Trigger Warning: Loss, Miscarriage, Death, Trauma
Boy, it's been a long time since I last blogged. It's been another lifetime, really. So much has changed, I don't even know where to start! That's what has been keeping me from writing, to be honest. There are just so many stories to tell since that last blog, I'm a Little Unsteady You see, friends, the day I wrote that, I was scared. We were pregnant with our third child and I didn't know how I would handle threekids on my own at home each day. I wasn't excited, I was terrified. And I felt horrible about feeling anything less than elated after so many years of struggling to get pregnant in the first place. Now, with a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, I was pregnant again?! What would we do? I would surely go insane.
As fate would have it, I didn't get to find out. We lost the baby, whom we have named Quinn, at 16 weeks. It happened at home. It was horrible and traumatic. It is a story I will never type out all the details of publicly because you will have nightmares. It WAS a nightmare. It happened November 13th, 2016 and I will never be able to erase what I saw. The ambulance came for me and took me to a hospital I'd never been to, and I just slowly drifted away into shock. Friends descended upon us like beautiful angels and took care of us and our sons when we couldn't take care of ourselves. It was the lowest of lows for us: as a couple, as parents, as humans.
The part that people who have been through a loss like that don't discuss is one that I find important to share. It's difficult even still to admit, but here goes: I was somewhat relieved. Three children so close together was going to be so very hard and I was (am) on anxiety medication to begin with. Then came the guilt and self-loathing for feeling relieved at all. I was furious with myself. I was unable to be forgiving of a person who wanted children so badly who then got her wish--and then some-- only to be scared and upset about a new baby. Clearly, it was my fault. All of it. But an angel came to me. My sister-in-law, Caitlin, who had been through her own loss a few years prior, came to stay with me the weekend after the loss. She was the first person I felt I could really share everything I was feeling with because she was the first person I knew would fully understand. She listened, she offered sage advice, and before she had to go back to her own world in Arizona, she put reminder post-it notes all over my house. They said, "This is not your fault." "It's okay to feel relieved." "Three would have been a LOT to handle." "Any way you're feeling is okay to feel." "Forgive yourself." "Take care of YOU." And many many more. She truly saved me. And I will forever be grateful to her.
Another thing that pulled me out of the hole I was falling into, and this may sound silly to you but hear me out, was a pair of LuLaRoe leggings. A friend sent me a pair. They were solid magenta because I thought the patterns were crazy. I put them on, expecting to hate my body as usual, but I felt good. I felt GOOD! What?! This body that had betrayed me and still looked pregnant even though I no longer was, this body that I hid behind tent-like shirts and maternity jeans that got saggier every day, THIS BODY was comfortable?!?! My friend, Jen, was a Retailer at the time and asked if I wanted to host a party. I did. I earned 8 free things and was ecstatic to have new clothes. I was excited to get dressed in the morning instead of dreading it. As I earned and bought more LuLaRoe pieces, I started looking at my old wardrobe. Everything was baggy and full of holes. Most things had been thrifted or gifted to me. The only nice things I had came from my folks, and most of them were beautiful maternity clothes at that time, since I had had my two sons so close together. I started getting rid of the holey clothes. I started wearing things that made me happy. I started to put on makeup regularly again. I wore jewelry. It was a new me. From a pair of leggings.
You might already know, but I'm a LuLaRoe Retailer myself now. I don't say that as a marketing strategy, or to recruit anyone--it's just part of this story. I sell these clothes now because of what they did for me. I'm a Retailer now because I'm helping other women (and men! and people who identify as neither!) look and feel fabulous, no matter their size or story. I'm also helping women with chronic pain disorders feel comfortable again. I've done fundraisers and the company matched my efforts. I've made new friends. People within my group online have become friends. It's this little community--this village, if you will--and it's growing and changing in the best ways because of what I can bring to it. I have a job again, in addition to being Mom. And I'm so happy doing it.
So, if you read my blog back then and thought, "And that's it? Was she okay after that?" I wasn't, but I am now. I'm finding my happy place again, and it feels so so good.
Here is my LuLaRoe group, in case you're curious!