Ranging Emotions

We are down to just 6 days before we make the big move from Richmond, VA to Athens, GA.

My son and I are busy crossing off our Richmond bucket list and my husband is finishing his last days of residency.

Every morning my son and I are doing activities around Richmond and seeing friends while my husband works, and every afternoon we are all working on packing up the house.

One afternoon my husband came home not talking, and I was sulking. Our son was running around with enthusiasm saying “Yay, it’s almost moving day!”

“What’s up?” I asked my quietly brooding husband. “I’m really stressed,” answered, an honest and vulnerable answer for a man who never gets stressed (or at least never admits to it.)

“And you?” he asked, already knowing my answer. My emotions have always been transparent. “I’m just really sad,” I said, and started to cry, because lately there’s nothing that doesn’t make me cry. The combination of making a big move, leaving the city and friends that I love and being 6 1/2 months pregnant all at the same time has resulted in me crying on a daily basis.

“Mommy, stop crying!” our four year old said as he continued to gallop around the living room. “This is so exciting! I can’t wait to move to GA!”

“Well,” I said, “at least one of us is happy! Daddy is stressed, Mommy is sad, and Noah is excited.”

And there we were in the midst of boxes and transitions and endings and beginnings and all feeling differently about where we were.

In that moment, as in so many moments of my life, I was incredibly thankful for the blind enthusiasm of my son for adding one more dynamic to our little family. A ray of sunshine in our modes of stressed and sad, our little boy is so excited for our new adventure. Maybe it will be ok after all.

excited boy

Back to the Present

January, February, and March were lost to sickness and April was lost to stress, then May was lost to arranging our new lives.

I was so terrible about blogging about all of it, but honestly all it would have been would have been post after post of complaints and questions and I’m sure no one wants to read that. I also hope that years later when I look back at these times I will be thankful I did not type out the ramblings of my very-stressed-for-months-mind.

After we finally had a job secured, I began the daunting task of researching EVERYTHING else. Where would my son go to school next year? Where would we live? Who would be my new care provider when I switched doctors in the middle of a pregnancy? What hospital would I deliver at? What are the logistics of this move? How are we moving? What are the details of my husband’s job? What about insurance? We need to set up new utilities, find new family friendly things in our new town, figure out how to change everything about our lives. In the midst of dealing with selling our current home and being pregnant. And, you know, still live our lives here in Richmond in the mean time.

So, in May, we dealt with all of it. Tons of paperwork for the new job. Sleepless nights of research online. More tension and stress. The end of a school year. The end of my job at Richmondmom.com. (Speaking of, want to know how we sold our house in three days? I wrote about it here.) Continuing to negotiate on the sale of our home. Lots of phone calls to a lot of different people about a lot of different things. One more month of night shifts for my husband.

We had one weekend to go house hunting and were actually looking forward to a mini vacation in the midst of everything. We are moving back to the town where we went to college, so we were very excited to show our son all about where Mommy and Daddy went to school and where his new home would be. Have you ever been house hunting with a four year old? Turns out they aren’t all that interested. We toured 10 properties that weekend ranging from rentals to apartments to homes to buy. We had an exhausted and bored little one and it turned out he really didn’t care when we drove through campus and said “Daddy used to take a class in that building!” or “That’s where Mommy used to teach!” or “Mommy and Daddy used to go on dates there!” We got nothing but blank stares and I’m pretty sure the four year old version of an exasperated sigh and an eye roll.

Smile! We're having fun on this house hunt!

Smile! We’re having fun on this house hunt!

In the end, we hated all of the rental houses, found one apartment complex that we liked, and found one house that we LOVED for sale. We left with no definite answer and tried to decide between the house and the apartment. Which also meant deciding between schools and grade levels. Apparently in Athens, there’s one really great elementary school everyone sends their kids to or you do private school. (Or you can live in a county about 20 minutes outside the city.) I am a huge advocate of public education, but getting our son into a school district meant buying a house which we weren’t sure we were ready for in a one weekend house hunt spree. We were also trying to decide between one more year of pre-K or sending my son to Kindergarten. His birthday is September 1st, which is the cut off for school enrollment in GA, so he could either be the VERY OLDEST or the VERY YOUNGEST in his grade. We really hated to spend the money for one more year of pre-school, but Georgia has a lottery funded (free) full day pre-K program that is hard to get into. We had missed the registration by a long shot since it was in February, so we ultimately decided we’d pony up the money for private school if we had to, and go with one more year of pre-K since my son’s birthday is right on the cut off for enrollment.

