You will move mountains

I love going back to look at this photo! It is something I tell myself almost everyday! You can do hard things, you can do amazing things!

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I want my kids to know that they are so capable of big dreams. More than what their career and jobs will look like one day in an adult future (and #timeslowdown), I want them to be capable of being amazing people!

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I want them to be kind, be generous, be thoughtful and teach others how to live this kind of life!

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A while ago I heard about parenting backwards. Meaning raise your kids thinking about the adults you want them to become. It’s hard, because I want them to stay this age, but I want them to have these awesome adult skills.

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So right now I’m just focusing on showing them all the amazing things they will do! Because these kids will move mountains 🏔

Space At My Table

Just your Monday PSA, that no one has it all figured out. That awesome blogger who has her kids hair combed and smiling at the camera with a fresh “homemade dinner” probably has a pile of dishes next to the camera and a million out with kids having meltdowns!

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That mom who is managing all the activities and career is probably struggling with guilt that there’s not enough quality time while trying do #allthethings

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No one has it all totally figured out! Be the best you can with what you know right now!

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Faith it til you make it my fellow #bossbabes

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Let’s have a little coffee chat, shall we! Pull up a stool and sit down. There’s a few things you should know about me before we move any further. I’m messy and caffeinated woman who believes she can change the world.

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I’m far from perfect but I am driven and grounded. I know I’m changing the world because I’ve got a tribe of wonderful friends. My friends are full of women who have young kids, have grown kids, don’t have kids, maybe still feel like kids. I have a special place in my heart for my fellow #infantlossmama friends. I hate being apart of this community, but I also have met the most real people in it.

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This world needs more women who are amazing supportive and rooting for each other! Share this message with another woman who may need to know #tribelife and community aren’t just for 1 type of person! You don’t have to be one type of person to be in a tribe!

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There’s always space at my table

Baby Love…you were here for a moment and loved for a lifetime

I remember staring at the wall of the shower as the water poured over me. Arguing with God that I had already given him my son. Why did he take my Hope too?

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Why was I suffering and losing another child? I talk so much about Logan, but 2 years ago I walked into the ER with my 3 year old on my hip, hoping the bleeding wasn’t what I’d feared. That this baby was supposed to be our renewal, our “Baby Love”.

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Instead we got the news we feared, there’s no longer a heartbeat, and baby love had stopped growing 4 weeks prior.

I thought afterwards that maybe having another baby in our house wasn’t something I was meant to walk again. If you’ve walked a miscarriage or infant loss, you know the fear feels are so real.

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Joanna I’m thankful that you helped me through my fears, my anger, my tears. If we’d had baby love we might not have had you. I wish I could be holding all 4 of you babies, and one day in heaven I will hold you sweet baby love!

Transformed Me

Is #transformationtuesday still a thing people do? I guess I see lots of posts of people at the gym and their physical body progress when they use this hashtag! Here’s mine…

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I have transformed from a shy girl who once had posters of Hanson and N’Sync lining her bedroom walls.

A girl who didn’t know her own voice. A girl who felt she didn’t deserve what she worked for. ⠀⠀

A girl who knew at the age of 7, I wanted to be an author, but didn’t understand how good writing was for my soul until 30!

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I’ve transformed from a girl who always went to church, but didn’t understand what truly loving God meant until 30.

I’ve transformed from a mom who used to be happy for every pregnancy. Now I silently pray extra for none of the heartache with it.

I’ve transformed so much in my now 33 years. This girl reminded me that rainbows 🌈 mean there’s still beauty in the storm. She reminds me to hug and rest more. She reminds me it’s ok to be happy/sad together and that love is complicated. ⠀⠀

I’ve also transformed by now needing 3 cups of coffee (usually cold by the time I get 1). I also now have everything delivered and ready for pick up!

I’ve transformed to a person who only gets 5ish hours of sleep and still does the dishes, activities, diapers, doctors, bills, and mountains of laundry 🧺

What transformation has blessed you most recently?

