Pregnancy · pregnancy loss

To have truly loved and lost

This time of the year is supposed to be a special time for mothers and mothers to be.  it’s a time that loved ones recognize all that you do, have done and will do.  Mother’s day is a reminder to celebrate your mom and tell her that you love her a little extra on this day.  For a period of time I hated this holiday.  Not cause I hate my mother (well, that’s for a different post) but because it reminded me that I wasn’t a mother.

In January 2008 I was a mess.  21 years old living in York County, PA.  Drank like it was no ones business and was dating a not so good guy.  That month I lost an Uncle, a good friend to drunk driving and found out I was pregnant.  Abortion was not the option for me, I decided I was going to raise this child and turn my life around. And that is exactly what I started to do.  I dumped my boyfriend, got a job as a claims clerical clerk and I began turning my studio apartment into a room fit for a prince.  Yes, my prince.  His name was Jaiden.  And I felt like I knew him before I met him.  I knew that he loved listening to my 80’s playlist first thing in the morning we got ready for work. We loved eating cinnamon raisin bagels as we got to work.  3pm was always lunch time and he would not let me go late.  Always kicking me at that exact moment.  And when ever I was upset he would almost caress me from the inside to remind me that he would never hurt me.  That is how I got through the summer of 2008, just me and my baby boy (who I thought was a girl for the LONGEST time until I saw that boy part).  Just when I got to a point where I have done a complete 180 on my life, my life changed.  It was September 15th.  I woke up like I did every day, played my 80’s music, got my bagel and began work.  It was a Monday and we were dealing with Hurricane Ike claims so we were busy here at work.  Before I even noticed it was 3:30 pm and I had missed my lunch.  I was thinking “that can’t be possible, Jaiden always kicks at 3 to remind me” but this day he didn’t.  So I push in on my stomach cause I knew if I did that, he’ll get annoyed and push back.  Nothing.  I shake my belly and still no movement.  I’m trying not to freak out at this point.  I go and grab a Pepsi and a glass of cold water cause that is what the OB tells you to do when the baby isn’t moving.  Drank both and still nothing.  Call my OB still panicked and they tell me to go to straight to the ER.  I call my friend Pam who worked at the local restaurant down the street and asked if she could pick me up and take me.  I tell my supervisor what is happening and let her know I’m going to the ER.  The entire car ride Pam is trying to talk to Jaiden and reassure me that everything is ok.  I get to the ER and the rush me straight to labor and delivery and hook me up to a fetal heart monitor.  I’m in there with just Pam and a Nurse.  She uses a Doppler to look for a heartbeat and then she quickly calls in for reinforcements.  At that moment my room gets completely filled with nurses and doctors and the OB on staff comes in and takes my hand. She starts crying and the rest gets silent.  They couldn’t find a heartbeat.  I was in complete disbelief.  This can’t be possible.  He was just there the other day, he was just kicking and caressing me last night.  what do you mean there is no heartbeat.  I began crying uncontrollably, my friend Pam is crying, there Is no dry eye in the room. They have to admit me and induce me to deliver my son.  My dead son.  I call my sister and my mother who lived over an hour away to come up. They give me an epidural to help with contractions and all I keep thinking is that maybe he’ll come out and be alive and he’s just punking me. Or I’m thinking “what did I do wrong, was it something I ate, was I doing too much activity?”  These are the thoughts going through my mind until the next when I finally get to deliver my boy.  (side note, my mom really wanted them to give me a C-Section. Like who really wants to be in labor for almost 24 hours with a child they will never take home??)  but I delivered my boy at 36 weeks pregnant, he was 6 lbs 15 oz and perfect. But he didn’t cry, he never opened his eyes.  I held my dead son and I felt empty.  They said the cord was around his neck and that is why he passed.  Damn Jaiden.  You were so active you got caught in your own cord.  I buried him a week later and had to ‘move on’ as certain family members told me. But how can I move on? My older sister just had her baby and I don’t want to be around him cause he makes me miss mine.  i have friends that are pregnant and even though I’m happy for them I am jealous cause they got to hold their children after delivering them and I didn’t.  I fell into a deep depression and no antidepressant could help me.  I often asked God “why would you take my child from me? What did I do to deserve this?”  I hated God for the longest time.  I hated anyone that was pregnant and had a healthy child.  I began drinking again cause that’s all I could do to numb the pain.  I moved in with a friend and we would go out and drink and have fun and never talked about Jaiden.  But in all this craziness i did have one friend that I could always talk to about him.  Her name was Charli.  and the reason I could be so open with her was because she’s been where I was. Never as intense as me but she had also loved children and lost them.  She understood my anger and she let me be angry, but she never left.  Till this day she is still one of my best friends because she was and is still there.

