Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a Good Life! I'm Dianne, a 30-something mommy of 2 wanting to use my words to inspire my daughters, and others, to live a good life.
My good life in photos.
People keep telling me I look tired. I have bags under my eyes. After school, the first thing I do is put on stretchy pants. I practically live in black leggings. And, my eyebrows are in desperate need of one-on-one attention.
I hate to say it, but I’m pulling the pregnant card this time.
My aunts all say that I am having a boy…something about the testosterone levels taking over. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that this time around I am not trying to hide my tiredness and discomfort.
I realize that when women become moms, their priorities change. Makeup and blowouts take a backseat to comfort and ponytails. A part of me feels like it comes with the territory and I should just accept it as my new reality. The other part of me wishes I had the drive and energy to pay more attention to the way I look, not for others but for myself. For my self-esteem and my attitude.
For now I guess I’ll continue playing the pregnant card. Maybe when I start to feel like myself again I can put more effort into my appearance. I wonder when that will be…
We are past the halfway point of the 31 day challenge, and what a wonderful experience it has been thus far! I started off thinking that in an effort to organize some of the physical clutter around my house I would … Continue reading
Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. We lit 3 candles to remember our 3 little angels in Heaven, along with the many other babies that God called back home to Him. I imagined all the families that participated in this day of remembrance and thought that Heaven must have enjoyed seeing the millions of candles lit from up above. What a sight it must have been.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant for the first time, we felt the way all first time parents-to-be would feel: extreme excitement, joy, and wonder at the miracle that had occurred. You don’t think about the “what ifs” your first time. You even start telling people, because you simply cannot contain your happiness. At 12 weeks we went to our first OB appointment. The nurses called us “mom” and “dad” and said their congratulations. The doctor wanted to listen for a heartbeat. She tried for some time and couldn’t find it, but that was ok because it was still early and sometimes it’s hard to detect a heartbeat through the doppler. She issued an ultrasound order and has us go to another office to get it done (they didn’t do it at that office). We had no worries at all going into the ultrasound.
When the ultrasound tech got quiet, I knew something must not be right. He just kept searching and searching and searching…for what? I didn’t know at the time, because he didn’t really explain anything to us. He just kept searching. Then he said he needed to get the doctor.
There’s no heartbeat.
There’s just an empty sac.
This is very common. 1 in 4 women miscarry.
I was told that my OB would call me and explain things more in detail as well as inform me of the next steps I needed to take. The only call I received was one telling me that I needed to schedule a D&C for the next day. I had no idea what that was or even what the heck was happening to me. It wasn’t until the next day, 5 minutes before I had to have this procedure done, did a doctor tell me what exactly was happening to my body, what happened to my baby, and why I needed to have a D&C. In hindsight, I would have asked more questions and perhaps even try to pursue other options. But, everything happens for a reason.
My next 2 pregnancies didn’t last as long as the first – I miscarried both at around 8 weeks or earlier. It still hurt the same.
My OB sent me to see an endocrinologist and they ran a whole bunch of tests to see if there could be something wrong with my reproductive system. They found nothing.
It took me a while to let go of the hurt I was feeling from each of these losses. My faith was weak, and so was my relationship with God. I could not understand what I ever did to deserve this. It was particularly difficult because no one I was close to had been through this before. I had no one to talk to, no one who could understand. People felt sorry for me, but they didn’t understand.
I actually turned to the internet for solace and searched for women who had stories similar to mine. I found so many. Just reading similar stories helped me to grieve and to finally heal. My relationship with God began to mend as I realized that all these women had found a purpose to their experience. I began to have hope that someday, I would, too.
Two years after our first miscarriage we became pregnant for the fourth time. At first, we braced ourselves to accept another loss. I was having lots of bleeding, and was almost certain I was miscarrying. I wasn’t even going to call the doctor, because I knew what was happening to my body. It was just like the others. I ended up calling just to make an appointment with the endocrinologist we had seen after our third miscarriage, to see if he could run some more tests. They asked me if I was miscarrying again, and when I said “yes” they told me to come in for testing.
