Monday, January 26, 2015

Pregnancy After Miscarriage: Why I don't want to tell you my baby's gender.

It's like a right of passage getting to announce your baby's gender.
Go on pinterest and type in gender reveal and you'll be bombarded with ideas.
It's something that we've had fun with over the years and have always looked forward to.
But here is my confession.
I don't want to tell you my baby's gender.

Pregnancy after loss is different.
It's not that I'm disappointed.
It's not that I was hoping for a different gender.
It's not that I'm ashamed.
It's not that I'm keeping it a secret.
It's not even that I'm waiting to tell you with some great fanfare.

I'll be honest.
The reason I don't want to tell you my baby's gender is because I'm afraid of the comments you might make and my heart feels fragile right now.
I have already had some very hurtful comments said to me and I just can't take many more before I break.

I know you don't mean to hurt me.
I'm sure you didn't even realize that what you have said stung worse than salt in an open wound.

I'm sure the majority of you will even say sweet beautiful kind words that would make my heart full of joy. Isn't it always the few that ruin it for the many?

You see right now I'm struggling with knowing that Zoe should be in my arms.
My boys should be loving on their little sister, kissing her forehead, touching her skin, smelling her sweet baby smell, not kissing my belly and talking to the baby currently kicking and punching me.

At the very same moment I think of what life would have been like with Zoe I think of how much I would be missing with this sweet baby.

My heart is full and empty all at the same time.
I so desperately want both of my babies but that's now how this works.
If I had Zoe right now in my arms then this baby never would have been.
As much as I love and want them both it just doesn't work that way.

That's the thing ya'll...
I have four children.
I have four children but I don't get to hold them all in my arms.
I love every single one of them equally yet differently.
I still have the desire to parent every one of my kids even though one is gone.

The baby I am pregnant with is not a replacement for the one we lost.
I will carry Zoe within my heart all of the days of my life.

I'm now 30 weeks along in my pregnancy with 4.0 and I still cringe every time someone asks me what I'm having. For a few horrible seconds I fight with myself if I feel up to telling them the gender. I question if I feel strong enough right then to deal with whatever reaction they give based on my answer.

Pregnancy loss robs so much from you.
More than just the obvious of the child who is not in your arms.
It steals your joy, your excitement, your innocence.
It changes the way you speak to other expecting moms because you know that not every pregnancy has a happy ending of a baby coming home from the hospital with you.

Loss is so unfair.

So there you have it.
That is why I don't want to tell you that baby 4.0 is a girl.
Because I'm not strong enough for the possible reaction and response you may give me.
How I must be so thrilled to "Finally have a girl after two boys." or how much more fun girls are to dress than boys. How I must be lying when I tell you that my husband and I didn't care if 4.0 was a girl or boy and that we just wanted a healthy baby. How we can finally be done having kids since we'll have both genders.

I have four babies. I have two boys and two girls.
I love all of them and wish there was a way for me to hug, kiss, and hold all of them.
But life doesn't work that way. Life isn't fair.
Some day I'll get to hold Zoe in heaven but for now I have to hold her in my heart.
For now I hold her big brothers in my arms and little sister in my womb.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Little miracles in the everyday

I think sometimes we're so busy, so on the go, so fast, that we miss the little miracles in the everyday. But they're there. Maybe it's that we brush it off as coincidence or maybe it's that we're just too jaded to see it for what it is. Regardless of our attention they are still there.
I think God wants to remind us of his love in little ways throughout our day but so many times we miss it. He knew I would need this very thing now.

I had a little miracle in the form of  dryer lint.
I know what you're thinking, "It's official Jessica has completely and totally lost it." but really hear me out.

This story starts around 5 months ago.

My husband and I were chatting together and out of habit he looked down to turn his ring so the diamond was facing up. Mid sentence my husband let out an "OH NO!!" When I asked him what was wrong he told me the diamond in his ring was gone. Missing.

I stopped vacuuming around the house. We don't have carpets so that isn't a huge deal.
Every time I swept the house I would sift through the dirt looking, searching, hoping I would find the missing diamond.

A couple of months went by of me doing this.
Hoping that maybe it would randomly show up but it never did.
I finally gave up.
I went back to sweeping and vacuuming the way I usually did.
I mean for all I knew it fell out when hubby was at work or when we were out for a walk.
Who knows. But it was gone. Long gone.

Fast forward to today.
Just a typical day.
Mundane tasks that must be done to ensure our house runs smoothly.
There are a few tasks around the house that are not a particular favorite of mine.
Laundry and Dishes.
I mean really when you can search my blog for Laundry and get three pages of results I think it means I really don't enjoy doing it and tell you all about it...a lot.

