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Happy Birthday

My due date was January 16, 2018. I wish I were sitting here trying to control a 2 year old and a 4 year old instead of writing this blog.  I wish I were putting the finishing touches on a birthday party for this weekend. I wish I was stressed out, trying to get those final RSVPs.  Instead, my daughter and I will be blowing out the candle on a cupcake for the brother she never got a chance to meet.

It’s always an emotional day (even though it’s only the 3rd year), but this year seems a little different. I’ve carried a lot of guilt with me over the past 2.5 years. Even though I logically know I did nothing wrong and it was not my fault, it still hurts that I wasn’t able to protect my baby and bring him into existence. Today, I’m not feeling as much guilt. Maybe that means I’m healing? Maybe it means that day by day, I’m getting just a little bit better without ever forgetting.

My daughter came home from a friend’s birthday party the other day, where there were two newborn babies. She asked me why she doesn’t have a brother or a sister. I reminded her that she does (as we have fur babies). She’s too young to understand and the guilt I had for not being able to protect her brother will, I’m sure, carry into guilt that she doesn’t have any siblings here on earth.  Guilt and grief are ever changing and present themselves in so many different ways.

So tomorrow, we’ll get a cupcake and we’ll blow out the candle. But please know that the candle I hold for you will never go out.

Happy Birthday, Hudson.

Category : Jessica , Volunteer Bloggers


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A New Day is Here

On February 21, 2020, I will celebrate my 40th birthday. Life has definitely thrown some hard balls my way, yet I feel like I am living my best life ever. This year I want to focus on the simple things. Like the saying goes, stop and smell the roses…or lilies. I am tired of carrying my anxieties and regrets into a new year. When I look back 10 years ago on the eve of my 30th birthday, I was at a crossroad. This was not my first time at that place, but I was completely empty, no reserves left to keep up the facade that life was good. In that moment I could continue down a dead end or take a leap of faith and make a change. I decided to jump into the unknown.

One of the things that was holding me back was a false belief that things could not get better. I had convinced myself that this was as good as it gets. And how sad it was! I knew that this is not the life I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I was in a toxic relationship, in between jobs, a thesis away from graduation, and just miserable. I told myself that I was not meant to be a mother and when asked about kids I joked that family and kids were at the bottom of my to-do list when in actuality it was on my top 10 list that I wrote in my journal. I allowed people and circumstances to dictate my day to day. I was existing not living.

Life is full of hardships, but how we respond in these moments will not only define us but refine us. If you are not getting better in the good and in the bad, then you need to reevaluate your place in life. It is important to stop and take a look around you. What can you modify? What can you remove? And most importantly, what new can you bring to your life to rejuvenate it? In my case, it was mostly the people around me I needed to leave behind because to reinvent myself I needed to surround myself with self-sufficient individuals who will build me up and not tear me down. I was getting older and needed to put away childish things and focus on being mature and taking control of my life.

Fast forward 10 years and I am happily married with 2 handsome boys. I graduated with my Masters degree and just recently enrolled into another graduate program. I am more confident in my professional life. Getting to this point in my life was hard, but it was on my terms. I understand that I must be an active participant in my blessing. I must get up when I fall. I must ask for help. There have been disappointments, but a lot more blessings. And that is what I want to focus on this year. I look around me now and I have so much love embracing me. I look at my oldest son Titus who will start Kindergarten this August and I am amazed how fast he is growing and learning. He teaches me something every day like did you know about the Zebramosa?  Yes. This is a real fish. And then there is my rainbow baby Roman who truly is our angel boy and brings sunshine wherever he goes. Did I have this all planned out 10 years ago? No. Is it better than I expected when I took that leap of faith? Absolutely.

Even though its been 10 years, I am still healing from the past pains and heartache. Everyone heals differently in their own time, but do not become captive by it. Use it to fuel your passions and goals forward. If you are grieving, join a support group. If you need a helping hand, schedule an appointment with a therapist. And I find that I am my own worst enemy, so start journaling so you can remind yourself of who you were, are and designed to be in God’s eyes. The sun rises every day no matter the condition of the day, rain or shine. Isn’t it time that you take back your sanity, your heart, your mind, your soul, your spirit, and your life? Like an artist, get a new canvas for 2020 and start creating a new masterpiece of your life.

