I had a miscarriage…

It’s much easier to type those words than to speak them aloud, but it’s true. In April 2020, I suffered a miscarriage, and it has completely changed me. I couldn’t and still can’t believe it happened. No shade to other women who have experienced this painful, life-changing event, but I never imagined it would happen to me. No woman ever believes it’ll happen to her. Here I am, a mother of two healthy, living children that were birthed with no complications. How could this happen to me?

When you become pregnant, there is a taboo around sharing the news of your pregnancy before 12 weeks because statistics show that early miscarriage is very common. I always followed the pattern of not sharing before 12 weeks. Honestly, I never say anything before 5 months of pregnancy. With my third pregnancy, I was planning on doing the same thing. I would be sharing the news of my pregnancy at the end of May 2020, only to have lost my beautiful child at the end of April. 

Unlike some women (my heart goes out to those struggling to conceive), my husband and I weren’t trying to conceive a child. We were practicing natural family planning. I had no idea I was pregnant until I was almost through the first trimester. As soon as I began to accept our reality and became excited, my pregnancy began to end. My heart was shattered. I’m still shattered. I’ve condemned myself over and over again for still mourning my angel. Feeling as though I’m being dramatic. But God… But my husband… But therapy… they help me so much. 

In general, I am not one who copes with the death of a loved one very well. So when I lost my child… it ended me. It ended the woman I once knew, was, and was becoming. Why would God allow this to happen to me? I wasn’t even trying to get pregnant, so why let it happen to only put me through pain? I was so angry with God. I felt abandoned by Him. I couldn’t understand Him. I felt disconnected from Him. However, I didn’t know what else to do so I continued to pray. I continued to ask Him for help. Cried out to Him endlessly. I told Him how much He hurt me every day. I felt like he’d broken me. 

I knew about miscarriages, but I wasn’t educated. When I was in the beginning stages of my loss, I immediately thought of my friend who’d shared her experience with me. I couldn’t remember what I had said to her, but I knew that I owed her an apology. I knew that I didn’t have a true understanding of the impact the loss of pregnancy had on a woman, so I knew I probably offered very insensitive and unsolicited advice. I knew this because everything everyone (with the exception of a few) has said to me throughout this healing journey was completely hurtful and unhelpful. It wasn’t what I wanted nor needed to hear to “feel better.” 

For the most part, pregnancy and infant loss is a taboo topic. No one talks about it, many women sit in silence as they mourn, and others are shamed for sharing their pain publicly. People only want to see the beauty of pregnancy, and that completely dismisses the community of women who are still mothers to precious angels they didn’t get enough time with. Many people will minimize the amount of pain a woman feels when losing a child if she experienced her loss early in pregnancy. A loss is a loss. Women experience pregnancy loss differently. Some women have no idea they’ve lost their baby until an ultrasound confirms no heartbeat, while others experience bleeding and cramping. Some have to get surgery to clear out their uterus, while others give birth to their lifeless child over a toilet. Some women experience labor in a hospital bed only to hold their baby for minutes to an hour. There are so many variables. 

I tried posting to social media as normal for months. Pretending like nothing had happened and that I was ok. Posting pictures with fake smiles and laughs while suffering from anxiety and bouts of depression. It’ll be a year since my miscarriage in 4 weeks. I still have so much to say and share. This is the first time in a long time where my fingers just simply went to work on the keyboard. I tried so hard to blog last year, but I couldn’t. The topics meant nothing to me because I felt like my life was falling apart. I had fallen apart. So if this post is all over the place, forgive me. I literally picked up my computer and just poured out my heart. I will be sharing MUCH more as so much has happened in a year, and I’m beginning to feel encouraged and excited about life again. 

I came across a Facebook post from a woman that I felt stole the words right from my heart. She spoke my experience so clearly. I feel seen every time I read it. I hope it touches you and brings a little more enlightenment to you.

“No one talks about the messy parts of miscarriage. No one talks about the painful details. No one talks about the cramping, the labor, the bleeding, the postpartum hormones raging-all without a sweet snuggly baby as a reward. No one talks about the “products of miscarriage.” The baby that comes out of you, just as it would full grown… only much, much smaller. The placenta. The blood. The horrendous pain and wearing of what feels like diapers 24/7 for days or even weeks. No one talks about what you should do with the tiny, perfectly formed body you just birthed. If it’s under a certain ‘gestational age’ it’s left up to you. Do you bury it? Do you cremate? Do you toss it in the garbage?! Do you flush?! If it landed in the toilet? What do you do?! And why doesn’t anyone tell you these are decisions you will have to make? Why doesn’t anyone speak up? No one should have to make a decision like that in the moment of extreme emotion, trauma, and pain. No one should have to look back and wish they had done something differently. Wished they had known there were options. We need to do things differently. When I was pregnant with my oldest, and especially after his labor & postpartum, I remember thinking “why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this?” And here I am again. On the other side, wondering “why no one ever told me it would be like this?” So, I’m here. I’m standing up. If you ever find yourself in this horrible place… reach out to me. I will share the messy parts, the hard parts, the important decisions and moments of grief, pain, and healing to come. I will speak up.” -Annalise Washburn

