I Kinda Miss Blogging and What’s Been on My Mind

It’s true- I sometimes miss blogging. I’m not sure if it’s the actual blogging that I miss or just writing, but I really did enjoy sharing snapshots of my life over the past few years. As I mentioned before, I got in touch with some awesome women along the way, and the community made me feel less alone during some dark times. When I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t from a technical aspect (seriously, I suck at all computer stuff, haha), but back in 2012, I was writing just to write. I’d pretty much just discuss issues that were on my mind based on things that I was going through or that I had observed, but sometimes I’d throw in a post about crafts, the army life, or just pointless information that I’m sure no one cares to know about myself 😉 I go through phases with crafts- sometimes I get on a streak and I’m all about DIY projects. The next week I’m so over it and feel like it’s a waste of my time.

I did talk about the army from a military spouse’s perspective, but I never wanted to indulge too much into it. I didn’t want to write about my husband’s job, nor did I feel comfortable from a safety standpoint doing so. Plus, he’s a private person and doesn’t mind when I talk about my stuff, but I know he wouldn’t want me talking about his. So there’s that. I didn’t have a niche, and that was irritating to me because I felt like I didn’t really “fit in” anywhere. Looking back, I never really fit in to a particular group, even during my school years. I wasn’t an athlete, wasn’t in the musical/drama group, wasn’t a brainiac, etc. I was just there, haha. Perhaps I DID fit somewhere from other people’s perspective, but I didn’t feel that way. Unfortunately, I still don’t. And while I’m now 30 years old, married, and have a child, I’m trying to come to terms with still feeling this way. Still trying to find my niche in life.

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Newborn pic 🙂 Time is flying by!

This brings me to my next topic. I’m only eight weeks postpartum and I’m already having anxiety about what’s next for me in life from a career standpoint. I know this is just who I am, and I truly am living in the moment with Savannah, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my future career endeavors. Before I go any further, I should say that I’m SO happy to be able to stay at home with our baby right now and for the next several months. Many mothers don’t have a choice; however, some do but have a career and I know it’s still incredibly hard for them to leave their babies.

Anyways, I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m going to do. I worked in retail management for a year and a half (most recent) and in my early twenties when I was screwing around by being in and out of school, I worked at a tanning salon for five years (I know, I know- they’re bad, but it was easy income and above minimum wage). My job experience is probably a joke to most people, and I only have a Bachelor’s degree. Who the hell is going to hire me? And in what field? Will I ever be suitable for a job that pays over $14 an hour? Where are we going to move next? What if the job market is worse than it was in El Paso (it’s just more difficult when you’re not bilingual). This is the type of stuff that runs through my head and gets me worked up.

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Napping while mommy types 🙂 I’m obsessed with these ring slings, Wildbird.

My little girl doesn’t care what I do right now. All she cares about is looking up and seeing her mommy, or daddy, and being content. Seriously, seeing her smile or grasp my finger with her little hand lights a freaking spark in me. It’s amazing how much she’s already learning, and I know I may never have the opportunity to stay home as long as I will with Savannah if we ever have a second child. So, I’m relishing these moments. On the flip side, working is important to me for three reasons.

Number 1: I want to financially contribute to our family. I want us to be able to take family vacations, buy things and not worry about if our bank account is too low, and save for her college education. And, I want to pay off my student loans ASAP (it’s the only debt we have, and I feel bad because it’s all mine).

We went camping, to the Wisconsin Dells, and to Disney World twice when I was growing up which was totally fine by me, but my husband went SO many places with his family. Seriously like all over the United States, and I think that’s so awesome. Since moving across the country four years ago and seeing places I would’ve never otherwise seen, I’ve learned that traveling is important and special to me. I want to have memories of exploring new places with our children, and NOT go into debt or have to charge all vacation expenses.

Over the past two years or so, I’ve realized that it’s worth buying nicer, higher quality items rather than trying to be frugal and buy something cheap. Now, this isn’t always the case, but when it comes to certain clothes (jeans, shoes, coats) and household goods, I now prefer the better items. They not only look nicer, but they last longer. My ass is not buying closet staples stuff from Forever 21 anymore! I’m still pretty cheap though and do some weird things around the house to save a few pennies 😉 Baby girl has poop explosions so it doesn’t really matter, but I’ve also noticed a difference in baby clothes after washing items from various places.

In regards to college- I think one of the best gifts you can give your children is paying for or partially for their education. Scholarships and grants are great, but you can’t depend on that stuff. You have no idea how intelligent, athletic, musically inclined- whatever- he/she is going to be, so you can’t count on them being good enough for free tuition. If she doesn’t want to go to college, her fund can be transferred over to another family member which is pretty cool.

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Being such a good girl while mommy took her 2 month pictures

Number 2: I want to have a career that I enjoy or a job that I really love. I despised retail management at first (and hated the dumb shifts when I was in charge of an update or new floorset, but I actually liked doing that stuff), but I ended up really enjoying the people I worked with. The job taught me a lot- managing a store so much more than just selling clothes which I think many people don’t understand. Anyways, I want to feel good about the work I do because I know that often times carries over into your personal life. I know I’ll be a huge ass grump to everyone if I’m working a shitty job with shitty hours and I’m not satisfied.

