My “Run for a Warrior” Pledge

As some of you may now, my miscarriages in the past year have prompted me to do things I have been wanting to do but have put off because of “potential” pregnancy. One of those things is running.

I have never liked running. Like, ever. But after E was born I found this great group of milspouses/women who all ran together twice a week with babies/toddlers/kids in tow- Stroller Warriors. I ran on and off with them for over a year until we PCS’d. Unfortunately, the SW here at our new duty station is flippin far away so I haven’t joined them.

Stroller Warriors

After our first miscarriage, I had this burst of “I MUST DO ALL THINGS” so J and I decided to sign up for the Warrior Dash. Then I found out I was pregnant so we didn’t. Then I miscarried a few days after I ran the furthest I ever ran before, and I decided I wasn’t going to run again until our second child was born. We PCS’d across the country and then we found out we were pregnant again. I didn’t run, I barely worked out at all, and I still miscarried at 8 weeks.

Awesome.

So then I said “F*** it” and decided it was stupid for me to put off my health and my fitness for much longer. Again, I got the burst of “I MUST DO ALL THINGS.” J and I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon 10k and I began running again. Slowly but surely, like the tortoise.

Tortoise

It started off with me struggling to get to 3 miles. Once I got there, I struggled to get to 3 miles under 30 minutes. Then I pushed it to 4 miles, which I hadn’t done since SW. Then I made it to 5. Then 6. As I type this I can officially say I have done my first 6.2 miles- in the MCM 10k.

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The race bug has bit me.  I loved it. Every second of it, even the parts where it was so cold I thought my fingers would fall off. Even the parts where I wanted to throw up. Even the parts where I was cursing J in my mind because he told me, “You don’t need your iPod, we can just talk while we run.”

I was recently approached by a friend with whom I ran with at SW on the west side (said “west siiiiiddeeee.” Duh). She asked me and a bunch of other runners if we would be interested in pledging a race or two to run in order to raise money for an organization called Save a Warrior.

Save a Warrior

Save a Warrior is an organization that provides a wellness retreat for veterans who have come back from war with combat-related post-traumatic stress. My friend and her husband attended a retreat after he came back from serving overseas, and they were struck by the organization’s work with Warriors.

I have pledged to run the Marine Corps Marathon Heritage Half (that’s 13 f***ing miles, people) in May of 2014 to support Save a Warrior. I am hoping to run other, smaller races before that too but right now that is my BIG pledge.  If I am pregnant and cannot run, my darling husband will run it in my stead. My goal is to raise my portion of the $10,000 donation we are looking to raise, which is $665.  If you would like to donate to our race pledge, please click the image below. It will take you to a gofundme.com site where you can donate directly to the cause.

Run for a Warrior

Whether you donate or not, please share this blog post or the Run for a Warrior Facebook page to spread the word about our race pledge and this wonderful organization. With your help, we can send 10 Warriors to Save a Warrior’s week long retreat!

Thanks, ya’ll. You rock my world.

I’ve been Boo’d

Not the kind of boo that Miley Cyrus would receive at a Republican National Committee meeting. More like a ghost-type boo.

The other night J and I were enjoying our nightly tv of New Girl, Modern Family, and Bones when all of a sudden our doorbell rang. You bet your ass I was as pissed as a witch in the rain. Who the fluck was ringing our doorbell at 9pm during the week? Our 2 year-old jet lagged daughter had just fallen asleep. J and I ran to that door faster than if our house was on fire. I was about to lay someone OUT.

But all that was at the door was this bucket:
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And then I felt like an a-hole for being mad in the first place.

We were so confused by what this was. I didn’t get it. There was a bucket with candy and some other stuff, but I didn’t know why we were given it or what we were supposed to do with it. After reading the enclosed paper (I’m seriously like a guy when it comes to directions…I never read them and if I do, I never read them through first) I figured out that it was a chain game in the neighborhood.

If you’ve never heard of this game, its called “You’ve been Boo’d.” Basically what happens is that someone in your neighborhood decides to make a Boo basket filled with treats. They drop it off at your house at night (ding and ditch style), and then you are instructed to make two baskets and drop them off at other neighbor’s houses. You are given a little sign that says “I’ve been boo’d” on your door so others know you already got a basket.

