Seasons.

 

We are reading a book in my mom’s group about seasons of life. I’ll let you guess which one I’m in.

This is what my bedroom looks like:

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I went to an interview for a part time job last week with strawberry juice plastered across my boobs. My shirt was white. Not awesome. Also, the interview was for a 16 hour a week job, and the lady talked to me for two and a half hours. Serious red flags.

I risked it and tried to shower today while my baby girl was awake. I pulled tons of toys into the room to occupy her. It did not end well:

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I haven’t slept through the night since last May. Lennon has fluid in her eardrums and needs to be repositioned frequently throughout the night to relieve the pressure. She was supposed to have tubes put in her ears yesterday, but thanks to insurance, we don’t have a date scheduled until mid-February. (But there is a date!)

I went to switch over the seventh load of laundry (yes, seventh) I’ve done since yesterday morning and came back to find out that Lennon can now maneuver through her high chair buckles. I found her standing up trying to climb onto the kitchen island. Duly noted.

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I also sat with my beautiful boy while he ate lunch. What’s wrong with that? We literally (and yes I am using that word correctly right now) sat at the kitchen island for 45 minutes so he could eat four chicken nuggets. Not because he was refusing, just because he eats like a sloth. I love him dearly, but come on, man.

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I’m on my third cup of coffee today, one being an espresso drink, and I still feel like I could close my eyes right now and sleep until tomorrow afternoon.

Also, the former host of Celebrity Apprentice is becoming the President of the United States tomorrow. I’m still waiting for someone to pop out of the woodwork and be like, “April fools a little early, America!”

I’m ready for Spring. Anyone else?

 

 

Another baby? It’s complicated.

It’s my “blog-aversary” I guess. So says WordPress. Four years ago I started this baby….and wow does time fly. Four years ago I started this blog as a rant of the struggles of first-time motherhood. And now that little baby I was talking about is four. He knows how to write his name. He knows the alphabet and he can count to 100. That little baby is also a fantastic big brother and says the funniest and craziest things. It’s nuts how life works out and flies by all at once.

I’ve been in kind of a funk these days. I know I talk about my miscarriages often, and many of you who read this blog may be tired of hearing about it. I apologize, and want to kindly remind you that you don’t have to read what I write, it doesn’t bother me one way or another. But be warned, this blog does touch on my unborn babies.

I have begun the process of writing a book I once dreamed about. Both my husband and the readers of this blog have encouraged me to push forward and make that dream a reality. Though it won’t be remotely written for many years, it is in the works.  Writing on this topic has been something I have been passionate about. Miscarriage and the loss with it has been so taboo in our culture and I’m tired of it, and so are the other mothers out there who have experienced it. It’s just time to talk about it and not in a “everything-works-out” kind of way. It’s time that miscarriage is recognized as the anger and grief inducing tragedy that it is. It should be called out for what it is: a life altering, never the same again, event.

But, that is only part of what is on my mind today. Really, what my mind is mulling over is whether or not to have another baby. I want another baby. I crave it. I hated being pregnant with Lennon, but in the long run, it’s so worth it. But honestly, I am petrified. The condition I have, which presumably caused my previous miscarriages, only worsens with age, so each day that passes, each moment, increases my chance of miscarrying all the more. And honestly, I don’t know if I can mentally and emotionally handle the possibility of losing another baby.

Recently, my husband and I have started a small group within our church dedicated to the common bond of miscarriage. Because of this and the start of this book, I have been dwelling on and reliving my experiences more graphically than  usual on a daily basis. It does a number on one’s emotional state. I typically think of my lost children at least once a day, but lately, I have been graphically re-living every detail of their loss.

I have been trying so hard to soak in the moments with my four year old and treasure the fleeting moments of babyhood with my sweet Lennon. But always in the back of my mind is the craving of another child, and the reminder of those I have lost. It’s a tough place to find myself.

I tried to fool myself into saying I was done after two living babies. I have a beautiful boy and the most awesome girl. Perfect, right? But I crave another. A few weeks ago, I held a friend’s sweet newborn baby and was so happy to give her back once she cried, but now–now I long for that moment when you hold a new baby for the first time. I want to hear those sweet and unforgettable newborn cries. I want that first look into each other’s eyes. I want to mother another child. But I’m scared of the journey to get there. My heart cannot take another loss. My heart can hardly manage another pregnancy. The mere thought makes my stomach churn and my eyes tear up.

