Thursday, February 19, 2015

the girl who cried pregnant.

a few days ago, rhea and i were sitting in my backyard, eating popsicles with the kids and watching them play. we were talking about my latest miscarriage and rhea asked,  "you aren't going to tell me next time you're pregnant, are you?"

i laughed at her and told her no. i'm not.

i'm in a really weird spot right now. we have had three losses in nine months. if you include brielle's story, which i do, jake and i have gone through this heartache four times now. i'm tired.

the more babies we lose, the more protective of those lives i become, regardless of how long or fleeting an amount of time they were here. and along with protectiveness comes a bit of possessiveness.   i just want to cling to those lives, and keep them as my own for as long as possible.

this last pregnancy, i told four of my close friends that i met over the internet (life is weird), and rhea. that's it. we didn't tell our parents until we were on the way to the ER.

maybe it was partly because we were afraid. and partly to protect their hearts. but i think it's just what i need to do to make this journey the easiest for me.

i don't want to be the girl who cries pregnant. i don't want to keep putting brielle in the big sister t-shirts, and texting friends pictures of the two lines, and thinking up creative way after creative way to tell our parents that the family is growing.

I'm feeling a bit burnt out. if someday, we are able to have another healthy pregnancy, i don't want to feel burnt out. as harsh as this may sound, i don't want to lives lost to rob any joy of a thriving life in the future.

that being said, i don't think it is fair to pretend that the live's lost weren't lives at all. and that's why i have i decided to share about every single one of them. they are my babies too. they deserved every ounce of joy and love that jake and i poured out to them for every second we knew about their existence. we still pour out that love and joy. we think about them, and we miss them every single day.

so do i believe in living in fear? absolutely not. unfortunately announcing a pregnancy eagerly and recklessly isn't a privilege jake and i have at this point. and that's ok.

i have promised myself that i will still be all in every single time, no matter how many times it may be. i have to be all in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Struck down, but not destroyed.

I contemplated all day about whether or not I was going to post this. On one hand it is personal, vulnerable, and heartbreaking. On the other hand, I strongly believe we are called to be transparent. I've always tried to be transparent. If I think that maybe, MAYBE it can help somebody, then I will choose to get real and raw, even if it's ugly.

I've wanted a big family for as long as I can remember. Four before 30 is my goal. Yes, I'm a lunatic, but my dreams are filled with a full house, crayon on the walls, Cheerios on the carpet, snuggles everywhere. Before Brielle was even born, Jake and I knew we would start trying for another baby the summer after she turned one. So in May, I was so elated to see two beautiful pink lines on a pregnancy test. We told close friends and family, bought Brie a big sis shirt, the whole shebang.

A week later while in Cambria for a wedding, I started bleeding. We headed to the ER and confirmed that I was miscarrying. We were devastated. So sad, angry, and confused. It was a really, really bad day. But I immediately channeled all of my energy into the hope of trying again in a couple months. Miscarriages are normal, and it would all be ok. Jake and I can pretty much conceive a kid by looking at each other, so I knew I would get pregnant again soon. I was worried of course, but I had faith we would be fine.

After struggling with anger and confusion for two months, I received a very happy birthday present. Two pink lines. Again. I was so so SO happy. I praised God for giving us our sweet rainbow baby. I cried, and laughed, and began talking names, nurseries, and showers. I felt pregnant, which was such a comfort. My pregnancy in May left me with no symptoms at all, which had me worried from the beginning. I was still nervous, but I was confident. Surely it was our time. I still yearned for the baby that we lost, but I felt so hopeful in the promise of the sweet baby growing inside me.

Five days later I woke up to blood. The day before, I just knew. My symptoms were dwindling, and I could tell something was wrong. But even though I knew, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not again. Not another baby. My heart was shattered. I woke Jake up with the news, then remained in bed so numb. Not another baby.

One miscarriage is devastating. Its frustrating, and confusing, and so sad. Two miscarriages is terrifying. I am so scared. Im afraid that something is wrong with me. I'm afraid of an inability to grow my beautiful family. I feel the weight of it all pressed on my body, my body that has failed me. When we lost the first precious baby, it was easy to blame it on nature. Something must have been wrong with the baby. My body was just doing what it needed to do to rid itself of something that wouldn't have been able to thrive anyways. Two miscarriage leave me with nothing and nobody to blame but myself. We don't know why my body is doing what is doing, but we are working to figure it out. I'm going to get testing done, and try to get an answer before we begin to try again. In the meantime I am working my hardest to be nice to myself and my body, but it is difficult when I feel so betrayed by it.