I thought this was a great idea. It seems so cute and a great way to get our little neighborhood of under 30 houses to come together as a community, especially with all the HOA crap we’ve been dealing with/fighting about for the past couple of months.

You are supposed to get the basket done in one day but since we live 20-30 minutes from the closest store, I decided to go with what I had. Here is what I included in our boo basket:

If I had more time I would have added more homemade stuff and maybe some seasonal beer. But they put me in a crunch with the time limit. Suckers.

I thought this was a fun game, and I can see it being used for other holidays too or in the workplace. Have you ever done a Boo basket before? What did you include?

I’m working hard on my new blog so hopefully that will be up with the new year. I know, it seems far away but its really not. This next weekend we have a beer festival, a bridal shower, and our first race. Then we have a Halloween party and the Ball. I’m busy people, SO LAY OFF.

Kidding. Please stay with me.

I’m totally like the owl.

The last time we talked about my broken uterus, I hadn’t decided what we were going to do about moving on past the third miscarriage- wait it out, take meds, or surgery. After 3 weeks of waiting…and waiting…and waiting…I finally went ahead with the surgery. I heard so many horror stories about take cytotec or misoprisotol that I didn’t want to do that.

The type of surgery (for all you non-loss peeps) was a D&C- dilation and cutterage. Basically they dilate you and then scrape out everything from you uterus. Your stupid, broken uterus. It sounds kind of painful but for me it really was fine. I went into the hospital for out-patient surgery. Fifty people came in asking me the same.exact.questions to basically say, “Ok, so you’re healthy” (except that I didn’t feel healthy because I’M HAVING MY THIRD MISCARRIAGE) and then they gave me some happy drugs and off to sleep I went until everything was over.

J was there with Starbucks in hand when I woke up. He’s amazing, I know. I had to pee in a bucket, literally, before we were discharged but that didn’t take too long with the apple juice and coffee I was drinking. I had to be at surgery at 6:15am and we were walking out of the hospital by 10am. Not too shabby.

The physical part of the surgery was fine. It wasn’t painful, I didn’t bleed very much at all (sorry if that’s TMI), and my doctors have been great. Emotionally, however, things were quite sucky there for awhile.

Since I felt fine physically, I thought I should be fine. I should act normal. Nothing was wrong because nothing hurt. But I was still sad. I was that we went through another miscarriage. I was sad that I can’t announce our pregnancy on Facebook. I was sad that any and all plans for another baby were put on hold once again.

After a few days and a few really big hugs from J and E, I felt better. After alot of pondering during my sleepless nights, I decided to take this opportunity of not creating a baby in my uterus to accomplish some goals of mine.

  1. Get fit- Through the three pregnancies and miscarriages, I let go of my personal fitness and healthy eating. First I’d be all like, “Oh I’m pregnant! I can eat what I want! And I shouldn’t run because I might shake the baby out.” Then I’d have a  miscarriage and I’d be all like, “Damn it, I’m going to eat what I want and watch The Kardashians instead.” Repeat that times 3. So with baby making on hold until we find out what’s going on with me, I decided to take the time to get back in shape. I’ve been doing pretty good with running, strength training, or yoga 6xs/week. Along with eating much healthier and not eating a ton of crap at night, I’ve already lost about 5 pounds. J and I even signed up for our first race together- the Marine Corps Marathon 10k!
  2. Start an at home business- Being a stay-at-home mom with a teaching degree, working from home is limited. But I still wanted to do something to keep my resume up to date, help socialize Evelyn, and generate some income for our family. So I decided to start a mom’s day out program where I will take a few kids three days a week to provide them with socialization in an academic environment. More kids = more fun! Or more gray hairs for me. All debatable.
  3. Go back to school- Yes, I already have a degree and a license in a particular field but finding jobs right now is impossible. I’ve always wanted to explore nursing and I feel that its more transferable then teaching. And since we move all the time, I need something that will be able to come with me. So grab your Dora backpack, we’re going back to school!

See, I’m totally like the owl.

I hope you stick around to see how this all pans out for me. I also have some really great home reveals coming up. Stick around. Its going to be pretty awesome.

Third time is *not* the charm

I’m sorry for my absence in both regular posts and meal planning these past two weeks but our family has been dealing with some, well, sh*tty news. We found out that we are going through our third, yes, THIRD miscarriage in a row. BLEGH.