Something You Should Consider Before Having Children

If you ask any parent to give a list of things to consider when thinking about having a child, the lists may sound similar, but will vary. However; there are quite a few that should be at the top of the list. They sound a little something like this:

(1.) Think about your finances: Diapers, formula (if breastmilk doesn’t work for you), daycare, before and after care, clothes, shoes, the type of car you’re driving (Is it big enough for all of you?) food, pull-ups, school, extracurricular activities. They all cost when it comes to your children.

(2.) The pain: This isn’t at the top of my list to say to people, but it is for others. I don’t believe in scaring women with birth stories. Everyone’s experience is different. I do share mine, but I always reassure women about the beauty of it all.

(3.) The risks– For black women, you’re honestly risking your life to give birth in a hospital setting. The healthcare system does not serve black women and babies properly, and the maternal/infant mortality rates are out of this world. It has been a huge concern for decades, but is more recently catching TV time and headlines.

(4.) Sleep deprivation: You legit won’t get any sleep for at least two years. Thats the nice way of putting it. You really don’t get any sleep for the rest of your life. Once children sleep through the night, they do everything in their power to fight naptime and bedtime. When you finally hit the weekend and think you can sleep in, you can’t because of Saturday activities! Not to mention, you’re still trying to do things for yourself in between and have alone time. That usually takes place at night. You find yourself enjoying the peace and quiet that you stay up way too late and now it’s morning again.

(5.) Libido changes: Everyone’s experiences are different, but many will say that the desire for sex dies after having children. Most women say it’s because they are so tired from the baby crying, nursing, working, taking care of home, no longer feeling sexy and more. I’ve unfortunately heard of men no longer desiring their significant other because of her body changes (ie. stretch marks, a larger stomach, weight gain) and not seeing her sexually attractive because they are disgusted from her breastfeeding their child.

This list could go on forever. But let me help you out with one huge, forgotten thing to consider when having a child. It’s potty training. Many will share the various stories they have about their child’s huge blowout (when the poop explodes out of the diaper, up the back, down the legs, etc.), but won’t share the pain, struggle and hard work it takes to potty train their children. Well, I’ll be the first to do it.

I hate it! Potty training my oldest eight years ago was a much easier process than it has been for my newly two-year-old. I tell people all the time. My oldest daughter did nothing to prepare me for her little sister. I feel like she tricked me into thinking I could parent again, without giving me the whole truth! If you’re wondering… yes! I just blamed my daughter for my having another child. LOL She begged my husband and I for a baby sister for four years. She even asked my father at his gravesite! Clearly it was his and I doing, but she played a part. She was (still is) such a good kid, I really thought it would be a breeze this time around. I was so wrong. The potty training experience has only been one part of the torture. But it’s a huge part.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched my daughter sit peacefully waiting to poop, then all of a sudden she stands up when it’s coming out. Yepp. So now I’m cleaning up poop off the floor, her legs and the pot. I thought I would have to call poison control because I randomly heard a sucking sound and caught her sucking poop off her fingers. What irritated me about that experience the most is that when I yelled “No, stop!” her face was frowned with disgust from the taste. However, she needed a little more to taste in order to confirm that it was nasty. Thankfully, I’d already made it to her before her hand could reach her mouth again.

We are currently in between using a transitional potty training seat and her pot that goes on the floor. She knows how to say, “Mommy, bathroom” or “Mommy, pot-pot,” but chooses to grunt as if she’s already taking a poop. So I find myself almost breaking my neck running to her and taking her to the bathroom. She’s too young to be trusted in there alone. I’ve left her alone on the pot on multiple occasions and learned my lesson each time. Not deliberately, but because I ended up having to pee while she was waiting to poop. When I return from the bathroom, I buss in the room to find her little naked butt on our bed. Thankfully, she hasn’t had poop on her during those moments.

I’ve also noticed that my daughter uses going to the bathroom as a way of escape from her playpen or high chair. In addition, she’s obsessed with washing her hands (not a problem at all until water is all over the sink, floor and her clothes). I still put her on the pot anyway in order to not take any chances. What happens? Endless tears and screams. Snot everywhere, and demands for foods and drinks.