Pregnancy is a complete crap-shoot. You don’t ever know until the moment that beautiful, pink, screaming baby is placed in your arms, that everything will be okay. And there in lies the risk.

This is where I am, folks. Truly caught between a rock and a hard place. And seriously hoping time will tell.

The Possibility of A Book

Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted. It’s just been so beautiful out here that it’s hard for me to justify staring at a computer screen for anything other than work.

I promise I’ll try to be more consistent in the future, but bare with me for this one…

This post isn’t typical. Instead, I’m looking for some feedback from you, my readers. A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine was chatting with me about babies, life, and our mutual experiences with miscarriage. After talking with her and going through some of our thoughts, she mentioned to me that I should write a book. The thought of ever writing anything like that has never crossed my mind, but the thought has intrigued me ever since. A few days later, I casually mentioned the subject to my parents. They also agreed right away and were quite excited about it. However, I’m still in the doubtful/can I do it stages, which is where you come in.

The topic of the book would be about miscarriages. When I have shared with you the stories of my babies (read about them here and here), I have received so much feedback. So many women have reached out to me and told me that they too have experienced this loss, and all the emotions that come with it.

One thing that always strikes me is how common miscarriages are, yet how little they are spoken about. The subject is often tiptoed around and overlooked, meanwhile a mother is left to silently grieve the life of her lost child. To me, it shouldn’t be that way.

I firmly believe that a woman becomes a mother the moment she knows she is pregnant. That’s it, right there. When that privilege of being a mother is abruptly taken away, there should be grief. There should be discussion about it. That baby shouldn’t be quickly dismissed, gotten over, and forgotten. That baby deserves to be remembered. That loss deserves to be recognized.

I know that for the rest of my life, every April and every September, I will think about what life might have been like had my babies survived. I will rejoice in the blessings I have, but I will still grieve them. They are not something to be forgotten. Though my babies lives were short, they were lived. They were a part of me. They will always be a part of me. They will always be a part of Kyle.

One of the biggest aspects of my healing process has been the ability to relate to other women who have gone through this same grief. Hearing their stories, remembering their babies, and knowing that my pain is understood has been so powerful. The suggestion was made that I write a book to capture these stories in an effort to help others grieve, and to shed light on this common tragedy that millions of women experience.

I believe women are continually feeling forced to “get over it quickly,” because people don’t understand how to help them grieve. If we keep sweeping this issue under the rug, how can we heal?

There’s something about pregnancy that makes people think all social norms are dropped. For example, when you’re pregnant, why do people think it’s okay to comment on how “huge” you are? Why is it ever okay to ask how much weight a pregnant woman has gained? These same tactless comments are true after having a miscarriage. Questions like, “When will you try again?” or comments like, “Oh, it’s no big deal, you’ll get pregnant again,” or worse, no comments at all, only further the perception that since the baby was so brand new, it was like it didn’t exist.

My question to those of you who have gone through this experience is, would a book like this have been helpful? Would you have wanted to know about others out there, would you want to hear their stories and learn from their experience? Would you take comfort in sharing in their grief? Would you find encouragement in knowing you’re not alone and that your baby won’t be forgotten?

Would a book like this have been helpful to those of you who have watched a loved one suffer from this loss? Would a book like this be something you would want to give to others so that they could help you grieve?

If yes, what would a book like this look like to you? What specific areas should it address?

I want our babies to be remembered, and not just silently. If you have suggestions, questions, or feel that you would somehow like to participate in this project, please send an email to bethanyrlewis@gmail.com.

Thanks Leilani for this idea, even if it does nothing more than spark a conversation–one that shouldn’t be kept silent.

 

What She’s Wearing, Reading, and Listening to:: Bethany

Well, after I asked Jaime to give me her list, I figured I should give mine.

During our packing process, I did a closet cleanse. It was a little frightening for me to realize I was thinking, “oh, I can still wear this” about a number of items, then remember back to when I bought it, realize it was purchased my Sophomore year of college, and reflect on exactly how long ago that was. Yikes! Into the giveaway pile it goes.

Though it’s fun to go through your closet and see things that are attached to memories or phases of life, it also feels really great to get rid of them. It’s also saddening to come to grips with your consumeristic self when you realize you still have a closet full of clothes and yet you also managed to fill four garbage bags of unnecessary items. It’s a pretty good reality check. So, though I love shopping and buying things, I made a personal goal to cut down and be a little smarter on what it is I purchase.