I wrote an email to some of my family members to tell them about it because the phone call was too hard to make. And its still kind of hard to talk about now so I’m just going to basically relay to you what I told them. If you have just started following me and don’t know about my other two miscarriages, take a look here or just read below. Perhaps one day in the future I will talk more about how I’m feeling and everything, but right now I just don’t feel up to it all.  But I do feel like its important for women to feel like they can talk about their experiences, their hurt, and their losses together so I am sharing with the world what is going on with me. For some reason its reassuring to read other people’s stories if only to learn you’re not alone.

So here it goes….

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I am now considered “high risk” because we have hit that magic/awful number of three. Only 1% of women experience repeat or recurrent miscarriages (more than 3 in a row) and now I’m part of that 1%.

The first miscarriage was so early we didn’t even know we were pregnant yet. It happened on Christmas Day and we didn’t realize it was a miscarriage until we got back home  and I got a positive test. My doctor found this odd so we tested my HCG levels and they were dropping. The second miscarriage happened about 5 weeks after that at the end of February. That one was a little later, probably about 6 weeks. When I went to get a confirmation at the doctor’s it came back negative and I knew something was up. After quite a bit of pushing them to do something, they finally drew my levels and they were dropping again. At that point my doctor wasn’t worried. She thought they were both flukes and that maybe my body wasn’t ready so soon after the first miscarriage.

This last pregnancy has been the hardest because its been the longest. I am supposed to be about 8 weeks. We found out at the end of June and everything was going really smoothly (or maybe rough if you asked J- I was a little moody).  I had consistent symptoms and every home pregnancy test I took showed up right away and was really dark, so we were pretty confident things were going well. But we had our first ultrasound yesterday and immediately we knew something was wrong. Nothing came up on the screen. At this point, since my first positive test was a month ago, I knew we should see something but there was nothing there. No fetal pole, no yolk sac, nothing. It has been really, really hard these past couple of days because everything seemed to be going well. Its been a difficult time as you can probably imagine.

Since we  have had so many miscarriages in a row, the doctors think that it is more than just a random event. I got my levels drawn yesterday and I have to get them drawn again to see if they are going down. There are several different factors that can cause repeated miscarriages such as autoimmune diseases, chromosome abnormalities, uterine abnormalities, and low hormone levels. J and I are going to get blood tests done to check all these things. My doctor suspects that they are probably going to come back normal because E was such a textbook pregnancy and birth. She mentioned, and I have read, that 50%-70% of repeated miscarriages are never formally diagnosed with a specific issue.

In order to take precaution with the next pregnancy, whenever that may be and depending on the results of these tests, I will be taking progesterone supplements as well as baby aspirin. Right now we are playing a waiting game to see if I miscarry naturally again or if I need to take other measures such as medication or surgery. Since no baby grew at all and my body still hasn’t miscarried naturally, we are leaning towards surgery because there is a risk of infection. One other scary and fatal cause of nothing being seen at all in my uterus at the ultrasound is an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors don’t think its ectopic but they aren’t totally ruling it out.

So right now we are just waiting to get test results back and decide how we want things to proceed in terms of expanding our family. I will share as things progress.

We appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, good vibes, etc that you can send our way.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting me in all this craziness.

HUN: A Conflict of Interest

My latest article with HUN.  Please click the HUN button below to view the article in its enterity. Enjoy!

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When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, I didn’t think much of it. Then, at our Marine Corps Ball, my husband pointed out a Marine who had brought his boyfriend. I thought it was awesome. I thought how excited this Marine must be to finally be able to bring the person he loved to a wonderful night such as this instead of having to go alone. I also thought how brave he and his partner were for standing up for what they believed in when they undoubtedly knew people would be staring and whispering.

Marriage Equality

Let’s Get Physical, Physical!

I was going to put the video up to help you transport you back in time, but it is VERY different from what I remembered as a kid. All I remembered was Olivia Newton-John working out in some leotard. YouTube at your own discretion.

Man, don’t you just love this 80’s style and hair?! THE HAIR, PEOPLE. They got more dressed up to work out than I do when I go to Target. Because let’s be honest, the only thing I do besides laundry and cooking is go to Target. In fact, when E gets into the car she immediatley says, “Shopping?”

