Taking It Easy On Myself

I’ve had a little break from my blog and it wasn’t by choice. Since we live in the boonies, we have limited internet options. We currently have a internet plan that only has 5 GB a month and we ran out so I’ve been without internet. I have internet on my phone so I’ve been keeping up with all the blogs I follow. I got lucky today. My husband wanted to watch a cattle sale on the internet so he bought some more data and here I am. 

I had an ok birthday. I was at a conference out of town and saw snow for the first time on my birthday. Can’t say I’m terribly happy about that first!

I’m still navigating my grief. I met with a counselor and had a massage last week. It was absolutely just what I needed. It gave me some insight into myself and how it affects my grief. I am a helper by nature. I want to help others. Not to make them uncomfortable. In the process of standing by these old ways, I’ve affected how I’m grieving. If I am concerned with not making others uncomfortable then I am forced with holding in my loss and grief. I am learning that it is okay to tell others about my pregnancy loss and that if they are uncomfortable, it will be okay.

I also learned that I never want to be perceived as not in control of my emotions. As many of you know, the emotions that go along with grief are messy and deep and not within my control. Part of grieving is letting go of having to be in emotional control. It’s okay to be messy. It’s okay to feel whatever emotions that I am feeling. Grief isn’t a linear, 5 step process. It’s a web of emotions and thoughts. You go back and forth. You are okay one day and a wreck the next. You feel like you are finally finding ground to stand on, only to be knocked right back down. And IT IS OKAY. IT REALLY IS. I experienced a loss. I’m grieving. And I need to take care of me. And it doesn’t matter how others think I should be doing. It only matters how I take care of myself. 

So that is what I have been doing. Talking to others more (not a lot, baby steps though) and allowing others to support me. We are still trying to get pregnant but I feel that I have loosened the reigns of measures I’m taking and expectations I have. I no longer feel like I’m basing my self-worth on how quickly I can get pregnant. (Can’t believe I ever did in the first place but being a mother is that important to me.) And I feel good about this. I wouldn’t say I’m doing the “just relax bullshit” but I am trying to focus on other things and not obsess. 

The Sunshine Award :)

The support I receive from other bloggers just keeps getting better. Specifically a blogger I have a lot in common with, This Child’s Mom. She so sweetly nominated My Silver Lining for the Sunshine Award, which is an award others can nominate you for if they feel that your blog brings a little Sunshine to their life. It’s very obvious that when I began this blog, it was for a very different reason and quite honestly I didn’t have a reason. Then s**t got real and now that I’ve been able to use it as an outlet on the journey of coping with pregnancy loss, it means a lot to me. And so do those that take the time to read it. I am hopeful that I can provide even a fraction of the support to others that I have gotten since I opened up about my story through blogging.

Image

Here are the rules of the Sunshine Award:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post.
  • Link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award.
  • Link to your nominees and let you know you nominated them.

The questions are…………..

1) What is the one biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?

Wow, I don’t know if I can narrow it down. Well yes I can. Of all the lessons I’ve learned this year, the most important is that I AM NOT IN CONTROL!!!! Which leads to the lesson of having faith and putting my journey in God’s hands.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – 1Peter 5:7

2) What is something you hope to become better at?

Not holding everything in and not shutting people out. I’m realizing that I have a tendency to disconnect from others in an attempt to protect myself during difficult times. I push others away. On my better days, I realize that this support and encouragement is JUST WHAT I NEED.

3) What is your favorite holiday?

4th of July of course. First and foremost, I love my country, my liberties, my freedom. I am thankful everyday I was born in this country and that strangers are willing to protect my freedom. Second of all, it is my husband and I’s anniversary. We began dating on 4th of July in 2005 and were married on 4th of July in 2009. And I love sparklers!

4) Who is/was your celebrity crush?

Leonardo DiCaprio! He’s still pretty good looking these days.

5) What is the weirdest habit you have or thing you repeatedly do?

Hmmm, I sleep with earplugs every single night. Then my cat plays with them and they are ALL OVER the house.

6) Would you prank call someone and if so, what would you say?

Probably not but if I did, I’d want it to be harmless and funny. If I won the lottery, I’d prank call someone and give them some money!

7) What is your 4-letter personality type?

ENFJ – Pretty much spot on. I do feel like I have an intuition about the intentions and emotions  of others and it has often got me in hot water! But I’m learning. I also am generally trusting of others; I believe that everyone is good and deserves a chance.

8) What is something you say a lot?

It is what it is. That’s pretty much been my philosophy through this whole journey.

9) What college and/or professional sports teams do you root for?

My alumni, the Gorillas! Or the KU Jayhawks and K-State Wildcats. I love me some Kansas. I also love the Dallas Cowboys 🙂

10) Why do you blog, and do you think you’ll keep blogging for a while?

As I mentioned above, I began blogging for no reason. Now I blog as an outlet and to make connections with others who have similar experiences. I do think I’ll keep blogging for a while. All of us will move on to having our rainbow babies and I know that experience will be difficult as well. I would like to continue to keep in touch with those who know these experiences.

