Friday, March 25, 2016

June's Birth Video

I have been a terrible blogger the last few years and I have plenty of excuses to show for it:

1. Last year was a total wash. If you did any kind of math after my miscarriage post you will realize that with only a few weeks between pregnancies I was essentially pregnant for A YEAR. You read that right. I had a half-an-elephant pregnancy. On top of that, I have pretty gnarly pregnancies and threw up nearly every day of that year with plenty of nausea and other awesome symptoms that I can't remember because I haven't slept since November of 2014.

2. We got a Hulu Plus subscription.

So, as you can see it is totally legitimate that I have been off my game. But now I'm back like Lebron to Cleveland AND I'M JUST AS SORRY.

Things that happened while I was MIA:

1. I had a baby.
2. I didn't cut my hair (That is real. I have forgotten to cut my hair since February of last year. Not even a trim! I just never even thought about it! Should I do it now?? Or has that ship sailed? Am I slowly becoming that hippie lady at the park with long, stringy, grey hair doing weird meditation who only got that way because she forgot to cut her hair for so long it seemed like there was no other choice???)

That seems like the main updates needed to get us back up to speed. Rather than go into details about my pregnancy, birth, etc. I have opted to instead make this handy video.

Before you watch:
1. Instead of taking weekly pictures Cj and I decided it would be more fun to film a little bit every week. There is not a lot of film from the first trimester because we had a few concerns with baby girl and I was scared I was going to miscarry again so I was afraid of documenting anything.
2. Baby girl was breech MANY times. At 35 weeks we found out she was breech, and she then flipped back and forth almost every week until she was born. Thus the weird exercises/positions in the later part of the video.
3. Some of this footage is embarrassing. This video is for posterity so I wanted to include all of it, regardless of how silly I look. (Pretty dang silly)
4. Some of this footage is emotional and (to me) sacred. I'm sharing because I am amazed by how beautiful birth and new life is and I think it is something worth sharing.
5. This video is super amateur. I make no excuses. I have a master's degree in poetry so I am basically unqualified to do anything right ever.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


A friend of mine from grad school posted tonight about how there should be an English teacher hashtag for all the things we do when we are trying to avoid grading.


And I realized that one of the only times I blog is when it is really late at night and I have so many papers to grade I will literally (not figuratively) do anything to avoid reading another paper.

So, here I am, with fifty papers between me and sleep, and I've decided to blog again.

Now, two things before I begin:

1. I appreciate all the love and support shown to me in relation to my last post. I had a lot of nerves and reservations about posting but I felt like it was the right time/it felt right in general. I connected with a lot of amazing people with similar experiences and stories over that post and connection is always good and beautiful and stuff.

2. I have big plans to write up June's birth story for the blog. I wrote a version for my journal with lots of details that should stay in my journal. Blog version pending.

For now, I just want to write a follow-up to a different story in my life. Does anyone remember this post from years ago? It was like the blog version of subtweeting. I never told anyone the story behind it, and I will take it to my grave.

But, you should all know that two months ago my mom got a check in the mail with my name on it. It turns out that he-who-must-not-be-named got sued by other people who were also scammed and then code-name-Voldemort had to cough up $53 for every person HE scammed.


You'll notice in my last post that I was scammed out of $90! I feel like someone in the legal system is bad at maths.



And then the real problem is that I got scammed out of $25 on Saturday by a lady in the Costco Parking lot who kissed my cheek with red lipstick and explained the cloud patterns of Southern Nevada to me. This is another story I will take to my grave.

+ $25


All I'm sayin is, Karma owes me $62 so I can pay the Universe my bill for being naive.

Which is probably a billion dollar bill.

Good thing a Nigerian Prince just e-mailed me today with some good news...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ten Months Later

**I'd like to begin this post with a disclaimer. A big reason I have been so afraid to post this is because I know how blessed I am to be pregnant again after a loss. I know many, many women and men who struggle with infertility or repeated miscarriages. I hope that you can feel the love I have for you and the reverence I have for your terrible struggle. I am amazed at the strength of my friends who deal with fertility issues every day. Please know that this post was only intended to help those who have experienced a miscarriage, not detract from other experiences.**

I have over ten different "drafts" sitting in my post section, written over the course of the last 10 months, all of which deal with the same subject:

At the end of January this year I had a miscarriage.

I have written sad posts, and angry posts, and posts where I try to laugh at myself. I have written posts about the things you should never say to someone after a miscarriage. I have written posts about all the kindness we received from close friends and family afterwards. I have written posts about how truly terrifying it is to be pregnant again after a loss, especially so soon. And I have published none of these. It has never felt quite like something I was ready to share so publicly. Even today, posting this is terrifying. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that miscarriage is such a personal experience.

