Losing A Baby You Barely Knew Existed Still Hurts Like Hell

Until it happened to me, I thought I was one of the lucky ones. Miscarriage rate goes down if you’ve already had a healthy pregnancy, right? And what are the odds that with such a BRIGHT pink line, the crazy nausea, the boobs that feel like they’ve been used as punching bags, and the overwhelming emotions that my baby isn’t strong and perfect?

I have had miscarriage happen at different stages of pregnancies. And every time, it hurts just the same. But I find myself minimizing my pain and loss because I never felt my babies kick. I never even heard a heartbeat.

And so I can’t possibly compare my experience to the strong women out there who have seen their babies in their full form on an ultrasound, who have watched the flickering black and white heartbeat and heard the accompanied galloping thumbs through the speakers. I can’t compare my loss to someone who has felt the flutters of a baby kicking, the growing baby that they saw swelling their bellies, and their hearts.

Can I?

I’m not sure it’s fair to compare my pain that was only in the early stages, a missed period to a few short days after starting to spot. Had I not taken that test, I probably wouldn’t have even known. And that really doesn’t compare to someone who has felt the intense cravings for ice cream and pickles that come along with actual pregnancy.

I feel it wouldn’t be fair to measure my grief of going in to an appointment, to lay on the white sheet, sans pants, to feel the cold goo and the anticipation, followed by the letdown that something was amiss. There isn’t, in fact, any heartbeat to see.

And maybe…. come back in a few weeks. You might get lucky.

Except someone else was “lucky” They heard that heartbeat. Saw the flicker! That’s supposed to mean you can breathe easy now. You can TELL family and friends. You’re so much closer to a healthy baby than I ever was, I can’t measure my grief to that. It’s not the same.

I can’t pretend I know what it’s like to tell a child who knows better about their future sibling and then later have to explain to my innocent child that life is not guaranteed. The brother or sister they were promised was already too much for this world, and went on to another, without saying hello on her way.

Even though I have fantasized what kind of brother my child would be. Pretended I could picture what the two of them would look like next to each other for their first photo shoot. Wondered if they would get along famously, or not. How their first introduction would go, if my son would be a good helper, if my new baby would be a terrible sleeper like my last, or if my delivery would be as easy, or worse.

I start thinking about my versions of loss and how many other, more devastating tragedies there are in this world when it comes to miscarriage and infant loss and I start to think I didn’t have the traumatic experiences that I’ve heard and seen others have and so I can’t really feel as deeply the pain as they do.

Can I?

Infant loss, miscarriage, in any form is a crushing event. Whether you only just found out or you grew to love the baby you had already begun to bond with. Whether you had only seen a blip on the screen or you had the opportunity to meet your little angel before they found their place somewhere else, it hurts.

And you don’t forget.

As a mom I remember many milestones. As a mom who has experienced loss, I can tell you where I was when it started, what I thought, and where I was when I came to the realization that this baby I had wanted so bad (or maybe hadn’t been sure I wanted yet, because it was such a surprise but I knew I wanted it NOW) was not going to make it into the world. It wasn’t going to make it to my first doctor’s appointment. Or my second.

I’ve spent weeks agonizing, waiting (impatiently) for my final chance to walk into the doctor and show them they were WRONG. That my baby DOES have a heartbeat and it’s perfect and strong. Only to get there and be heartbroken for the second time, even though this time, I knew. I knew all along. But that didn’t stop me from praying for a miracle.

I’m not sure if I can really compare my loss to that of another farther down the road.

I know that my pain was so deep. So raw. That had I been farther along in my pregnancies I’m not sure I would have made it through that kind of loss. Those women are the strongest women I know. My loss… it doesn’t compare.

And yet, it binds us together as a group of women who know a very unique and kinship kind of pain. Who understand what it’s like to love someone you’ve never met with every ounce of your being and to pray with every ounce of energy in your bones that you will get to meet that person. Hold them, kiss them, take them home. Spend one more day. One more year.

Loss is loss. Whether it’s mine or it’s yours, it’s our battle wound to carry. So, as I carry mine I’ll try not to minimize it if you promise not to hide yours.

