My first Mother’s day was May 2008. At that point, and prior, Mother’s day was a whole other concept for me. It was about life, mothers who had given life to children, and celebrating those women. I might have thought about bereaved mothers fleetingly, but I never really considered what a difficult day it must have been for those mothers who could not see and hold their children. I thought of the mothers whose children sent them cards and made them dinner and finger painted messy pictures and gave hugs and snotty kisses.
I was in my second trimester with my son. I anticipated a lifetime of all of those things. I looked forward to all of the years I would spend with my son. I was a mom, and the following mother’s day I would raising a 6 month old.
That isn’t how it happened, and now, Mother’s day has a very different feeling for me. I still celebrate the wonderful mother I have, and the friends and family I have that are wonderful mothers to their living children, but more so I think about the mothers who are often forgotten. The ones who question if they can still call themselves a mother, the ones who look longingly as their friends and family receive gifts from their children, and are acknowledged by the world as mothers, and who never question how to answer when someone asks them if they have children.
Mother’s day of 2009 approached and I dreaded it. I asked for the day off work. I readied myself to have a flood of emotions come over me. They never came. I was at peace that I was still a mother. I think another part of me realized that even if my son had lived, at 6 months he wouldn’t have realized what the day was. For the next couple years Mother’s day wasn’t as difficult of a day to get through as I thought it would be.
But there’s something about this year that is beginning to change. Perhaps it could be that I’m missing the Mother’s day hug of a 4 year old boy who is starting to understand holidays and wants to make his mommy feel special. Perhaps it’s because I’m turning 30 this year and starting to wonder if I will ever again feel the flutters of this precious child I helped create coming to life and growing within me. Perhaps I am beginning to feel like time is running out. Perhaps it’s the world continuing to turn and friends continuing to welcome home baby two and three and four…
Or perhaps it is the weight of sadness that too many women face alone each day, and especially on Mother’s day. The women who have tried for months or years and yearn to see those two lines on a pregnancy test. The women who have seen those lines and yet weeks or months later endure a heartbreaking miscarriage. The women who have felt life within and yet have held death in their arms. The women who have no living children and not only doubt if they can call themselves mother, but start to doubt if they can even call themselves woman, after so much devastating loss and a body that has failed them on countless occasions.
So this Mother’s day, while I do celebrate with all of you who are terrific mothers, forgive me if my love and attention goes more towards those like me, who try to stifle our jealousy, congratulate our mother friends like it isn’t sometimes the most difficult words to utter, and wonder if the day will ever come that we know what it is like to hear a child call us mommy.
The other day I was driving home from work and two different songs came on. I could picture both of them being a part of my “after” video. I saw pictures, and I put it all together in my mind.
I’m not an “after” yet. I’m still a “before”.
On the one hand, thinking about the future I think helps visualize what is possible. It puts hope in my head that I won’t always be out of shape and unhealthy. However, on the other, bigger hand, you can visualize all you want, but if you stay sitting on the couch eating oreos, the image you dream of will never come to pass.
I haven’t been sitting on the couch eating oreos. I’ve been eating pretty well, but I’m still sitting on the couch much more than I should be. It seems like it’s either/or with me. At the beginning of 2013 I joined a gym and was going 4-5 days a week for a few weeks. And I was eating McDonalds and Wendy’s a few times a day. Then when I started to slack off on the gym, I changed my eating to be more healthy. But I wasn’t really burning any calories besides that which I burned at work (which I’m lucky to have such an active job. I can now lift and carry 70 pounds on my own.. kinda crazy)
I’m guilty of dreaming a lot. That in itself isn’t bad. I fully believe it’s the dreamers who change the world. But nothing happens to a dream when there is no action. It’s just a feel good experience and then on continues life without change.
So, that is what I am continuing to work on. Letting my dreams turn into small goals that I can reach. Working every day to be a little more focused on doing and a little less pre-occupied with dreaming.
I think once I get that together, I will rule the world.
I put the cart ahead of the horse when I started this blog. I just wanted to become one of those inspiring success stories that helps change people’s lives while I change my own.
It was the wrong motivation. I needed to get in control of myself first.
There’s been a lot of ups and downs since I last checked in. A breakup, makeup, breakup again, and now… I’m not sure the “label”. I lost my job and have been struggling to find a new one. And all my hard work went down the toilet.