The day after we got back from our house hunt we found out the gender of baby number two and put together a big gender reveal. My brother said he was more impressed with our ability to put a huge event together right after coming back from out of town than anything else, which made me incredibly happy. I love validation. :)

Lots of talks and number crunching and only a little bit of fighting later, my husband and I decided to sign a lease at the apartment and keep our eye on the house that we loved. Then, with the wonderful resource of Facebook and social networking I found a GA Lottery Pre-K program near the apartments with fantastic reviews that had one spot left! (We snagged it.) Through a lot of research I found a new care provider for my pregnancy and a lead on a new pediatrician. I even found and signed a contract with a newborn photographer. My husband lined up the moving logistics (because honestly I could not handle one. more. thing.) and I scheduled the cancellation of our house utilities and the installation of our apartment utilities. All of this is organized in a very lovely notebook with tabs clearly labeled for each section of life. I love organization. And labels.

At the end of May I tearfully made it through my son’s preschool graduation and then…that was it.

Cutest pre-K graduate ever.

Cutest pre-K graduate ever.

 

Family picture at graduation. So proud of my little one.

Family picture at graduation. So proud of my little one.

We had survived. There was finally a break in the storm and during the last week of May (besides one more day of getting the house spotless for our appraisal and the appraisal itself) I could breathe. My son and I did a whole lot of nothing and actually just lazed about the house which was glorious and necessary all at once.

June came and my son did a summer camp at his preschool. I was teary on his last day as I realized it was the very last time I would ever make the drive from our house to the little school we have loved for three years. And I was sad as I used my last week of mornings alone for coffee dates with friends and my last pre-natal appointment in Richmond. My sweet friends threw a baby sprinkle for me and the newest little one. My son and I enjoyed more house time and there has been lots of packing and more getting organized and set up for our new future. I started a Richmond bucket list and we are slowly crossing through each item in the weeks leading up to the big move.

And now here I am at almost 25 weeks pregnant, surrounded by boxes cluttering my house and finally, FINALLY feeling some sort of peace. Because this is sad. And hard. But things are in place for our next chapter and once we get there it is going to be great. Because it has to be.

 

 

This Too Shall Pass

Life tends to come in waves here. I sometimes find myself bored with the monotony that can occur when your job description is “Mommy,” an all encompassing word that means you do everything and seemingly nothing all at the same time.

But since the fall, the calm of monotony was abruptly disrupted and has been replaced with wave after wave of life. BIG LIFE. Life changing waves that will not stop crashing, leaving me wondering when I will once again be able to take a breathe.

After my miscarriage on my 30th birthday, which, in itself seems a story fit to be written in the pages of a heart wrenching novel, life charged forward with another maybe-kind-of miscarriage in November. We didn’t tell anyone about it. It was a positive pregnancy test one day and bleeding the next. The doctors called it a chemical pregnancy. It may not have even been real.

December came with it’s wave of Christmas cheer and blur of busy as I once again held a lead role in the Broadway style Christmas production at church and we celebrated all of the things that go on with having a 4 year old in Pre-K around the holidays. We traveled to GA to see family and survived more months of nights as my husband continued to trudge through his Anesthesiology Residency.

 

My last GCN performance.

My last GCN performance.

In January, we were met with snow and sickness. Snow that just wouldn’t stop, and my son only attended school for 4 days the entire month. I wanted to be positive about it, but it was completely valid to be going stir crazy with a little one and snow that was too cold and ice-y to even enjoy playing outside in.

january 2013 017

Well, we played a little. :)

 

This too shall pass.

Then I got sick. Very sick. Couldn’t-move-off-the-couch-throwing-up-at-all-hours-of-the-day sick.