The Kids Who Made Me Mom

What a strange day this is. I think it’s usually full of expectations that rarely are all fulfilled. A day that’s hard for women waiting to be moms, wanting all her kids in a picture, babies that weren’t big enough to hold. If you are missing your child, longing for one wanting this day to be looking different, I see you, I feel you and I understand all the feelings of this day.⠀⠀

If you are blessed enough to have all of your children in a picture you have no idea how blessed you are. I am holding 2 girls who have taught me so much about life and my 2 in my heart ❤️ who have taught me more about love.

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You have all made me a mom and made me understand and appreciate all the Mom’s in my life. Happy Mothers’ Day to the many amazing women and moms who have shaped me and my girls. To the moms that are watching my babies in heaven for me. #whatshehastaughtme is how to love and that love never goes away!

Celebrating and Smiling

Looking at them makes me want to celebrate and smile. So many times I felt like I see other families that have a child and have a new pregnancy and they either totally disappear from social media or they only talk about the new baby.

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Allison is struggling with not being the only kid in the house and is learning how to navigate this sisterhood she never knew in this way with Logan.

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It’s a hard place to be to celebrate the new and the gifts that have taken literal years to create and mountains that we’re moved. But I also have to celebrate what brought me here. Without losing Logan baby Love we wouldn’t be holding Jojo.

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So how do you celebrate both? It’s a hard place to be this Mother’s Day. It’s not easy to describe this confusion of joy and sorrow over having and missing it all.

To my fellow moms who know this, know I feel you and I’m sure I’m not alone. Tell me all your beautiful children (on earth and heaven!) and I’d love to pray for them as we go into this hard weekend!

God is in the Details

About 6 months after Logan died I met another loss mama a couple years further in her journey. She told me to keep looking for God in the details. She told me you probably can’t see it now, but there will come a time when you’ll see where God is in the details again.

When she talked of her story it was still missing her son, but seeing the people and events placed in her path afterwards that showed her God hadn’t forgotten her.

I think I’m only now really understanding that with the perspective of a few years. I see trips, jobs, friendships that we’re put in my path of support. New experiences showing me that God hadn’t forgotten me.

A few weeks ago I came across a Facebook moms group post asking for breast milk donations for her soon to be newborn. She was a breast cancer survivor and would be unable to breastfeed, but wanted give her baby breast milk.

I already had quite a stockpile I was planning to donate so I thought this was perfect how it fell into my lap. I of course checked to her profile to see if we happened to have any friends in common and realized I already knew I was going to be donating to her baby.

Our mutual friend was a mom I’d met in a loss group. Our mutual friend had already talked about their friendship and her support. After we met for the first donation she lovingly sent me a thank you note and mentioned Logan’s Angels. At first I thought she’d been reading our story and then she told me that Logan is going to be her sons name too!

I know God has been in the details of our friendships and connections to bring this together. It’s a pretty great story and more that I could go on telling, but I’m not spoiling all of it! KMBC9 got wind of all the milk donations and are running a story on both of us. I’ll post the link after it airs 10/30 at 6pm!

God Is Gracious

Not every rainbow is an ending of something. Sometimes it’s just the beginning.

Not every rainbow is an ending of something. Sometimes it’s just the beginning.

Our journey began so many months ago by preparing for finding a care team that we knew would be supportive of the emotional needs we had with this birth and pregnancy. We educating our team with what we needed to heal with this experience to make it different from Logan’s birth of chaos, separation and darkness.

On the day of our delivery I felt the butterflies. We had done everything we could to get to this spot and God was in control. We trusted that we would be meeting our girl and just praying to hear her cry that we never heard from Logan.

I can’t thank all the staff for preparing everyone in the OR and floor for us and what this birth meant to us. We were prepared for fighting to not be separated and hoping we would get to have our doula and photographer come back with us.

Everyone who walked in said we’ve already read your birth plan and we never had to retell our prior trauma from birth and were allowed to have this day just celebrating. Our doctor advocated for us to see our baby as soon as she was out. She made sure we were never left in the dark on what decisions they were making. She made sure we were never separated and left alone waiting for the unknown.

The moment came when the doctor said she’s almost here. Kevin looked at his phone and I said I know what song I need to be playing and hit “Somewhat Over The Rainbow” and after the first few Hawaiian cords played they said here she comes! We were both able to watch her come and hear her cry as our dreams came true.