No more promises and big goals. I don’t need to be a hero. Ultimately I just want to write.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I will be checking into getting internet at my house so I can regularly post again. I want to be a writer. I need to write. That is what this space will be. I’ll be editing and revamping it a little, and setting a schedule for myself to be held accountable to.
I hope that regardless of the subject you’ll all continue to watch and join the conversation. I’ll still share my journey, but that will only be one small part of what this place will be, because it’s only one small part of who I am.
See you soon.
Anybody remember me?
I don’t blame you.
I got a job, lost my constant internet accessibility and I disappeared. But I’m back, and not just a one time drop in, but I’m back. I will be regular, and consistent and I will rejoin the community that helped me so much.
So what have you been up to?
I started my new job and stopped weighing myself because my habits went back to crap. I was eating out a lot, working a lot, being exhausted, and having potlucks. I do love my job though. More than any other job I’ve ever had, I’m absolutely in love. I get to help people change their lives. Nothing could be better.
I was Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding. I got my dress in the mail and it was too small, so with a little over 2 weeks to go, I worked my butt off, quite literally. Without starving myself, I dropped 10 pounds and like 3 inches from my waist. I was so proud of myself. The dress had a zipper disaster and I still had to buy a new dress last minute, but I showed myself that if I work hard, focus, and set a goal, I can achieve it. I was still eating in a healthy manner, and I was working out morning, lunch, and evening. I don’t want to go that hard at it all the time because I’m not trying to consistently lose 10 pounds a week, but I saw that it was possible to do, even with as busy as I was with my new job.
I’m going to get back to that. I celebrated by eating myself silly when I got back. I’m still learning.
In a few weeks I get to go back to school. I get to finish my degree. No excuses this time.
I have been following a blog for a year and they’re looking for some new blood. I submitted my nomination tonight. I said that I would commit to blogging regularly again. I committed to at least 3 days a week. I will make tha same commitment to my readers. Regardless of what happens, you will see me around these parts at least 3 times a week. Girl Scout Honor.
I’m getting back to me. I’m participating in a karaoke contest at work. I’m putting myself out there, risking rejection, and being okay no matter what.
I’m plugged back into life.
Oh yeah, and I broke up with my boyfriend.
That’s a different story for a different day.
Stay tuned. It’s about to get real.
Well, it’s been awhile. I left my job that I had a lot of extra time and an internet connection so I’m going to have to get internet at home now. Plus with lots of less free time I’m going to have to schedule my writing, because I want to be consistent with it and get a habit of it going. But more on that later.
2011 came to a close and here we are in a new year. I joined a challenge to get the New Year started off right. I’m excited about setting some goals and seeing them reached. I’m also excited about the new job. It’s the first time in awhile that I can say I really feel like I’m doing something important. I’m an Admissions Counselor for a university. Not only does this mean I’m going to be helping others make their goals and dreams a reality, but I will be able to achieve more of my own goals as well. As an employee, I can finish my bachelors and, if I choose, can go on to also get my masters, and the only cost I will incur will be books and lab fees, if applicable. How excited am I about that? Very.
The challenge for this week was to start off by getting a good gauge of my fitness by seeing how many pushups I could do. I did modified and I completed 10. Much room for improvement.
Next we were told that as beginners we were to complete 120 minutes of exercise this week. My result? 76 minutes. I fell short of the goal. I didn’t realize how exhausted I would be with my new job. I let excuses and exhaustion get in my way. To make up for that, whatever we’re given as a goal this week, I will add 44 minutes to it. The great thing about this new job is that there is a gym in my building that is free to me. However I don’t get to use it until I have my badge. And I do not yet have my badge. Once I do, my plan is to get 30 minutes done on a treadmill/elliptical/etc during every lunch period.
How many of us have excuses? All of us? Yeah. We were told to write down our biggest excuse and put it where we could see it. I did two.
(Tried to post pics but they’re not good quality)
On my fridge says “No Self Sabotage”, and on my wall so I see it right out of bed and right before bed, “Be Consistent”.
I set five goals for myself for February 1, and then measured where I currently am.