A few pregnancy tests later would confirm what I already knew…I was pregnant.

But I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if it was real and I definitely wasn’t excited since this time it seemed being pregnant meant being dysfunctional.

I gave my husband a positive pregnancy test in a gift bag for Valentine’s Day (and some other stuff too, don’t worry I didn’t just give him a pee stick) and we both were tentatively excited.

At my doctor appointment in late February they confirmed that there was a little baby in there; measuring about 8 weeks. I was given Zofran to try to stop the severe nausea. It helped, but put me in a zombie like state of sleep and no energy. So my choices were throw up all day or lay on the couch like a zombie all day. My son was raised by the TV for about three months and our house was in such a state of disarray that I truly wondered if burning it down and starting over would’ve been an easier solution than somehow figuring out how to clean it up.

This too shall pass.

We told my family and called my husband’s family. “Don’t tell Noah!” My son knew Mommy was sick, but he didn’t know why, and I wanted to make VERY certain that this baby was a sure thing before we told our sweet four year old that he would be a big brother.

My mother-in-law wanted to come up for a visit.

You can, we told her, but the house does not look like it normally does (I never allow company over if my house is not spotless) and you can not wear any perfume or wear anything smelly.

The smell of EVERYTHING made me sick. I couldn’t even stand the smell of our own laundry detergent; we had to re-wash every single article of clothing we owned just so I could get dressed. (All Free and Clear to the rescue!)

“I’m sure the house isn’t that bad,” my mother in law said, until she actually arrived at our house and discovered it was WORSE. “Well,” she said, “it certainly does look different.”

It looked like an episode from Hoarders.

This too shall pass.

My mother-in-law stayed for a week and entertained my TV brainwashed son and did a million loads of laundry and helped with dishes.  She dug us out of a hole I’m not sure I ever would have been able to climb out of.

And then, I started feeling better.

It was the week after my mother in law left that one day, the sun decided to shine.

And my body decided to cooperate.

And for the first time in months, I felt human again.

We even told our sweet little boy that he was going to be a big brother…and he was THRILLED!

Look Whoo's Going to Be A Big Brother!

Look Whoo’s Going to Be A Big Brother!

This too shall pass.

Residency is over in June. So, no matter what, we are starting a new chapter in our lives this summer. My husband began his job search in December, and much to our dismay by March we still had no job. In the midst of my severe sickness my husband finally started getting interviews and was out of town in between weeks of nights. Despite my strong desire to stay in Richmond, there were no available jobs. My husband has always wanted to go back to GA (where we grew up) so most of his interviews were focused there.

We knew we couldn’t stay in Richmond without a job, so we worked diligently to get our house ready to put on the market. Somehow in between severe morning sickness, a traveling and working nights husband, and juggling the care of a 4 year old, our house became not just clean, but also market ready. Surely we would have a job by April, we assumed, and we went about hiring a handy man and a yard crew, renting a POD, and packing and loading and cleaning and meeting with our real estate agent.

April came and we did not have a job. But we had a schedule, and a deadline to get the house on the market if we wanted to really attract the buyers coming in for spring, and a hope that a job offer would come in before our house went under contract. Putting your house on the market doesn’t mean selling it, right?

Our beautiful home.

Our beautiful home.

This too shall pass.

Except it did sell. In three days. We put our house on the market on Friday, April 11th. We had 5 showings, two offers and were under contract by Monday, April 14th at noon. Whose house sells in three days??

But it was not without some drama. Our first offer came in Saturday night, after only one day on the market, for just under full listing price. “You won’t get a better deal than this,” our real estate agent told us. She really wanted us to take it. The bottom line was that it was all just moving too quickly. I didn’t want to sell our house, or leave Richmond, and we did not have a plan of where we were going next. It’s hard to jump when you don’t know where you are landing.

We told our agent we wouldn’t sign anything until Monday and then a second offer came in Sunday night. For more money and a later closing date. It was obviously a better offer for us, but the agents felt we should have gone with the first offer and there was some talk about us being under a “verbal agreement” and making an “ethical decision.” I was guilt ridden and felt pressured and didn’t want to sell our cute little house in the first place. And my husband certainly got the brunt of that emotional meltdown from me.