Number 3: IF anything were ever to happen, I don’t want to be completely screwed. I love me husband, I love my life, but I also don’t live in a fairy tale land. Things happen, people change, grow apart- so many things cause relationships to unravel, and if we were ever to get to that dark place, I don’t want to feel like I have to stay because I have no other choice due to financial constraints. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ll never be Bill Gates or anything, but I’d at least like to feel somewhat secure and stable if anything were to happen. Some people may disapprove with this point, but you have to be realistic. I also don’t really believe in the whole “staying together for the kids” mantra. If your marriage sucks and there’s no hope, what’s the point? You’ll probably be doing more damage to them as they’ll think that’s how marriage is supposed to be. That’s a topic for another day though 😉

As you can see, my mind is slightly all over the place, but I hope to get a grip and a tentative “plan” in action once we find out where we go next. I’m truly looking forward to staying home with Savannah until then, but I like having both short and long-term goals. I never had goals in my late teens and early twenties and I think that was a major contributor in my floundering. Please don’t tell me not to worry, just to enjoy my time with my baby, or “it’ll all work itself out”. That doesn’t help me any, haha. However, I do have a few questions…

Has anyone else experienced this? I’m kind of afraid that if I do start working, I’ll hate it and wish I was home with Savannah.

Moms that stayed home then went on to work after your child was a bit older- Did you have a hard time finding decent work? I’m afraid the longer I’m out of a job, the harder it’ll be to find something that’s worth it.

Any suggestions on what you could see me doing career-wise? I’m serious, haha. And something that doesn’t require a Master’s degree- that’s not happening!

****I don’t know what’s going to happen with the blog right now, but it felt good getting these thoughts out. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Visitors After the Baby’s Arrival

I know visitor’s after the baby’s arrival can be a big issue for couples (I even googled it and there are a ton of discussion boards with venting wives, lol) and I’ve been asked a handful of times my stance on it, so that’s what I want to discuss today. I think it’s super important for spouses to be on the same page regarding and it’s something that should be discussed before the baby is born. The last thing you need is arguing with each other during an already stressful (yet amazing!) time if it could’ve been prevented.

Tyler and I are in a different situation that many couples because we live across the country from literally all family and close friends. That being said, we won’t have the issues with people just dropping by unannounced or last minute which is good in a way because that would probably drive me freaking crazy, haha. I’ve written about it several times, but if you don’t already know, I have anxiety issues which have gotten much better, but they’re still there. I liked things planned ahead as much as possible 😉 Anyways, this also means that family or friends will be flying in to see us which is awesome but can be overwhelming as well. That being said, I think it’s best that family comes down in cycles and that their visits do not overlap with each other.

Tyler and I downsized when we moved to Arizona. Though we have three bedrooms, they’re SMALL. We have our master, baby girl has her nursery and we have the spare room as the computer/treadmill/movie/army room. We physically were not able to have an extra bedroom for guests, but we honestly didn’t have many visitors in El Paso anyways and this time we’re only here for 8-9 months (will be moving again in September/October). That being said, we can’t have anyone staying with us when they visit. My brother and sister will be staying here- they’re young and I’d never expect them to pay for a hotel. Plus, they could care less if they slept on the couch or air mattress for a week! I can also tell them when they’re annoying the crap out of me and don’t feel like I have to entertain them or that they’ll be judging me on my new mothering, haha 😉 Just kidding…kinda 🙂

They’ll be here from June 25-July 3 which I think is great timing. If the baby comes on time, that gives us a month to get used to being with her by ourselves, learn her cues, etc. And I’m pretty sure that I won’t want to be taking her out the first few weeks. I’m hoping not to be an overprotective parent, but I really don’t see the point of taking a newborn out unless necessary. There isn’t much to do or good places to eat in our town anyways, haha.

My dad and his girlfriend plan on coming down in late July or August. That’ll be nice because by then I should hopefully be catching on to things a bit. My mom is kinda on stand-by- she said she’ll be here whenever I want her to. We don’t think that Tyler will get the normal 10 day leave that you get in the military after your spouse has a baby. This is because Tyler is not in the “regular” army right now (I forgot the technical term)- he’s in Captain Career Course which is a six month school that can’t be interrupted. There may be some way to get around this, but this would prolong our stay here a bit, his graduation date, and I really want him to do what’s best for him. He won’t be deployed or in the field and I know he’ll be helping out as much as possible when he’s home (CCC means normal hours!). I’m thinking I want my mom to come right before or after my brother and sister…but it really all depends on when she makes her debut. If she comes early, then definitely before! Ideally, I’d like her to come about two weeks after she’s born (she’ll need to give work a heads up!), but we shall see.

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I’m eager and nervous to see how the dogs, especially Wrigley, react to the baby…

We’re super excited to have visitor’s this summer and for everyone to meet our new addition! I just want everyone to be happy and feel like they had sufficient time with us and her and not have to worry about “sharing”, lol, if that makes sense. We should find out where we PCS to next in June or July, and if possible, we want to visit home after that move. It all depends on where we are located. If it does work out, I’m hoping we will have her baptized then. My dad’s side of the family is Catholic, and my brother, sister, and I were all baptized and had our Communions and Confirmations. Though I’m not an active church-goer, it’s important to me that she’s baptized, and my best friend’s father is a Deacon at the Catholic church we used to go to. I think it’d be so awesome to have him do it! I’m getting ahead of myself though, haha.

We also bought a camera so that family or friends will be able to see the baby when we turn it on and she’s within range. At first I was super hesitant about this. I thought Tyler wanted it running all the time so family would be able to see her whenever they wanted. That definitely was not okay by me. I mean, what if I was breastfeeding her and my boobs were poppin out? Or she was having a crying fit and I couldn’t get her to stop? Or….I could list a ton of other scenarios that just wouldn’t be cool. He assured me that there will be certain times and we’ll let family know when we’ll be turning it on. I thought this was pretty much the same thing as Skype or FaceTime, but I just let him buy it and set it up if it’ll make him happy 😉

I’ll be sharing the nursery post next week so check back! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

What are your thoughts on visitor’s after having the baby?