1. Lose 12 pounds by February 1. I will achieve this by not eating fast food for the month and working out at least half an hour for 6 days a week. I am currently at 297.4
2. Run 1 mile without walking by running intervals 4x per week. I currently can’t run for more than about 1/8 of a mile.
3. Hold plank for 3 minutes by incorporating pushups and hand weights into my work outs to build arm strength. I can currently hold a plan for 30 seconds.
4. Lose 3 inches in waist and hips by not only doing cardio but working on toning exercises and eating foods that promote burning belly fat and reduce bloating. Currently Hips are at 57” and Waist is 49”.
5. I also wanted a goal related to my writing. I will write 25,000 new words by February 1 by dedicating half an hour a day, 6 days a week to focused, uninterrupted free writing. Currently I write very sporadically and it cant really be measured.
Each night we are to also write 4 things we are proud of. I haven’t done it every night, but a few things I’m very proud of this week are:
1) Coming out of my box and interacting with my fellow new hires instead of being shy and insecure.
2) Getting 100% on my first test.
3) Working out on a night that I was exhausted and just wanted to sit in my chair and fall asleep.
4) Avoiding a lot of sweets on nights I was emotional and wanted to feed my face just to feel better.
5) Working out during the Biggest Loser instead of eating my way through it.
Here’s to the second week of the New Year. Make it a great one y’all.
There has been a lot of talk about the Duggar family lately, from becoming pregnant with their 20th child, to Michelle’s miscarriage, and their decision to take photographs of their daughter. Let me just tell you, I’m tired of all the talk. This family has put themselves in the public eye, and I realize that means it opens them up to be talked about. But once again I am reminded that people oftentimes don’t think before they speak, and that many people have no filter, no concept that a public figure they are speaking about is an actual real person with human feelings and emotions. I think that’s the first lesson we should remember; “Famous” people are still people.
My opinion of the Duggar family isn’t that extensive. I don’t watch the show. I don’t know much about them, and I tend to, as a rule, not make opinions about things I don’t know of. How I wish more people followed that rule in their own lives. The one thing I have thought, and stated on one page that referenced Michelle and her miscarriage, is that I worry about her health these days. I would hate for something to happen to Michelle and for her to miss the chance to see her children grow up and her grandchildren born. That would make me very sad for that family. I don’t know much about the family but it is my understanding that they believe God will give them as many kids as He wants and will stop them from conceiving when He decides it’s time. I don’t personally agree with that belief, and I think it’s a dangerous belief to have. But that’s as far as I go with my opinion.
But it seems that everyone else has so many more opinions about this family, about how many kids someone should have, about their miscarriage being for the best, and about their decision to take photographs and share the photographs. There’s a bunch of people talking who have never experienced the loss of a child, and I think it’s about time people keep their opinions to themselves.
I remember the bereavement counselor coming into my room during my labor and telling me about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.
(Clicking the image will take you to the About Us page of their website. There are no images on that page. If you navigate the site, you will see examples of the photography they provide. If these images will be distressing to you, don’t navigate out of the About page)
I remember at the time being disturbed that they would ask if I wanted pictures of my dead son. Why would I want them? Every day since that moment I am so thankful that I said yes. Once my son was born and I left the hospital, I had already started to forget his precious face. With the gift that my photographer Scott gave me, I will never forget Damien’s face. I can look and see he has my face. I can remember. NILDMTS provided a priceless gift for me. I could never thank them enough.
There are many people who have never walked this road, and I respect that they don’t know what it is to grieve such a huge loss. I know there would be questions about why certain choices are made. What I don’t understand is why people take it upon themselves to judge how others grieve. I don’t understand why people think it’s their place to say hurtful things. I know that nobody knows the right thing to say when a baby dies. Let me let you off the hook, there’s nothing you can say. There’s no magic words. There are, though, a lot of things you can say that aren’t helpful. Please don’t preach to the family. Don’t tell them it was God’s plan. Don’t say God needed another angel. Don’t philosophize about why it happened or guess that maybe it was best and that there could have been something “wrong” with the baby. I think I could safely say most if not all mothers would rather have a special needs child they can hold in their arms than a baby they never got to know. Regardless of what your faith is and what theirs is, don’t try to answer for why this happened. Just don’t. It’s not helpful. If they bring it up, then that’s a different story, but don’t insert yourself into that place without their permission.
