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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Like To Party!

So y'all know I love cloth diapers. Did you know that I love to party though?!
Cloth diaper party baby! We're inviting YOU to join us for the Soft Bums midnight release party of the limited edition Midnight Diaper!

Let me tell you all the color in person is GORGEOUS! Midnight blue with black snaps, leg toggles that are just genius as they'll fit even the smallest of newborn legs, super soft inner with a great bamboo soaker. I totally love this diaper already.

So come join me and all your favorite cloth diaper bloggers for a party! And of course the chance to win lots of awesome prizes! :) All the deets are spelled out below along with a peek at all of the wonderful things you could win!

RSVP today to join the SoftBums #SBMidnightRelease Twitter Party! @SoftBums #SBMidnightRelease Twitter party I'm so excited to join SoftBums to celebrate the release of their newest color combination - midnight blue with black snaps! You're invited to celebrate with us at the #SBMidnightRelease Twitter Party on October 29th, beginning at 8 pm CST/9 pm EST! This is an awesome opportunity to meet up with other cloth diaper enthusiasts, learn about what makes SoftBums products unique, and enter to win some great prizes! Ready to Party? Be sure to RSVP using the form below to be eligible to win prizes at the party! Be sure to follow host @InquisitiveMom and sponsor @SoftBums. Only the first entry is mandatory to RSVP, but completing additional entries will increase your odds of winning. You must RSVP and tweet at least once publicly using the hashtag #sbmidnightrelease between 9 pm EST and 10 pm EST on 10/29/14 to be eligible to win. Entries will be verified, so please make sure that your twitter profile is public during the duration of the event.
Twitter Party Prize Details!
SoftBums Starter kit: 99.95 Value
starter kit
Bamboo Starter Kit: 149.95 Value
Bamboo kit
1 Nebulla: 21.95 Value
1 Sprout: 21.95 Value
1 Puddle: 21.95 Value
2 Midnight: 43.90 Value
1 Spray Pal Shield: $25 Value
Spray Pal
1 $50 Gift Card from Rockin' Green
Rockin Green
Disclosure: By submitting an entry to this giveaway you agree to the following Terms & Conditions: 
*Open to US residents, 18+*Winner will be chosen randomly from active participants using the #SBMidnightRelease Hashtag during the party hour. Winner must be present to win. *Winner must RSVP*This sweepstakes is not affiliated with Twitter in any way. Thankful For Thorns is not responsible for any prize fulfillment. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The broken road of grief.

Image Source
Grief is so difficult.
There are layers and layers to one's grief.
No two people experience the loss of the same person in the same way.
Words that may comfort one person may hurt another.

For some grief washes over them like a giant wave.
They get pulled down in a tidal wave and feel like they struggle to breathe.
They're lost out to sea in waves of emotions.
Fighting and struggling to keep their head above the water.

For others the loss they experienced doesn't hit them for years.
One day something triggers a memory or a moment they had tried hard to forever erase.
It may knock them off their feet or they may continue to fight it for a while.
But we all grieve.

I experienced my first loss of a loved one at the age of three.
My great grandmother passed away and I attended the funeral.
I have attended more funerals than I am old.
At age 12 I lost my grandpa whom I was very close to.
It took me 7 years before I was able to visit his grave and fully grieve.

But what about the loss that has no closure of a service?
How do you find the closure that we so desperately desire?

After we lost Zoe Mae I really struggled with that.
She was so small that no one but my husband and I knew about her life.
There would never be any proof but a positive pregnancy test that she even existed.

Grief is a broken road we walk.

What I never expected to be so difficult though was my son's grief.
For months after we told him about his sister, he never spoke her name.
Never once asked questions.
He seemed to take it in stride and I guess I thought maybe because he didn't know till months after we had lost her that it was never real to him.
But after we told him that mommy was pregnant again things seemed to change.

For a while he was angry and would lash out for no apparent reason.
Then he started asking questions.
My husband and I have always agree that we would always give age appropriate answers for our children's questions. I never thought I would have to answer questions on the death of a sibling they never got to meet.