We did wind up taking the second offer and were under contract by Monday. And that was it. Our home was under contract. We had no job. We were on track to be jobless and homeless at the end of June with two kids. I don’t know the dates, but I do know that there was a day when my husband and I got into a HUGE fight in front of our son. The tension level at our house was so indescribably high and the great unknowns of our future were so looming that it was almost unbearable.

This too shall pass.

A job offer would FINALLY come in on April 22nd. We were elated. It was an AMAZING offer in Atlanta, GA. We finally could feel at peace with what was coming next, even though I was still holding so tightly onto where we are now.

Then, the week where our life status changed every day happened.

On Monday, April 28th, the Atlanta job rescinded the offer. We were back to being on track for jobless and homeless at the end of June. I was a complete disaster. And, as we have come to find out, rescinded job offers? NEVER happen in the field of medicine. We were at a complete loss. On Tuesday, a job in Athens, GA offered a possible part time opportunity. We didn’t know if we could make it work financially, but we were considering it. On Wednesday, April 30th, the Athens job said they may be able to make a full time offer. On Thursday, May 1st, the Athens job officially extended a full time offer in writing and we took it. Because at this point, we simply needed a plan. Shortly after, the Atlanta job called and said there was still a possibility my husband could get that job if he would just wait….I am so proud of him for interrupting and saying that he was no longer interested.

By Friday, May 2nd, we had started paperwork for the Athens, GA job and finally, FINALLY felt that all of the pieces were coming together.

This too shall pass.

As it turns out, juggling a pregnancy, a four year old, church obligations, a new job, selling a house, trying to find a new house, finding a new school for my son, researching a new care provider to switch to in the middle of a pregnancy, doing an opera (yes, I added an opera in there), keeping up with freelance writing, my job for Richmondmom.com and real life (damn you laundry!) is simply insane. I do not think it is wise to change EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT YOUR LIFE ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

This too shall pass. There will soon be a time of calm. There has to be.

But now, right at this moment, we are still stuck in the midst of the waves, just trying not to drown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Old Conversation Worth Telling

Oh my gosh, I have been looking for this for two years. TWO YEARS!

Two years ago, my son and I had this sweet conversation.

And I wrote it down specifically so I could blog about it.

Today, I am doing some Spring Cleaning (because it’s officially SPRING…squee!) Even the weather is cooperating. And it’s supposed to snow again next week. I don’t want to talk about how upset I’m going to be.

Anyway, under the filing cabinet and covered in dust I found the piece of paper I scribbled this conversation down on, and now I have to blog about it.

September 15, 2012 (My son was 3 years old at this time.)

Noah: “Oh, it looks like I have a baby in my belly because I ate so much food!”

“I’m gonna grow a baby in my belly for me to kiss and love and sleep with in my very own bed.”

Me: “Aw, that’s what Mommy did! I grew a baby in my belly for me to kiss and love and sleep with in my very own bed and it was you!”

Noah: “Yeah, and then I will eat lots of food and grow a baby in my belly and then the doctors will make a big cut in my tummy and then the baby will come out of my bottom and I will cuddle it and sleep with it in my very own bed and hold it all the day.”

Me: “That’s so sweet, Noah. How are you a little person now?”

Noah: “Because I AM a little person. Mommy, you are so funny. You know lots of little persons.”

Me: “You are my favorite little person.”

Gah, three year olds. So cute. Also, this kid has been talking about wanting a baby since he was three.

Happy weekend and Happy SPRING!

Julia's Phone Pictures 021

 

Taken on September 15, 2012. Noah, the baby-wanter, 3 years old.

 

The Missing Wallet on Richmondmom

I have been a mess lately.

Not in any sort of good way.

In the I’m-sick-my-husband’s-out-of-town-I-don’t-even-have-clean-pants way. You would die if you saw my laundry pile.

And then, I lost my wallet.