What can you say? You can say you are sorry for their loss. You can say I love you. You can say you miss the baby/or you’re sorry you never got to know the baby. And if, IF you really really mean it, you can say that if they ever need anything that they can call. But if you’re not okay with being woken up at 3 am to a crying friend, ridden with anxiety and grief, don’t say to call if they need anything. Only say it if you mean it.
I’m tired of people pretending they know. “Well it was only a miscarriage”. “Oh, so your son didn’t actually die, you just lost a pregnancy.” “It’s wrong to grieve that way.” “Wasn’t that a year ago? You’re still dealing with it? Should you talk to someone?” “It’s for the best.”
I’ve heard some of those things about the Duggars. I’ve heard some of those things about me and my son. I’ve heard those things said to others. It’s hurtful, no matter who it’s said to or about, it hurts me to know that people are willing to say such hurtful things. I think we can all do a better job at being sensitive to others’ pain.
Written by others:
Last night was the Season Finale of the Biggest Loser. If you are still waiting to see it, then stop now and go no further. There will be spoilers. You’re not allowed to be mad at me. You’ve been warned.
First, how did I not notice that there was a new theme song this season? Oops. I really never noticed. However, my ears bled a little when Train performed. I didn’t like dude’s voice. At all.
As much as I didn’t really connect with anyone much in the beginning of the season, I found myself really taking a liking to some of them by the end of the season. Instead of reviewing the show, I’m going to review the contestants and their journeys. But I’m going to start with the trainers.
Bob Harper – Seasoned Trainer. Bob has been here from the beginning. People know what to expect from him. He’s stable. He knows how to get results. Although I do truly believe he wants people to change their lives, it’s easy to get drawn into the money. There are things he endorses that frustrate me. I think he’s letting sponsors buy him, and I don’t like that. But Biggest Loser overall is doing the same thing, so I’m not surprised. He looks like a fun guy to spend time around and I enjoyed watching him this season. I’d let him train me, just not at 5 in the morning, because his happiness is annoying.
Anna Kournikova – When they announced at last season’s finale that she would be the new trainer, I was annoyed. I didn’t know much about her, but I just didn’t think that it was a good idea. And there were many people who agreed with me. Putting her on the show did not turn out to be a very popular decision. But she grew on me, and there were times she said some really great things to the contestants. She told Ramon and Jessica not to lose focus, she reminded her new team that it was about their weight and getting healthy and not about their trainer and their team. She said things people didn’t like and they seemed harsh, but with the softness she said it with, I don’t know how much got through. People were very critical of Jillian Michaels and her harshness, but I know a trainer like that would get results with me.
Dolvett Quince – Like you have any doubt my feelings about this man. (And I really hope that with all I talk about him, my boyfriend never reads my blog) But in case you missed it, I’ll let you know. He’s a beautiful man. There is something about his smile that makes me weak in the knees. And he reminds me a lot of my man actually. Last night at the finale Dolvett smiled in a way that kind of summed it up as to why I’m in lust with him. There is a thing about a man who has the right balance of ego/humility/arrogance that really turns me on. My man has it. And Dolvett appears to have it also. And it’s HOT. I look forward to seeing you next season sir.
Courtney – Courtney struggled with the way she felt about herself. I can identify. But they flashed back to something she said in the season, “I’m tired of wondering what life could be like if I lost the weight.” I can identify with that. I also wonder what it will be like when I am healthy and in shape and can do things without difficulty. What I’m not doing anymore though is waiting for life to start once I get healthy. Life is already here. If you’re reading this and you’re waiting for the day you’re the size you want to be before you make life happen, PLEASE STOP. Live your life now. You deserve it now. And every day you waste is a day you can never have back. So go for it now. You might be told no. You might get rejected. But go for it, whatever “it” is.
Johnny – Strange duck. He just was. He was eliminated the second week so I didn’t form much of an opinion of him. He marches to his own beat, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And good for him for finishing a marathon at his age. It’s not about coming in first, it’s about just getting it done. Finishing is winning.
Becky – I really liked her. She became one of my favorites. If I didn’t already have the best mom ever, I’d try to get her to adopt me. She just oozes kindness and mother-ness (it’s a word. Shut up) She looked AWESOME in her red dress last night. Good for you Becky! And I hope she does well to help inspire not only her own children to healthier lives but also inspires her students to healthier lives.
