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 Two Week Wait


(DPTS stands for Days Past Trigger Shot)

The two week wait is what the TTC (Trying To Conceive) community uses to refer to the time between ovulation and the time when it’s okay to test to see if you have a BFP (Big Fat Positive) or a BFN (Big F***ing Negative). It’s the longest two weeks of life.

For us, it starts with a trip to a doctor so I can get probed (ultrasound to see if the fertility drugs they have me on are indeed causing my body to develop follicles for any baby to attach to properly) and a big OK from my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) to, as she so awkwardly puts it, “bring the love” for the next three days. That is, after I inject myself with a hormone that will ensure that I ovulate, and ovulate immediately.

The two week wait is a horrible, awful mind game.

After the “love” has been brought, I have to take an additional hormone medication to ensure that if I am pregnant I stay that way. Those two medications cause pregnancy symptoms all by themselves, mainly because if I had a “normal” body and/or pregnancy, these hormones would be created in the correct amount all on their own. I know what it feels like to be pregnant, I’ve been pregnant before THREE times. Those three times were without any medical help though, so I try to convince myself as my breasts swell, my moods bounce around, I get that uneasy feeling that makes me almost feel like I could yack, amongst other things… I try to convince myself that it’s all because this round worked. This round we got pregnant, I’m so sure.

I trick myself into thinking I’m pregnant. I realize I’m using the restroom more, but I do not take into account that I really have been drinking a lot more water than usual. Or I’ll find myself craving pickles and giggling as I eat one after the other, but really, I’ve always loved pickles. I’ll think “Wow! I really am so tired so early these days!” not thinking about how I’ve actually been staying up way later at night just to get through chapter after chapter in whatever book I’m reading. I trick myself into thinking I’m pregnant.

The day before test day I am a wreck. I get really emotional, and I try to think that it’s pregnancy hormones doing their dance… When deep down, I know that it’s just the good ol’ lady time trying to fight it’s way through. I know what it feels like to be pregnant, and again, this cycle just was not quite right. I get depressed, I get angry, I’m not pregnant, I know it, but I will test the next day just to be sure.

Then test day is finally here. I have to test on a particular time frame for two reasons. I cannot test before the two week mark because I could get a false positive (remember that injection I mentioned? Well, that causes an influx of HCG, the pregnancy hormone, to be in my system – and cause a false positive up to ten days after the injection). I have to test then to ensure that if I’m not pregnant, I stop taking the additional hormone medication they have me on because otherwise, said medication will prevent me from starting my next “lady time”. (SIDE NOTE: THIS cycle I tested throughout, trying to track when the shot was actually out of my system. AND boy, if day 12 after my trigger shot wasn’t a tease. – photo above)

I take the test and place it on the counter. Wait three minutes to look at it, I always tell myself. Sometimes I’ll distract myself, do whatever quick chore needs to be done. Other times I just stare at the test, watch as it processes. I imagine that second line appearing, and when just one is there, I feed myself a bunch of “it’s okay” statements when really, to me, it’s not at all okay.

I avoid telling my husband out loud. He knows it’s test day and he knows if it had been positive I would not be on the couch sulking. I want to send out a text “Still not pregnant! Happy?” to a few friends who I’ve felt have turned my infertility into a form of competition, one that they’re obviously winning against. I want to scream, put every annoyed parent in their place when their kid is simply being a kid, and punching every parent who would rather pretend their child does not crave their love and support and chooses to ignore them anyway, I want throw a chair at every woman who complains about how awful it is to be pregnant. I do not do any of that, but sometimes it can be extremely difficult not to. I throw a dirty look their way, that’s about as far as it gets.

Now begins a grieving process. I throw myself into misery and self loathing. You’re not pregnant, but if you were, who’s to say you would not miscarry it too?! I remind myself of all the things I’m not good at. I remind myself of all the things I cannot do. I try to fight through it, I swear I do.

I’ve been pregnant three times, all three ended in miscarriage. Monitor my cycles, give me fertility drugs proven to work, have the RE tell me how good they feel about this cycle (even though they said that four cycles ago), I will not get pregnant.

