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

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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

Top. Jeans. Bench. NEW! Drugstore Foundation

We’re Having A Baby!

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Cupid Got Us A BABY! 

Wyatt and I are absolutely over-the-moon and could not be more ready for this next chapter of our lives. We are thanking God every second of everyday for gifting us with this precious child. We really cannot form into words how much we love our baby already. I’m so happy that the word is officially out and I can finally share with you my pregnancy journey so far: From how we found out, to the juicy morning sickness details and unwanted weight gain. I’m happy to share my experience to those that want to hear it! Hold on tight folks because things are just getting started. 

Becoming A Mom

I’ve wanted to be a mom since WAY before I should have ever thought about becoming a mom, and not just a regular mom but a cool mom. (I had to throw in a little “Mean Girls” quote.) You know when you’re just destined to do something, to be someone? Ya. Well that’s me and motherhood. We are like to Mac and cheese. There’s no denying it. There’s no saying no to it. You just end up eating the entire bowl. Mmm… Mac and cheese. I lost track. Where was I? Oh ya. I’m going to be a mom.

I’m loving every second so far except for the occasional throw up sesh in the middle of the subway station. My morning sickness aka morning, evening AND night sickness has FINALLY subsided, well kind of. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to the other side but I did. Oh man. Morning sickness is NO JOKE. It hit me like a ton of bricks just when I thought that I was one of the lucky ones. Nope. I’ve never felt nausea like that in my entire life. I’ll still occasionally vomit at random but it’s much better than being bed-ridden all day long. Besides the typical aches and weird food aversions I’m feeling much better heading into my second trimester. Look at me… Talking all pregnant and stuff. 

My Growing Belly

I’ve gained nearly 10 pounds which I’m really proud about. I honestly cannot tell if I have a bump right now or if I’m just eating too much icecream but either way this bigger and rounder stomach is loved and appreciated. I can’t believe how aware I am of my body. It’s so hard to explain but even though its too early to actually feel the baby kick, I can feel the baby inside of me. Even when he/she was just the size of a raspberry, I could feel its presence. It’s the most incredible feeling and I’m so grateful to experience the magic of pregnancy. One morning I woke up around the tenth week and felt the baby much heavier than the day before. It’s like the little nugget grew overnight!

Finding Out We Were Pregnant

We found out on December 20th via Pregnancy Pee Test. I had this feeling for a couple of days but didn’t want to jinx anything so I never said a word to Wyatt about it. I had been getting my usual pre-menstrual cramps which was very discouraging and made this all very confusing. My intuition was stronger. I was having these dreams and visions all day long. I just KNEW in my heart that I was pregnant. That was the longest work day of my life. I ran home as fast as I could because I knew we had one pregnancy test left. I got home and Wyatt had just gotten off of work, he was hanging out on the couch with Finley. I threw my jacket and things down ran to the restroom to take the pregnancy test. As it was deciding our fate, I went over and propped the camera up and hit record because I just knew our lives were about to change and I wanted it to be documented. I went to the bathroom and saw those TWO PINK LINES saying that I was p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t !!!!! I was shaking uncontrollably when I screamed “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” Wyatt’s first words were “No, no, no. You’re lying to me.” I won’t ever forget that. We cried together, laughed together. I’m so happy I caught it all on camera. (Might even upload it to YouTube.) 

Our Very First Ultrasound

Our first ultrasound was one of the best days of my life. Aside from marrying Wyatt, hearing our baby’s heartbeat was seriously the most incredible moment EVER. We had been awaiting this day for what it seemed like forever. Most doctors won’t accept you until you’re around your 8th week. We walked into the office, both nervous as ever. I couldn’t concentrate when filling out my medical forms. I even turned and asked Wyatt, “Hey, What’s my birthday?” I was THAT out of it. The hospital and the staff that we chose were out of this world amazing. They were the nicest group of women. I felt so safe and I confidently know that my baby and I will be WELL taken care of. Once we got settled into our room I knew what was coming. I made sure to do my research beforehand so I wasn’t too overwhelmed. 

The first Prenatal Appointment is a hefty one. Things to expect: 

  1. Urine Test
  2. Pelvic Exam including a Pap Smear
  3. Breast Examination 
  4. Transvaginal Scans (The Ultrasound for early stages.) 
  5. Health/ Medical/ Family history. 
  6. Blood tests. (And a lot of them.) 
  7. A pregnancy safe flu shot. (My doctor recommended it.)                                      

Wyatt was my rock through all of this. That day I knew I had picked the right guy to marry and to raise a family with. (I always knew but this really reinsured me.) He held my hand SO TIGHT and did not let go. He made sure I knew he was right there as I was getting these quite uncomfortable tests done, most that I had never done before. I could not have asked for a better partner. Thinking back to that day brings me to tears. He sure made me proud. Speaking of crying, Wyatt and I were immediately in tears when we saw our tiny little peanut on the ultrasound screen. I couldn’t help but sob because there OUR BABY was. It’s like I was meeting my best friend for the very first time. After 8 months of trying to conceive, we had our little miracle. Our sweet bundle of joy. Words cannot express how happy we were in that moment.

God is so good isn’t he. The day we found out we were pregnant was also the day we were going to a fertility clinic to run some tests just to triple check that everything was functioning okay… We never showed up to that appointment. God heard our prayers loud and clear and gifted us with LIFE on His timing, not ours. 

I just have three words left to say: 

Thank you Jesus. 

Photography: Stephanie Sunderland Photography