Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Abortion at 20 weeks

It's been a long time since I've gotten on a soap box about anything. 

On it now. 

There's a lot that comes across my fb newsfeed that makes me angry but I just scroll past. Everyone's entitled to their opinion on things and not much makes me furious. 

This made me completely enraged. 

It was a video of an abortion and the baby is in the sac on a tray, moving and wiggling. I thought for sure it was a misinformed person who had started something that went viral because it was a fully formed baby, moving around. Alive.    

How naive of me. 

The video may not be accurate of abortion but it took me to a place I wish I hadn't gone. 

I googled "how late can I get an abortion" and was appalled at what I saw. 

This website talks you through the 2 day procedure for terminating a 20 week pregnancy. In FL. 

If you were wondering, it takes 2 days to kill a baby at 20 weeks. 

I'm sensitive to this, I concede to that.  I held my baby at 18.5 weeks and my second baby at 20 weeks. Both fully formed. Not tissue, not a choice, a baby, a person, a human. 

With 2 perfect hands, 2 perfect feet, 10 fingers, 10 toes, a beautiful face, perfect nose and lips. 

At 20 weeks you can kill a baby.  If you have $500 but if you don't, many insurances pay. 


I had to pay over $25,000 for IVF to conceive a baby that insurance paid absolutely nothing for and many insurances will pay for you to murder your baby?

I have birth certificates for both boys because they were alive. I also have death certificates because they died. Does the person killing their baby get the same?


I will never understand this. If I choose to kill my baby it's because it's my body, my choice. If someone kills me and I'm pregnant they get double homicide. 

Instead of protestors at an abortion clinic, maybe the millions of parents who want a baby should stand outside with $500 to give the mothers choosing to kill their babies in exchange for their life. It would certainly be less expensive than adoption or IVF fees for the desperate parents wanting to raise a baby. 

Stepping off my soap box but I've never been more disgusted than I am now. 

My blog, my feelings, my thoughts. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Suicide- why it's not so shocking to want to end the pain

I don't consider myself someone who gets wrapped up in the lives and drama of celebrities, maybe because I have enough of my own.  But the devastating decision that Robin Williams made to end his life, his pain and his struggle has kind of really rocked my world.  Based on the fact that my newsfeed has been nothing but shares and comments and posts about how others feel about this, it's clear this is something that affects everyone in one way or another.

So many people make flippant comments when they don't understand or agree with something someone else does.  I'm guilty.  Reading the comments on the news feeds have made me angry and sad enough that I decided to be transparent, once more.

I have never found myself so desperate and lost that I have considered taking my own life.  I say that in a thankful way, not in judgment.  I've certainly been told by others how they could never have been as strong as me, how they wouldn't have been able to make it through enough times that I've wondered what other option is there other than getting through it.  I joke enough about finding myself in the crazy ward, I guess there's truth in every jest as I can understand what feeling completely crushed by facing tomorrow feels like.

Music, as I've shared over and over, moves and speaks to me.  I am guilty of listening to a song on repeat, ad nauseum.  Ask anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me.  Many times when I couldn't express what I was feeling, someone else validated it through their emotion and lyrics.


"Spend all your time waiting, for that second chance
for a break that would make it ok
there's always some reason, to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day,
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release,
memories seep from my veins,
let me be empty,
and weightless and maybe,
I'll find some peace tonight"

So many times I wanted to find peace.  I was desperate for a break that would make sense of everything that my heart had suffered through.  I have been down in a hopelessness and depression I wasn't sure I'd ever find my way out of.  Losing a kid will do that.  I remember after my divorce and I lost J, I was exhausted with hurting.  I know what it feels like to go to sleep with the only thought that waking up would be nothing other than the reality that my babies were gone.  I never wanted to kill myself but after waking up to the heaviness and emptiness of facing another day with so much pain, sometimes I wished I'd just never wake up.

"In the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here"

Want to talk about uncomfortable and scary?  Try sharing your honest heart and emotions.  It's not easy.

I can say that I have never truly lost hope that my life would get better.  I've never doubted that.  That's how I continue to stand. But sometimes the weight of getting through the pain of the now was more than I knew how to handle.   I understand how someone could feel that the decision that ending their pain was the only option.  I have always been surrounded by love, encouragement and support.  And I still understood that darkness.  I've also been surrounded by judgement, anger and criticism of how I was finding healing. But beyond that, I've been faced with judgement, criticism and anger at how I've chosen to live my life or simply because someone didn't want to take the time to get to know me.

I'm a strong person and it still broke me down.

I can't even imagine how isolating and hopeless going through life feeling alone and in so much pain could be without the encouragement and support of others. But I wouldn't have had the outpouring of love and support had I not shared my heart, the good, fab and ugly with others who shared their stories of survival with me.  AND IT HASNT BEEN EASY!  This is not a fun thing, constantly being seen as the person that is still hurting, still sad or still talking about "it."  The "it" changes, the pain of going through "it" doesn't but "it" lessens each time I let "it" out.

"so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back
and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack
it don't make no difference
escaping one last time
it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
it's glorious sadness that brings me to my knees."

I have a beautiful life. I'm happy and content and have a joy that comes from a merciful God.  But I also know what the other side of life feels like and I'm not ashamed to admit that. 

I was depressed after I lost the boys. I was devastated at one loss after another.  Who wouldn't be?  Are you stronger because you choose to hide your feelings or are you stronger for sharing your pain and struggle with others? 

I read an interview today with one of Robin Williams' good friends. He said that Robin Williams was never ok with himself.  The only time he was comfortable was when there were at least 2 people in the room because then he had an audience.  He was never comfortable with himself.

I have lost people I love with my whole heart because I chose to share my life and it makes them uncomfortable.  I'd never ask or expect someone else to blog or sing or speak or tap dance if it made them uncomfortable but I'd also never judge anyone else for doing that if it brought them happiness.  I can't imagine judging someone for doing that if it brought them healing.

I was on stage this weekend in front of a group where I knew very few people.  I shared my heart and it was healing but it was also gut wrenching.  It was emotional and it was hard.  And I am a firm believer that the more you talk about something, the more you acknowledge pain, hurt, anger, confusion, awkwardness and the things that make you uncomfortable, the less power they have over you.

