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    6 years ago

Sunday, August 27, 2017


This week has been a harder one for me, I'm not sure why. I can only imagine it was leading up to my son's 4th birthday party that caused the sadness. I hear holidays and birthdays are triggers.  I haven't hit a holiday yet (other than the 4th of July), but I am preparing myself for those to be hard.

This week, was also a week of flowers.   Completely independently, I got beautiful flowers from a handful of friends.    

After Thomas was born, I got many flowers, I know some Loss Moms don't like the flowers, but I loved them. They brought cheer into our house when all I felt was sadness.

I wanted to share the flowers from this week, because this week they brought cheer to me when I struggled again, with sadness.

I also happened to stumble upon a book that I had put some flowers in after Thomas was born, I had grabbed wax paper and put them there to dry out. I then lost the book, only to find it this weekend while struggling emotionally.  

This week was full of flowers for a reason, and that reason was because I needed them this week.

I was also given this absolutely beautiful painting from a group of local moms.   Thomas's feet in my hand, surrounded by quotes I've shared, quotes that others find empowering and other thoughts and comments.   It was given to me on what should have been Thomas's 3 month birthday.

Some moments of joy sprouted in - like during a family hike we went on over the weekend.    I love hiking, so having my 4 year old hike with me is truly an amazing gift.  And being in nature helps me feel closer to Thomas.

We also had some fun (and sweaty) times at home with friends!  I love having friends come over for my 5:30am sweat fest - I cherish my alone time, but it's fun to have a buddy a few times a year!

And it's always funny to see how we wake up over the course of 30 minutes!

Some food news from this week....this I can't claim, my friend made it for me with a hodge podge of all the veggies left in our fridge from our CSA, it was amazing!

This photo is me lamenting that our dishwasher broke so I had to use the tiniest of blender bottles for my Shake - it did the trick, but I missed having my big cup!

Here is one of my favorite quick 'soups' - I use my homemade veggie sauce and add a splash of almond milk and you have a super dense veggie soup!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Family Time

I often wonder how I'll look back at this Summer.  Will I remember the details? Will it be a blur?   I never expected to lose a child, but that is my new reality.  It has forever shaped how I view the world, and how appreciative I am of what I do have.    

This Summer has been a whirlwind of emotions, of details, and of adventure.  This Summer has been hard, and Ben doesn't need it to be any harder than it is.

We took this photo this weekend after our first family hike together.  I thought how the hike would have been if Thomas was with us, but then it occurred to me, that we likely would not have gone on the hike with a newborn.    This photo is a reminder of all we have, and of the joy that we can still bring to Ben's days.   

While I don't feel 'normal' and quite honestly know that I won't ever feel truly normal, I am feeling 'more' like me.   Back to feeling like me during my routines, instead of just going through the actions associated with them.

Instead of getting up and shuffling, I can get up and complain that I'm tired.   

..and act silly when I'm done.

I can also enjoy small things, like my 'birthday freebies' including these Kendra Scott earrings. 

So while I am forever changed by the birth and death of Thomas, I am grateful that as the time has passed I am finding ways to integrate him into our days and conversations that are not always focused around sadness.   The sadness still lingers, but the joy is coming back.

I also have gotten back to my food prep in small buckets.   Here are two simple things I made this week, the first being a hodge podge of foods from our CSA. And the second is my favorite new on the go food - a veggie burger with avocado on lettuce!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Look for the Unexpected

I have been struggling a lot with where I "thought" I'd be 3 months postpartum and where I am physically.  I have to remind myself that I also thought I'd have a baby to care for, something that wasn't a part of my postpartum reality.

I have been struggling because since Day 1 from being home, I made sure I moved around and shuffled.  I even went for 'walks' the 4 days in the hospital. I focused on nutrition in and outside the hospital and I consistently move each day.  

So I took a step back, and I did to myself what I do with those I coach.

I asked myself, weight aside, what am I proud of.

One thing I have noticed consistently is that I can kneel without discomfort.  It may sound silly if you've never had an issue kneeling, but for me at my heaviest back in 2013, my knees hurt and my thighs/calves were too big when I tried to kneel.   Yet, since having Thomas kneeling hasn't ever been an issue.

I am also proud that I have consistently worked out (modified significantly the first few weeks after the c-section) since delivery, despite the grief, despite the hormones, despite recovering - I did it BECAUSE of those things.

I have been totally different with my food than I was after Ben.  Mindful of how each choice makes me feel.

Taking a step back and away from the scale, I am very proud of where I am right now.

