nourishing & unapologetic
This Thanksgiving was supposed to be different. In fact, it was supposed to be one for the books.
A holiday we would claim as a favorite for years to come.
It was ordinary. It was good. We had our families in a joint Thanksgiving. (Yes, joint, because our families are that awesome. We can have both immediate sides together to feast and no one bats an eye. #theluckiest)
What it wasn't... it was no longer the signal of our second trimester beginning.
Ooooopppphhhfffff. Yep, there it is.
Our beautiful baby announcement wrapped up into a single sad sentence instead of glowing photos and letterboards.
Thanksgiving would have made us 14 weeks pregnant. We were supposed to get to tell the world of our joy and that a sweet Baby B would soon be here. We were supposed to get to wear funny tees like this.
We were supposed to get to post on Facebook and Instagram photos showing how clueless Shaggy and Garth (and us) were of what was to come and thank each of you for sharing in our excitement.
Instead you're getting this blog post to announce we had a miscarriage.
Our babe grew for at least seven to eight weeks. He or she was loved for every single second of those days and is still being loved every single second.
And our babe was a miracle.
You see, you all have no context. Because I haven't shared a very private part of our story. This babe was 2.5 years in the making. 2.5 years down our road of growing our family. But, unexplained infertility has been an uninvited, unwelcome, and wretched guest on this journey. You see, all those times when well-meaning family and friends have asked us about having kids, letting us know it was time to begin to start our family, or that we should get to work filling up all the rooms in our new house, what you didn't know was that we were trying. And, trying. And, trying/not-trying with no luck. So, when I kindly smiled, or laughed it off saying we have pups, or joked it away saying we're too busy just managing each other... I was deflecting. I was saying it is none of your business. I was saying, please, just don't assume that we're not having kids because we're selfish, or ill-prepared, or something else negative. I was saying if only you knew how much we want that too.
When you've been a planner your entire life, you don't plan for things like this. You don't ever think you'll be one of the women who has trouble (except it is TOTALLY more common than you imagine!). You never dream that the four kids you knew you'd have may not actually ever become a reality. You never even consider that things won't fall closely to the imaginary timeline you've set forth. EXCEPT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.
I've been relatively healthy. I've never had any of these types of women's health issues. Nick was in the 99-th percentile on his health exam for life insurance. I mean c'mon on. How can it be that we can't produce a healthy babe? HOOOOOOWWWWWW is this freaking possible?
Well, frankly, I don't know. And pretty much, neither does KU. Yes, we've been to see a specialist. Yes, we've had tests and conversations and more tests and conversations. What we know is we were told we would probably never have children without intervention of some sort.
Well, we must have had intervention from the universe and Heaven, because Baby B made his or her unexpected presence known in mid-September on the heels of celebrating the union of one of our favorite couples. The thought of being pregnant never dawned on me until a wave of nausea knocked me to my knees, and it did. Four positive tests later, and blood work the following week, confirmed it. A miracle upon miracles had occurred.
And we were OVER THE MOON.
Literally, shocked and surprised in the very best of ways.
All my tests and blood work showed we were in good shape. Progressing just right. But we didn't tell a single soul because I wanted sight and sound confirmation.
We went for our nine-week ultrasound with eager anticipation. We'd planned a surprise get together so we could tell our closest family about the secret we'd been keeping. We began brainstorming how to pivot on the room that would become the nursery. And then at the appointment we saw in grainy black and white, our miracle. What a relief! BUT... then the doctor questioned how far along we thought we were and then said he couldn't find a heartbeat. And the air left my lungs and the room. And Nick just squeezed my hand a little tighter.
And there it was. And wasn't. All in the same moment.
The long and short of it, we were told we needed more blood work to confirm that a miscarriage was pending. But that blood work came back not indicative of what was expected. So, we had to wait two more excruciating weeks to see if maybe we were behind on the dating or if in fact my body just hadn't gotten the memo that our babe had stopped growing. At eleven weeks, we got the news we already knew, our miracle wasn't growing and there still wasn't a heartbeat. It was a missed miscarriage. And, with that we scheduled a D&C because my body wasn't going to miscarry on its own.
The picture I led this post with was from the morning of our surgery. Unfiltered, raw, and emotionally charged. But we consciously, unconsciously smiled. We smiled because it's who we are. We smiled because we had each other. We smiled because we had created a life. We smiled because we were part of a miracle. We smiled because sadness can't sneak in when you're filled with love and positivity. I, also, smiled because I've had Nick by my side through all of this without pause and with great resolve.