Months of waiting, planning, praying and fears of what would happen were all washed away and everyone in the OR exclaimed in happy cheers. She was in my arms in moments and even fed with me on the OR table. Everyone we saw took care of our emotions as if we were their family.

Joanna Beth you don’t even know yet how much my heart has needed you! I knew your name needed meaning and God is Gracious is so perfectly fitting for you. We had so much of waiting and praying that we would one day have a house on Earth with 2 children and we have graciously been granted this aching in our heart. We forever have an empty spot in our house with our little Logan. We want all 3 of you and one day Logan I will be holding you in heaven. Until the. I’m holding your little sister even closer. Your Great-grandma Ann in my dreams was right, “Everything is going to be ok, your not alone.”

Grace upon grace

Please give me grace for where I am each day. Please forgive me when I flake out on plans because I just found a little sock and have now been crying on the floor for 20 minutes. Give me grace when I’m too afraid to let my living children out of my sight when you offer to babysit.

A few weeks ago another loss mom bravely posted about people asking her what they could do to support her family or others going through loss. Her response was spot on. She said show grace!

I couldn’t have thought of a better answer for what I feel so many who don’t know grief may not know were even asking for.

Please give me grace for where I am each day. Please forgive me when I flake out on plans because I just found a little sock and have now been crying on the floor for 20 minutes. Give me grace when I’m too afraid to let my living children out of my sight when you offer to babysit.

Give me grace when I don’t act as excited as you think I should be over this new pregnancy. I’m a mess of anxiety, hope, love and grief all blended into 1 head just trying to keep it together for this moment.

Give me grace when I flake out on the plans that involve kids who should be playmates of my dead child. When I think I will be strong enough for that birthday or shower, but when the moment comes I just can’t face it with a smile. For when we’d rather be thought of as rude for not coming than as the weird party goer hiding crying in the bathroom.

Give us grace when others don’t acknowledge our lost child and see us bear the knife wound of having to correct the number of children or leaving us just saying their names in our heads.

Please just still be my friend, but know I’m not the same. My life has a before and after moms and sometimes what seems so small and insignificant is so hard for us. Please be gentle and remember we are really trying to do the best we can, we just need some extra grace in our lives.

Hoping For A Rainbow

There is no safe time of pregnancy to announce where loss isn’t a possibility. I know that no matter the length or outcome of this pregnancy we won’t get through it alone. It takes a village.

A rainbow is a promise of sunshine after rain. Of calm after the storm, joy after sadness, peace after pain and love after loss.

Well, it’s come time for the post I didn’t know if I would one day get to write or if I would decide to share with the world. This time felt calmer and I’ve enjoyed my time with just keeping the circle small. I’m to the point where I’m ready to share this new part of our pregnancies journey. We are hopeful for a different ending, but loving this baby every moment we are able to spend together.

The real fear for me has been what reaction or stupid thing will I hear someone say and pretend I’m ok even when those words crushed me. It’s not that anyone is purposely trying to hurt me. I think everyone sees a baby as nothing but joy and innocence and it’s harder to explain when you’ve gone through an entire pregnancy only to not go home with your baby. The list below is the questions I dread and the basic answer is because it’s complicated!

1. “Is this your first?”

Ok, you don’t know how many miscarriages, abortions for medical reasons, stillborn, multiples who couldn’t thrive a woman has already had. This is way too complicated, especially considering miscarriage is 1 in 4 pregnancies! Unless you’re her doctor this makes no difference to you so please just stop!

2. “How many kids do you have already?”

I absolutely hate this question! Do I say 1, since she’s the only 1 living. Do I say 1 on Earth and 1 in heaven? This is actually my 4th pregnancy, but my 3rd only lived inside me for 10 weeks and we know so little. It’s a complicated question, so just don’t ask.

3. “Do you want a boy or girl?”

Ugh, I really just want a baby that cries after delivery who is breathing. Boy, girl or alien doesn’t matter to me. It gets more complicated after loss. A boy can remind me of what I’ve missed with Logan. But I also don’t want a boy that lives in the shadow of a dead child. A girl can be complicated because I’ll be thinking what she would be like with Logan, or wishing she would have been a boy like Logan. Like everything, it’s complicated!

