I have been blogging off and on for the better part of 16 years. I created my very first website on Geocities (I really am telling my age now…) and evolved from there. My general brand of blogging has always been personal vignettes and observations about life. I successfully documented all of my college years and developed a little bit of fan base doing so, before blogging was the “in thing” to do.
Then something happened…..blogging became mainstream. It became about the views, likes and the money. It became about niches and more focused blogging. I literally felt edged out of something that I loved as a fun hobby. I thought too hard about posts. I betrayed my own thoughts about my own feelings about topics, whig led to…nothing. Absolutely noting. No blogging. No writing. NOTHING. I put down something that was fun because I was afraid that people wouldn’t like me. But I realized something. I feel better when I get all my thoughts out on paper and out of my head. Most importantly, I have something to say.
So allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Kathryn. I am a 32-year-old newlywed. I am under-employed and questioning everything about life, love, and the world. I love music, books and coffee (lots of coffee!) I follow politics and I scream at the TV during football games. I am a Southern girl through and through. Welcome to my world, the good, bad and the ugly….but dressed up really nice.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. I didn’t know that something like that even existed until 2012. It is something that I bring awareness to every October because it is an issue that I hold near and dear to my heart.
On September 6, 2012, I gave birth to a baby born way too early. I was only 23 weeks along at the time. Every time I go back to that day I think “one more week and I would’ve been at viability…..I wonder if he would have made it…” That was my first (and only) pregnancy and it was filled with complication after complication. What ultimately happened was complications with high blood pressure and an amniocentesis which caused me to go in to pre-term labor early. That week is one of the hardest week that I have ever have to go through. It really is a lot more grief than I had to go through with losing my mother. Although that one was a hard pill to swallow, she had cancer and we had time to prepare for that loss. It was unexpected. The loss of a child however is not. One of my dear friends posted a picture that summed up everything that I have felt and have wanted to say for 2 whole years.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss touches 1 in 4 people. I never knew that. When you are going through it, you feel as if it is just you by yourself. Which brings me to……
1. You are not alone in your loss. When I shared on Facebook that I lost my child, the response was overwhelming with friends that had gone through the exact same thing, but had never shared or talked about it. It seems as if it is easier to talk about when you are talking to someone that has experienced the same thing. I have so many renewed friendships just due to that one more thing that we have in common. I was just talking to a co-worker today and learned about her losing her first child. She asked if I had any children and my hesitation was what had her share her story. It’s amazing what a “community” that we are.
2. Grieving is a LIFE LONG process. This is so true. You’d think that you wouldn’t grieve hard over someone that you never got to meet, but you do. The bond between a child and a mother is so INSTANT. Whenever I think I am okay, I see my friend’s son, who was born a week after my original due date and I lose it all over again. Not that I don’t love seeing her son, I just think that they would be the same age right now.
3. Heartache is a physical pain. Now this one I don’t agree with. It’s not physical for me. It may have been at the very beginning, but it is much more mental than anything else.
4. One does not simply “get over it.” The worst thing that I heard in the world was from my dad. I took only 3 weeks off from work after delivery. (My doctor was fully prepared to come up with reasons why I needed a full maternity leave for FMLA purposes for my job. She was awesome.) at the end of the first week, he was telling me how I needed to go back to work because I couldn’t grieve forever. He was lucky that this was by phone because I’m sure I would have thrown something at him if he was in my presence. I needed those full 3 weeks in order to be able to be around people. “Getting over it” still hasn’t happened and probably won’t.
5. A new baby does not replace the other. Because I am not trying to conceive at this point, I wouldn’t know. I’m sure that this is true, but a new baby would be awesome.
6. It’s OK to not be Ok. This is a lesson that I have had to learn. I am used to being strong and being the one that people can lean on when they are going through things. Feeling helpless is something that I don’t do well. It feels weird. I had to learn that it is normal to tear up at diaper commercials and at random times. It’s okay to fall apart. It’s normal.
7. Babies exist even if not born. It’s not okay to dismiss the memory of that child. He was still a person.
8. I will forever and ever love my baby. Without question.
9. Grief never 100% goes away. See #5
10. Please don’t judge what you don’t understand. People who have never experienced a loss of this magnitude don’t quite understand what you are going through. I try my best not to get mad, but I feel as though if you have no idea what it’s like you should listen more and talk less.
