Officially In My 3rd Trimester

Hello friends, I’ve almost forgotten how to blog. It’s been a minute since we’ve last spoke and I’m sorry about that. Life got a little crazy there for a moment from moving back to my hometown, getting settled into our new home, getting a job, quitting said job, seeing a fertility specialist, getting pregnant with our rainbow baby and all the worries and joys that come along with a pregnancy after a pregnancy loss. I’ve been mentally occupied to say the least but it’s so refreshing to be here, typing to you. I’m thankful for all of your support along the way. Your words of encouragement and just the simple “Hey, just checking in on you” posts have been really special to me. Thank you.

My little pregnancy update:

I’m officially in my third trimester. 28 weeks. I can’t believe we’ve made it this far. This baby has no idea the love that’s waiting for him/her. We are beyond thankful for each day with our baby bear. We don’t take a second of this pregnancy for granted. As most of you know, we lost our twin baby boys, Asa and Armie last March and it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, grief and acceptance. It’s been a hard journey to get to where we are now but we are thankful…oh so thankful for the promise that God gave us. Our rainbow.

This pregnancy has been more mentally and emotionally challenging than physically. In fact this baby has REALLY taken it easy on it’s mama. I never had bad morning sickness, just a little queasy for a couple of weeks in the beginning and a massive headache that lasted two months but nothing I couldn’t handle. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum with the boys and I thought that feeling THAT awful was normal in pregnancy. Turns out it’s NOT normal at all. I kept on calling my doctor in panic and saying “I should be feeling worse, something is wrong.” No, nothing was wrong at all, I was just having a normal, healthy pregnancy with fewer pregnancy symptoms.

We’ve had a couple of little scares this pregnancy mostly because my husband and I are very paranoid this go around, understandably. One of the many scares was that our doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat around 13 weeks which was clearly very traumatizing for us. We felt like everything was unfolding again, just like the last time. We sat in the waiting room in complete silence and I just looked at Wyatt and said ” We have to pray”…and that’s all we did. I’ve repeatedly said, probably over a million times this pregnancy, “God, let your will be done. Whatever your plan is for this baby, let it be done.”  I found such comfort in knowing that my Savior, the one that died for me, the one that has forgiven me time and time again, the one that gave me my twin boys and the one that gave me my rainbow baby was never going to let me down. He had a miraculous plan for my life and he wasn’t stopping there. We went into our emergency ultrasound and baby was absolutely perfect. He/She was kicking away saying “Hey mom and dad, I’m not going anywhere.” We even got a shot of them sucking on their thumb. We cried a lot that day…but they were only happy tears. Praise God. 

We’ve had a few spontaneous doctor visits along the way because I wasn’t feeling baby move as much or just needed reassurance that everything was okay. I get in my head a little too often and it ends up doing more bad than good but thankfully I have a team of doctors that are beyond understanding and are willing to do anything for my mental health even if that means seeing them once a week to hear the heartbeat. Wyatt and I ended up buying our own doppler because these past couple of weeks have been really stressful. We needed the comfort of knowing that we could grab the doppler whenever we needed to check on baby at any time of day or night. I highly recommend getting one.

About two weeks ago Wyatt and I rushed to the ER at midnight. I had regular cold symptoms, GERD symptoms and baby was pushing up into my lungs and I just COULD NOT breathe. I had 3 or 4 massive panic attacks that night. The doctor gave me what he could to help with my GERD issues and put me on oxygen but other than that, I just had to deal with the discomfort. It was awful and I never want to experience that again. I feel much, much better now, just taking it really easy on myself from here on out. Since then I’ve been battling a little bit of anxiety and depression. It kind of just popped up out of nowhere, truly at the worst time. Some of you may not know that I’ve struggled mentally my whole life, however, I’ve really been able to manage my mental health for the past two years and then boom: Darkness hit me when all I wanted was to be happy. I’m thankful for my husband for being so understanding and doing everything he can to make me feel better. Also shout out to my friends that stay consistently amazing. They keep me laughing and keep my mind busy. That’s all I need right now.  