The First mothers days past after Jaiden past and everyone who has kids are getting their “happy mothers day” shout out on MySpace (cause that was huge back then)  and I forget who told me this but they said “just because your son isn’t here, doesn’t make you any less of a mother”  and they were right.  I did everything that any normal mother did while pregnant.  I went to my OB appointments, I took my vitamins, I ate all the right food, I stopped drinking.  I did everything right. The only difference Is, my child isn’t here and their’s is.  I wish I could say “in that very moment I changed my life around and beat depression and lived happily ever after” but that would be a lie. It took me some more time but I started to look as Jaiden coming into my life as a good thing.  He turned me into a mother, which made me have to grow up which was hard for me to do at that time.  I didn’t want to let him down.  I enrolled in school to start the Winter of 2010, I moved back home for 90 days before school started (I couldn’t handle more than 90 days, trust me if you know my family then you know why) to save up to get my own place once school started.  I got a car, paid cash all by myself and later that year I met my now husband.  I honestly can say that none of that would’ve happened if I never got pregnant with Jaiden.  He was the first domino and all this good began to happen because of him.  I still think about him every day and every mother’s day I still feel like he’s with me watching me, thinking “omg my mom is a hot mess. I’m soo embarrassed” and I laugh cause if I don’t, I’ll cry.

I thought after Jaiden that I’ll never want to have kids again or won’t be able to.  I thought my body was cursed.  Once my husband and I got married we got pregnant right away but essentially had a miscarriage.  I thought to myself “Oh God, not again.  Am I not meant to be a mother, just say so now.” And I went through the whole “if your pregnant, I hate you.  Or the “everyone that has babies I’m throwing mad shade at you cause twice now I should’ve had kids and God took them from me.”  Again, Charli was there as a great support system with her whole “been there, done that and now I have kids and you will too” mentality which sometimes is super annoying if you’re depressed but looking back now is 100% effective!!!! Right around December of 2014 I had a dream that I was at a picnic with my in-laws and there was my niece (who now I know as Annabelle) and another small child who looked roughly a year younger.  She had the curliest hair and best smile.  Olive complexion and she was playing in the water with her cousin.  She runs up to me and calls me Mommy.  I woke up from that dream with such love in my heart not knowing what it meant.  Who is this little girl in the water with curly hair?  Why is she calling me mommy?  Did I adopt her?  Is this Gods way of foreshadowing cause I really hate surprises.  Come to find out New year eve 2015 we found out we were pregnant.  I was ecstatic and also terrified.  If I have one more miscarriage or stillbirth I’m getting everything taken out. I can’t go through it again.  But I think Jaiden talked to the big guy upstairs and was like “Look, my mom is a hot mess.  Is there anyway you can give her constant reminders that she’s pregnant so she doesn’t freak out?”  And God was probably like “say no more”.  It was the WORST PREGNANCY EVER!!!!  Vomit, spitting in a bottle, round ligament pains, swollen ankles.  You name it I had it.  But I can honestly say that I got that little girl from my dreams.  Born at 38 weeks, Bexley Celine Sanger.  she now looks EXACLTY like the little girl I dreamt about and makes me feel complete again.  She has her guardian angel looking after her and I can feel it every day.

messybex-snap
The question often gets asked “is it better to have loved, then lost.  Then to never have loved at all?”  The answer is yes.  If I never had Jaiden, I would have never met Charli, never met my husband and never have had my daughter.  I would’ve never graduated college (finally) and who knows where I would be but I know I wouldn’t be here.  Someone always asks “do you have any advice to moms who are going through or have gone through what you have?”  There is nothing I can say to make a grieving mother feel better.  We don’t want to here “everything happens for a reason” or “you will be a mom someday, when it’s your time”.  Fuck that.  No one in their right mind takes comfort in that. You know what I say ” this shit sucks. A lot. You do what you need to do to grieve and I’ll be here.  you want to go get drunk and cry on the bathroom floor at the bar?  I’ll drive.  You want to not talk about it ever?  Let’s talk about how messy these chicks look at the mall.”  Everyone grieves differently and in their own time.  But when you are ready to talk about it, I’m here because I’ve been there.  And what I can say is don’t lose hope. Because if I gave up, I wouldn’t have the girl i have today.  And I would also say “just cause you don’t have your baby doesn’t make you ANY less of a mother.  You are the best mom and you will have your prince or princess. And because you have lost, you will love them so unconditionally. “

Advertisements
Pregnancy

Its OK to ask for help, ladies…

Sorry I’ve been quiet.  My family was in the process of moving.  And we moved into a lovely 3 bedroom, 2 full bath house in Olde Town East.  Everything was going great until I pulled a big muscle in my back that has me on bed rest for the next few days.  Now I know what you must be thinking…”why would you move those heavy boxes pregnant?”  well, my theory is that If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.  For obvious reasons, I was wrong.

