Wednesday, December 7, 2016

There is Purpose in your Name


I felt you so close to my heart today and not in a go crawl into a corner and cry way (even though I did cry missing you today, but I only cried a short amount which is really big for me). But today I felt close to you in the way where I am finding some purpose that I can do in your name. I want to help other mother's like me and I want to pray for babies like you (even though you are my one of a kind sweet angel). I want to bring hope in a hopeless situation or I want to help spread the peace God brings to mother's like me who miss precious angel's like you.

I have a friend who had the "terrible" no good appointment of being told her fluid was gone. That her little girl, Claire, had 5-10% chance of living. It brings me back to hearing that you had a 2% chance of living. My mind selfishly went to you. Then I dropped my head and prayed for the family and for peace and healing. God still surrounds me with His peace, and I hope to share His peace with others.

Ryles, I'll never know what your laughter sounded like. I'll never get a text from a teacher telling me that you cried about missing me. I'll never get to see you sit in Santa's lap physically. I'll miss so many things like that. But you are a part of every. single. thing. I. do. You are a part of me that will never die. My soul will even carry your memory into Heaven one day. And until then, I am going to keep searching for purpose, for acts of love to do in your honor and to show Christ's love that's been poured out for us this year. Mommy is starting her hormones again tonight. I should be a nut job for a couple of weeks. Holidays without you and hormones shall be an "interesting cocktail" of emotions. But I am thankful to remember your life. I am thankful for the medicines that will help to one day get pregnant with your brother and sister, but I would give anything to change our journey.

I often see parents rightfully being sad that their children are growing so fast. (I know I would have done the same thing if you were born). But for the record, I would have given anything for you to hit a week, a month, a year. But I don't judge them for what they say, because I am not on their journey, just as they are not on mine. If I have learned anything it is that we are all on our own journey in life. We all face disappointments from time to time, we all face loss, regret, and all of the other bad things. But one thing all of us humans have in common is that we are God's children. We are loved and we have purpose (even if we are still in our "searching years". Your life had purpose baby girl and I hope that the name Ryleigh will provide a sense of peace or love to someone. I hope women like me may see that I've been on their journey and that can understand that someone half way understands them. I hope you always know that I strive to make you proud.

Today, during rainy day recess I let my students watch "Family Circus Christmas" a cartoon I adored as a child. I quietly teared up wishing I could share a piece of my childhood with you the way I do my students. But then I realize once again, you know all of me. You are created of me. You are in a place where Jesus can show you my heart. I'm glad you'll never suffer the pain so many have to, but I'll always wish I could have changed things for you. I love you to Heaven and back. -Mommy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Short Ramblings

I had another decent day. Two in a row with only one cry that lasted under a minute. That's so good for me. It's weird to explain that I emotionally hurt deep down every day, but I can suppress it better some days than others. My hormone tomorrow should change this emotionally positive mood tomorrow and for the next two weeks I will likely cry my emotions that I feel I have no control over out. I tell myself every month, I will not let the medicine alter my emotions. I will be strong. I will lean on God... and while I do still lean on God, my emotions win when progesterone plays a roll. But I love the medicine. I love getting smileys saying that my body is capable of another child, a sibling for our girl. It is so worth every tear. Our children are so worth every sacrifice we make and I hope I do a great job of showing them one day.

I am tired, so I am turning in rather early. <3 Love you much. --Ryle's mom

I love you sweet girl.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Open Wounds Turn to Scars

I had a good emotional day, which means it was a busy day. As always I pray to God and I talk to my daughter on the way to work, but today wasn't a crying day. Today was a forcing myself to listen to a talk show the whole way to work type of day. An escape from reality if you will... but those days sting a little because I carry some guilt because I know that with time this hurt will fade. I recognize it even now as the tears come less often. I remember the fresh wounds of my grandparents death and how over time the wound was not so fresh. I recall how one day I woke up and realized I had accepted their death and while it hurts still to miss them, the type of hurt changed. It's like a cut, when it's new it hurts so bad for someone to bump it... but then a scar forms. You never forget the pain that came with the scar, but it stings less. The scar stands as a reminder of a deep hurt, that doesn't hurt so much anymore. I fear the day Ryleigh becomes a scar on my heart. For some reason I fear the emotionally healing that I already feel, because I am so scared it will make her less a part of who I am. But I reason with myself, she will always be who I am. I will never love her any less. I will always miss her, even if I don't cry every day.

I realize it is hard for anyone to truly grasp our loss, because it is our baby. I see her pictures that I have in the empty nursery all the time. (Yes, I occasionally do walk in, more than likely to get the Roomba un-stuck or to hear her heart beat elephant, and yes I have photos up from when she was still with us). But I choose not to share because I don't want people to feel hurt for us when they see her pictures. I don't want the pictures to represent our loss, I want them to represent life. & they do. I swear there is so much love in one picture that I framed that it's become a favorite. I don't cry at it any longer. I smile most times. I am so thankful for memories.

I have a lock box of her things. After she passed, I often sat in front of it for a long time sifting through the items that were hers. Her footprints, photos, cards people sent, scriptures written while I was giving birth. Then the last thing I would do before putting the box away was sniff the hat she wore. It smells like the pink bottle of Johnson baby lotion and a mixture that is her sweet baby scent. I fear one day I will smell that hat and the scent will be gone, actually I know it will. Because just like the wound that heals into a scar --the scent will fade too. Life will move on. That is the hardest thing I face--is knowing that life will go on, and it will do so without our kid by my side. That is a hard pill to swallow. But one I must learn to swallow, because I recently made a choice that I don't want to live life miserable and bitter. I want to be a great person. I want to represent Jesus in a real way. I want to give to the poor, help the lonely, be an aid to women who face loss like me, I want to live a great life that impacts the world. I don't want to be miserable. I want to be a mother who makes her daughter and God proud.