There have been plenty of moments where God has really put us in our place, forcing us to trust Him. We’ve landed on our knees in prayer more times than I can even count in the last 7 months. We’ve really had to let go and let God on this baby and it’s taught us so much. We are going to be AWESOME parents, I know that for sure. I’m thankful to God for this challenge if it means I’ll be a better mother because of it.

Here’s some fun little updates:

How Far Along: 28 weeks

Sex Of Baby: We’re not finding out but interested in hearing what you think it might be!

Name: We have a couple names picked but I need to meet baby before I really know what name it’s meant to have.

Total Weight Gain: 20 Pounds (Getting sick really set me back a few pounds, I’m working hard to gain that weight back.)

Maternity Clothes: I haven’t been able to live without them since my first trimester. I live in my maternity black leggings!

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: It’s pretty consistent nowadays. I have to flip over every hour or so and then fall right back to sleep. Really looking forward to tummy sleeping again!

Movement: I can’t keep tabs on this baby. Some days it’s VERY active with big rolls and kicks to the ribs and other days it sleeps like it’s in hibernation or something.

Current Cravings: Chocolate Covered Strawberries but give me anything and I’ll eat it.

Belly Button In Or Out? Halfway in, halfway out. Makes me laugh.

Best Thing That Happened This Week? Beginning my 3rd trimester has been pretty relieving and exciting. Simple things like feeling baby’s kicks makes me feel better every single time. Lastly, the nursery is coming together nicely. Just a few little things needed to have it complete!

That’s all for now! I’ll do another update in a month or so! I wanna do a nursery tour as well as a ‘What’s In My Hospital Bag’ post so be on the lookout for those. Love you all!

 

 

My Outfit

Maternity Jeans Under $35 | Top

 

Xoxo,

Karissa Marie

 

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I Threw My Dog A Birthday Party

I threw my dog, Finley, a birthday party and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love him and to be honest, I really didn’t have anything better to do. He lights up my life, chews on everything I own, makes me laugh and cuddles me when I’m sad. I felt like it was the very least I could do to repay him for all he’s done for me. Trust me when I say we make him feel special every single day, from morning until night, so we went ALL OUT for his O N E year birthday: Balloons, cupcakes, Frito-Pie. Seeing him light up when we sang “Happy Birthday” and seeing him jump for joy for his new toys made the whole thing SO worth it. Our little one year old is spoiled rotten and it’s deserved because of how much joy he brings to our lives. When Wyatt and I lost our boys, we confided in Finley. He holds our secrets, our tears, our sorrows with such grace and positivity. If it weren’t for Finley, we don’t know where we would be. Honestly. Dogs just have a way of crawling unto the deepest parts of your hearts and staying there forever.

We love you Finley. (He’s sleeping on my lap as I type this.)

My PUPcake Recipe: 

I got my peanut butter dog friendly cupcake recipe from Fake Ginger.

We used only the safest ingredients for our pup and we even shared it with all of his friends and they loved it too! It was the easiest thing to bake. I definitely recommend it.

All the love to your pups,

From Karissa + Finley

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Loving Your Body After Miscarriage

This is a hard topic. Encouraging a woman that has lost her child to love her body again: Impossible, almost. I can’t say that I’m there yet either but I’m fighting hard to see the beauty in my body again, as difficult as it may be. I could write a novel about all the horrific things women physically and mentally go through after miscarriage or stillbirth and how tough it is to look at your body with grace. This short and sweet post is just the beginning. I feel compelled to share my miscarriage journey with you. I can’t go through what I went through and remain mute. Asa and Armie meant too much to me to do that.

I owe this voice to them and to the women all around the world that suffer in silence every.single.day.