Please join me at Richmondmom.com where I let you in on the behind-the-scenes of my current life and make you smile with a story of a good deed.

See you there! 

About Marriage

“When I was younger, I wanted to be married so badly. I wanted the companionship, the family, the love. I wanted lazy Sundays in bed and long walks. I wanted gazing into each other’s eyes and secret smiles and laughter.

I wanted a movie scene.

The problem is that movie scene portrayals of relationships are NOT REAL. Who knew?

My husband and I got married when we were both 23, a retrospectively young age to commit to be with another person for the rest of your life. We had an amazing dream wedding, an equally magnificent honeymoon, and then we returned home for real life.

We were terrible at it…..”

Today, I am sharing some tough stuff about my marriage and letting you in on a little secret….marriage is HARD WORK.

I am honored to have a guest post on Kludgy Mom sharing a post: My Marriage Is Not My Masterpiece…And Why That’s OK. 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. Click here to read the rest of the post. I can’t wait to read your comments with your own marriage experiences.

See you there! xo

All The Things

Confession: I have been terrible about blogging lately.

Not that this comes as a surprise to those of you that are sweet enough to read this little blog of mine.

But don’t worry, I have been busy other places.

On Richmondmom.com I have an article about a humbling experience I had that reminds us all to be thankful for everything we have. And I LOVE this guest post by my sweet friend.

I have a lot of reviews up on 5MinutesForMom.com. They are doing some great Christmas giveaways so head over and enter some!

I am the new calendar editor at Richmondmom.com and have been trying to keep up with all of the events which is super exciting and hard because my goodness does Richmond, VA know how to host a lot of events.

And my husband has been working 30 hour shifts, hasn’t had a day off since October, and the little one has been sick. You do not even want to see how messy my house is right now.

BUT…in the midst of all of the rest of life I have been honored to be a part of a big Christmas show again this year after I got my performance legs back last year.

We open tonight (actually in just 3 hours…eek!) I just wrote an article about it on Richmondmom.com that you should go read. (I’m the one in that red dress in the top picture.)

And of course, if you are in Richmond, you should come see. I would love to meet you!

Hopefully more writing will come later, but for now, I’m off to a show!

1404512_10102774745679260_951616494_o

Living With Boys

Disclaimer: I have not been home a lot lately. I am swamped with nightly rehearsals for a Christmas show I’m in. (Remember it from last year?) So this means the boys are in charge. My house is not normally this out of control.

I walked into my son’s bathroom the other night to get his shoes he had haphazardly left by the bath tub and discovered pee. All over the floor. The place smelled like a port-a potty. Or a frat house.

I really didn’t have time to do anything about it at that very moment because my son and I were rushing out the door to get to one of my rehearsals for the Christmas production. After putting “scrub bathroom relentlessly” on my metal to-do list we headed out.

The next day, I wasn’t feeling well and my husband said he would deal with the bathroom. Which was so thoughtful!

And then this morning, I went into my son’s bathroom to help him get ready for school to discover that the floor was sticky and it still kind of smelled like pee.

“Why is this floor sticky?”

“Daddy cleaned it.”

“With what?”

“He squirted stuff all over it.”

“Did he wipe it up?”

“No.”

“Why won’t this water come on?”

“I don’t know. Daddy turned it off.”

“What?”

“Yeah, so I won’t waste the water.”

So now my son’s bathroom is layered in pee, covered up with “spray stuff,” and has no running water. There is also hardened toothpaste in the sink. Because it’s hard to brush your teeth with out water.

I also discovered baby powder all over the upstairs bathroom.

“Where did this powder come from?”

“Daddy used it.”

“For what?”

“I don’t know. Daddy’s not a baby, so that’s weird.”

I’m not even sure I even want to know the answer.

And truly, the amount of nudity I see on a daily basis from these two boys is astounding. I swear both of them do actually own clothes.

Don’t even get me started on how often I hear the word “penis.”

My husband once said, “Being married is not hard. Living together is.” That is an understatement.

Living with boys is incredibly strange.

I need some more estrogen in this house. Or at least a maid specializing in boy bathrooms.

