[we are ready]

Y E S. this is a site about the quarrel’s of traveling. Wanting to go but never doing it. Once you are in a new place how to maneuver and discover where to eat, what is the best neighborhood to comfortably discover all while being safe etc… things you go through when traveling.

well. after a year of traveling – LITERALLY. all over the world. we were in our ‘three week’ time frame of being in the midwest. Visiting friends and family. we had just left Scotland after living there for a month with a stopover to Iceland (a must see place if you can go) while in Scotland we decided to toss out our plans of travel for another 6 months to stay in the midwest and figure out where and what we wanted to do next…

Right before we were loading up our car to head out to Northern California for a few weeks we discovered.

We were p r e g n a n t. 5 weeks along. so we began a new type of travel. discerning new emotions. a whole new world was in front of us.

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october. 2016. north lake tahoe.

In the words of one of my heros, partner, best-friend, companion, support and lover: 

Men don’t really get affected about a miscarriage right?

The woman goes through it. The man just a silent tag along for the process. He never really got involved with it so why would he be affected?

I had someone say this to me in the week after my wife and I had a miscarriage. It made me feel awful because I was deeply affected. And it made me question if I had the RIGHT to feel what my wife was feeling or not. Did I do enough to deserve to feel failure, pain, loss.

Because I just sat here the whole time without “feeling” anything happening in my body. But I do feel.

I feel sad.
I feel broken.
I feel like we’ve had all these emotions, dreams, and possibilities ripped out from under us as violently as possible.

Although I had not seen, felt, heard, or grown this baby I was there and it was mine just as much as any other child.

When you first learn your pregnant everything starts to shift. As partners that make conscious choices about where we live, how we live, who we’re with, and can make choices about the future we started to dream about what life would be like in 9 months with a new baby.

The conversation between husband and wife changes with this vision of a first child as an incredibly exciting future opens up. We were so excited.

It was motivating. It got me out of bed in the morning ready to keep fighting and pushing for progress. I / We we’re on a mission.

It was the happiest of times.

I remember long car rides talking about what kind of home we wanted our kids to grow up in. Sharing memories of our childhoods and what we would want the same or different. There were some baby clothes purchased because they were just to good of a deal to pass up.

Then things started to go wrong.

At the first appointment the size of the sack was all wrong and the timing didn’t make sense. My wife’s first inclination was something was wrong. The nurses and midwife didn’t say much to indicate what was up and said to come back for another ultrasound in 2 weeks.

I held out hope and attempted to be the voice of positivity for the two weeks till the next ultra sound. Firmly believing everything was going to be fine and moving forward.

Because I really did want to believe. I was desperately looking forward to this change. To this new season. To be a dad. To settle down. To build something new. A family.

Then at the next ultrasound it was evident in the first 20 seconds of the ultrasound things were not going as planned. The sack was empty and the wrong size. No heartbeat like there should be.

That aching suspicion and sadness was brought to the forefront in a moment. The reality you don’t want to believe is made true.

You won’t be having a baby.

After 8 weeks of belief in a new future. In a new reality it’s all changed in that one ultrasound room. In that one moment.

The weight is crushing.

I still want to believe.

I still want this new future.

I don’t want it taken away.

I know this sounds dramatic but that is the REALITY of what’s happening. A miscarriage is not a small inconsequential event.

Especially that weekend when your wife is having 10/10 level pain and bleeding constantly. That kind of anguish and fear has a grip that’s hard to shake.

You know it’s time to do something when you get cups of water thrown on you in the bathroom while brushing your teeth and your wife is in the bathtub. I’m sure there was an entirely logical reason. But I remember yelling about the water on the ground and the defiant splashing of more water.

But there was a lot of pain and blood and so I told her to call and see if this is normal (not the throwing water on husband, but the other part).

So we went to the hospital. They didn’t like what was going on and wanted her there for awhile to makes sure everything was going to be ok. We spent a lovely 4 hours trying to figure out what was wrong and if anything needed to be done.

People were draining 1/4 cup of blood and other frightening things but luckily everything turns out ok. No surgery, it passed on it’s own. Just a lot of pain and blood and it all ended.

At the end of the day a large percentage of partners have experienced a miscarriage. And we’re just another one of those countless cases. But even though it’s so common it doesn’t mean it’s any less meaningful, important, or worth paying attention to.

These 2 almost 3 months have been nothing but impossible. Impossibly happy, encouraging, MOTIVATING, and exciting beyond belief… AND impossibly sad, painful, scary, and that don’t want to do anything just let me be distracted and lay in bed depressing.