The two week wait is over, my home pregnancy test is negative. I’m grieving a pregnancy I never had, as well as the three that I lost. I still hang on to hope for a few more days. I stop taking the additional hormone medication, but hope that my “lady time” will not come. I hope that my HCG levels were simply not enough for the test to detect yet. IT WAS TOO SOON I tell myself, THERE’S STILL HOPE FOR THIS CYCLE! Those cramps must be my uterus stretching, not the inevitable approach of CYCLE DAY ONE!

Yet, Cycle Day One bears it’s ugly head. For women like me, who have miscarried, I think it’s traumatic on it’s own for many reasons. Fight through it, there are calls to be made. I have to call a mail pharmacy because the injection drug is not carried anywhere local and has to be shipped to me. I have to call my RE to report I am, indeed, not pregnant in the slightest. The nurse at the RE sends in a refill for the prescription of the other drug that is suppose to make those follicles mature quickly, and then refers me back to the probe lady so I can go on Cycle Day 3, and again on Cycle Day 10 (the usual start day of the Two Week Wait).

It’s a vicious, heartbreaking cycle.

I have a medical condition that makes this cycle REQUIRED, just to clarify. A pituitary tumor, a micro edema, that they (those medical studying folks) know so little about. I do have to worry. I do not have a lot of time to satisfy the 1.5 children quota of the typical American family. Because of my pituitary tumor, I could hit early menopause, and I could hit it SOON. Any hope and chance of having the word “mother” be an adjective for me; GONE. DON’T WORRY, they say. Easier said than done.

Today 125,000 abortions will be done, 360,000 births will be delivered, and somewhere maybe 360,000 women (or probably more, because some of them will have abortions) will discover that they are pregnant. (P.S. Don’t take this as a pro choice or pro life argument, because it’s not. I’m just regurgitating actual facts for the sake of it)

Today, for me, the two week wait ended.

I’m still not pregnant.

What I meant to say was…

Over the past weekend Steven and I attended a “marriage retreat.” It’s a paid weekend off post, in our case Kansas City, where you attend a few seminars on having strong bonds and have time to do fun activities the rest of the time. Going into the weekend, I figured it was going to be somewhat preachy, some gobbledy-gook “here’s what would happen in a perfect world” kind of thing. For a two night stay and five meals paid, I did not think it would be a horrible trade off though. I was excited to spend time away with Steven as well as be back in Kansas City!

I never sleep well in hotels, especially if the beds are not as soft as I would like. The first night (and the second, for that matter) I woke up with the slightest sound and did not get the rest that I might have needed. I drank three cups of coffee the next morning with breakfast, and that was two cups too many. We split into groups, the service members on one side of the room, and their spouses on the other. We were going through questions having to do with deployments, how we spoke to one another about them and what happened during them, both while they’re happening and now that they’re all home. The day before when we took the introvert/extrovert quiz, my test results were 7 introvert answers and 7 extrovert answers. I’ve never been one to really speak up in classroom set ups, it’s the introvert in me. However, since we were all a group of wives with similar life experiences, I was trying my best to be an active participant.

How do you feel your relationship has grown (since their return home)?

The other wives talked about how their relationships are always growing, how they learn with their spouses and about their spouses every single day. I believe that to be true about my husband and myself. This question hit a tender spot in my heart, though. This year, instead of having a new years resolution, I had a word of the year for myself to focus on: GROW. The first ten days of this year I was pregnant; my belly was going to grow, our family was going to grow, myself as a mother was going to grow. Instead, after now two miscarriages, I’ve had to grow as a human being and fight for my positive attitude in times of utter defeat.

There I was, apart of the two couples without kids out of the 18 total couples, over caffeinated with very little quality rest. When I spoke up I got unexpectedly emotional. I said my husband and I have grown since his return from deployment because we have had to go through some hard battles here at home too. I cried a few tears with a very shaky voice. I think what I said was quick but thinking back on it, it felt like I went on longer than I needed to – without even addressing the question. I was so embarrassed after that. I will probably cringe about it for a long time, really.