So here I am today.
I went in to the laundry room to see if the clothes were dry.
As I'm walking in something sparkled and caught my eye just below the dryer door.
I bent my pregnant self down to see what it was.
And there, in the midst of dirt and dryer lint was my husband's diamond for his ring.

I have no idea how it got there.
Did it fall out in a pocket and go through the washer and dryer and came out in the lint?
Did it fall out when he was helping with laundry in the dryer and it took all the time to work its way out of the dryer?
I have no idea how it ended up there.
Also for the record that dirt and dryer lint was not 5 or so months old.
I had swept it all up not that long ago.
But there it was sitting on top of a plastic bag mixed in with dirt and dryer lint.

I really will never know how it ended up there.
Or how the light from the only window caught it just right so I noticed it.
But oh I am so thankful for the little miracle of finding my husband's long lost diamond 5+ months after it was discovered missing.

It's now tucked safely away in a plastic bag with "DON'T THROW OUT" written all over it and inside of a box in my desk. I'm so thankful today for this tiny miracle.

My husband's response to this whole thing? "Why, the prodigal son has returned... You may never see the diamond in the rough, but did you check the dryer lint?"

What little miracles have you seen in your life lately?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Due Date

Today is my due date but I am not pregnant with that child.
Today is my due date but I will never hold that baby this side of heaven.
Today is my due date and I feel a baby move inside of my womb but it is not the baby I should be giving birth to soon.

Eight months ago I went into my bathroom, peed on a stick, and waited three minutes.
Three Minutes.
That's all it takes for your whole world to change.
Two pink lines.

Those two pink lines bring so many emotions along with them.
Excitement, fear, joy, and worry just to name a few.
You begin to plan and think through all of the things you'll need to prepare over the next 9 months.
New car seat. Will three car seats fit in our small car?
A new bed for the 4 year old, transition the 2 year old to a toddler bed, replace the crib mattress. How are we going to fit another baby with all of the gear that comes with a baby into our small house?
Why does someone so small have the biggest stuff?!

But sometimes pregnancy doesn't go the way we planned.
Just a week after those two pink lines changed our world forever, our world changed forever again in a way we never would have imagined.

On March 12th 2014 just before bed I went to the bathroom and realized something was wrong. I told my husband what was going on and we went to bed hopeful that maybe it was no big deal.
By morning I knew that our life wasn't what we planned.

I texted my midwife and told her what was going on.
She called me immediately and asked so many questions.
I answered, numb, in shock, and feeling nothing and everything all at the same time.

They say the year of firsts is the hardest.
I sobbed in church week that I knew I should have first felt Zoe kick.
The first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day I couldn't even blog about.
This should be her possible birth day.
This Thanksgiving should be the first with our daughter.
This Christmas should be her first Christmas and our first as a complete family.
March will be her first "angelversary."

This year is hard.
But today is lonely.
Today feels dull, gray, and empty.
It should be full of joy and excitement in expectation of her pending arrival.
Instead I feel sorrow and grief for the life we should have had with her.

It's fitting you know, all the rain that is falling today.
It was gray and gloomy the day we lost our baby and it's gray and gloomy today.

Knowing that this day was going to be difficult we decided to celebrate our angel.
My sweet amazing husband planned out our whole morning.
He left early to go get a couple of things, told us to all write letters to Zoe, and be ready for the day by the time he got back.

He came home with five pink balloons.
One for each of us, including the baby I'm now carrying.
There were tears as we miss her so badly but it was nice to also celebrate her life.

She's changed us.
Her life has changed us in so many ways.
I'm thankful for our sweet baby.
And I look forward to the day we get to hold Zoe Mae. 

Handmade Giveaway

I love the handmade community.
I absolutely love buying from small handmade shops and
I find they make the most unique Christmas gifts to give!

I have teamed up with eleven other amazing handmade shops to help you get a start on your Christmas shopping! Because really who doesn't love some handmade goodness?!

Jen's Tie Dye Creations is giving away an adult custom tshirt.

Sew Cute Cards is giving away a set of four hand-stitched thank you cards with envelopes.

StorkStopover is giving away a fitted pocket diaper package that includes the following:

  • Fitted pocket diaper in choice of size, gender and closure
  • minnette wipes with case
  • extra zorb inserts in appropriate size for diaper
Embitchery is giving away a $25 shop credit that can be used on anything in stock or a custom design.

Nora's Nook and Gifts is giving away a momma of an angel purse.

Cook Crafted is giving away TWO shop credits! A $20 and a $30 shop credit to use on anything in the shop.

Thankful For Thorns is giving away TWO things! A $20 shop credit and a canvas tote.

Homespun Aesthetic is giving away a $20 shop credit.

Stargazer Soaps is giving away a $20 shop credit.

Charmed Creations by D is giving away an adorable 8" Owl.

