And then, she was five.

April 14, 2018 is another day that changed my life forever. Mila was born.

Photo by Katie Finnicum from Simplicity of Grace

The second hardest experience of my life was pregnancy after loss. Every day I was pregnant with Mila, I thought she was going to die. I didn’t sleep and constantly worried.I was never hungry and whenever I forced myself to eat, nothing tasted good. I was constantly in pain and had terrible anxiety and depression… but it was all worth it.

I remember almost everything about being pregnant with Mila. I willed myself too because my memory is so choppy around Jensen. We had a lot of appointments and ultrasounds. They couldn’t take my blood pressure until after I either saw her heart beating on the screen or heard it. As soon I as I did, I could just enjoy the moment and focus on how magical she made me feel. I even remember every time we had an ultrasound she was pointing her feet like a little ballerina… I guess you can say she didn’t just become a dancer, she always was one.

The moment she was born, it was silent. I knew that silence and was terrified. Then a few second later, she started crying and has really never stopped crying, talking, or singing since then.

Only a few days old.

I wish I could say my anxiety and depression stopped after she was born… it didn’t. I pictured her dying in my head constantly. If I walked through a doorway, I saw her head getting hit. When she was in the bassinet, I saw her getting caught in it and not being able to get out. I pictured her falling or people dropping her when they held her. I felt insane. On top of that I was dealing with what’s his name. I was not in a healthy state personally, but I did my best to be the mom she deserved.

If anyone asks me, I’ll say that first year was the hardest and at year five of parenting my rainbow baby, I still stand by that. Being a mom is hard, but that first year of highs and lows connected us more than I could have ever imagined.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this. I never truly deep dived in what happened in that first year on here. But I think it’s important to know, especially when I get to talking about her.

It’s been five yers since her grand entrance and I can honestly say her and Jensen are my greatest gifts. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for Mila. That’s a lot for a five year old to hold, but she doesn’t know. Maybe one day she will, but it’s not her job. To me, she lights up the world. I might have brought her to life, but she gave me back mine. I will never be able to thank her enough. That’s probably why I’m so extra with her, lol.

At five, here are things I want to remember about her or what I’d want her to look back and know.

  • That she dances any time she hears music, no matter where she may be and I love watching her.
  • One time at tumble practice this year, Mila’s tumble coach came out to let me know that during her water break, she somehow snuck in fingernail polish and started painting her nails… during practice!
  • Speaking of the above, she is an incredible packer. If she has pockets or a bag, I have to check them in case she brings something she’s not allowed, but she seems to always sneak it anyways.
  • She is so smart and can spell all the colors.
  • Her heart is the size of all the oceans combined. She is so empathetic and cares about every person, animal, and plant.
  • Once, she cried when we sold a plant because she was going to miss it so much.
  • She is creative. Not only in dance, but she makes up songs, is a really awesome drawer (but doesn’t like coloring), and can tell such good stories. Plus, she is crafty and loves painting and helping me make things.
  • She hates her hair brushed, but loves her long Rapunzel hair.
  • She still loves the beach and going on vacations.
  • Our hand squeezes.
  • She hates waking up in the morning, but is excited for kindergarten (I am not).
  • She is a people person who loves her friends and family.
  • Her choice words. She sometimes uses ‘colorful’ words and when I try to correct her she’ll tell me, “mom, they’re only words.’
  • She loves to have spa days and will steal Josh’s cucumbers for our eyes.
  • She’s going to miss being four, but is happy to make a new growth mark on the doorway trim.

I could probably go on and on, but those are the main ones popping in my head tonight.

Mila’s First Birthday

As I’m winding down, looking through all our pictures, and realizing I’m saying way too much — I guess what just keeps going through my mind is how proud I am of my five year old.

I’m proud of the little woman she’s becoming. I’m proud of how headstrong she is. I’m proud of her smarts. I’m proud of her outgoingness. I’m proud of her love. I’m proud of every single thing about her and I know that’ll continue for as long as I live.