I so enjoy church now. I feel closer to God at church and while I draw closer to the Lord, I feel closer to our daughter. & I am learning acceptance of God's will. I view Bible stories differently. I think of Noah. I often think of the fisher-price version of here is a man in a boat with some animals and there's a rainbow at the end... but can you imagine what he really went through? The mourning over the loss of his friends? The anxiety as waters arose around him and he didn't see land? Then I think of Sarah in the Bible who spent years wanting a child, I have never stopped to think about how often she cried and worried... but what I like about all of those stories is the fact that they have a good ending. Now, Ryleigh's death was not a good ending... but actually her death was not an ending... it was a beginning of eternal life. As Christians, we never have a true ending. We have eternity of happiness. That is where I find my strength. That is why I can write this blog without blubbering like a fool. (Now grant it I am not on my hormones this week, so this can change, give it a couple of days).

I am longing for the spring. I look forward to it. Spring means life and hopefully I'll be finding out that there is more life inside of me to add to our family then. I won't have time for super sappy blogs when John or Allyson come, and I look forward to giving up the old me and giving our kiddos 110% of who I am to ensure their happiness. Until then, I'll try to appreciate where I am now in life. I pray that if you read this, you realize I am really doing what I consider well. I also hope you know it is my outlet and not used to reach out for pity. It's just me writing about life.

Oh, and don't be afraid that you complaining about a bad day will hurt my feelings. I have bad days too that don't have anything to do with our loss. It's called being human--you are allowed to say you spilled your coffee and it was a bad day. No need for apologies.

Lots of love and hugs... ~Ryleigh's Mom~ P.S. my love for you never changes.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Pain Jesus Knew He Would Endure, but He Did All Things in Love

We watched a movie about aliens tonight, yet somehow it still made me think of Ryleigh. At one point the woman in the movie got to see her whole life ahead of time, she saw the magical good times she would face in her life... and she saw the painful gut-wrenching moments. She saw her daughter dying of a rare disease. She saw her husband leaving... and despite knowing the pain that was in her future she did not choose to alter her future. She chose to live her life and embrace every good moment, even knowing the future would bring pain.

If I ever had the opportunity to choose meeting Ryleigh despite knowing I couldn't alter her destiny, I would choose meeting Ryleigh every. single. time. Even if I had to experience the greatest pain of my life, because I had those moments of greatness. I had those nights of her touching me from the inside of my stomach, those moments I held her, the seconds of her looking in our eyes. The love that entered my heart the day I became a mother will never be able to be described in words.

And then I think, I bet Jesus knew what he was to endure. He knew his friends would deny him, He knew that he would suffer undeniable pain in the name of love... and He went through it all anyways. There is no deeper love than that. I understand the sacrifice he made for us better now.

I'll never be able to describe how much of me is missing and how much of me died with her that day. And how the tears don't stop over night. And how I miss who I was, but would not change a thing at the same time.

God is the only one himself that knows the grief I still endure, and how I want the grief to go away. But how I don't want it to at the same time, because my pain shows she existed.

I miss you Ryleigh with every single ounce of me. I love you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I want you to know how I really feel

I am thankful for the Mac Book my husband got me for Christmas. I am desperate to let emotions go. I am desperate to yell my intimate thoughts on paper... or a computer.. whatever. In our generation it is all basically the same anyways.

I often have emotional mornings. I'll never let anyone know at work, but you see I drive to work. 55 minutes one way. That is a lot of time to think... unless I focus in on the Kid Kraddick morning radio show. But mornings like this morning my mind escapes to my child. A relationship I am struggling to establish how to work out in my mind. I knew her less than 2 hours in person, but I mourn her like someone I had known my whole life. But I reason with that in this manner: She was created 1/2 of me, she was formed and grew in me, so she was and is very much a part of me my whole life. She is indeed a piece of me. So I tell myself as a mother I am allowed to still feel her absence, because when she died I lost a huge part of me... of who I always dreamed of being. My mind on my drive often drifts to my daughter. The sweet tiny baby with my cheeks and a replica of her father's face. I go back to my darkest days. The days I couldn't look at myself in the mirror after she was born because she had my cheeks and I couldn't bear to look at myself anymore because it made me long for the child I held so temporarily. My mind also slips to the night I came home from the hospital when the strong drugs began to wear off and I finally felt the deep gravity of the child I loved so dearly for 26 weeks passing on my chest. Make it no mistake, I am thankful I brought sweet girl into the world and I am thankful if she had to pass on I was holding her. But no body in the world (even those who have been through similar situations) knows what it was like for me to look into our precious God given creation's eyes and then have to face a nurse nodding her head yes that she had passed. All the while trying to remain as strong as possible because I refused for few moments I had with us to be turmoil. I took in her life and the beauty that it was. I prayed for her, sang to her, I loved her with everything in me, and I tried my hardest for her to see my smile despite the tears that ceased flowing. I held my deepest sorrow for when I sat in the recliner days later. I never want to feel that pain again. It's the type of pain the cripples you, that makes you wish you could close your eyes, and just temporarily disappear. Make it clear I never wanted to die and I don't wish to die now, but at that moment I needed an escape from reality. I wished so bad that Neverland was a place. I wished for a magical place that I didn't feel the pain I felt. Then the next day getting texts from my husband of her casket--our kid's casket. Would this be ok he so nervously texted. I was supposed to pick out her outfits every day, not her casket. I am still thankful he picked it out. I am thankful he planned it. I couldn't have. But I am thankful I did write her obituary, my gift of words to her. It's all I had to give her.

