Vintage Mommy Boots

 

Mama’s Losin’ It
I haven’t done a Writer’s Workshop in a few weeks, so I thought it was time to jump in and tackle one again. The prompt I chose was relatively easy: Recycle a favorite post from July of any year you’ve been blogging.

While this one I’m about to share isn’t necessarily a favorite, it takes me back to a reflective place. This post from four years ago embodies where I was back in the summer of 2008: still grieving from my miscarriage, dreading the arrival of my due date, and in a place of heartache and pain.

July 31st, 2008
It’s the Little Things

It’s amazing. The smallest things that went unnoticed before my miscarriage now carry the power to reduce me to tears.

A baby’s laugh. A commercial featuring chubby-cheeked, wobbly little toddlers running around a living room. A mother planting a gentle kiss on her newborn baby’s forehead.

These images, these sounds can catch me completely off guard, and make me feel like my world is tumbling in around me. In these moments, I look down at my belly, which should be swollen to the point of discomfort. I should be waddling like a duck. I should be wincing as my baby gouges me in the ribs, kicks me in places that I never thought I could be kicked before. I look longingly down at my belly which is, by no means a flat thing, but is not round as it should be.

My due date is next weekend. Next weekend. How did it get here so quickly? How did it get here at all? For the past 9 months, it’s been so far in the distance, I suppose I never really thought about dealing with it before. But here it comes, looming ever closer. I wonder sometimes if once it’s passed, the pain will lessen. I wonder if once it is behind me, I will stop looking down at my stomach with a wistful gaze….

I just heard an old man say, “Hope springs eternal” on the TV. I don’t know how that became my mantra, but I find myself using that quote everywhere.

I’m ready to be a mommy. I’m ready to hold my baby, to love my baby, to be a mother to my baby. I want my babies so much. I love them, all of them, and they aren’t even conceived yet.

Sometimes this grief feels like it’s going to swallow me whole. I feel like my heart is so swollen; it’s a wonder that it hasn’t burst. My eyes are so heavy with tears, I am amazed that I can keep them open.

Sometimes, all I can do is hang my head, hug myself, and cry.

Originally posted July 31st, 2008 when my blog was still called Hope Springs Eternal. You can find the original post here. 

 

Green Bean – My First Babe

Hey, baby love. It’s mama. It’s December 2nd again, and do you know what that means? It means that it’s the anniversary of the day that I found out for sure, and the day that we shouted to the world, that we were pregnant with you! I knew the night before after getting a faded-looking (but still obvious) plus sign on a Wal-Mart brand home pregnancy test, but December 2nd was the day I took that second test and it was unmistakably, boldly, positive. Like you were shouting, “I’M HERE, MAMA!”

I was so excited to be carrying you. Little, bitty, poppyseed-sized you. I couldn’t wait to have an ultrasound so I could see you! At first, we didn’t see anything – just a yolk sac. But when we went in the second time, I got to see your heartbeat! A little tiny flick-flick-flick on the screen that made my heart soar.

My happiness was short-lived and turned to heartbreak. Utter devastation.. So many feelings, babe. It’s been three years, but I still remember so vividly the first time I felt a cramp that I just couldn’t ignore. I was at work, walking from my chair to the counter and the pain stopped me in my tracks.  My heart felt like it dropped into my toes. All day I had been convincing myself that the spotting wasn’t a big deal.. That the fact that it was getting heavier, and darker, wasn’t a big deal but when I felt that cramp..

Well… You know the rest of the story sweetheart. My heart broke the day that I lost you, my love.  The deep, painful cramps were nothing compared to the searing pain in my soul.

Being pregnant with you was glorious. Every wave of nausea I felt, every little craving I had, every sip of water I took to help keep hydrated for you I cherish. I craved Cheetos and ramen noodles with you. I remember going to Wal-Mart and buying a pack of newborn diapers.. And a jar of green olives. I started a semi-private journal to document our journey together. It’s still around.. Sometimes I will log in and read my entries just to remember.

I wish that I still had a picture of the positive pregnancy test… I loved to look back on it and remember the feeling that surged through me when I saw it. Amazement.. Disbelief.. Awe.. Joy. I have the ultrasound picture from when we saw your heartbeat a mere 3 days before losing you.. It’s tucked away safely in a box with the blanket daddy bought you.

Did you know that you have a little sister now? Her name is Nellie and she’s a very funny lady. I think you two would have gotten along so well.

Green Bean, there still isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you and wonder what you would be like. I know I’ve said it before, but thank you again, kiddo, for choosing me to be your mom for those short 3 weeks. It was an honor.

I am forever and always, your Mama. I love you.

My Story

Hello, and welcome to the “About Me” portion of my blog.

First, my name is Natalie. I am 25 years old, and I live in Tennessee. I was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. When I was 17, I moved to Tennessee with a man that I thought was the ONE. Like many teenage dreams and ideals, that turned out to be a bust. It all turned out for the best, however.
I met Josh, the man who would be my husband in early 2003. Our relationship progressed from strangers to best friends very quickly and in the fall of ’03, I decided I wasn’t happy with the man I was dating, and ended the relationship. A few months later, Josh and I decided to take the plunge from being best friends to being romantically involved. The transition was very natural; like breathing in and out.

In the fall of ’04, Josh asked me to be his wife. I said yes without hesitation and on September 25th, 2005 we were married.

