Friday, September 6, 2019

One Year Anniversary of my Miscarriage

One year ago today, I experienced an incredible loss. It was a loss that felt like it wouldn’t end. For days, I was sitting numb in my tears. For weeks, I felt raw, cut open in the heart. For months, I didn’t know how to move forward. And now it’s been a year, and that numbness is present. 

I miscarried my third baby at five weeks on September 6th, 2018. One year ago, time stood still. Then it sped up and this year has gone by remarkably fast. 

One thing I think most women want after a miscarriage is to get pregnant and to carry a healthy baby full term. I couldn’t even bring myself to even think about getting pregnant again for months afterwards. It was a long transition to feel like myself again. Because I wasn’t myself. And I’m not now. I changed. I am a new person. This is now part of me and my family’s story.

I recently listened to a popular interview between news anchor Anderson Cooper and comedian and host Stephen Colbert. They both experienced loss of parents so they bonded immensely together. Two quotes from their talk stood out to me. The first is from Anderson Cooper who said "Grief is a strange thing in the sense that we all experience it and yet we rarely talk about it. “

I’m here to talk about it! It’s tough. Stephen Colbert also said in this interview "I think when you meet someone who has had a loss, you have two options. One is to say, I'm sorry for your loss which is a perfectly lovely thing to do. But if you can share your experience, then they're not alone.”

I wept listening to this interview. Knowing you’re not alone in a tough situation can get us through these kind of difficult situations. If you’ve miscarried, you’re not alone. Share your story. Share it with me if you want. One thing Satan loves to do is make us feel isolated - that we are completely alone and that no one else has gone through what we’re going through. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. The way we don’t feel isolated is by opening up and sharing even when it’s hard. I’m so grateful for people who have gone before me and shared their struggles and their stories so I wouldn’t have to feel alone. 


One year later and the pain is very real. Things have changed with me however. I am pregnant again. 20 weeks exactly which is incredible. Being half way through my pregnancy on the first anniversary of my 3rd baby’s death is bittersweet. I am still mourning but looking forward to meeting my fourth baby on earth in January. My fourth baby doesn’t replace the baby that I lost. I am so grateful that I have been able to carry our baby for this long and can’t wait for the day where we meet him or her (in case you’re wondering, we won’t find out the gender until the day they’re born!). 

If you’re suffering, I am praying for you my friend. Life can be so hard but God is always good. 




But as for me, I watch in hope for the LordI wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7




I blogged about my miscarriage a year ago here and here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Amusing Observations Living in MS for 10 Years

This month marks 10 years from when I moved from Pennsylvania to live in Mississippi. Life has been an adjustment moving 1000 miles away from home permanently especially from the North to the South; so I compiled a short list of observations I've gleaned from living in the MS:

1) Sonic and Chick-fil-A are different denominations of the same religion. They are a way of life around here. I am not a hater but I just.do.not.get.it. As the young folk would say, "don't at me."

2) Ranch is a staple here much like ketchup, mustard, water and air. And I'm a convert. I am here for it.

3) Everything can be fixed. You fix your car, your hair, your breakfast, your supper, your life. And if you didn't get your fix of things getting fixed, you can also use the phrase "fixin' to" to mean you're "about to" do something.

4) When you go to a southern restaurant, you can order a "vegetable" of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Coincidentally, I am eating way more vegetables.

5) Sweet tea runs through southerners veins. When you're sick, a doctor will recommend drinking more water and more tea.

6) In all seriousness, MS gets hated on a lot. I'm sorry if you didn't know that but it's true. But we have some of the lowest cost of living the country and let's be real, some of the greatest people in the country. And my favorite place to eat in the country is here (Avellinos!). Oh and we have the greatest church in the country here as well. Like homemade ranch, I am here for it. Let's leave the hate for our neighbors, Alabama and Arkansas. ;)

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Sowden’s Desoto County Favs

2018 Sowden’s Desoto County Favs

Troy and I compiled a list of some of our favorite restaurants in Desoto County, MS. Let us know your favorites and if we need to visit a new place!

Restaurants 

Pizza
Avellino’s, Southaven

I mean, this is a no brainer. This is our FAVORITE of all time. We love getting pepperoni pizza with traditional hot wings with ranch & blue cheese. We love, love, love this place. 

Melody also loves the Memphis pizza from Buon Cibo in Hernando (Troy recommends the Nesbit) and both of us love the Newk's Q pizza from Newk’s in Southaven. 

Mexican
Troy - Mis Pueblos, Olive Branch
Melody - Rancho Grande, Olive Branch
I recommend the rancho grande enchilada and cheese quesadillas.

Asian 
Melody - I recommend the red curry with chicken. 
Troy - He recommends the drunken noodle with beef. 
We both love the Olive Branch sushi roll and the kaboom shrimp appetizer. Ask for Madeline as your server; she’s the absolute best.

BBQ
Memphis BBQ, Southaven
We both recommend the Pitmaster Sampler with ANY of the meats. Their seasoning is delicious on everything. Our most frequent choice is ribs, turkey and chicken but we change it up. When we get an appetizer we usually do the sausage and cheese plate. 

Burger
Sear Shack, Olive Branch
We both recommend the angus cheeseburger and their Nutella milkshake is absolutely amazing. Their fries are incredible too. Their burger buns are made fresh and the pickles on their condiment bar are perfect. Get the Sear Sauce on your burger and some for your fries.

Sandwich/Sub
Melody - I love the Newk's Q sandwich from Newk's and you cannot go wrong with anything from Lenny's.
Troy - The Newk's Q sandwich will change your life. The pizza is good but the sandwich is amazing. The Italian sandwich is very good too but nothing touches the Newk's Q.

