To My Baby, I’m Sorry

My sweet child. Oh how long I waited for you, dreamed of you, and hoped for you. Because of our journey to bring you into this family, I anticipated how I would savor every moment, be cautious, and perhaps be even more click-happy as I knew you would be my last baby.  And then you…

A Case for Empathy

We’ve just finished dinner. After some convincing to clean her plate of chicken and broccoli she’s rewarded with the promise to enjoy some fun before going to bed. “Let’s play, Daddy!” “What should we play?” “Super Connie and Super Daddy!” They run through the house exhibiting their superpower: flying. And it was super. Hearing her…

What I’ve Learned in My Two Years as a Mama

Preface: The below reflections were originally written in April 2017. I managed to draft this and must have intended to include more and never got around to doing so. It’s been in drafts and I discovered it today as I was about to write about yet another birthday and another year of reflections. The below…

Vivian’s Newborn Images

Treasured images of our sweet baby girl and us, as a family of four. Rachel Manzke has been capturing the chapters of our lives for several years now. When she couldn’t commit to being there for Vivian’s birth due to a mix of a needed surgery, the holidays, and work, we were grateful she recommended…

A Birth Story: Vivian Ruth

Vivian. The name means ‘alive’ or ‘life’ which is exactly what we prayed for during our pregnancy. As I carried our child, my request of God was to hold this child, full of life and vitality, and to welcome him/her with every opportunity and advantage. Ruth means companion/ friend; a vision of beauty. It was also…

Our Rainbow Maternity Session

When these images were captured, we were just shy of 29 weeks; today marks 36. I remember looking at the countdown calculator on my pregnancy app or considering how far away December seemed in the first trimester. Now here we are four weeks, or less, or a bit more, from this life joining our family…

October Awareness

There’s a designated month, week or day for almost everything. October hosts a number including Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence, Chiropractic, Estate Planning, and Adopt A Shelter Pet Awareness… Another honored this month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For all the personal reasons, this one holds the greatest meaning and consideration. Last year, we…

Pregnancy After Miscarriages

We’ve had support and love and prayers and positive thoughts from so many as we’ve gone through our pregnancy journey. Strangers and acquaintances have extended unexpected kindness; family and friends have shared in our heartache. I’ve connected with people from across the globe, literally, as a result of sharing our experiences. And there have been questions by many who…

The Halfway Point

We’ve hit another milestone and are half way through this pregnancy. It feels really good to be here. Today marks 20 weeks, 1 day. Exactly three weeks past the gestation when we lost James. This pregnancy feels really familiar. I feel much like I did when I was pregnant the first time. Sometimes I have…

Independence Celebration in South Dakota

For the Independence Day holiday, we ventured to South Dakota to spend a few days with Carl and Darcy (or as Connie refers to them, Papa Carl & Grandma Darcy). It was one of the longest vacations we have taken together and it afforded us four full days in ‘the wild west’. We made the…

Our newest hope

As I walked into the imaging room, I was working to keep my emotions under control. Everything was just below the surface and I felt I would lose it any at moment. “Before we get started, we need to go through some history,” said the imaging technician. I don’t know what I thought that meant…

A Reluctant Anniversary

For the past 17 months, we’ve been trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or recovering from pregnancy loss. It’s somewhat amazing, and certainly heartbreaking, to consider what has transpired over these many months. A year ago on May 23, 2016, our second pregnancy ended 17 weeks in and flipped me upside down. I had back pain…

Farming Heartbreak

I sat next to that new life with so much hopelessness. “What do we do?” I asked my husband. “We’ve done what we can do. Can’t save them all.” To which I responded, “I don’t buy that.” He looked at me in a way to say I understand this is hard, but this is life….

Aging Guilt

Tomorrow. She’s two years old tomorrow. Birthday #2 has been much harder than the first was for me. This week has been emotional. More than a few tears have been shed and even when I’m composed on the outside, my mama heart is tied up in knots. The countdown this week is a reminder that…

Thrive Market

Some of the ‘excuses’ I hear from folks about why they can’t eat “healthy” is 1) it’s too expensive, 2) they don’t have time, and 3) they don’t have access to quality foods because of where they live. Allow me to offer a solution for 1 and 3… I live pretty remotely and to compound my…

Valentines Day Hype

The drama, hope, and heartache of Valentine’s day… I can remember being in high school on Valentine’s day watching the office fill with balloons and flowers and waiting for the long announcement listing the names of students who had items to collect. Many were receiving signs of affection from their boyfriend or girlfriend or BFF….

Miscarriage Lessons from the Farm

Yesterday revealed a connection shared by all mothers, regardless of species. After we moved onto the farm and got things prepared for cattle, we purchased our ‘starter kit’: Five mature cows and six calves. In short order, I identified and proclaimed Camille to be our matriarch cow. She was the surest of herself and stood…

Power Smoothie Recipe

For simplicity, we call them smoothies, but my rendition is much more and not to be confused with an Orange Julius or other retail smoothie option which tend to be loaded with sugar and contain little to no nutrition. I was recently asked for the specifics on what I put in my smoothie. The contents…

Comparing Miscarriage Experiences

I’ve experienced two miscarriages. They were each devastating by their own account but very different experiences. After our first loss, I carried some fear of losing again, but more so, I carried confidence that it would not happen again. We would be spared another such loss. Perhaps I was naive or cocky but I had…

Sharing News Early

The rule is you wait until after the first trimester to share your pregnancy news. After 13 weeks, it is “safe to make the announcement” and accept the congratulations and well-wishes. News Flash! There is no safe zone.