I have blogged, I've written, I've talked about what has hurt me.  What has brought me pain.  I've used self depreciating humor in an effort to take some of the heaviness off of it, not for my benefit, for the benefit of others who don't know how to handle someone who is as honest and transparent with their emotions as me.

How would you feel if you knew that a smile you gave a stranger made them feel like they weren't invisible?  If a kind word or a hug for someone may be the thing that turns them back to wanting to feel and try and keep going?  Wouldn't you do it?

What if your criticism, judgement and anger made someone who was hurting keep everything inside?  What if your question of -"Why do you think anyone cares about your blog?" or comment of "Why can't you just get over it and move on?" or "Who does she think she is?" Or or or- made someone go inside with their pain and hurt to a point where they shut down and internalized everything and instead of healing, the pain becomes a cancer that takes over their thoughts?   If your words carry so much weight and have the power to make an already hurting person completely shut down, wouldn't you stop?

My point...everyone is facing something, be kinder than necessary.  The emo kid who wears the dark clothes you think is weird?  Does it affect you what color their nail polish is?  The hurting woman who is crying or upset, wouldn't she benefit more from a hug and a kind word instead of judgement and criticism?  The man who is lost and broken, instead of making him feel bad for feeling, wouldn't it be nice if you prayed for him and let him know you cared?  The person who you know is trying to be strong, the person who hides behind laughter or drugs or alcohol or food?  If you can't love them, at least don't judge them!  A lot of hurting people have made bad decisions but a lot of hurting people are trying their best to get through a life that hurts because of someone else's choices or angry words spewed at them.

Hurting people hurt people.  Loving people love other people. Wouldn't you rather be someone that makes someone feel less alone than someone who makes an already hurting person feel more isolated?

The suicide of Robin Williams wasn't totally shocking as he's been severely depressed for a long time and from what I've read, it was something he'd considered more than anyone should.  It's shocking that someone who made everyone who watched him feel more alive was so plagued by self doubt and pain and devastating that someone whose light shined so brightly to make others feel, was never able to appreciate the light of what he added to a very dark world.

"Suicide is a very permanent choice for a temporary pain."  To the person contemplating it, I can only imagine that the pain doesn't feel very temporary.  I only hope that this tragedy will take the shame, the judgement and the isolation of being sad away from those already hurting.

If I could say anything to someone going thru pain, hurt and despair, it would simply be this. Don't give up. It's not cliche, it's not oversimplifying. Your life is precious and worth something so much more than it may feel right now, but God has the power to turn your darkest struggles into something more powerful than the hurt.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Dear: (you) This blog is for you...mwah

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Its been brought to my attention, snicker snicker, snort, that my blog makes certain people uncomfortable.  Ok.  They don't appreciate my candor and openness.  Some things shouldn't be spoken about, lead alone, acknowledged and put on parade through the rantings of a gal who tends to say too much.

My bad.  Apologies.  Yada yada, you get the drift.

I don't really care.  I write from my heart, for my healing and to be there to help others identify that life doesn't always make sense.

But for those still confused as to how this works, I write a blog about things that are going on in my life and others have 2 options.

1. Read.  
2. Don't read.  

If you choose option 1 and find you indentify with something, cool.  If you choose number 2. And don't read it, then I'd appreciate you not assuming you know what is in it and judge me based on your assumptions.  It's out there, pull up a seat, kick back, dive in. You might actually see, for yourself, that I'm not a broken, grieving, attention seeking whore who has everyone in my life fooled as to who the real Melissa is.

Why do I blog?

Because I can

Why do I feel the need to talk so much about crap that happens or good things I'm happy about.

Because I can.

Why do I care more about strangers reading my words than I do about the people closest to me?

I don't.  Your insecurities are showing.

Is my blog about you?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

How can you know?

Ask me,

How can you know if you don't ask me?

Assume and make haste judgements based on your feelings.  And that ends well for everyone! 

Is it possible I wrote about you?

Possibly.  Did you piss me off, encourage me, love me, support me, call me an attention whore?  If any of those are affirmative, then it's entirely possible you have been content for my blog.

Let's break it down a little simplier for those having trouble following along.

So you get a new shirt, you're feeling sassy and sexy in your new outfit and nothing can bring you down, you own and rocked that crap.

Or, supposed you got a new shirt and you aren't sure if the pattern makes you look fat.  Or the cap sleeves make your arms look like ham hocks.

Then you see a blog or status or comment made regarding a shirt I saw someone wear so your mind goes two places.  

1.  Wonder who she might be talking about?  Hope she saw me rocking my shirt today.  Fabulous!  


2.  How rude.  I can't believe she thinks my shirt is ugly.  I knew I never should have worn that shirt.  Why did I wear it when I knew it made me look fat?

All I mentioned was seeing a shirt on someone.  Its left open to interpretation as to how it's received based on how YOU feel about YOURSELF.  Not how I must feel about YOU in YOUR stupid shirt.

I hate dumbing myself down but I hope I'm making sense.

If you read something in my blog that you identify with, it's probably because you are facing something that I too am speaking of.  If I'm blogging about worry and hope and faith and God, regardless of the circumstances surrounding MY stuff, if it resonates in YOUR heart it's because YOU also must be facing something that has you feeling hopeful, faithful, thankful. Me sharing mine brought out the emotions of what you are feeling in yours.  Blog success. Woot!

On the other hand of the blog.  If I write about a controlling, lying, hateful, angry, bitter person I reference and you read on through with no second thoughts, chances are pretty good that you don't have those qualities in your heart.  If you can't get through the rest of the blog because you saw it was about a controlling, manipulative person and you immediately stop reading, pick up your phone to call someone to berate and begrudge me for blogging about you....CHANCES ARE GOOD THAT YOU HAVE THOSE TRAITS IN YOUR HEART.

I can't change that.  Truth in every jest.  And truth in every tantrum.  If you're not mad at me for something I write that isn't about you, congrats, it seems you have a firm grasp on reality.  If you pick apart every word, comma and sentence looking for meanings and hidden meanings and cant believe and who would I think I am to be blogging about YOU....congrats darlin' you just recognized something in yourself that you are unhappy with.  And when you know better you're supposed to do better.  