Ok, that’s not entirely true. Well, the “shopping” part is. But I actually do do (<–haha) other stuff besides laundry, cooking, and Target. And Starbucks. I WORK OUT.

If you are a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and/or a military spouse, you understand how hard it can be to find the time to stay fit. Its hard to do it at home because you have a million things to do plus at least one small person hanging on your leg or sitting on your hip (or both) at all times. And being a MilSpouse comes with all different sorts of challenges. Sometimes you don’t have anyone coming home at 5pm or on the weekends so you can run to the gym. The gyms on base oftentimes don’t offer childcare, and by the time you find a gym out in town that is affordable and not totally creepy you’ll probably PCS. Awesome.

When I moved to our current duty station, I wasn’t a mom. And I worked. Finding time to go to the gym was difficult (beacuse eating cookies while watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey is more fun) but not impossible. When I had E I was determined to not be one of “those” moms that totally throws any sort of physical fitness out the window. But even so, I gave myself a six week grace period because I had just pushed a baby out of my you know where and I was TIRED. And then J left for deployment. At that point, throwing everything out the window (except for the cookies) sounded like a great idea.

Over time, however, I started to feel like something was missing for me. I felt the need to pick up all that stuff I threw out the window and get back into some sort of workout routine. I didn’t know what to do though. For those of you that have been following me for awhile (stalkers) may remember this post where I was determined to stick to a tough workout routine while J was gone. That lasted all of 2 seconds- I couldn’t go to the gym on base because there was no childcare. I didn’t want to spend the money for a membership out in town because knowing myself, I wouldn’t actually go enough to make it worth the money. I needed some outside motivation but I didn’t know what to do.

Then God sent me a little angel. Well, lots of angels. More like warriors. With strollers. Stroller Warriors.

Heard of them? Thought you might have. That’s because our founder, Stephanie Gergahty, was selected at the Marine Corps Spouse of the Year for 2012 by Military Spouse Magazine. Hellllzzz Yea.

This is my story with Stroller Warriors (SW): My friend encouraged me to join a military wives running group. At first I was like, “Um, I don’t like to run.” Because I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Ok, so most of the time I don’t but we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyways, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I mean, these ladies all must be RUNNERS and I’m not a runner. I’m a walker. A yogi. A “watch a old Susan Summers workout VHS” type girl. Dudes, I don’t run. For pete’s sake, I was a CHEERLEADER in high school.

But I decided to go. What’s the worst that could happen? I would pass out and die? Maybe, but I was willing to try it.

My first run with SW sucked. It was cold, it was raining, and I was out of breath in the first 5 seconds. But hot damn those chicks were motivating. Some were out there pushing double-wide BOB strollers with PRESCHOOLERS. Others were wicked fast, and some were more my speed. Everyone that passed me (I’m pretty sure it was EVERYONE) kept saying, “Great job! Keep it up! Way to go!” and even though it sounds a little cheesy, it was super encouraging. It was awesome and for the first time in a LONG time, I knew I was going to actually continue with a group/routine.

SW

So here I am, one YEAR later and still running with SW. I did stop for awhile because E’s naps were during our run times and Lord knows I wasn’t messing with that. But once she went to one nap, it was on like Donky Kong. And I’ll be honest- I still don’t like running. I’d much rather be doing something a little less…exhausting. But these women are so great that I actually sacrifice my dislike for the sport just to hang out with them for a few hours each week. And, not surprisingly, I feel a lot better after the run and kicked-my-ass/my-armsbuttlegs-are-sore-for-the-next-8-days ground work we do each time.

Now, sadly, we are moving and the closest SW is kind of far. I’m hoping that I can do something to help set up a group closer to me though because this group is motivating. They are the reason I get my lazy azz out of bed on Tuesday and Fridays (and Sundays, on my own) to run. They push you to run harder, to run faster, and to be stronger. And occassionally they have run-free days with food, and that’s always a win. They are some BAMRs (Bad Ass Mother Runners) and I am so proud to have been part of this group if only for a little while.