Loss and death are hard for anyone at any age but a child should not have to lose their innocence so early.

He began drawing pictures of our family.
The pictures always include Mommy, Daddy, Monkey, Bug, the new baby, and Zoe.
And while beautiful it makes this momma's heart ache to see my son so deeply changed by the loss of his sister.

Today he's sad.
All morning he has wanted nothing more than to snuggle under a blanket with me.
To be extra close to me and for me to hold him.
We sat that way for a couple of hours just holding hands and snuggling.
He's cried a lot today over things that normally he wouldn't think twice about.
He has talked to me about how his heart is sad and how he misses Zoe.

But that's how grief is.
It hits us when we least expect it.
It leaves us feeling breathless and exhausted.
It's a broken road we walk; not because we want to but because we must.

I often question and wonder if we did the right thing in telling our oldest son about Zoe.
Babies aren't suppose to die but sometimes for reasons we'll never understand they do.
Did we do the right thing in telling our son why mommy was so sad for so long?
Did we tell him for the right reasons?
Or did we simply tell him to help our own grief?
I may never know what was the right thing to do.
But we did what we thought was best with the information we had at the time.

Zoe went to be with Jesus and we're left behind with our grief.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#TryAllTheDiapers Giveaway extravaganza!

So many of you know I love cloth diapers.
I've been cloth diapering for 4 years now. (woah!)
So I'm very happy to be part of a massive cloth diaper giveaway.
Join in on the fun with an awesome group of cloth diapering bloggers and #winallthediapers!

Good luck and have fun!
And feel free to share it with all your friends!
Did I mention there will be 30 prizes won in this giveaway. Oh yeah it's gonna be good.

#TryAlltheDiapers Sponsors and Bloggers
Welcome to the #TryAlltheDiapers Cloth Diaper Extravaganza hosted by Maman Loup's Den and co-hosted by According to Carolyn and This West Coast Mommy!
Special thanks to lo-wren for the idea and for getting the fluffy ball rolling with many sponsors!
This huge cloth diapering giveaway event will have 30 winners - one per prize. Some of the prizes are open to both Canada and the US, US only, or Canada only. Check out this incredible list of sponsors and the wonderful prizes they're bringing to you.
***Note that there is a separate entry form for Canada/US prizes, Canada-only prizes and US-only prizes***