There ya go! Good questions This Child’s Mom!!!!

Here are the questions ladies!!!

1) Who or what inspires you?

2) What did you want to be when you grew up? How close did you get?

3) Best vacation and dream vacation (if you haven’t already been)?

4) Favorite food you get at the fair? (Yeah I’m country 🙂 and love going to fairs for the food!)

5) What’s your Silver Lining for the day?

6) Favoriate TV show??

7) What US state or world capital would you like to visit?

8) What would you do if you could go back to being 18 years old?

9) All time favorite movie and why??

10) Favorite dessert?

Here are my nominees! (Some of you have already been nominated but I can’t not acknowledge how you’ve brightened my day more than once.)

1. A Calm Persistance – As if the blog title wasn’t ingenious enough, this writer is always so encouraging but also open with her own struggles that often puts parts of my struggles into words when I fail to.

2. My Infertility Story – I appreciate Kate’s honest posts about her struggles with infertility. I think it’s important to be honest when dealing with tough situations by showing the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s how we stay true to ourselves.

3. Recurrently Lost – This blogger is also as open and honest as it gets. I haven’t wrote about some of the struggles with my in-law’s following my miscarriage but I can somewhat relate to this blogger in her struggles with family in this tough world of loss.

4. Hang Your Hopes From Trees – This blog captures how your life, values, and beliefs can be changed in an instant. How miscarriage changes who you are.

5. Womb Warrior – I love her humor and how she is so real about the messy “stuff” that goes along with miscarriage.

6. A Hundred Affections – Kate is such a sweet soul. So encouraging while also struggling. She keeps my mind focus on the most important part of all of this. God and my relationship with Him.

7. My Life As A Case Study – Again, I love her humor and ability to advocate so strongly for herself.

8. Sailing On Uncharted Waters – I know she’s been nominated but like I said earlier, there are some blogs I could not NOT put on my list. She’s funny, real, and not afraid to say what others are thinking.

9. Eli’s Corner – She commented on one of my posts that my feelings weren’t who I am. This has helped so much with my healing. I realized I am to hard on myself and her comment helped in that area.

10. My MMC Story – She wrote a post about miscarriage and already having children. (Any many other posts that are encouraging.)  This post was something that helped me understand that it doesn’t matter what the hell else you have going on in your life (good or bad) miscarriage is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking experience no matter what. It helped validate my experience but also to have empathy for others.

Baby You’re a Firework

Ok, ok, that’s a little cheesy but it’s what I’m hoping for! And hope is a good thing. If I am successful in the getting knocked up department this cycle, I’ll have a July baby. July is a good month for me and my husband. We began dating and married on July 4th, four years apart of course! So July would be a good month. I would like July. (I’d like any month at this point but hey gotta find the Silver Lining right??)

It’s still tough and I’m coming to terms with the fact that I may be suffering from a level of depression. Before I went back to school, my career was in mental health. I’ve seen others in the midst of depression and what it looks like but it’s hard to look at yourself through the lens of harsh reality and beyond irrational thoughts we often develop during difficult times. Through this I have somewhat been in denial about depression but I think it’s time I admit it and stop trying to be strong. The good thing about depression is it is 100% treatable. I have sought out a therapist and will go for my first session next week. I am truly excited to continue this journey out of depression and grief that I began three months ago. 

The Silver Lining’s of the week:

  • My husband is amazing. Period. End of story. He holds me when I cry, even ugly crying. He wrapped my BirchBox (with my other birthday presents) so I’d have something else to open. He cooks me dinner when I don’t want to cook or even eat. And most of all, he tells me he loves me and it will be okay. 
  • The fact that I can make my way out of this depression for periods of time to take a breath and re-group and to get myself the help I need. 
  • The continued support I get from the online community. Such amazing women. 
  • Some one-on-one time with my Bible.
  • Only 8 weeks of school left until my final graduation!!! 🙂

As many of you know, yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. This was a rough and tough day for me so I didn’t feel up to speaking about it. But waking up to a new day brought strength. I am so happy that there are those out there who bring awareness and light pregnancy loss. So many speak about how this is a subject that society pushes under the rug. How it makes others seemingly uncomfortable. How so many can’t begin to grasp the concept if they haven’t experienced it. But here in this community, we know each other’s pain. We know the things to say. We don’t make anyone uncomfortable for speaking about their loss. And this makes me happy despite the hardships. 

So in honor of Pregnancy Loss, here’s my books I wrapped up that I keep in plain sight as a reminder to have hope. 

Image

Getting Back to Business

As you can tell my the title of my blog, (which didn’t start out as what it’s been the last 3 months) I like to look at the positive of everything. It was much easier before three months ago and I know I’ll never be that exact person again. That’s what life is about. Evolving and changing. As this roller coaster continues (and I keep taking hormones, yuck), I had a bad, bad, awful week last week. I was unraveling and I didn’t know what to do to stop it. Well one thing I did was stop the stupid hormones. But also I have been trying to get back to finding the silver lining. I truly believe that no matter the circumstances, if you dig deep enough there is always a silver lining. Well last week I was too in the thick of my emotions and grief to see a way out. But my silver lining from last week was that I am realizing I can make new connections and new friends, as well as re-new old friendships. I had been pretty low key about the miscarriage. Due to the difficult time I’m having, I have slowly been opening up to my friends. And my friends (for the most part) have been amazing. It’s always in times of heartache, you truly realize the support you have. 