So put down the phone, take a deep breath and instead of blasting me for having a blog, do some self reflection and find out why what I say makes you come unglued.  Is it true?  Change it.  It is false?  Then it might not be about you.  If seeing my name merely attached to a blog is enough to make you curse my name to the heavens, I suggest google.  There are tons of good therapists all over the country that will help you work through your issues.

If you feel my blog paints a nasty view of your reality, change your reality or stop being part of mine. I have to get thru this life the best way I can and blogging is part of that. I don't use this as a tool to hurt others but I have always been open, honest and transparent with the circumstances surrounding my crazy. 

If you have crazy, figure it out. If you stop wasting so much time trying to figure out who I'm talking about, why I feel I'm so important to have a blog or feel like it's stupid, oh my small minded little friend,  stop reading and go work on your issues.

I have worked through mine, I still have a lot to say and if you want to keep reading, welcome.  IF you don't, see ya!  Mwah!

Broken heart, damaged and broken

Last year I was doing a pretty good job of playing at life.  I was involved in enough activities that I stayed busy, I got out of the house.  That was success for me.

My life now is total, pure, complete chaos.  I'm working my tail off at a job I love more everyday, with a group of people who encourage, support, laugh and help each other.  They praise you for a job well done and they appreciate you.  

I didn't go back to work until I knew I could not just handle a job but succeed at it. And not just succeed at the good days but be able to work through stress and crazy deadlines and grand openings and not just do it but do it so flippin excitedly that I can't stand it.

Seriously loving where God sent me. 

I could have gone back sooner.  I could have cried on anyone with a baby.  That'd have been special for everyone.  I could have gone back and called in sick every time I had anxiety about leaving the house.  Bosses tend to overlook that, don't they? 

Why did I wait to go back until I was ready?  Because I wanted to get myself back. I wanted to recognize the person in the mirror again.  I prayed about it, because I trusted that better was there when I was able to give the best I had.  And I'm here to shout, my better is better than it's ever been.  I'm confident in my abilities, I'm excited to learn more, and that I am trusted with opening a new community that I have ALL TO MYSELF, makes me giddy.  Slightly.  REALLY GIDDY! 

I'm at a crossroads in life.  There are always things that are hard.  There are always people who will hurt you.  There will always be an army of faithful, loving, kind, Christian, friends and family who will take time out of their day, their stress, their lives, to stop and pray for someone they care for.  That is so powerful!  

Life is changing.  I have become a healthier, stronger, more caring, more open, more me, me, than I've ever been in my life.  Where has this road of loss brought me to?  God brought me to a new place. A BIG place. I was able to share the boy's story and what their life meant to me, in a book.  Like a book you can buy from a store.  You hear what I'm saying?  The book I contributed to is on Amazon.  It's on Barnes and Noble.  

That's legit. And cool. And I'm proud!  

I would have preferred to write about shoes but the story that has been on my heart is made available to help others feel less alone, to give them hope.  My desire in being transparent in my loss and my grief was that no one should ever have to feel alone when they are mothers and father's like me, who are wanting and willing to help find some good out of heartache. 

SO there's that.  And it's not about shoes but look at the front cover!  Any guesses which feet are mine??

Life is hard.  It hardly ever goes according to plan.  You have options.  Be miserable and sad and lonely and mean because you got the crap end of whatever stick you were holding, or be thankful, thoughtful, joyful and hopeful that life maybe didn't hand you what you wanted, yet, but you still have much to celebrate. 

I'm celebrating.  I'm not broken.  I'm still hurting sometimes but I'm ok.  I'm not sad.  Some days things bring me down but I'm filled with joy and it kind of negates the sadness.  I have people who hurt me.  I pray for them. I have people who love me.  I pray extra for them.  haha, just kidding.  Kind of. 

My life is full.  It's so full.  It's about to take off into a crazy few months of work and change and newness and I'm ok with newness.  God's directing me, I'm not going anywhere that He hasn't given me the nudging to go and I am excited to see what God will trust me with.  I pray I'm obedient in what He asks of me, that I'm humble in what I'm blessed with and that I'm ready to see what this next chapter of the crazy has in store!!

Broken hearted, damaged and broken....I'm glad that I have to look *back* to see how far I've come and to look into the mirror, and my future, and see joy, confidence and peace smiling back at me. 

God's up to something.  I love when God is up to something!

Blessed because I have a life meant to live and I'm making every moment count.  DO the same friends, it makes for a happier heart! 

Falling up stairs and one hot mess

I'm not sure what it is about me that makes me such a hot mess.

Could be that I'm running in a 1000 different directions, with 1000 different projects going on and 1000 different thoughts running through my head all the time.

Or could be that I'm just one of those people who has stupid things happen to them.  All.  The.  Time.

I get home from working a long day, on a high because I'm feeling so accomplished and excited and full of confidence and then I fall up the stairs.  But not just like a dainty trip, I face plant.  And I scatter 2 laptops, a purse, a bag full of binders and an armload full of papers.

So I do what I do best, I laugh and then cry and then laugh again.

My emotions are brimming, always so close to the surface that it's hard to know when they are going to spill over.  UK winning so many exciting games, singing My Old KY Home with friends and family, I'm crying.  Seeing an old man at the store buying a bottle of wine and a single serving of frozen dinner, I'm crying and wanting to invite him to dinner so that he doesn't have to eat alone.

I have a big heart.  That's not being said in a braggadocios way, it's just a fact.  I also wear that big ole heart on my sleeve so you don't often have to guess where you stand with me or what I'm feeling.  I would never survive in a poker game.

I have stupid things happen, probably not more often than other people, I just tell on myself more.  I don't hurt more than the next person, I just don't try to hide it.  I don't have anymore problems than the crazy neighbor next door but I don't run from them.  I'm pretty much an open book.

And some appreciate that about me.  Others can't stand it about me.  The ones who appreciate it are typically the ones who are happy, settled and have the emotional capabilities of seeing and loving others thru the good, praying them thru the hurt and celebrating the victories.  The others.  Well blah.  They are typically the ones calling me selfish, spoiled, victim, crazy, too much of this, not enough of that all rolled up into someone that makes them uncomfortable.