Not like any of the wives will read this, but I needed to put this out there for myself. What I meant to say was, my husband and I have grown immensely in the last year. During deployment, he was over there dealing with a ton of stress and danger, all while being in a place that was so completely different than what he was used to. I was back home, in a place we had just barely moved to, miles and miles away from friends and family back home, and learning and dealing with some weird medical conditions of my own. During a deployment, you do not communicate as well with your spouse like you normally would. You protect them from any burden happening on your end of the world, you keep it to yourself, you learn to become strong in a way that civilian relationships don’t. When they get back, that’s when you get filled in, and it can be a lot to take in at times. You are forced to grow, and reconnect, learn each others schedules and lives all over again – it can be fun, but it can be stressful. Steven came home from deployment earlier than the majority of the other spouses at our retreat. Shortly after he got home, we were pregnant, and it was something we had been wanting for over two years at the time. Two months after that, I had a miscarriage. When we were starting to get positive again, we suffered another. With deployment and with miscarriage, they are not something that ends and you just get over. It takes time to get back to who you were.

With infertility issues there can be a lot of miscommunication, or lack of communication at all. Trying to fight infertility can take away from intimacy in a big way. When it comes to military situations, I think there’s a pretty good community of people and support to take care of yourself and get what you need. When it comes to infertility situations, there’s not that community and support, and we’ve had to lean on one another above everything. We have been put in two not-so-normal situations that force you to get thicker skin, get in there and fight those battles, and you can only hope to come out on top, but there’s so much not knowing at the same time.

We’ve grown as a couple because we have learned how to be strong on our own, but at the same time, to be strong for the other person. We have fought our way through times apart and learned how to be so thankful and appreciative during those times that we are together. No matter what the situation, we will always experience them differently, but it is up to us to communicate and to understand one another and offer support when it is needed. Excuse the corny Army related lingo statement, but Steven has been the best battle buddy I could have ever asked for. We’ve made it through some pretty hard battles, and I could not have done it without his continuous love and support.

I guess the biggest lesson I took away from the marriage retreat focused around (my year of the word:) Grow. It’s important that you grow and that you develop, not just as a person but as a couple. It’s also important that you, as a spouse, support the growth of your husband or wife as you both learn and do new things. You two are the foundation of the relationship, where it began, and where it grows, and that is just as crucial as what you have grown to be. A mediocre metaphor, my apologies.

If you are a military spouse, a highly recommend attending a marriage retreat if and when you can. It was not life changing, but it was helpful. There’s nothing wrong with getting a new perspective on something you know well.

My First Tattoo

Last month I got my first tattoo. I feel like many people my age (28) have AT LEAST one. I had not got one YET because I did not know of anything I would want on myself forever. I knew before I ever got a tattoo, it would have to really mean something to me.


The first photo taken of my tattoo, a good 30 minutes after it was done!

When I was starting to emotionally recover from my first known miscarriage, I started to like the idea of getting a tattoo to remember our lost baby. In March I came across the semi colon tattoo, which is more often used for self harm and depression awareness and recovery. However, I liked the message and since I have a degree in English, I found it fitting. When we suffered a second miscarriage in May, I started playing with the ideas of what I wanted to get.

I started drawing what I thought I might like on my wrist. I would mess with the size, colors, and variations. I knew I wanted it simple, not just because that’s all I could practice with, but because there was no need to complicate the meaning.

I decided on a semi colon because it means that you have the ability to stop, but you make the choice to keep going. Alongside it, the infertility & pregnancy loss awareness ribbon to symbolize that we will not forget what we have been through and we will never forget our babies that we never got to hold. Steven also pointed out that if you look at it just right, it makes a happy face. It will remind me to always look for the happy in every situation!

I got my tattoo a few days after the due date of our first pregnancy. I figured if the tattoo was going to hurt, it would have hurt a lot less than labor and delivery would, and it would hurt less than what we have been through physically and emotionally because of the loss. It only took a few short minutes and it will be with me forever.

I wish I never had to experience what inspired the tattoo and had my child with me instead, but this is a tattoo I will never regret.

