February 5, 2018

Clinging to Hope

It's been a little over a year since we lost our son, Colby. Most of that year, and into the present, my grief has consumed me. But there are things that have kept me from sinking too low in my depression and I'm going to share them with you today in case they can help someone else.

+ In-person Support Group - This has truly been my saving grace. I have met some amazing ladies through my support group, and a few of them have become close friends. As a group we have a Facebook group chat, and when I'm having bad days I can reach out to my group in between meetings. 

+ Facebook Groups - These have been a good source of articles and blog posts from women who have experienced loss. Reading them has made me feel less alone in my thoughts and feelings. My favorite group is for mothers who have no living children, called Still Mothers. They have an entire community outside of Facebook as well that has many resources and provides additional support. 
Other Facebook groups for loss include: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep  and Miscarriage, Stillbirth, & Infant Loss.
I also belong to groups that surround PCOS, Infertility, and Trying to Conceive (TTC) with those challenges. If you are interested in joining any of those groups, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

+ Instagram Accounts - There are some wonderful women who share their stories and uplift others through their Instagram accounts. I'm on Insta daily, it's my favorite social media platform, so it was only natural for me to find some Instagram accounts that cater to loss, grief, and faith. I'll list a few of my favorites, so you can follow them as well: @griefunfolding@trustinginduetime, and @i.am.fruitful.

+ Faith - I don't know where I'd be without my faith. God has humbled me and taught me so much through this trying time. I have clung to the verse pictured above, and have it hanging in our bedroom above the crib as a symbol of the hope we have that God will provide and bless us with a living child.

+ Friends - My friends have truly been a huge blessing. You really do find out who your true friends are when a tragedy such as ours hits your life. Luckily I have three friends who have been a big part of my support system, and I thank God for them every day.

+ Husband - Last, but certainly not least is my husband. He is my rock. I couldn't have gotten through the last year without him. He has been so strong and such a comfort. He has put up with all my crazy outbursts, all my tears, and all my days spent in bed. God has truly blessed me with an amazing man, it's all I can do to strive to deserve him.

Without these six things I would not be as okay as I am today, and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them.

If you are going through a grieving process and need someone to talk to, please do no hesitate to reach out to me. I am here for you. 

December 12, 2017

Thoughts During This Christmas Season

I sat and stared at a blank page for hours trying to think of how to put my thoughts to into words. These thoughts are dark and not usually something I want to talk about outside of my support group, and sometimes I don't even talk about them then.

My moods have been so up and down this holiday season. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but now it's sort of been tainted. This time last year I was blissfully happy and pregnant with our son, Colby. We announced the pregnancy on Christmas day even. We had no idea what was in store for us, how could we know?

This year we should have had our son with us. This year we should be buying baby toys and clothes and wrapping them in sweet kid friendly wrapping paper. This year we should be getting ourselves ready for the first long road trip with our son to see my family in Georgia. This year we should be introducing our son to some of my family for the very first time. This year we will not be doing any of those things.

Instead we will be buying gifts for other people's children and traveling to Georgia on our own to show everyone our Colby Bear. This year I am also not pregnant again.

There are many sides to my grief and depression. It's mourning the loss of the life that could have been. It's the loss of possibilities and experiencing Christmas through his little eyes. It's battling infertility and PCOS. It's the loss of two grandparents. It's crying at the drop of a hat to certain songs or to random commercials. It's cringing in pain when I hear a baby cry in public. It's answering the question of "how many kids do you have?" with "one son in heaven." It's anxiety about being asked that question or other related questions.

This whole year is different than what I imagined it would be last year. So much has happened in the past 11 months... and then there is the one thing that has not happened. And while my good days are outnumbering the bad days, the bad days are still really bad and feel like they will go on forever. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but these feelings are a very real part of my life, and I strive to be honest and open about my life in this space.

I do want to take the time to thank everyone for your amazing support and prayers. It means so much to us to know that there are people out there that we've never even met in person that care so much about us and our journey. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

December 1, 2017

You Know You're An Adult When...

There are days when I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to adult, and there are days that I definitely feel like I got my shit together. On these good adulting days, these are the thoughts that take over my mind.

You know you're an adult when...

... you get excited about a new vacuum cleaner.

... you get upset that you're neighbors don't mow their lawn enough.

... you're the one being passed in the "slow lane."

... you can't get on board with the new lingo of the teens.

... watching an entire season on Netflix is a considerable accomplishment.

... staying out/up late does not seem appealing whatsoever.

... you can't begin your day without coffee or some sort of caffeine beverage.

... you need a day after your vacation to rest before going back to work.

... you ask for things you need for Christmas rather than things you want.

... you finally understand what you're parents meant by "you'll understand when you're older."

... you've told someone that they'll understand when they get older.

... wine is considered a food group.

... you begin to notice smiles lines and crows feet.

... you can no longer rely on your metabolism to stay a healthy weight.

... you don't have to call your mom every time you cook a real meal.

... you do your laundry before you run out of things to wear.

... you grocery shop before you run out of things to eat.

... you've thought to yourself "I'm too old for this shit" about anything.

How do you know you're an adult?