I've spent a lot of time trying to digest what I've been facing here lately.  Listening to the voices that speak good, the ones that speak not good.  The things that happen that I have worked for, the blessings that have come my way that I don't deserve.  I've spent time in prayer seeking answers and I've asked others, who I know, trust and believe that they seek God for wisdom, to talk me through some crap.  And they have.

So here is what I've decided.

1.  If my life makes you uncomfortable, it's not really my problem. If you don't like that I'm outgoing, stubborn, open and honest, then you have 2 options.  Don't be part of my life or stop looking into my life from the outside.  I don't need toxic people surrounding me.

2.  I'm not everyone's cup of tea.  And I'm ok with that.  If you want to see the good in me, cool.  If you don't, then leave me be.  I don't expect everyone to be my cheerleader but I also don't need, deserve or want the advice of those whose lives are less than ideal suggesting I need to live a different way.  I'm quite happy with how I'm living.

3.  If you have a problem with the way I've lived my life this past year, get over it.  It was my life to live, I figured it out, I got through it and I'm happier and more content and confident in who I am than I've been in a long time.

4.  If you need a punching bag to get out all the aggression, bitterness and resentment out of you so that you can stop being so miserable, visit a gym.  I'm no longer available for your rants.

5. Stop judging others.  Just stop.  For the love!  Stop judging people.  If you havent walked in my shoes, if you haven't faced what I'm facing, if you haven't opened your life up to be used in a way you've never been used and had more peace than you've ever known, it's ok. Everyone is facing something, it'd be easier if we could work thru it without the judgement of others. I'm not judging you or asking you to live my life.  Im not even asking you to help me thru it or appreciate where I've gotten. I'm asking that you leave me alone to live mine.  If you feel guilty because you recognize something in this, then examine yourself.  If you don't, then it's probably not about you.

6.  I need, want and love the people I have in my life!  The ones I can lean on who encourage, love and lift me up.  Who I can ask to pray for something heavy and I know they pray. I can share something great that has happened and they jump up and down with me.  I can give a praise report and get good tidings back.  Because I'm dealing with people who are real, loving and giving.  Who aren't scared by my openness, aren't infuriated with my candidness and aren't annoyed that I share my heart.

I have been given so much in this life.  I have lost a lot too but that no longer consumes me.  Because I'm letting God fill the holes.  Somedays are easier than others but I continue to see the good in people, I continue to love even when it hurts and I continue to hope for the best because I know that God is working.

The loss hasn't made me bitter.  The disappointment in others hasn't made me resentful.  The hateful and ugliness that holds other hearts captive have no place near mine.  The people that only want to see the bad in me are welcome to keep looking.  I'm not going anywhere but up.  God has lifted me higher than I ever imagined I'd be.

What do I have right now?

I have a husband I love and pray for everyday, kids who are so special to me, parents who have never let me down even though I know I've let them down, family who supports and encouragages me when it would be easier to give up on a hot mess, friends who are amazing and continue to love this walking disaster and a job I am so thankful for every day!

And so, even in that "Even when it hurts, even when it's hard, even when it all just falls apart, I will run to you, cause I know you are lover of my soul, healer of my scars, you steady my heart."

I don't know what tomorrow holds. I don't know where I'll be, who will be with me or what I'll be doing but I know, swinging from the end of this rope, when I look up, it's God who is holding it and He's not going to let me fall. 

I am blessed.  In so many ways.  When I fall apart, I'm put back together.  When I'm sad I'm comforted and when I'm happy I have so many beautiful people to share that with.  That's a good life right there.

I'm barely breathing...

The past year.  What can I say about it that hasn't been said?  I feel like I've talked til I have nothing left to say but I feel so full of things left unsaid that I feel like I might explode sometimes.

Last year changed me.  I've spent a lot of time examining the changes, defending them, embracing them and acknowledging them. 

You can't go through something big and not come out different.  But you have a choice in what you allow things to make you into.  For awhile I let myself be sad, miserable, lost, lonely, confused.  But I didn't stay there.  I chose to talk, publicly sometimes, about things that are uncomfortable.  I've learned that rarely do big changes come until you make yourself uncomfortable and examine all the parts that have made you who you are. 

My intentions for blogging have been questioned.  I looked inside to see why I chose to make my struggle, my hope, my victories, my struggles, so public.  If anyone thinks I do this for glory, please.  Being vulnerable, showing the ugly side of life isn't something I thought one day would be a brilliant idea that would make me popular.  But I've always written, I've had a journal since I could write.  And recently I was questioned, kind of insultingly, why didn't I "just journal?"   Why do I choose to broadcast my thoughts?

That question bothered me.  I guess because it made me uncomfortable.  Do I blog to get pats on the back?  Did I agree to share my struggle to a lot of people I don't know through the magazine or this blog or facebook or even face to face to gain admiration? 

Let me just clear this up.  I would much rather be writing about shoes.  About work.  About accessories, stupid things I do and the rantings of a normal 30 something woman who has a lot to say.  

Whether I like where I've found myself or not, the fact is, I'm here.  I lost twin boys.  After struggling with infertility.  And IVF.  I've been divorced.  I know what it's like to lose babies, I know what it's like to lose children you already know and love and have raised.  

So, why don't I "just journal?"

Last week I was sitting in church, listening to the pastor start his sermon and he didn't pray before he started.  Which I found weird.  But then, right before he got into the heart of the sermon, he stopped and prayed.  He prayed for the people who would hear the words and message that God had laid on his heart, he prayed that God would speak through him, that God would guide him and give him direction. 

Why doesn't the pastor just preach to a mirror?

Same reason I don't "just journal."

I have perspective and insight on things I wish I knew nothing about.  Trust that.  But here I am.  And I pray before I blog that if God has something that He wants to be shared that He would be heard through me and I'd be a willing and able vessel for someone else who may be struggling with what I'm going through.  I'm not constantly reliving the worst month of my life. If anything, the only time I look back, is to realize how far I've come.  

People choose to go to church to hear what God has laid on the pastor's heart to share with his congregation.  And I trust that he is true and sincere in his prayer that God speaks through him adequately for what God has laid on his heart.  My prayers and intentions are sincere as well.  