I’ve found myself in a conundrum. I no longer want to pay for pull-ups, but I loathe the moment where I have to wake up in the middle of the night again for this little girl. Making bathroom runs during the night, or having to change her clothes and bedding because she’s had an accident. Having to be on call to wipe your child’s but after every bathroom visit or being traumatized when you realize they’ve used the bathroom and didn’t call you to wipe! Oh and let’s not forget how close you are to a heart attack when the newly potty trained child needs to use the bathroom while you’re driving. In addition,  my oldest has to use the bathroom nonstop (she gets it from me). She specifically finds a way to have to use the bathroom after when our food has finally come when we’re at a restaurant. At this point, I’m convinced frequent bathroom visits from my children will aide in my weight-loss journey. The amount of times that we have to run back and forth to the bathroom. The unfinished meals… Pray for me…

Sincerely,

An “I’m over this sh**”(literally & figuratively)

Queendom Wife and Mother

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Just One More Bite… Or Not :(

Am I the only one who dreads the gym because they’re always starting over? I know I can’t be the only one that has set a goal of no fast food, but ended up breaking down for some excellent customer service from Chick-Fil-A after a long day of grocery shopping with the kids.

Now days I find myself sounding like a 70-year-old woman who talks about the “old days” often. It usually goes something like…

“Back when I was in high school, I was in great shape! I could go to Chipotle right after school and then head to cheerleading practice like it was nothing. I even tried running track just for fun.”

More often you’ll hear me say…

“I was doing so well with my fitness and health before I had Jayla. I lost 30 pounds and actually remained active while pregnant. Once I gave birth, it went all down hill. “

It’s been over a year now, and I am so ready to have a successful health and fitness lifestyle. I’ve started over several times, but I’m not giving up. If only I could be as passionate about the gym as I am with getting a burrito bowl from Chipotle. *SIGH* However, I am passionate about being healthy. I struggle everyday, but I ultimately want to be HEALTHY. If my appearance falls in line with that I will be ecstatic, but my goal is to just be a healthier woman. As I’ve stated in previous posts (Breaking Generational Curses Through Affirmations for example), I struggled with low self-esteem for several years. It grew to a genuine lack of love for myself. I didn’t love the way I looked or who I was. Today, I believe it was body dysmorphia because when I look back at pictures from those times, I looked amazing and was in great shape. We’ll dig deeper into that another day. Since I’ve had my breakthrough, I’ve vowed to never fall back into that negative space. I now understand that everyone’s bodies aren’t created the same, and the scale can show a high number while you are in the best shape of your life.

I vowed to love myself at every stage and to stop comparing myself to others. So with that being said, my goal of losing weight, being fit and healthy is not to be a part of the new wave of veganism or the keto diet (no shade to those who truly follow those lifestyles), but for myself and my family. I want my husband to have a healthy, happy wife. I want my children to have an energetic, healthy mother. If I can help it, I refuse to be on loads of medication or being taken care of daily by family because of poor health. I also intend on continuing with my goal of breaking generational curses by breaking the cycle of obesity and poor health in my family.

So no matter how many times I backslide and miss the gym, I will persevere. My life… my family’s lives…. are all on the line. The point is to never quit regardless of all the times I have an unsuccessful day. For me, it’s really a mental thing. In the beginning of my journey, I have to break my goals up and work on them 30 days at at time. For example, I will eliminate bread, rice and junk foods for 30 days in order to create a habit. In the meantime, I find healthier alternatives to replace those items to help my cravings. I repeat this process for however long I need to in order to have discipline and a stronger will to suppress my cravings. It’s a process and is really taxing on me mentally, physically and emotionally so I use it as a time to grow stronger in my faith. I use God as my biggest accountability partner. Why? Because I believe God can reveal to you the reasons why you lack discipline, why you eat the way you do, and why you are so willing to give up on yourself. Through that process, you are able to get a revelation and receive guidance on how to move forward successfully. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure does work for me.

I’m far from an expert, but sometimes having a successful fitness journey relies on where you are spiritually, mentally and emotionally. A lot of us have underlying issues that make putting ourselves in healthier positions a difficult process. Seeking a therapist would be vital.

In addition, a support team is MAJOR. My team is small, but mighty. I like to have loved ones who will hold me accountable, but also won’t judge me when I miss the mark and have setbacks. Most are on their own fitness journeys also, so it’s great to get some encouragement or a push when I’m feeling lazy. Like right now… *rolls eyes*

I write this after missing a full week at the gym and eating poorly. Both of my children took turns getting sick, I attended a conference for moms, and well… laziness. Uggh I wish you could burn several calories when walking back and forth to the fridge and while eating.

If you’re a prayer, pray for your girl!