Jessica – I was really surprised she didn’t win the marathon. I fully expected her to. I was VERY happy when she said there wouldn’t be a proposal this season. Take it slow, don’t compete with the other couples that the Biggest Loser has produced and figure out if you can be a couple out of the house and off the ranch. Her blue dress was hot. I liked it a lot.
Vinny – I so wanted him to win the at home prize. He really captured my heart. I was happy to see the hard work he had put in at home. He looked really good. He is an example of what it’s like to carry childhood trauma as baggage that lives on your body. I am excited for him and the life he’ll have with his fiancé. I hope his brother learns from him and gets healthy as well.
Bonnie – Oh Bonnie. She looked gorgeous and I was so proud of the work she did at home. Bonnie was definitely trying to play the victim card and that’s what happens when you get mad at life and give up. She really has changed her life and I hope that people took notice. I know that I did. I saw glimpses of myself in Bonnie, when she was quick to try to throw in the towel. That’s been me. Many many times. But she did it. She learned whatever she needed to learn and she faced life. It’s a lesson we can all learn.
Sunny – They talked about how her family was worried about her but never said anything. After I started my journey a friend told me she was glad I was changing because she had worried about me but didn’t know what to say. I can understand not knowing what to say, but figure it out. Don’t love someone to death. Speak up. Kindly, and in whatever way they’ll listen, but say something. Sunny looks very good and very happy.
Patrick – Another quitter. When he volunteered to go home that’s what I thought he was doing, quitting. I’m happy that he did so well at home. And he managed to make top 3 for at home weightloss, so good for him. But I had to laugh when he walked out. My first thought was, “Newsies?”
Debbie – Going home the first week means we don’t really get to see a person’s personality develop. She did manage to lose some at home and that is a good thing.
Mike – He looks very good, and it’s good he can be active with his guys now and doesn’t just need to coach from the sidelines or ride around in a cart to get to them. He’s active. He completed a marathon. Age should never hold anyone back.
Joe – I connected with something he said on one episode about eating in secret. He was in his car a lot driving from location to location for his job and he was always stopping to get fast food and then throwing away the evidence so nobody would see. He admitted to that the same week I wrote this. I cried when he talked about that because I understood it far too well.
Jennifer – I wasn’t a fan of hers, and I’m sad she was the one who got the at home prize. But I am happy that she’s done so well. I just think it’s dangerous to fixate too much on a person who should only be a tool in your weight loss and not the whole reason for it. Don’t say Bob did it, take ownership for changing your life. And did you see she still has a booty? That actually makes me happy. I worry that in my weight loss I’ll end up with a flat butt. I do date a black man after all. Flat butts aren’t allowed.
Ramon – Proud of him for winning the marathon and he seemed to grow up a little bit. He inspired his family to start changing their lives too and he helped his dad to lose 85 pounds. That’s awesome.
Antone – He was far too emotional for me in the beginning. He annoyed me quickly. But he worked through his issues and I like him now. He went from wearing a 4X shirt, heading into a 5X to now wearing a Large. Good for him! I think he is a good warning label for all athletes. So many of them know how to train for their sport, and then once they retire, go on to pack on pounds. Just because you can stay in shape for a season or temporarily, does not mean you know the keys to living a healthy life. I think he would be good to go talk to athletes and teach a well rounded healthy lifestyle so that obesity doesn’t creep in when the glory days are over.
John – I’m not happy he won. His obsession with winning worries me and I just hope he keeps off the weight. Season 3 winner Eric was a favorite of mine and after the confetti fell he gained back nearly all the weight he lost. If all you’re interested in is the money, then it’s hard to actually learn and soak in all that you need to in order to make this a permanent life change. I hope he did learn and that he stays healthy for his family. $250,000 can buy a lot of fast food.
At the end they showed a preview of next season and I really hope they don’t play up this Santa Claus thing like it looks they did in the preview. That would annoy me QUICKLY. Also they showed a twist in the game that although you’re going to campus with a partner, they’re actually going to be your rival. Very interesting. Also at the end, Dr H got up and spoke about the top 3 contestants and their health. I had a lot of thoughts about that but I’ll save them for another day.