Sincerely,

Another Mom Who Wonders Every Day About The Child That Could Have Been

 

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The Exact Day My Mom Guilt Started And Has Been Crippling Ever Since

Funny thing about mom guilt. It’s OURS, not theirs. Our kids are not going to remember these little things that eat us alive throughout the day. These moments that we look back on and feel shame and loathing for ourselves for not handling differently. The things we did (or didn’t do) that make us question if we are slowly raising little criminal masterminds because we didn’t react better.

But our kids? They have already forgotten about it. That’s the great thing about kids… they are constantly absolving, forgetting, and moving on. They are the embodiment of forgiveness. We should learn a thing or two from them, and forgive ourselves.

I have mom guilt for all sorts of reasons. For feeling like working is taking time away from my kids, for having medical issues from time to time that have physically prevented me from doing more than I would like with my kids while they are little, for not seeing my son’s cries for help as he basically screamed for almost a YEAR that he was transgender and I just didn’t see it. For getting divorced, for their dad not being in the picture. For being crabby, tired, yelling at my kid to put her shoes on faster when she just wanted to find a cute pair to show off her freshly painted toe nails (way to go, mom). Or for letting them eat pop-tarts for dinner because I just “can’t even” anymore today. The list of reasons I have to feel like an absolute shit as a mom is virtually endless….

I can pin point the exact day that my mom guilt kicked into full gear and never went away. Since that day it’s only morphed into a more potent form of guilt that makes me replay scenarios in my head all day and night that I f*cked up. Times I wish I could rewind, repeat, do better.

My oldest was an only child for only 2.5 short years. A few months before his third birthday my second came into the world and I. Was. Tired. I was overwhelmed, I was nursing and awake all night and I had some post-natal issues after that threw me back in the hospital and caused extra recovering time weeks after delivery that I hadn’t prepared myself for.

During my pregnancy I remember feeling like the literal walking dead. Every day was a struggle to make it to 7pm before I would pass out, mouth open, drooling, wherever my ass happened to land. I slept on the couch, in a chair, in my son’s twin bed more times during that pregnancy than I have in my entire parenting life. Throughout the nine months of hell pregnancy bliss I lived off of “movie days” with my son and tried to make my exhaustion as fun as possible for him.

Once my second took us by storm, I was even more depleted and midway through the day I needed a break. I remember setting up a movie for my toddler like I had countless times in the last 9 months, telling him it was time to chill out, and once the opening credits began I walked into the adjacent room to lay down and nurse the baby. He was so confused. Quickly toddling behind me asking, “but mommy why??”. It was quite possibly the saddest, most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen, and yet…. he literally has no recollection of this.

I, however, have let it take tiny bits of my soul every time this moment replays in my head (which probably happens more often than what any good therapist would consider “normal”).

His glum little face, his crushed soul, the sweet whimpers asking me why all of a sudden just because the baby was here did I not want to lay with HIM and watch the movie together?  And it’s not that I didn’t. I just had a fussy baby who woke up to every move, every loud noise. One that only seemed to sleep on when it was within my scent and in MY bed.

As I replay this day I think, I should have never walked away from that time with him. I should have sat my happy ass on the couch and let him cuddle up next to me while I nursed his sibling. I should have came back the second he showed any discontent, instead of telling him to go ahead and lay down, without me.

I should have….. wish I had…. if only I could go back….

I assume many moms have a story similar to this. A day that culminated all of their guilt as a parent, even if it was just a moment. But it’s one they wish they could take back, do all over again. And yet, as much as this day will forever haunt me and constantly remind me that I am a very imperfect parent, my kid is not an aspiring serial killer because of it. He’s completely normal, loving, compassionate, and none the wiser to the day that established all of my future “mom guilt”.

Maybe we should all be just give ourselves a little break and be a tad more understanding of our own faults as parents, as humans and stop analyzing everything we do that isn’t perfect as if its ultimately causing our kids irreparable emotional damage.

I think that you’re doing a great job, mama. And your kid? Your kid is lucky to have you.

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I’ll Support My Direct Sales “Friends”, Even If They Can Be Annoying AF

Ohhhhh trust me. These women sometimes kill me with their “you won’t BELIEVE this!!” stories of weight loss, magic pills, perfect mascara, or ass firming miracle cream. I know they can be annoying AF sometimes. I. GET. IT. But guess what? Imma try to be supportive anyways.