Yesterday was by far the worst day I have ever had. Ever. In my entire life. I have never been in such a dark, hopeless place. I can always find a silver lining, a beacon of hope. Always. But yesterday I tried my hardest to cling onto every thread of hope and truth that I knew, but I failed and failed and failed.

Yesterday I cried (a lot). I yelled at God. I begged, and pleaded, and bargained, and when I realized my begging, pleading, and bargaining wasn't working, I yelled some more. Why me? Why us? Why twice??

Yesterday I was certain I would never be happy again. I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. I couldn't see through the fog. I couldn't see through my fury and sadness. But last night three of the most amazing women I know (one being my mom) came over to talk to me and pray with me. Thank God. By the time they left, the fog began to clear, and I felt a little bit more like myself.

Today I am better. The physical pain and blood are constant reminders of this devastating time. I still feel very broken. I still feel lost. I am still questioning everything. Myself, God, my plans, His plans. I'm still angry. Im so angry because this isn't fair. It's not. Jake and I would have loved those babies, both of them, so much. We pray for them every single night, before they were even inside of me. We are dedicated to building a life for them. We want more babies so so bad.

I am nowhere near being healed. But that's why I wanted to write this tonight, when everything is fresh and still stings. I don't want to wait to share this until there's a happy ending, with a full heart and a baby in my arms. That's not life. This is life. Right now. This is what I'm having to sort through and understand. This is what I'm having to accept and rise above. I'm not ok, and that's ok because I know I will be some day. I am strong. Not on my own, but through Christ. I know what is true. I know that a rainbow is coming. I will weather this storm with my husband, my daughter, my friends and my family, my two precious babies in heaven, and my God.

This will never go away. I will always wonder about those lives that were lost, and I will always long to hold them in my arms. But I will heal. My heart will mend. The tears will stop flowing, and my head will stop spinning. In the meantime I will take this opportunity to search my soul. I will choose to grow.

If you get a chance, please pray for our family. Pray for peace, and pray for comfort. Pray for healing. Thank you for reading this. One of the most difficult parts about losing those babies is feeling like they were never known. I keep my pregnancy tests in my drawer because it's all I have left of those lives. But knowing that they are known helps my heart.

I am so thankful that we have so many friends and family that are willing and able to help us think positively, to pray for us, to hug us, and to cry for and with us. Thank you to everyone who has done this already, and thank you to those who will continue to do that. I love you all, so so much.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

if you don't have anything nice to say...

i lied to brielle's pediatrician last week. she asked if brielle was sleeping through the night. i said yes. she asked if brielle was in her crib. i said yes again. neither are the truth.

i lied because 1. i didn't want to get lectured and 2. it's not really her business. don't get me wrong. i love brielle's pediatrician. i think she is knowledgeable, passionate, and sweet. however, i knew what she was going to say, and i just didn't want to hear it.

i'm having one of those nights where i feel on the edge of a breakdown. brielle is teething and cranky. she woke up every single hour last night, just wanting to chew on something and cuddle. i don't mind too much, because i'm her mom, and it's my job, and it's the best job in the world. but still, i'm tired.

i've also become so frustrated with people these past couple of weeks. i hear and read the things they say to one another, and it makes me sick. i am so so very fortunate to have a close knit group of fellow mamas to confide in and to share support. but still, i come across the occasional know-it-all, the dreaded damn-it-all.

here's the thing. before you're a parent, you have all your rules set out. you'll breastfeed for a year. the baby will sleep in the bassinet for 3 months, then gracefully transition into her crib. you'll cloth diaper. you'll make all your own food. your precious baby's eyes will never watch a minute of television, and all her toys will be eco-friendly. then your baby is born, and your milk supply sucks, your baby has reflux, your laundry room is taken over by dirty diapers waiting to be washed, you can barely find time to make your own food, and speaking of, it's time to make dinner so you set your baby on a blanket to watch mickey mouse club house and gnaw on her plastic toy.

your baby is born, you go into survival mode, and just do the best you possibly can. for me, survival mode has become bed-sharing. it wasn't something i planned on doing, but at three months, brielle stopped sleeping through the night in her rock n play, and bam. just like that, we became co-sleepers. i am well aware that i helped form the habit, but i can't say i regret it. it's worked for us. we've all gotten sleep because of it. and guess what, that's what matters.

