The Scar On My Heart

10527620_437684249719773_978102357195307718_nMedical Abortion: Words I can’t physical force out of my mouth I hate them so much. It would be more appropriate to call it a myocardial extraction, because that is what truly happens. After shots are administered or the surgical procedure has taken place to end a wanted pregnancy, a small piece of your heart is ripped out.

The clunking of heals echoed down the hall and abruptly stopped outside my door. I held my breath as she pulled the chart and flipped through the pages. An order for a “Medical Abortion” had been placed at the top of the page next to my name.

Against my will.

I sat on the sterile table silently grieving as I clung to the sonogram of my empty uterus. There wasn’t a living baby tucked securely in my womb fulfilling my budding desire to be a mother. Instead it was thriving against the odds in my fallopian tube where it didn’t have a shot at survival. A place where it would eventually grow large enough to rupture, potentially taking my life along with its.

I blankly stared at the ground as the doctor slowly walked into the room. Her demeanor had drastically shifted from our first appointment. In lieu of discussing birth plans and future dates, she stressed the urgency of now. Placing her hand on my shoulder, she explained the complications of an ectopic pregnancy while repeating, “This will not result in a baby born, this is life threatening. Going home to process this…is not an option. This baby will not survive and when it ruptures, you could lose your life.”

Excruciating pain radiated down my shoulder as the blank sonogram shook in my trembling hands. I had prayed for this baby. I loved this baby. Every ounce of me wanted nothing more than to flee those four white walls and cling to the non existent hope of a healthy child.

Deep down I knew that neither of us would make it out alive.

I signed the form and gripped the table as the nurses arrived with two vials of Methotrexate. A drug they informed me would “absorb” the pregnancy. The shots were quickly administered in my hips but felt like a knife slowly extracting a piece of my heart.

My first child had been medically aborted.

The walk to the parking lot was excruciating as I past an endless line of pregnant bellies in the waiting room and poured myself into an empty car. For hours I sat in the hospital parking lot staring up at the labor and delivery sign…waiting. I closed my eyes over and over in attempt to wake up from this nightmare.

Tears soaked my shirt as I begged for forgiveness: from this baby that my body failed, from my husband who I hadn’t given a child, from my late mother-in-law who had dedicated the past twenty years to fighting for unborn children. I asked forgiveness from everyone… but myself.

The guilt settled into my bones and consumed every hour of every day. It clouded my vision and damaged my spirit, but no one could see the pain. There hadn’t been a funeral. There wasn’t a name on a stone covered in flowers. No one showed up at my door with meals and support. I grieved silently in the pauses between work and life burying the pain deep in my swollen belly and broken heart. No one knew I had lost a child.

Months of merely existing past before I finally melted into a puddle on the floor. In that moment I allowed myself forgiveness. I let go of the guilt of something that was out of my control. I washed away the pain of what could have been and tossed aside the fear of trying again. That child was a fighter. A determined little soul that defied the odds and thrived in a place that was not conducive for life at all.

It didn’t survive…but I did.

I wanted to be a mother as much as that sweet baby wanted to live. There was still so much of my heart left to give and I was willing to travel down whatever road necessary to make it happen. Years of trying, IVF, adoption, it didn’t matter, I was meant to be someone’s mother.

Three years later tears of gratitude rolled down my cheek as I stood outside labor and delivery buckling my baby girl in her car seat while my toddler cheered me on. I placed my hand over the scar on my heart and gave thanks for the strength that I have gained.

Don’t give up on motherhood if that is what your heart is calling you for. It is more than worth fighting for.

Poison Ivy for Mother’s Day

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The sliding glass door opened and then silently paused before closing. That was my cue. One that I often lain awake listening for. I scurried out of bed grabbing at the mismatched clothes lying on the floor and rushed towards the door. That silent pause was my dad’s way of checking to see if I was up and wanting to go on an adventure. We often slipped out for walks on cool spring mornings just as the sun was waking the rest of the world. He never hollered or knocked before venturing out…there was just a pause of the sliding glass door. Continue reading

My Sweet Little Girl

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My Emily:

I write to you as I sit next to your bed watching your peaceful body dream. The glitter from the princess dress you insisted on sleeping in twinkles as the star machine casts a million tiny stars on the ceiling. Your long golden locks cascade over your face revealing only a glimpse of your dark eyelashes and chipped pink fingernails so sweetly hooked around your nose as you suck your thumb. Watching your little chest rise and fall wondering what magical world you have drifted off to has become my favorite part of day. Continue reading

