Light After the Dark

Earlier this week, we celebrated our daughter’s 1st heavenly birthday.

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My son decided that Seraphina needed “balloons & hearts for her birthday”

On May 2, 2016, our 2nd baby went directly to heaven, a miscarriage that yanked the rug out from under me and sent me into a tailspin for the following year.  You can read all about our loss of Seraphina here.  (And, our first loss, Gale, here.)

The time following pregnancy loss, specifically when you had seen your baby on an ultrasound, who’s heartbeat you heard and cherished, and who’s presence you shared with loves ones aren’t easy.  And, you don’t move on from the physical pain and emotional & spiritual suffering, as quickly many people think or assume you do or should.

Your entire world is now operating from this point of reference.  You’re carrying this burden around with you that is unseen by the world at large.  You think about it daily, especially during the time when your body is recovering from the trauma it has been through.  It’s a daily reminder that your child is now gone.

I have a friend who’s baby was born about 10 days before my miscarriage.  I was due to bring them a meal and meet the baby (and was planning to tell them about our pregnancy).  That was the first big hurdle that was in front of me.  The thought of seeing that newborn and having to tell them of my own loss was too much for me at that time.

And, that was just the beginning of a very dark year for me. Read More

What I Learned From My 2nd Miscarriage

(NOTE(WARNING:  This is a long blog!)

She was supposed to be our “rainbow baby” – the joy after the storm. 

IMG_2798When we found out we were pregnant again, 4 months after losing our baby Gale, I was excited.  The likelihood of miscarrying again, back to back, was very low.  My doctor had me come in within a couple of days of my initial call to check my HGC levels to make sure the pregnancy was strong.  I registered “low”, but passable and was put on progesterone supplements.  A couple of days later, my HGC levels were checked again and were soaring.

At 8 weeks, we loaded up the whole crew and waited to see the newest member of our family up on the “big screen”.  After waiting through a “full work-up” OB appointment for me, the kids running through halls and the staff being kind enough to put up with all the noise, we finally got to see the baby.  Her heart was beating like a champ, the kids were thrilled to discover they were going to have a new sibling (“Please, not another girl, Mom,” said our 5 year old, only son), and I felt confident that we’d be celebrating another birthday around Thanksgiving.  My doctor scheduled me for another ultrasound at 11 weeks “just to be sure of things”. Read More

How My Miscarriage Changed Me

It’s really hard to discuss miscarriage.  It’s not that it’s taboo, exactly.  It’s just that it’s not something that’s usually very public unless your pregnancy was already public.  And, when you lose a baby early in a pregnancy, many people don’t even really consider it much of a loss.  In fact, I was one of those people.  I mean, there has never been any question that once you conceive, that is a life with a unique soul.  But, I always thought, “If the pregnancy is lost early, how could you even feel very attached to that baby?” I truly did not understand because I did not have a frame of reference for that type of loss.

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But, now I do.  And, it has changed me.
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I Am Not Fearless

This morning, I brought my two children to a large playground that is in a more urban setting than most of the playgrounds by our home.  Okay, it’s not like it was in the middle of downtown, but it’s right next to a large, busy intersection bordered on one side by a very upscale neighborhood and on the other side by less-than-upscale apartments.  It’s a playground that is frequented by families with children, people of various ages and races, runners and bikers, and…….the people who make you nervous.

You know what I mean when I say that.  And, I don’t say it to be mean, rude, or unloving.  It’s a reality that all of us are familiar with, especially if you have children.  Sometimes in public areas, there are people who put you a little on edge, who cause you to watch your children a little closer, who’s movements you watch out of the corner of your eye.

It happened twice today.  

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“Mama” Mary

I don’t presume to think I am “cool”.

Any type of “coolness” I may have possessed in my younger years has most certainly gone flying out the window with motherhood.  I finally spoke this truth out loud to my still cool, unmarried, currently living in Nashville (the epitome of hipster/music/coolness) about to go to awesome music graduate school younger brother.  “Yeah, there’s pretty much nothing we do as moms that will become an ‘in’ thing.  In fact, if something becomes a trend for moms & kids, it is probably on it’s way out,” I said.

Good one, Catholic Memes.

Good one, Catholic Memes.

The reality of my motherly uncoolness became even more pronounced today as I was sitting in Barnes & Noble visiting with my pregnant friend while her son and my two kids played around with a group of other children (most of whom were accompanied, also, by moms of various ages and stages of pregnancy).  We chatted and laughed about potty training (yes, discussing poop), baby food, sleeping habits, toys & interests of our kids, pregnancy, and motherhood in general.  Probably the most boring conversation ever for my girlfriend’s unmarried friend who was with us, too.

Yes, motherhood is unglamorous and totally uncool when it really comes down to the nitty gritty of it.

On the ride home, this realization got me thinking about the Blessed Mother.  Our Most Holy Mother Mary, who is always depicted as beautiful, serene, demure, hair perfectly coiffed, the “coolest” woman who ever walked the face of the earth in all her holiness and Immaculate Conception-ness, was also a mom. Read More

The Big Change (A Rant About A Societal Norm)

WARNING:  This is going to be a ranting blog.  I just wanted to warn you.  If you get easily offended, you probably shouldn’t read any further.
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This is going to be a big year for our family.  It’s been coming down the pike for awhile and now, finally in 2012, the Big Change will be happening.  After 7 years of full-time youth ministry work, I will be “retiring” so that I can stay home with my son (and, by the end of the year, 2nd baby who is on the way).

Yes, I am 32 and I will be retiring.  But, in actuality, I won’t be retiring from anything – I’m just going to be making a career change from full-time paid Church employee to Stay-At-Home-Mom.

I am not going to write about all the prayer and discernment that went into making this decision.  Suffice it to say, it was a lot.  In fact, this has been a decision that has been almost 2 years in the making.  And, we, as a family, feel like now is the time to make the Big Change.  I still love and believe 100% in the importance and value of youth ministry.  But, it’s time for someone else to take it on in my stead.

I have mixed emotions about the whole thing, but mostly I am really excited about the change.  But, something that’s been happening is really frosting my cookies…

Here’s where the ranting begins.

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