Organic Cotton Change Pad from Öko Creations - $29 Practical, portable, pretty… and perfectly eco-friendly: Öko Creations’ change pads fit this description to a… P! Made of soft, organic cotton and backed with waterproof recycled polyester laminate, these gorgeous change pads are compact enough for even a tiny diaper bag but attractive enough to leave out 24/7 on the change table. Bummis Fitted Diaper from Bear Bums - $26 Bear Bums provides all the best brands of cloth diapers, Tula baby carriers, and baby gear to discerning parents in Canada and the US. Owner Lindsay offers amazing customer service and personalized attention whenever you shop here! Bear Bums is generously sponsoring a Bummis flannel fitted diaper in winner's choice of girl, boy, or gender neutral print. Bummis flannel fitteds are a trim and super absorbent fitted diaper made from organic cotton sherpa and adorable printed flannel. These made in Canada diapers fit babies 10-30+ pounds and require a cover to be waterproof. Diaper Rite One-Size Pocket and Diaper Rite One-Size Cover from Zephyr Hill Blog - $20 As a mother of seven, I love to save money while diapering my children with cute, high-quality products. Diaper Rite, sold exclusively at Diaper Junction (affiliate link), is one of my favorite brands! You can read my Diaper Rite review to see how well they fit and perform. One winner will receive a Diaper Rite pocket in Sun (orange) and a Diaper Rite cover in Grass (green)! Eco-friendly Cloth Wipes from Thankful for Thorns - $30 These wonderfully soft and durable wipes are the most cost-effective alternative to disposable wipes. They are suitable for almost any need that a household will come across.
  • Set of 24 two ply wipes in the pattern(s) of winner's choice
  • Measure 7" X 8"
  • 100% Cotton Flannel
  • Stitched Finished Edges
The usage of cloths as an alternative to disposable baby wipes is quite economical and easy to use. Many people use a solution or spray the wipes with water before wiping. Personally I just wet my cloth wipes with water as needed. Usually 1-2 for a messy diaper. If you're already using cloth diapers this is an easy alternative to disposable wipes as you're already doing diaper laundry! Simply throw in with your dirty diapers and wash. Take just a little extra time and you can even accordion fold them so they'll pop out of a wipes container just like a disposable. Winner can choose the pattern(s) for the wipes as well as the stitching color. Ditch the Disposables: The Big Book of Cloth Diaper Savings and Mother-Ease Wizard Uno in Size Medium from Thinking About Cloth Diapers - $30 Thinking About Cloth Diapers has recently published Ditch the Disposables: The Big Book of Cloth Diaper Savings, a digital coupon book full of special cloth diaper and accessory discounts, savings and freebies! One lucky winner will receive a copy Ditch the Disposables. The winner will also receive one Mother-Ease Wizard Uno in size Medium (fits approx 18-27 lbs). The Mother-Ease Wizard Uno is a slim fitting all-in-one diaper with an ultra-absorbent stay-dry inner core. Thanks to its unique design, wash water flows through easily, making for easier washing and quicker drying times. This diaper has won awards in Europe and Australia but has been a well-kept secret in North America. 2 One Size Pocket Diapers from Sankofa Diapers - $28 Sankofa Diapers is a one size pocket diaper with bamboo blend inserts that feature the unique ability to stack your inserts based on if you have a front wetter (boy) or middle wetter (girl) to give the protection where your baby needs it the most. Sankofa is offering 2 diapers in boy, girl or gender neutral print (in stock) with two bamboo blend inserts.