Happy FIFTH birthday, Mila. You deserve the world and the entire universe.
I am so glad Jensen picked you for me and I’ll always love you more.


Oh Snap – Mila’s Current Words of Choice

Over the last few months, Mila has discovered her voice. She’s always been pretty vocal, but she’s been remembering words and phrases. Her first word was cat, although I tried to get her to say and know ‘mama’ before any. She knows peoples names, random animals, ‘lo’ for hello, and a lot more. Before we left for vacation last month, she even started saying ‘uh oh’ in context. Seriously was the cutest thing, until she started throwing things on purpose and redeeming herself by saying it. She’s cute and she knows how to work it.

I mean, look at her.

Shortly after we got home, Mila learned a new phrase… one not so Rated G. I can finally mark down her first swear word. Anytime she drops something, trips, or someone startled her, her eyes get big and she says, ‘oh shit.’ At first I thought it was a fluke, then she just kept saying it. I can’t lie, I totally laughed when she started saying it and people usually do when they hear her say it. Hopefully this little phrase won’t stick and the next one will be just as cute, but a touch more innocent.

But for now, here she is saying her current favorite words. I’ll keep secretively giggling and persuading her to say ‘uh oh’ to her face instead.


Jensen’s a Big Brother!

On April 14, 2018, Jensen’s little sister, Mila Rae, came in the world at 1:14am, kicking and screaming. Hearing her cry was one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard and the moment they placed her on my chest is indescribable. The first hour of her life was surrounded by family and full of love. She was introduced to her big brother in that first hour by seeing his picture and his Jensen bear.

I never wanted that hour to end.

Pregnancy after loss has been the second most anxiety/paranoid-filled journey that I’ve been on, only behind losing Jensen. I tried not to take a moment for granted with her. There were a lot of ups and definitely downs, but we made it. Jensen has another thing to check off his to-do list. I truly believe he sent her to me.

They are the only ones who know the sound of my heart from the inside. I made them with all my might and will love them for the rest of my life and beyond.

Although there is so much more I want to say, I’ll write on a different day. Today I wanted to introduce you to my rainbow, Mila Rae, little sister to Jensen Grey.

Mila & Jensen.jpg

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is all about love. Not just intimate love, but love in general. We can feel this deep passion for our family, friends, and even those who aren’t with us anymore.

When I was growing up, my parents never really put a ton of value in today. I always was told today was a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, which I’ve sort of just taken into adulthood. Even when I’ve been in relationships, I’ve always thought of today as cheesy with long lines to go to the movies and out to eat.

Two years ago, I felt a different kind of love on this day. I had Jensen moving in my belly and I wanted to celebrate him. He would always be my Valentine and I believed every year moving forward, we would be able to be together and have our day together. Much like it would be everyday, but maybe we would get dressed up. Last year, a bunch of us from all over the world got together and did a craft to honor our babies. It was so nice to be able to talk and create something with my hands. I definitely needed last year.

This year, the first thing I said when I woke up was, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day, Jens. I love you and you’ll always be mine.’ Then I felt bad when his little sister gave me a kick like, don’t forget about me, mom! Anyways, I’ve taken today to still recover from this sickness and just reflect on pictures, ultrasounds, and how much love I have for Jensen and this little babe.

Since I want to spread the love, I want to share Jensen’s little sister’s name with you all.

I hope you all are having a gentle Valentine’s Day and are surrounded by your loved ones.

Hello February!

Since announcing my sweet, little rainbow almost two weeks ago, I haven’t had the right words to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Each was read and taken to heart. They lifted my spirits and let me know how loved this baby, her brother, and I are loved. I am truly grateful for all of you for your constant support.

For February, I wanted to be able to write more and let you all know how I’ve been with my pregnancy after loss while preparing for Jensen’s second birthday and his sister’s birth. I found this photo challenge on Instagram and thought it would be perfect to take on.