Category : Tracy , Volunteer Bloggers


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Goodbye 2019, Welcome Hope

Last year was not a good year for our family. Not long after ringing in the new year, my daughter-in-law miscarried Liam. What should have been a joyous occasion—finding out the baby’s gender for the gender reveal party the next day—turned into a horrific nightmare.

I think of Liam often and pray for him and all the other babies who have left us too soon. I was going through my calendar reflecting on this year and all of a sudden, I stumbled upon an entry on what would have been Liam’s due date. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and the tears started flowing. I wept not only for Liam and his parents, but for all those who experienced loss this past year. I thought of all the things and events we would not experience with Liam—first birthday, first day of school, hugs, holidays, and “I love yous.” Not just the big things, but the little things too—like trips to the park and the ice cream store—all the memories I have with my now-grown children. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

It’s hard to be hopeful after losing a child or grandchild, but this is what the new year offers us. An opportunity to believe and hope that things will be better; that we will be able to weather any storm that comes our way. But let’s not forget the opportunity we have to help others weather the storms that come their way. I was amazed by the outpouring of love and support I received after we lost Liam.

It’s often the simplest act of kindness that goes the longest way. I recently got together a friend I worked with over 15 years ago. She said she still has the card I sent her over 20 years ago when she miscarried. Quite honestly, I don’t remember even sending it. I realized then that a mere acknowledgement of someone’s pain can go a long way.

My resolution for 2020 is simple—be hopeful, be kind, and be loving to all. Wishing you an abundance of hope, kindness, and love in 2020.

Category : Deb , Volunteer Bloggers


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Goodbye December

December is always such a hard month for me. It has so many painful memories and milestones in it, but it is also filled with so much joy and happiness.

It all started in 2013 when we found out we were pregnant and our first child would be born in Dec 2013. After only 5 weeks this pregnancy ended with a natural miscarriage and we were heartbroken. After a few months we tried again and shorty found out we were pregnant again. We were nervous but excited.

After seeing baby with a heartbeat 3 times and being 12 weeks pregnant we were so relieved and announced to the world that we were expecting a bundle of joy in May of 2014. Just after 15 weeks, on Dec 6, 2013, we found out that our baby no longer had a heartbeat, and I required a D&C as my body was not getting the message that I had a missed miscarriage.

After those two losses December just felt like a lonely time for me. Everyone else has always been happy and so excited for the holidays coming up, while I just wanted to have our 2 babies in our arms.

A few years later we found out that we were pregnant and we were due on December 20, 2016. I had so much anxiety about a December due date, let alone one so close to Christmas – what if something happened again, would I ever be able to get through December again?

Thankfully our daughter was born in December 24 and was just perfect (she still is). I still have the heartache of our losses every December, but now they are accompanied by the joy that I see in my daughter’s eyes.

I will forever be grateful that she is here with us and that December has some happiness back in it.

This December we have even more joy and happiness as we continue to expand our family with our next little one who is due in May next year. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant.

Category : Amanda , Volunteer Bloggers


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Self-Compassion in 2020

“BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH,” GALATIANS 5:22-23

I’m not one to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do in life……but…..self-compassion should be one of your most important goals of 2020. It is something a lot of us do not understand, especially if you are a busy wife or busy mom. Life doesn’t stop for our grief and the holidays can leave us feeling exhausted and sometimes sad. I want you to take some time to show yourself some self-compassion.

What is self-compassion? It is simply loving yourself the way you would love a good friend during grief.

Simply ask yourself, “How would you treat a friend experiencing pregnancy loss?”

TREAT YOURSELF LIKE A GOOD FRIEND. It is easy for us to support and love another woman going through pregnancy loss, but when it comes to ourselves, we might be angry, bitter, and resentful at ourselves. Today, focus on giving yourself compassion the way you would give a good friend. Think about a time you helped a friend go through something difficult. How did you speak with them? Did you do something special for him or her? What would you have done for them if you were completely responsible for their well-being? And then flip that around to yourself. It’s so important for you to create a spirit of inner love.

Get in tune with how you are feeling about yourself in this very moment and be honest with yourself. Are you at peace? Are you angry? When you think about YOU, what thoughts come into your mind?

If you knew a friend that was feeling negative about herself, what would you tell her? What words would you say to affirm her? 