In August we grieved and honored the due date of our sweet baby by eating delicious pie and driving to the mountains to be alone. Every night we pray and show gratitude for the baby that is currently growing inside of me, but on that night in August we slept in the back of a truck under the stars and just tried to feel close to our first baby. We miss that baby dearly.

And now, after all of the posts, and after distance, and time, and some healing (though, never complete) I feel like I know the post I really want to write. And it is this:

One of the hardest things for me after my miscarriage was how much pressure I felt to tell other people about it. The loss was so raw that we wanted some time to deal with it as a couple before sharing with others. So, instead of sharing, I spent hours scouring the internet for support. I felt guilty because I wanted all the comforts of hearing other's shared experiences, but I was not ready to share my own. What I didn't realize then, that I realize now, is that each person grieves and deals with miscarriage in a different way. This is okay. This makes sense when you think about it, as we all deal with every aspect of life in our own, personal way. Why should miscarriage be any different? I have friends who gain comfort from immediately telling everyone around them, hoping for a warm and supportive response. I have friends who feel little immediate emotion about the experience. I have friends who never want to tell anyone, or who simply don't want to talk about it.

Personally, we chose to only tell close family and friends for the first few months. It felt safer that way. With 1 in 5 known pregnancies ending in miscarriage I know there are many, many people in my life who have had to decide for themselves how to deal with it. I will never even know who most of these people are.

Now, we are sitting three weeks away from the due date of this second baby. Being pregnant again has not healed the pain of my miscarriage. In fact, in many ways it has complicated it. I told a friend the other day that even now, just weeks away, I still think about this baby as an "if." "If our baby comes..." This may be because I have never actually experienced giving birth to a healthy baby. The fact that this can actually happen is still an abstract to me, not a reality. Miscarriage has instilled fear in me. It has opened my eyes to the true miracle of childbirth.

"It is a miracle any of us even make it here," I think, on a daily basis.

Now, when I see children with their mothers I think "Wow! You survived! Your mom was actually able to conceive. You survived that first trimester when you were so small that anything could happen. You survived months and months of growing and each part of you grew in a way that you could breathe and live and exist." It seems like this shouldn't happen as often as it does. I am perpetually amazed.

Until now I haven't know what to do with all of these feelings and thoughts. Until now I haven't known what to do about the love and support and friendship I have received this year through all of this fear and worry.

Because now, what I want to do with these last few weeks where the fear is becoming so real again is this: I want to be a resource for anyone who is feeling those feelings so fresh and raw. I think that the best thing I can do now is share a compilation of resources and ideas I have found, in hopes that however someone else might choose to deal, or whatever phase they are in of their grieving, they might find some comfort.

So, here it is. As much of a list as I can gather for now. If anyone has anything to add, please send it my way and I will add it.

What to Say to Someone Who Has Experienced Pregnancy Loss: 
  • Here is an article on a woman who has designed a line of cards to send to someone who has experienced a miscarriage. It is tough to know what to say. These cards might help you get started. 
  • This list is incredibly straightforward and helpful. I especially appreciate the list of what NOT to say. I truly believe that anything anyone says is meant to be supportive and helpful. People are so good and kind. However, sometimes words can be unintentionally hurtful. 
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss Affects Men Too: 
  • Many people don't consider how deeply the father might be affected by the loss. Here is a beautiful article written by a father who experienced three miscarriages.  
  • This article discusses the experiences of one Dad after a miscarriage, and also looks at a study done on how Dads are influenced by the loss of a pregnancy. 
Shared Experiences: 

**I have read many blog posts of friends who have experienced a miscarriage but I did not want to post them here without their permission. If you are willing to have your blog posted here, please contact me and I will gladly include the link. I know it was so helpful to me to read the stories of others.**
LDS Resources: 
**I am LDS and found these articles to be very helpful. In the weeks following our miscarriage we found a lot of comfort in our faith in loving Heavenly Parents who knew what we were experiencing. However, I think these articles can be helpful to anyone of any denomination (especially the first one).**
  • This article is SO beautiful, compassionate, and real. It discusses the difficult pain of miscarriage, the things people say that may be hurtful afterward, and how to deal with each of these things. 
  • This article comes from the perspective of an LDS woman and discusses the (somewhat hazy) LDS doctrine of miscarriage. Through my discussions with friends I have come to realize that each person finds their own way to reconcile their beliefs with their miscarried baby. I believe that each person should decide which way of thinking brings them the most peace, especially with no official doctrine on the matter. 
Suggestions for Coping/Healing: 

