Thursday, March 14, 2019

1 in 4

1 in 4, thats equivalent to 25%. 25% doesn’t seem very large until you’re effected by it. This past month I became one of the 25%.

On February 8th, Chance and I found out we were going to be welcoming another little one into our arms. We had decided that we would try only in January to fulfill my lifelong wish of an October baby. Similar to my first two pregnancies, I got pregnant immediately. There was barely any trying on our parts. Chance was over the moon to finally have a baby that we planned. 

For the first few weeks my pregnancy went great. I had very minor morning sickness and overall I didn’t feel pregnant at all. I requested that Chance didn’t break the news to family or on social media until we were 100% sure our baby would be fine. The entire time I had a bad feeling. I felt this overwhelming need to be cautious and keep the news close. We spent the next 20 days after finding out impatiently waiting for the appointment. 

At our appointment Chance and I thought I was dating at 8 weeks. My LMP was December 29th, and even though they were extremely irregular, we assumed my ovulation date was January 14th. I had taken a few ovulation test that seemed to show a positive on January 14th. When we did our ultrasound the tech had to switch from abdominal to transvaginal. This wasn’t uncommon to me and didn’t alarm me much. The most alarming part of the ultrasound was the fact that I was dating at 6 weeks. Baby wasn’t showing a heartbeat, but again this wasn’t that uncommon at 6 weeks. We spoke with our OB in his office and he remained optimistic. We rescheduled an appointment for the following Friday in hopes that we would see a healthy growing baby. Upon leaving the appointment I started stressing out. I could feel something wasn’t right and I couldn’t make myself have hope.

Unfortunately we didn’t make it to that Friday. March 4th will always be in my mind. I had just came off a three shift weekend and was so exhausted. I spent the morning in a huge fight with my Dad and brother, and was feeling generally unwell. I had bawled my eyes out most of the day and just felt overall stressed and unhappy. Around 7:30 we started the kids bedtime routine. I went to pee before laying down and noticed that I had began bleeding. I immediately knew something was wrong. 

I told Chance with tears in my eyes. We finished getting the boys in bed and left for the ER. My bleeding wasn’t a mass amount, but the bright red color and the constant flow really unnerved me. I didn’t speak a word the entire ride t the hospital. Once we got in I was asked multiple times what was wrong and each time it hurt a little more to explain my situation. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. They took blood and shortly after escorted us to a room. We spent the first hour and a half completely alone. The first person we saw was a med student who seemed to lack confidence and the basic questions to be dealing with such a fragile topic. She inquired about receiving an ultrasound and we informed her nothing had been done thus far. Shortly after she returned with our nurse and a bed pan to do a pap smear on me. It was the most painful pap I’ve ever endured. I was awkwardly throw on a bed pan and made to spread my legs in the most uncomfortable position. The medical student poked and prodded in my vagina in search of my cervix. I told her multiple times that my cervix liked to misbehave. After some intense pain she finally found it an informed us that it was closed and she didn’t notice any active bleeding. This game me a tiny bit of hope, but I still knew it was the end for us.

Immediately after they took me for an ultrasound. I wasn’t permitted to see the images at all. I came back with no answers for my husband of myself. We sat together worrying and wondering until the ER doctor finally came in. He coldly informed us the baby had consistent growth, but still had no heart beat. He told me I was likely to miscarriage and would need to follow up with my OB in the next 48 hours. When the nurse came to discharge us she was extremely chipper and bouncy. She happily asked if we were ready to go home as if she hadn’t heard the news. That hurt so bad. I wanted to bawl my eyes out and at the same time I was left wondering how this nurse could lack compassion on that level. 

The next morning I immediately called my OB and let him know what was going on. We decided to keep my appointment for Friday and discuss our options in detail then. I spent the next few days with a constant reminder that I was losing my baby. My body was physically bleeding my baby out and I couldn’t escape it. I cried off and on every day. On Thursday I committed to going to work. It was such a mistake… I dealt with pain throughout the day and was generally uncomfortable. I had longtime patients asking about my baby and it hurt so bad to tell them that I was currently miscarrying it. 

