My Miscarriage Story: 7 Miscarriages & 3 Beautiful Babies Later…

Let me start off by saying, I am super graced by all that has been given and taken away from me. Even when I did not realize the importance of the addition and or subtraction in the beginning, I am learning that  those moments of confusion lead to some of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 27 years of life.

In late 2013, I was hit with a positive pregnancy test. Fresh out of undergrad, great entry level job, just got my acceptance letter to start my Boston University graduate program in the spring, a newlywed to my best friend, and now, a baby. My life was going in such a positive direction until 9 weeks into my pregnancy. That was when I was hit with a loss that shattered this “picture perfect” image of my life to-be to pieces. My baby had no heartbeat and I mean the devastation felt like my own heart had been ripped out of my chest.

Through frank conversation with my physician, I learned that these things occur more often than I thought and that nothing was wrong with me, the baby just did not “stick” as they say. I mean, it definitely did not stop me from trying again. Except this time I got a bold positive – in fact, this time and twice more after this I tested in the morning and felt pure happiness in my heart, only to be let down that evening when blood smeared any glimpse of hope I had of becoming a mother.

This is when loss truly started to get to me and break my spirit. Depression sat in, I felt like less of a woman, unworthy of gaining entry into the world of motherhood, lonely and unable to properly explain to my husband or anyone else that could see me closing myself off from the world and the pain I was feeling. I lost connections with friends and family who could not understand and even some that did but felt I should just “get over it”. Right.

I became pregnant 3 more times within the following year and lost all three children before 9 weeks. I changed my diet. Studied herbalism. Worked out more. I got a surgery to make sure I was okay (and I was absolutely fine), I even changed my focus to be a healthier me – mentally, physically and emotionally.

The summer of 2015 is when my life changed. We had just made a huge move across country, decided we would shift our focus and strengthen our new marriage that had been so routinely tested with every trip to the bathroom and a home pregnancy test from Walmart. But this time, this time was different. I got a positive and I refused to become excited. I heard my baby’s heartbeat and held it in my thoughts and memories filed “just in case”. I even had an emotional breakdown in Target when my husband threw pacifiers in the cart as I approached 30 weeks pregnant – still in fear that I wouldn’t meet the little man that kicked at the smell of popcorn every time we entered for something we didn’t need (Target will do that to you). The further along I got into my pregnancy, the more guilt I felt about not being my happy go-lucky self. I continued to go to work everyday like I usually did. I did not take belly progression pictures or even have a baby shower. Instead I awkwardly harbored all of my pregnancy milestones for my husband and I. Pictures, first kicks, appointments, ultrasound pictures and even baby boys name. It sounds lonely but for us, it was everything and for those who could not understand that, well – we simply did not give a damn. I guess the way we saw it was the less negativity placed into our situation by others, the closer we became to each other and our unwavering faith grew. Lo and behold, after 12 hours of crazy, natural labor and a little chord dilemma, I had my very first child on February 11, 2016. One of the very best days of my life.

Like I always say, some days are easier than others but nothing was more eventful than going to the hospital for a “stomach virus” at the end of this summer and finding out that I was expecting twins. 28 weeks later and I am still in shock that my body is doing something so damn awesome and how much this feels like it was meant to be – even when those same fears I have always felt have certainly crept into my mind once or twice. They are growing beautifully. My husband and son are super excited to meet them and I feel amazing knowing that what most people saw as a set back in my life; you know the whole, “three kids, your life is over” bit, is the biggest blessing that no one could ever understand and I am not about to sit around trying to get them to figure out. Each and everyday is a battle with myself but when I think back to all that I have been through, I know that I can make through anything. Even when it all seems like a big storm, the end only reveals itself as being what is best for the greater good of me and my family.

If you are struggling with pregnancy loss and or depression, I understand you and I am here.

-Ash

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Transparency Through Writing

I have wanted to begin blogging for a very long time. I mean, I have always wrote down thoughts and such in a notebook and it took a while for me to be in a position to feel comfortable placing some of them onto the internet. However, this week, something just clicked. If I want people to relate, to feel comfortable and whole-heartedly know that they are not alone in a world filled with overwhelming problems and huge life-changing experiences, why not share my own with honesty and transparency? I truly used to filter my writing in fear of being judged. Everything was honest but some of the more gripping details of my experiences I have kept to myself. It is not that I have realized everyone needs to know absolutely every single thing about my life, but I understand some situations are definitely worth sharing to help others. With that being said, I just want all of my current and new followers to know that I appreciate you reading. I appreciate you leaving feedback and I appreciate your continued patience as I navigate my way through being more transparent through my writing.

