Postpartum checkup and Rafiki

Yesterday I had my 6 week postpartum check up. It has been 7 weeks since she came and went. I had convinced myself that things would be easier and that I’d be “okay”.

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Well I’m not.

I’m actually just starting to feel again.

I allowed myself the sadness and pain then slowly I numbed myself to where I can actually talk about her with a straight face and not feel.

This week I realized that I sound like a robot. I look like a heartless woman when I talk about her because instead of concentrating on how I feel, I try to make things less awkward to whomever I talking to.

Thursday I allowed myself to feel as I spoke with someone and although I felt a deep sorrow and longing for my baby, I felt their sincerity and deepest sympathy for my loss.

Yesterday as I was at Central Utah Clinic’s Women’s Center (which I absolutely love), I allowed myself the emotions I usually try to hide. I felt sadness because I was alone and had no baby to show off. I felt anger, because I had gone through the whole 40 weeks and she was gone and there was nothing I could have done about it. I felt anxious, because I saw the little heart beat finder thingy and my heart stopped for a minute. This was where I found out she was gone. One week before finding a heart beat was so easy and the next week it’s gone….

I was so grateful that they gave me an appointment with the midwife that had been through the same thing. She had two boys, one a still born and the other died a week later. Being able to talk to her and listen to how she dealt with her struggles was so comforting. I know that all the midwives cared for and felt for me, but she had been there. She knew where I was and what I felt and she let me know it was ok. She was extremely sincere and empathetic towards me and I don’t think it could have gone any better.

Yes I was sad.

Yes it was scary.

Yes I missed my baby.

Yes I dreaded going and didn’t want to be there.

But it’s ok to do hard things.

It’s ok to be somewhere that reminds you of something difficult.

It’s ok to see things or people that remind you of difficult things.

A month before baby was born I was stressing out because of things that reminded me of past issues. I thought I was ok, I thought I was fine, and then something’s came up and reminded me and I was in “that place” where I try so hard not to go. I felt hurt, insecure, sad, depressed, stressed out and just not in a good place. After I had baby Maria those issues seemed irrelevant, small and extremely insignificant. I felt ok and was full of love and comfort. Weeks later I found myself struggling with the same issues.

I’m not perfect, neither do I have a perfect understanding. I don’t know how baby died or why she died or why anything bad happens to anyone. But as a wise blue butt baboon said:

Ahh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I look at it, you can either run from it or learn from it.
So what are you going to do now??

I could have just not gone to my appointment (which I was so tempted to do). I could just hide from the world in my sorrow or become so busy I don’t feel anything. Which I kind of did. Or I could bury my feelings deep inside and hope they never come out. In which they always do in a very unpleasant way.

I chose to go.

I chose to feel.

I choose to not hide from the world but embrace it and welcome it.

I choose to express my emotions through crying, writing, dancing, singing, playing with my kids, arguing with my husband, reaching out to old friends, teaching my primary kids, going to the temple, being open and allow all that God has in store for me into my life. Blessings, trials, joy, sorrow, the good, the bad, all that He deems good for my potential, my eternal happiness, my life, my learning experience, my perfect self, whatever will teach me to become the best me possible, be it blessing or trial (or both since they can be one in the same depending on your perspective), I choose to LEARN FROM IT.

At 7 weeks I can tell you I’m ok but not ok. It may seem like I haven’t progressed but I guess it depends on your perspective. I’m still sad, I still cry, I’ll never get over it.. But I accept it, I value this trial and I look forward to the day I can see her again.

7 weeks has been quick but has also felt like an eternity. 7 weeks down, eternity to go, I think I’ve got the right perspective.

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So what are you going to do? Run from it? Or learn from it? The choice is yours alone.

6 weeks

This Saturday baby Maria would have been 6 weeks. I usually do ok but I still have my moments of sadness and grief. I have so much time on my hands now I’m not exactly sure what to do with it. We had prepared ourselves some free time to take care of a new born and without one we are a little unsure of what to do.

I have had lots of nieces and nephews and neighborhood babies to hold and love and that always seems to make me feel better. I have always loved holding babies even before I had my own. They are just so sweet and precious and perfect and cuddly and everything else that’s wonderful.

Having family members and friends who weren’t/aren’t able to have children, I have always had an appreciation for my fertility. Also having family members and friends who are on bed rest because of the toll that pregnancy takes on their bodies, I have appreciated my “easy” pregnancies as well. Baby Maria has given me a new appreciation for my own personal trials and struggles.

We stayed at a host families home in Virginia who’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was like 2 or 3. They had a book made for her about her journey. As I saw the picture of their sweet little girl with tubes and things in her body and loosing hair or gaining weight because of steroids and being put through scary things I could never imagine, I became so grateful that my sweet little girl didn’t not have to suffer. We watched The Ultimate Gift and my heart ached for the sweet little girl with cancer. Baby Maria didn’t have to suffer the pains of this world. She received her perfect little body and was needed elsewhere. I am so grateful to have had the chance to carry, love and hold her, even just for the short time we had.