11. Pregnancy and infant loss can happen to anyone.
12. I hope it never happens to you. I really hope it doesn’t!
13. I thought it would never happen to me.
14. My baby’s memory is safe within my family. My family recognizes me on Mother’s Day with gifts and flowers and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
15. It never stops hurting, maybe just less often. See #5.
16. Talk to someone SEEK SUPPORT. Find a counselor. Talk to supportive friends. Reach out to family. Do something! Do not try to get over it alone. It’s okay to need help.
17. Cherish each moment. Never diminish the time that you had because of the loss. I enjoyed the wonder of pregnancy and preparing for the child. I never will forget the happy times.
18. Be gentle with yourself. Enough said.
19. Losing a child is not a disease or illness. There is NOTHING wrong with you!
20. Please learn to love and accept the new me. I have lost friends and have experienced strained friendships due to my loss and the timing of my loss so to speak. I wasn’t answering phone calls after I got home from the hospital. I couldn’t talk to people in my face, let alone talk on the phone. There were a lot of people who took offense to my silence. I felt bad about it at first and blamed myself. Then I woke up. If you can’t be a supportive friend during a time of loss, then you weren’t a real friend. Period. Point blank. It was okay for me to not care about anything else but myself at that time. I miss those people, but I am glad I know who they really are now.
21. Please value my child’s life. See #8.
Have you suffered the loss of a child too early or know someone who has?
When I get really in my feelings, I tend to neglect my blog. This is really the time that I need the blog the most. It is my outlet. My place to get out all of my feelings. When I’m stressed out, however, I tend to not get these feeling out. I think that is the craziest thing. I hold everything in like a sponge when I don’t feel as good or confident about myself as I need to. I am MAKING myself get these feelings out. It is necessary and mandatory.
1. I got a raise!! Granted it’s only a quarter raise but it really gets me excited. As down as I get about my job, things like this allow me to at least stay and be comfortable while I prepare for my career. I’m also getting paid GREAT commission for my work. So now I can pay for these classes with no meals being missed. Now if I can bargain with Uncle Sam to at least let me see more of the fruits of my labor.
2. Mother Nature and I are NOT friends at the moment. I’m definitely weary of not knowing what season it’s going to be on a daily basis. I have seen snow one too many times this year to be a Mississippi girl!! It was 70 degrees two days in a row. So here’s to spring….hopefully…..
3. Daylight Savings Time threw a monkey wrench in my sleep patterns. That hour really does matter. A lot. You’d think that I would be prepared by now, but it catches me off guard every time.
4. I have the baby fever again. Like I am obsessed with it. I will be 31 this year. My mind is coming around to trying again. I am still deathly afraid of being pregnant again because of my miscarriage, but I think I’m ready to stamp out this fear.
1. It’s cold and snowing in central Mississippi!!! For these reasons, I took my own snow day. Got all the way down to 8:06 before I decided I was going to stay home (shift starts at 8:30). It was a good decision. I have cleared a nice sized chunk from my nearly full DVR. MDOT said not to travel unless it was necessary. As long as I have vacation time, it’s never necessary.
2. This snow day is on the heels of a vacation to Atlanta. Every year since 2008, Boo Thang and I have traveled to Atlanta to the Honda Battle of the Bands in January. Sometimes this one of the few times (read: 2) that we leave the state of Mississippi. Every time we visit, I fall madly in love with the city. So much so that this year we started looking at apartments! We want to leave Mississippi because it sucks for better opportunities that we don’t feel we can get at home. Because we are Southern through and through, Atlanta is perfect. Contrary to popular belief, if we found a job out there on our salaries here….we’d still make it. Operation Leave Mississippi may have grown wings.
3. Traveling home I missed the first hour of the Grammys (thank God for DVR). Of course they had to open with my girl Beyoncé!! I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed by the performance but it was still hot. Checking all social media outlets though had me bummed. I was actually tired of the hate and stereotypes. It took from the production. I even had to snap on Facebook!
However my favorite part of the night was the Macklemore performance. Not only was it about marriage equality, but acceptance period. I loved it.