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I COULD look at my new curves and only see the pain I endured. I COULD look at my body in a harsh light, thinking that it failed to give life to my precious boys. I COULD look at my weight gain and think it was all for nothing. Instead I’ve learned to look at my mommy curves and see beauty. I look at this body that endured SO MUCH in the last couple of months and smile. I delivered two BEAUTIFUL little boys that no, I didn’t get to keep on this earth but I get to keep in my heart. I’m thankful for that short amount of time that my womb provided for my babies. I really am.

After the delivery, my milk came in. This was by far one of the most difficult things that I experienced through my miscarriage. My breasts were supposed to feed my babies. I was so excited for this part of motherhood and there I was, completely engorged with no babies to feed. The physical pain didn’t even compare to the emotional agony that this put me through. No one told me how difficult this part would be. My body thought that there was a baby in my life to feed and there wasn’t.

Some women choose to pump because it makes them feel connected to their heavenly babies. I completely understand that. I chose to wait it out and just suffer through it so that my breasts would feel normal again sooner without having to continuously pump. It took about two weeks for the swelling to come down but even now, a month later, I still leak. My doctor said that I’ll probably continue to leak for awhile, even through my next pregnancy because my hormones are still very much active after miscarriage. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want this leaking to end because it’s a reminder that I am a mommy and I once had life in my womb. It’s a silly thing to confess, I know, but you would be surprised how many women want to express this but don’t. It’s completely normal.

Let’s talk body image. We all know the sacrifice that women make to carry and deliver their babies but what some people don’t know is the sacrifice AND torment that women go through after a miscarriage. We gain all this weight for a baby and when the baby doesn’t live, we’re stuck looking at our thicker bodies in the mirror completely missing our child while also feeling nothing like ourselves. This combo is difficult to explain and impossible to forget. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for over a week. I was so angry at myself and even angrier at my body. I blamed myself. I still don’t understand why I had to lose my boys but one thing I know for sure is that it was not my fault. It was NOT your fault. Please repeat this over and over to yourself. “It was not my fault. It was not my fault.” Sooner or later you will begin to believe it. Feed your mind and and mask your thoughts in positivity. You will heal faster and stronger when you take care of your mind, body and soul. We may never know what really happened to our babies. This is something that’s hard to swallow, I know. But please trust me when I say that Jesus has my babies and the rest of the world’s unborn babies wrapped safe and sound in his arms.

It’s not every day that I hold my strength. I’ll admit that there are moments I’m so bitter towards my body. Why couldn’t it work like it was supposed to? I sometimes DO look at my stomach, my breasts and everything else that doesn’t look the same as it did and think “Failure” and “It was all for nothing.” It’s so easy to give up on yourself isn’t it? It’s easy to see yourself as less worthy, less important and less loved after miscarriage. I’m here to tell you that you ARE worthy, you ARE important and you ARE loved.

You ARE a mother. 

Take your time. There is no rush, whatsoever, to feel normal again. Grieve for as long you need to. Be mad at your body, its therapeutic, but don’t forget to give your body a little credit too.

One other piece of advice I’d love to share through my miscarriage is this:

DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE. No matter how far along you were when you miscarried, whether it was 5 weeks or 39 weeks, your voice matters, your hurt MATTERS. Speak your mind and give away your pain, please.

God Bless you my sweet mommies.

Learn to love YOU again.

©Karissa Marie

Dear Wyatt // One Year Wedding Anniversary

Dear Wyatt,

Today we celebrate our  O N E  year wedding anniversary. Today we celebrate our strength within ourselves and our love for one another. We did it. This year happened to be the most challenging year of our lives. We weren’t prepared for the heartache we endured but we were never shaken by it either. We kept going. We took one day at a time and then did that 364 more times. This year was hard. We were brought down to our knees. There’s no other way to spin it. As we celebrate our joyous moments, reminiscing on the love that we poured into one another, it’s easy to acknowledge the pain too. As we stand here today, maybe not as tall as we once were, we recognize this pain that made us who we are. Let’s never forget that. There was a purpose for it. All those tears we cried, I know it in my heart will bring us closer to God and in the end will bring us closer to each other.