And this time around, things were different. This time, my HCG levels rose instead of declined. This time, I let go and let God. I realized that things happen whether I want them to or not, independent of how much I prayed for something, how many good deeds I tried to do, or how I even lived my life. I was not in control. I had only been looking at my plan, without giving any thought to what God had planned for me. My heart was different this time around. And for some reason, this time, my baby made it.
Fourth time’s a charm.
I still get sad over the babies I lost. I think about them every day…I went so far as to have them tattooed on me forever. I’m happy to say that I did find the purpose to these trials, just like all the other women whose stories I read online.
God wanted me to let go.
This past 3-day weekend consisted of mostly family time (the BEST kinds of weekends). On Sundays the whole family gets together to watch the Niner game, have dinner, and usually watch Once Upon A Time, a series we all have recently gotten into. The topic of conversation after dinner fell upon a sore subject. We started chatting about certain family members who have caused great strife, suffering, and turmoil within our family. Voices were raised, and tears were shed. The hurt that has been caused by them runs deep, and due to the nature of our family dynamic, nothing ever gets done about it. When people have tried to confront the issues in the past, the divide simply cuts deeper, causing all people involved to lose all hope of things ever being mended. It is a sad part of our history, past and present, but one that is still very real and unresolved.
But, there are lessons to be learned, and those lessons that have come from this part of our family life have been important in how I now view and deal with difficult situations/people. I realized that much of the distress was caused by issues of control – wanting to control situations and people…how they act, think, and react to what I say and do. Selfish, I know.
So I offer two pieces of advice to those out there that are holding on to a past hurt from a loved one:
#1 Think about what YOU have contributed to the situation.
It’s so easy for us to think we are completely innocent. I did nothing wrong. It was all her. She is the one who is causing drama. I have nothing to do with anything. While this may actually be the case in rare circumstances, most of the time there was a part that we, ourselves, played that contributed to the mess. Albeit we may have just been reacting to something the other person said/did, but nevertheless we are adding to an already negative situation. Instead, think about what you can do to help. Even if it was not your fault, what are you going to do to fix it?
#2 Understand that you cannot control other people.
You can only control your own actions, thoughts, and emotions. You cannot be responsible for what others do or say. So it’s ok to be upset and angry and hurt because of what another person did to you, but be upset and then let it go. Because you cannot spend all day dwelling on how another is choosing to live his/her life. Your energy should be spent on how you are choosing to live yours.
Today was one of those days. Those days. Where there was just too much to do, nothing really got done, and my lunch date was a stack of papers. On top of that I had a meeting scheduled at 3pm. I know…a meeting on a Friday of a 3-day weekend. I must be crazy. The meeting lasted until 4:15pm and it wasn’t particularly productive, but it took a lot out of me. I couldn’t wait to get home, and of course as I pulled up to my driveway my neighbors were there hanging out. Any other day I’d gladly stay and chat, small talk, socialize…just not today. But of course, I’m a nice person, so I summoned up just enough energy to stir up some conversation for 10 minutes before I excused myself to go inside.
By the time I changed into comfortable clothes, grabbed a snack, and played with my daughter, I was done. Done for the day, done with talking, done with listening, done thinking. I needed to let go and just be. I craved silence.
Anyone that lives with a toddler knows that silence is practically non-existent when the little one is awake. So I did what any desperate mother would do – bust out the iPad. Unlimited screen time in exchange for a little bit of peace. And I didn’t feel guilty at all. The sound of silence was golden.
Today was a reminder that maybe I need to be more conscious of taking short time-outs during the day, especially when I’m having one of those days. I need to remember to take time to breathe and let go of all the extra noise. Time to let my thoughts catch up to me. Time to remember to be grateful for being alive.
Time to just be.
I have to work (and work, and work, and work) at being organized. What works for me are things that I can implement easily and right now.
I came across Becky Higgins’ (creator of Project Life, a scrapbooking system I die for…totally changed my life) blog today and she had a guest poster give organizational tips for the home. I thought that they were super simple and easy to follow. Totally would work for my lifestyle and accomplishing my goal of letting go of clutter. I especially want to try a couple of her tips for doing laundry (Remember my post about laundry? I need this in my life.)
- Do laundry only 1 day a week.
- Fold clothes out of the dryer.
- Sort into baskets belonging to various family members.
Go and check out the post! Hope some of you will find it useful!