Did you and your spouse have a plan? Was it difficult to come to an agreement?

Have any stories you want to share or advice for me?

 

Birth Plan…or Lack Thereof?

Now that I’m well into the third trimester (still feels so very surreal to type), I’ve had quite a few people ask me about my birthing plan and if I’m going for a “natural” birth or not. Let me first say that I’m not judging what anyone does. I applaud the ladies that choose not to be medicated, but quite frankly, I really don’t care and I don’t find that a natural birth automatically means good mother. I do, however, find labor and delivery stories interesting, but everyone is different! And most of the women that I’ve talked to and that have gone through a natural birth haven’t had any complications, any moments when the baby or mother’s health was at risk, or weren’t in labor for like 30 hours. With that being said, this is my birth plan:

I’m just gonna go with the flow.

Yep, that’s it. I’m not typing out a long ass plan or my utmost desires, although I will obviously let my doctor know my thoughts. And here’s my reasoning for it.

This is something that is not going to be in my control. I have no idea if I’ll go into preterm labor, or have to be induced, or if my water will break on it’s own, etc. This will obviously be my first labor and delivery, so I have NO idea what to expect. I’m sure I’ll feel a bit more confident once I take the labor classes and read that section in my books, but it’ll probably all go flying out the window once the time actually comes 😉

I’ve had two LEEP procedures done- one when I was only 19 and another when I was 22 or so. The gyno that performed them told me that it may cause some issues during labor, but I had to get them done and honestly wasn’t sure if I even wanted kids back then so I didn’t think twice about it (yes, there was a long period in my life when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a mom. I was going through my own shit and despite making lots of dumbass decisions, I knew I wasn’t fit to be the mother I’d want to be at that point).

My OB at Fort Bliss and my new OB here also verified what I was told years ago and went into a bit more detail about it. Scar tissue builds up in the cervix (where the LEEP is performed to laser out the precancerous cells) which can hinder the labor process. A woman that has had a LEEP may not show any progress in dilation for a long time, then all of the sudden the scar tissue breaks apart. So, she could be stuck at 2-3cm for hours, then the scar tissue snaps and she can be almost fully dilated. Or, there could be so much that she never fully dilates on her own. Fun, huh? Haha. Yeahhh, that sounds like it may hurt just a wee bit, so if I happen to be one of those woman, a natural birth probably won’t be in the cards for me, haha. This doesn’t happen to every woman that has had LEEPS before, but it does happen. I was also recently told that they let women that have had LEEPS labor a bit longer than normal women because of this.

Now, I obviously want to do everything possibly to avoid a C-section, but I cannot control what the baby is going to do. If the baby’s health or mine own is ever at risk and a C-section is needed, I’m completely fine with it- safety is my priority. Same with my husband. He’s on board with whatever I want and doesn’t care if I want an epidural or not. I asked if he thought I’d be less of a woman if I decide I want meds, and he looked at me like I had three heads, haha (and asked why I wouldn’t want anything, haha).

I want to be as present as possibly, and it would be awesome if everything went smoothly and I were able to work through the pain on my own if there are no complications. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it. All we want is our baby girl, healthy and safe in our arms, no matter what route we take for her to get here 🙂

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Haha…we shall see what happens when the time comes 😉

There are also a few other things that I’ll mention to the doctors/nurses as well:

*I’m hoping I don’t have to stay in bed the whole time I’m in labor and I can walk around a bit, but who knows, I may want to lay in ass in bed. I know after an epidural you’re bed ridden though so we shall see.

*Tyler will be the only person present in the room. My mom will be coming down a couple of weeks after she’s born (I’m hoping when he goes back to work to help me out!), and it would’ve been nice to have her down here for that, but it is what it is. Plus, I’m pretty adamant on just having Tyler in the room and he agrees- just us.

That’s about it!

Did you have a natural or medicated birth?

 

What did your birthing plan consist of?

Is there anything else I should take into consideration? I read some birthing plans online and nothing else really seemed applicable, but I’m sure I didn’t think of something! I’ll be starting a six week course where I’ll learn more about what the hell I’m doing 🙂

Who was in the room when you were delivering?

 

Everybody Hurts….Sometimes

I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety since high school (maybe longer, but it was at that time that I realized that something wasn’t right). There, I said it. Now I don’t want to act like it’s been absolutely horrible because that’s certainly not the case, but it’s affected me and probably some relationships in my life at some point (and perhaps, still is). Before I go any further, I want to say that I’m obviously no psychologist or therapist, but I’ve seen a handful over the past fifteen years or so. I’ve truly analyzed their perspectives and have taken what they’ve said into consideration. This post is obviously about our path of loss and infertility and how it can be linked with depression and anxiety. However,  it can be related to other difficult situations we may encounter throughout our lives.

****If your depression ever gets too deep and you have thoughts of suicide, PLEASE get help. One such number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

We found out about the miscarriage on September 10, 2015. I mentioned many times before that I numbed myself from the pain for many months and used school, working out, and taking on DIY projects and crafts to keep myself busy. Sure, I had days where I didn’t want to get out of bed or times when I cried in the shower, but I made myself switch gears to the “not feeling” mode. It was when we learned that Tyler was going to be deployed within a matter of two weeks in July 2014 that I broke down inside.