Girl, even if we haven’t talked in ages, you don’t have to push your children’s books or buttery-soft leggings on me. When I need it, I’ll come find you. Whoever you are, and wherever you are. Because I know that you are busting your ass trying to make something of yourself and it. is. not. easy. I am aware that you are trying to do something for yourself and your family and I also know that someone along the way conjured up these mind-blowing success stories that sucked you in to this vicious world and now you at least need to make your money back, and hopefully a little extra.

I know that you have a dream of staying at home with your kids, working from your couch on your phone or computer and doing it all through social media. 

I realize that you have been advised to friend request all of your old acquaintances and convinced into send them all cold messages by someone you consider to be a pro at network marketing. Ask them if you can share with them a short video, right? Five minutes of their time. And then ask them when you can follow up to discuss this amazing “opportunity”.

You are just doing what the successful people have told you will help you launch your “biz”. You see their success and you want a piece of it. And, shit. I do not blame you one bit. I hope you make it in this cut-throat world. I really do.

Don’t you worry about me judging your Facebook wall of sales promotions, new “hot” items, or team shout outs. I may not follow you every step of the way, but I won’t bat an eye. And if you do win that trip you’re working so hard for, I’ll be cheering from behind my own screen. You deserve it. 

The world of direct sales will swallow some up and spit them out. And others will walk out unscathed with a trunk of new skin care (and a little debt they were at least able to pay off). A very select few will actually succeed in a way that makes up for the insane amount of time and money they have spent investing in their businesses. And those are the ones that everyone in this game aspires to be. The road it takes to get there is one that demands a lot of confidence, demands immense self-control and the ability to let criticism roll off your back without scarring your spirit. It means there are times you’ll have to swallow your pride and do a lot of defending yourself and these oils or wax or supplements you feel so deeply about.

And to all the naysayers I have this to say…. 

Have you ever put yourself out there and been rejected time and time again? Been treated like absolute scum just because you tried to sell your friends on some amazing protein powder or pressed “natural” eye shadow that they could buy in the store for fractions of the price and they were “kind” enough to point that out to you? (But that’s not going to help you pay your kids way through preschool). I have. And it is a soul crushing experience. One that is not for the weak or the timid. Until you have experienced what it’s like to bare your soul and be completely out of your comfort zone over some damn candles on a platform that is open to the public in ways you wish you could take back at times, then you have no idea. Try showing intense excitement through a typed post about party dip powder that is catchy and fun and not cringe worthy. It’s not easy. It’s excruciating at times. But these women push on, because they hope one day it will all come to fruition and their labors will all be worth it. Hopefully.

I give these women so much credit for being confident enough to post selfies of themselves all day long. Even if it is in terrible lighting. Who am I to judge? Anyone that can take half naked pictures of themselves and expose every wrinkle and roll to show YOU that a wrap really has helped them change their body for the better, deserves a friggin medal if you ask me. 

We all have bills, we all have dreams, and if selling lipstick that stays put for the whole day is yours…. girl, you do not have to explain yourself to me. Go get it. I’m rooting for you.

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Dear Judgy Social Media Moms, Get the F*ck Over Yourselves.

Actual footage of a mom-bully basking in the glory of how many souls she’s crushed today alone.

Mom on mom attacking needs to just chill the fuck out already. Since when did mom-shaming become a “cool” thing to do? It’s like one starts and they have an entire posse ready to pop in and crush someone’s soul. I’m saying it, others have said it before me, and I’m sure more are to follow. What is it about the world of social media that makes (some) people morph into these beings that basically share the same characteristics as sociopaths if they were to exhibit them in real life (but let’s be honest, they don’t. They only share their “knowledge” behind a screen where they are hidden, safe, and in the dark). Anyone who walked around on an average day pointing fingers, stopping people in the street to let them know they were “doing it wrong”, or walking up to moms with a child melting down and giving them (unwarranted) advice followed by multiple resources and recommendations. NOBODY DOES THIS IN REAL LIFE! If you did, you would have zero actual friends, and you would eventually land yourself in a “ward” of some fashion for having no boundaries, no filter, no empathy.