And now we're three weeks post procedure. And, for all intents and purposes, we're in a good place. We have had time to process. And we've had a lot of distractions (thank you home building!). And, we've got our sights fixed on the bright spot in all of this: WE GOT PREGNANT ON OUR OWN.
We've tried to keep this whole trying time really positive. Don't get me wrong, it sucks. It is enormously sucky, and sad, and heartbreaking. And unfair. For us. And for our families. We've taken solace in knowing we got pregnant once so hopefully we'll be blessed enough for it to happen again. We painted what will one day be the nursery "Dusty Olive." It's fitting that the color we previously picked and purchased pre-pregnancy, apparently, symbolizes hope, understanding, a meeting of will and heart, and a new life. The universe always provides what we need and I am never one to overlook symbolism and providence.
I've also taken comfort in knowing that infertility and miscarriages are more prevalent than many know. Our society makes this part of parenthood hard, kind of taboo, and quiet. Sharing isn't something that we readily do because this part of life is messy and private. Infertility and miscarriage aren't easy to experience, talk about, or reconcile. They are gut-wrenching. They are tear-filled. They are terrible.
Throughout our healing process, I've learned about many more women and couples who have struggled with infertility and/or loss than I ever knew. Which is why after much tumult and heartburn, I decided to blog about this part of our lives. Words are my therapy and this is my space. Often times blogs and social media posts are our highlight reels. It's where we go to share our good stuff. But we don't put the hard stuff, the real stuff, and the ugly sad stuff out there because we don't want to be judged or to be thought of as seeking attention. If we talk more, and share more of the real, we might also realize no one has the perfect life. No one has it all together. At the end of the day, we are all human beings, sharing the same planet, trying to navigate life the best we can and reach the end of each day relatively unscathed.
With specific regard to infertility, few talk about the ugliness of ovulation predictor kits, diet changes, charting, medicines, and the process of baby-making. Few talk about how freaking hard it is to see baby announcements, newborns, and adorable toddler or family pics flood our newsfeeds and pinspiration boards. Few talk about how you have to quell jealousy like a boss when even your closest friends share they are expecting or talk about their #momlife/#dadlife. Fewer talk about how you have to resist the urge to scream "quit complaining about your kids' behavior, your stretch marks, or your exhaustion because I'd trade you in a heartbeat."
BUT, they are very much reality.
One of the best comments I received during this whole rollercoaster ride came from a longtime family friend, who experienced both a struggle to get pregnant and miscarriage, she said in effect, 'this is going to be hard but remember throughout all of it, no one is going to know exactly how you feel or even understand. They will try. Just know the feelings you feel are yours, and whatever they are, they are right.' Talk about a load off of my shoulders. That is the truest of trues. The emotions are like a Six Flags mega coaster, one you didn't willing get on even though you may have stood in line for it.
If we, those of us in this camp, share more we may realize we're not alone in irrational shame and guilt, palpable frustration, and utter sadness we feel. We might start to take comfort in that we actually did everything right including our vitamins, our nutrition, our scaling back on activities, our quest for more rest. We may realize the range of emotions from high to low is absolutely acceptable. And, maybe we'll realize this was so out of our actual control that we understand we couldn't have predicted this outcome and surely couldn't have done anything to prevent it. And, finally, hopefully, we'll reconcile that after a loss, it's okay to get back to routine, to laugh, and to try find "normal" again, sooner rather than later.
Sometimes you run life like a baller. Sometimes life owns you. And, the latter has been my case in this brief season. I've earnestly worked to squelch and squash the ugh-ness of everything, on most days better than the other few. I've tried to find routine in my 8-5er. I've stepped away from one of my side hustles only to be more immersed in the other. For a few weeks, I've quietly, quasi-intentionally taken a social media posting break for the most part as I recognized I didn't have the energy or desire to cultivate my content or wholly participate in communications. I also still fulfilled a commitment to a committee I was serving on that reminded me of who I've been (and who I am still), what has helped shaped me, where I want to be, and what kind of world I am dedicated to helping create for our future babes. Our actions, as well as our reactions, matter. And, it's these moments that make us.
