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day 3

“Whatever God. wants.” – St. Gianna

This really resonates with me right now, when so much is uncertain. Yesterday the Bishop talked about just doing the will of God, simply the will of God. The readings for today remind me “don’t be afraid”.  Tomorrow on Divine Mercy Sunday we are told , “Jesus, I trust in you!”  

It would be so easy to worry and try to control all the unknowns. But in all the messy areas of my life, I need to pray, trust and move forward.  

day 2

In 2016 I kept reading articles that advised women with hormone imbalances to avoid caffeine among other things. It felt like someone was trying to tell me something. Finally in December I tapered down and eliminated it from my diet.

After weaning myself off I no longer needed caffeine to function.  I was able to wake and carry through my day without it. For 4 months I didn’t drink anything really except water and milk.  I slept pretty well at night.  The only problem was I missed the flavor of coffee and tea big time. The warm comforting drinks.  Decaf doesn’t even taste close to the same, don’t go there.  I know you are trying to be helpful, thanks.

Did it help my hormone balance?  I became pregnant the first month, so maybe.  After the pregnancy I decided I wouldn’t go back to caffeinated beverages.   I was on a high horse about it.  I was sooooo above caffeine. Then I began to fall.  I told myself I could drink a little.   Maybe for a treat now and then….Moderation is not my middle name.  Two weeks in and I gotta have coffee to wake up and function.

I really need to work on temperance.

There have been other unwanted side effects that I didn’t have during those four months. Crankiness, anxiety, short temper.  Yuck!  And on top of that my sleep cycle is a mess.  Did I mention that I am jittery?

So, do I cut it out again?  I think I know the answer to this question.  (Sipping coffee as I type)

30 day challenge day 2:

Yesterday I did some blogilates videos just so I could say I exercised.  And yes, I admit I felt good afterward. So, my 7th grade PE teacher was right all those years ago.  I don’t have the fitness bug yet, but I will keep working on it.

Still having sugar cravings and feeling a little flu-ish.  Carb withdrawal is so much fun!  I haven’t even cut them out completely!  Hopefully I will refer back to this and remember before indulging again?  I am always amazed how quickly bad habits set in.

Tidbit if the day;

Today is the feast of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron of mothers, physicians and unborn children.  She is a great pro-life saint.  But I really feel that if you read about her life, not just the ending, you will see that she was a fantastic example of a life lived for God.  In every circumstance.  She brought Christ to others and continues to do so even now.  She and her husband were a great example of christian marriage.  I recommend beginning with http://www.saintgianna.org/main.htm for more info.

Saint Gianna, pray for us!

Happy Friday!

day 1

Whole30 calls sweet cravings a sugar dragon.  Not a bad description.  Yesterday I had cravings all day distracting my thoughts. It always amazes me how easily I get hooked on the stuff, even if I only have a little bit.  Moderation may not work for me, I may start another whole30 after vacation of course. 

Day One

Prayer: check

Healthy food: check

Exercise:  nope

accountable 

Everything is changing, there has been so much stress and disappointment in our life lately.  All people have challenges and tough times, I know everyone that I encounter is going through something. I even recognize blessings along the way.  But things have been so crazy for my husband and I, we are just hanging on, no longer surprised by rapids, no longer trying to reach the shore. Just holding on to the boat. 

In all of this, I recognize the possibility of a new beginning.   So many possibilities.  Its typical of me to make big plans to reform my life in every area only to forget (or give up) my grand ideas in less than a week.  I want to be a better christian/wife/friend/employee etc., but how do I stay accountable to so many goals?  I now have some spare time on my hands, it would be so easy to slip into a Netflix/junk food coma. I really don’t want that, it won’t accomplish anything. 

Caring for myself is the last thing I want to do right now, especially when I don’t feel like I deserve it.  It seems so boring to do the little things in life that keep us healthy and productive.  That is what I have to work on first.  

Will I write a novel, find my dream job or solve all our major genealogy mysteries? Will my house be perfectly organized and sparkling? Probably not. But I need to be consistant with something.  I have to hold myself accountable to small goals like healthy food and exercise.  I have to get healthy and overcome the stress monster.  Maybe then bigger changes will happen.  