What are we DOING to each other? Can we just make a pact here and now to stop all the madness already? When a mom posts a picture of a rash on her child at midnight asking if anyone has any insight, it’s not because she’s a complete moron and didn’t think to call the damn DOCTOR! It’s because she’s a mom (quite possibly a new mom) and she’s freaking the fuck out and needs someone to talk her off a ledge while she’s watching her child breathe in his sleep and googling staph, syphilis, E-Coli, and other various catastrophic disease that (coincidentally) carry the same symptoms

Here’s a mom with an inflated self-ego contemplating which platform she should go to next to share her vast knowledge of EVERYTHING with the world of moms who didn’t ask for it

When someone posts a picture of their child in the car – cute.as.a.button – and another mom jumps at the chance to teach her some serious lessons on how to correctly strap her child into their car seat it makes me HOMICIDAL. *Most* (not all, I know I can’t speak for all) but most moms snapping a picture of their kid in the car are doing it before or after they are even on the road. Their kid did something cute and they want to quickly document it before the demon child comes back demanding goldfish and juice (you think, by then they are speaking in tongues and you can’t quite make it out) on their way to the doctor’s appointment they are already late for. They shared a cute pic of their kid FFS. It’s not always your job to educate people on safety when you have no idea what the situation is.

“and this, dear daughter, is the device where people who don’t know you will tell you everything you need to know about your life”

Why are we constantly reporting “nannies”? Who the hell even knows if that was a NANNY! There are so many nanny narcs on social media. “I saw this babysitter at the park and the toddler asked to go on the swing and she said NO because she was too busy playing on her phone! So I think it’s my civic duty to report her in case one of you 20,000 women employs this deplorable excuse for a nanny so you can fire her.” We are raising a bunch of tattle tales and we wonder why (ummm, hello!). Here’s where my anger comes in. Let’s get real, if I’m paying someone top dollar to take care of my kids when I can’t , then sure… I expect them to actually watch my kid. But if we are talking about the same kids I pushed out of my body and fed and fought with and listen to bicker and whine for hours on end in a day, well then, I know full well what they are capable of doing to the human spirit. And if my poor sitter needed a break so she took them to the park so she could screw around on social media for 10 minutes. GOOD ON YOU, GIRLFRIEND. Get your peace and quiet break. We all deserve one.

Email me, I promise I will send you FREE step by step directions on how to follow a post so I never have to see this meme again.

But, that wasn’t the only issue I had with this particular social media shaming post. My other issue was that someone commented that this could very well be their MOM. And I said “hell yeah! I do that all. the. time.”  Well, you bet your ass people had things to say about that (of course they did). You take your kid to the park you should be playing WITH them! Not on your phone. Pay attention to them! Ummmm, listen. You don’t know the shit storm we have been dealing with in my house filled with tantrums and sibling fights, back talking, and lost socks and shoes to get to this moment of serenity. It was complete and utter chaos today. I just want to chill. So until you bother to ask about the REST of my day? Then back the fuck off with your judgements, mmmmk?

 

Footage of me, not judging anyone, because Netflix and Chill is my job, not judging strangers on social media

And if I have to read one more time about how someone is “really offended by that”, I might cut someone (virtually, of course. I would never act the way I do online in real life, like the rest of the human population). You’re on Facebook. Not everyone is going to agree with you in life, better yet in a virtual world of endless members. 99.9% of the time. Grow a pair, or get off the internet. Chances are, unless you are opening offensive to an entire population of people, I’m not judging you. But even if I was, you assholes seem to be judging me any time I open my thoughts up on social media so if you can’t take it then stop dishing it out, Nancy.

I’m not kidding when I say this shit has gotten WAY out of hand. I can’t even post asking for recipe ideas with chicken for dinner without someone chiming in about how unhealthy poultry is and “did you know about all of the antibiotics they bulk those animals up with? I suggest a nice big salad”. Thanks a lot, Suzie, for your unnecessary advice. I, too, watched “The Magic Pill” while I was snacking away on some Cheetos and washing it down with Cherry Coke. This is MY life, and I do what I want, so back off. Let’s all just BACK OFF, mmmk?

Give each other a break. You know you’ve also had bad, really bad, and worse days. Maybe keep that in mind before you start attacking other moms on a platform made JUST FOR MOMS. We are all in this together, are we not? Parenting is hard enough. And if you can’t figure out a way to be helpful in a non-condescending way and ONLY when someone has asked for it, then maybe you should take your own advice, chill the fuck out, and put your phone down and go play with your kid for a little bit.