The days following the funeral all feel like such an emotional blur of both physical and mental anguish and pain. A blur of healing from a surgery and trying to figure out how to function. I cried. A lot. I beat myself up for not kissing her lips, my greatest regret. But she was so very fragile and seemed comfortable in my arms on my chest. I am thankful I kissed her sweet cheeks, but fresh out of surgery I couldn't bend much and didn't want to harm her. So I just held her and kissed her cheeks. I never once thought "Kiss Ryleigh on the lips while she is here". I just stared into her eyes and kissed her cheeks, sang to her, prayed for her, did the best job I could. But days after she was buried, I mourned not kissing her lips. And I am sure if I would have, I would have another "I wish I would have" done thing. But I have learned to mentally cope because I will kiss those sweet lips one day in heaven. (Please don't judge me, I am so scared someone would think, "Who wouldn't think to kiss her child? I promise I showered her with kisses on her cheeks, but mentally I wasn't stable at the time). Another fear days after the funeral I had was panic attacks over ants getting her. Morbid, I know, but it caused me to have a major meltdown before being explained that the type of casing she was in prevented such. I hated those days. I still hate the memory of those days, but here I am writing them. But I hope writing them will help me heal from my dark days. I never want to lose the memory of her, but I desperately want to be in a place where only the good and happy memories surface.

I want to state I really am doing better, sometimes I think I am having a really bad day, but then I recall I had a lot of worse days.

And I want you to know that when you ask me how I really am doing I'll always say "I'm ok" because I can't talk to people publicly about it. At least not out loud. I can't. It's too much for me to share the deep emotions I still feel. Actually I have learned I like for people to just treat me like Christina, the old version of me. But I do like to hear her name so please don't ever be nervous about speaking of her to me.

I am a new version of me. There is an underlying missing piece of me and I miss the old me, which sound very selfish. But when I say I used to be genuinely happy I was. Now I have moments of genuine happiness tainted with moments of sadness. It's confusing to go from being the 100% happy person to the girl who fights daily to have an emotionally stable happy day. But my goodness I do love my happy moments now. I cherish the times I am laughing with a co-worker, a student, a friend, or a family member. And y'all, my class, my Lord knows my love for them. They keep me busy and I prayed for the perfect class for me this year. God gave me a busy one with a lot of energy this year. And I love it. I don't stop and when I don't stop, I don't have time to wallow in self pity. I am just me again, a teacher who loves her class.

And I am making so many close friends here lately. My friendships that existed have grown stronger, like the bond that we now hold is deeper. Because I saw which friends were really there for us. And I am making so many new friendships... lol and the majority of them are all pregnant. I won't lie I was once nervous about how I would function mentally around pregnant women in the future. I didn't want to become some jealous ole hag... and I am not! That's one thing I can honestly say. If anything, I am thrilled for them because I know the feeling of excitement knowing that there is another precious miracle to love. I think God made a lot of my new friends pregnant for a reason, I think he wants me to still praise Him for life. So I do, and I pray for my pregnant friends all of the time. I can't wait until I am the pregnant one again. (We get to start praying for one in two months, and you best believe the count down is on. And I will be a mom of two before you know it. (One always above).

I can not help but tell you guys I am made to be a mother. I know in my deepest heart that I will be a great one. I consider myself a good one even now. I bear the scar to show that I am a good mom. I will make mistakes just as all parents do, but I will have patience and a love for our children. I will take them on grand adventures, I will read to them, I will bathe them every night in their pajamas, and I promise you they'll be tucked in knowing they are loved. I will rock the raising a kid thing one day and I can't wait to watch our baby or babies grow.

If you read this long, Thank you. I pray you treat me just like you would every day tomorrow or whenever I go public with my post, please act like you didn't read it at all lol. Just so I can feel normal. I hate being pitied (and I know you think I just shouldn't talk about it to avoid being pitied, but I can't stay quiet.) I just want someone to understand me because holding everything in and always pretending to be strong is hard and I need an outlet.. and I swear I don't want your pity. I just want someone to understand how I am ok and I am not ok all at the same time. That sometimes I never know when an emotion will hit. And I want someone to know that somehow I survived the best and worst day of my life and the days that followed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Holidays are here

I've seen Christmas trees long before Halloween and I've avoided it like the plague...maybe because I am more of a wait until you eat turkey first girl. But this year... I'm struggling with it all. I'm thankful for the break, trust me, but I can't help but feel sad. The holidays are about family and I can't deny the sense of sadness I feel knowing that this was supposed to be the year my husband and I got to partake in the "Christmas with a child" activities. As always, I feel I was robbed of this. I even came home and cried after the school dance, which I enjoyed at the time. But when I got home mentally I thought about the fathers dancing with their beautiful daughters and I felt sorry for Travis. He got robbed too of moments like that. But I know there is reason why God took her and that He is a God of good. But to say I won't have an emotional Christmas is a lie. I miss you Angel. I wish you were going to see Santa. I love you always, Mommy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

