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0 In motherhood and family

Crazy, emotional start to the school year!

Pre-k, First grade and Senior year from home.

 I expected this school year to start a bit different. I expected classes to be smaller, masks to be worn and six feet required between kids but not this. Today I drove in a school line to pick up school supplies and iPad for my first grader. I have a math book, a book with all other subjects, supplies, portable white erase board, “I’m in first grade” hat, iPad, and a lot of questions. San Diego is not allowing in school instruction at this time so here we are.

 My senior started last week. He has two classes vs the normal 5 and does 1 hour of zoom 4 days a week. He does not seem to motivate or even stimulated for school. I am at a bit of a loss. What is he actually going to learn doing school this way? I feel like he is missing out on so much. Academically and socially loosing out during his last year of high school. I just feel like there was another way to go about starting school and this is not the way to do it.

 First, I do believe Covid-19 is real, is scary and should be taken seriously. But why can’t the school set up and at least start with one day a week using all the recommended precautions. My biggest fear is this school year setting my 2 oldest kids back in school. My 4-year-old I can easily teach her the simple things she needs to know, but she is also lacking the social interaction which is super important in child development.

 Second, I do not even know what Wednesday is going to look like for my first grader because the school has not sent any instructions. Everything the school is doing is being sent out at the last minute making me feel so unprepared to start his schooling. The only saving grace is he has the same teacher as last year and she is amazing. When is this all going to end? I want my kids back to a normal life and my life to get back to normal. I never thought about home schooling or really wanted to so this is a lot on me. Many parents I have spoke to feel the same way as my but not all. Some parents are excited at the idea of home schooling their kids.

Thoughts on school in your state.

 As a parent who suffers from anxiety this virus is really bad for me. My anxiety is a lot worse and my panic attacks have increased. I need a schedule and I need to know what the plan is so I can handle my own mental health issues. I really hope we figure out how to live a more normal life and that my entire family can get back to a normal healthy life. To any of the parents out there struggling like myself you are not alone as this is tough. Just remind yourself it will not be this way forever and things will get better.

Hope all your kids have a great start to the school year! Thank you for letting me vent. I would love to hear what other kids are doing in other states. How do you feel about this whole school year. Do you want to home school, return to normal or hybrid school? I wish this never had happened.

In the spirit of making this school year as normal as possible Target has a ton of fun back to school supplies for a good price. Click the button below to check them out.

2 In motherhood and family

Carlsbad Day Trip

Finding Fairy Doors

 Most people go to Carlsbad, California to visit the beach but our Carlsbad day trip was different. We opted on not going to the beach due to Covid-19. Too many people and not many wearing the mask’s they should. We decided to go on a hunt for tiny fairy doors on a trail in Carlsbad. It was more fun than we thought.

 We got there around 12 and there were very few people on the short trail. As we started walking my teenager spotted the first door. It was perfectly placed on a tree. This tiny little realistic door. It is the cutest tiny yellow door. There was a handle and tiny mushrooms painted on it. Next to the door was tinker bell. Around the door was green moss. You could see my little one’s imaginations running. The excitement was so adorable.

 As we proceed down the trail we came on to another door. This was red and bigger. There was moss, glitter, and purple flowers around it. The detail on the tiny door was perfect. I truly have not seen my kids this excited in months. I should say we do not go many places lately due to this virus, so this was a treat. What was even better is my 16-year-old son said it was pretty fun. This is a huge win for me. In total we found 13 doors. All varying in sizes and absolutely perfect.

 What was so cute is that these doors looked to have inspired other people. There were little birdhouse’s that someone had made on different trees. People had also painted and made their own doors in other places. The original doors we found are part of the Carlsbad Village Fairies. They started popping up in Lancashire, England and now they are in Carlsbad, California. If you would love to read more about how they have come about or buy a fairy door click the button below. They look like so much fun.

Ice Cream was needed

 After this we decided to get some ice cream. Most ice cream placed were closed which was sad because we found one that looked so fun. But my trusty husband came to the rescue. He found Fugu Rolled Ice Cream and Taiyaki. We had the best rolled ice cream. We all got the rolled ice cream except Harper. Her ice cream came in a waffle fish filled with chocolate and her ice cream was ube/vanilla. It was so much fun finding a new place to try.