4. I am still on the job hunt. It is very important to me to find something that furthers my drive and passion for life. I am toying with the notion of taking my law degree off of my resume. As hard as I worked for that degree (and am still working to use it!) I don’t want to do it. However I know it’s the reason I can move ahead. Weird, huh. Employers see the law degree and they immediately think “she won’t be here long” or “she’s looking for more money than we want to pay” or “later on she will steal our clients.” I know this because it’s come up in interviews. The Witch in me wants to ask them why they called me in for an interview, but I smile, answer all questions truthfully and send the thank you cards for callbacks I never receive. I won’t give up. Refer to random #2.
Friday I woke up and decided that I was tired of being fat. Sick and definitely tired of being fat. I’m 5’2, 205 pounds. I am on two different blood pressure medications and I am 30. With the stressful job situations that I am under every day, it’s amazing that I don’t stroke out. So I decided to make some changes. I got approached by Weight To Lose 2013 and Carolina Fitness about a weight loss challenge so I decided to join so I can get some online accountability.
I started working out. The great part about having an Xbox One is access to Xbox Fitness. With that I have access to A LOT of workout videos. I bought Zumba Fitness and I have some other fitness games on Xbox 360. I haven’t gone to my gym yet, but I do actually plan to use my gym membership instead of just paying for it. Zumba how me how much I am out of shape. I really do believe that you need to already be in hape before starting it lol. It’s really fun even though I have two left feet. I also started Weight Watchers online (corporate discount $8….SCORE!!!!). I am on day 3 and I am starving!!! I definitely need to eat more fruits and veggies as a filler or I will start biting folks’ heads off. I have counted calories before and managed to stay full. This has me wondering where the food goes. But maybe this will change once I get used to it.
My weigh in day is going to be on Sundays so I will keep you posted!! Do you have weight loss goals? Are you tired of being fat too? Do share?
Happy New Year!!!! This is that grand ol time of year where we all set these marvelous and grand new year’s resolutions. Then we get to somewhere around May and say screw it til next year this time. I’m kinda tired of doing that. I want to make the goals that I set be things that are actually worked on and things that I can look back on in a year’s time and say “I did that!”
I realize that my goals are way too big to be accomplished in a year. THIS is why I crash and burn before a quarter of the year is out. I read that smaller, more realistic goals tend to be ones that aer kept. So being the perfectionist that I am, I will follow that advice.
I already have a 30 to do in my 30s list….that is something that is supposed to take a decade to do. I need to work on things to better myself today. So here is my list:
Lose 15 pounds. Now this is a realistic goal. I have an overall weight loss goal of 60 pounds, but that number is so….HUGE. So taking it 15 pounts at a time shouldn’t be so bad. I don’t have a diet plan except for to drink more water, eat out less and get my ass off the couch.
Start off each day with a positive affirmation. I place too much negative energy in the air. I recognize this about myself so it is time to change that.
Save more money. I have financial goals but no plan…so I’m just baby steps from paycheck to paycheck living. That’s not good. I am going to use the 52 week challenge where you save a dollar per week corresponding to what week it is. Baby steps….
Take the MPRE and pass. Oh the ethics test….gotta have that score in order to be licensed, so I may as well knock that out and get my confidence up.
Blog more!! I’m talking at least 2 posts a week. Looking at my schedule now, if I do that, you can call me Superwoman.
That’s a pretty decent goal list for 2014. Do you have any resolutions or goals for the new year? Do share!!
This is a great piece on Kayla’s blog. It really got me to thinking about my life is a good way. I’ve been so bored lately. I hate my job. I rarely go out because my job tires and stresses out. But what ties me to it? Me. It’s time to live! I’m 30….I’m still young!
Sometimes during this quarter life crisis, it hard to feel like you have come into your own….that is until some one challenges your adulthood. No matter how many missteps I feel like I have made in my life or how far off I feel like I am from my life plan or who has what to say about how I live……I’M A GROWN WOMAN.
They love the way I walk
‘Cause I walk with a vengeance
And they listen to me when I talk
‘Cause I ain’t pretending
It took a while, now I understand
Just where I’m going
I know the world and I know who I am
‘Bout time I show it