-Ash

A Letter to my 2-year old on his Birthday❤️

Gabriel,

Happy birthday my love! Two years later and you are so much more than I imagined and everything I have ever hoped for. My Rainbow baby. 6 pounds 8 ounces, at 6:08 pm on this day two year ago changed my life forever. I woke up this morning and looked at you in your bed (actually surprised I was up before you) and began thinking about your first words, your first hysterical bouts of laughter, the first time you said “please” and “thank you”, your first scrapes and bruises, and even the first time you walked into daycare, gave me the biggest kiss and hug and walked away telling me to “have a good day”. Baffled, I will admit I sat in my car for about ten minutes wondering what had changed only to come to the realization that you are growing up.

That wobbly run you had at your first birthday party is now one full of vigor and laughter as you look back at me trying to keep up. You went from pointing out your favorite food in the market to demanding spaghetti, garlic bread and cucumbers for dinner almost every night because they’re all your favorites. Your independence brightens my days, while simultaneously creating a sadness in my heart because you’re not a baby-baby anymore.

Zipping your coat, putting on your shoes, picking out a dinosaur shirt for school everyday, writing your name, telling me what songs you want to hear on the radio in the car – each and everyday I am extremely happy for all that you have learned and everything that you will continue to learn; along with all that you continue to teach me.

Our days are not always perfect, but we make it through. The past year has been full of transitions and milestones that I only imagined would leave you a fussy mess but I look at you and somehow feel at ease – like you’re letting mom know its all going to be okay. I appreciate and love you for that more than you will ever know. Happy birthday Gabriel. You will forever be my boy. My life. My miracle. My inspiration to be and do things I never, ever imagined I could and the greatest love my heart has ever known in my twenty-seven years of life.

My baby – for always.

Love Mommy ❤

Show off honestly

This is a must read! Emotionspassion nailed it! For me, it was perfect timing and a great reminder not to get lost in the sauce!

emotionspassion.com

You have desire of being appreciated, want to be more attractive than others.

Forthis, youputalotofefforts, spendagoodamountofmoney, followlatesttrends and the most important thing:-

You represent yourself as others want to see you or appreciate you. They call it your attitude, personality or show-off.

“Outer look or show off should be complementary not contradictory with your thoughts and inner soul.”

Be smart, charming, unique and attractive but with your originality. Don’t push yourself into something which you don’t want to....

Keep a smile of confidence on you face. Shine with your positivity. Show off what you are in actual. Reflect your determination in your bright eyes.

Thank you!

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Why I Rarely Talk About Being an “Army Wife”

No, it has nothing to do with being embarrassed about my husbands job or the idea most people have that everything behind the uniform is classified. But it definitely has a lot to do with the fact that it is not my job and I DO NOT wear the uniform. But before everyone gets the wrong idea about this post, let me explain.

I met my husband when I was 14, we grew up together and from high school, through college and a long, overwhelming deployment through my last year of undergrad, I eagerly applied to graduate school while also submitting applications for our first apartment at our first duty station. We are both well traveled so moving was not quite as big a step as getting married was but we did it (no regrets, loved this man since I was 14) and we’re still rolling!

What I was not ready for all those years ago was strangers telling me that my life now revolved around my “sponsor” and that everything I have and will have I should thank him for. Even after working a full time job up until the day I gave birth to Gabe, successfully completing my Master’s degree the day after giving birth and going back after maternity leave, I was told that I either need to figure out how to juggle it all like a single mother or quit my job because no matter what, my husband comes first. Not me, not our son – my husband. I was told that his sleep meant more after the baby came because I would be able to nap when the baby did or that I should be grateful his income is steady. All laughable times for me because I refused to let these individuals see me hindered by their words.

Yet, truthfully, resentment has tapped me on the shoulder more often than people think but I keep in mind that this is not how my husband and I think. In fact, these statements are not even the reflection of everyone in the service but they are spoken quite often by people who hold it together better in public than they do behind closed doors and it all frustrated the shit out of me.

THE TURNING POINT:

However, during a random deployment for my husband – his 3rd to be exact, I decided that if I found more things that Ashley enjoyed doing instead of constantly worrying and complaining about about all the things I felt like I could not, (due to my husbands job of course – said with much sarcasm btw) I would be a hell of a lot happier. No, I did not join spouses clubs, attend teas got to every single ball. I did not get to every new duty station in search for friends and I definitely did not wait for someone, anyone to go see a movie, hit the gym, go out to eat or even shop at the mall. I did for me and became the best company that I could keep. It made me a healthier version of myself and as I can imagine took plenty of stress off of my husband who could not control his comings or goings but wished I had a lot more of a say in mine. I landed a great job, and we’ve adjusted parts of our life to feel as normal as we can in spite of the boots I constantly trip over coming into the front door from from work every night and the green uniforms that litter the laundry room floor.