Finished with Mexican Food

 To top off any southern California trip we had Mexican food. We had to get some. The smell as we walked by was amazing to say the least. If I have not said before I am newly a vegetarian which makes my Mexican food choices slim. But this place had a burrito for me. I got a falco lunch burrito and it was so freaking good. It makes my day when I can find a good vegetarian meal. They even offered a vegan option. Matthew and Geoff got CaliGuey (California burrito) and they loved it so much. I can’t forget  to mention their perfectly made salsa to finish off any Mexican meal.

brown bag from sanchos taco with a burrito from carlsbad day trip

 We had the best day. We kept a social distance 90% of the time. It felt like a normal outing which is so needed. For me covid-19 is putting a strain on my mental health. My kids are also suffering. They miss their friends and just doing normal things. Today truly helped. Thank you to the Carlsbad Village Fairies to letting my kids and my teenager be kids again. Thank you to Fugu Ice Cream for being open when so many are not you saved the afternoon. Our Carlsbad day trip was amazing! Time to look for some other fun and safe San Diego adventures.

0 In motherhood and family

Summer Fun 2020

Summer is different this year.

  The summer fun has been odd to say the least. Last summer we went on lots of fun trips. Now due to covid-19 and living in California all our plans were cancelled. It did not really bother me until this weekend. Memories from last summer and the ones before that start popping up make me wish this would all end soon.

 Last summer was really a ton of fun. It was such a blessing to go on a trip with my oldest son. It was just the two of us. The trip was to Washington, D.C. to tour colleges with TAPS. For the first time in a long time Matthew and I got some much needed one on one time. I was very pregnant, but I felt great. This trip was the best trip for the both of us.

 But on top of that fun trip we also had a weekend away in Los Angeles with the family. Even though it was a short trip and only a few hours away it was well needed. It also was with TAPS. For our family these get away’s with TAPS are truly needed. The trip is full of familiar face’s. It is so refreshing for the entire family.

 If you have not read some of my other posts I should tell you what TAPS is. TAPS organization stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. The organization is headed by Bonnie Carroll a military widow. They support all family members and friends who have lost someone in the Military. The person who died may have be active duty, reserves, or veteran. It is like a second family to many people including us. If you have lost a military loved one or if you just want to learn more ill attach a button below to their page.

 So, this summer among the other fun things we do, losing out on going to these events has been a bit heart breaking. Even though they offered virtual event’s they just are not the same.

 For me I am siding with caution and staying away from other people. So, we just are staying home. There is only so much you can do at home. There are way too many people at the beaches here in San Diego and basically everywhere. So many people are just going about their lives normal and I wish I could be so carefree, but this virus makes me nervous. So now with the summer half over I am looking for some creative ways to have some fun. I need to have some summer fun with my family.

 Summer Fun 2020 idea’s.

  1. Going to the beach at 7am: A mom in San Diego says if you go really early no one is there and just leave as too many show up.
  2. Putting our tent up on the patio: We are going to set the tent up with sleeping bags and pretend camp from our house. We will make popcorn and S’mores bites.
  3. Build a tower garden: This company in Tennessee called GreenStalk makes a garden tower that we are going to plant things in.
  4. Water play: We will buy a blow-up pool and water balloons. Eat watermelon, make sandwiches and eat popsicles all on our patio. Then we can all have some summer fun from our home.

Taking Summer fun suggestions.

 These are the four things I have come up with so far. I really need to find some fun ideas for summer before it is over. What are your creative ideas for summer fun from home. I need help! Hope y’all have a great Summer.

0 In motherhood and family

Back to school

 As with most parents this year has been crazy. From hearing about a virus, to our kid’s school shutting down and the continuing roller coaster of covid-19. There is no way to plan what is coming next. Furthermore, what is happening with the kids going back to school in the fall. There is so much confusion and way too many opinion’s out there.

 For my family we are currently divided on what to do with this up coming year. It does not make things any easier that we have one child in high school for his senior year and the other one in first grade. This means we are dealing with 2 school districts. To top it off the school districts have different ideas on going back to school next month.