I blogged here and there throughout his deployment about military life and gave updates on how my testing and cycles were going. I did open up in some of the posts, but I didn’t discuss how I was really feeling. You see, I’m an open book when it comes to many things in life, but I have trouble talking about my own feelings and feel as though it’s too personal for me. I also don’t like attention, so I tried telling myself that everything was okay. It wasn’t.

While I never had thoughts of hurting myself or suicide (and thankfully, I never have), I was in a really dark place. I finally allowed myself to feel everything I was holding within. And it wasn’t good.

  • The anger about the miscarriage. I was flat out pissed off that our joy was stolen from us out of nowhere. We heard the baby’s heartbeat twice, and I grew connected to him/her which later on I felt so absolutely foolish about.

 

  • The frustration of time. We had been trying again for 8 months before Tyler deployed. So many people told me that women are more fertile after a miscarriage and/or D&C. Well, what the fuck was wrong with me? Then, my husband leaves for 9 months to a war-zone. Nine months is the length of a school year. The duration of a pregnancy. I was frustrated because we were at a standstill, and my anxiety was sky high as I was worried every day for Tyler’s safety. I thought it was cruel of the universe to have us endure the miscarriage, trouble trying to conceive again, then allow a deployment.

 

  • I didn’t feel strong AT ALL. I’d hear it all the time. “You’re so strong” or “How do you do it?” or “I’d never be able to do it”. Ironically, that year was probably the weakest I had ever been in my entire life. More tears were shed, more alcoholic beverages were consumed (this does NOT help depression and anxiety at all, I know that), and more emotions took over me than ever before. However, I hid it. I was fine at work (in fact, probably more than fine)- I put a smile on my face, did what I had to do, and learned a lot, but behind closed doors in my own home was another story.

 

  • Resentfulness. Once my emotions were unleashed and my misery surfaced, I felt resentful towards family and friends that seemed like they didn’t care. Some may say this is selfish, but when you quickly do a downward spiral, you aren’t thinking very clearly or logically. I mean, I knew the whole world wasn’t going to come to a complete halt because Kim felt sad- I’m not an idiot. And if anyone asked how I was doing, you better believe 9 times out of 10 I said okay or good, so how the hell would anyone even know? My mom, aunt, and best friend knew, but they know me. Often times when you over analyze things too much, you create problems that weren’t even there to begin with. Perhaps this is what I did, but I remember thinking, “What is the point of having relationships if people aren’t there in time of need? Losing the baby, month after month of trying and tests, and now husband is across the world and I’m alone in Texas”. Dramatic, I know 😉 But it’s how I felt, and I’m not going to be ashamed about it anymore.

 

  • Jealousy. It is one of the ugliest feelings, yet I felt it often. When I first started working at my job, I’d feel it all the time as children are around a lot. I’d look at their parents and think, “Are you fucking kidding me? How did these dopes get blessed with a kid and we can’t?”. I’m not sure how it happened, but a few months before Tyler got home, I suddenly stopped being jealous and simply thought about how damn cute (or annoying) they were. Social media is another monster in itself. Some people don’t see the big hairy deal about social media and why people get all bent about it. If you’re one of those people, good for you. But back then, I’d think, “This isn’t Facebook- this is freaking Babybook”.

Pregnancy and birth announcements flooded my feed. Before I go any further, let me get one thing clear: Although these announcements put me in tears (or a sob fest depending on how stable I was that day), I was always, and always will be, genuinely happy for the couple. I may have not been doing well myself, but I’d never wish ill upon others. I truly believe that many people are naive to how seeing the announcements (or statuses bitching about pregnancy all the time. It’s one thing to vent once in a while, and believe me- I want to hear about experiences in late pregnancy. Or holding their belly in every.single flipping.photo- it’s like women thing it’s going to fall off or something for Pete’s sake) can be a trigger. If one has only experienced falling pregnant easily and have a happy, healthy pregnancy, they don’t know any better!

The point is, I felt all of these things while wishing away my days so I could just feel my husband in my arms again. Women’s belly’s and families were growing while my goal was to just try to function like a normal human being in public. I told my doctor about how I was feeling in the midst of it all, and she prescribed me the lowest dose of Zoloft. I took it for a couple of months, but I didn’t really feel any differently and didn’t want to increase my dosage (don’t ask me why).

After my husband returned and we took a trip home, I called Military One Source to get in touch with a therapist in the area. Military One Source offers support to the military community, and one of the benefits they offer is counseling for pretty much anything! I knew that I still wasn’t myself and I realized that while being back in the Midwest. I was connected with a lady here in Texas and did six sessions (you get 12 for free for each circumstance. I also did 12 sessions when we first moved here). Honestly, it was hard with my work schedule and her schedule to fit in sessions, but as I mentioned earlier in this post, this lady opened my eyes to why I feel or act certain ways.

I’ve also learned that instead of trying to fight the situations in life that you can’t control- you MUST come to peace with them. You cannot control other people’s action’s, but you can certainly control how you react to them. This concept is obviously way easier said that done, haha. I’ve had my fair share of outbursts, but I’m getting better at accepting the person or the situation at it is. It’s a work in progress 😉

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Estes Park. So thankful my BFF asked me to join her on this trip.

One more thing I should mention- I was never very religious which you can read about HERE. I started really thinking about religion in June, and it wasn’t until I went to Colorado with my best friend in August that I started opening my heart up to it more. I don’t have to be super religious and go to church every Sunday to have faith. I know some people that are like that but are actually complete turds in real life. We see that type of shit on the news as well. I’m not going to discuss now as there will be another post about this topic, but it’s something I wanted to touch on briefly as it’s also slowly helped bring me a sense of peace. And I don’t get annoyed anymore when people say that they’re praying for us. Instead, I truly believe it and appreciate the fact that they care so much about us to do so (my hubby’s view on religion is the same though! haha).