I thought by writing this I might feel some kind of deeper emotion or find some solace. I don’t. I still feel a little unmotivated and depressed. I don’t want to keep fighting… can’t I just stay here for a while.

In fact I can. This is a season in our lives and maybe I don’t need to fight. Let it pass and then get back to it after I’ve fully gone through this season.

This season sucks, but one worth going through.

Because through all the pain, all the obstacles we truly grow and come out better on the other side. There are two choices.

#1 – Let this experience and this moment do nothing. To ignore it.
#2 – See this season as a path to something better.

Always choose to PUSH though the obstacle and see the greatness on the other side. I’m not sure what that is for me but you can trust me that I’m moving FORWARD and will look back at this as something that helps myself, my marriage, and family. (written January 2017) 

12.6.16

the day it was ‘confirmed over’ we had each other to walk hand in hand with. 12.6.16

Yes. That is right. We lost our first child. First pregnancy. First baby. We were 11 weeks + 5 days along. I knew something was off at our 8 week+ appointment but due to recommended advice by the midwife we carried on as if everything was normal. Thought maybe ‘my A-type personality research and counting was off and i was wrong as to what stage i should’ve been in” this whole pregnancy thing was new to me. to us. so out of faith + hope we shared with a few friends….who were ‘happy’ but being most if not all already have children so it felt like no one really cared.

maybe i have high standards for humanity my husband and a good friend tell me i do and to stop counting on others or to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt but i dont wanna give up on humanity yet. im not ready to harden my heart and just assume all people are selfish and self-centered

just being frank.

finally sharing our voice.

recognizing that i matter. my story is mine. not the same as anyone else’s. similar yes. and saddening having to be in that dark black hole that so many of you reading this and other women across the world have been or may be in currently. Whether you have experienced many miscarriages and have children walking and breathing around you. Have only experienced miscarriages –  your children never seeing the outside world. or never being able to conceive at all.

my hurt grieves and aches.

it hurts that i never knew how to respond to you. to your story. that no one told me it was important to reach out. several times. via a phone call or actual face to face visit. that stupid ‘how are you feeling’ texts don’t always cut it.

Im sorry if you reached out to people and they were are ‘all busy’ which of course one would tend to extend the benefit of the doubt and then find out weeks later its really just because people are selfish. they don’t care.

or they CARE but ask a mutual friend instead which that mutual friend HAS NO IDEA.

so told you, “Yes, she’s fine”. NOT. they don’t even know.

they themselves haven’t asked. or been there for you.

yes. i get it. grief is hard. its never easy to know what to say. to know if the person wants to be alone or wants company. wants you to send them flowers or not. if a lame hallmark card will bring comfort or is overstepping. well i have found out through my own loneliness and trauma.

that SOMETHING is BETTER than nothing.

that SILENCE SUCKS.

this thing called miscarriage may have been ‘easy’ for you or bearable or who knows what. but for myself and my husband it wasn’t…or maybe you don’t know anyone or ever have experience it yourself. that is okay. if you can try to have a little grace and acknowledgement that maybe your friend simply just needs a friend.

we dreamed for over 8 weeks of our baby. what this new life would be like. what having a family together would look life for us. we started to pay attention to parenting. to other families. noticing and respecting individuals.

I have come to find out that there is a stigma or stereotype about sharing miscarriages or not sharing them. that most people who have gone a loss of a child genuinely share their story with you to relate and maybe bring comfort while others may not know how to really care or try to listen to your experience – which was fine for us at the time and extending friends the benefit of the doubt we nodded our heads and listened… then moved the subject along because unfortunately our perspective didn’t really matter.

however, i wish i would’ve been vulnerable or strong enough to speak up and say,

“Hey – we actually aren’t okay, when i called you to hang out the DAY after we for sure lost our baby. and you were busy due to a weekly routine activity of attending the same thing because it is easier than spending time with a grieving friend i get it but it HURT and saddened me.”

I accepted your decline and bucked up and went on my way calling the next friend, who again was too busy.

and the third.

with the same response. so i shut down.

not knowing that i had at the time until a close friend asked me if I built up walls and reverted to telling myself that Katherine can do this alone. With her husband. I will be okay. I will pull myself together when i see you and you dont ask me how i am doing. i will pray. or pretend to pray that time will heal (it has helped time that is and being able to slowly process letting go of what wasn’t said to us or didn’t happen) I will keep quiet and smile and nod my head communicating that sure its the SAME for me as it was when you went through your loss.

yes uh huh we are the same.