 For myself I do not know who to believe about covid-19 and how sick it can or can not make you. Because I do not really know who to believe I do not want to take a chance sending my kids back to school at this time. Having a baby at home worries me due to her immune system not being fully developed yet. That is enough for me to keep them out of school and stay online only until we see a huge drop in this numbers for this virus.

They are missing out on socialization. My kid’s are truly missing their friends. School and sports were particularly important to our children as well as many other’s I know. I really pray every day that this virus goes away, and life become more normal.

e young male wearing yellow shirt and black pants with black cleats for baseball.

 Our school’s have announced what their plans are for now. The high school will go one day a week and the 4 days online. The elementary school is going 5 days a week unless told otherwise. This can all change any minute. This was what happened with business’s just yesterday. It is just a complete mess.

A blonde woman with floral top and black pants wearing a pink mask talking to a young child talking about wanting to go back to school

 For my husband it is pretty simple he thinks all kids should go back. On top of that he thinks that social distancing and masks are not necessary. I can not wrap my head around that type of thinking. There is something out there making people extremely ill. Although many kids are not getting sick their teachers could. I myself think every life matter’s and do not want to take the risk. My husband and I are going to need to come to some middle ground because each school offer’s full online schooling as a choice. That being said I want to make the best choice for my kids.

white male boy 6 years old in paper black and yellow kindergarten graduation hat, with white kindergarten diploma. He was not able to go back to school due to covid-19

 I know I am not alone in this confusion. There are many parents out there that need their kids in school. They need to work. But on top of that some parent’s like my self do not feel their kids learn the best from us. Before all of this b I never wanted to home school, but I did it from March till the end of the school year. I just do not want to. My kids really love going to school. My teenager is in his senior year. If things do not start normalizing soon he is going to miss out on so much and it truly is not fair. What are all the other parent’s feeling? What is the right choice for your family? Please share as I love hearing other perspectives on this unique situation we are facing as parents this year.

 What I ask myself:

  1. Is it to big of a risk to go back now?
  2. Will they learn what they need to from me?
  3. How can me and my husband compromise?
  4. What sources can you are really trust?
  5. What will the consequences be socially and educationally by keeping my children home?
  6. Will one day a week verse all online be vastly different?
  7. Is this all a political stunt?
  8. How do I teach a young child to socially distance at school?
  9. Is it worth putting the teachers in jeopardy?
  10. How do I prepare my kids for another odd school year?

 That being said I am still very confused. No one said parenting is easy. It is made much harder when our country and society is so mixed on what the next step is for school.

1 In motherhood and family

Cinnamon donut holes

 Welcome back to our new family tradition of Sunday sweets! This week we are making Cinnamon donut holes. This is going to being a morning creation verse our typical dinner dessert.These are super easy to make. If you are new to my page let me just say now I have four kids. Three of them are 6 and under so easy recipes are key. Even more so it is important they are easy because the kid’s like to help.

 Let us begin with what we need to make these. It is literally only four ingredients:

  • butter (6 tablespoons)
  • cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
  • sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Pillsbury Biscuits (1 container which is 8 biscuits)
cinnamon donut holes sign with biscut can blue and red. Butter containter blue and yellow \. Sugar cinnamon and pam

 The best thing with having an easy recipe is my little helpers can easily feel like they are making the dessert. Since starting this new tradition every Friday, my 6-year-old asks what we are making. This definitely warms my heart!

 So, let us get started, my husband will start preheating the oven to whatever the can says which in our case it is 350. While this is being done the kids get a pretty shallow dish and take turns spraying Pam in it, so we do not have sticking problems. At this point if you have little helper too either the adult will cut the biscuits into 4 parts or help the child. Since our children are 4, 6 and 16 we help the younger two and the oldest can do it on his own. Also, because we had enough biscuits to cut up everyone got to help and then everyone got to roll the cut-up pieces into balls.