jake and i get a say in how we sleep and how we parent. that's all. not a doctor. not a relative. not a friend with plenty of opinions, but no kids. not a friend with plenty of opinions AND kids. nope. just me and jake.

and this crazy rant isn't just about me and jake and how we sleep. i have had far too many conversations with my fellow mom friends recently about this same frustration, about why everybody seems to have an opinion on everybody else's parenting.

guys, this is a tough gig as it is. if you want to know pressure, try being responsible for another human being's LIFE. i am well aware that every single decision i do or don't make will have an affect on my precious, perfect baby. that is stress. it SICKENS me to see other people, particularly women, and particularly other moms criticize someone else's parenting.

every parent and every baby is different. please remember that. some babies sleep great in their cribs, and some score a spot in bed with their mom and dad. some babies are in the 90 percentile, some are in the 3rd. some start solids are 4 months, some wait until 6. i could go on and on, but i hope you get my point. every situation is diverse, but for the most part, every parent is loving and raising their child the best way they know how.

brielle isn't going to be sleeping in bed with us when she is fifteen, and when she is fifteen, i probably wish she would. in the meantime, jake and i are going to transition her using the method and speed that we choose. and also in the meantime, i will do my best to support every other parent struggling to make the best decisions for their babies.

"most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragment, and we will make the goal." robert collier.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


i'm a strong lover of all things social media. i'm sure you have come to realize that about me by now. i just like people. i like to know people's lives. i like to share mine. i like real life, fleshy human life sharing too. it's just that doing it over the internet is easy, convient, and fun when real life isn't an option.  social media has allowed me to keep in contact with family from other states, half of my graduating class, and now complete strangers.

i still remember when the first stranger started following me. it's funny to write the word 'stranger' because, she may technically still be, but i now consider her a close friend. raincitybaby. well, i think she was technically still laurenryk at the time, but whatevs. i was confused when i got the notification that she was following me because 1. i didn't know her and 2. she was some trendy blonde from seattle that was way too cool to be interested in me. but she was also pregnant and seemed normal, so i followed her back. and so it began.

when i began following lauren, i had no idea i would soon be a part of the big, beautiful world of momstagram. through simply liking and commenting on her photos, i began to get more followers, most of which followed her. and as i followed more lovely women, i met more lovely women, and now looking at my profile, half of the people i follow have never met me in real life. creepy? possibly. but i don't care. they're my buddies.

the wonderful thing about instagram and moms is that pretty much every single one of them overshares. which means, i pretty much know each of them like the back of my hand. i trust they aren't actually some creepy 50-year-old man because each of them has spammed my feed with their weekly bump shots and their little one's gnawing on sophie the giraffe. and now instagram has video so i can hear their crazy baby talk voices and hear their precious baby's first giggles and learn how to moan like dying cats. i love it. it's like having little virtual play-dates every single hour day.

and now lauren, who may just be the momstagram president, our 'regina george' if you will (except she isn't a meal girl. actually may be the nicest girl you'll never meet ;)) started @askthemamas, with a couple of her other friends (also who she has never met in real life. so awesome!) anyways, this ig account has helped me beyond belief during these past months of mothering brielle. i am very fortunate to have a few real life friends also in the midst of raising their first child, and they have provided me with limitless advide and support. but it is also so amazing to have a database of questions and advice to and from mamas all over the world, right there on one little instagram account. it's phenomenal.

this morning i got super sappy thinking about how some of these women and i have been following each other for nearly a year now. back when we were posting our bellies, and nurseries, and baby showers, and we were the only ones who cared to know what fruit everybody's baby was the size of that day. then i thought about how they will all most likely virtually attend brielle's first birthday party. and then i got to thinking about how long we will continue to follow each other. it blew my mind. i could very well be in the midst of life-long friendships with these countless women i have never even met.

the thing i love most about the mom community on instagram is how free, true, and unconditional the love there is. becoming a mom is the most exciting and monumental time of your life. from the moment the test is positive, that's all you want to breathe, think, and talk about. unfortunately most of the people i came in contact with on a daily basis, didn't agree. but now it's ok. now i have a gang of mommy friends ready and willing to cry with me thinking about how fast our babies are growing, to laugh with me when i spilt breast milk on my shirt at work, to celebrate with me when brielle begins to crawl, and to join me in loving my sweet baby girl. because i really truly believe that these women love my daughter, which is crazy and surreal and amazing. they are invested in her life, sadly even more than some of my friends in real life.