SW Gear

E was munching on her recovery snack. She had a hard run…

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be talking about some workout routines I’ve found online that I have found really helpful just in case you don’t have an awesome group of BAMRs close by. I may or may not have some before and after pics to show you too. It depends on what my after pic looks like because my before is like…gross. I will also be discussing some diet changes that are easy to make and KEEP even if you are a MilSpouse. So stick around. Until then…….

**Images courtesy of Google Images and personal images from Stroller Warrior members. “Stroller Warriors” video courtesy of YouTube**

Empty Arms

Late last week my husband and I were talking about my absolute compulsion to take pregnancy tests. Honestly, I should be on that show, “My Strange Addiction.” I AM ONE OF THEM. Maybe not exactly the crazy chalk eating lady or the guy that is “married” to his life-like doll, but I’m bordering on that level.

People, I could be on TV. Even more famous than I already am. Move over, Kim K.

On a more serious note: Even though we want to give my body a rest from the past two miscarriages, I still have pregnancy on my brain. ALL. THE. TIME. I analyze and over-analyze-and then analyze again the next day- every little thing that is going on with my body. Most daily decisions I make are based on the *possibility* that I could be pregnant- do I have that glass (or 3) of wine, should I push myself for that extra mile run, should I really get an extra shot in my coffee, should I really being doing sit-ups and planks? AHHHHHH.

So J and I discussed it and its no way for me to live. For us to live. Pregnancy tests (even the dollar ones) get expensive when you take 4 in 10 days <—-truth. Its becoming a point of contention in our marriage because all I want to do is just take a quick test whereas he thinks I’m driving myself crazy by doing this. He also pointed out that even if the test is positive, I’m going to go crazy taking test after test after test just to *make sure* everything’s ok, probably until the baby pops out. Damn him and his rightness!

Seriously, though, he’s right. I’m driving myself BONKERS and him, too. Sometimes I forget that he’s just as anxious and worried as I am that maybe another child isn’t in the card for us. Sometimes I forget that there are two of us waiting for those two lines, not just me. Talking about it really helped, but it also brought up alot of emotions I didn’t really expect to feel.

I thought I was doing ok with these 2 miscarriages. I was heartbroken and I cried when they happened, but after a day or so I felt better and I felt as if I was moving on. We had alot going on this past month with house-hunting so even though I thought about the miscarriages it wasn’t to grieve. I would think of them in logical terms like, “Ok, it happened. Twice. That sucks but we’re moving on and you won’t do this, this, or this with the next pregnancy.”

In talking with J though, I started to get upset. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and my mind drifted to two little angel babies. They were wrapped in blue with their little angel wings. They were curled up next to each other, spooning, and I was holding both of them as I slept. Oh dear Lordy did I cry. I cried and cried and cried. I’m sure if the lights were on it would have been an ugly cry. I cried hard when I found out I was miscarrying and I cried hard when the miscarriage passed, but this was different. I was picturing these two squishy, innocent babies lying there with me but no one was there. My arms literally felt heavy and empty. I needed something to fill them so I did the absolute no-no in parenting- I woke up my sleeping child.

I just had to hold E. I needed to hold my baby, to see her sleeping peacefully and listen to her breathe. I wanted to feel her little squirms and remember her little baby cries. As I watched her I cried some more because I knew I wouldn’t see the faces of my two angels until I get to Heaven. I will never get to hold them. I will never get to hear their baby cries. For the first time I really felt as if I lost my babies not my pregnancies. My babies.

Days like that are hard, but I guess they’re necessary. Maybe it seems silly to some because both pregnancies were very early when I lost them, but to me they will always be my babies.

BAHH, I’m such a sap sometimes. Off to take another pregnancy test *skips happily away*

JUST KIDDING. But only because Aunt Flo arrived. Stupid dream crusher. Damn you, Aunt Flo, damn you *shakes fist at uterus*

The post that you may never see.

Except of you’re reading this you’re obviously seeing it. But as I sit here and type I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. I know I can’t right now. Its all too fresh.