Are you outnumbered in your house? How do you deal with it?

 

 

 

 

About Being Honest

The thing about being honest and vulnerable is, you don’t know where it will take you.

It took a lot of courage and time for me to summon up the strength to write about what happened on my 30th birthday. After I told the story, even the hard parts, I felt a sense of relief.

And then, the next morning, I felt immediate dread and a bit of regret for publishing one of my most intimate moments on the internet.

This little blog of mine is not so private anymore. Since I’ve started freelance writing my bio with links to my blog has become public, and I have blurred the lines between writing for just my small community of blogging friends and myself to writing to an audience that is very public and not at all intimate. My blog no longer became my safe space, because anything I write here could be read by anyone in my life, including people that in real life I would never share such details with. And that, is a scary thought.

But I didn’t start this blog to write about only the good things in my life or to paint a pretty picture about motherhood. I started this blog to tell the tough stuff. I started this blog to be honest.

And the truth is, I was finding it more and more impossible NOT to tell the story. I couldn’t come to my blog and posts pictures of Halloween (which I will do, though, because we went all out and it was awesome :) ) and pretend that nothing had happened because a major thing had happened. And it was the only story weighing on my mind.

Not very many people commented on that post, but I have received countless emails and private Facebook messages. I have received phone calls from people in real life who didn’t know. And it is both terrifying and amazing to see what happens when you are honest with your story, even in a terrifyingly public way.

There were people who had gone through the same thing and never told anyone, carrying around a small secret of pain on their own because it’s too hard and too personal to let it out.

And there were people who have never been through a miscarriage, who don’t know what to say, but want you to know that it’s ok to talk about it and to reach out and tell you how much they care about you. And that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

There’s a fine line between regretting the blunt honesty of letting you into the most intimate details of my life and then feeling the rush of relief that comes with telling a story that had been weighing on me. And if I had never told my story, I never would have gotten to share in the beautiful and comforting email exchanges and phone calls in which you told me yours.

For me, it was never even really just my story. It happened to me, but if I never told anyone about it, it would be like that baby never existed. And it did. If even for a very short time. I don’t want that baby’s story to have never been written just because it ended so early.

So I want to thank you for letting me tell my story and for those of you that shared pieces of yours, I am incredibly honored.

That’s the thing about being honest. It takes you to beautiful places. You may never know who you are touching with your words and who needs to read them, but you must believe that the events in your life, even the hard ones, are worth telling.

(image credit: www.leahfruthblog.com)

 

Welcome to 30

I stopped writing.

I do that. Stop doing things I love when I find myself at my most lost.

I stopped singing when my Dad died.

I stopped a whole lot of things after the birth of my son as I went through postpartum depression and processed my difficult birth experience. Some of that related to being a new mom; the missed showers, the lack of sleep. A lot of it related to how traumatized I was; the missed laughter, the missed enjoyment of almost anything for a long time.

It’s strange to go through segments of your life like that; where you find yourself going through motions and not really present. Before you know it you’ve lost some indescribable amount of time and some irreplaceable amount of present living and some inexplicable self-deprivation of things you love.

“You need to write about it,” my husband said. He would leave the computer window open to my blog, sitting silently on the screen collecting cobwebs and losing meaning.

“I will,” I would reply, and then busy myself with the comforting monotony of daily life tasks that never find themselves completed.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you write anything,” he would say again urgingly.

“I just don’t have anything to say,” I would lie, and he would pretend to believe me.

And so tonight, I’ll write about it.

The last time I wrote anything was on the eve of my 30th birthday. I was not-so-subtly freaking out about it and I had all these great post ideas about how I was going to reveal my hidden worries about turning thirty, or the things I was actually looking forward to about turning thirty, or maybe even breaking down that terrible list of what a woman “should” have accomplished by the time she turned thirty and revel in what I’ve accomplished instead.

Instead, I woke up on the morning of my 30th birthday and got ready for a hair appointment. In true “oh-my-God-I’m-turning-thirty” style I planned to get a drastic hair cut. I stopped on the way at this very nice French restaurant that serves lovely chocolate croissant pastries and a special Ginger Chai latte and ordered it to go. Only it’s been so long since I’ve treated myself there that they no longer serve the ginger chai latte and someone had just purchased the very last chocolate croissant.