July was my October

We should be in the single digits. 9 days until her due date. I should be nesting or resting or doing whatever moms do before birthing their first born. But I'm not because October, which was supposed to be our month to meet, came too soon. July was my Ocotber and while I never question God's whys I do ache for the what might have beens. I'm home sick today, woke up with a headache that felt like I got hit by a Mac truck and a bad cough and my chest hurts. Hoping my over the counter meds that are more expensive than even going to the doctor work. I always feel like the worse teacher when I take off, usually I try to push through, but here lately I just don't feel like my body is up to being pushed to the limit. Sometimes in my mind everything that happened is like a blue that never occurred, like my mind tries to block the loss, but can't. I have no choice but to try to be cheerful and to try to be me, but it's odd because I am not me that I once was at all. I am now Christina, the girl who lost her baby. It's my own fault that I'm known for it, I talk about her all the time. I guess that's the mom in me always wanting to share about her kids too much, but I'm the girl when I speak of my child who gets sympathetic looks. Then I feel guilty for even mentioning it. I don't want attention or sympathy off of my child, but I also can't shut up about it. She became a huge part of who I am, and subconsciously I guess I share for that reason. I never told her birth story, and probably won't share much, but I will share that within a few minutes of her coming out of the womb we learned she would die. It was no surprise, we knew what we were facing. After the NICU team giving a viliant effort our child was placed on my chest where she opened her eyes and looked at me. She wrapped her hands around mine and Trav's hands and I prayed over her loudly giving thanks To God for our creation. I told her how much I loved her and how much we prayed for her and I told her I was so sorry my body had failed her. I said everything I needed to say, and kept it together. I wanted to be brave so she didn't sense our sadness, but I cried, who wouldn't. We don't know the exact time she passed even though they officially announced it a few hours later. She drifted to meet the Lord on my chest. I remember it really hit me coming home from the hospital. The lady pushing my wheel chair said, "Didn't you just have a baby? Where is your baby?" I dropped my head and shared that she was with God. That was the first time I got a sympathetic look from a stranger about my child. I felt terrible for the girl. I still feel terrible when I share my loss to someone, like I just kind of blurt it out, then feel terrible. Getting back on track, the night we came home we slept in the living room. I had to sleep in the recliner due to pain from the csection. We watched Netflix, "Walt before Mickey". I can remember not being able to sleep despite the ambien I was given, and Trav falling asleep. It was in that moment that I felt the tremendous loss. I cried out in anger and recall Trav waking up to comfort me. I woke up several times that night having panick attacks and screaming out in pure turmoil. She was everything I ever wanted from the moment I was a child and she was gone. The next days were even harder, getting texts from Travis who bravely planned her service, I remember when the casket was shared with me nearly losing it. I mean hoenstly I should have been sending him pics of the overly priced high chair I wanted, but here I was getting a little white casket in my messages. It was by far the most challenging week of my life. Fast forwarding to now, I'm mentally stronger every day. But I am anxious, I am anxious as to when we can try again, I am anxious about how my body will hold up after a classical (not typical) csection, I am anxious to lose another one of God's creations in me. I smile all of the time and it's genuine. My class this year will never know how much they are loved by me and how much they are getting me through. I am very capable of real smiles and times that I even feel like the old me. But on days like today, where I stayed home sick (and I legitimately have a cold or bug Bc it's going around my classroom), all I have time to do is think. And I miss our child. I miss Ryleigh. I know I couldn't control a complication at conception, but I do hold the guilt and regret. I pray God gives me a shot to be an earthly mom and give her siblings, but to say I am terrified of the journey would be pure honesty. I trust in God's plans, but know His plan is not always ours. But fear is not trust, so I am trying hard to overcome that.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Did I already know?

I was reading old posts on here and I actually wrote "My heart goes out to any mother who has to experience loss after they've heard their child's heartbeat". What are the odds that I said that, I question was God preparing my heart the whole time? I am never a believer of coincidences. For some updates, I ovulated on my own this month. Smiley face and all without medication. Woo hoo! No clomid needed, that's huge for me. I still cry a lot, but I try to focus on the future to meet John William or Allyson Ann. I'll raise them knowing our family has an angel. I one day want to help women who have faced infant loss, I am not healed enough yet, but it is a goal one day. I love you Ryleigh, and I'll try to make you proud to call me momma until we meet again.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dear sweetie

Ryleigh: I miss you. I still miss the what would have been too, but I also realize that no matter what my pain won't somehow reverse time and I can't relive any moments. I wish I could have changed things. I would have given anything, even my own life to keep you alive. I didn't cry today, I tried to stay busy to avoid crying. But I still wake thinking of you and I still love you. I listened to your heart beat elephant earlier. The sound of your heart beat is so special to me, I'm thankful sis bought me the elephant. Bedtime for me. I love you sweetie. Please know I am so pleased you are healed and at peace with God. I miss you, but I know you are with our maker. I love you, Mom

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trying to live your old happy lifestyle with a heartache

I ache daily. I function, but the absence of Ryleigh is with me daily. Mostly late at night is when I miss her the most because that's when she'd be my sweet wiggles. I'd give anything to feel that beautiful angel touch me again. Work has been well, I won't lie the first day was difficult because some of my precious babies that I taught wanted to know how my baby was doing (they really were so excited for me) and I'm usually at a loss for words. I mean how do you tell a child your baby didn't make it? I usually just explain God wanted me to just make an angel to watch over us. I did run to my classroom at nap and luckily with them all asleep I could have my quiet cry and rock and roll. The next day was much better and I was just me. I brought sweet girl a flower arrangement and a July birthstone thing to the cemetery yesterday evening. I like being there I can just talk to her. I still just wish I could change things. My dreams and heart are crushed.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Our angel

Some posts are happier than others and some are not. Today my post is pretty positive. We were given a weenie dog and he's a lot of work, but it keeps my mind occupied and he's pretty dang cute so it's worth it. Back to school seems to be going well. Open house was successful in meeting lots of nice people. One student told me "I am so sorry your baby died, I have prayed for you." And I was touched by the love of a child, but it didn't make me cry. She had the saddest look and to cheer her up I explained that God wanted a beautiful angel and that's what she is. I told her she would watch over all of us and that sweet baby smiled so big. My biggest fear was explaining to a child why I wasn't pregnant anymore or them asking to see my baby, and me crying like a crazy woman. But in true me fashion I kept it professional and held it together. Some days I am content and some days I ache. Mainly at night, but I began progesterone again to keep my cycles regulated so I can try again for sibling in the spring. The thought excites and terrifies me all at the same time. I know God will provide. Lots of love. -Christina love you sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