I think that this is the one time in a women’s life that it is o.k. to be lazy.  We are growing a living human child in our womb and we are their sanctuary.  We need to do whats best for our child during the next 40 weeks.  If that means putting our feet up from time to time then do it.  No one is going to call you lazy, and if they do then who the hell cares.  You are doing whats good for you, and you’re child.

This is the time you lean on your friends, family and significant others for help.  That’s what they are there for.  Believe it or not.  If you are moving like I was, hire movers.  Trust me, next time we definitely will.  It may cost you money but its better to spend a bit then get hurt in the attempt.  In the meantime, relax and put your feet up and enjoy the process (after you are done puking your guts out and finally get your energy back).

Some things you can/should do while pregnant to make sure you are happy and relaxed are as follows:

  • Go get a prenatal massage.  I went to Massage Envy in Grandview, OH and it was the best hour of my life.  Definitely recommend getting at least one massage per pregnancy.  (It only cost $55 if its your first time!)
  • Treat yo feet.  You better get some pedicures while your pregnant.  Especially if you are like me and are pregnant during the summer.  Don’t matter how swollen your feet are, they still deserve to look pretty.
  • Get your hair did!!! You have lovely, thick hair growing right now thanks to all those extra hormones and prenatal vitamins.  You better get a trim here and there and look FABULOUS!!! I see my girl miss Hair Davinci every chance I get.  Sometimes a fresh hair cut can make you fee amazing.
  • GO SHOPPING.  I’m the type of person who will think twice about buying myself a new outfit but will drop some major dollars on my child.  So go shop for your child.  If you want it, buy it.  And buy all of it.  Even if your spouse says no, buy it anyways.  Then cry, so he doesn’t get mad.  I do it all the time, sorry Matt.
  • If you want to eat it, then eat it.  You know the saying “happy life, happy wife” well “a happy preggo is a well fed preggo.”  So if I want to eat that slice of cake well shit pass me that extra slice.  If I wanna go pick up an ice cream cake from the grocery store well then get a fork and eat with me.  Don’t tell me no “You know you don’t HAVE to eat for two literally” and you don’t HAVE TO be up in my food.  I have an excuse to eat a little extra at the dinner table, whats your excuse?  (Insert judgmental head tilt…currently eating Papa Johns pizza for breakfast.  No fucks given.)
  • Binge watch Netflix…all the shows…in one sitting.   While you are sitting on your “lazy ass” on the couch, watch you a good show and laugh, cry, scream and shout.  And don’t feel guilty.  (I literally watched ’13 reasons why’ in 2 days…thanks bed rest)

Okay, that is all I have for this post.  I promise to keep up to date more often.  What are some things you like to do to be relaxed while pregnant???

 

xoxo

Jen

Pregnancy

What to expect when you’re expecting and the things you never expected you had to expect. 

Congrats!!!! You are pregnant 🙂

Its the most exciting time in your life and you want to scream it from the top of your lungs!!!  But if you are me when I was pregnant with my first, you probably went out and purchased all the “what to expect…” baby books and have a board on Pinterest about this exciting journey.  But just like me, there are things that your OB or those books don’t tell you that I wish they would’ve known about being pregnant.

Every pregnancy is different and this post isn’t meant to scare you.  But its to inform you how different everyone’s pregnancy can be and to give you a heads up on what you may expect that you NEVER thought you would.