4. “Are you excited?”

This is really a moment to moment question. I know it’s hard for most to think of a pregnancy as anything but exciting. There’s mixtures of excitement, hope, fears, anxiety, terrified. They all basically live together right now. So if I go from smiling one minute to crying uncontrollably it’s probably a combination of all of this plus you know pregnancy hormones!

5. “It’ll all workout. You deserve this after everything.”

Although I’d like to think I deserve that, I’ve felt that before and been completely broken. I’ve had to be reminded in the hardest of ways that we live in a broken world. I’ve lost well past the 12 week “danger zone” and then loss upon loss with our miscarriage. Sometimes there is no silver lining. Sometimes life just sucks.

7. “Are you doing anything different?”

So by doing different, I’m assuming you’re asking me, what will I do to try to not have my baby die? Well my 2 losses did not occur through any faults of my own or my care providers.

In case anyone doesn’t already know how this is not my fault: Logan moves in labor, his ultrasound 2 days prior was head down and no problems. Come delivery he went breech and landed on his cord when my water broke. The miscarriage I will never truly know, but most likely it was just not the right combo of cells to grow. Miscarriage happens 1 in 4 pregnancies. When we had our ultrasound during this we were told we were the 5th one that day. So if you haven’t suffered this loss, be thankful, but you most likely know several others who have.

Holiday Blues

Sometimes the sounds of Christmas are just hard. I don’t know if I will ever fully be able to listen to silent night without breaking down.

There’s moments that make it such a mixture of guilt, sadness, anger, love and joy all mixed together. It’s not always easy to navigate them.

I feel like I’ve heard “I can’t imagine!” So many times when I tell people Logan’s story. They can’t imagine an infant seemingly healthy 1 moment and a code blue the next. They can’t imagine the choices of hospice or lifetime ventilator. They can’t imagine burying their newborn and still functioning.

I know they could imagine it, it’s just that my nightmare is too much for them to even think of as a possibility. When people ask me how I do it, I’m really not sure. I really wasn’t given another choice.

I wish that there were far fewer people having a Blue Christmas this year. For those who are having a hard month, this song sums up my feelings for this month.

Please let the calendar hit January quickly!

IS THE BUILD UP WORSE THAN THE DAY?

Some times the constant reminder you may have a trigger day coming is worse than the actual day. Some days it’s all around when you least expect it!

I was blessed enough to be born on Mother’s Day and was told for so long that I was the best gift for that day. I made her a “Mom.” It was a day that for so many years I’ve had shared with her. So many family celebrations of having to share my day with my grandmothers, aunts and mom’s. I enjoyed it even more when my first mother’s day as a mother myself happened to fall also on my birthday. It was a wonderful mix of emotions and outpouring of love for my daughter and celebration of this new stage of my own life.

This year these days won’t be celebrated quite the same. There will be a new worry of emotion. I’m working to remind myself that I am not only the noun of mother, someone who has born or adopted a child. I am looking at it as also a verb: something or someone as the recipient for my action. I give love, I give them energy, I give them my thoughts.

I can think of so many inspirational women throughout my life who have helped show me that what mothering truly is. Those Who have shown me grace and are my soul sisters! As I am getting bombarded with email ads for massages endless scented lotions and massages which I will never remember to book, I’ve been trying to think about what would actually make me the most happy in my celebration week of my life and Mother’s Day.

The realization of this year is that time is the only thing of true value that you cannot measure. It is the gift that gives me back the most. I know memories can fade but they  the best gifts I have received from others in these past 9 months. If you are wanting to know how you can help me this Mother’s Day this is my request:

-Show me where you took Logan’s memory today. Show me where you saw him, either in the stars, the wind, the leaves or maybe a rainbow.

-Light a candle for his memory 

-Acknowledge that this will be a difficult day and that your just thinking about me and Logan

-If you can visit with him. I love seeing when he’s had his friends stop by with a pebble or flower.

I think this day I will be surrounding myself with other mama’s whose arms are aching. I’m praying for peace and comfort during this period. I pray our children won’t be forgotten. I pray for understanding relationships and being surrounded by love.