Loss

I’ve thought about starting this post countless times, and each time something has stopped me. I’m unsure if I’m hesitant out of fear of being ashamed, anxiety over finally telling people, or simply due to the sadness that still permeates my thoughts every now and then. This post will be a surprise to most everyone who reads it, because we’ve told very few people.

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I found out on November 14, 2014 that I was pregnant. And just over a month later on December 26, 2014, I learned the painful fact that I had miscarried.

The initial pregnancy was a complete shock to both of us, and was met with mixed emotions. We hadn’t planned on getting pregnant yet, and now had to face the realization that we were going to be parents a lot sooner than we originally thought. Eventually, we took a deep breath and decided to get excited about bringing a little Thurston into the world. The next few weeks were full of discussions about names, telling family and a handful of friends, and buying diapers when they were on sale at Target.

A couple of days before Christmas, I began to experience a symptom or two that could be associated with a miscarriage, but since I felt completely normal and had no pain, we didn’t worry much. I spoke with my midwife and was reassured that everything was probably fine. However, as time went on, my symptoms increased. On Christmas Day, I woke up with the undeniable feeling that I had miscarried. Call it a mother’s intuition or the Holy Spirit, but I knew what had happened. On the morning of the 26th, we headed for the hospital with heavy hearts. After a few hours, my worst fear came true. The sweet baby should have been almost 11 weeks, but instead was the size of a 6 week old, and had no detectible heart beat. I don’t know if it was because of my gut feeling or simply a coping mechanism, but I left the hospital somewhat numb. I was also relieved to finally have an answer for the symptoms I had experienced for the past few days.

I was planning for a natural birth, so I opted to wait for a natural miscarriage, knowing that I may not have an option in the end. It may sound strange, but I wanted the chance to honor my unborn baby, even in death. I am so thankful for the support from Ike and my family in my decision, and for the amazing resilience and strength of the human body, because I was able to carry through with my plan.

Ike and I prayed about sharing our story, and ultimately decided to because we see it as an opportunity to share of God’s love and character. Losing a child is a terrible thing that no one should ever endure. Many people adhere to the belief that what happened to our baby was part of God’s plan for his or her life, and that the child’s purpose was carried out in the short 6 weeks he or she was here with us. We strongly disagree. We don’t believe that God gave us a precious child, only to cruelly take him or her away a few weeks later. Where is Love in that? We firmly believe that Jesus wept with us as we dealt with losing our first child. We believe that He is broken-hearted for us and for our lost child. We believe that because there is evil in the world, bad things happen. I share our story in hopes that someone finds comfort in it, and comfort in knowing that Jesus is the Giver of life.

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UPDATE: I also wanted to share this story because of the unavoidable guilt and shame that women endure when faced with a miscarriage. There are so many questions that inevitably go unanswered. I’ve asked myself if I could’ve taken a better quality prenatal vitamin, if I took showers/baths that were too hot, if I should have stopped drinking coffee altogether, if I was too stressed, etc. In the end, there is most likely no chance that I could have avoided this outcome. Accepting that has helped me to heal.

Miscarriages are hard. They’re physically painful, as well as emotionally and mentally. They’re life changing. They’re full of anxiety and fear and they cause you to doubt yourself and your body. They’re extremely polarizing because it feels almost too personal to share with others. Let’s change that. Opening up about my experience has shown me that miscarriages are more common than one can even imagine. And that doesn’t make mine feel any less sad or significant, but instead, it makes me feel as though it’s a normal part of many women’s lives. And that helps. So I want to continue to be open and honest about my experience, with hopes that someone reads this and is able to feel a little less alone.

If you know someone who is experiencing a miscarriage, I’m sure it can seem daunting to think about how to act around that person. I know it probably seems easiest to avoid the topic and move forward, but I encourage you to reach out to that person and love on them. Let them know that you’re there to listen if they want to talk or if they just want to cry/scream/just sit there. A simple “I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m praying for you” meant the absolute world to me. It felt nice to have my loss acknowledged by others, as silly as that may seem. It meant that it was no longer my heavy secret, and my loss was felt by others.

If after reading this you want to know how you can help, the answer is prayer. Pray that I (and every other woman dealing with a miscarriage) can learn to not be fearful of my next pregnancy, that I don’t allow myself to live in fear of another miscarriage, and that I can learn to trust myself and my body to be able to one day give birth to a beautiful and healthy baby.

Note: Please feel free to share this with anyone that you think it may help.

five things

IMG_3516I’m so thankful for wonderful friends who have equally wonderful babies. I got to meet Leland Katherine Kidd this past weekend, and she’s perfect! So snuggly and warm. And those fingers!

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetIke and I stopped in Chattanooga last Sunday and walked around the Market with the pup. It was full of food trucks, artists, and farmers, so we ate delicious BBQ sandwiches and stocked up on farm-fresh eggs and all-natural dog bones!

IMG_3310Here’s a small peek at our bedroom in the new house! It doesn’t have anything on the walls, we still need a floor-length mirror, and matching nightstands, but it feels like home.

IMG_3517The church we attended for the first time last week was held in a warehouse, which I love. We don’t know if it’ll be our church home, but it was so nice to be attending church together again!

IMG_3513Before our move, we were a bit concerned with how Scout would cope. We quickly decided that we would be diligent in taking her to the dog park frequently so she could socialize and wear herself out. After taking her a handful of times, I began to wonder if she would ever find a buddy who would run incessantly with her. Well folks, meet Bernie. He and Scout became fast friends today! We hope to see him again soon.