So, here I am.  And here my blog is.  For those who want to read it, read.  For those who don't, you don't have to. 

Life lately has been really complicated.  I have been busy with work and it's going great. I feel capable and confident and excited and sometimes giddy with the opportunity that God has opened up to me.  

And there's a whole nother side of me that is dealing with a lot of crap as I'm rejoicing in the fabulousness that is my job.  If I didn't say it made me feel bipolar at times I'd be lying.  

I heard Lifehouses "Broken" on the way home tonight and it just screamed at me.  

"The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight.
Maybe it can stop tomorrow, from stealing all my time. 
I am here still waiting, though I still have my doubts,
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out."

Losing Tucker and Fletcher changed me.  Last year was a test in survival, with no handbook.  I did things wrong, I did things right.  I cried when I needed to, I talked when I needed to and I moved forward, step by step, because I gave myself the time to heal. 

Tonight I saw someone I know but only barely.  She grabbed my hand and she looked uncomfortable and she just flat out asked me, "What's going on with you?"  I said the typical, canned answer that I've gotten really good at spewing out, working hard and doing well.  And she stopped me and said, "no what's going on.  You lost twins.  Are you ok?  I wasn't going to say anything to you and I haven't before now because it's nothing that anyone talks about but I need to know, are you doing ok?  What happened?"


"I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing.  
With a broken heart, that's still beating.
In the pain, there is healing
In your name, I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holding on, I'm holding on, 
I'm barely holdin' on to you"

I can't even tell you how much I appreciated her asking me that.  She made herself very uncomfortable in asking me and I opened my heart to her.   I told her that it was the hardest thing I've ever gotten through.  She said, "but you lost them separately right?  So that was 2 separate losses for you?  How did you get through a loss that great?  Because you have.  I can see that you have and that you're doing really ok."  I wanted to kiss this lady.  She said, "I understand some of what you went through and I have seen you over the past year, and you look different.  I can see you're doing really good.  I can tell that you're healing and happy.  After such a huge loss, you've become ok and I can tell that you are in a better place than I've seen you in a long time. "  She was validating every question that I have been asking myself for so long.  Did I take too long to move on?  Did I over complicate losing 2 boys?  Should I have been able to move forward faster than I did? 

"The broken locks were a warning, you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead.
I still see your reflection, inside of my eyes.
That are still looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life."

I tried to keep things in.  I've really tried to be guarded in what I share and it seems the more guarded I want to be, the more my heart opens up and I share.  But it's ok.   It took her a year to ask me what she wanted to ask me a long time ago, and that was simply, are you ok? 

After loss.  After heartache greater than anything I ever though I could survive, after struggle after struggle, she wanted to know if I was ok. 

"I'm hanging on another day, just to see what you will throw my way.
And I'm hanging on to the words you say, You said that I will be ok."

I am ok.  I realized, talking to her, that I don't have to convince anyone of the changes that have taken place in my life.  In my heart.  I haven't faked anything, I haven't blown anything out of proportion, I haven't monopolized on a bad thing to make myself look better.  I have shown my hand. I have worn my heart on my sleeve.  I have cried, I have laughed, I have loved and I've lost.  And I'm still holding on.  I don't have to convince anyone of what is true.  That I'm ok.  

"The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone,
I may have lost my way now, having forgot my way home."

For awhile I felt really lost.  I wasn't sure I'd ever navigate my way out of the pain I was in last year.  But I did.  And I'm proud.  I write for a magazine called "Still Standing."  And I am.  I have fallen on my face, I've tripped up, I've been broken.  But I'm here.  Still Standing.  With a beating heart that beats through the pain, knowing that there is healing.  I wasn't content with simply just being anymore and after their birthdays I found a freedom I wasn't sure I'd ever feel again and I have spent the past 5 months being grateful, hopeful and looking for meaning in how I live.  

Another friend grabbed my hand as I was leaving and gave me a hug.  He always makes my heart smile because he shares his big heart and he wrapped me up in a big hug and whispered in my ear how beautiful it was to see my smile again.  

He pulled away and had tears in his eyes.  He saw my struggle the past year, recently, knowing it's something that doesn't just go away but something I work on everyday, to keep moving forward, losing the boys and everything else that followed that.  But he wanted me to know, he sees that I am ok.  He noticed that my smile was back and that I was doing better than ok.  And that he, and so many others,  are sharing my healing, my journey and loving me through things, even when it hurts, when it's uncomfortable and hard.  Loving people when it's easy is easy.  Loving people when they are hurting is a special gift that not a lot of people are comfortable giving.  

But I am ok.  My smile is back, my heart is healing and I'll continue to share what God places on my heart and pray that as long as He gives me something to say, I'll continue to say it.  

Tucker and Fletcher will forever be part of me. Some days hurt worse than others. Mother's Day probably won't be the happiest of days for me. But I'll get thru it, same way I've gotten thru the past 16 months. Praying, hoping, believing and leaning on those who love and support me. 

Blessed because I am still holding on, I'm still breathing and I'm ok.  

Jumping off a cliff, adoption or surrogacy? Can I have an option Dplease...

The year of “firsts” is over!  I made it through the month of December, their birthdays, the first Christmas season without them.  I made it through.  Do I get a cookie or a coin or something to mark it?  

So, I made it, why am I still crying? 

Because grief sucks, because learning to live your life without your babies isn’t something that goes away even though you made it through a big milestone,  because now, more than ever, I’m so desperate to hold my baby, to look at something we created and know that I’ll be able to hold them, rock them, love them, here and now, not from afar like I hold my babies now, makes me want to scream. 

I’m still crying because I’m still hurting.  

And that sucks.

I read recently that a broken heart is a lot like having broken ribs.  To the world they don’t see anything but to the person with the broken heart, it hurts every time you breathe.

That’s pretty accurate.  I got through the first year.  Now I’m in the second.  I’m looking at toddlers wondering what Tucker would look like.  I see a blonde boy trying to walk around and wonder if Fletcher would be all over the place by now.   I hear kids calling in their kid voices to their mom and dads and wonder if those parents have any idea how blessed and lucky they are to have a precious baby calling her Mommy? 