I also recently added back in a full load of Mommy & Me classes. I was very worried for our week back, going from zero to three this week.   But with my sidekick, I knew it was the right choice.

Here we are before kicking off our first Boot Camp!

I've also been working to make even more time for different types of self care. Including reading. This is a habit I picked up when I started coaching, reading 10-30 minutes a day.  Now my books are about grief, but they are still developing me as a person, a friend, a mother and a coach.

This photo I wanted to include because it's a very symbolic one for me.   The week before Thomas died was Mother's Day.    For Mother's Day my mom planted a garden of Gerber Daisies for me with Ben.  I love Gerber Daisies.  

What I didn't realize is that they keep sprouting all summer long.    Gerber Daisies are what Ben brought me in the hospital. They are a cheery reminder from the dark days I spent after Thomas was born.   As a new one sprouts in the garden every day, I am reminded that Thomas continues to live through me each day, in new ways.

In food news, I wanted to start by sharing a photo of my FAVORITE salad. I can't claim to have made it, but I can say I enjoy it! It's from a local vegan restaurant and complete with veggies, quiona, cashew ranch dressing, 'bacon' and 'chicken' - amazing!

And of course my nightly treat.  I can't imagine my life without this stuff.

While it's already been 3 months since Thomas was born and passed all within the same breath, I am still struggling with 'food prep' so I've been sticking to simple ways to balance out my nutrition.  Here is an example.   I tossed together some veggies from my CSA (basil, squash, zucchini, red onion, tomato) some pepper and some eggs and baked on 350 until it was cooked through! A simple veggie and protein filled yummy meal or snack.

What's even better is I can grab this sauce I had made before Thomas was born (I literally made batches upon batches for months to prepare for being hard up to food prep with a newborn).  

And while I'm struggling on a daily basis to find the new me, I am grateful for the routines of the 'old' me.   I am grateful for my mornings as they ground me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

First Birthday

This marked my first birthday as a Mom of 2 boys, but only one living.   I lined up some massages, started my day with a workout and planned a family dinner.   I did the best I could to enjoy it, and there were both great parts and random tears.   The tears come and go and I never quite know when they'll hit, but I have heard that 'events' like birthdays and holidays are the hardest.  I also know that too many good days often lead to the hard ones.

Despite having some hard moments, this last week I was able to finish off my 3rd weak of my nutrition and fitness challenge - what I am most happy about is the fact that my stomach is less 'round' after these 3 weeks. I am still quite mushy from 12 months of pregnancy between both pregnancies, but I am no longer 'looking' pregnant which is huge given the fact that with no baby, this is a harsh reminder.

I also got in more waterskiing, this time a few longer runs.  I'm still not there stamina wise to where I 'usually' am, but I am proud to say that I got through all week with waterskiing almost daily and didn't get sore once!

I also am starting to notice some muscles above my knee, which is a big non scale win!

This little green thing was my gym for the week.  No internet required.   I love how simple it is to stick to my workouts and be consistent and get the motivation and support I need.

And the fact that I can consistently stick to a program ANYWHERE, home, the gym, NH, NOLA, NC - you name it!

Here is my birthday workout with my little guy. I know that when I get up early I feel better, so I gave him permission to wake me up as soon as the sun came up and wish me a happy birthday and insist on me getting out of bed.  He had no issues with that request! 

My birthday also had some lake time and reading, this book is wonderful because it's allows me to read about a family who went through this process but due to HIV and AIDS in the 80s, instead of stillbirth. So it's helpful to understand the grief process through a similar, but not directly related lens. 

While I am having more 'good' moments these days, the hard ones still come fast and furious and out of know where.   I have to keep reminding myself, it's only been 10 weeks.  I have many friends who spent the first few weeks, months or even year in bed, drinking, taking antidepressants and doing all they could to just survive.  I am proud of myself that no matter how hard it is, I have support and tools to get myself up an out of bed and avoid substances.

...which is also important for this little guy. I refuse to miss any more time with him.   I refuse to let this summer be more of a blur than it already will be. 

And while we are having fun, not a day goes by that we don't think of Thomas.   

On my birthday, I shared this photo as a reminder to the world of Thomas's life. He'll never get to celebrate a birthday, but I can honor him each and every year that I have the honor of getting older.

And I can continue to love on this little guy sharing with him all the love I had building up for Thomas.

Food news!  Here are some of my favorite meals from the week,  a week of vacation and clean eating CAN be done!  What I love about veggie burgers is that there are so many kinds you can have a different meal each day as a result.