This is going to be a long post so you better get a comfy seat and some snacks. You know how women get when they’re all sad and stuff- its all cry, cry, cry, and talk, talk, talk. And we might take a breath to eat a spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my and J’s journey up the fallopian tube river of trying to concieve. But God forgot/didn’t want to give us a paddle and now we’re swimming in some sh*tty creek. And now I’m part of some statistic that I never thought I’d be a part of: miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Three weeks after J had gotten back from deployment he left for a seven week course 3 hours away from home. Needless to say, the baby making time was minimal. When he got home at the end of October, it was on. But nothing happened. On Christmas Eve we flew across the country to spend the holidays with my family, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to tell everyone Christmas Day that we were pregnant. Our flight was at the azz crack of dawn so while J was packing up the car with my 32984934 bags (I’m a light packer) I decided to take a pregnancy test. I went to go put Evelyn in the car and planned to check it before we left. Well, I forgot. And I think God was looking out for me because it ended up being a good thing.

On Christmas Day I got a visitor: Aunt Flo. Again, I had no idea she was coming because she always shows up unexpectantly. Rude. So I chalked it up to not being pregnant and we went about our time with our family as usual. When we got back home from our visit, I felt kind of funny and I had some spotting (my “period” had stopped by then) so I took a test- positive! We were EXSTATIC. I texted my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting and we told my parents via Facetime by having Evelyn wear a big sister shirt. We wanted to keep it mostly to ourselves though until we had it confirmed. It was amazing and we were really happy it was finally happening.

The next day I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy so I could get a referral to OB. I told her about my period on Christmas and she seemed worried. We got my beta levels checked and sure enough, they were declining. That “period” that I thought had happened on Christmas Day was actually me miscarrying and the hormones were just still in my body. We were crushed. I cried alot over it and I couldn’t believe it had happened to me. I was angry and upset and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Oddly enough though, I was actually thankful that I didn’t know it was happening when it was happening. Igorance is bliss.

My nurse told me that since it was such an early miscarriage that we didn’t need to wait to try again. So I got my period about a week later and we were off and running to see what the furture held for us.

I wrote that post about trying to conceive on a Wednesday or Thursday. I hadn’t shared the miscarriage because I wasn’t sure I wanted to, and I felt alot better about it. That following Saturday I got another positive. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it! I was pregnant again ALREADY. We were so very happy that we were blessed with another chance. We felt confident and excited. We told my parents and a few close friends (because someone, achem, J, can’t keep anything exciting to himself!) but we still wanted to make sure things were going ok before we yelled it out to the world.

I went that Monday to get it confirmed. I had the same nurse as last time and I could tell as soon as she called me back that she thought I was some crazy lady who is making up my pregnancies. She said the urianalysis was negative. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I had taken 4 tests, all positive. Either she didn’t believe me or she didn’t care. She told me to come back in ten days to test again. I asked her for a blood test, to retest the urine sample, to come back later and she told me no. no. no. Come back in ten days. I walked out heartbroken and PISSED but I was still confident that I would come back in ten days and rub my positive pee stick all up in her face. Not literally. Only in my mind.

Well, about a week later I decided to be that crazy pregnant lady and take another test. It took FOREVER to come up and was super faint. I freaked. After taking 2 more tests that day, I felt a little better because they had gotten darker but I still knew something was up. So I called the next day to leave a message for my doctor. I went on a huge runaround with the nurses and receptionists (which I will explain at a later date if I ever post this), and I finally just went in. They didn’t want to draw my betas but finally I got the nurse to speak with my actual doctor and they ordered the blood test for me.

Anyone who has every had their betas drawn or anything other test done where you have to wait DAYS to get the results knows how much the wait sucks. I was nervous, anxious, I couldn’t sleep. My first beta came back low- 173. I knew this was bad, but I couldn’t help but hold out a tiny bit of hope. My second betas were worse- 149. So it was confirmed. I was miscarrying a second time, in a row, in 2.5 months.

Even though I knew it was happening after my first beta came back, I was crushed. I cried. Alot. For what seemed like an hour. How is this happening to me? FOR A SECOND TIME IN A ROW?! Why is this happening? We want this baby, we would love this baby. We want to give E a sibling, we want to expand our family. What did I do wrong? Is it me? Why is God letting this happen when all I’ve done is pray for this baby?

At this point, I feel like I am failing- my body is failing, I’m failing my husband, I’m failing E, I’m failing myself. I’m afraid it will never happen for us- that I will never be able to keep another pregnancy again. I’m afraid to try again because I’m afraid its going to fail. I don’t want to go through the emotional rollercoaster again.