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8 Truths Only Women With Curly Hair Will Understand

Today I expertly straightened my hair in the air conditioning of the house only to walk out of the bathroom to hear the slow drizzle of raindrops on the rooftop. Awesome. What a fucking joke.

 

If you are like me and were born with a wild lion’s mane on top of your head that must be carefully tamed with the utmost precision every day, then you get it. We live in a state of perpetual frizz and are constantly searching for the next serum, oil, or cream that will turn our Einstein mess into the beautiful locks we see in the media. The absurd ways we have attempted to dry our hair (upside down and to the side and off on an angle, and {later} why is my neck so sore?) just to attempt to get it somewhat consistent and *maybe* look decent for a change. The struggle is REAL. And I don’t mean that in a sarcastic or funny way. I mean that in a “seriously, this is the absolute fucking worst” kind of way. My curly haired soulmates understand because they have been there, they have lived it, and 30+ years later they still have NOT figured out how the hell to get their hair to do what they want it to. We’ve tried it ALL, amiright, ladies?

1. You will buy any product someone says worked for them. Even if you are pretty sure you can smell a scam or the ingredients read as such that might make your hair actually fall out. It’s worth a shot. And every time you try something new you wonder how the FUCK the person that told you about it got it to work, because for you, it’s either too thick, not enough, or your hair is crispy and stiff.

2. Dry shampoo? We can’t use that shit. We have to wash out the 103985 products we attempted to use yesterday to keep our hair in check, or at least try to.

3. Just a trim, to get the split ends off. 7 inches later and you’re proudly sporting an clown wig style bob haircut because your ends begin splitting the second you walk off the salon’s chair after your last hair cut.

4. Or worse yet, you wanted a short cut, HAAAA! Good luck, curly sue. You bring in a photo with someone with the perfect/short/curl tamed cut and want it recreated. And it might just be done…. by your hair dresser. That’s the only time that is going to look good is when your she blows it out and styles it for you. There is no way you’re going to recreate that look ever again. You’ll spend hours trying to remember just what she did at the salon to make your hair turn out the way it did. And once your hair is so long, thick, and you can no longer stand the weight of the products making you pour sweat directly out of the shower, before you’ve even left the house…. you’ll forget all about how catastrophic it was and you’ll do it again. (and again, and again) It’s basically the definition of insanity.

5. Some people with wavy hair (like me) try to straighten their hair. Which is great, 10% of the year. The other 90% of the time it’s either raining, too humid, or too hot and your hair does a quick cinch back up to your scalp literally the SECOND you walk out of the house. For 9 months out of the year you basically live in a hat or a pony tail because your hair just won’t cooperate with the weather. Ever.

6. Speaking of insanity, wispys are cute. Unless you have curly hair. When people with straight hair show those little baby hairs and wispys framing their face they are cute, sexy even at times. On women with curly hair? It’s like you have a halo of frizz surrounding your face making you look forever frazzled, even if you had a night of 9 hours of sleep, 2 cups of coffee and couldn’t feel more refreshed. Your hair tells a different story. You look like you just escaped the local behavioral health unit, and the stains on your shirt from your kids spilling their juice on you in the car and your mismatched shoes because you were in a hurry and lacking sleep…. that’s not helping your case.

7. You see someone with tamed, beautiful curly hair and you instantly hate them. How the HELL are they pulling this off? So, of course, you ask them. And expertly write a list of their regiment only to go buy all 40 products the next day and find that they don’t make your hair look like theirs. At all. And now you’re out $200.

8. People with straight hair will tell you they wish they had your hair. Ummmmm no, ya don’t. You want CURLED hair. Curly hair is not the same. Don’t minimize my pain. The grass is always greener and in this grass, it needs a serious maintenance.

Curly hair is God’s inside joke. Like if you leave a little note for your kid in their lunchbox, but the content is to remind them they are grounded from the PlayStation when they get home from school. It’s a curse 99.9% of the time. Hours and hours of masterfully attempting to curl, lift, pin, cream, soothe, and domesticate the wild beast on our head, and if we are lucky we can count on one hand the number days in the year we were actually pleased with the outcome. But when it does happen to work out, we couldn’t love the rat’s nested mop on our heads more. Until we walk outside and see the clouds coming in…..

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Mom Transparenting

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