I’ve always been drawn to classic and basic when it comes to clothes. I don’t have much color in my closet, and I’m okay with that. I’m also really drawn to flowy, oversized, and comfortable. And since jumping on the mom train, practical.

For this post, I did not photograph anything that I currently have, I just found some similar products online, thanks to Google and the ever-popular Pinterest. I think you’ll get the drift, and the photos are probably much better than what I would have come up with.

So let’s get to it.

What I’m Wearing

This winter (and every other winter, I might add) my must-haves include:

1. Dark jeans. I wear jeans every day, no matter the occasion. Jeans can be fancy, grungy, and practical. And the great thing about jeans is that you can usually use the same pair for each category! I have two of these pair of jeans in my closet, my current favorite being the black pair. I also have them in dark blue and a similar pair in grey. I love them and wear them with everything. And, bonus…these suckers are $10 at H&M. Yep, $10. You can find them here.hmprod

2. Flannel. And not just because I live close to Portland. Flannel is a great layering piece. It’s easy to throw a flannel on over a t-shirt, or under a sweater, depending on the look you’re going for. I currently have 3 flannel shirts that I rotate and love, each for different reasons. Also, flannels are about the only item of clothing that include color in my wardrobe. I love this gem that I found on Pinterest, but you can get similar products here, here, or here.

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3. Oversized Sweaters. There is nothing like a comfy, warm, oversized sweater. Pullovers or cardigans, I don’t care. They can be worn over a pair of leggings for days around the house, or dressed up when paired with a dress, skirt, or my favorite–jeans and boots.  I would love to own this one here, but sadly, and not so sadly, I don’t have a few hundred bucks to drop on a sweater. You can find similar (and much cheaper) ones here, here, and here.

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3. Sweatshirts and t-shirts. Not your typical hoodie style sweatshirt or that free t-shirt you got from that one thing in college. Although who doesn’t love a good broken in hoodie, and you know I didn’t part with my most comfortable free college t-shirts. But, those stay indoors for me.  I’m talking about sweatshirts and t-shirts that you won’t feel totally gross in when you run into that really popular, always together girl you went to high school with when you’re out running errands with your screaming child. You can be comfy and still look okay, it is possible. Try throwing on one of these bad boys with a pair of skinny jeans and some flats and tell me if you don’t look put together yet just as comfortable as you would be in your oversized hoodie. Currently, I have two sweatshirts similar to this one in my closet from Forever21, and I have this beauty  on my Christmas list from H&M. You can find it here or similar ones here and here.

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I also recommend a comfy t-shirt such as this one, also from H&M. I have it in black and love it. It’s also a great layering piece. Find it here, or find similar ones here and here.

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4. Boots. Boots, boots, boots. I LOVE boots. I really loved classic Uggs, and still do, not because they look the greatest, but because they are so stinking warm and comfy. But, I decided to step up my game a little after my closet cleanse and become a little more adult with my shoes. Also, Uggs don’t really work well for the rain around here. So, instead, I’ve added boots like these, which can be found here at DSW, to my wish list.

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I’ve also had my eye on these rain boots, get them here:1534916-p-MULTIVIEW

And I wear boots similar to these at least twice a week. I got mine from this cute little shop.

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What I’m listening to.

Currently, I’m really behind in music. It used to be something that I made a priority, and I’m hoping to get back into that. Right now, I am listening to Lorde (I know, but I really like her) and Lord Huron. I also really love Young the Giant, and William Fitzsimmons.

What I’m reading. 

Reading isn’t something that I do, but again, I’d like to get there. Currently, Kyle and I are finishing up the last book in the Harry Potter Series. We decided to re-read it out loud together, and you can see why by visiting here (and yes, it has taken us a year, we know). After that, I’d like to re-read another all-time favorite of mine, The Great Gatsby.

I’m always interested in what others are wearing, reading, and listening to, so leave a comment if you’d like!

Also…I’ve added some new tabs to my sidebar over there ———————>>>>>>>>>> If you’d be so kind as to click on the “Top Baby Blogs” and “Top Mommy Blogs” links to vote for my blog if you think others would enjoy reading it, I’d really appreciate it. And, if you want to discover other great mommy or baby blogs, they’ve got TONS of great ones. Also, I promise that will be my last mention of that for a while 😉