I wish I could end this on a happy note. I wish I could say that we went Friday and baby miraculously had a heartbeat and was perfect. We spent the first 30 minutes of our appointment in the waiting room listening to happy moms on the phone describing their babies and deciding who’s features they had. When we finally went back I was told that we would be doing a transvaginal ultrasound. I couldn’t allow myself to look at the tech. I tried to keep my eyes everywhere but her face. I could see the look on Chance’s face and I knew it was done. His eyes showed no emotion at all. There was no offer of pictures or inkling of happiness in the room. It was like reliving everything all over again.

Chance and I made the decision to have a D&C done. We both knew that I couldn’t endure what could possibly come with a natural miscarriage, and I had heard horror stories about cytotec. It was an easy decision for us and my OB was immediately on board. He did everything in his power to make us feel comfortable and help with our decision. 

We are currently one day post D&C and nothing is easy. I still don’t have the words to say when people apologize for whats happening. I still get angry inside when people say God has a plan, or there was something wrong with the baby. No matter how good the intentions are, those comments are still very hurtful. I still cry off and on throughout the day. I still find myself worrying about ever conceiving again. These are things I’ll live with for there rest of my life. I wish I could say this is something I can push out of my mind and move on from… I wish things didn’t impact me so hard. I’ll spend the next few months constantly thinking about our angel baby. I hope too channel all this pain into something good. I hope that my story and openness can assist someone else in healing. 

We will forever love our little baby. A friend at work had referred to baby as Franklin so that is his name. We will always be the parents of three children, even if you can only see two of them. We will always remember him and know that he was too perfect to be on Earth. 

         I never imagined we'd be at this point. I want to be very public about this because I know so many others are holding it all in. It's ok to be open about your struggles. It's great to be able to spread awareness and find a support group to help you through your storm. It's also ok to be private and mourn your own way. Everyone handles things differently, just know you're not alone. Theres millions of other women and their families going through the same thing. They're all praying, hoping, wishing for a blessing... and one day everyone's blessing will come. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Does It Ever End?

January 2016... the month I made the move back to Florida with an 18 month old and a 3.5 year old. I was trying my damndest to be brave. I wanted too better myself so bad. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t know it would end up taking two and a half years. 

Fast forward to now, April 2018. I have less than a month left in nursing school and it’s still just as hard as the beginning. For example, Wednesday I have 450 questions and nearly 40 paragraphs do. I also have a proctored online exam and my last unit exam too take. Every week is crammed full of homework and test with no breaks. I try to remind myself of all the knowledge that I’ve gained. I went into this knowing nothing and now I can confidently stroll in a room and educate my patient on most common diseases and drugs. I have a wealth of useful and useless knowledge to thank the past two and a half years for, but school isn’t the only difficult part about life. 

I’ve spent this time struggling with my children. It’s like my husband is on an extended deployment with short weekend visits home. This really takes a toll on us all. The kiddos have the worst attitudes. It’s always a fight to get them to eat a normal dinner or a tantrum when I want them to come inside. Don’t you dare ask B to do anything... you might get a nasty snarl and a high tempered remark. Jo is quick to burst and won’t hesitate to ball his fist up and yell in anger. School work is a struggle with B. Its a fight every night to get his homework done and a lecture about handwriting every day. The feelings I get from watching my children struggle are hard to cope with. I’m quick to anger and end up lecturing them on how things should have been done. It’s upsetting to watch them with other kids their age. It’s hard not to compare them and it’s easy to forget their life struggles. 

Tonight I’m feeling a bit resentful. Im hating myself for wanting to expand my horizons. I just want to go back to our small little military house on the cul-de-sac. I want the long weekends spent exploring and the quick ice cream trips. I have to keep reminding myself that some day this will all pay off, and my kids will have something more normal. We’ve worked too hard to give up now. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Kindergarten Woes

Can you believe my child is in KINDERGARTEN!? It's crazy to think he's already five.
During his second week of school, I received a note telling me he needed to work on his penmanship... he's five. Hell, I'm 25 and I need to work on my penmanship.