This post was hard for me to write as it took me back to some dark days and disagreements I had with others. Depression and anxiety can be so incredibly consuming, no matter how good you think you’re hiding it. A smile only goes so far, and those that know you best or are closest to you will recognize that behind it are tears…Know that it’s okay to feel the way you do, but remember- you have to help yourself instead of solely relying on others to help you 🙂

Why I can’t Keep My Mouth Shut

Throughout the past two years, I’ve been asked a couple of times (honestly I think it’s like twice, haha) why I blog which was mostly pertaining to infertility stuff. As I mentioned before, I didn’t really know what the heck I was doing when I started blogging, and honestly, I still absolutely suck at the technical side of it all (if anyone wants to help, PLEASE  let me know. I don’t know how to change anything! We’ll be best friends 😉 jk). When I got pregnant, I thought, “Alright, cool. I’m going to document this so family and friends across the country and world can kind of watch it all”. When things didn’t go as planned, I didn’t know what to do with myself, the blog- pretty much anything. I was at a standstill, and quite frankly, I was embarrassed and ashamed that we had announced our pregnancy when we did at 10 weeks (four weeks later we found out we lost the baby at a routine ultrasound).

Since our Facebook friends and family knew about us expecting, I was afraid that we’d be asked how I/the baby was doing and I knew it would be weird to some as to why I hadn’t given any updates or posted any photos (I’m sure I have a lot of creepers, haha). I mean, people would probably eventually realize why, but I’ve learned that there are a lot of dumb asses in the world so you never know 😉 We decided that I’d write a Facebook status just giving a general idea of our loss. And you know what? The out pour of support I got was amazing. Instead of crying tears of sorrow, I cried because I felt less alone and cared for, by many of whom weren’t even “friends” or family!

Those texts, phone calls, and messages were huge contributors as to why I didn’t do a complete nose dive. People (even a few guys!) that I hadn’t talked to in years sent well wishes, and many shared their stories about their personal losses as well. They made me realize just how many of us suffer from miscarriages or infertility but keep it to themselves. That is totally okay, but I’d go freaking crazy. Perhaps part of the reason why is because we’re here in Texas and I’m nowhere near my close family and friends, so besides Tyler and our dogs, I don’t have anyone. But there’s another explanation….

I kept a diary in elementary school. It went a little like this:

“Dear Diary,

Today I wore bright purple shorts, and white shirt, and a flowered vest. I slicked my hair back (a girl asked me one time if I used cement to push it back, but nope, it was just a shit ton of hair spray) and wore white shoes. I got my braces tightened yesterday and my teeth really hurt. My friends and I didn’t fight today, and [insert the boy I liked that week here] didn’t talk to me AT ALL. BOO 😦 Maybe tomorrow will be my lucky day! After school I did my homework, played outside, ate spaghetti, and watched Mrs. Doubtfire with my brother tonight.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Love, Kim”

I actually have them all and they’re hilarious to read. Then, In 7th/8th grade, I started to keep a journal. It was pretty much a diary with poems scattered throughout. I was pretty effing deep as a 13 year old 😉 This continued on until the middle/end of my junior year when I stopped completely, but resumed after I graduated high school (my lost or floundering years, haha).

You see, I’ve always loved to write as I like to express my feelings and my truths. Blogging became an outlet to do so. I must mention, I tried keeping another handwritten journal about a year ago which lasted a whole two days as typing is a billion times faster and my hand got super tired 😦

So this is my objective throughout our journey- I hope to become more actively involved in the infertility community. I hope my posts reach those that are struggling, have experienced a loss, or that know someone who is. I’m sure that it has to be difficult and awkward to watch your daughter, sister, friend- whatever- be on a roller coaster of emotions. I want to go beyond the blog, whether it’s in other virtual communities or in my own here in Texas. Infertility and loss is hard enough in itself, but being a military spouse can sometimes add a few more obstacles to it (I’ll be writing more about this soon). My intentions of blogging may be selfish as I want to express my feelings while taking note of what’s up throughout our journey, but I also truly want to give back. There are people out there that knows what it feels like- you are not alone.

So peeps, THAT is why I can’t keep my mouth shut 🙂

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That’s what we got to say about that 😉

 

Behind The Scenes

A few days ago, THIS article popped up on my Newsfeed on Facebook. It was posted on one of the many infertility groups that I’m a member of (not necessarily active- it’s nice to feel less alone), and intrigued me so I clicked on it. Please- read this article. I know that everyone goes through difficult times in life whether it be an illness, death, divorce, job loss, depression, or just a sudden crisis. However, this post not only greatly illustrates what a hidden subject infertility is, but how couples often mask the roller-coaster emotions of sadness, hope and despair, and heartache.

This post is opening up some [mended] wounds, but it’s something I wanted to share. It’s been two years since our loss, and though we’ve gotten some answers and a plan set in place, our dreams still are not fulfilled. I’ve put together some photos or thoughts of things we have gone though.

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El Paso Zoo. August 30, 2013.