US Only

OS Bamboo Fitted Diaper from Wonderful Bambino - $20 If you’ve not had the chance to try Wonderful Bambino’s Bamboo diaper products, what are you waiting for? Made from incredibly soft, 100% bamboo terry, Wonderful Bambino makes a range of cloth diapering products: fitted diapers, inserts, prefolds, and cloth wipes. If you’re looking for a reliable overnight diapering option, then Wonderful Bambino’s bamboo fitted is perfect for you! One lucky reader will win a one size bamboo fitted, in the color of his/her choice. Wet Bag, Pail Liner, and Pocket Diaper from Buttler Bottoms - $20 Buttler Bottoms is your one-stop shop for all things cloth diaper! This husband and wife team have created a cloth diaper store that has everything you’ll need to cloth diaper, from birth through potty training. With several natural fiber options, there’s truly something for everyone! One lucky winner will receive a wet bag, pail liner, and pocket diaper, in his/her choice of in-stock prints! 2 Classic Covers from Gen-Y - $34 GEN-Y Classic covers are virtually leak proof and very easy to use. An inner layer of PUL acts as a waterproof barrier, but is soft and flexible. The waist and legs are gathered so nothing escapes your diaper. Our binding is super soft, non-wicking jersey for your little one's comfort. Poly-resin snap closures allow air circulation, are more difficult for your baby to undo, and won't snag or wear out with time. Machine wash/dry with your other diapers... What's not to love? GEN-Y products are made in the USA. Tiny Tush Trim Hemp OS Fitted, Thirsties Duo Wrap, Planetwise Wipes Pouch, and Green Mountain Diapers Wipes from - $41 is one of lo-wren’s favorite places to shop for gently used (and often new) diapers. If you’re looking to de-stash, or looking for an affordable way to add to your cloth diaper stash, you need to shop; buy used with confidence! Re-Diaper is giving away an amazing diapering package:
  • (1) Tiny Tush Trim Hemp OS Fitted in Like New condition (prepped, but never used)
  • (1) Thirsties Duo Wrap in Sz 2 (mango); New with Tags
  • (1) Planetwise Wipes pouch (orange woods print) in Like New condition
  • 12 pack of 2 sided terry wipes from Green Mountain Diaper in Like New condition
Hybrid Diaper Custom Slot from Little C’s Fluff - $36 Caylin is the WAHM behind Little C’s Fluff. Little C's specializes in quality, handmade, CPISA certified cloth diapers and children's clothing. She is donating a custom slot for a hybrid fitted. If you win you choose what print and colors you like best for your little one's bum. Gender Neutral Hybrid Diaper from Cuddle Butts - $27 Cuddle Butts is a company that provides an alternative to disposable diapers for the earth conscience mom and her baby. Offering solutions to diaper your baby without all the harsh chemicals of mainstream disposable diapers and wipes. Cuddle Butts will be donating a gender neutral hybrid diaper. The hybrid is made of two layers of poly polar fleece and an outside material of woven cotton, the soaker consists of organic bamboo fleece that is topped with bamboo velour. Check out a review of a Cuddle Butts diaper. Buttons Trial Pack from Give it Love - $21 Buttons Diapers offers quality, affordable, and adorable all-in-two cloth diapers for the modern baby. The Trial Pack from Buttons Diapers includes one (1) one-size diaper cover and three (3) daytime inserts. Buttons Diapers is an all-in-two diaper with two sizes of snap-in inserts. For more information, check out the Buttons Diapers Review from The Parenting Patch. Osocozy AIO Diaper and Wipes from Northern Natural Mom & Baby - $32 Northern Natural Mom & Baby is Retro Modern Melissa's local cloth diaper dealer. Northern Natural offers a layaway option, rewards, cloth diaper classes, and online shopping. The prize is an Osocozy AIO & pack of Osocozy wipes. Tiny Tush Diaper and Fuzzibunz Wet Bag from Irresistibly Green - $40 Tiny Tush One Size Pocket Diaper of in stock color or print and a white Fuzzibunz In & Out Wet Bag: Irresistibly Green is all about the eco-conscious family. We strive to provide eco-friendly products for the green minded family. From cloth diapers to reusable home goods, there are so many ways to reduce our impact on this Earth. Modern day cloth diapering has never been easier. Irresistibly Green offers products to serve your cloth diapering needs such as cloth diapers, diaper covers, and many cloth diapering accessories. Along with several styles of cloth diapers, including pocket diapers, all-in-ones, fitteds, one-size, and covers, they also offer cloth wipes, wet bags, pail liners, wipe solutions, liners, diaper doublers, and inserts. With many variations and brands, there is a cloth solution for everyone. In Stock Diaper Cover and Soaker from Little Owl Baby - $29 Little Owl Baby is a USA made, online cloth diaper retailer based in Simi Valley, CA. They offer quality all-in-two diapers that are sized to meet the needs of your growing baby. I fell in love with these diapers because of the quality and how long my daughter has been able to wear them. You can read my review of these diapers. One winner will receive one in stock Little Owl Baby diaper cover and one soaker. Wipes and Cloth Advocacy Onesie from The Bee Hive Buzz - $30 Momma Bee's Cloth Wipes are soft 100% Cotton Flannel, 2-Ply for absorbancy and softness and locally WAHM made by Momma Bee at The Bee Hive Buzz. Winner will receive 1 set of wipes along with one Cloth Royalty Tee! Winner can choose either cotton onesie or t-shirt up to size 3T and can choose between "Queen of Cloth" or "King of Cloth" text. Exclusive, Limited Edition Prototype Boingo Baby Cloth Diaper and Set of Boingo Baby Fasteners from Boingo Baby - $20+ That's right, this diaper is one of a kind--a prototype of a diaper planned for distribution. It may contain minor flaws and that makes this diaper even more valuable. Boingo Baby needs your support to make this vision possible. Join the Kickstarter event, see the planned prints, and make a contribution to the cause! Check out the new diaper here! Babywearing Drool Pads from Home Faking It - $20 Home Faking It is run by stay at home mother of three who specializes in homemade goods, baby shower gifts, party crafts, and much more. Home Faking It is donating babywearing drool pads for the giveaway! 1 Bag Cloth Diaper Powder and 1 Bag All Sport from Molly's Suds - $28 1 Coconut Stick and 1 Eco Bottom Liners from Eco Sprouts - $20 Diaper Dawgs Spray Collar from Green Team Distribution - $15 Diaper Rash Remedy Tube and Jar from Grandma El's - $25 Zen Rocks Necklace and Independent Teething Toy from Eyla's Imports - $15