What to say when You Don’t Know what to Say

Something bad has happened. Not to you but to a friend, family member, co-worker, or whomever. You want to reach out, but what do you say? What do you do? What can you do to let the person know you are there for them? It’s such a unnecessarily touchy subject. I think the best way to answer any and all of those questions is actually pretty easy: BE GENUINE.

Especially in this day and age, we make light of sad times unintentionally. When a friend’s loved one dies or whatever the situation may be, it’s so easy to reach to phrases such as “everything happens for a reason” or “they are in a better place.” It’s like a way of censoring yourself, those phrases have become “politically correct” because everyone has said them for a very long time. Please stop with those phrases. Those phrases help YOU think you are saying the right thing, but they do not necessarily helping the person you are saying them to.

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I have struggled to cope with my miscarriages. I knew I had two, and recently realized before I was ever treated for my pituitary tumor, I most likely had my first. In December, we announced we were finally pregnant and got so much support. When we announced we had lost the pregnancy in January, everyone fell off the map. I think, in our situation, although preparing to be a first time parent can be nerve wracking and all help can be good help, we could have used the support MORE when we found out we lost the pregnancy. It has been an extremely lonely time. For me, I felt rejected by friends and family (see my post: This was Written in Anger). I felt like they did not care about me. I felt like they dismissed my pain (both physical and emotional) like both my baby and I never mattered. Often, I still feel like this, even though in most cases, it’s not true. Something came to life and then died inside of me, both physically and emotionally. I’m led to believe that It would be better if I did not talk about it, just in case I might offend someone. If I do talk about it, it should probably just be to support groups of STRANGERS online who have been through the same thing, not to actual people I LOVE and know me personally. Twisted, isn’t it?

I’ve been on the other side many times. Miscarriage happens to 1 in 4 women, it would be pretty unusual to not know at least one person who has experienced it. A beautiful cousin of mine, who has since had some of the most polite, smart, and well-mannered children to ever be brought to the Earth, was the first person I knew to have a miscarriage. I was thirteen I think, or somewhere around there. It was a very happy family event and everyone was having a great time. I went to take a bathroom break, and inside the bathroom was my cousin and a few surrounding her, consoling her. She was in tears and I remember stopping cold, shocked not just because she is usually such a happy and positive person, but I also did not know what to say when they told me why she was so upset. I don’t know if I said anything at all. For that, I’m sorry.

If you do not know what to say, and do not want to say anything wrong, I hope these few suggestions help. This isn’t an exact science, this is not at all correct for all people or all situations. This is what I wish people had done for me.

A few quick and easy DON’Ts:

Everything happens for a reason – what reason do you think my baby had to die? Yes, the majority of miscarriages occur because of natural selection (your body knows something is wrong with the fetus and spontaneously aborts it). However, sometimes (like in my case) it’s something wrong with my body and the way it processes hormone imbalances that causes the miscarriage to occur. Either way, it’s not as comforting of a thing to hear as you may think.
God needed another Angel – an easy thing to say when God didn’t ask you for yours
Anything starting with “At least you didn’t-“ – lose it later in the pregnancy? Know the sex of the baby? Go the entire pregnancy to have a stillbirth? Yes, at least those things did not happen. Don’t bring them up. Even if those things had happened, I would probably still feel the same.
It is all in God’s plan – maybe this works for someone really religious, but I think it’s safe to say you should steer clear of it regardless. It’s like saying God wanted you to be in pain, learn some horrible life lesson, etc.
ANYTHING about how much you consider changing diapers/sleepless nights/etc a pain. We would gladly do it if given the chance, and you now look like an ungrateful asshole.
Here’s a great infertility/miscarriage article – I’m aware of my battle. I do a lot of my own research as well as see TRAINED PROFESSIONALS about my specific case regularly. I live it everyday. Please realize that you offering me an article like that would be the same as me sending you an article on how to be a better parent. It’s kind of insulting.
“If it makes you feel any better, I had to go through this bad thing” – 1. You are diminishing my situation & 2. Anyone who says, “Yes that does make me feel better that you had a horrible time” is a complete jerk. 3. Life is not a competition and certainly not a competition to see who can do worse.
“So & So suffered with infertility/miscarriage and now they have three healthy children” – Good for them, but just because So & So beat the battle, it does not mean that I will. Not everyone is so lucky.
You will have a baby one day – No, I might not. There is no guarantee my situation will be solved. Yes, “At least” I can get pregnant, but that does not mean that I can have a healthy baby.
There’s always IVF/Adoption/etc. Yes, there is and for a large price tag that you are probably unaware of. The average cost of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is $12,400 whether it works or not. The average cost of a domestic adoption in the United States ranges anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.