Let’s think back to the last 365 days.

In order of occurrence:

//We moved in together. This part wasn’t as challenging as people made it out to be. I love being your roommate. Waking up next to you is the best part of my day.

//We remained abstinent until our wedding night. We kept our relationship chaste from the beginning because at such a young age we knew the value and sacredness of intimacy. I absolutely love this part about our story. We waited 7 years for each other. I would wait 700 more. You’re THAT worth it to me.

//We got a puppy. Okay, okay. This challenge was actually quite fun. We both had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into the day we brought home Finley. I think he turned out just fine, don’t you? Who would have that thought that this small, 6 pound fur ball would have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives.  I won’t ever forget where our story began: You, Me and a dog named Finley.

//We moved across the country. New Mexico to Denver. Denver to New York City. Everyone guided us away from the Big Apple, saying that we couldn’t do it. We packed up a tiny U-Haul and after that nothing was going to stop us because we had each other. We had BIG dreams and BIG expectations that didn’t turn out as grand as we expected but we made it through. We grinded. Day in and day out, both working 12 hour days just to make enough money for rent. Looking back, we were kind of BAD ASS! Who gets married and then moves to New York as their first adventure? US. Me and you. We did it.

//We became pregnant. This short time, as husband and wife, about to become parents to our two little boys might just be my favorite season that I’ve experienced in the last eight years I’ve spent with you. Our love was glowing. The heavens could see us shining. We spoke of nothing but the future. What Asa and Armie would look like. Their favorite hobbies. Which schools they would attend. Everything under the sun we had imagined in our heads. Our love was bouncing off the walls. We were so excited.

Then the unimaginable happen to us.

As our story was just beginning, our world turned upside down. Our biggest fear was actually coming true. That moment in the ultrasound room quickly changed our plans. It crushed our dreams of meeting our twin baby boys, raising them to be the men we had pictured them to be. It’s a moment that haunts us, to put it lightly. Wyatt, losing our baby boys has without a doubt been the most heartbreaking thing to have ever happened to us. We both saw darkness like we never saw it before. I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t even recognize the girl standing there. Everything has shifted. We’ve had to, in a way, start from scratch. This tragedy that struck us will be the very thing that brings us EVEN CLOSER together. It hasn’t been easy. We both know this. We grieve so differently. What I love about you and I is that giving up has never been an option and never will be. This love can’t lose. No matter the pain we feel everyday, our love prevails.

You loved me through my teenage years, beginning at just 14 years old. You loved me through the loss of my brother. You loved me through my depression all those years. You loved me through our marriage, so fresh and fragile. And you loved me through the birth of our baby boys: holding my hand as my water broke and as Asa and Armie entered into the world and quickly left it. You’ve loved me through it all. You’ve loved me so fearlessly, yet so tender. I can’t ever repay you for the warmth and light you’ve given to me over the last eight years.

You are love. You are light.  You are my everything.

Happy One Year Wedding Anniversary Daddy. I love you.

 

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Starting New

Hello my dear readers. They say after you experience a traumatic loss you should try and get back to your normal routine. So here I am. Blogging is my safe place. I feel at home here, typing to you. There’s no way I can ever fully recover after losing my two boys but the very best thing I can do for myself is to get up, get dressed and do the little things that make my soul feel at ease. I don’t know where this strength within me came from. I like to think that my Asa and Armie are the reason behind it all. They’re here with me, pushing me along and I owe my life to them and the love they give me. Each step I take, no matter where this life takes me, no matter how happy I may seem in my Instagram posts… I’m thinking of them.

So here I am. I’m starting new. I saw darkness like I never saw it before. I felt pain and heartache I can’t even begin to speak of but I’m here now: Broken and patched up as best as I know how.

Thank you for your prayers. I feel them all.

With love,

©Karissa Marie

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