 Next my husband melted the butter in the microwave. In an additional bowl the kids mixed the sugar and cinnamon. Which may have been a bit of a mess but what is cooking without a mess. My husband dipped the dough balls in the butter just in case it was hot and then the real mess started. The kids and I dipped the balls in the sugar cinnamon mix and let just say little hands were covered.

 After we did all the fun messy parts of the recipe we started lining them up one next to another in the dish and we cooked them for 15 minutes. Due to our oven seeming to cook things fast it only took 15 minutes. Just know it can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes so just watch them carefully. The smell of cinnamon is so nice, and it filled the house. We let them cool for about ten minutes and then ate them. They were so good and such a treat for breakfast!

round balls of dough in a clear glass pan covered in cinnamon and sugar

 I wish we had made more of the Cinnamon donut holes they were so good. But the kids loved helping and more so loved eating all of them. If you have a bigger family make more because they go fast. A friend told me to add some frosting. Although to me they were sweet enough and did not really need more so we opted out of that. If you try making these let me know how they turn out please! Happy Sunday everyone.

2 In motherhood and family

Loving my body after baby

This year I turn 37. In my 37 years I have had four beautiful babies. I also have had 3 miscarriages. Being pregnant 7 times is a lot on a woman’s body. I remember being 18 and a size 5. Well that size is long gone, and my body has completely changed. I struggle with my postpartum body. Coming from being this tiny little thing to 180 pounds is hard to swallow. But im loving my body after a baby, well after 4 babies.

 In the world media is filled with women who bounce back to a size 0 a week after having a baby. They do not share all the images of what many women look like afterwards. Mostly because it does not fit the image media wants to show. This is so damaging to women. It took me a long time to realize how beautiful and amazing our bodies are. There is no reason why media should only show these “perfect” people. Because our bodies after birth are amazing.

pregnant women 38 weels black sports bra side belly picture loving her body

 I have always been hard on myself. Since the age of about 14 I was overly concerned with body image. After my first baby at 19 I had stretch marks and my boobs sagged from breast feeding. I did not feel better about myself till I lost a ton of weight and people started noticing. Why is it people only say you look good when you lose weight? From 2014-2019 I was pregnant 6 times and I went full term with 3 babies. Writing this now I see what a miracle my body is. But I still was ashamed. I felt fat. There were parts of my body that made me feel horrible about myself. The older I got the harder it was to get back my postpartum body.

brown haired white women 40 week pregnant taking picture of bare belly

 But finally, about two weeks ago I looked in the mirror. Looking at my body I said to myself, my body has been through a lot and I look surprisingly good. I have birthed 4 healthy babies. On top of that I have breast fed those babies. My arms have carried each child, hugged them, and kept them safe. How can I not love what I see? I finally realized I needed to stop worrying about what our society burns into our heads and just love me. My weight is just a number it is more about how I feel health wise.

white girl blonde hair black sport bra stomach showing loving her body after a baby

 So everyday I look in the mirror and find something I love. My stretch marks are perfect and my “baby pooch” was earned. Yes, I may lose some weight down the line because I want to feel healthy, but I am not losing it to fit an image. I love my big breasts and even though some may think they look deflated they fed all of my babies. Those gave my kids so much nutrients and kept them healthy. My hips may be wider but there is nothing wrong with curves.

blond girl white skin brown eyes smiling

 Today I am finally seeing me and loving me. Although it is not easy to not get wrapped up in negativity, it is do able. It is a work in progress. Self-love Is not always easy but it is worth it. So, to women out there being hard on themselves because they are not bouncing back the way Hollywood women do please love yourself. Please know your worth. Woman of all shapes and sizes need to see how amazing we are and not be so hard on ourselves.

 Im loving my body after a baby by doing these things:

1.)           Once a day I look in the mirror and find something I love

2.)           When I put on clothes I do not say or think negative things

3.)           I look at my kids and say to myself you made them, and you are amazing

4.)           I am not setting body goals but just enjoying my baby

5.)           Do not look at women in Hollywood as examples of where you should be

 Remember our bodies are perfect. There is only one of you. You are perfect in your own way. Postpartum bodies are strong, perfect, and gorgeous. Loving my body after a baby is such an amazing feeling. Sending love out to not only all the Mom’s but to everyone women. It is not easy being a woman in today’s society.