 

one week!

today marks one whole week that we’ve lived in nashville, tennessee! it’s been an extremely busy week between figuring out where to shove  place things once they’ve been unpacked, learning our way around the city, grocery shopping, searching for jobs, job interviews, and the list goes on…

after one week, i can confidently say that we are really happy with our decision to move here. we obviously miss our friends and loved ones, but we feel that nashville is the place for us. almost every day we find something new that we love about it: the dog park close by, delicious local restaurants, the traffic that is infinitely more bearable than atlanta’s, and the distance between us and the nearest marshall’s (less than 6 miles!).

IMG_3394speaking of, here’s our house! we live less than 10 minutes from downtown, close to the airport, in a 4 bedroom/1.5 bath house. we absolutely love the place. it’s got a fenced in backyard, so scout has thoroughly enjoyed being able to play outside for hours on end. i’ll show y’all the inside once all the boxes are put away!

IMG_3396we are headed to our first church service tonight! it’s primarily for musicians, who are unable to make sunday services due to the fact that they’re typically playing gigs. we’re so thankful that it’s available to us because ike will be gone every sunday for the near future. you can find more information about it here.

i’ve got a few interviews this week, so please cross your fingers that i find a great job soon!

quick update

IMG_2462as of today, we’ve got only TEN days until we leave the great state of georgia and head to tennessee! just typing that gives me anxiety about all that we have left to do… i initially thought that since our current living space is only two rooms + a bathroom, packing would be a breeze. and while it hasn’t caused any major fights between us, it’s definitely a bit more time consuming than i bargained for.

however, in a stroke of sheer genius, ike planned a beach trip for the week before our move! and that wasn’t sarcasm. i’ve been aching for the beach lately, and it’ll be the perfect (and most welcome) distraction from the chaos that is moving. after a few relaxing days in the sand, we’ll have three busy days of tying up loose ends and saying bittersweet goodbyes. if i think too much about what our move means, i could cry. the Lord has blessed both of us with the most incredible group of friends who have been nothing but supportive, helpful, and prayerful during this time in our lives. we are so grateful!

between now and our move, we’ve got to a few projects to finish:

  • staining and sealing our kitchen table (which looks awesome!)
  • cleaning and painting the table frame
  • cleaning the chairs we bought for our kitchen table — think vintage danish style.
  • our taxes — 1099’s are going to be the death of us.

please be praying for us as we close this chapter of our lives and prepare ourselves for the upcoming adventure!

the latest project

unless you’ve been over to our house, you’re probably unaware of the fact that ike and i don’t have a proper dining table. since i was in college and ike was a bachelor before we got married, we brought a few things to the table but a dining table was not one of them (pun intended). we toyed with the idea of purchasing one, but never pulled the trigger on it because we knew our current living situation would be temporary, and we didn’t want to purchase a table for the small space. we’ve certainly made due by using an oversized desk (yikes), but once our nashville move was official, we started brainstorming a table!

we love the industrial look that’s becoming popular, but after some searching on the internet we found out that it’s a bit  lot out of our price range. having the handy husband that i do (he built our bed, after all), we decided to save the cash and build it ourselves! here’s some of our inspiration:

ImageImageImageall photos from Pinterest

you may recall a picture i posted on instagram a while back of our trip to the lumberyard where we chose a cypress wood for the tabletop:

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well it shamefully took us a few weeks to make any progress on the table because of insane schedules and a lack of tools, but thanks to a sweet neighbor who lent ike all the proper tools, we’ve made progress!

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and what would a project be without a little bit of humor?:Image

a few boards later and i think ike and i can add “woodworking” to our resumés! but seriously, i’ve truly enjoyed the process and i’m so glad we chose to DIY our dining table. ike and i have spent hours researching and designing the table, and even discussing future projects. i love being able to share this experience with him!

we hope to have the top built by next week so we can work on staining and sealing it. next time i’ll reveal what we designed for the base of the table! hint: it’s not made out of wood…

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tomorrow marks 75 years that munna, that good looking lady on the right, has been alive! as she’s reading this, she’s probably upset that i revealed her age. but i think she should wear it like a badge of honor! my munna is unlike any grandmother, or 75-year-old, that i know. i wish that everyone had the chance to meet her. here are a few things that make munna so special:

  • up until a few years ago, she rode a jet ski almost everyday that the weather would allow. and she didn’t stop because of age, only because of location.
  • for 8 years, munna took as many grandchildren as possible to a summer family camp in north georgia. it was basically our version of disneyworld.

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  • she has the sweetest southern accent, and is often told she sounds like paula deen. (but she hates that :))
  • every time you visit her, she will make at least one of your favorite meals. (ex: chicken salad)
  • she owns an iPhone and iPad, and is proficient on both. AND she uses facebook!

of course, there are many more things that make her special. i have so many wonderfully sweet memories of her taking me out on the jet ski as a kid, scratching my back until i fell asleep, playing with us in the pool, making the infamous ‘chipped beef on toast’ for breakfast, and proclaiming “kitchen’s closed!” after she finished the dishes from supper. i don’t get to see munna as often these days, unfortunately. life gets in the way and doesn’t leave much room for road trips. that’s the hard thing about growing up and moving off; visits with grandparents tend to fall only on holidays now. i am incredibly grateful to have so many memories with her, and to have another year to make even more when she comes to visit us in nashville!

munna, despite the miles that are between us this weekend, i hope that you know just how loved and appreciated you are. i would give anything to celebrate with you on your big day! i love you dearly and i’m so thankful that you are my grandmother, and friend. cheers to many more years of being your “chatterbox!”