AND now for the GENUINE responses that I wish we had gotten; The please Do’s:

“I’m so sorry for your loss” – It’s simple and to the point. It lets me know you were thinking of us and our situation, and that means a lot.

“I’m coming over. I’m bringing food. I will sit with you if you want me to, if not I understand” – There were a lot of times that I did not want to talk, but having a friend or family member there to just sit with, would have been nice. When I lost my “first” pregnancy, the initial day was the worst day of my life, going through labor at only 11 weeks pregnant is not at all pleasant – both physically and emotionally. It took me a little over a week to recover physically from it. Emotionally, I may never recover completely. Depression is no different than being sick, you do not have the strength or energy to do anything. A little help would’ve been amazing, and definitely never forgotten.

“Talk to me about it” & MEAN IT. & then, most importantly, LISTEN.
There were few that actually cared to listen to me when I needed to talk about our miscarriages. I get it, it makes people uncomfortable. BUT at the same time, I’m unconformable. I’m depressed. I’m broken. My child and my hopes and dreams for them DIED. I talked a lot and then it was met with a “oh, that’s terrible” and then the subject was changed. Or I talked and and my situation was compared to something else not the same. I need to talk about what happened to me and my baby to help me heal, to help me find peace. Belittling the situation is not helpful and it really hinders the process.

“I was going to do this today, would you like to come along?” We might talk about it, we might not. But letting me know you want to be around me even though I am having a hard time, or even that I might decline, still means so much.

Still don’t know what to say? They hire people to make cards that do.

When we felt it was time to announce our loss, we did so on Facebook (minus our parents) instead of calling everyone individually (hopefully, for obvious reasons). That’s how the majority of people found out, I’m sure. We got a few responses here and there, and those meant a lot to us. A lot of people sent their condolences to my parents, not to me directly. I was not even made aware of this either, until telling my parents I felt like I was alone and no one cared MONTHS later. I do not know who said what, how they felt, etc, I wish they had told me. It didn’t happen to my parents. It happened to us.

In February, maybe a whole month after our first known miscarriage, we ran into one of Steven’s friends and co-workers. I had met the guy once before and only briefly. Although it was kind of awkward, not going to lie, he gave me the “I’m so sorry” look and gave my shoulder a squeeze. It meant a lot to me.

We received one card after our first known miscarriage. It was from the head of Steven’s company’s FRG, she was new, and we had never met her in person. The card said a lot of touching and prevalent things that were extremely comforting and thoughtful. It’s the only card we have received throughout the entire time about the matter.

I was told I was a bad friend for not wanting to know about friends’ pregnancies. However, those friends were not bad friends because they did not want to know what I was going through because of my miscarriage? (See my post, Words Begging with G) First, that’s completely unfair. It’s not that I did not want to know, it’s that knowing was a reminder of what was taken from me. There are milestones they got to have and will continue to have, that I never will with my baby. I did not know if any of my babies were going to be a boy or a girl, no baby shower for them, no celebration of my baby’s upcoming arrival and certainly not of their BIRTH. They were too busy being happy to be bothered with my sadness, and vice versa, I was too depressed to have the reminder of a happy, healthy pregnancy. Neither is wrong necessarily. I do beg to anyone who is pregnant, and your friend loses their pregnancy, DO NOT say “If your baby had lived, what were you going to name it because I don’t want to take your name.” I was asked that. In all honesty, I’m jealous of my pregnant friends and those who just gave birth to healthy babies. I think my reasoning is totally understandable. So pregnant ladies, please just be mindful of how you say or ask things. You’re experiencing something I was denied.

