Release

There is a new and painful awareness of time once you have a miscarriage. There are a lot of “this would have been the day that” that occurs in my mind and heart.

The past few weeks there have been a handful of those days. The year anniversary of our first doctor’s appointment where my husband got to see our baby’s heart beat, a few days later when I miscarried, and then a week later, our second known pregnancy’s due date.

The year anniversary of my miscarriage landed on a Sunday. My husband and I were in Manhattan running a few errands. My husband and I have always been on the same wavelength, usually having a pretty good idea of what the other is thinking. Ever since our infertility journey has begun, I feel there’s so much we know already without even having to say it. That day was no different.

“Where to next?”
“Can we get a balloon?”

We picked out a balloon in the shape of and with the pattern of a snowflake. We took it to an overlook that’s right on Top of The World Dr.

We didn’t say much. Everything we could have said we’ve already said a million times over. We miss you. We love you. We wanted you here with us.

It was not all that cold that day (mid to high 40s), unless the wind was blowing. At the top of Top of the World Dr., the wind was bone chilling. I untied the balloon from it’s clip and released it. It was quickly swept away, dancing over the hills.

It’s a lot easier to release a balloon than to lose a pregnancy. Watching it get smaller and smaller, being carried away farther and farther, I could not help from thinking how heartbreakingly metaphorical the moment was. I would never hold the balloon again. I would never have my baby back.

I looked back to see where we had parked, trying to determine if I could watch the balloon travel from the warmth of the car. When I looked back, I could not find the balloon in the sky again. Steven tried to help point it out to me, but no luck. It was gone.

I do not know why I wanted to do a balloon release, really. It was a testament to what we once had, a loving memory, and the strength that we had to get through it. It did not make me feel better, not in the way that maybe I thought it would have. It did not make me feel worse, though, and maybe that’s why it’s a “release” after all. I will never get over our losses. I’m not going to ever shrug it off and say “oh well, we can just have another.” I wanted those pregnancies, I wanted those babies. I do not believe in the afterlife, heaven, or any God, but that moment in time, I felt connected to those pregnancies again.

For a brief period of time the “this would have been the day that” did not sting as much.

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The long road to California

Back in November my husband and I drove from North East Kansas all the way to central California. It took us 25 hours straight. A very long 25 hours.

There was a lot of excitement and anxiousness attached to our trip MAINLY because only about three people knew we were on our way to California. Our intentions were to just show up on Thanksgiving to our family’s dinners and take them by surprise.

We started driving sometime after midnight and made it all the way to Denver, Colorado, just as the sun was starting to come up. The one and only time we hit snow was in Wyoming. It was all over the mountains in Utah though.


Luckily, there was no snow on the freeways!


The Salt Lake flats ♥

We took turns driving and for the most part, it was a pretty easy trip. We got to Nevada right after the sun had set. We got to Reno, Nevada, when I learned a very humorous (now, but not at the time) lesson. I wanted to pick out healthy snacks for us on our drive, so when I ate almost an entire bag of dried fruit to myself, I gave myself a pat on the back. Turns out though, dried fruit have a WHOLE LOT of fiber in them. Snack wisely, my friends! Especially if you have at least another four hours of your road trip left.


BUT we made it!

We “hid out” at my very gracious friend, Heather’s house for a few days. When Thanksgiving morning rolled around, we drove up the hill to Steven’s grandparents house. There’s a gate at their property and Steven’s mom heard it, came running at us full force in excitement. When we headed to my Aunt Linda’s house for my family’s dinner, we made it before my parents did. We stayed in a back room while they came in for a few minutes but jumped into the crowd of my cousins who were greeting them. My mom looked right at me but it took a few moments to register who I was, and my dad did the same thing to Steven. If you’re reading this Brittany, you were the first one to figure out our surprise! ♥

I think being home for Thanksgiving made us holiday confused. It was like Christmas had already happened for us.

I tagged along with my cousin Brittany to Sacramento State University, where I graduated from, and she’s currently attending. I went to all my favorite spots on campus, even got to sit in on one of Brittany’s classes, and had a wonderful visit with one of my very favorite professors, Professor Gieger. Turns out he had been visiting Manhattan, Kansas, just the last summer!

Sacramento was GORGEOUS (like always). Fall is my absolute favorite season because it’s in the 60s (but ask any Californian and that is their “Freezing”) and everything is so colorful!


We played tourist in our own hometown.


& No trip home is complete without a trip to the city.


the most fun tourist traps, collection of souvenirs, and delicious food!


We will return for our hearts some day.

Our trip home was the fastest two weeks of my life. We did not get to see everyone we hoped to see and we did not get to do everything we wanted to, but we did eat a lot of good food! My scale will tell you I ate at least 7 pounds worth (oops! BUT totally worth it). I did not take nearly enough photos, either. I was definitely too busy enjoying everything to pull out my camera, but I’m kind of disappointed that I did not snap more photos of the faces I miss so very much!

We learned our lesson with taking a 25 hour drive and knew we wanted to do something different for the drive back to Kansas. We also wanted to avoid all the bad weather, so we took the Southern route, which is a bit longer. We drove straight through to Albuquerque, and couldn’t help but be complete Breaking Bad fans.


Walter White had decorated for Christmas!


Tuco’s hideout is actually Java Joes, and they make delicious coffee!


& We stopped at The Candy Lady, the store that provided all the prop meth for Breaking Bad.


The Southern route just isn’t as pretty as the Northern.

Hopefully our next trip home will not be so far off as this last one had been. We had been away for 20 months, and that was just too long!

Until next time! ♥