There will never be a first day of school for Ryleigh. I know I'll one day be a mother somehow, but for Ryleigh I'll never have that day. You don't realize how many dreams a mother has for a child, until she's robbed of those dreams. I feel robbed. I don't feel robbed by God, just robbed in general. I feel sadness for the "firsts" I'll miss out on. I even had her a newborn Halloween costume chosen for her first Halloween. Tomorrow my oldest niece goes to second grade and that sweet angel is so excited. I did her "back to school sign". I want to feel like I'm special in the back to school world. I'm thankful my sister allows me to be so much of a part of her kids' lives. Ok bed for me. Love you Rye Pie. We will have our firsts in Heaven. Until then I'll just be living and trying my darndest to make it through happily.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

When sun seeps through.. Getting reminded

As a warning I am not as bubbly tonight, even the best fall down sometimes (as a great song once said). Today was a good day, a day I felt like me. Ok kinda like me. And I decided it's going to be a good day, I even appreciated being stuck behind a tractor. Then I get tagged to a post that had 22 weeks old babies on it and asked if I would like to share my thoughts on a controversial issue. No. I don't. I am not controversial in the first place and I will not use my baby to be involved in politics. Maybe that makes me wrong. I know people mean well, but sometimes I just want to be me. I want to feel like me. I don't want to be reminded of my dark cloud that never leaves me. But I mean sometimes my dark cloud has sunshine pouring into it and when you tag me to something about a baby dying it sends me into a tail spin. Yes I rejoiced that I met Ryleigh and I find joy knowing she's with God. But I feel sadness for losing my daughter and while some say they only feel joy about hearing about her, I feel everything. Joy for knowing her and joy for God in heaven... But the mom in me feels anger (not at God just in general). The mom in me feels the deepest pain, utter grief, confusion, fear, etc... And I struggle thinking someone would think I felt nothing but joy. Then I tell myself to not feel guilty for feeling different things because I am human. I need to grieve the same way that is good for me. My daughter and my God are joy. But death, it's hard, even people in the Bible mourned. I love you all... To sleep I go.

My summer was a miracle

Well summer break is coming to an end shortly and I have mixed feelings about it all. This was definitely a summer I'll never forget. A summer I never want to forget. People assume because Ryleigh passed that I consider it a terrible summer, but this summer I felt our baby that we prayed for so long move and wiggle in my womb. I got to sing to her every night and feel her react to my music. Though the bedrest was a challenge, it's a challenge j would choose a zillion times more. Then guess what?! I got to hold our precious child, I got to feel her tiny long fingers wrap around my index fingers, I got to stare into her eyes, sing to her, kiss her, and dedicate her to God. She passed in my arms, a detail I haven't shared with many, but she went peacefully sleeping on my chest. No sudden movements, just slipped into the hands of the Lord. Which makes my heart ache at the thought of our earthly goodbye, but I know where our child is and I've accepted God chose to call her home to take care of her. So while I did experience the most emotional pain I've ever faced, I also got to experience the deepest love I could ever fathom. Ever. Thank you, God. Just a year ago I shared that we were struggling with conceiving and just one year later I got to share the summer of "Ryleigh" and God made us parents. I think of Steel Magnolias, "I rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime full of nothing special." So I had a miraculous summer for the fact that I held our miracle and I was given 26 beautiful weeks with our girl. Do I still have my moments? Heck yes, I woke up crying at 5 am the other day. Travis held me through it. After church I had a meltdown like no other and my mom helped talk me through it. I cried that I thought by now the grief would pass, like at this point the world expects me to be "ok" (as if grief has a time-line). But then I realize grief doesn't have a timeline. I feel every person is entitled to take as long as they need. I also believe when you lose someone with your blood you truly never get over the loss, you just learn to live again with a piece of your heart somewhere else. You still laugh and you live your life accordingly so Heaven is attainable. Today was a good day, I only cried once while copying my photos of her onto a jump drive. I need to get them printed but haven't been that brave yet. The photos for me are extremely personal and no one will ever see them except immediate family because I want to respect our baby girl and not parade her photos. I will say that they turned out beautiful and the photos did a fabulous job at capturing the emotions that day. There is one of us as a family of three where you can read the love on all three of our faces and I adore it. I'm so glad we got to have a family photo together while sweet girl was alive and with us. I intended to write about back to school, but I guess I wrote about Ryles instead. I have a feeling that's who I'll continue to be as a mother... Always thinking about my kids and little about me anymore. I'll take that. I look forward to our journey as parents. I can't wait to meet who Ryleigh's sibling(s) will be. I just know God will bless us with a wonderful family to raise and I praise Him in advance and I praise Him for Ryleigh. I love you sweet girl, mommy had a great summer meeting you.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Stages of grief