0 In motherhood and family

My rainbow pregnancy.

My rainbow pregnancy was hard. I did not know anything about a rainbow pregnancy and had no idea what that meant. Also, I had no idea what a rainbow baby was. That all changed when I got pregnant with Gavin. Then my rainbow pregnancy began and it was emotionally hard. Someone said to me “oh that is great, your having a rainbow baby.” I had to ask what that meant. I was so happy to learn the meaning of a rainbow baby, it gave me a sense of happiness after my loss. But my rainbow pregnancy was a whole different experience.

I guess I should explain for those who do not know what a rainbow baby and pregnancy is. Well, it is the pregnancy that follows after a miscarriage, still birth or loss of a baby. It is considered the rainbow after the storm and gives parents who were grieving the loss of a baby hope with a new baby. It does not mean it replaces that loss. Nothing replaces the loss of a child. What it does do is gives us hope!

For me though a rainbow baby pregnancy is hard. With my first baby I had never had a miscarriage. Everything went smoothly with the pregnancy and birth. I had no fears. No one tells you what comes with a rainbow baby pregnancy. I do not think this happens for everyone or maybe it does. But the pregnancy is hard.

My rainbow baby pregnancies since I had three of them we exceedingly difficult on my mental health. I was in fear the whole time. The pregnancy joy was many times overwhelmed by the fear from my miscarriage. Miscarriage’s caused me to not share that I was pregnant till the first trimester was over. Every baby scan I had I would fear they would find something. I would wait till the baby moved and feel relief. Unfortunately, the relief would soon be consumed with the next fear and then the next. It was such a struggle for me to not fear my baby’s safety till they were in my arms.

I am not sure this happens to everyone. But this is my story of the struggle I had connecting with my rainbow babies while pregnant. For me, I wished I had received therapy after my miscarriages. I loved those babies. When I get pregnant I see these little humans and all they can do in the world. I may not have held them, but I loved them so much it hurt. I wish doctors would follow up on the mental health of the parents after a loss, but many do not. At least for me they did not.

As I mentioned above I lost three babies. Each loss was followed by a rainbow baby. I am so blessed to have them. God gave me the best little babies ever. I wish I had asked for help to handle the stress of rainbow pregnancies so I could have enjoyed being pregnant. It makes me incredibly sad that I did not spend more time cherishing every moment of pregnancy. Instead I lived in fear. My fears where real and valid but I did not have to struggle alone.

By my third rainbow baby I was in a panic a lot of the time. It was not healthy for my self or the baby. There are moments now I see I should have advocated for myself to get some help. My blood pressure was high due to the fear every time I went into the office something would be wrong. On top of it I had an anterior placenta. So, finding the babies heartbeat was hard. It was just a lot of my mental health not being where it needed to be. But I really am glad I got through it and birthed these beautiful little ones.

What I learned from my rainbow baby pregnancies I hope can help another Mom who struggles. Maybe it will help a Dad too. It could allow a Dad to help if they see their babies Mother struggling.

  1. If you are struggling like I was ask your doctor for help.
  2. If your doctor is not listening to you, ask for a new one.
  3. Talk to other Moms like yourself. Find a supportive group.
  4. Try to find ways to relax.
  5. Talk to your partner or family to get more support
  6. Please know you are not alone (message me if you need to someone to talk too)
  7. Try Mantra’s like: My baby is healthy or we are okay.
  8. Take a deep breath if feeling scared or sad
  9. Essential Oils can help calm your mind
  10. Always ask for help if needed.

If I were to ever have another baby I would find a doctor who specialized in mental health. I would take care of myself and build a great support team. Also, it would be important for me to find a doctor that was with me through the whole thing verse a practice that can never schedule you with the same OBGYN. Maybe a midwife would be better as the care is more personal. But please know your not alone. Many women do not share how scary it is getting pregnant again after a loss. But you do not have to struggle alone.

0 In motherhood and family

Father’s Day in our home.