Josh and I both knew right off the bat that we wanted children, and that we wanted them together. We had a brief few months in our early marriage where we stopped using protection. We decided shortly after to enjoy our new marriage and to be more careful… It went against every fiber of my being, being “smart” and careful because I wanted to be a mother so badly.

So we enjoyed our newlywed state for over two years. In October of 2007, we decided we were through waiting. Were we in the ideal place financially? No. Did we have our own house like we wanted? No, but we were both through waiting. The love we had for our unborn (and still yet to be conceived) children overrode any hesitations we had about starting our family. I had been told repeatedly by older women that if we waited until the “perfect financial time”, we would never have children.

We tried to conceive our first child for one cycle, in November of 2007. On December 1st, 2007 I found myself staring at a faint positive pregnancy test. I had tested in the evening, because we were going to my companY Christmas party and I wanted to see if it was OK if I had a few beers. I calmly walked out to my husband who was reading on the couch, and asked him if it looked like there was a plus sign to him. He glanced at the test, said yes, and asked what that meant.
“Pregnant. It means pregnant,” I said. A huge smile flashed across his face, which he quickly let fall. He went back to reading and said, “Well, it’s very faint so let’s not get our hopes up.”
But we both knew better.

The next morning, I took another pregnancy test and confirmed what I already knew. I was pregnant. We were going to have a baby! I crept back into bed with my sleeping husband and woke him up, telling him the news. He grabbed me and we hugged, laughed, and rolled around for about an hour. We told everyone in the universe that we were expecting that day. We were absolutely over the moon; in love with the tiny little being that was our baby. I nicknamed our little one “green bean”.

On December 19th, 2007 I went in for an ultrasound and saw our baby’s heartbeat. I had been experiencing some spotting, and wanted to get an ultrasound to check to make sure everything was okay, as we were planning on going to Chicago on the 24th for an entire week to celebrate Christmas with my family. The moment I saw the fluttering that was my baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound screen, I began to cry. Who knew that a little, tiny flickering motion could bring me such a level of joy and relief? My doctor said everything looked okay, and so we left the office that day with high hopes and were walking on air.

The spotting I was experiencing continued, and over the course of the next few days it got worse. On the evening of December 21st, 2007 we were out with my brother-in-law about to see a movie and I began to have cramps. At this point, my spotting had turned into a slow, light bleed – like a light period. I had a terrible feeling and opted to go home. When I used the restroom, I noticed more heavy spotting and even more cramps. With fear in my eyes, I told my husband I wanted to call the doctor even though it was after-hours. I needed guidance. I called and got a receptionist, who said that my doctor was on call and that’d she would page her. Within a few minutes, my doctor called me back and I explained my symptoms to her. What she told me made my heart sink. She let me know, very gently that it was most likely the beginnings of a miscarriage. She said there was a chance it could be something else, but to prepare ourselves for the worst. As I hung up the phone, I turned to Josh and told him what she had said. My amazing husband made the phone calls to family, and sent out a mass text message to our friends. He informed them we were losing the baby, that we were going to turn off our phones and be alone together and to please not worry. He said we would call them the next day and let them know what was going on but for right now, we needed to be alone.

We went to the bedroom and lay down, held each other and cried for hours. I felt like my heart was shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

On December 22nd, 2007 just three days after seeing my child’s heartbeat, I miscarried our precious green bean. We missed our trip to Chicago and spent the week together, mourning the loss of our baby.

A few months passed until we were ready to try and conceive again. In May of 2008 we decided we were ready. I got a sinus infection/strep throat combination during our first cycle, so that was an automatic bust. Our first “real” cycle of trying was June of 2008.
Month after month passed with no success. As each month passed, I became sadder and more bitter. I was jealous of every pregnant woman I saw. My heart ached for the child that I had lost, and for the one I was so desperately trying to conceive again. We had to take a two month break in the winter of 2008 so I could have my wisdom teeth extracted, and had high hopes for the new year.

In April of 2009 after our 9th unsuccessful attempt.. I decided I’d had enough. I was becoming depressed; consumed with temping and charting, with checking my cervical mucous and living my life in two-week increments. I was done. I forgot about my charting websites, said farewell to counting cycle days and figured we would just have a lot of sex until it worked.

On May 9th, 2009 I found myself in my bathroom, once again, staring at a positive pregnancy test. I had taken it because I was certain I wasn’t pregnant. I wanted to put myself out of my misery, and get through with my weekend so I could stop obsessing. When the word “PREGNANT” flashed on my screen, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t cry, jump up and down or gasp like I always pictured I would. I stared at it, blinking; unable to believe that after almost a year of seeing nothing but negatives, I was finally seeing a BFP (big fat positive). After revealing the news to my husband (you can read the details about our BFP story here) we decided once again to tell the world our news right away. We’d had such an overwhelming amount of love and support when we lost our first baby that we knew if something happened this time it would be the same thing…

But deep down inside, I knew that this baby was different. I felt destined to meet this child right from the start.

On September 2nd, 2009 we found out that we were expecting a little girl. We have named her Nellie Rose. She is already the light of our lives and we are so in love with her. After the heartache of losing our first baby, and struggling for nearly a year to conceive we both feel so blessed to receive this opportunity to finally become the parents we’ve always wanted to be. Our little girl is due to make her grand debut January 17th, 2010……

And we absolutely cannot wait to meet her.