The various stages of grief must have some truth to it because today I feel anger. The slightest things irritate me, things I would usually never get mad about. I don't even feel like me, I do at some moments I guess, but not really. I am capable of laughter and joy, but I still feel a huge part of me missing. People may think I am plum nuts to mourn our child that we only knew for a day. But I knew her when she was still a dream of ours, I celebrated the day I got pregnant, I jumped up and down like a fool when my dream of having a girl became a reality. & because of my lack of fluid I could literally feel her hold hands through my stomach w me. (Well press our hands together). To the left of my belly button, it was so reassuring and such precious moments. I ache to feel our creation in my belly. I feel only a woman who's carried would truly grasp the connection you feel to them when they move. And I'm not angry with God. I know He had good reason to call her home, for her good. But I'm just angry in general. I went into a dance store today w my niece to look for new dance shoes, & I had to walk out. Because dance recitals was already a dream. & I get mad that I'll never know what dreams we had for her would have played out. I'll never know her eye color, her laughter, heck even her cry. I'll never know it, and it kills me inside that I'll never know what who our beautiful baby girl would be. And then I feel guilty for being so sad like my time limit is up for mourning. Like I'm supposed to be better. So I try to be better, and sometimes I really am, but on nights like tonight I am not. I am releasing the feelings I held in while trying to shop my feelings away. For the record, I only came out poorer and still sad. I'm supposed to be getting my huge baby bump by now. Instead I desperately try to find something to cover my not gone down completely stomach and try to feel like an attractive person again, because that went out the window a long time ago.. When I got pregnant. I know one day I'll look back at this and I'll hopefully be rocking Ryleigh's sibling and I'll think of our first born and smile at the time we shared together. And I'll look at this post and see how dark my feelings were and I'll remember to be thankful for my better days that I'll hopefully be experiencing. Because life is a journey. It's filled with moments of greatest and times when you just don't feel like functioning. I feel less angry sharing it all, I'm still not posting online that I updated. I'm not ready for the world to know my true deep feelings Bc honestly I don't want to be known as the poor girl who just never got over something. Even though truthfully I'll never get over it, I don't want to get over the memory of our girl. But eventually time will heal me. For now I am searching with how to feel and act and wishing I could just know who I am through this all. I am searching for the "who am I now?" Part of life. I miss knowing who I was and not feeling like an empty and angry person. I did speak to someone today, a stranger in the mall as I walked by. That felt normal Bc I'm one to speak to people. Maybe that's a good sign. Ok well bed for me, I have church in morning. I get Ryleigh's baptism papers.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What might have been

The what might have beens bother me the most late at night. Who would Ryleigh grow up to be? What would her hobbies be? What would she wear to prom? Who would she marry? Would she have kids? Would she be shy and quiet like daddy or loud and outgoing like mommy? Who would she be? My oldest niece stayed the night tonight and as she finally began winding down she asked me to "scratch my back like mom and nanny do please". As she drifted off smiling after I kissed her goodnight I did cry. I wondered, "What would I do as a mom for Ryleigh that she would have to remind Aunt Jen of?" Id like to think on nights like tonight when Trav was working she'd be curled up next to me just like Gracie. I'm very glad Gracie is here tonight Bc she's controlled my sadness and brought joy. Speaking of Joy, Ryleigh was named from the girl's name in "Inside Out". Travis and I watched it and he stated liking it... Then we pulled the leigh part after my grandfather. His great grandfather was a Riley. Her middle name, Ann, was after his sister who had passed, Dianna. Her name was just perfect. I loved seeing it written. Her name still is perfect. I really love you, sweet Ryleigh. I'm convinced God conveys my words of affection to her. I've been told I'm strong a 1000 times. People see "the representative" bc grieving I hard to do publicly. I hurt every day @ some point or another. I went walking the other day after a rain when the temp as bearable and wouldn't hurt my incision. I cried the whole time almost while talking to God and Ryleigh in prayers. I don't feel that's strong, I'm nuts. God is the strong one. His peace is the only reason I can function. I'm getting ready to begin good ole progesterone again, a drug that helped me get pregnant with our precious daughter. It's my crazy cry at any moment or scream like a mad woman pill. May God be with Travis and I both. I don't like being nuts, but this medicine doesn't play. But it'll be worth it if it helps prepare my body for Ryles siblings that we can try for in the spring. Until then, be patient with the girl crying while walking the neighborhood. Ok sleep is catching up. I love you, Ryleigh Pie.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

"This learning to live again is killing me"

Ok so my title is a play on Garth Brooks since his recent concert, that I did not attend, made his songs pop into my head. But it is hard to learn how to live again. It is hard to be anywhere near normal. I try, but everything feels so normal. So stinking "I've done it a thousand times". I've been tired of the same ole same ole. There is a time when God gives you a desire for something new. Mine was parenthood. 20 months ago I knew I was ready. So when I found out Ryleigh was on the way my mind shifted to the new adventures we would share... And when I found out she was a girl my mind shifted to all the girl things our family would do. Her dad even looked forward to dance recitals and walking her down the aisle. I looked forward to shopping days and big bows and me holding her and rocking her until her eyes slowly closed while staring at me. Just like the days I rocked my baby niece. So when our beautiful daughter passed away so peacefully laying against my chest in my arms, my dreams with her went to heaven too. I know she's in a better place, I rejoice in knowing such, but I still ache. Her father still aches. Now I am back to normal and people tell me how great I look (I long for my Ryleigh pregnant belly). I miss her touching the middle of the Palm of my hand while she was in my womb. There is a connection that no one can understand between a mom and her child the minute you see a positive test and Heaven knows when you feel that first wiggle or touch it is a bond like any other. I luckily journaled the last major wiggle I felt from our angel & bravely peeked at the journal yesterday and when I saw the exact time and date 12:35 am July 15, 2016 where both hands and feet touched my hands on my belly I lost it. It was a cry I've needed to have one where I screamed out loud completely alone begging for some sort of understanding. The melt down of all meltdowns in the middle of our angel's room. It was the first moment I was utterly alone and I really felt the loss of our daughter. It was therapeutic and I got through it just the same. I generally cry a couple of times a day, no meltdown like the one I just described, but for a minute or two I feel the absence of her, the fact that life is normal. I hate it. I miss being pregnant and eating certain things and looking forward to our new chapter. I think eventually I'll find some new form of normal, but guess what as my blog title suggests I am searching again.. Searching how to be normal. And I can't even share this blog yet because I'll never get to find normal when I am the depressed and grieving mom everyone feels sorry for. I appreciate the kindness and love everyone shows but sometimes I just want the rude person at the local grocery store to be rude to me again rather than telling me to take it easy. I'm a stinking looney toon I tell ya. Mommy loves you, Ryleigh. Can't wait until my searching years are us searching for the next adventure in heaven. Until then mommy will try her best to find joy here on earth and will try to have you some siblings that we can add to our family. There will never be another you though, our sweet first born.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nothing would make our goodbye easier