Affirm and encourage, and above all, be honest with yourself!

Mark 12:31 tells us – “The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

Loving yourself isn’t selfish – it’s important! When we truly love ourselves, we are leaning into God more, getting the healing and freedom we need and allowing ourselves to be the BEST version of ourself that we can be! 

That is my prayer for you as you walk into a new year, to love yourself the way you do others. To see yourself the way God sees you. You are loved, cherished and adored by the ONE TRUE KING!! You need love too!

Happy New Year to YOU and praying for a fruitful year in ALL areas of your life!

Category : Cryssie , Volunteer Bloggers


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5 Ways to Grieve in 2020

I’ve written this blog about 7 times and have had about 4 different concepts  I finished some, then deleted, got a paragraph in on others, then deleted. I didn’t finish these honestly, because my feelings this holiday season have been a whiplash. So it’ll come across as inauthentic at that moment. I also start on a concept around grief and BAM it’s already a blog so I don’t want to copy another person’s grief coping concept, that’s just tacky. SO, I thought, why not just make a list? Buzzfeed does it, why can’t I? So, here are the 5 best ways to grieve as the calendar turns to 2020….

 

  1. Grieve the Way You Want: Be Sad. It’s going to happen. Feel how you feel, and tell people how you feel. If they don’t accept that, well, that’s on them.

 

  1. Grieve the Way You Want: Be Happy. Yes, you are grieving, but it’s ok to be happy too. You may feel guilty for smiling, for feeling “normal” or feeling different from your friends but it’s ok to be happy too. If others don’t accept that, well, that’s on them.

 

  1. Grieve the Way You Want: Be alone. If you feel like you need to just step away from the holly and jolly, or heck maybe you just don’t want to deal with all the questions…Yeah, it’s ok to be alone. (As long as you are doing it safely)

 

  1. Grieve the Way You Want: Be with family and friends. OH and it’s ok to set healthy boundaries of conversation with them too. Surround yourself, be social, and be authentic to how you feel, because your loss does not make you an outcast.

 

  1. Grieve the Way You Want: You see where I am going with this right? It’s imperative that more than anything you are true to you, true to how you choose to grieve because honestly, it may change quickly or it may not happen at all. Why pigeonhole how you experience it to cater to others? Your grief is not an inconvenience, it is real and should be respected.

 

 

It has been a pleasure to write for Through The Heart in 2019. It’s been a great outlet for me and I’ve been happy to add my perspective. I hope in the new year to tackle some topics that dive a little deeper into the masculinity and grief, secondary infertility, and parenting. I look forward to growing with you all in this new year and I appreciate all your support in the past year!

Category : Paul , Volunteer Bloggers


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The season of hope

The holiday season is a time to celebrate and be grateful. It’s a time to hold loved ones a little closer. Experiencing a holiday after a loss can be unbearable. I remember the Christmas after I had my second loss. My nieces and nephews surrounded me at Christmas dinner. As happy as I was to be with them, I couldn’t help my heart from aching. I could have had a baby at that dinner or I could have been pregnant. I can remember sneaking away from everyone to cry alone. I really distanced myself from my family that holiday and I regret that. I regret not allowing myself to be open about how I was feeling with those I held closest. I let my own sadness and guilt keep me from the comfort of my family. It can be so hard to want to be jolly when your whole spirit feels like it’s been stepped on, but it’s so important to try and lean on those who love you. It makes the holiday season easier.

This year I am particularly grateful for my rainbow baby, Lucy. I am grateful for my husband, who has been steadily by my side through our journey. I am grateful for my new pregnancy. This is my fourth pregnancy. I am sixteen weeks pregnant and so far everything is progressing okay. As it progresses, I try to focus on being grateful for what I have gained without forgetting what I have lost.

I pray for those experiencing loss this season. I pray you have people who will allow you to wear your heart on your sleeve. I pray that you can find the strength to keep moving forward.

Just allow yourself to be submerged in the spirit of the season. It’s the season of hope, love, and the prospect of new beginnings.

Category : Kate , Volunteer Bloggers


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If you've come to this blog, it likely means you have suffered a pregnancy loss of some type. We are so sorry you have found yourself here, but hope the stories of life after loss can help you on your road to healing and recovery. Remember, we are all in this together!

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