Ten Tragedies Forcing Toddlers Out of Bed

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The magical day of tantrums and spilled milk is finally coming to a close. You carry your flailing toddler up the stairs to commence the blissful “six” hour bedtime routine. There’s pottying, teeth brushing, reading of a million books and talk about the favorite things that happened today. The music player is turned on, the star machine has plastered a million flickering stars on the ceiling, and you sit next to your sweet little rubbing their back and humming a song. Once those heavy eyelids finally surrender to the day, you tiptoe out of the bedroom like a stealth cat. Continue reading

Dear Mom:

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I am sure I have not told you nearly enough how much I love and appreciate all you have done for me. I never fully understood the sacrifices that you made until the day I held a child of my own. I now see how deep and unconditional a mother’s love truly is. You dedicated every ounce of your being to raising my brother and me and for that I am eternally grateful.

I apologize for giggling as you melted into a puddle right before driving David off to college. I should have been more empathetic. I was a complete wreck just moving Lucas into his own room at two months old. Lord, help me when he actually graduates from high school. I have only been at this a short five years compared to your thirty plus, but I recognize the endless worry and work that goes into having children.

I have stood in the park watching while my child desperately tried to play with older boys. The pain I felt from his rejection was twice as harsh as any I had ever experienced for myself. An aching child’s heart pains a mother on an entirely different level. I can now see all of the hurt that you felt for me growing up: being left out of birthday parties, the horribly awkward teenage years, the boyfriends that didn’t pan out…the miscarriage. I didn’t see you grieve, but I know you were crying along with me.

You held me to a higher standard through adolescence, and I stand taller because of it. You showed me the map and gave me a crayon to draw my own roads. Thank you for always believing in me. You worked hard but always made time for the important things. You showed me how a loving marriage should look in a world full of divorce. You stood with Dad as a team when raising us, as parents should. You taught me the value of money and gave me the opportunity to be humble. Because of this I know that love and family is what makes a heart happy, not money. I will forever be grateful.

You showed me that it is okay to exercise and eat chocolate cake.  Life is about finding balance not about obsessing over perfection.

Our house was spotless, our clothes clean, and supper was always on the table. You worked tirelessly and never complained. I reach for this grace as I stumble through the not so beautiful days of motherhood.

I watched as you continually went out of your way to help others regardless of the circumstances. You are kind and gracious, some would say even to a fault. I took notice, Mom.

Our home was a revolving door to the village as you embraced friends and family as your own. I was always so appreciative of this, but I don’t know if I ever truly thanked you.  I hope that one day my house will be too small to hold all of our loved ones and that everyone feels as welcome in my home as they did in yours. I pray that I can model your actions every day as I raise my own children, in the hopes that they will swell with selflessness, kindness, and love. When Luc and Emily grow to be adults and have babies of their own, I hope they will look back with nothing but smiles of their childhood as I do. I pray that they too accuse me of being too kind and gracious.

Thank you for being the mother that I want to be❤.

Continue reading

The Three-Year-Old Race

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We showed up to the “raising a three-year-old” race merely as spectators. I held tight to my son’s hand as my infant quitely rested in a ring sling across my chest. These cantankerous three-year-old’s and their frightened parents were being called to the starting line as we neared the crowd. This so-called-race had been graciously called a fun run, but we all knew the truth… Continue reading

The Christmas Wish

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We rushed through bath time to bundle up and venture out to look at Christmas lights.  It is something we frequently do this time of year.  Squeals of excitement poured out of the backseat as the lights tinkled and changed while we slowly drove by.  My heart swelled as the tears rolled down my cheeks.  Matt locked his fingers in mine and squeezed my hand as our eyes met with a smile.  Six years ago we had driven around looking at Christmas lights …dreaming of this exact moment. Continue reading

To the Stay-At-Home Daughters And Sons

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My Sweetheart,

It’s cold outside and you have been going stir crazy in this house for days.  I see you sitting there in your chair staring at the overflowing bag of trash that’s driving you crazy.  It would only take you two minutes to run it out to the garbage can, but you’re not sure if you can pull it off.  The reality of the situation is that you have become a hostage in your own home…caring for me.

I start to nod off in the recliner so you seize the opportunity to slip out the backdoor and quickly run the bag of trash around the side of the house.  Moments later I meet you at the door distraught in a puddle of tears.  “Why did you leave me?  I thought something happened to you!” funnels out between my fit of sobs. Continue reading