My wish for myself, and those who've experienced this, and those who are yet to: know this does NOT define you. You have so many things that can't be taken away -- strength, intelligence, ambition, friendships, true love, quirks, funny talents, and potential. You have mercy and honor. You were a whole person before, and though it might feel like something was ripped away without permission, you are still whole. Now, you might not be exactly the same, but you are still Y-O-U. You have grit and a fire in your belly. And, above all, you can still have hope. You are enough now, as you were before, and your life is still being blissfully and wonderfully written. So, find your therapy -- cooking, running, crafting, shopping, organizing, reading, praying, or serving. Or mesh them all together. Find what brings you back to you.
Even though I know very little about any of this, save for my own experience, and what I've learned from the experiences of others, I know enough to ask you all -- those in our same boat, the parents of the world, the ones who had it easier than some of us, and the ones who have opted not to take part in this part of life (yet or forever)--, let's all give each other some grace.
Y'all, let's not put our perceptions, assumptions, and expectations on others. Let's let everyone take their own path. Let's agree there is no one right way people should move through marriage, parenthood, infertility, or loss. Let's not shove alternatives, whether it be adoption or otherwise, in their faces. Let's let each other honor his or her own pace. Let's accept that "starting a family" doesn't have to mean adding children; it's selecting who you surround yourself with. (which BTW, I already have a family, one I adore in its current status and the one I'll have in the future.)
Let's love a little more, pray a little more, laugh a little more, share a little more and just let each other be.
In hope, with positivity, and with unstoppable determination, until next time,
ps for those of you who we consider our nearest and dearest, who are reading this and finding this out along with the world, we didn't tell many folks. We didn't intentionally not tell you, or mean to leave you out. We didn't keep it from you on purpose. We hope you'll understand that this isn't something you just want to drop on anyone in casual conversation or at a holiday or birthday event, especially to those we don't see as often as we'd like. So, please give us a pass on not notifying you in person or via phone. It doesn't mean we don't value you or consider you trustworthy of an event of this magnitude. It just means we've been in a fog. We've bumbled a lot of stuff in the last few weeks.
pps thank you to those of you who have lent support, kindness, and space during this time. We so appreciate your presence in our lives. And, a special thank you to our families for your love and quiet patience and undeniable positivity.
Well, it's been way too long since I've checked in on the ol' blog. Shamefully, Born Daily has become a casualty of our move back to the homeland. There's no excuse other than not making it a priority. Forgive me?
We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming as soon as I have a kitchen, pots and pans, and my sanity back. We sold a bunch of stuff before we moved so there's some shopping to do. Whhhhhhy? Remind me again why I thought that was a good idea? (Target and Williams and Sonoma, you better come through for me. ha)
For the last three years, I've written an anniversary post. Accordingly, for the love of our four years, I'm dusting off the keyboard.
Yep, We're four years deep into #MrandMrsBorn.
It's truly hard for me to remember what life was like before our "us." But, I'm confident it wasn't better. I wasn't better. But, the universe really came through with this one and, I am forever grateful.
In the name of tradition, allow me to wax poetic. My top two takeaways from this latest year of love are as follows:
1. Marriage takes guts.
Like actual courage, because empathy, advice, honesty, goals, playfulness, finances, and commitment aren't light work. They're not "hard" per say, but this isn't a time to phone it in. Marriage should make you a better person, right ? That can't happen if you don't have the guts to love yourself first and love someone else equally, but differently too. You've got to be comfortable enough to not only wear your scroungy clothes and bedhead, but also to bear your soul to another person. You're totally open, emotionally invested, and utterly connected. You're basically naked. (Well, not actually. Okay, probably, actually sometimes ;).) This level of exposure creates the bond upon which all good and strength is built. As basic as this seems, marriage is about sharing the good stuff, the hard stuff, and the surprising stuff together. BUT, the good news when you're all-in as a team, all that stuff -- even the gut check stuff -- is just another adventure, albeit wild, joyful, hysterical, challenging, or scary, or all of the aforementioned.
2. Patience isn't overrated. Neither is food.
We're building a house together. Literally Nick's sweat equity is building the structure that is becoming our home and I am doing my darnedest as a gopher and helper. Patience is figuratively one of biggest line items on our budget.
We had sooooo many people tell us that if we can survive building a house together, we can survive anything. People made it sound like it would be the hardest thing we'd do together. Guys, I'm here to tell you, it's truly not been that bad. We went in with the expectation that we each had something to bring to the project. We're both the experts on certain subjects or decisions. You're not going to ask me to tell you what wall needs framed or how to do it; and, you're not going to ask Nick what color we're painting which room. We spent months planning for the project and I really think that preparation has allowed us to be more patient with the project, with the process, with the hiccups, and with each other.