The panic attacks had settled down lately and I smugly thought, another hurdle I’m past.  Nope.  Wrong again.  Now the panic attacks really come out of nowhere and make no sense.  Driving home last night after a great weekend, I thought of our frozen embryos, only a few miles down the road, where they’ve been for over a year now and I’ve never given much thought to them.  I mean, why would I?  But last night, I was desperate to get them, our frozies.   Why would someone be desperate to get to a building housing frozen embryos?  Because to this woman, it’s the closest thing I have to my babies. 

Am I crazy?

Maybe.  I don’t know that I’m the best judge of character right now for normal vs abnormal.  Last week I was sitting in a gym watching a basketball game and I saw the cutest little baby asleep on her mom’s lap.  I wanted to go and take the baby.  I wanted to know what it felt like to hold a baby that was mine, and love it and rock it to sleep and change it and feed it.  I wanted to hold that baby and never let it go.  I don’t think that makes me crazy.  Had I acted on it, probably would point more towards absolutely nuts and I’d be figuring out how to write this in a straight jacket. 

I have frozen embryos waiting.  And I feel like the worst kind of mom because I’m absolutely, unequivocally terrified for them to come anywhere near me right now.  I loved being pregnant.  And it was an awful pregnancy, I was sick the entire time.  My body was all sorts of screwed up from IVF that had gone bad but I was pregnant.  I didn’t care how many times I threw up.  I didn’t care how swollen my ovaries were.  I was carrying our baby boys and I loved it.  I want to be pregnant more than anything.  I want to hold our babies inside me. I want to protect them and grow them and feel them and love them every step of their lives. 

But I am terrified.  What if my body fails again?  What if what happened before happens again?  Which is worse?  Going through that again or not trying once more?  How do you make the decision to step off that cliff?  

When I went through IVF I read as many success stories as I could find.  I read what they did, what they ate, studied the schedules and rituals of woman who had gone before me and found success.  So I ate pineapple, I ate Chinese food, I saw an acupuncturist weekly, I had weekly massages.  I prayed more than I’ve prayed before that if this was God’s will for us that He would prepare my body and my heart for what we were facing. 

Now we’re facing more decisions.  More options. 

I’ve been looking into adoption.  I hear about people I know adopting babies.  Just getting a call one day and a mom wanting them to adopt her baby.  How does that happen?  Do I have to take out a billboard telling everyone that here is a mother who wants nothing more than to love a baby and raise it in a loving, chaotic, home filled with laughter and music and fun and love?   Is there a wait list for that phone call? 

I’ve looked into surrogacy.   It’s expensive.  Like so ridiculously expensive if you go through a surrogacy agency.  Why wouldn’t it be?  You are paying a stranger to carry the most valuable thing in the world!   I’ve been reading stories of mothers carrying their son or daughter’s baby for them.   Don’t think the thought didn’t cross my mind.  Don’t think I didn’t do a mental scroll through my contacts of who might be a good match.  Can you imagine that text?  “Hey, got something I want to chat about.  Happy hour soon?”  Do you hold open interviews to see who would be willing, who would be the best fit to carry the thing you want more than anything else? 

I want a baby.  I want a lot of babies.  I want a big family and I want to be called Momma.  I want a baby to cry for me.  I want to walk into a room and have a blonde haired, or black haired, or bald baby, crawl, run, cry for me.  His Mama.  I want a little girl to fall asleep on me, her Mom.   I want to think about the future knowing that I have all I need.  Not with a constant ache and desire for something that grows every single day, this longing that doesn’t not just go away but continues to get bigger and bigger. 

I did myself an injustice thinking that I had done something big.  Getting through the first year without my boys served me well if only to prove that life does go on and I was stronger than I sometimes wanted to be.  And I made it through.  I know what it feels like to lie awake in bed, night after night, not able to sleep because of the questions of how, when, why, and wonderings about the in’s and outs of me becoming a mom again.   I would give everything I have to know what it feels like to not be able to sleep because I’m sitting in a rocking chair, watching my child sleep, crying tears of thankfulness for finally having the one thing I have wanted more than anything else in my life. 

To have a baby, that is ours, mine and Jason’s, that I can hold.  That I can kiss, that I can love, close enough to touch.   To have part of my heart walking around, that I can hold, instead of carrying only in my heart and dreams.  

Where’s that happy ending?  What’s a gal gotta due to become a mom again? 

Divorce in 2014

Divorce: To cut off; separate or disunite.

2014 is a fresh start.  A new beginning.  A new chapter.  How many new chapters do you get in life?  As many as you need I guess. 

Do you know how you'll handle things?  I think we all like to think ourselves being strong, resilient  a fighting spirit.  Unfortunately, you never really know how you will act, react and live until you are faced with things you never imagined facing when you thought you'd be strong enough to handle all that life as thrown at you. 

How have I gotten through the past year?  With God.  With family.  With friends.  With solitude.  A lot of time a lone.  A lot of tears.  A lot of anger.  A lot of frustration.  I've thrown things, I've hit things, I've said things I shouldn't have, I've said things that hurt but were honest.  I've cussed, I've prayed, I've listened to sad music, I've listened to happy music.  I've drank wine, I've drank orange juice.  I've shopped, I've saved.  

What's all that mean?  It means that last year I got thru the best way I could.  By putting one foot in front of the other. By taking it day by day, and when that was too much, too daunting, I took it minute by minute.  

And here I stand, a year later, still fighting. 

I'm fighting myself.  I'm fighting the judgements of others.  I'm fighting the lies I tell myself and the lies that others tell me.  I'm fighting Satan and I'm fighting friends.  I'm fighting to keep my head above water because life doesnt ever let up it seems.  

This is depressing, I don't mean it it be.  Life is frustrating.  I feel like I've always been pretty open with my struggles.  I feel like I've always been the first to say that I'm far from perfect.  I am thankful that I have a God who understands that life is hard and when we don't live it in a way that is right, we can be forgiven.  

But know what else is true?  There's no handbook for how to get through things.  You get through things by going through them.  I havent given up.  I haven't quit trying and I haven't stopped living.  

So this year, 2014, I'm divorcing some things.  I'm cutting off some others and I'm separating from what is holding me back. 