Something I’ve been keeping in mind is that I do pray for strength. This experience will no doubt make me stronger and that is what I prayed for. Not the miscarriage (obviously) but to become stronger. And through my own internal healing, support from others, and having faith, I am becoming stronger.

Now, will I have a hard time next week? Maybe. But for now I’m okay and I’ll take it. I will build on this and keep on going because what other choice do we have? 

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

I am out for this cycle, my 3rd cycle post-miscarriage. (So much for being more fertile after a miscarriage right?) Anyway, this cycle was an emotional nightmare for me which prompted me to make an appointment with a therapist. I don’t know if it’s the progesterone, the grief, or all of it together but I hit pretty close to rock bottom. Good thing it’s still allergy season here in Kansas so I could blame the puffy face and watery eyes on that. 

As I continue to read the blogs of others, I begin realize my distress about not being (successfully) knocked up yet may be irrational. We are nearing the 9th month (I could have a baby by now!!!!) and 12th cycle since beginning this journey. Others have struggled for YEARS and had multiple losses. Who am I to complain. Well there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Something no one in my life but my husband and best friend realize. 

When I got married I was right in the middle of a master’s program. Right as soon as we married, baby fever hit and I was desperate to be pregnant. My husband, the always level-headed, rational person he is, thought we should wait. So every month we would have the same scripted argument. “I really, really, reallllllly want a baby. Let’s wait Alexis.” So I waited. And waited. And waited. Graduation came and went. It was now, “Let’s get settled. Let’s work on us. Let’s not fight so much.” The ONLY thing we fought about was this disagreement!!! So I kept waiting. And waiting. Desperate the whole time. And then I decided to go back to school. So we waited. Eventually I think my husband began to realize the emotional toll this was taking on me and my feelings towards him and the marriage. I was becoming resentful because for 4 years, I wanted something more than I’ve ever wanted anything. And he was keeping me from it. I understand the need to make these decisions together but I think my sacrifice of 4 years was a little excessive. So we started trying in March so that if I were to conceive right away, it would be right after my graduation in December. HA! That really worked out. 

Anyway, back to the missing piece. While I am only on month 9, I feel like I’m on year 4 of this journey. I hope I don’t offend anyone with this statement but I truly feel like this is why I am having such a difficult time moving past the miscarriage. It felt like 4 years of hopes and dreams had been ripped from me. A slap in my face for sacrificing for the sake of my marriage. When I’m being really crazy, I think I should have just gotten pregnant behind his back. (What would he have done? Leave me? Don’t think so.) But I know that deep down I have more respect for my husband and my marriage. And that is not my character. So I am proud but still sad. The only good thing about the witch coming, is starting over. So cheers to starting over!

Patience and Quitting Facebook

As I continue on this roller coaster, which has gotten less bumpy lately, I have come to realize that what my life comes down to right now is being patient. And having a little bit of faith. What other choice do I have anyway? I recently read something that said, “Patience isn’t waiting, it’s how you act while you’re waiting.” I think this applies to how I act towards others and how I act towards myself. I can continue to let this grief guide my life or I can make conscious efforts to take control back. It hasn’t been easy and there have been days it’s been a wash, but I really am trying and doing better. And for this, I’m proud of myself. As far as how I act towards others, well I’m notorious for acting on emotion and getting myself in a world of shit. I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older but I also haven’t struggled with anything like this in a while. Again, I have to make a conscious effort to act in a way that I won’t regret later. That doesn’t mean making sure I take care of myself goes out the door. That doesn’t mean I put myself in situations I know will be hard, but it does mean that I act in a way that I will be proud of in the future and just being mindful of my actions and the future. 

Moving on the bigger and better things. I QUIT FACEBOOK. I got a lot of inspiration from a blog I have been reading lately. (I have mentioned this before but I really can’t say enough how the blogs I read and support from others has helped me through this process.) After I read this blog post, I started being mindful about my time on Facebook. I began to realize that 98% of the crap on there, offered nothing to me. And sometimes it left me feeling a number of different things like sad, jealous, shocked, lonely, and behind in life. Why would I continue to engage in something that makes me feel this way. Now it wasn’t ALWAYS this way but more than I feel like I need in my life right now. I need to focus on other things and protect myself. My husband (who doesn’t use Facebook) agreed that it would be a good idea to do away with it. So I did and we went out to celebrate. 

As far as TTC, I’m currently in the two week wait. I’m trying to focus on other things and convince myself I’m not pregnant when I do start to symptom spot, just to not get my hopes up. I think I just need to be careful in getting too hopeful because I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made over the last week and a half. Today I wrapped up the baby books I had ordered a week before the miscarriage. My husband and I decided that we will open them when we see a heartbeat. *God willing we ever do.*