My husband loves it. I love it. His occupation does not define us and we do not limit ourselves because of it. I don’t speak on it much because I love for people to get to know me for myself – outside of the idea that an “Army Wife struggle” will automatically create this lifelong bond between us. Looking back, that is not how I want to be remembered when you get to your next duty station. I want you to look back and be like damn, she was Just Ashley.

-Ash

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Work, school and the silliness begins 5AM everyday like clockwork – love them both to pieces!

Finding Time for Myself

So a few months back I wrote a post on being the best company that you can keep (awesome post by the way you should definitely check that out here lol) Being the best company you can keep. However, lately I’ve been finding it harder to slow down with Gabe turning two, the babies coming sooner than expected and finding that QT in the middle of it all for my husband. But this week has been rough! I was feeling the need for me time and steady thinking of how important it is to have before I lose myself in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

On Friday, I did just that. Although I went to work for the first half of the day, I took time off to get my car serviced, went to dine in alone at a nice Sicilian restaurant (being pregnant, I was definitely feeling the love from the waitress – shoutout to her for the extra bread!), wrote my heart out lol and soaked my feet at the salon. Oddly enough, it even felt amazing to go into Target and buy my favorite products without feeling the urgency to get back home or hurry out of the store to avoid crowds with my toddler or my crazy husband. The solace and time I had to move around at my own leisure was great! These are little things to some but to me, it geared me up for a long weekend of no husband, an outspoken, wild, potty-training son and twins that are constantly fighting for space in this small vessel of mine.

I have decided to dedicate two days out of the week for time like this; especially when the twins arrive (definitely more if I can fit it in). I plan to be a busy mama but if all I can fit into a day is a nice quiet bubble bath and my favorite meal – ehh why not? It definitely worked for me.

-Ash

P.S. Who knew how amazing cooked goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes could taste together?!

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Being your #1 fan & why no one else is supporting your dream

As most are aware, I have not written anything for a while. I mean during these last couple of months, there have been plenty of ups and downs in my life but these things have set the stage for me to live more for myself and ultimately chase my dreams no matter what stands in my way. In all honesty, I felt a little awkward at first. You know, because you are so excited trying to pursue things no one would expect of you but I was excited to share with friends, family and even my husband. Little did I know, the unenthusiastic and mostly questionable responses that came from those I care about most knocked me into a world of discouragement and depression.

I mean, why is it so hard for others to see me transforming and growing to be who I truly am? How was I going to be able to believe in myself and the future I know that I can have doing something that I love, if those that I hold near and dear don’t believe in me beyond their expectations of who I can be or mainly who they need me to be for them? I constantly racked my brain about this and sat in all of the feelings of loneliness, heartache, depression and even resentment that I waited so long caring what anyone would think and pushed forward with a new thought process that I cycle through when I am my biggest fan and no one else supports, or better yet even believes in my dreams.

  • They Don’t Understand and It Is Not Your Responsibility to Make Them.

Time and time again I find myself trying to explain why I went from getting a Master’s Degree in the legal field to wanting to pursue writing full time when truthfully, it is not for anyone to understand but myself. Everyone is different and really, there are some that are so stuck in their ways they will make you feel as if you trying to do anything outside of the norm is a waste of your time. Please understand, it is not your job to guide them through your journey. Live your dream.

  • Let’s piggyback off of #1: Live YOUR dream. This is YOUR life.

Stop living for others. My blog is not the hugest or most well-known but I continue to post as much as I am inspired to because I am living MY dream. I cannot express how many of my friends or family who have “supported” me through this dream have never even pushed the follow button on my blog or even take the opportunity to read it. In all honesty it used to kill me, but I started thinking to myself – “who in the entire fuck are you doing this for?! Brush it off mama and keep pushing!” This is your life and your future. Imagine how good the success that you strive for will taste when you realize you allowed no one to have a detrimental influence on that?

  • Misery loves Company

Uninspired individuals and their jealousy seem to cling to those who vibrate higher. It seems the less faith they have in themselves, the faster they get to working at discouraging you. Do not excuse this behavior as friends and or family being “real” or “logical” when assessing your* dreams. These people are spreading doubt and do not have your best interest at heart. Honestly, anyone who threatens to limit your true quality and potential to be the best version of yourself in life should have you considering taking a step back.

  • Reality Check: Time Waits for No One

Let’s face it, life is short. I just turned 27 and I am feeling the effects of losing some of my close childhood friends and even family members in 2016. All of these losses have been painful but have pushed me in a way to not do myself a disservice staying “below the radar” and not pursuing what makes you happy. It has encouraged me to live my best life, unapologetically and with no regrets, and love to no end. Spend the rest of your days living life to the fullest and happy with what you have accomplished and are pursuing.

  • Have faith

Don’t give up or give in to the negativity. As long as you remain dedicated, focused, happy and know what is best for you, there is nothing and no one that can deter you from that path. Keep on, keeping on.

-Ash