I want clarity. I want quiet to discern God’s will for me.  It won’t happen unless I make an effort.  I am not usually successful with change. Journaling, telling friends, self-contracts, I’ve tried them all and they never work for me. 

Last summer I started blogging my Whole30 journey and I had some success, which I lost when I stopped writing.  Coincidence?   

So, for the next month I am going to commit to documenting this journey hoping for insight along the way.  

Declan 

I didn’t set out to blog about pregnancy loss, but it appears to be my story.   This time seems so much harder.  I have been angry and despairing.  Though I am still very much in the thick of grief and I recognize the need for time and healing.

Declan, you were a good surprise.   We rejoiced in your fast little heartbeat, and had so many plans for you.  So many people rejoiced with us and prayed for you.  Strangers were praying!  People offered masses, the due date was the feast of St. Gerard.  It all seemed meant to be.  I was heartbroken a month later to see your still, little profile on the ultrasound as if lying at rest.  When you came I was both comforted and haunted that you were perfect; with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes.  What went wrong?

I want to trust God, accept His will and plans for us.  But typical of mothers in this situation, I still blame myself.  It must be my fault.  I must have worried too much or done something wrong. Sometimes it feels painful to breathe, and I don’t care what happens to me now.

But given the choice, I would still go through this. This child was a gift from God, a miracle.  Even if only here for 3 months.  A soul that now will only know love of his heavenly Father and not the pain of this world…….How awesome is it to get to participate in that?

Losing a child during Holy Week gives a person ample opportunity to reflect on the Passion and Resurrection.  My compassionate Doctor encouraged me to participate in the special liturgies of the week and now I understand his suggestion.   Bishop’s homily about how we all carry around a little tomb, and how we all also hope in the resurrection was so timely for me. Literally and spiritually.  I wish I had a recording of it. Declan will be buried in Resurrection Cemetery.   Hope.

Though struggling I recognize many blessings.  And I am blessed with the only husband in this world for me.  Even in his own grief, so loving, so attentive, so PATIENT.  The best smile & hugs.

❤  M, you are home to me.

I thank God for you, and our family, friends and all those known and anonymous prayer warriors. I have much to be thankful for.

Be patient with me, I forget that sometimes.

august lessons

I have been stuck. July was an endorphin high, but August has been a downward spiral. Imagine Snoopy the flying ace crash landing his dog house here.  

Some have just called it a plateau, but it has been very upsetting.  I couldn’t put my finger on the problem, I’ve even been a little panicked that I’ve lost all momentum. I stupidly thought that I had figured out the right formula, and life would be a fairy tale ever after.  Silly me.  
I woke up from the nightmare mid-month.  I realized, oh….this process is going to be continually challenging.  Don’t judge.  But it only makes sense that I will only improve my fitness, if I’m always pushing myself. Why was this a mystery?  Head shake, deep sigh.  But then I started pushing too hard and I saw no progress either.  

Some lessons I want to remember;

1)  Regular pilates is very important.  The benefits that I was reaping from just a few minutes a day were amazing.  But, if I miss Blogilates for two days straight, I’m right back to being a beginner.  Several times this month I have let excuses get in the way.  I mean my house is clean, but I can’t hold a plank for 30 seconds.  Priorities.

2)  I must remember to listen to my body, which has been screaming.  I was thinking…no pain no gain, but there wasn’t any gain. No matter how hard I pushed, I never felt strong.  The way I have been running is counterproductive.  I was exhausted and rundown, isn’t running supposed to give me endorphins?  I wasn’t sleeping well because my legs and back hurt, and I need my sleep.  Its amazing to realize that you can feel better and see results, even though the work out isn’t crazy boot camp hard-core.  

