been times this past week I have felt so selfish for not responding, but I really don’t know what to say. I’m not okay, but I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces.

The ‘Best Mother Ever!’ mug with tea has helped calm me and helps with my throat after it being irritated during surgery. Of course Jensen bear has been close to me, mostly in my lap.

Flowers my mom brought me before surgery.

I don’t know what’s going to be happening with me in the immediate future. Obviously I’m focusing on my body’s recovery and trying to get a handle on my grief. My next appointment will hopefully give me some answers as to what happened or if there’s anything wrong with me. With Jensen I had a ton of testing on me and there was nothing that popped up. I’m really just at a loss mentally as to what happened, even though I know sometimes babies just die.

For now, I just want to say thank you again for all your support. There’s a few things I want to blog about with this experience, but I wanted to update with how I’m doing first. If there’s anything I could tell someone though is miscarriage, stillbirth, and loss in general sucks. It hurts and no matter what.