The photo above is when I was 12/13 weeks pregnant. Obviously my tata’s liked the pregnancy hormones a lot (I went up an entire cup size in a matter of weeks)…Anyways, Tyler planned a date day and took us to the zoo and then to Babies R Us where we started our registry. He was leaving for the field in a few weeks and wouldn’t be back until mid November, so starting it together was important to us. Looking back, it was such a fun and satisfying day, but after we found out about our loss, I couldn’t look at these photos as I knew we had lost the baby around this time or a couple of days prior.

 

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September 2013.

Tyler LOVES the Chicago Bears. We don’t get all of the games down here in Texas, so Tyler bought me a Bears shirt (Amazon!) and we’d go to Pizza Hut down the road to watch. Two days after this photo was taken, we’d find out that we’d miscarried. Every Sunday after that, I’d order a beer while I did my homework and tried to smile and root for our home team.

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On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, TJ and I headed over the the Mendoza Clinic on East Bliss to get an ultrasound done (separately- he had to go to work after) . You can read about our story HERE. What I didn’t write about is how I only told my mom (and asked her to tell the family) and my best friend what had happened. That Tyler got off his work day to come home with me, and that I laid in bed next to him for 18 hours going through intervals of crying and sleeping in his arms. That I woke up the next morning pissed off and insisted he went to work as I went to class. I wore a Chicago Cubs baseball hat and my glasses the next couple of weeks to help disguise my puffy eyes.

601526_10102861679573128_83870456_nI took the photo above on my way to class one day a few weeks after. It was a crisp Fall day which isn’t very common in West Texas, but the view was absolutely beautiful. It was then that I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself fall into the deep hole of depression that I had one foot wallowing in…and that I might be an old graduate, but I was gonna rock the fuck out of the last semester. And I did… but perhaps it was for the wrong reasons.

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 1240234_10102846395662208_1893510720_nThe photo above shows me happily cuddling with Wrigley and potentially studying. I posted this five days after we received the news (no one knew publicly yet) and I still had not had a D&C (it would take another week and a half- ridiculous). I’d come home from class, do any homework, essays, or study, then shower and change and lay in bed the rest of the night. Wriggles must’ve sensed my sadness as he laid with me all the time.

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My beautiful mom and me 🙂

December 2013. Tyler and I went home to Indiana for 10 days for Christmas. Based on my OPK’s, I was ovulating a few days before we left (which ended up being a freaking joke as my blood tests showed I had not ovulated but my LH surged enough to cause positive tests). You need to get at it before ovulation because once you drop an egg, you’re dunzo for the month. Long story short, I ended up having a 30 day cycle and starting my period on Christmas Day. With his family. And I just wanted to lay in bed all day, but I had to act strong- like everything was normal. The only thing that brought me comfort was staying at my moms, which isn’t a great thing when you’re married & visiting family. I told Tyler earlier that month that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a baby…

Two weeks later, while blowing out my birthday candles, I made the same wish. Neither came true.

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 May 2015. Tyler and I went home for 7 days a month after he came back from Afghanistan. I had gone home in October and January for long weekends when he was deployed, but he had not seen his family since Christmas 2013.  I mentioned multiple times for him to go home solo, but he wouldn’t budge and insisted on me going with. This was a huge mistake, and the moment we stepped foot onto Midway airport when we were flying back to Texas was when I vowed to myself that I’d go with my gut from that day forth.

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My mom’s place and my uncle and aunt’s home are where I find true comfort and belonging.

You see, a few months prior, my dad and his girlfriend planned to throw a little party for him and his safe arrival home. They even contacted my mom to be a part of the planning, and they both worked together to iron out the details of food preparations, decorations, and inviting family and friends from both of their sides. We didn’t have a wedding, so this was BIG for me. Many family members had not met Tyler before, and a few even traveled 3 hours just to attend! However, I was full of anxiety the whole morning while getting ready and going to my dads.

It didn’t help that I was on Femara that month, but I had gotten my period the night before- and it was FULL on. Come to find out, my progesterone was the highest ever recorded thus far, so no wonder why I was a ball of hormones the whole week we were home to visit.

So, I ended up getting pretty drunk. I was stressed and upset and wanted to let go that day. Doing that the night before an early morning flight wasn’t very smart, but lesson learned 😦  Anyways, I asked Tyler to come back after he visited family again….but this was not well received upon some, and I may be deemed selfish. There aren’t any photos of us together during this trip home which is pretty sad. Things may not be what they used to be, but we pushed through it together.

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11811332_10105336307683558_3626875895279024983_nSecond failed round of Femara above. I cried and showered, then got ready. We had the day off together and went to the movies, Blockbuster (get used DVDs and BluRays for cheap!), and lunch, then went home to have wine and make dinner together. I laid in bed that night laughing, joking, and watching movies with my Big, but thoughts of when we’d hold a baby in our arms still entered my mind.

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You see, there is more to life than what is shared on a Facebook status, Tweet, or Instagram photo. We post statuses that portray how awesome our lives are or pictures that show happy times or when we think we look good. I’m by no means saying we should all start airing out our dirty laundry. I don’t want to read negative shit all of the time, but I want people to just be freaking real.  I’d get sucked into such a failure mode sometimes that I’d ask Tyler if it upsets him that his exes and friends all have a kid(s). His answer is always the same….Never- and I’m his baby mama that he was destined to be with, and he didn’t choose them for a reason 😉

So please, be gentle and kind to people, especially if they have opened up about their struggles. There are always two sides to every story or picture. If you’re reading this and feel lost- message me. One of the many things I’ve learned is how important and comforting it is to have someone to talk to when you’re feeling down. I won’t have all of the answers, but I’ll certainly try to make you smile 🙂

Changes on the Blog

Over the past several months, I’ve debated whether or not I should shut my site down all together or continue on. I’ve been super sporadic, pretty much only posting fertility updates (or perhaps I should be calling them infertility updates? Whatever- you know what I mean!). After spending some time thinking about what I want out of my life, I decided to keep on…and go further 🙂

When I first started blogging, I thought that my blog needed a niche. It overwhelmed and discouraged me as I truly didn’t feel that I fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a healthy lifestyle blogger despite eating and creating healthy meals for my husband and I and exercising. I wasn’t a fashion blogger because I like the sale/clearance rack and get more excited about cute work out clothes (although a few good pairs of nice fitting jeans are a must. And I love shoes!). I wasn’t a mommy blogger because I’m not a mom.

