July 4, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes

This is a tough one to write. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and keep putting it off. Two sentences in, without even really saying anything yet and I’m already a mess. My eyes are instantly warm puddles, my glasses fogged up, my nose already running. But I’m all about addressing the uncomfortable, facing my feelings and baring my soul, in an effort to not only grow but show that we’re all more similar than we care to admit, flawed, fearful, remarkable beings that are capable of being better and the way we get there is by owning up to our own stuff, sharing and helping others with theirs. It’s the only way. At least, in my book- and on my blog. I’ve said it numerous times, even in my official “about” section, I’m not interested in perfection, just the process. And my process is trial and error, major mom fails, messy top knots, shirts with spit up, under eye bags and written pieces which pour my heart out about where I’m at and where I’m going, or, at least, hope to be…

It’s 9am on a Saturday. While that sounds like a Billy Joel song, it’s my reality. It’s July 4th weekend. My two-week-old son, Oliver, is sleeping beside me in his SNOO. I’m in my bed, laptop in place, bawling. So much so that I now can’t see the screen. It’s not the hormones (okay, maybe a little). These are actual, legitimate, sane person sobs. But it in the best way.

A year ago today, I was running around the city, buying up 4th of July outfits, party props and toys for my daughter, nephews and niece. I was also trying to find white maternity shorts as I was newly pregnant and my existing ones were already starting to get snug. We were traveling the next day down to my sister’s house in Northern Virginia and set to check into a hotel for the long, holiday weekend. I was in my element and elated with all things I thrive on: travel, holidays, party planning, shopping, family… I was thrilled to be pregnant again, in such a good place with my daughter and husband and, although exhausted, enjoying the summer.

Then I began spotting. Thinking I’d just overdone it with working out, working and being mom to an active toddler, I didn’t make much of it but, since I was traveling and it was a holiday weekend, called my doctor to be safe. They agreed it was probably nothing but that I should take it easy. Since I was riding in a car, staying at a resort and with family, they said I could go but to let everyone do the heavy lifting so I could chill for a few days. Sounded great to me.

Halfway into the car ride, I knew things weren’t okay. By the time we stopped for a pizza lunch, I confessed to Zach that I was sure something was wrong. Nothing had really changed, physically, but somewhere in me, I knew. I knew the baby was gone. That it wasn’t meant to be.

Those thoughts and feelings were confirmed not an hour later. As we pulled up to the hotel, I miscarried. In our car. In another state. With my daughter next to me and my husband checking in at the front desk. I’m not sure there’s an ideal situation in these cases but this certainly was not it.

I spent the next several days, weeks and months grappling with (and writing about) my miscarriage. And then, I got pregnant again. It’s been an emotional, challenging, soul-stripping and, ultimately, strengthening journey and I cannot believe I’m finally on the other side. There were so many times when it felt like we’d never get here, that it was too long, too hard, too… hopeful. I’d be gripping the toilet, lying on the cold tile floor, in bed, walking the streets of New York, filled with fear and doubt. So much doubt. That it was meant to be. That I could have a happy ending this time. That, once again, the bottom wouldn’t fall out. I held my breath, clenched my shoulders and knocked on every piece of wood in sight for an entire year. And now we’re here.

With Oliver by my side. This holiday, I’m reclaiming my independence. Freedom from my negative thoughts, from putting my life- and mental health- on hold, from fully embracing my friends and family and all I have yet to do and be, which includes- but is not limited to- (Lilly and) Oliver’s Mommy.


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