As in many families you go out and celebrate the dad and grandpa in your family. Father’s Day is a day full of love. If you do not live near them face time, calling or sending something special may be ways of celebrating. Dads are amazing. They teach and love their kids in a way no one else can. A dad can be blood related or not. It is what they do in our life’s that earn them the title dad.

 In the Shivicks home Father’s Day is a particularly important day. We celebrate the fathers who are here. If they are no longer alive we honor them. We sadly are missing one of the dad’s in our home. Have been for 11 years now. Just because he is not here does not mean we forget about him. We also have my husband and my stepdad in town. Then there is my father in Virginia as well as my husband’s father in Iowa. Not to long ago my husband and I both lost our grandfathers. Both were great men.

 So, what are we doing? This year it is pretty simple. With the virus going on there is not much you can do. My husband is pretty easy. We made some homemade gifts. He got one gift early. Then he wants Buffalo Wild Wings. That is his favorite place to eat. But we are picking the food up instead of eating there. My stepdad is also picking his food up so we can all meet together.

 We will all meet up at Matt’s headstone. If you have not read posts before on my blog my oldest son’s father has passed away. There at the grave site we are going to have a picnic. The best part is he is buried overlooking the ocean. It will not be too hot. It is so peaceful. This allows all fathers near us to be celebrated together in one place.

 At some point in the day I will call my dad. My husband will call his. All in all, it is a celebration of these important men. You do not always have to do something big. It truly is about spending time with them. Making them know how important they are to us all. Just spending time with one another.

 So, what do we get these dads of ours? Well that depends. Some know what they want. Maybe a tool set or a video game. I found a lot of homemade dad gifts that were easy. For Matthews dad we bring flowers. When he was younger he would make something for him. The first year he brought his dad Lego characters to leave him. There are so many things you can do.

What is most important especially in blended families? You need to make sure you show appreciation towards the father figures. There are not always the traditional dad’s in every family. There may be more then one dad or father figure in a home. It is important to let them know on this day and all days how much you appreciate them

To the families like ours where a father who has died. I am so sorry for your loss, but their memory lives on within you. Celebrate their life and know wherever they are now they love you. Find ways to celebrate them in your own way. Happy Father’s Day!!!

1 In motherhood and family

Losing your child’s father.

 Being a blended family is not the same for everyone. In fact, our blended family is a bit different. My oldest son lost his Dad. Losing his father makes life complex. Many blended families consist of 2 Dads and 2 Moms or combination of sorts. But for us we have a complicated factor of having the loss of a parent. Today is one of the hardest days of the year. Today marks 12 years since losing Matt Sr.

Matthew was not able to be there. His Dad was on a ship and he was flown to Phuket, Thailand. His family and I all flew to him as soon as we were told something was wrong. Matt had a brain aneurysm. He was never going to recover from it. He died in Thailand and was flown back to the United States shortly after. That was where Matthew got to see him again. Matthew was 4. His father was 25. Losing his father changed us all.

This situation is complicated. It was hard to explain to four-year-old Matthew what happened. It is was also hard to explain to the three younger children what is going on years later. My 6-year-old understands his older brothers Dad is no longer here. My 4-year-old is just catching on. She did not really understand until 2 weeks ago. Then there is the baby she has no idea. But I knew at some point I had to explain to my youngest children where Matthews Daddy was.

When I married my husband, I was noticeably clear how I wanted to handle the loss of Matt. He understood and agreed. I want the house to have Matt’s presence. I also want Matthew’s younger siblings to know who Matt is. We also spend time with Matt’s family, and they all know them. These things help my oldest son feel like his Dad matters. It makes him feel like his Dad is remembered.

Every year is different. Different emotions come up. This year is a bit harder for Matthew and I. When you 16 things are changing. A lot is going on in my oldest sons’ life. It is sad to know his father is not here for all those things. He is missing driving, graduating, first jobs and so much more.

So, what does a blended family do in this situation. Well we include everyone. We all go visit his grave site. They see Mom and brother talk to Matt. We share stories. We share the love of a Man no longer here but still so important. In every blended family there is a lot of making things work. Fitting puzzle pieces together that may not fit perfectly. You have to respect one another dead or alive.