Still optimistic, I continued on to my hair appointment where I showed my stylist a picture of the new cut I wanted, one that required chopping 7 inches off of my hair, adding layers, and adding some red highlights. (Did I mention the whole I-was-freaking-out-about-turning-30-part?) In order to add red, first we had to get out the blondish highlights that had been in during the summer, so my stylist matched my hair all back to it’s original color and than cut off all of my hair. Per my non-chocolate-croissant-eating request. (Side note: I don’t make good decisions when I’m hungry. Or, apparently, 30.) Then we went to add in the red.

And it came out bright purple.

Truly.

Like, Halloween witch purple.

By the time all of this had occurred it was time for me to go pick my son up from school.

With short, purple, wet hair.

Despite my speeding I was a few minutes late to pick up my son who greeted me with a “Mommy, why is your hair purple? Is it for Halloween?”

I got us home and settled the toddler with lunch. I was feeling a bit sick but thought it was probably from the lack of eating and just my general state of being stressed about the day.

I went to the bathroom and then I saw it. All of the blood.

It had soaked through my clothes and the sickness I was feeling was cramping.

And then, I knew.

My husband came home from work about an hour later to find me hunched over, crying, with purple hair.

“I don’t think there’s a baby anymore,” I sobbed.

We quietly whispered our conversation and spelled words between the little voice that asked “Why is Mommy crying?” and “What are you guys talking about?”

“Do you want me to call and cancel tonight? I have something planned but you don’t have to go.”

“NO! It’s my fucking 30th birthday. I don’t want to spend it being completely miserable. This just isn’t how I wanted this to go,” I continued sobbing.

I found myself laying in our king sized bed surrounded by the hugs of my husband and my son and realizing that the short lived excitement of a June 2014 baby would never come true.

I had discovered the two tell tale pink lines on a pregnancy test just a little over a week before. And just to be sure, seen the words PREGNANT on another test. Within a week my husband and I had both discovered and lost a baby.

I called the OB/GYN who put told me to wait for the triage nurse to call. When she called she encouraged me to go straight to the emergency room.

“Why?” I asked. “Can they do anything? Or would it just be for informational purposes?”

“It would just be for informational purposes, but it’s important to know what’s going on with your body,” she replied.

“I already know what’s going on with my body. I’m having a miscarriage” I replied in my mind, but in reality it probably came out more like “Ok, thank you.” I’m an eternal people pleaser.

I talked to my husband about it and ultimately decided not to spend my 30th birthday sitting in an emergency room. I took some advil, splashed water on my face, and went back to the hair salon to get out the purple.

It was, after all, my birthday.

A few hours later my purple hair had been dyed black because it was the only way to cover up the color. It was not the look I was going for but it was styled and curled and I purchased a lovely red lipstick to fully embrace my bold new look. The reality of what was happening set in every time I went to the bathroom and every time I let myself think about it. I found myself crying as I drove home and again when my sister called and my husband accidentally answered the phone.

I had been avoiding all of the happy birthday calls and messages all day.

By 6:00 that evening I was dressed and had fixed my make up. A friend picked me up and drove me to a local restaurant where I was surprised by a group of girlfriends waiting for me. My husband had organized a girl’s night complete with pre-ordered appetizers and wine (which I happily drank. Because, in light of recent events, there was no reason for me not to.)

We laughed and drank wine and told stories. I was so thankful to be in the company of such sweet friends and to find moments of genuine joy in a day that had certainly not gone as I had imagined.

I came home late at night and curled into the arms of my husband. I heard my son sigh in his sleep across the hall and felt my cats curled up at my feet.

And finally, I slept.

Welcome to 30.

My surprise girl's night on my 30th birthday. I am in the blue dress, black belt, and newly acquired black hair and red lipstick .

My surprise girl’s night on my 30th birthday. I am in the blue dress, black belt, and newly acquired black hair and red lipstick .