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February 4, 2018

Lifting the Cloud.

I feel a little bit silly, I launched this lifestyle blog in hopes of having an outlet to speak, help others, reduce my own stress by being creative even when I am not shooting weddings and I ended up bailing hard on the whole thing. All of this sounded great until 2017 decided to slap me in the face at the end of the year. I have always tried to approach the world with a realist view, I’m not a glass half full or half empty kind of gal, I’m more of the “at least you have water, quit complaining” type of mentality. All that being said, I try really, really hard not to complain a lot or draw attention to what I consider negative events in my life. Sometimes shit happens though and it helps to share, so here it is.

I started this blog when my husband and I decided it was time to start trying for baby number two, we agreed that we wanted Hadley to be close in age with our next child and I am not a personal fan of the pregnancy experience so I approached it with the “let’s rip this bandaid off” mindset. I knew that my business (photography) might change dramatically once we had two kids because lets face it, two kids are harder than one. That’s when I felt really drawn towards blogging and felt like it could be an area to flourish creatively without fully closing the doors to my photography business. 

A few months passed and in October I got a positive pregnancy test accompanied by endless amounts of nausea. We were excited and told a few close friends and let the countdown commence. I photographed Hadley in her “Big Sister” t-shirt so we could surprise everyone near Christmas. Side note: we had done the same thing for Christmas when I found out about being pregnant with Hadley so it seemed kind of fun to do the same thing with this one. Well long story short, I started having some bleeding which in the pregnancy realm isn’t the weirdest thing but it picked up and started off and on for a couple of weeks. I went in to the doctor and they assured me that I was still pregnant and just needed to wait to get through the first trimester. The weekend before we flew home for Washington I had a significant amount of bleeding so I went in again. I fully expected for them to tell me that the pregnancy hadn’t stuck but oddly enough I found out that I was actually pregnant with twins and I was in the middle of losing one. This is where my “at least you have water” mentality helps in life, I was excited that there was one that was hanging in there. I asked the doctors if I was more likely to lose the second one since my body was in the middle of rejecting the other, they said “no, you should be okay, everything looks great.” I went home with another ultrasound and feeling more relaxed about everything, relaxed enough that we decided to tell our families about this new addition. Turn of events, Saturday morning (aka the next day) I woke up to a lot of cramping and heavy bleeding, they told me this could happen but I knew something was off. I remember telling Blake “there is no way I am still pregnant.” I called the on call doctor and she assured me that it was normal to lose a lot of blood because I was technically having a partial miscarriage but for the peace of mind they would get me in Monday morning before our flight home that afternoon. I went in on Monday for an ultrasound and as I suspected there was no longer a heartbeat. To make it worse my body hadn’t actually rid itself of the embryos yet which meant I had to wait for this process to hit at any moment or I had to take a medication that induces labor and leads to all sorts of complications. Super fun way to start your holiday vacation. They also advised me not to fly for fear that I could hemorrhage on the plane. *Let me just tell you if you suffer from medical related anxiety this is not what someone should put in your head three hours before a ten hour flight.* I was a hot mess, not over the emotional portion of the miscarriage as you might think but over the medical end of it. I do not handle uncertainty well, I can take good news or bad news but I can’t take the whole sit around and wait to see if anything will happen approach. We made it to Washington (spoiler: I did not hemorrhage and die haha) but it took two weeks and a lot of prayers for everything to finalize. I can’t really explain how frustrated I felt during this time and after. We had and have been sick a total of three times before, during and after this whole process which is something that feels defeating when you have a toddler who can’t sleep due to the constant sickness. I was frustrated with my body for not carrying the pregnancy “correctly”, for getting sick so much, for not ridding itself of the pregnancies like it should have initially, for taking months and months to get pregnant only to lose it and for not bouncing back hormonally after the loss.

To say that I was overwhelmed, anxious and stressed the past couple of months would be an understatement but a friend and many friends spoke some amazing words of truth to me during this time. One woman in particular sent this to me last week “I wonder what would happen if you just stopped trying (she was referring to constantly trying to get back on top emotionally and health wise) Stopped trying to get back up. Stopped trying to be strong. Stopped trying to beat this and stopped trying to be okay. I wonder what God could do on your behalf. You are intensely strong. I always admired that. I wonder if God’s like, “girl, I got this, stand behind me and I’m going to shield you and fight for you and you keep going “let me at it!” Something is strongly saying, STOP. “Be still and know that I am God.” He will fight for you, He always has been but you just need it more this time than others. Let Him. You are going to be okay.” Reading this took a weight off of my shoulders like never before. It was everything I needed to hear and the reminder that I am not in control. God has always had a divine plan for my life and I forget all too often that I am incapable of controlling everything.

I wouldn’t say that the loss of this pregnancy initially hit me emotionally like some people, I didn’t and still don’t feel like I lost a child. I fully understand that these things happen and even though they can be difficult it is usually for the best. If you had asked me two weeks after the miscarriage if I felt emotional at all I would have responded “not as much as you would expect” but in hindsight I don’t think I wasn’t emotional as much as it wasn’t the emotion I was use to facing. I have dealt with an unpleasant amount of loss in my adult life, I have grieved before and I wouldn’t call any of this my usual grieving pattern. However, I was consumed with stress, anxiety and doubt which I can now look at and recognize as my emotional reaction to this happening. I lost control, so for the past two months I have been trying to control uncontrollable situations in my life. Let me tell you though, it’s like being on a hamster wheel, it just goes nowhere and then I berate myself mentally for not trying hard enough to fix everything. I sat there for an hour one day trying to pinpoint what event happened that led my daughter to catching the flu, and mentally exhausted myself over the fact that I should have washed her hands more and should have given her vitamins as soon as we got home because then this wouldn’t have happened. This is obviously insane, you can’t control illness in the past but that’s what my brain did with everything. The cloud has officially lifted though and this weird cycle is going to stop. I can’t live in the past or the future full of fear and anxiety.

I don’t understand why hard things happen, I don’t understand why my child who eats only organic unprocessed food is the one who has food allergies, I don’t understand why after battling the flu for two weeks I came down with strep throat, I don’t understand why I got pregnant with twins to lose both separately, and I don’t understand why crap hits the fan all at once. I’ve decided to not focus on those things, but to find the silver lining and look at these moments as moments of growth and choose to find the joy in the ugly. As hard as it has been for me to get to this point I can say now “I’m thankful” instead of “why”.  I am thankful that my body is capable of getting pregnant and yielded us a healthy baby girl (minus the flu haha), I am thankful that my child is not challenged physically or mentally, I am thankful that my body after everything it’s been through has continued to carry me day to day and has cared for my child even when it’s sick, I am thankful for the women I have met and relationships that have stemmed from this miscarriage and I am thankful for the promise of tomorrow. I am healthy, I am loved, I am talented, I am capable and I am a daughter of the King.

If you have made it this far I commend you 🙂 I wrote all of this for one, to be accountable to myself and this new way of thinking I am adopting and two, to open the door to others and let everyone know that you are not alone in being emotionally and mentally controlled by fear or anxiety. You can move forward and you can reward yourself with affirmative thinking instead of diminishing yourself with negativity. I am not one for writing in depth posts and usually prefer to stick to inappropriate humor, pretty photography and random ramblings but I started this blog with the intention of sharing our life and that means the good with the bad, so here it is. I don’t plan on dumping my emotions on everyone a lot in the future but I want to be transparent right now so I can move forward with this blog in a positive direction. I also want to thank everyone that has been so supportive of me and my ups and downs this past couple of months, your love, prayers and kindness have meant more than you know. 

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