Someone told me yesterday that someone said it would have been easier on me if Ryleigh was a "simple miscarriage" (as if that's even possible for miscarriage to be simple for a woman) or if she would have been stillborn. The person who told me didn't tell me the source who said such a thoughtless thing, but just the same I want to address that notion for my own mental health. Did it hurt to lose our baby girl?!! Yes, God knows my deepest feelings of mourning and mine and Trav's life. But what you don't know is how amazing it was to have her alive. I was told almost the whole pregnancy it would never happen and guess what?! God let me give birth via c section to a beautiful beautiful child. The moment we learned that she was only 266 grams we knew she would meet God soon and of course our world shattered in a thousand pieces, but I kept it together. I held our baby and she literally cuddled my chest and held mine and trav's finger. Then the miraculous happened she opened her eyes and looked at me and doctor Wilson swore to my parents she smiled at me (I thought she did too). I got to stare into the creation God let us make eyes. It was the greatest moment of our lives and will remain the greatest moment of my life. Then she made this almost baby bird like squeak... Nothing that sounded like distress but more of a "hi mom and dad". Travis and I both said awe and I was able to tell my Miss Wiggles how sweet and perfect she was. Then I was able to pray over her and study her features. A combo of our eyes, my cheeks and nose, Travs lips and long legs... She really is so beautiful y'all. Then I was able to allow our families meet her and kiss her and she was able to get baptized. I also got to sing "Slow Down" our la-la-la song I sang to her every night. All while in my arms. They continuously checked her heart beat and she would still be with us and I was thankful to know I had more time. More time to hold our precious angel alive. They will always be some of my most precious moments of my life. And even when she was announced passed at 11:09 am and my heart had a piece go to heaven with our baby...I was so thankful to have met our baby. I am so thankful to God for those moments. I wouldn't have hurt any more or less had her passing been differently. A mother and a father's love is present from the first positive test. I'm so thankful to God that he gave me time with our baby. Precious time to hold our very small daughter who grew in my womb. I got to meet the life I knew inside of my belly. That alone is such a precious moment to me. I'll forever miss her and I usually cry a few times a day, but I know that I'll see our sweet girl in Heaven. I look forward to the sweet day I walk in and can hold her again. Until then I look forward to giving her some siblings and will take on the world day by day. There will be joy, there is always joy to be found. I'll be ok and so will Trav. We will just always live with a piece of our hearts in heaven. We love you Ryleigh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Summer is an emotional blur

I tried realllly hard to sleep at night this time. I succeeded from 11-3. Then I read my new "self help book" "Praying Through Hard Times" which discusses not only dealing with tough situations in a Christian manner, but also lets you explore similar situations in the Bible. It has touched on things I've pondered, one being "Why do some non believers who abuse their kids get to have kids and I struggle so?" (Hard to admit my mind asked that because I now realize somehow over time I put myself on a pedestal as a Christian over "sinners" and guess what? We are all sinners, me included). The book helped point out that though others who may not know God may seem to have an "easier life" from the outside that God doesn't want me to compare. It also points out how blessed I am to have belief in God during a hard time and how I'll one day be saved forever. So I find myself in a new place yet again spiritually realizing though our situation is so hard, we are saved and the pain we experience on earth won't be forever. & that rather than comparing myself to others I should pray for them. So that's a new goal. Mentally & spiritually I find myself to be a different woman. I've already begun my battle with depression and not letting the devil steal the joy that God brings. I still hold on to hope that this baby girl of ours can defy science, because God has been doing that. Then I find myself thinking that I'm crazy and need to be realistic, but faith is believing that the impossible can be possible. I also worry about if I'm selfish, I pray to God that I want Ryleigh to have a great life and for His will over her life. I also try hard to not become the "pity me" person and feel sorry for myself Bc the blessing of being a mother alone is huge. I will tell you this, this has been the longest summer of my life where nights and days blend into emotional blurs. Yet I keep praying, "Let her stay with me longer". Though my pain is great, the aching to raise our child is greater. I'm so ready for our break through. I pray every appointment to be the one where things turn around. But I realize God's way is not my way, and I have accepted His will either way. I try to note every single time I feel her, I've become obsessed with noting the time. It's the most precious thing I'll ever feel. I'm so thankful to be Ryleigh Ann's mom. I once started this blog while searching for Love. Looking back God heard my prayer loud and clear, and answered it in His time perfectly. He also answered my prayer to be a parent. Now I pray to be a parent and raise healthy children in our house. I'll trust He knows what He's doing.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Preparing my heart is impossible