Full disclosure, there have been plenty of times where our annoyance thresholds were burgeoning, and, there have a been three or four times, Nick and I have had a full-fledged, fury-filled fight. BUT we've always come back with cooler heads, and often fuller bellies, and rehashed what unhinged us and then moved forward.
How could we do that? // Why could we do that? Because of grace and patience. Not only patience with each other, but patience with oneself and giving each other the grace and space to deal with what triggered us. Patience is a form of love I'm still actively working on.
Also, if you know me I tend to be hangry if I've not had a meal or snack. And Nick, though he'll deny it, can he hangry himself. Naturally, we can assume that hanger has contributed to our annoyances and arguments. Never underestimate the power of food. Your body needs fuel and nourishment. Snickers has it right, "you're not you when you're hungry." But even more than the physical response to food, sharing a meal together (whether it be from a take out container or from a dinner plate) is a genuine way to connect. It is truly my love language. I highly suggest cooking together, eating together, and dining together. Anything can be solved or remembered or rekindled over a meal. The lesson in this: Snack hard. Love hard.
So, what's to come for us in this year? The conclusion of #BornsBuildAHouse: A HOME. And, a mortgage again. (warm fuzzies, right?) Really though, OUR HOME. We're stoked to continue to build, paint, furnish, and decorate #casadeBorn. And it's pretty convenient that Hallmark tells us that the modern fourth anniversary gift is appliances. We've got that covered -- winning!
There's no one I'd rather do life with. Can't wait to keep loving you four-ever!
Happy Fourth Anniversary, Lovebird!
And, in true anniversary tradition, check out our highlight reel with the annual Flipagram:
To the newlyweds, the long-timers, those "just" dating, and those anticipating what's to come: Let love guide you. Let laughter renew you. Let the shenanigans keep you young. Cheers from #MrandMrsBorn!
Until next time. xo-
ps at what point do I have to stop saying these are newlywed reflections?
If we're Facebook friends, you've likely seen one of my most recent posts about Plexus.
It's okay if you want to roll your eyes. Go ahead. Do it now. Get it out of your system.
I did it too. Before.
Before I tried the Plexus products. Before I gave the company a chance. And, gave myself a chance.
Yes, I was that girl who occasionally 🙄 at this type of post that was in my newsfeed. I love marketing so give me a witty tagline, a killer graphic, or a good deal--I'm there. Somehow I had dichotomized the product information that companies were pushing at me and the products my friends and colleagues were highlighting in their personal testimonies. I think they both have their place and should be given their due.
So, maybe I've drank the Kool-Aid. Maybe I've lost my wits.
Or maybe I've decided there is more.
More health. More wealth. More friendship. More hope. Can there be more? Can there be better?
About a month ago, my sugar cravings were in overdrive. All I wanted to eat was processed sugary treats. I mean, seriously, all I wanted was a frosted brownie all to myself every.single.day. And most days I gave in. And If I did, the more sugar I wanted to eat. It was like a never-ending cycle brought to you by Better Crocker. The desire for sugar was so intense, I was legitimately concerned for myself.
I think this is what most people would refer to as rock bottom.
That feeling was worse than any sugar crash, ever. I decided to be a grown-up and do something about it. I called my very bestie and fellow Plexus pal, Meagan up. (Which, BTW, she's been an ambassador for a year and is looking great and rocking her business.) M got me set-up with the Tri-Plex combo (the Plexus Slim, ProBio5, and the BIO Cleanse). And the rest is history!
So, WHY? Why Plexus? Why now?
I guess the better question is, Why NOT? I didn't have anything to lose except an extreme sugar addiction, a raging affinity for pop, and a constant battle with bloating.
So I decided I'd take the products and see where that led. It's been 3 weeks and it's led me to telling YOU about them. I am feeling better, I don't start my day off with a cold one (a Diet Pepsi!), and I am not sneaking candy at my desk at 10:30am or 2:30pm. Then, I realized that there was this incredible opportunity staring me in the face that I needed to pursue. Plus, I already joined as an Ambassador, to receive discounts on my products (#bargainhunter4life), so I was already positioned to pursue the actual business side of things. Doing so allows me to continue to harken the spirit of entrepreneurship carry forward a mission of health & happiness.
So WHY would I join a multilevel marketing company? Why would I want to put myself out there and share about these products daily? Why risk the eye rolls, the sighs, and the potential loss of acquaintances? Because:
*I don't have the bloating flare ups I've had for years now.