Mood: tired and thankful. 

Today has been absolutely crazy. Throughout this pregnancy, I haven’t been able to sleep well at night through the morning. I cannot get comfortable and she moves all the time. When she moves, I always just pause so I can capture every moment. Jensen never moved as much as she does and I continue to cherish all those memories with him. If anything would happen to her, I want to be able to do the same.

Anyways, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and felt the anxiety of it as soon as I woke up. It was an okay morning and I was trying to be positive before I went. This past Tuesday I took the glucose test and would find out if I passed or not today. Other than that, I just worried about hearing her heartbeat. Long story short, I found out I failed the one hour glucose test by a few points and have to go to the three-hour one… I was so angry. After I got back to my car, I just kept telling my mom I was fine when I had Jensen. I wasn’t even close to the number. Why was it different now?

Immediately after (and for three more hours), I pouted and felt like my body was going to fail her too. Of course, even if I would fail the three-hour test and would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I’d just have to monitor those levels. Logically I knew that, but hormones and the fear of losing her whipped around my head.

When I got home, I just kept thinking about the appointment and my reaction. I was so caught up on the negative that I couldn’t appreciate the positive. Her heartbeat was strong and I’m measuring right on schedule. She has moved all day and tomorrow I’ll be twenty-nine weeks. I made some tea, while I looked at Jensen’s pictures. If I had this type of appointment with him, I would’ve been so happy. So I decided instead of being upset by something I can’t even control, I wanted to be thankful.

I picked out one of my favorite mugs and saw this…

My whole world.

Yes, I am so tired. Tired of feeling so much worry and the weight of grief on my shoulders. I was tired of being angry today and honestly, I’m just physically tired in general.

On the other hand, I am so thankful that words would never be able to describe. Thankful for your support, the baby thriving in my womb, and the boy who I’ll forever carry in my heart.

Sharing a Little Secret.

I’ve tried to write and share this post countless of times. My anxiety, PTSD, and depression have kept me from saying anything before, but, I’ve come to a point where I feel it’s necessary to share to help my grief and what’s happening in my life right now.

For the past twenty-seven weeks, I’ve been keeping a secret from everyone…

Yes, you’re seeing that right. I am twenty-seven weeks pregnant, exactly, today. The past so many months have been mixed with mourning my miscarriage, living without Jensen, and trying to feel some sort of excitement for this little baby. I’m doing my very best, but it is so hard. There have been many things that have happened in this time where I’ve wanted to share, but have bit my tongue. As I’m getting closer, I feel as if I need an outlet to say what’s going on in my mind. Especially to other moms who have lost a child, moms who have lived through pregnancy after loss, and every other mom I know.

Although I don’t want to overload everyone with information so quickly, I wanted to share a little about the baby. SHE is a girl and I’ve known since around November to start buying pink. All of her ultrasounds have come back beautifully. The only ‘abnormality’ is her single umbilical artery, which is an isolated incident. She has been seen by my regular OB and the high risk doctors, which they are all ecstatic by her growth and how she’s doing. I’ve had nothing but positive appointments, which as you know, is a stark difference from my past.

She has a name that I will share eventually, just not at this second.

Her due date is three days behind Jensen’s, hello PTSD and reliving each milestone almost exactly the same days. She will probably be delivered around 37-38 weeks, depending on what’s happening then… Jensen was born on 38 weeks and 2 days… you can do that math.

I am happy and so thankful for her. She hears Jensen’s name multiple times a day and I feel his presence close by. I’m scared the same thing will happen again and it has seriously affected my depression, but I’m doing all I can to smile and enjoy everyday that I’ve spent with her so far.

This is an exciting and stressful time for me. I also know how triggering it is to see pregnancy announcements and hearing about other people’s pregnancy journeys. Any time I talk about her on this blog will have a trigger warning picture. I don’t plan on giving weekly updates or things like that, but I do want to talk about how this pregnancy is intertwining with my journey of loss and love.

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