 In our case if you came into our home there are pictures everywhere. Some new with all 6 of us. Then there are old ones of Matthew and his Dad. Also, ones of Matt and I. Matt’s flag is in a case with his picture as well. Then if you go into my oldest sons’ room there are items of his Dads that were passed down. We all know which ones those are, even the little kids do. We spend Christmas eve with Matt’s family as well as many other holidays. Just as Matthew and I did before Matt passed. Blended families are all different. They all make choices so that things work. By losing such a huge part of our life we make him a huge part in our home.

It may not happen at first but things mostly even themselves out. With all that said, June 16th, 2020 is 12 years since he passed. Matthew Hicks is in heaven now. We miss and love him. My entire family combines his name with my current husbands to make Shivicks. I try my best to keep his memory alive. I will never forget the last time I saw him or spoke to him. My son and I think of him every day. Please hug you husband, wife, and children a little tighter tonight. Life is a gift. Time is a gift and we should cherish every moment.

1 In motherhood and family

Miscarriage’s and rainbow babies

 People have asked me before, how many kids do you have. I always smile and say four. A lot goes through my mind when asked this. This question is not simple for me. I only have 4 kids standing with me, however, I have three babies in heaven. Such a simple question can be a huge trigger for many women.

 My first miscarriage was in 2013. It was horrible for me. We were excited to see the heartbeat. The doctor was so quite and finally said she cannot find anything. They looked again and found our small baby with no heartbeat. The doctor was cold and rude. Then she sent me to another room, where a nurse came in with a huge smile, so when is your due date. How could the doctor not have told her my baby was gone? It was heartbreaking and I blamed myself. The baby I lost would have been the first between my husband and I. We got pregnant again quickly. We were blessed with our son Gavin.

 With this miscarriage I found many of my friends had had one too but just did not talk about it. Why weren’t women talking about this? It is not our fault; we should not sit in silence. I felt better talking to other women. When you lose your baby, no matter how far along not only do you feel alone, there are so many other emotions.

 For me, this was not going to be my last miscarriage. After Gavin, in 2015, I got pregnant again and again there is my little baby with no heartbeat. How is this happening? Why are my babies not making it? We had to go to my husbands work function that evening and we faced the evening with a smile. Then we came home to take medicine to birth my baby. Well, I talked about my loss because I needed to. Luckily, just like before, I got pregnant again with Harper. I would not let myself get attached, I was anxiety ridden and worried the whole pregnancy. It really sucked that, for me, I could not fully enjoy the experience until I held her.

  After Harper we wanted one more. I was nervous to try but when we found I was pregnant I felt dread. When I told my husband I told him to not get excited there will not be a heartbeat and there was not. For some reason, my body loses a baby each time before a successful pregnancy. My doctors wouldn’t look deeper into the miscarriages till the third loss. Why do we have to lose three babies before we get help? Then God gave me my third rainbow baby Aria. The pregnancy was hard. I bought a Doppler to check for the heartbeat daily. I was again anxiety ridden and sad that I was scared of pregnancy. But on September 29th I was blessed to take home my beautiful girl.

 Now after three losses and three rainbow babies I reflect on what I went through. I wish I was not so hard on myself, that I would have talked about my loss more so I could have helped someone else. I’m very thankful for the women that shared their stories to me, so I didn’t feel so alone. I wonder if they were boys or girls, did the babies have their Daddies green eyes? One day I will meet them. I am grateful my rainbow babies. What I tell all other Moms out there with angel babies is this:

  1. You are not alone.
  2. You did nothing wrong.
  3. We are strong and amazing.
  4. Even though you lost your baby you still are a Mom.
  5. Take your time to grieve.
  6. Enjoy your pregnancy after loss.
  7. Ask for help if you are having a hard time.
  8. Tell your story when you are ready.
  9. You can choose to keep trying or stop, either way is OK.
  10. Love yourself. You have gone through a lot and you matter.

 To all the Moms out there with babies in heaven, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope, if you try again,j you get your rainbow baby. If you are unable to have one or more children I am sending love and prayers your way. Women are amazingly strong. The things we endure can be difficult. Love and prayers to all of you.