Everyone already knows what is going on, and I often hear that people have no idea how they would mentally go through it. I need to state that I am crazy. Best way to put it. I have to hear that our sweet baby, who wiggles inside of me every night, who we've mentally and physically already bonded with will die before we ever meet her. Our child is 20 weeks in size (as an average, some body parts measuring lower), and growth is extremely slow due to my placenta insufficiency. (Something I have been told was not my fault and happened at conception). Mentally, I still have guilt that my body isn't providing her enough blood. Then there is the thought of labor, I mean labor is scary. I've been nervous about that part since before trying. I know it's got pain involved. But I've always been ready because we get a precious crying baby at the end. Now I am told my baby will likely be still born. I will hear no cries. That's more painful than labor alone could ever be, and while I am thankful I am alive, this is a situation I wish I could just close my eyes really tight and disappear to Neverland. I feel so sick over it all. Sick. I'm also at risk of high blood pressure setting in, pre clampsia is very common with folks like me. My pressure is already steadily creeping up which could also force me to induce labor even when she has a heart beat. If we don't then I could die too. So I try to stay calm while literally in a storm of emotions. Then I think of how my goodbye may have to go. How do you say bye to literally something made of half you? It is gut wrenching and I pray some form of the Holy Spirit enters my body at that moment because I can't fathom doing it. This post is raw and something I won't likely share for a while, but I need an outlet tonight as sleep doesn't come to me at all at night. I need God's light from the sun on me for me to be ok. There is nothing about me that feels like me except when I talk to Travis, who gets it because it's his daughter too. My friends send me snap chats or texts to try to cheer me or check on me and while I am grateful someone still thinks of me I rarely reply. Even to the really funny snaps.. Bc honestly my ability to laugh has been hindered. Nothing in the world seems very important these days. They will one day, but not right now. I keep telling myself that I can get through this, that I will one day be normal. And one day I will because as a couple we've decided we have to force ourselves to go do things, even when we don't want to. We have to force ourselves to put one foot in front of the other. We've decided that we won't let the devil steal our joy from life forever. We will mourn and then we will try to find an ounce of happiness everyday until we can feel happy without trying. I've wondered if I will need therapy, maybe just some spiritual counseling at church, maybe some Meds? I've always been against medication for happiness, but maybe that's because I've always been happy naturally. I've never known pain like this. Then I wonder am I taking it harder than the natural human being? I mean I am overly emotional? Or would everyone be as crazy as me? Then I worry about her suffering because while I want her to stay alive forever, I also worry about her suffering bc of my stupid body not "sharing blood correctly". No mom wants to think that their kid is in trouble. We did find out one day, when we are mentally ready we will go on to have children with likely "no complications". At one point at the beginning I didn't know if I could even try again, but within time I am sure in my heart we will try again. We've even got our names picked out. I would be treated super high risk and watched like a hawk, but the problem will likely never occur ever again. Our problem this time was a "one in a million". Then I worry that people will worry about talking about their kids to me, like they'll automatically think I am some bitter woman. Then I worry that my students' parents will automatically assume I have something against their kid, when honestly this upcoming class will be viewed with new eyes and I'll remember that even the child that misbehaves from time to time is someone's whole world. That I will likely show a little more kindness and patience. I hope if anyone ever runs across the particular post my real feelings don't scare you from liking me as a person. I am a Christian and I know God will see me through with time.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Oh hello, baby.

So obviously the greatest news of our life happened in February. However, though I have felt some changes I skipped the morning sickness, but wrong I was. Though I have kept myself from losing any food (is that the polite enough way to put it?) Tonight has been bad enough that ginger ale and a walLy world bag are bedside. To think I was even feeling like I missed out on a passage hood for being a parent. I actually kinda wanted to experience morning sickness so i could retell my "pregnant says". Yip, I was cray. However this is the best sickness i have ever experienced. I've never been more thankful to feel so sick.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Lonely house

People have praised how well I've handled our infertility issues. They like that my faith has grown and I seem to be in good spirits. My faith is strong, but nothing and I mean nothing about this is easy and I put on a positive spirit 50% of the time. Why? Because no one likes the woe is me person and I don't like the attention pity. (Which is why I'll never mske my blog public until I have some form of true peace. People are also weird around me with their kids like I have jealousy over their children. I am elated for anyone having a family, even despite our troubles. They are a true miracle. That's not to say that I never say, "Gosh, they have baby #3 on the way... What's the secret?! This past week I have been a basket case. I got three positives (faint Pink lines on dollar tree tests, but two beautiful visible lines. I got to send the texts to my husband and family declaring hope). I kept saying I won't trust it until blood shows it. Then as quickly as the lines appeared they began disappearing and the inevitable "You aren't having a baby this month" slap in the face came. The nurse called confused after I had ordered blood work for a pregnancy test as to why I needed my Clomid refilled. (Clomid can make you miscarry if you're pregnant). I had to explain that it was false positives or a faulty test, and she agreed with me that it could have been a chemical pregnancy. Basically, I was so close. But if I was to not have the child I would rather lose it before I ever saw a heart beat, my heart reaches out to any woman who ever met that horror. My nights when Travis is working feel very empty. That's when I notice the quiet of the house most. Anyways I am headed to bed. I still God ️thanks, it's just been a bad week.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The One Time I was Excited to Give Blood

It is so difficult for me to decide on what I want to publicly share or not, but i also want to track everything and I am too lazy to pull out my journal. After months of no positive indication of an LH surge, I finally had a surge a week ago. The test is quite similar to an over the counter pregnancy test, but it measures LH levels that let you know if your body is about to release an egg. (Gah, I am so tempted to delete now). Well, anyways the test is rather simple-- smiley or no smiley. I'm accustomed to the empty circle (like over the last 13 months I grew to hate it). So the day I finally got the smiley, I was in shock and squealing and thanking the Lord that the medicine seems to be doing its job. Today I went for blood work to confirm that my progestrone levels went up (this will confirm ovulation and give my doctor a basis as to if my progesteone prescription is strong enough. To date, it was the happiest I've ever been to give blood. Now, I wait. It is mind consuming-- like I am trying to tell myself to focus on other things consuming. My sister had progesterone problems with all of her pregnancies, and even suffered miscarriages. Therefore, I know how serious the levels can be and I am thankful I am taking progesterone over the counter. I have chosen Joy lately and I've not obsessed my usual amount (struggling to have a baby and being OCD by nature is no picnic!) I have hope in God's word though. I claim victory in the bloodwork, and I give thanks to God for the healthy baby I just know that we will meet in God's sweet timing.