Canada Only

AppleCheeks Bamboo Bundle from Lil’ Monkey Cheeks - $29 Lil' Monkey Cheeks is an online cloth diaper and maternity-product retailer based in Whitby, Ontario. Owner, Renee, offers personalized service to each and every one of her customers, sending along some tea and a personal note with even the smallest fluffy mail! She is offering an AppleCheeks Bamboo Little Bundle in the colour and size of the winner's choice. Hanging Diaper Pail from Funky Fluff - $24 Funky Fluff’s new hanging wet bag is the perfect solution for dirty diaper storage! Holds at least three day’s worth of diapers: great for home and travel! Check out Maman Loup’s review. Funky Fluff Stay Dry 2.0 in Bubbles from Lagoon Baby - $22 Funky Fluff’s Stay Dry 2.0 is a versatile, trim-fitting diaper that can work as a pocket, AIO or AI2. It’s one of Maman Loup’s favourites. Check out her review. Blueberry Deluxe Pocket Diaper from Cozy Bums -$28 Cozy Bums is your Canadian source for modern cloth diapers! If you're looking for one of the best selections in the country, Cozy Bums is the place to go. You can find a full complement of products by AppleCheeks, AMP, Best Bottom, bumGenius, Blueberry, Thirsties, Charlie Banana, and more! For this event, Cozy Bums is offering up a Blueberry Deluxe pocket diaper in the winner's choice of print! Check out the Blueberry Deluxe pockets review at Cloth Diaper Addicts. Nuggles Tuck-Wrap-Go Cover and Choice of Nuggles Wet Bag or Multi-Use Wallet from Itsy Bitsy Necessities - $32 Itsy Bitsy Necessities is about to celebrate 2000 fans on Facebook! In the meantime, they're offering up a Nuggles Tuck-Wrap-Go cover and your choice of a Nuggles Wet Bag or Multi-Use Wallet! Monkey Doodlez Swim Diaper and BambinoBUMS Travel Duo Wet Bag from Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot - $34 Fresh off a busy trip to the Baby Expo in Vegas, Miranda at Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot made it just in time to offer a Monkey Doodlez swim diaper and a BambinoBUMS Travel Duo wet bag. Perfect for the pool or that sunny vacation you're planning!

Whew! All these fantastic prizes total over $800! We've got three Giveaway Tools widgets, but it's easy to enter. Just fill out the appropriate widgets, based on where you live. One is for EVERYONE in the US and Canada, the second is only for our American friends, and the third is reserved for our Canadian friends. Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the fluff!  
Canada & US
(Don't forget to enter the Canada-only or US-only giveaways below!)
US Only
(Keep scrolling down for the Canada only giveaway!)
Canada Only
  Thank you to all our participating bloggers: Maman Loup's Den, This West Coast Mommy, According to Carolyn, lo-wren, Parenting Patch, Cloth Diaper Addicts, Retro Modern Melissa, Irresistibly Green, Modern Cloth Momma, The Pierogie Mama, The Bee Hive Buzz, Zephyr Hill Blog, Cloth Diaper Guru, Thankful for Thorns, and Thinking About Cloth Diapers. Disclosure: Maman Loup's Den, According to Carolyn, This West Coast Mommy, and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. One prize per participant. Please see Giveaway Tools form for full Terms & Conditions. If you have any questions or concerns, e-mail Lindsay at mamanloupsden(at)gmail(dot)com.