I really hope this does not come off as me trying to being cruel. I’m just being truthful. I’ve been on both sides of not knowing what to say and also wishing someone would say SOMETHING at all. I realize there can be a lot of miscommunication and bad interpretations of what people say and what they mean. I get it. I’m just trying to say that tough times can be painfully lonely.

I’m trying to bring awareness.

I’m trying to support SYMPATHY & EMPATHY alike.

Loss is never easy, no matter how long or short the person was known.

It’s not always easy knowing what to say, but as much as the thought counts, it’s important that you tell or show the person there is a thought there at all. Don’t just pray for somebody, tell them you are praying for them. Don’t discuss your sadness with people outside of the situation, discuss it TO the person it happened to. Where words fail, touch can speak for you. When all else fails, there are many locations to buy cards.

If you are a loved one who has spoken to me about our situation, I appreciate it more than you will ever know, and I am so thankful for your support. I think it’s also important for me to say that if you are a loved one of mine who didn’t say anything to me, I understand why, I just wish you would. In times of happiness, support is nice. In times of sadness, support is what gets us through it.

If you were here…

If you were here I would be the happiest mother there ever was. I would hold you close and be sure to let you know that you were safe and protected. I would memorize all your tiny features, trying to remember them before they grew too fast. I would sing to soothe you when you were upset, or to make you laugh and dance. I would read to you all my favorite stories, hoping you would grow to love literature as much as your momma. I would have daddy play the guitar for you so you would be just as passionate about music as we are. Daddy would teach you so many things, even some things he probably shouldn’t. For your naps, daddy would be your big teddy bear to sleep beside you. We would tell you that we love you so much and so often that “love” just might have been your first word.

If you were here you would have an official name. If you were a boy, you would have been named after your daddy, and his dad before him. If you were a girl, well, we probably would still be debating it, but your middle name would have come from your great grandmother on your momma’s side. If you were here, we may have changed our mind entirely, and named you something completely different to suit your laugh and your smile. We named you Avery, a unisex name because we did not know what you would have been. We were so excited to find out, but you left us a few weeks short of us being sure. Avery means noble, which we are sure you are. It also means blonde ruler, which is showing just how much momma was hoping you would have taken after your daddy.

If you were here, maybe your grandparents would be too, and our friends who are now like family. Your grandpas would probably boast about how awesome and amazing you are, just like them, all while your grandmas cooed and smiled for you. Instead, family and friends are across the country at home in California. They do not talk with us about you much, not because they do not care, but because they think it will hurt your daddy and momma. I hope they think of you just the same though as if you were here: fondly and with love.

If you were here we may not have known quite what to do every time something was wrong. We might not know what to say right away to make the bad okay again. In daddy’s case, it may have taken several tries to get your diaper on just right. If you were here, I hope you know we would have tried our best each and every time.

If you were here, we would have never known the hurt and heartache it was to lose you. We would have been so thankful, but somehow, we may have taken for granted how lucky we were to have you in our arms.

Today we expected you to be here with us. It was your day to be due for entrance into the world. It was the day you were supposed to have been born.

But you are not here. You are there, wherever there is. I hope that there you are happy, healthy, and know how much you are loved. We wanted you so much. We want you still. We hope that one day we can meet you, and memorize all your features, hold you close and tell you all the stories we have been holding inside.

Daddy and Momma love you, Avery. Please watch over your sibling for us until we can all be together again. ♥

100 Happy Days ♥ Days 91 through 100!

It has been over a month since I completed the #100HAPPYdays challenge and my apologies for posting it so late. On 100HappyDays.com the creator claims that 71% of people who start the challenge will not complete it, claiming lack of time as the reason why. I am apart of the 29% who managed to complete it! I started this challenge in attempts to mentally recover from having a miscarriage after battling infertility for two years. Halfway through, on Day 50 strangely enough, I suffered from a second miscarriage. I originally posted on Instagram that I would restart the challenge a week or so later, but I quickly went back on that, and continued on. The challenge is about finding happiness in your day, no matter HOW bad your day may be. Did I have time to be happy every single day? Not necessarily. I MADE TIME.