Writing about the miscarriage was therapeutic for me. Months of trying to conceive turned into two years (with a deployment thrown in there). THAT became what I was passionate about- being a military wife trying to overcome infertility, molding a career for myself in a border city, and dealing with a deployment.

 

Cheers to this 🙂

I realized that I don’t need a niche. I’m not doing this for anyone but myself, although connecting with many amazing women along the way has been awesome! Friendships have been created or resurfaced because of this little space of mine, and it honestly got me through one of the darkest times of my life.

So here’s my plan.

  • I’ve been asked on several occasions for recipes for photos that I’ve posted of meals (or smoothies!) that I’ve made. I will be posting a healthy recipe of some sort once a week.
  • I plan on discussing something that I either come across online or that I’m going through with infertility or IVF once a week. I want to share knowledge that I’ve gained because I know how shitty it can be, especially if you’re at a military installation that doesn’t have great treatment in this department.
  • This is more for me, but I want to give a recap of our week or weekend to look back on. I have a 3 year gratitude book where you have a few lines to scribble a few sentences about your day. I don’t know how the eff this is so hard for me to do, but I tend to do it once a week at most and end up scratching my head about what the hell happened that day. I think a quick weekly post about this will help in that department 🙂

 

I also want to share some of my DIY projects, crafts, or inexpensive small renovations, but I’m not planning on dedicated weekly posts to this. However, I have a few cute things I’ve done and I’m definitely going to let you in on them!

Great quote, but my dreams have been redonk lately and about dinosaurs- not about hope. WTF :/

This change will take place over the next few weeks, so it won’t be sudden 🙂 Another thing- I tend to have a bad mouth and write as I would speak. This can be a good and bad thing. I try to find a happy medium between the two- I don’t want to deny who I am and try to act all proper, but then again I don’t want to sound like a white trash sailor.

I hope the rest of the week treats you all well. Luckily, I’m off tonight (although tomorrow night at work may be a beast), and I’m looking forward to some Monday night football and homemade cheeseburgers grilled my hubby (93% lean grass-fed, no antibiotic/hormone) and baked sweet potato fries and green beans compliments of moi 😉 He leaves again tomorrow which sucks a huge one 😦 Have a great night!

 

Military Stereotypes

Military Stereotypes. Yep,  I’m going there. I’m going to reference a link below, so click on it before you read my thoughts:

Click HERE.

These are just my random thoughts….

  • All military spouses are unemployed- No, they’re not. I’ve met a handful of spouses, both enlisted and officer’s wives, that are stay at home wives/mothers or are working. However, I’ve noticed that on both sides of the spectrum, those with one kid or several do not work. Some of them are involved in the FRG or other volunteer work though. I could honestly give a rat what anyone else does as long as they don’t get in our way. I’ve read on numerous sites/Facebook pages that it’s impossible to find a job here in El Paso because it’s such a predominant Spanish speaking community. I DO agree that it’s difficult, but not unattainable. My Spanish has gotten better since being employed, and while I don’t have the exact words to speak back to people sometimes, it’s kinda cool to know what they’re saying in a different language. I joke that I’ll be fucked if we move to Germany next and I won’t know a thing 😉
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When I was a stay at home wife, full time student 🙂 Taking this cutie to the dog park!

 

  • All military spouses are pregnant- Yep, I agree. Just kidding. I have no idea, but I DO see many young women at the hospital/clinic when I go for my appointments. I heard the super preggo girl in front of me the other day say she was born in 1998 and about crapped my pants. I’m kind of conflicted with this generalization. My husband was married before (when he was enlisted), but they choose not to have kids right away (thank God). I will say that we are out of the ordinary for our age (I’m 29 and he’s 32) and not having any children. Most of the activities on post are children oriented. Bottom line- women get pregnant all the time in general. Men: wear a rubber if you’re not married. Don’t believe that your girl is on birth control or taking it right.

 

  • They have a hill of kids at home-  I’ve seen families with 3-5 kids and some with none at all (VERY rare). Once again, don’t most families have children? Is it a proven fact that military families conceive more? I wouldn’t doubt it based on the amount of time it takes me to book a god damn doctor’s appointment for something simple, haha.

 

  • They wear their service member’s rank- I’ve never really seen this. I have seen it against me though. After it was known that my husband is an officer, it was thrown in my face that “he makes more so we can afford things” and whatnot. UMM, my husband earned what he has because he got a college degree. Seeing that he was enlisted before, he knew how to live on the salary of each rank as well. I’m proud of my husband. Like somtimes, it makes me want to cry, proud. But I’m just his lady…I’ll follow him wherever he goes, but his rank is HIS doing. I am going to make the best out of MY career wherever we go 🙂

 

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Cold as balls in Georgia, but my pinning my babe!