3)  Sugar causes me to be depressed. Actual deep sadness.   Like my-life-has-no-meaning-jump-off-a-cliff-constant-pms-everyone-hates-me blues.  We are talking actual tears people.  Sugar only causes me to want more, and I don’t want to be addicted to anything in life.  Whole30 showed me what it was like to feel free from that, and reintroduction has shown me what I’m facing if I choose to eat sugar regularly.  I must have been on a constant blood sugar high/crash cycle pre-whole3o.  Dear future self re-reading this blog post…..SUGAR ISN’T WORTH THE PAIN. 

4)  If I’m not careful, my mind gets in the way.  I really don’t like H.I.I.T., but my body does. So many benefits in a short period of time…if I shut down my inner lazy self and just get it done.   

I want to be strong and healthy, and this is only the beginning.  Maybe I should get this tattooed on my eyelids?  Someone recently told me that they wish they had the energy to workout, and I realized that I only get energy from working out. Aha!  Another lesson.  

To my experienced running friends; has anyone used the Run Walk Run method?  I’ve noticed less fatigue with it, I’m wondering if you have had success?  Do you incorporate other types of fitness in between training?  How do you burst through a lull in progress?

Seamus

August 6th will always be a part of me. Even though we lost the baby in the first trimester, the all important due date is indelible as a tattoo.   We don’t know how many early miscarriages I’ve had, but I carried Seamus the longest. Every second I carried was a blessing.  And even knowing the outcome, I would willingly suffer the pain for him again. My Doctors did everything they could, even when things didn’t look hopeful.  

I’ve never in my life experienced peace and calm as I did when pregnant with Seamus. Maybe it was all the progesterone?  But I prefer to think it was because he was with me. At the end, when I knew he was gone, but they kept me on shots for a week just in case, the peace was gone too.  

In the past year and a half, I have experienced it all.  Grief.  Guilt.  Depression.  Anger.  Jealousy.  Self-hatred.  Acceptance.  Over and over.  Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy in my own skin, like I need to change my life, run away, but I can’t get away from myself.  And, I haven’t been taking care of myself.  

At times I can unite my suffering to Jesus.  Then at other times all I can do is say, “I’m here, God”, because I feel so dry and lost.  I try to remember what Mary went through watching her innocent Son suffer and die for the world.  In that sense, I cannot feel sorry for myself. 

And I’m not alone. To anyone experiencing this, I’m truly sorry for your loss and you are regularly in my prayers. Please know that it’s okay to grieve, even though your child wasn’t born. Life begins at conception.  The first person to recognize Jesus, was an unborn child.  (See Luke 1:41)  God loves us all enough to send his only Son to save us, so we have reason to believe He would save the innocent and the children are alive in heaven.  I believe it’s God’s will that these children are born to fulfill a specific purpose, not to die before birth.  But we live in a broken and sinful world, which has unintended consequences sometimes. 

Things I’ve learned on my own or in talking with others,

  1. Talk about it when you feel you need to, don’t hold it in.
  2. Your husband will not grieve on the same schedule as you.  Just because he seems to have bounced back doesn’t mean that he does not care. 
  3. People with good intentions are going to say horrible things.  You won’t believe what you are hearing.
  4. It will seem that pregnant women are following you, everywhere.  
  5. You may meet some women who struggle with spacing babies, this is a cross too but it isn’t easy to understand in our position.  

  I’ve had to protect myself at times, trust yourself. Reach out for help if you need it, don’t think you have to just move on or get over it. Like all grief its a process.  There are so many miscarriage ministries, counselors and support groups.  I’ve found quite a few resources online.  You should name your child.  We found this beautiful ministry,  http://www.innocents.com/shrine.asp and enrolled our child’s name.  

Since my earliest memories I’ve wanted to be a mom, but I’m at the end of childbearing age.  I know all things are possible with God. I’ve been trying to reframe my thinking into acceptance.  After 9 years of trying, it isn’t easy to switch from Someday-Mom, to Childless.  What do I do with myself now?  Im writing, working on health, exploring how I can be involved in foster care, and volunteer opportunities.  I feel drawn to pro-life causes.  I’m thinking of taking a class or trip.  I’m trying to be a better wife, and to improve my other relationships. I’m trying to find a new path, to figure out who I’m supposed to be now.