I don't really do resolutions but this is my list of what I hope 2014 looks like. 

1.  Letting go.  I can't change 1 thing I did last year.  Not 1.  I can be proud of how I handled some things, learn from things I handled wrong and move forward in an effort to continue to grow.

2.  Moving forward.  I will never move on from my boys.  Not even going to try.  They made me who I am today. I am stronger, I love bigger and I live differently because of them.  But they aren't here with me so I have to continue to move forward to see what else this life has for me.  

3.  Done apologizing.  I made mistakes.  I made the wrong decisions.  I screwed up some big things.  Out of grief, out of despair, out of hurt, I didn't always make the best decisions.  But I never disrespected my husband, our marriage or my relationships.  I never did anything that should be looked at as wrong because I did the best I could.  Even when it didn't look that way to others.  Thankfully, I'm done apologizing.  

4. Leaving the hurt behind.  Not everyone will love you.  Not everyone will want you.  Not everyone will be my friend.  I tend to see the best in people even when it's the wrong thing to do.  A lot of people have a problem with my transparency.  Because it makes them uncomfortable.  Thats on them, not me.  I will leave the people who showed me who they really are in 2013.  And I wont apologize for it.  See #3. 

5.  Not sweating the small things.  And it's a lot of small things.  It's ok to sweat the big things.  The small things, going to let go of.  See #1. 

Last year was a year of healing.  I needed it.  I have never been more lost, confused, broken and empty than I was in a lot of 2013.  I lost my boys, I lost my Nana, I lost my job, I lost some friends.  I even lost some family. But I gained a lot!  I know what matters and I know who cares.  I know who I can lean on and I know what is important.  

I have a good life.  I have bad days but I don't have a bad life.  I'm just a girl, with a lot to say about a lot of things.  I will continue to write, I will continue to heal and I will continue to move forward.  Hopefully with less tears, with less hurt and with less baggage.  

I have a good life.  I am blessed with some really special people and I'm thankful for the promises that I hold in my heart that I still not only cling to but also believe.  

I'm not perfect.  I'm not always strong. I'm not always happy.  But I'm always trying, I'm constantly learning and I'm never going to give up hoping for better, seeing the best in others and living my life in a way that will honor my boys.  

Happy New Year friends.  I have high hopes for a great, prosperous and full 2014.  

Yoga, Gas and Cancer

I kept busy today.  Not realizing why until 20 mins ago.

Dad had a skin cancer procedure done today.  They cut a piece out of his leg, tested the skin, if there was still cancer, they kept cutting.  And testing.  I was on standby in case he had a lot cut and needed me to pick him up.  I prayed for healing and good news.  His procedure was at 8.  By 930 I hadn't heard anything, so I email my mom.  No response.  So I call her at work.  Voicemail.  I call Dad's cell, straight to voicemail.  I call Mom's cell, no answer.  I am on the verge of total panic attack, convinced it was really bad news and they didn't know how to tell me so he and Mom were at the dr's office figuring out how to tell me awful news.  Well, Mom was home sick today and dad only had to have 2 cuts, Praise the Lord, and they got it all.  This whole total anxiety, panic filled existence sucks.

Finally went to the gym.  But it wasn't without drama and tears and anxiety.  I used to be so independent.  There wasn't anywhere I wouldn't go by myself.  Was never a person that had a problem going to the movies or out to eat, I loved the time alone.

Not so much, now.  I am good with going alone to places that I have established as ok I guess.  Can go to the store, no problem.  Gym, alone?  Not a chance.  I've been wanting to go for months.  Wanting an outlet, wanting to get healthy, wanting to just do something.  Jason has been getting up at 4am and going to work out in the morning for a few weeks now.  I've made promises to myself and him, that I'd go.  Today he asked me.  I wanted to.  But I panicked.  I started crying, had anxiety, couldn't make myself go for anything.  Then I get this.

And I went.  Jason met me there after he got off work and as he'd already worked out this morning, he went in to change and met me outside.  He walks up and he's wearing the exact same tshirt I had on.  My first time at the gym and I'm matching my husband.  We have 1 matching shirt, one of Landon's baseball shirts, and we had both worn them.  I was so embarrassed.  I tried turning my shirt inside out and there were deodorant stains so I couldn't do that.  I finally cleaned out my car so I had no spare clothes.  So, we walk in all matchy matchy and hopped on the treadmills looking like sickening sweet dorks. 

I wanted to try yoga.  Last and only time I'd ever done it in a gym was years ago with a friend of mine.  A man was in the class and during downward dog, he let out the biggest gas bomb that just echoed and neither of us could control our laughter.  We got several mean stares and never went back.

Well, today, I tried a yoga class and that handsome, supportive husband of mine was right beside me on his mat.  We'd catch glimpses of each other during downward dog or warrior pose and it was so "yoga-y" in the room, that laughing isn't really happening.  And you know what happens when you aren't supposed to laugh.  I was about to start snorting a few times.  Then I'd look in the mirror to check my form and I'd see me, doing my pose and my tshirt twin beside me, doing the best he could.  And then, laying on my mat, listening to the instructor, trying to center myself and relax, I had to choke back sobs.  Yoga is healing.  For the body, for the soul.  It centers around what my grief counselor has been trying to get me to do for months now, breath.

So I'm relaxing, I'm letting myself breath, I'm stretching, I'm focusing on the reason I am doing this and it was overwhelming.  I'm doing this for me.  I'm doing this for my family.  But I'm doing this to get myself to a place where we can move forward, healthy in body and mind, to try this whole growing our family thing again.  She had us all close our eyes, really dig deep, relax and breathe and then she told us to smile.  Everyone's eyes are closed so you can feel comfortable doing your yoga facial moves and all and I looked over and there is my husband.  My best friend.  My boy's daddy.  With the biggest grin on his face, laying on his yoga mat, relaxing and breathing.  And he did it, all for me.

It's been 6 months since we had Fletcher.  It's been half a year since our world collapsed on top of us.  Seems impossible.  When I think back on where I was this time last year, it just knocks me over.  Because a year ago, I thought we had our worst day ever when we went in for insemination and found out Jason was dry and would have to do IVF and surgery for him.  We couldn't imagine anything worse.  We went to the beach, this time last year, and I sat there, watching the waves, knowing that our life was going to change in the next year.  I had no idea.