 I might be making light of this now, but I'm still really annoyed by it. Do teachers/schools really expect children coming into kindergarten to write neatly? When I was in school (yep, that phrase), we were just learning to write our names in kindergarten. I started this journey knowing that a lot would be expected. I kept repeating it to Chance and he kept brushing me off. B attended VPK and got lots of practice. I felt like he was going into Kindergarten prepared. Is he as prepared as some students? Of course not. I'm not going to lie, I've known for a long time that B was a little slower than other children. It's not because he isn't extremely bright, he just doesn't like academics. He can spout anything out about animals, cars and places, but he hates learning. For example, we were recently visiting the GA Aquarium and B informed us that a specific bright orange fish was a Garibaldi... guess what? He was 100% right. He went through the whole aquarium naming the creatures. I was completely unaware that he knew this stuff. Don't get me wrong, he can recognize his letters and numbers... he just doesn't like to do it. Last week he had to write 2s for his homework. He cried really hard because he just couldn't figure it out. I hate that something as simple as a 2 has frustrated him so badly. He comes by that frustration honestly though. In an effort to help him with his skills, I took to Pinterest to find some tips. Here are a few things we have implemented.

 1. Highlighting the bottom line of his papers. This is helping him with letter placement. He knows that the little letters should be completely highlighted.

 2. I sit with him and make little chants for letters and numbers. For example, 5 goes across the top, down to the middle and has a big belly like Santa. I know it's so silly, but he says it to himself while writing and it keeps him on track.

 3. We've been playing with play dough and fidget spinners. We've never owned play dough... I HATE everything about it. When I read it could help, we immediately went to Target and grabbed a couple packs of it. The kids really love sitting on the porch making sculptures. We also picked up a metal fidget spinner. It's a bit heavier than a plastic ones and forces him to use his finger muscles.

 4. I recently bought some pencil grips that will help with his grip. He seems to have the proper grip, but they were highly recommended and anything is worth a try. I was lucky to find so many great articles on penmanship.

 These are just a few tips that we found helpful. If you're experiencing this too, remember that they're only children. Their fine motor skills aren't fully developed until they're at least seven. Be patient, many skills are developmentally above them and they will take time to grasp them. Let them be little and learn at their own pace.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


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Friday, May 12, 2017

The Hardest Part of Nursing School

Are the test hard? What's the hardest part?

These are questions I get asked nearly every week. My answer has most definitely changed through out this process. 

During my first semester I likely would have told you the test were the hardest part. If not the test I would have answered the style of questions.

At this point I've been through FOUR semesters of school. Each one has brought a different challenge for me. I've experienced clinical set backs, not so great attitudes and even failure.

If someone were to ask my today what the hardest part was I would reply with two separate answers. 

1. Seeing my fellow classmates not succeed to the next semester

2. Watching fellow classmates move on
These answers are very personal at this point. In the four semesters I've experienced, I've seen multiple classmates drop out. I've shed some tears for each one of them. Friendships happen so quickly in school and you never imagine not graduating with each and every smiling face that surrounds you. These people become your family in a short period of time. You're with them nearly every day and you can't avoid becoming personal with all of them. Small inside jokes leave you giggling for hours while others stare at you like you're crazy. Your teachers know you've become best friends and they do everything they can to help you branch out to and talk to your other classmates. 

And suddenly they're gone. Even with all your attempts to stay in touch, you barely speak. You're both so busy in life that you never see each other. It's a sad reality that comes along with school.

Not everyone will experience their classmates moving on. I'm not ashamed to admit that I failed. I gained a lot of knowledge from a second chance and I will carry it with me. The extreme downside is watching my friends advance. I'm elated for each and everyone of them, but I'm also a bit bitter. That could be me... I could be graduating in TWO months. I spent plenty of time shedding tears and beating myself up over my failure. Each and every time I see their post on social media I can't help but feel jealous. I want to be in their position so bad. 

I love them so much though. They all deserve this success and I couldn't be happier for them. It's a hectic battle raging inside of me. I will attend their pinning and cheer each one of them on until the very end. They're bright young women and will become the greatest nurses. They've all been so humble and caring on their journeys and I can't wait to see where life carries them.