I feel that my trials are hard. Life hasn’t been kind to me but The Lord definitely has. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and I am grateful for my “downs” because they have reminded me to look up. I don’t appreciate them in the moment and have my days of “why me”, but in the end or through the sweet tender mercies of The Lord, I am reminded that I am never alone.

My amazing friends gave me this perfect gift:

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I bawled my eyes out after opening it. Josh has a key chain with their names and symbol as well. A perfect little reminder of what forever will be like for the both of us.

I can’t begin to express how blessed I feel even in trials. I have always felt alone and carry burdens that I can’t share or express freely like I do with Maria. Yet this trial alone has helped me feel my Fathers love and my Saviors love and even the love of those on the other side. I am so grateful for my sweet Maria and all those who have helped me remember, celebrate and love her. For those who share with me their burdens and remind me that I am not the only one to those who let me hold their babies and let me have a small piece of their heaven, thank you. I’ve learned so much in the past 6 weeks and have grown so much closer to my little family.

My sweet Joshua… Poor guy had to deal with my emotional battle the last few days of tour and a few days after. Yet, he supported me, loves me, doesn’t think I’m crazy, and still tries to make me the happiest me possible. I couldn’t imagine going through this with anyone else.

6 weeks has seemed like forever. Yet I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by… When I see a baby around the same age my heart breaks a little thinking of how big my Maria would have been if she were still alive. But I know she is still here, watching over us. 6 weeks may have gone by and who knows how long we’ll have to go, but at least I know forever is where I’m headed.

Monday Reflections

I’ve had a weekend full of crying and writing, not sure what to do or where to go or even what to think.

Last week was a great week. I finished my first week of 100 days of running. 94 more days to go! I completed my flush and I seriously can’t believe I did it. I went back to school and at least I won’t be failing 2 classes. I felt great and almost like a new person with the goals I reached and the success I had in making new habits. But it didn’t erase the hurt I still feel inside.

I’m totally not okay. I’m a huge emotional mess.

I realized this when I finally allowed myself to tell someone “I’m a huge mess and I’m going crazy! I’ve started crazy things like running everyday and doing a gallbladder flush”. I realized the truth in these words.

If you know me, you know I am NOT athletic. In any way shape or form.

I’m not a healthy person.

I hate the gym.

I hate exercise.

I hate even THINKING about anything healthy.

Being married to a health guru, I’m seriously sick and tired of what is healthy for me, what I should or should not be eating, how to stay active or have more energy and blah blah BLAH.

But I ran everyday last week. For HALF AN HOUR.

I completed a gallbladder flush. Something I needed to do 3 years ago and couldn’t because of how disgusting the drinks were.

I went to the gym every night with Joshua.

I ate clean for 4 whole days. No meat, no candy, NADA.

What. Is. Wrong with me!

Then I realized what I was doing. Thanks to my sweet baby girl.

I’ve been in a bad place before where I moped around, begged for death and hated life.

I don’t remember much of the first 8 months after my son was born because of postpartum.

I remember crying almost hourly for a whole day and multiple times a day for weeks because of a difficult trial I’ve been through.

I know what it’s like to feel so much self hate, take so much self abuse, that I didn’t want to live any more. At all. Life did not feel worth it.

And I do not EVER want to be there again.

I could not let myself feel that way again. Or be in at state of mind or “place” as I call it.

A few weeks before baby, I let myself “go there”. I beat myself up for past things and was just really in a bad place.

After I realized my sweet Maria was gone, I couldn’t believe how unhappy I let myself be.

What more could I ask for in life??

I have an amazing husband, 3 healthy, happy, beautiful kids, a wonderful home in a great neighborhood, I’m healthy and fine, I get to go to school, I have awesome friends and life is just great.

How selfish am I to keep bringing up past issues and things I can’t change when I could have been celebrating life and living in a way that would show the ones I love that I love them.

I needed to change my thought process.

I needed to change my habits.

I needed to make a change so unlike me, that I could rewire my head. Just so I don’t “go there” again.

I decided on running because not only was everyone doing it and could keep me accountable, but it was so out of my comfort zone, so not something I would do. It’s been great. I feel great. I can think about things and cry and let it out all at the same time. Instead of concentrating on the physical pain, I think of the emotional pain I’m going through and have been through and I simply let it out.

I’m still trippin out because I actually did the gallbladder cleanse with a 3 day clean eating. Something I told myself I could never do. I totally proved myself wrong! It was so empowering, even if it didn’t work and I didn’t have a single gallstone release. I did it. I actually did it!!

I have been a huge mess. My house is a mess. I can’t think straight half the time. I forget things a lot. I look like I’m out of it half the time, and I probably am. But I’m okay.