*I want to have financial flexibility.
*I want to pay off our student loans early.
*I want to be in a position to own other businesses with Nick.
*I want to make new, incredible friends and develop bonds with like-minded people.
*I want to give back! Meals, time, treasure, etc...
I am committing to doing my best with this endeavor for the next 12 months. I am eager to grow during this time and help inspire growth and health in others.
If you're interested about Plexus products, even remotely, give me holler. I'd love to share with you. If you're looking for an opportunity to contribute to your financial and personal wellness, let's chat.
PS I promise this won't be the focus of my blog. I won't be giving up baking or cooking. I still LOVE dessert. But now I working on being equipped to indulge in moderation.
Until next time--
Hi, I'm Jessica. This is my blog. Really, it is. I started it. Annnnnnnnnnndddddd, well, you can tell it's been too quiet over here. I probably don't need to do introductions again, but if you're just now joining in with the Born Daily adventures, you've come at a good time.
It's our anniversary! That's nearly 1,100 days married. Wooooooo! I could regale you with tales from the year, and I still might. But I'm feeling like being a little out of character, and cutting to the chase. So here it is:
Marriage is pretty cool.
That's all I have.
Okay, I also have a giddy, memory-induced smile on my face brought on by a few of my favorite N+J photos from our engagement session and big day. Mike and Julie from JSiPhotography are outta this world good. All the credit goes to them for helping us retain these special moments.
Ooooookay, maybe I have a little more.
Marriage is pretty cool because:
I'm settling into this wifey role with every passing day. I love cooking meals for him and generally managing our life.** I adore having another half (arguably, sometimes the better half). I live for big and small adventures with Nicholas. I am challenged every day by his unwavering logical thinking, his lack of filter, his unending curiosity and his overtly apparent belief in systems and science. I am strengthened by his positive outlook and the steady pace at which he takes on life. I am amazed by his natural mechanical talents, his charm and his ability to assess situations quickly. He is one-of-a-kind. And, I am so glad he's mine and I am his.
What's happened this year with #MrandMrsBorn? In so many words, in the last year, we've:
For those of you newly engaged, just starting the wedding march, or seasoned pros, may marriage make you more. More than just two individuals. More than just another couple. More than just a label or status. May you have little moments and big magic. May you have enough peace to keep your sanity and enough challenge to keep you thriving. May you have kisses, laughter and alllllll the food and drink you enjoy together. And for those of you with September anniversaries, cheers! It's the best time of the year! (only slightly biased...)
**I don't want to hear about how I am conforming to dated gender roles and damning my female counterparts or renouncing any beliefs I have in equality. Nick doesn't expect this and doesn't request anything. I choose to show my love in domestic ways because that is where my heart and some natural talent lies. I'm doing me. You just do you. We can at least agree it takes both people who agree and understand each role to make the partnership work well.
But for the record, I hate putting away the laundry. That's something I will do, but I don't like that at all. Husband, take over if you want. Just don't mix up the athletic socks with the dress socks and make sure to hang my shirts by color, style and material please. ;)
Y'all...it's time for some renewal, some adventure, and some sun! That's right, no blogging for the next week because it's VACAY time. If I had some scheduled content for you lovelies, this would be a moot point. possibly
I know, I know, you aren't supposed to announce an absence...but since we don't have a physical address to creep on, I think this one time it's safe...
But, this isn't a post for post's sake. Yesterday, when I was on Facebook, for the gazillionith unnecessary time, I stumbled across this article. It's a list of things to do so your life is full of the good stuff. It stirred my soul, again. It is what the universe knew I needed as I am in a bit of a struggle with this precarious position between some entrepreneurial freedom and the must of stability. But more than anything, I know I want to, okay, I need to, LIVE BIG!
Check it out -->
I hope something in this list speaks to you, challenges a notion or two, or prompts you to go for whatever your heart is aching for. Self care is critical in this crazy world we live in. Raise your hand and commit to something because you're worth it. Your family and friends are better for it, promise. Plus take them along on the adventure!
Okay, GTG. I still need to shove the all the things in our suitcase.
(And for the record I think the husband is the one who's over packing. Clearly, he's the one who wants to have back-up books in case there's extra time to read...and the ones he wants to read were only in hardback...facepalm... Okay, maybe that's me, but who can be for certain? I do think he's taking more clothes than me so there's that.)