If you're in Nursing school, remember that it's all about what you make of it. You have every right to have a rainbow of emotions weekly. You're life is a tough one and soon you'll be rewarded with an amazing feat. Keep striving and don't let anything dim your light. Your friends will always have your back.


Friday, April 21, 2017

My little four eyes

This four eyes babe is the absolute cutest. I get comments all the time about his glasses. People always want to know how we know and when he actually got them. Our story is rather interesting comparatively speaking. 

I had no clue that Bird even needed glasses. He wasn't exhibiting the normal signs of weak eye sight (headaches, blinking, rubbing his eyes, needing to be close up), but he was only 12 months at the time. We were at his yearly check up and the nurse brought in a device that was painted like a penguin. She shut the lights off and took a few photos of him. At this point I still had no clue what the device was or what they were doing. Shortly after the doctor came in with printed pictures of Bird's eyes. The device was designed to take up close pictures of the eye and assess for myopia and hyperopia (near and farsighted). The near sighted pictures were meant to have a gold color from the middle of the eye down and the far sighted pictures were meant to have gold on a vertical plane. Bird's near sighted pictures showed his entire eye as gold. I was in shock! I was extremely upset to find out Bird needed glasses. I didn't want my baby to need them his entire life and I never much cared for the look either. 

I thought the next process would be a quick one. We were given a list of child Opthamologist in the area that accepted our insurance. I called every single one and found out we wouldn't be getting in for another six months! How crazy is that!? Once we finally got into a Dr we found out that Bird was +7.50 in his right eye and +5.75 in his left eye. That's an extremely big deficit when it comes to vision. We quickly ordered his glasses and very impatiently waited for them to arrive. I can recall the day he put them on like it was yesterday. He was looking out the window of the vision center and said "Meme and Bubbie". I guess I never realized just how blind he really was. I didn't know that he couldn't see the sky until he began pointing out birds and planes. 

I'm use to his glasses now and I can't imagine his sweet face without them. Any time I see another toddler in glasses I can't help but smile. I realize that they too struggle with glasses and will probably need them for the rest of their lives. 

His glasses aren't fake or dress up. They're something he needs every day in order to see the beauty around him. Be kind to him and others with vision impairments. You never know when it might him close to home. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Falling out of love

A good marriage isn't something you find; it's something you make... and you have to keep on making it. 

    -Gary Thomas 

Truer words have never been spoken. Too many our marriage looks perfect. Social media does a great job at cloaking the flaws in everything. Over the years I've learned to keep our issues close. I'd rather deal with things internally than lay it out for the world to see. 

This past year has been especially difficult on me. I am emotionally tattered and just plain exhausted. My attitude and the distance  has definitely taken a toll on us. 

There has been many times that I didn't feel 'in love'. I've felt void and empty on quite a few occasions and spent a few long drives to VA very unexcited.

 I'm no longer ashamed of these feelings. They're 100% normal and can be repaired. It's naive to think that an eternity can be spent without a few bad times.

The honeymoon phase will definitely come and go. Marriage is a delicate thing that takes nutrturing to stay strong. I've spent quite a bit of time reflecting on our marriage and what I can do to make it the best it can be. 

#1 I've tried to stop tearing my husband down. He's only human and humans aren't perfect. We all make mistakes or lose touch with things at times.

#2  I  attempt to touch base with his feelings every day. Asking someone how they feel only takes a moment and can make them feel like gold. 

#3 I try to ask what I can do to make his day better every day. Most days he'll say nothing, but it's really the thought that counts.

#4 every day I try to say kind words to him and think of the things I really love about him. Reminding yourself why you married someone can create butterflies rather quickly.

#5 I vocalize what's bothering me. Internalizing things will only make the feelings grow. It's important to let someone know when you aren't feeling good in the current situation. 

I know these things seem rather small, but they really help to remind me how great my husband is. I couldn't be more happy in my marriage. I was lucky enough to find a man that's extremely understanding and faithful. He knows that my moods are temporary and that I need emotional reassurance often. 

You may always love someone, but you might not always be in love. Don't give up on your significant other just because the butterflies are gone. Nurture your love and think of all the positive aspects that are present in your life. Marriages can be saved if we give them the appropriate amount of time.