I know others have it alot worse than us- they’ve had more losses, late losses, or aren’t able to get pregnant at all. And I know that it happens to alot of people, and many of those people go on to have successful pregnancies. One of my closest friends who has her unfair share of loss told me that when she was going through this she felt the same way, and she didn’t understand why it was happening. But now that she has her adorable child, she understands. I know hindsight is 20/20. But right now my vision is blurred by tears and fury.

We will keep trying. I don’t know when, but I know that my desire to have more children is stronger than my fear of miscarrying. I’m scared, I’m worried, and I hate that this is happening to our family. But I am also still confident in God’s plan for us. I don’t know the reason for this, and I may never know. Maybe He is testing me, trying to make me realize that He is in control. Maybe he wants me to have more time with E by herself. Maybe He has big plans for our next child, and it wasn’t their time to come into the world yet. I don’t know. I guess I have to trust Him. But its not easy right now.

A special thanks to everyone who has been there and supported me through this- my friends, my neighbors, my parents, my family. But a huge HUGE thank you to my husband. You have been unbelievably strong, supportive, confident, and loving in this very painful time for us. You have been my rock. You have given me your shoulder to cry on and you have literally held me up when I want to fall down and crumble. You are my everything and I love you with everything in my heart, soul, and being.

Please feel free to share your story below if you’d like. Please don’t feel as if you need to post condolences, that’s not what I wrote this for. Thanks for listening/reading.

Editor’s note (duh, I’m the editor): It has only been days since my second miscarriage happened. Not even a week. But after talking with J and with some friends, I decided I needed some closure. Another one of my friends (who reminded me that this is a perfect time to cherish what I have with E as an only child) reminded me that miscarriage and pregnancy loss is somewhat taboo- people don’t talk about it, and I think it needs to be talked about. The care I recieved from my medical team has been less than stellar and I know I’m not the only one. If anything, I hope that I can get people to realize that they should not be afraid to ask questions and push their care providers for the appropriate care. I think that in the military healthcare system, many women get pushed aside and they feel as if this isn’t a big deal because the doctors make them feel that way. But it is. You have lost a life, a child. Its heartbreaking and difficult. So if you’re reading this and going through something similiar, I hope it inspires you to get the care you deserve if you aren’t already getting it.

Home, Sweet Home: Wait, where is that exactly?

So Uncle Sam came a-knocking and finally told us a few weeks ago that we are PCS-ing (for those non-military, it actually means Permanant Change of Station. Or pack up you’re sh*t because we’re moving you). We are super excited about where we are moving to because we will finally be close to family, but with this being our first “real” PCS, its freaking scary.

First of all, we have a whole house full of stuff to pack and move. This time we are having packers and movers come because like hell if I’m packing up all this crap and then watching J and a bunch of his Marines scratch up my stuff while they load it. Again. So I’m pretty nervous about that because I’ve never done it before. I don’t know the procedures. And I hear if you’re not careful they’ll pack up your garbage!

Secondly, we are moving clear across the country. Granted its a place I’m pretty familiar with but we also have to do this with a 19-month old and a dog. We want to stop and visit some of J’s family that hasn’t met E yet, so we have to drive together at least part of the way. I’m trying to convince him to buy an RV so we can just hang out in the back while he drives, but he’s not taking the bait. Dang.

Thirdly, and probably the most-scariest (totally a term in this case) is that we are thinking of buying a house. Military families are constantly putting their lives on hold. For J’s whole career there will always be an impending move. But we also need to set down some roots. Its good for our family, and the Marine Corps is getting better at letting families do that by keeping them in once place for a longer tour. The area in which we are moving to is where we would like to be long term, too. We only have orders for a year but we are thinking we will end up staying for at least 3. Base housing is crazy difficult to get and for a house the same size as what we have now, or even a little smaller, we will be paying more than our BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). We are tired of throwing our money away on rent, we are financially sound, and we are ready to make a steady investment.