**These are my suggestions. I would love to add to this list anything anyone else has found helpful.**
  • One thing I did that was very helpful to me in the week after my miscarriage was to paint a picture to help honor and remember our baby. It is pretty common to track the size of your baby in relation to a food (fruit usually, it seems). We had been checking every week for the update on the size of our baby, and so I decided to paint that fruit and hang it on our wall. I am no artists, but it is a precious reminder of our sweet, tiny baby and it makes me feel warm to look at. If you don't paint, you might consider just getting a print done of whatever week you were at. 
  • For us, it helped to plan ahead for the big dates we knew would be difficult. By planning ahead I think we felt more emotionally prepared for what those days brought. This article was helpful in knowing ahead of time which days might feel difficult. I was totally blindside by Mother's Day this year and decided after that to be more emotionally prepared for days I knew might be difficult. I would add to this list the day in this current pregnancy where I was as far along as I was when we lost our first baby. We both took the day off to relax, watch movies, and work through the fear we felt. 
  • In the weeks and months after our miscarriage I felt a really intense need to honor or commemorate the loss of our baby, but didn't know how. This company sets up services across the US and the UK for anyone wishing to commemorate the loss of their child. It seems like most of them are on the east coast right now, but I thought I would post it for anyone nearby. The idea is beautiful and I think that even creating your own event or date to commemorate your loss would be very healing. (The website also offers some great resources and support in general.) 

Sending love and healing your direction, whoever you are and whatever kind of loss you are dealing with. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Katie Tries to Keep in Touch

Living away from family and friends is tough.

I spend a good chunk of my life worrying that I'm not keeping in good enough touch with all the people I love. The problem is, there are so many truly lovable and awesome people in my life.

 I 100% agree with Mindy Kaling here.

I have my best friends from elementary school, high school, undergrad, grad school, summer internship, that one apartment I lived in, my best friend from that road trip we went on where we almost got arrested for jumping into the Bellagio fountains, study-abroad best friends, my best friends from church, my best friends from work, my best sibling-friends (all of them), my best in-law-friends, the-wives-of-my-husbands-cousins best friends... The list can really get out of hand.

Then, I have my grandparent-best-friends, my aunt-and-uncle-best-friends, and of course all of my cousins are my best friends too.

Obviously I have a few best friends who trump all the other best friends at being best friends.

They know who they are, I'm sure.

But, then I they?? Have I called them enough times this week? Should I come up with more secrets to share with them so they know how much I trust them? Are they asking themselves right this very second if they make this list?? Is this blog post some kind of power-play to get them to visit me more??????

Honestly, I even plan on gathering a few more best friends in the future as we travel, and move, and have kids who will adore me all the time. 

The point is, I don't want to take these relationships lightly. Relationships are important to me and the people in my life mean so much to me that I spend lots of time hoping that they know that. I make schedules in my brain of how long it has been since I've called so-and-so, so I don't go too long and become a statistic in that study I read that says if you don't call your  friends every 7 days then a scary girl will come out of your TV and.....

....I might be getting my horror movies mixed up here. Was I talking about horror movies? I'm not sure. I was distracted by all the stress of who I am supposed to call next. 

I'll just end with this adorable Charlie Brown quotation: 

Seriously people, I need more hellos. 



The stress is killing me. 

Just ask the real best friend who has never abandoned me because he can't because he is MARRIED TO ME SUCKERS:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Katie Tries Sleeping

I have not been sleeping well lately (for years).

The other night I finally fell asleep and I woke up what seemed like minutes later to a bright light shining in through the slats  in our blinds. Seeing as how it was the middle of the night and we live in a poorly-lit corner of our complex this was unusual.

So, naturally, I freaked.

I started screaming "CJ! Someone is outside of our house! THEY ARE SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON OUR HOUSE!!!"

I knew there was a murderer on our patio and he (or she, I'm not murderer-sexist) was about to come in and murder us good and dead. I knew that the policemen searching for him/her/aren't more men serial killers than women? were shining a giant searchlight on our door which WAS OPEN TO LET THE BREEZE IN and I was panicking.

I continued to yell for a minute before Cj woke up enough to realize what was going on.


Turns out it was just daytime and I had slept through the whole night. Whoops.

Who needs an alarm clock when they have my overactive imagination?

The End.

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Lied in Costco and I Did it For the Sake of Pizza and Friendship.

Costco was a mess today.

The guy at the register said they had just let go of their seasonal employees and had gotten rid of a few too many.

To me, it just looked like 900,000 people were trying to buy mini-tamales at the same time.