I can't be mad.  Tucker and Fletcher were the best things I've ever done.  I miss them.  Everyday I miss our boys.  I read something that said, a woman is always a woman, until she gives birth and becomes a mom.  My boys made me a mom.  Their deaths can't take that from me.

Jason and I fight.  We argue.  We get frustrated with each other.  Only ever because we grieve differently.  We grieve separately.  That's one thing you can't share, how to deal with loss.  Each person has to figure that out on their own.  But we come together, we love each other, we encourage each other and we are getting healthy for each other.

6 months later.  We made it this far and I know we'll make it the rest of the way.  Best way there is, together. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm less than fine...

I'm less than fine. 

I'm not really even ok. 

I'm tired. I don't want to go through another December. I don't want to face Dec 10, when my water broke. I don't want to face Tucker's birthday. I don't want to face Fletcher's.  

I'm tapped out. Emotionally I'm just completely drained. 

I made it through Thanksgiving. I made it through. I survived another holiday completely brokenhearted. 

Am I thankful?  Of course I am. I know that life is fragile, I know that not everyone has supportive and loving parents. I know what I still have left. And I'm thankful. 

But I'm tired. My heart is just really tired. I actually feel the ache. I feel the emptiness. I know what it feels like to have your heart overflowing and I know what it feels like to have it broken.  I thought it was more healed than it is. But if I'm giving myself credit, I have survived more than I've lost. 

I don't know what this life means. I know that we dnt live for this life but we live for eternity but I'm kind of unsure of how to navigate this journey that seems to be just loss after loss after loss after loss. 

It's not a why me. My heart breaks for so many people, please trust that my heart doesn't just break for the things I no longer have. 

For someone who feels so much, to feel so empty at the same time is confusing. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite times of the year. I know we aren't supposed to live in the past but my mind drifts. 2 years ago I had absolutely everything I ever wanted, more than I ever expected and the promise of so much more more. 

This year I'm still clinging to hope. It's all I have left. And the broken, empty, lost parts of me scream out so much louder than the parts filled with hope but thankfully, the hope still has a voice. 

I'm tired. I tired of the aching in my heart. I'm tired of the hurting and I'm tired of trying to survive. 

Is this all I am and all I talk about?  No, I live a pretty full life. I don't talk about what I'm actually feeling nearly enough because it makes people weary. I'm tired of making people weary. I'm more tired of being the source of that. I'm someone who has great stories, makes people laugh. People are good with that. The empty Melissa, not so much. 

Life 2 years ago made sense. I had my husband, our 3 kids, our parents, our aunts and uncles, my Nana, all celebrating that we were adding two more boys to the chaos. 

I've lost more than I've still got. I'm drowning. It's harder to keep standing when you're drowning but I'm still here. 

God, if you're still listening, I'm tired. I don't want to be broken. I don't want to be lost. I don't know what will heal my heart when I can't hold my babies, my arms and heart are empty and my spirit just feels defeated. I know you are still in the business of making beautiful things out of a mess, I haven't given up. Please get me thru the next month. If for no other reason I have 2 little boys who deserve to have a mom who doesn't quit. Tucker, Fletcher, your mama loves you and though heaven feels really far away right now, I know you're safe and loved. 

I'm tired. But I haven't given up. And I won't.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Completely broken and exhausted

"Is the person you are now bigger than the failure you're holding onto?"

What's left of me, I'm honestly not sure.  I've been running on empty for awhile. 

I made it thru my birthday. With so many texts and calls and messages from loving people. Almost made me forget I didn't hear from my husband or kids. 

That makes me feel ridiculous even saying that. There's 1000 things that have happened since the last I saw them and my birthday that I wished I heard something and heard just nothing.  My birthday was no different. I don't blame the kids, I'm nothing to them. Doesn't change what they are to me though I guess. And I thought myself so strong because the entire time my mom was in the hospital I wanted to text J but I never did. Because even though I wish it weren't true, he doesn't care. I know he doesn't. So why does my heart still react in wanting him to? 

The weather is colder. Which I love. Normally. Because it signals the start of my favorite time of year. Normally. Thanksgiving. Christmas. It makes me mad that I want to just skip to April. 

J left me last Thanksgiving. And took the kids. So I faced my "first" alone and I managed. I mean I completely freaked and dyed my hair dark which was a flippin disaster but all things considered, I survived. 

I'm tired of surviving. Honest. Just so tired of being strong enough to handle loss after loss after hurt after heartache. I don't want to keep waiting around for divorce papers.  Divorce papers that don't just end an already broken marriage but also destroy the 10 healthy embryos I had such hopes for.  I don't want to have our divorce final in between the boys birthdays. I want a break. I want a flippin break. 

If this seems sad and depressing, by all means, go back to your life that isn't but I have to get this out of me before I implode.  I've held too much in for too long. I'm exhausted and I'm broken. 

I don't want to go thru thanksgiving again alone. Knowing a few weeks later I have Tucker's birthday.  Do I nod at J and the kids if I pass them at the tree?  Christmas Eve is my baby's birthday and I don't want to do it. I thought making it thru the first year made me immune to the pain and hurt and confusion and emptiness of the second. And it may have. If this year I wasn't also grieving my husband, our boys, our marriage and 3 kids I haven't seen in 6 months. 

Instead of this being a tragic, pathetic blog about annoying things people don't like to read about, like real life, I'll do this.

There's a whole lot that breaks this gals heart. But everyday I make the decision to try again to live a good day.  I don't have anything but my parents to cling to, heaven seems so far away where my heart and empty arms long to be. 

God spared me. For something. I'm meant to live life for something and I'll find it and I'll keep going.  Heart broken, arms empty, I'll keep going. I'm tired of hurting. Im tired of being alone. I'm tired of wondering if life will ever let up, even just a moment so I can catch my breath?  Because right now, I'm drowning. 

This is something bigger than me. Has to be. I wouldn't have the balls to keep looking for something that will make sense if I didn't believe better is out there. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorites.  Deaths, divorce, seperation be damnded, ill get thru this too. 

Somehow. Stronger and better.