Niko's Treasures is giving away a $25 shop credit.

WOAH! That's a whole lot of prizes!
So go ahead! Entry away.
The first two entries are mandatory but anything after that is completely up to you!

Please be sure to click on the giveaway terms for the full rules.
Giveaway ends November 26th at 11:59 EST.
Open to US and CAN 18+

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thankful for You!

As many of you know Facebook is changing things yet again.
Liking a blog on facebook will no longer be an option as a giveaway entry after current giveaways are over.
So lets quick have some fun before that happens!

I'm super thankful for all of my fans on Facebook and all of my social media networks.
The amount of support and love I have received especially over the last 8 months after our loss has been incredible. So thank you all so much!

SoftBums cloth diaper has sponsored this giveaway!
One winner will receive a limited edition Midnight Cloth Diaper!

This is a fantastic diaper that has the option of being a pocket or an all-in-two.
 I think you'll love it! 

Like our pages! Send us love notes! Once you have entered here, visit my friends at:
and like them too!

Please be sure to click on the giveaway terms for the full rules.
Giveaway ends November 19th at midnight EST.
US only 18+

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


The air feels heavy.

Tears have threatened my eyes all day but I've tried hard to keep them at bay.
The boys are sound asleep and I can't keep them back any longer.
It's only Monday and it feels as though this week will consume me.

My heart is broken in two.
Still missing pieces that I will never get back.
I miss Zoe more than I could ever put into words.
My love for her will never end and is more than I could ever explain.

I want to go to bed and sleep through this week.
I want so much to just hide away and allow this grief to wash over me.

I have always tried even through my grief to remain hopeful, positive, and encouraging.
But today I just want to be ok with being broken.

Grief is a broken road.
Grief is dark and ugly.
Grief is painful and life changing.

And I fear that she will be forgotten.
I feel as though I'm waiting to see if anyone but my husband and I
will remember that Zoe's day would have been this Thursday.
While I know she isn't forgotten as a dear sweet friend reminded me on Saturday that she hasn't forgotten Zoe's due date is coming up this week; it still just feels like because my husband and I are the only ones who knew of her existence before she died that we're the only ones who remember when her life should have started outside of my body.

Today I simply feel lost in my grief.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pregnancy after miscarriage.

Photo Credit
This was never a road I thought I would walk.
This was not the life I had planned.
This is not at all where I thought I would be at 25.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be "that blogger."
You know, the one who blogs about her pregnancy loss, the emotions that go along with it, and then not blog about the pregnancy that has since followed.

That's right.

I'm pregnant and I can't seem to blog about it.

If I were still pregnant with Zoe right now I would be 39 weeks.
I would be big, uncomfortable, anxiously awaiting her arrival, and doing whatever last minute things I could to prepare to bring her home.

But instead I blog about the life we almost had.

After our loss my husband and I grieved hard.
I was really deeply depressed for a few months and there are large
chunks of time missing from my memory.
When I scroll back through my phone during that time frame I'm so thankful for the pictures so I can see what we did and how my boys grew.
But there are certain pictures I struggle to look at.

We had people ask us if we were going to "try again."
While I knew those people meant well those words left a bitter taste.
Try again?! Like Zoe was replaceable.
I didn't want to get pregnant again.
I didn't want a different baby.
I wanted Zoe.
You know, the baby I had carried for a short time, had die in my womb,
and held her tiny body in my hand after she left my body.

I was done. I didn't want to possibly go through that again.
I didn't want to be that vulnerable again.
I didn't want to possibly feel life ripped from my body in a way that ripped my heart out.
Not again.

And then it happened.
My period was late.
I'm never late.
I was having horrible one sided pain.
I panicked.
We were just about to leave on vacation.
A much needed anniversary trip my husband and I had been planning for months.
A trip for just the two of us to get away and reconnect.
While we had been trying to stay close to each other, we were both so lost in our grief we couldn't find each other.
I thought I was having an ectopic pregnancy.

But I didn't.
It wasn't.
I was pregnant.

And then I stopped blogging again for a while.
I couldn't do it.
I couldn't blog about this pregnancy when I never had the chance to blog happily about the last one.

I finally announced my pregnancy on here and left it at that.
But now I feel like maybe I need to blog about what it's like to be pregnant after loss.
Everyone is different obviously but I want to blog about my experience so maybe some day it will help someone else.

There are so many emotions that go along with a pregnancy to begin with.
Adding in a pregnancy after a miscarriage brings in a whole other world of emotions.
It brings a long a lot more questions, fears, and worry than my first two pregnancies.

So I hope you join me in the journey of pregnancy after miscarriage.
It's my prayer that you'll find hope, a sense of community, and encouragement in my blog.
So please, join me in this journey. One that affects so many but so few speak about.