In beginning this journey, we have asked friends and family for advice and their experiences. Some things are the basic house buying procedures, but some things are great advice that we didn’t really think about. Here are some of the wise-words we’ve heard so far:

  • Speak with neighbors: don’t be afraid to knock on your potential neighbor’s doors and ask how they really feel about the neighborhood, area, and even other neighbors. They may give you some insight that no realtor ever could.
  • Check the neighborhood at different times during the day: sure it looks like Pleasantville at 2pm when everyone is at work or school. But drive around during the early morning, afternoons, and late evening to see how the neighborhood functions on a daily basis.
  • Drive to local stores and gas stations: you can really get a feel of the surrounding neighborhoods when you walk into the few places that everyone, no matter what, needs to visit on a regular basis.
  • Take your planned route to work during rush hour: commuting is a huge part of living in the suburbs. Can you deal with the drive or the ride day after day. After day. After day.
  • How marketable is it?: This is especially true for military families who often end up renting their houses out. Just because you can stand the 50 minute commute, will most people in your situation? Where is large city-center where most people are communting from? Is the space easy to fit different furniture?
  • How close it is to Starbucks and Target?: ok, so maybe that’s just for me…

I’ll be honest, not everyone thinks this is a good idea for us for different reasons- the length of time we have orders being the biggest one- but we are exploring our options at this point.  We understand that our family and friends are nervous for us. Its unpredictable. Its a scary thing. But its our thing. We aren’t doing it just because we think its time to buy a house. We aren’t doing it because its “the next step.” We are doing it because, right now, we feel like this is a smart decision and the best one for our family. Luckily, our family is wonderfully supportive and although they are relaying their cautionary tales to us, we know they will stand behind us in our final decision.

Do you have any thing you’ve learned from buying a home? Have you heard any advice from family and friends when you were going through the home searching and buying process? Leave a comment below!

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

My husband would be so proud that I’m using an 80’s soft-rock ballad right now. Don’t tell anyone I told you, but he’s a sucker for Michael Bolton and Whitney Houston. In fact, I think I’m getting him this for Christmas:

So anyways, back to the important things in life: me. I have been MIA lately. Its just been a combo of traveling, trying to get back into our routine, laziness, and “Gossip Girl.” I freaking love that show. Maybe because its about someone just like me, a famous and awesome blogger. Or maybe its because its like a bad car accident- the acting is ATROCIOUS and the story lines are totally out there but I just can’t freaking look away. I’ve only seen Seasons 1 and 2 SO DON’T RUIN IT FOR ME or else. I know where you live…

Ok, but seriously, I’ve been busy. I joined a running group (whoop, whoop Stroller Warriors!) that runs twice a week. They are kicking my butt but I love it. I’ve also started to get on a sewing kick thanks to my friend that became my “Gossip Girl” dealer. So with mommy group, running, and general baby/house/dog care I’ve been busy. Life of a stay at home mom, what can I say. Its awesome. But I still feel like I have 29834098325 things to do before J gets home and I don’t know how I’m going to do it all

See, I’m in this weird limbo phase. We’re over halfway done with the deployment and I always think, “Wow! Only x more months/weeks!” But then reality hits and I think, “Wow! Still x more months/weeks! I think I’ll sit on the couch and eat cake instead of cleaning the closet out.” Its hard to explain but I feel like I should be getting stuff prepared but then again its not really quite close enough to prepare. Its close but far.

I also have been having slight panic nesting attacks. Its like the end of pregnancy all over again. I want to clean every inch of the freaking house and redecorate/reorganize/redo every room and closet. Here’s the thing: these panic attacks happen at like 9pm. During the day I’m in lala-land saying, “Oh lalalala. So much time. I’ll do it lalala later.” And then E is in bed, I’m picking up around the house and I think, “I really should clean out that closet. And wipe down those drawers. And clean out the fridge. AND I HAVE TO DO IT NOW.”

I think military wives go through nesting on both sides of deployment, though. I know I did it before J left and right after he left. And then somewhere in the middle we let things go. And then the end is looming and that nesting instinct kicks back in. And then they get home and mess up every room in the house with all their CRAP. Seriously, its like they are trying to leave a trail of bread crumbs/dirty socks, shorts, camis, and gear back to Afghanistan but its all contained in our clean houses.  Awesome, thanks.

However, I do have my to-do list ready. And its like a mile long. Right now I am just thankful that I am lucky enough to have my husband be on the out and out. I thank God for keeping him safe and for helping me get through this deployment. Its been such an experience and I’ve made some AWESOME friends along the way. But now its time for me to nest. Peace peeps.