100 Happy Days, Days 1 – 10 & 11 – 20 & 21 – 30 & 31 – 40 & 41 – 50 & 51 – 60 & 61 – 70 & 71 – 80 & 81 – 90

On 100HappyDays.com there are claims that people who had completed the challenge benefited from some positive effects including: being in a better mood every day, they started receiving more compliments from other people, they realized how lucky they are to have the life they have, they become more optimistic, and they fall in love during the challenge. I suppose to each their own, especially when things going on your life can hinder or improve happiness. I would not say I was in a better mood BECAUSE of the challenge, but had a better attitude about the day when looking back on the photos of what made me happy that day. I would not say I necessarily received more compliments, but was better at accepting the ones I did receive. I have never been one to take life for granted and every day I’m thankful for the opportunities my husband and I have been given. I would definitely not say I became more optimistic, however, that was because of my situation and what it means to me. As far as falling in love during the challenge, I fall in love with my husband every single day. I think the “falling in love” benefit the website lists is more of a falling in love with life and happiness, rather than a person.

Monday, June 30th 2014

The day before my parents arrived for a visit I finished a few projects I had around the house, cleaned up the place, and washed all the laundry. I felt accomplished!

Tuesday, July 1st 2014

My parents made it to our house just in time for dinner. I made buffalo cauliflower (I HIGHLY recommend! My favorite recipe is from PersnicketyPlates.com) and Steven made a homemade pizza!

Wednesday, July 2nd 2014

For the FMSphotoaday challenge, the prompt was something beginning with K, so I took a photo of my Kodak camera! It was a day of taking mental images as my parents and I caught up!

Thursday, July 3rd 2014

Steven got off early from work so we drove to Manhattan, Kansas, and showed my parents around our favorite spots! We discovered Chris Barr’s Cabin in the process. It was found inside a home when it was torn down, and is believed to have been apart of the Underground Railroad!

Friday, July 4th 2014

Since fireworks are not allowed on post, we took it easy for the Fourth of July this year. We ate a big dinner and took my parents on a nearby hike along the river! When we made it back on post, it was perfect timing to sit up on the hill and look down to a nearby town and watch all the fireworks go off.

Saturday, July 5th 2014

Steven and my dad went fishing and my mom and I went to my favorite thrift stores! I found this Steve Urkel doll and could not help but take a photo or two of it. The TGIF television line up holds a lot of fond memories for me!

Sunday, July 6th 2014

There was a huge heatwave and it prevented us from wanting to do much at all! Temperatures were in the high 90s to 100s and the humidity way too high for our blood. We drove around Milford Lake and came across the discovery center and fish hatchery there. This little piggy in a tree near there was too happy not to capture.

Monday, July 7th 2014

The weather was a bit cooler than it had been over the weekend, so the boys attempted to go fishing again. My mother and I went off post to some thrift stores, most of which were closed for the four day weekend. We did manage to find an open cupcake shop though!

Tuesday, July 8th 2014

My parents left that morning to travel a bit more before returning home to California. Kansas was back to being the state of Steven and Kristen.

Wednesday, July 9th 2014

I decided to leave the #100HappyDays photo challenge exactly the way I came into it: with a selfie! It’s up to me whether I choose to be happy or not. I have to be the one to fight for my happiness.

Was I happy for 100 days?! No.
Was I able to find something happy in every single day? Yes.
The #100HappyDays challenge showed me that happiness is a journey NOT a destination. You have to enjoy the journey, look for the good when you hit those bumps in the road. Looking over everyone who has taken part of the challenge, it also shows that the journey can be harder for some people. It’s easy to be thrown off course, and to be honest, I got back into a bad place after the 100 days was over. It’s really easy for people on the outside to throw out a “just be happy” or “choose happiness” when it’s not that easy.

I did it! I made it to 100 days! I recommend it. There’s so much good that can happen spiritually and emotionally from looking for the HAPPY in each and every day!

Can you find the happy for 100 days?