and the love is mutual. i love ru's unbeatable style and blowouts, and gracelyn's parrot screech. i love ella's fascination with water bottles, and reagan's cheeks! i love thoren's naked butt next to linus and how much ben loves moe. nora's long hair, ruby's ability to fall asleep everywhere, elliot's sweet bond with his mama. There are TONS more (those are just the ones who babyspam me most often), but i truly love and feel connected with all of the mom's and babies that i follow. it's a friendship. some are in san jose, some are in florida (come west jenny), but i honestly can say they are all my friends.

Friday, June 28, 2013

emotional late night ramblings.

brielle is quickly approaching the 4 month mark, and i just can't believe it. it feels like she just became ours, and it feels like she's been ours forever.
i love her so much.
i love her so much it really truly hurts.
sometimes i just cry at the thought of her.
happy tears because she's the purest and most beautiful person i know. sad tears because she's growing too quickly.
i want to share her with everybody and keep her all to myself. i want to see her as a big girl and relive her first days. i want to snuggle and play. i want to kiss kiss kiss.
i desperately want to bottle her up. i want to remember how soft the inside of her hands are. how cool her cheeks feel against my lips. how sweetly she looks at me as she eats. its like she's thanking me for the gift i'm giving her.
sometimes i look back on the day and realize that all i did was watched her and tickled her and kissed her and held her close.
those are the best days of all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

three months

Weight: doesn't have an appointment this month, so i just weighed at home. 14 lbs 6 oz. holy rolls! she 
Height: again, this is just from home, but i got 23.5 inches. she was really wiggly though, and i suspect she's longer.  
Clothing size: a little bit of everything. she wears some 0-3, a lot of 3-6, and even wore a pair of 9 month leggings the other day.  
Diaper size: size 3!! i can't believe it. but she had like 7 blowouts in a row in the 2's so it was time to say goodbye.
Likes: water, of any kind. Raffi Pandora radio. Gatsby. The TV (ugh). Reading (yay) Her swing (finally)
Dislikes: getting out of the bath. being held like a baby. the heat.   
Feeding: She obviously eats well. still about every 2 hours, sometimes sooner sometimes longer. don't know how much she eats, but on the occasion she is offered a bottle, she takes it. so nice! now if only i could bring myself to pump more...
Sleep: weeelllll, she was sleeping like champ, from 10pm-6am, then a quick feed and sasleep again until 8, but this week she has added in a 3am feeding. i am not pleased. she's lucky she's cute.
Milestones: she is smiling, laughing and cooing all the time now. she tries to scoot a lot but her arms get pinned under that belly. sits up well with the boppy. will imitate faces and sounds. discovered her hands and has them in her mouth 24/7.
Mommy and Daddy's best memories this month: everything! she truly gets more fun every day. we love seeing her laugh and play. its exciting to introduce her to precious friends and family she hasn't met. we are ready for a summer full of adventures with the junebug! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


on june 22, 2004 a sweet and shy 15-year-old boy asked me to his girlfriend as we sat in the grass on my best friend's lawn. he had been pursuing me for nearly a year, as my crushes changed monthly, like many 14-year-old girl's do. i remember my excitement when he asked. he was my first real boyfriend. i was his first girlfriend too. i didn't think i would be with him forever, but i knew i could.

on june 17, 2011 we said 'i do.' i walked down the aisle and promised my life to my sweet and shy boy. we kissed, and danced, and cut the cake. we celebrated the past seven years, the years we spent growing up together. we celebrated the forever before us.

on june 24, 2012 the test was positive. i stood in the bathroom, frozen in awe. we had only been trying for one month. one. i called jake into the bedroom and held out the test with watering eyes and shaking hands. 'pregnant.' he grabbed me and we kissed and cried the happiest tears.

june is the thrill the heat brings. it's night swims and popsicle kisses. it's taking the long way home. june is the possibility of summer. it's driving barefoot and sipping coke from a straw. it's eating breakfast in your bathing suit. it's james taylor with windows down. june is the home of my sweetest memories. june is the love we created. june is brielle.

i pray our junebug's life is like a long sweet summer, with passion and peace, night swims and popsicle kisses.

happy june.