It was probably a mix of both.

Either way, the trip was stressful, the checkout lines were all the way back to the clothes sections, and we accidentally threw our receipt away between checking out and reaching the door so we were waiting in Costco Jail while the door-lady went and re-printed our receipt.

While we were waiting a cute woman carrying a five-month old baby in a carseat walked through the doors. Another Door-Nazi lady stopped her and asked for her membership card. She said that her mom had ordered the pizza for her 9-year-old sister's birthday party and had just sent her to pick it up.

Door-lady #2 was not budging. No card=No pizza.

After a while of discussing it the woman with the baby seemed so desperate and sad that I stepped in and asked if I could just use my membership card to help her get the pizza.

By this time Door-lady #1 was back with our receipt that said we had bought all the food we said we did (winners!) and quickly piped in "YOU CAN ONLY DO THAT IF YOU ARE RELATED OR REALLY SUPER GOOD FRIENDS. ARE YOU??????"

I paused. And then I looked at the poor girl with the baby and the sister and the pizza-party and I decided that I felt pretty friendly towards her, so I said, "Yeah, we are just good ol' friends. Suuuuuuuper good friends." The baby-mama smirked and nodded in agreement.

Door-lady #1 and Door-lady #2 did not seem convinced.

Then, both of them gave me a long spiel about how a Costco card is like a driver's license (meaning they both make me look kind of bald in their pictures) and if I choose to use MY card for HER pizza then the responsibility is on my head and I will have to accept the consequences and be good to that pizza and try and do right by it, even when times get tough, for richer or poor, etc., etc.

Eventually my new friend and I were on our way to the pizza line where we chatted and became real friends and I met her darling baby and NOBODY EVEN ASKED TO SEE MY COSTCO CARD WHEN WE PICKED UP THE PIZZA. Not a single soul even cared to see my card or my awful picture on it.

I can't believe I told a half-lie to the scary Costco lady for nothing. Also I bet they hate babysitting awful customers like me.

My apologies to everyone involved in this story.

The End.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Car Troubles

Our car died yesterday.

Not just died in the sense that it wouldn't start. More in the sense that it will never start again.

We called her the Prizm Riot, but really she was just a 2001 Chevy Prizm, which is really just a Toyota Corolla with a Chevy logo stamped onto it.

She was the first major purchase Cj and I ever made. We were engaged and I remember driving her off the lot and realizing for the very first time that my life was drastically changing.

Something about cars makes me sentimental. Not new cars. New cars are nice, and they work almost all of the time, and they are fancy and pretty and so incredibly boring.

I like a car with character.

I love that our Prizm's door won't open from the inside because once we got it washed in zero degree weather and then the water froze our door shut, ripping the handle off when we tried to open it.

I love that because the door wouldn't open from the inside I would have to roll down the window every time I parked in order to open it from the outside. And sometimes there would be someone parked next to me and they would start to roll down their window too because they thought I had something to say to them, so I would start to roll mine back up because I felt awkward, and then they would do the same, and sometimes that happened a few times before we were on the same page and I could open my door and walk quickly away before I had to talk to them.

I loved that there is white paint spilled all over the floors in the back seat from some previous owner in some previous location. I like to imagine the scene when they opened their door to find their paint had poured out of its container, paint they had just purchased for a new house, or an old house that needed a new look. I pretend that they said a lot of swears and then their spouse or their mother or their boss yelled at them for being such an idiot, and I don't blame them because there was a LOT of paint. But still, I like that I know a little something about someone else's history. Also I like that I'm not the only idiot who spills everything.

I love that every time the Prizm broke down Cj would call me and we would panic because we had no clue how we were going to pay for this next repair, and it would remind me of the time an old friend of mine said "I think it will be cool one day to be a poor newlywed with nothing to live on but love" and I got so upset with him because that is cheesy and because he had always been wealthy and obviously knew nothing about poor or debt or money or love, I thought. But now I have learned that in some ways he was right because every time our car breaks down I remember that I never love Cj more than when we lay in bed and laugh about the madness of trying to be an adult on a college-student budget and about how we have been sleeping on the floor for four months now because we don't want to buy a bedframe and about how we blew all of our money flying across the country to go on an adventure and about how we don't even regret any part of anything. Not one bit.

I'm sure we will come here again, to this broken, carless situation. I'm sure that at the end of our next car, and probably the next, Cj will still be spending hours frantically scouring the internet for the best next option while I write a nostalgic blog post or essay or journal entry on the whole matter before we move on, traces of our life brushing past the next owner, like the white paint on the floor of our favorite and only Prizm Riot.

RIP old girl.