YES.

again there are similarities but my story isn’t less.

going through it for me wasn’t the same for you because we are different.

as i clearly heard God tell me a week ago within my soul “I am not LEFTOVERS” so i will stop treating myself that way. i will accept that i am not someone – everyone will always respect or admire or care to listen to and move forward.

because i dont need everyone.

i dont need to compare or belittle myself anymore. my story matters. my loss matters.

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a friend mentioned to me a few weeks back after knowing another couple who lost their first pregnancy in the last 6 months “I just wish people would acknowledge it more so that it would be easier for everyone to cope with it.”               which i agree with –

no it may not make it easier for you but maybe there would be more people you would feel comfortable talking to. or there would be people you could talk to that would listen to you. listen to your questions. sit with you in silence. send you flowers to look at so you would be reminded its okay to cry. its okay to grieve something not everyone knows you lost.

after reading and listening to some powerful + strong women share their experience i have come to the realization. that i was ready. ready for you to read a little bit about our story and share some resources i found helpful. maybe you will too.

“We were never meant to do brokenness alone. I’m utterly convinced of that.” – Adriel Booker, who is an amazing writer and friend I once had the privilege of doing life with in Australia long ago who unfortunately has experienced several miscarriages but is a voice for so many and I have found hope, courage, a sense of saying, “Yes” to myself as she writes about the injustices of miscarriage within her articles and I hope you will find the same.

This one I read again last night.

Before I even had the courage to read about miscarriage or acknowledge that our pregnancy was over i felt guilty. ashamed. silenced. afraid of letting others know due to not being able to tell a close friend (or getting my hopes up that they would be there for me more than the others I had told)

not that i didnt want to tell you but when a lot of time goes by and there is distance the natural thing one would think is ‘OH! you are pregnant or you must have good news!” not sad or hey this is the dark period I just went through.

so i am ready to share knowing that many of you don’t know or would have never guessed. but it happened. and we are moving forward and are okay thank you for being a long time friend through the highs and lows whether or not we always know what one another are going through or experiencing.

Its annoying that i have gone along with the culture and have silenced myself out of fear that people would think i want attention now or an ‘oh im so sorry’ written in the comment section of a social media post. Sure those things are nice but i am sharing because i don’t like that our culture still doesn’t know how to come along side others in a community during a time of grieving. doesn’t know that silence is worse than a cheesy voicemail or written card.

we named our baby “Brave Walker” (walker is our last name) for many reasons. one we couldn’t get it out of our mind the fact that it is a brave thing to enter this world. it is a brave thing to stand up and [usually] all alone in our world. it is brave to allow yourself to actually grieve the loss of a loved one or anything for that matter. it is my anthem for 2017.

be brave Katherine. be brave for yourself not anyone else. be brave for your baby. that no one sees.

be brave because you do have that mom intuition inside of you that is new and unexplainable. its hard when i am not respected as an individual or one who has ‘lived’ a life because i don’t have my ‘own’ home or baby… and its frustrating that, that is still our culture. still surrounds you + me.

Our first pregnancy – though it didn’t last made us parents. I now have this longing yes for the child that won’t be delivered on or around its due date of June 25th, 2017 but also for their brother or sister. to nurture a new second developing baby in my own body.

announcements of new births or friends + family having babies soon doesn’t sadden me but brings me great joy that another miracle is entering the world.

doesn’t make it harder as some might think or assume and maybe for some it is more difficult and I hope to be sensitive to others yet thrilled and excited and rejoice if and when we have our next pregnancy.

what saddens me is the lack of understanding among cultures, communities and societies that it is important to be there for people when they go through a loss and to recognize that for everyone it is a different story.

different process. we as people are all different. we look at life differently. we bring to the world different attributes and color. not everyone will speak up or share. or share 12 weeks+ after a loss maybe its a year or two…. maybe never but i hope this small glimpse into our perspective is helpful to you. and for you.

Adriel also shares this post on “How to care for a friend after miscarriage or stillbirth” which i found helpful and i hope you do as well. i hope and intend to pass on the next time someone i know experiences a miscarriage – which i hope you never do but unfortunately it is more common than most of us would ever imagine or understand.

thank you for reading our thoughts and perspective on this aspect of our life. I hope you can be brave with whatever you have in front of you and brave to step into whatever unknowns you face as well.

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together. we ALL. are always stronger.


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