Coffee
We recommend any of the iced lattes. 


BONUS!
Our Non Restaurant Favs

Mechanic 
Dan Feret at Burleson’s Auto and Diesel Repair, Hernando

Hair
Brooke at Studio 139, Hernando 

Photography
Bailey Berry from Bai's Photography is so amazing and we highly recommend her! 

Church
There are TONS of amazing churches in our county.  We absolutely LOVE CityChurch of Olive Branch. I'll save you a seat if you let me know you're coming!



I know we missed a bunch of categories that we hope to add next year. What are some of your favs? 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thoughts on my Recent Miscarriage - Part 2

Part 2 of 2 (read part one here)


Let me set the record straight. As a believer, I do not believe for one second that God took this baby away from me. I don’t believe he/she was “too beautiful to be on earth” or that “God wanted another flower for his garden” or an “another angel in Heaven.” No. God’s word says His plans for us are to “prosper you and not to harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11) and John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World said very (in) famously, “Life’s tough, get a helmet.” So true. I just wasn’t ready for this. 

I never watched an episode of Dawson’s Creek but somehow, I follow James Van Der Beek on Instagram. He and his wife have five kids. 

The day I woke up after I miscarried, he timely wrote this: 

“Wanted to say a thing or two about miscarriages... of which we’ve had three over the years (including right before this little beauty). First off - we need a new word for it. “Mis-carriage”, in an insidious way, suggests fault for the mother - as if she dropped something, or failed to “carry.” From what I’ve learned, in all but the most obvious, extreme cases, it has nothing to do with anything the mother did or didn’t do. So let’s wipe all blame off the table before we even start.
Second... it will tear you open like nothing else. It’s painful and it’s heartbreaking on levels deeper than you may have ever experienced. So don’t judge your grief, or try to rationalize your way around it. Let it flow in the waves in which it comes, and allow it it’s rightful space. And then... once you’re able... try to recognize the beauty in how you put yourself back together differently than you were before. Some changes we make proactively, some we make because the universe has smashed us, but either way, those changes can be gifts. Many couples become closer than ever before. Many parents realize a deeper desire for a child than ever before. And many, many, many couples go on to have happy, healthy, beautiful babies afterwards (and often very quickly afterwards - you’ve been warned 😍). I’ve heard some amazing metaphysical explanations for them, mostly centering around the idea that these little souls volunteer for this short journey for the benefit of the parents... but please share whatever may have given you peace or hope along the way... Along with a new word for this experience.”

I have never felt like this was my fault but yes, we need a different word that doesn’t indirectly blame the mother. I really cannot bring myself to say the word, “miscarriage.” It hurts too much. I avoid it at all costs. 

It happened so fast. It was a whirlwind. It’s a grief like no other. A tiny baby died inside of my body. Every time I bled, I wondered if my baby was exiting my body. I bled for nine straight days. And I’m not sure which day when my baby left my body to meet Jesus. 

I’m heartbroken. There’s a constant lump in my throat. I am on the verge of crying. There is a pit in the bottom of my stomach. 

Today, October 15th, is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. I had no idea this day even existed until it popped up in my Pinterest feeds. 

---

I pitched my idea of naming our baby to Troy one night. I don’t think he had thought about it. I had heard about people doing this before and I knew if we did it, it would make this whole situation feel more “real.” So I didn’t want to do it but I knew this would help my grieving process. 

We threw around several unisex names. Of course, we can never agree on anything but we both really loved the name Micah. It fits with our name theme of our kids names ending with an “ah” sound. Micah means “who is like our God?” Taylor means “to cut” which seems very literal but we love the name. 

I am still grieving. I am still raw. I wish that after a month, the pain would have lessened. It hasn’t.

The tears are still flowing. The lump in my throat is constant. Random things still trigger my heart wrenching sadness. I feel empty. Empty physically literally. Empty emotionally. 

I’m learning to push through the pain and move forward. For myself, my kids, husband. I’m back at work. Back to serving behind the scenes at my church. Back to making dinner. 


Although my grief and pain is still very much present, I know my baby couldn’t be happier. He/she knew no pain. Just love. Love from our creator. I’m grateful for our Lord.

I pray to God that this is the only time in my life that this happens to me. 


One of my friends who doesn’t have kids, texted me and said that she thought it was cool that I shared my experience online [a few days on FB & IG after we found out]. She said she had friends who had similar situations and felt so alone. I never, for one second, felt alone. I never felt that I was the only one who had this happened. I know women have gone before me and women will come after me. I know friends and family who have had this happened to them too. 

I can’t fathom not sharing. Not for my glory but for my release.

I thought about it and it feels like a vicious cycle for those. Many women don’t share their pregnancies in fear that something like this could happen. Most of the time, everything is fine. And 1 out of 4 times, a miscarriage or stillbirth happens. Then those women that didn’t share their pregnancies are now hiding their miscarriage. Now, they are alone, sharing their pain with themselves and concealing their sorrows. How lonely. I’m not saying you need to reveal your pregnancy as soon as the digital test reads “pregnant.” That’s your business. If you do miscarry, don’t hold it in. You don’t need to blog or tell the world about it either but let some confidants know. Let those that have paved the way (and grieved properly) to help you process it. To pray with you. Pray for you. I am still having a hard time praying for myself, let alone anyone else but one day, I will pray and grieve with you. 

Bear with me as I struggle trying to find a new normal. Losing a baby has cut me deep. It may look like a bandaid on a cut but it’s much deeper than that.



I am so grateful for the Lord and for the gift of eternal life and I am so excited to see our little one some day.