1- Saliva….So Much Saliva

When I hit around 11-12 weeks with my daughter, I noticed that i had a lot of saliva in my mouth.  If I were to swallow it, it would make me vomit.  The only choice I had was to spit it out into a bottle that I have since named “Spitz”  The saliva lasted until AFTER I DELIVERED.  Note the frustration in my voice right now.  So optimistically with my second pregnancy I prayed that this issue didn’t happen again.  But of course, it did.  This time it hit me around 6 weeks.  6 WEEKS?!?!?!?!  Why??? Not everyone knew I was pregnant and now I have to walk around with a spit bottle.  Everyone at work thought I was chewing tobacco (and I work in a tobacco free work space).  I had to then explain to everyone that I’m not chewing tobacco and that I was actually pregnant and this was a symptom.  The look everyone gave me was like they didn’t believe me.  Like, why would I lie about this?? Think about it and google it.  Even my OB confirmed that when you have your second kid so close to your first, any symptoms you had previously come back cause your body remembers what happened last time.  No idea why it hit me and not other people I know.  Maybe its cause i’m black.  Like seriously!  The only people that I know who have dealt with it were African American women.  UGH. Thanks kids.

2- Always hungry or Nauseous…No in between

The first trimester for me was TORTURE.  Couldn’t eat anything but watermelon with my daughter and clementines with my second (its a boy BTW) .  Nothing sounded good until week 8 and then I didn’t know what I wanted.  But I know I wanted something.  Cant eat fast food (even now, i’m 17 weeks pregnant and the thought of a burger from McDonald’s makes me want to go vomit), loved green beans for a whole week straight but now the thought of it is not appetizing.  Its like you cant win.  Your either hungry or vomiting.  That’s how I was at least.  Then I have those friends that can go through their entire pregnancy and eat whatever they want and feel fabulous.  I hate you ladies. No offense.  Nothing personal, strictly jealously.

3-  Breast sensitivity and VEINS

My boobs look like an old school globe.  So many veins.  I could probably point out where the United States is on my boobs.  And to add to that, they get so sore and BIG.  Like my bra’s do not fit.  I even added an extender and that’s not enough.  I’m like a wide load over here.  So frustrating. I know i need to buy a new bra but I really don’t want to spend the money now just to have to buy one in a few weeks.  Guess i’m going to be letting the girls hang loose!

4- Migraines

Migraines are the worst when you are not pregnant but add a baby in your belly and you have a migraine its even worst.  Why?  Cause majority of the medicine that you can take for a regular migraine you cant take when you are pregnant.  Migraines can knock me on my ass for days and I just need to lay in the dark on the cold floor and keep the sunshine out.  When I get a migraine now I want to cry cause usually I could pop a Excedrin Migraine but now i’m S.O.L.  Luckily for me I can take a Tylenol and be o.k. but I do have a few friends that have had it so bad that they have to go to the ER to get an IV for meds.  Just remember to keep hydrated and that should limit the amount of headaches/migraines you have.  Some of them are unavoidable unfortunately, just keep your OB in the loop for the best treatment options.

5- Who’s Tired?!?!  Me, always Me.

Growing a child is EXHAUSTING.  Like if I could just sleep all day, I would.  I remember calling my husband from work crying cause all I wanted to do was sleep and I had hit my caffeine intake limit for the day.  If I would’ve known how EXHAUSTING it is to grow a baby I would’ve slept way more before I got pregnant.  Hey, at least my husband is getting a lot of sleep, right?!?!  That was COMPLETE SARCASM.  (insert eye roll emoji here).  And speaking of exhaustion, when you do get up, you get so dizzy from getting up so fast you have to sit back down.  You cant win.  Thanks kids, you’re amazing.

I could go on and on AND ON but i’ll stop there for today, here are some other AMAZING symptoms to look forward to in the first trimester:

Nasal Congestion (never had it personally, but my friend has and its TERRIBLE)

Cramps (you think these are bad, wait until round ligament pains happen)

Swelling (you blow up like a blimp)

Sciatic Nerve Pain (leg pain is the WORST)

Indigestion/Heart burn (dis is too much)

Sweating (I sweat everyone….even DOWN THERE)

Doubled blood flow (brush your teeth, insert blood, and minor freak out)

Constipation (I don’t always have to poop, but when I do its every 5 days and its the size of a skittle)

If you experience any other symptoms that you NEVER expected you would have to deal with during pregnancy, let me know your struggle so you don’t have to struggle alone.

xoxo

Jen

Uncategorized

Finally doing this blog thing

Hey everyone,

Thanks for stopping by.  I have been asked to do a blog for YEARS and I have finally got around to starting one.  This first post wont be of anything real important but be prepared to hear the real and the unfiltered side of me.  I’m going to tell it how it is from being pregnant for a 2nd time, raising a toddler, moving into a bigger and better place AND creating a collection for Alternative fashion week ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  I know, i’m probably overdoing it and will probably get super stressed but i’ll be sure to tell you all about it in the days/weeks to come!!!

 

Talk to you soon!

xoxo