I’m okay cuz I’m not okay and I’m okay with that.

I’m doing things to rewrite the things in my head. Or to rewire since I don’t want to allow myself to go back to the same motions and ways of thinking.

Life can be hard. But it’s okay to do hard things.

I don’t have a choice, other than to keep going. There is no options. You either live or you don’t. I choose to live.

Days and minutes can be hard. I still cry and let myself feel that pain and sorrow.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we buried her. It feels like an eternity yet I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by…

We leave for New York in two days and as excited a I’d like to be because I’m going I can’t be because now I can…

I know I’m feeling guilty because I can only go since she is not here but I just wish she were here…

I know I just miss the physical part of having a baby because she will always be my daughter and she will always have a special place in my heart. I will always miss her until the day I can be with her again. I feel her presence all the time and I know she is constantly with me.

Saturday night as I ran in the dark I felt afraid. But I wanted to reach out and grab her hand because I knew she was with me, watching me and protecting me. I was probably scarier to everyone around me as a dark figure with big hair running in the dark, but it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. I know now I’m never alone. I have my angel. My sweet Maria.

I feel different, I look different and I see things differently. I feel like I’ve lost something and I know people see it… But I’ve also gained more.

I’ve gained a new perspective on life and how short it really is.

I’ve gained a new love for my husband, my children, my family, my friends, even those who I don’t really appreciate. (I don’t really hate anyone I’d just rather they fell off the earth. And I’m pretty sure you know who you are. 😝)

I’ve gained an angel, one I love dearly and can’t wait to see.

I’ve gained a greater testimony that God lives, His Son is my Savior and that They have a plan for us all.

And I’m trying to gain a new habit of running and being more active.

All thanks to my sweet Maria. I love you 😘 I miss you, everyday I miss you more.

Day 2 / missing my Maria

Yesterday was a little harder for me. I had a hard time with my “run”. I biked the night before and just finished my yoga class, which completely kicked my butt. I did yoga the night before for 20 min and felt great but at my yoga class I felt like a block of wood. I seriously could not move. During my run, my legs hurt and were sore afterwards. I didn’t feel anything the previous day so I’m going to blame the bike. Lol.

I struggled with clean eating. I had a kashi bowl of cereal with 2% milk and lots of carrots and apples. I also had the other half of my go-dough. I did have a salad for dinner which I complained about on my fit_auntylala IG. I did have a protein bar later in the day but other than that it went ok.

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I say I struggled because it was a hard day emotionally. And I’m an emotional eater but I pulled through! I went back to school and people didn’t know about baby. They all knew I was pregnant and would feel sorry for me the longer I was pregnant. Probably because I looked like a whale and waddled everywhere. Seeing them again, I saw the excitement and anticipation grow as they walked towards me. I felt horrible having to burst their bubble and let them know the baby we were ALL waiting for didn’t make it…

I noticed that has been a pattern in this particular trial. Not that my own sorrow wasn’t painful but seeing others sympathize and empathize for me always got to me.

I felt bad for my midwife knowing the news she would have to tell me. I could sympathize for her knowing it was difficult having to come in to tell a mother that at 40 weeks and a day, her baby was gone and there was no explanation.

I couldn’t control myself telling my husband our sweet baby girl was gone. I actually did such a horrible job telling that he misunderstood me and didn’t realize what was happening until our delivering midwife came in and said “baby is gone, there’s nothing we can do but wait for you to have her”. Watching him weep over our baby girl and knowing I couldn’t comfort him in anyway was extremely difficult. I knew he was the only one who missed her nearly as much as I do.

Telling my children wasn’t easy either. Although we had talked about stillborns and miscarriages before, I never imagined having to tell them about our own baby…

I wept at the thought of telling family and friends that the sweet baby I “was still pregnant with” would not walk with us in this life. My ROC family who watched me grow from the first week we found out to the year end show, all were anticipating her arrival that morning after our assembly. Little did they, or I, know that my sweet angel was with us, but not in the body that she was given.

I knew this cleanse would bring up emotions and that my run wouldn’t make it any easier. I had other things come up and felt like crying my eyeballs out. I didn’t cry at the time and once my head cleared I was able to see the flaws in my thinking. I was able to feel my emotions and let them go. I was able to find clarity in the fog.

I still miss my baby. I cried for her last night seeing my 3 kids watch a movie. I knew she should have been in my arms with me. Instead I held baby Naa and I slept next to josh. He likes the floor and I don’t but I needed to be next to him so I just dealt with it. I wished that my baby was here and that I could hold her but instead I’m grateful for the ones I do have.

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I feel her often and I know she’s always with me. That’s why I decided to do this fitness journey. I felt her push me and prompt me to make a change. So here I am, going on day 3. Here’s to a better today and a better Aunty Lala. Thank you my sweet baby girl… My Maria.

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