  •  All military spouses are uneducated- I’m not going to lie. I tend to see on social media that there are many enlisted soliders’ wives not only without college degrees, but with no high school diploma! Unless you’re a rock, graduate from high school. If you don’t want a Bachelor’s degree, at least get an associates or some other type of schooling. Look into MYCAA. Do NOT rely on your husband and his job/income to supplement your lifestyle and bearing children. I’m more of a “what if” happens kind of person…I know if the big D ever happened to us, I’d at least have my degree and experience in my favor. I also see many officer wives that have an education and not working. So yeah. It’s all situational and what works best for your family 🙂

 

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Tyler MADE me walk…then took me out for brunch 😉

 

  • All military spouses are wealthy- Who the eff said this? LMAO.

 

  • All military spouses are lonely-  Yes, field exercises and deployments are lonely. Some people deal with their loneliness by going out all the time, or unfortunately, cheating. Luckily, I’ve always been a more introverted person. Don’t get me wrong- I love being with my family and close friends, but I can handle being alone. I can organize the shit out of things, read, clean, work out, play with my dogs, make crafts, and cook/meal prep. Work takes up most of my time, but when I’m alone I try to push aside the loneliness by distracting myself with old reruns of TV shows on Netflix or music playing in the background.
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My boys have been a huge blessing during TJ’s deployment. They look out for their mommy!

 

  •  All military spouses are bossy-   Uhhh? Never heard this before. NO.

 

  • All military spouses are high maintenance-  I’ve only met a few this way. I could give two shits about designer brands (on certain things). If you’re that high maintenance, you must come from money.

 

Alright, so that’s it. What do you think about the military spouse stigma?

Dear 18 Year-Old Self

I read a “10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year-Old Self if I Could” on my friend’s blog, Laurealism and loved the idea so I created one myself. While I don’t regret too much in my life as it led me to where I am today, it’s kind of amusing to look back on things I wish I would’ve known back then.

10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year-Old Self if I Could…

1. Pay more attention in math. I know we hate it, but suck it up and stop drawing cartoon characters in your notebook with your friend instead of the quadratic formula (which I FINALLY memorized and still know b y heart today, thank you very much!). It will give you more confidence and ease your anxiety when taking it in college.

I’ve memorized this formula because of a teacher, haha. I don’t even know what the end product is supposed to give you though!

2. Research colleges. Research majors. Research any potential career that you feel interested in. Do not pick a school based on exterior circumstances, such as family and friends. I don’t want to degrade my parents here, but neither of them cared what I was doing with my life at this point. I probably could have said I was moving to Idaho to tame a bee farm and they would’ve said okee-dokee. They were pre-occupied with their lives…or something.

At any rate, I chose to go to IUPUI with my best friends at the time. This tends to be a commuter campus in Indianapolis for those that are unfamiliar with it. Well, this situation lasted a whole 3 months. A handful of factors played into this- one random day I was supposed to go to class but instead packed up my essentials and drove home and crying most of the way (out of failure and relief). Also, take classes that you actually need. I didn’t even have an advisor at IUPUI, so I took a fucking walking and meditation class. Who does this?! If you’re a parent, be actively involved no matter if your child goes to a university, technical school, or whatever. Don’t let them do dumb shit please.

Visit campuses WITH your parents if you want to go to college!

3. Don’t buy a rabbit. My best friend knows why. You will name it Fwankenstein (from the movie Big Daddy), and it will bite you all the time. She will end up caring for it… Also, do not “borrow” her parking pass or she will go fucking ape shit.

P.S. Your nose ring will become infected…don’t feel bad about taking it out within a week despite peer pressure.

4. You HAVE to go to class to do well. Most of the time, attending class is a must to succeed, and teachers will like you (and obviously know you) better if you show up.

5. Life won’t always suck. It may be years, but it WILL get better. Keep swimming…AND you will marry into a drama-free, absolutely amazing family.

These people are awesome.

6.) Family relationships will be turbulent for the next handful of years. You will not be taken seriously about the circumstances until it has hit rock bottom….but you’ll be okay, taken care of, and come out better than you would have had shit not flown.

Kathleen’s 8th grade graduation…one of the last family photos I can find. Who in the Sam are we looking at besides Kath?!

7.) You’ll become closer than ever to your uncle and aunt….they will be your home for a few years. Your sister will live with you again, and although she will drive you nuts by stealing your clothes, rolling them into balls and shoving them under her bed or in her closet, it will bring you closer together. These will become the memories that help you fall asleep at night.

Without them, I’d be nothing…

8.)  Your relationship with your parents will somewhat strengthen as years go on. You’ll learn that you cannot chance people, but you can change how you react or interact to situations. This tactic will help you tremendously. Accept how people or situations are.

9.) You’ll make many irrational decisions– Such as moving across the country, but you’ll learn from it and gain a few memories along the way. You’ll also be welcomed back in with opened arms by your uncle and aunt. This will be a trying time in your life- the relationship you were so certain (yet so un certain many times) about for eight years, will be questioned deeply…and you will realize that you must come to a decision.

I loved the view from our apartment in Arizona! Can’t wait to move closer to the city late next year.

 

10.) You will not marry who think you will– I swear on everything. A new love will come out of complete darkness (see above). You will struggle with holding onto everything you’ve ever known, comfort, and stability. However, what was missing (financial responsibility, persuasion of personal growth, and loyalty) will be found. You WILL love greater and deeper…and never have to worry about if a bill was paid EVER again 😉

May 2013. Right after coming home from 6 weeks apart!

 

What are some things you would tell your younger self if you could?

 

Did you ever make irrational, butthead decisions?