Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Literally last night I was cleaning out an old drawer and came across this treasure of mine: the puzzle piece I stumbled across on the ocean cliffs of Corona Del Mar while walking through the deepest grief of my miscarriage, the little life we lost between our two girls. This puzzle piece was a kiss from God, a promise, a signal of hope in my hour of sadness: I am with you, Steph. Your lost baby’s with me, Steph. It’s going to be okay. Somehow this will fit in my plan.
We were nestled in the comfiest corner of my family room sectional on a mellow summer Wednesday night. Me and some girls I call sisters, friends, fellow soldiers. We gather every Wednesday night in our home and could answer to all kinds of names—Life Group, Small Group, Bible Study, Community Group, Friends Hanging Out, even Church in Our Family Room. What’s noteworthy is that we gather weekly and intentionally along with our husbands (no kids!) to study the Bible and pray and share from our lives. The good, the bad, the, oh, Dark Confessions from a Place Called My Kitchen.
Happy early Mother’s Day to every single one of you mamas! In honor of the upcoming weekend, I wanted to pass along this beautiful passage written by my own Mother Goddess, which she shared recently in a speaking engagement. I’ve shared guest posts by her before, here and here. Her strength, wisdom and grace never fail to shine through her words. I’m privileged to call her my mom, my role model, my friend. So much love to you all!
Last month, our little family of four embarked on a magical trip to Mammoth that was full of giggles and snowflakes and cookie-baking. Ha! Of course this is only partially true. Have you traveled to the snow with small children?! We’ll call it one-third magic and two-thirds LORD-have-mercy-on-our-sweet-sweet-souls, because, well, it was hard, if not bordering on the impossible. Even with my incredible parents and brother, David, along to assist us. The gear! The road trip! The altitude! Throw in daylight savings and plenty of teething. A + B = Yikes.
This is a new post in conclusion of losing my baby weight! There are so many things I could say about this. I could give you 10 Tips for Shedding Those Baby Pounds. I could write about How Great It Feels or How the Holidays Might Bring Them Back. But I think the most honest thing I can do is share this letter I wrote to my future self, should I ever decide to get pregnant again. We’re about 50/50 on that, depending entirely on the day you ask me and the number of tears in our house that hour. But just in case, I think Future Me would find these words helpful. Love you guys! Thank you so much for reading!
Two-and-a-half years ago, I made the choice of a lifetime. With shaky fingers and a half-broken heart, I called my former employer to say that I wasn’t coming back from maternity leave after the birth of my firstborn daughter. I kicked. I cried. I doubted. Amid gnarly post-partum blues, lingering pounds and a full-blown identity crisis, I let go of a self I once knew. I trusted that God was guiding me, but man, did it hurt. I would no longer work full-time. I would become a stay-at-home mom.
If you’ve seen me in the last few months, chances are solid I’ve bragged to you that my little brother is in his first year at Harvard Law School. And not a humble brag, guys. A shameless, all-out, that is my flesh and blood and he’s going to HARVARD brag-brag. Big sisters are entitled to such soap boxes on behalf of their siblings at least every once in a while. Said bro is also extremely cool, witty, musical, stylish, fun and adored by all, just to paint the whole entire picture. Did I mention that I’m a proud sister?
In honor of the start of October, I am sharing this #TBT post I just found saved in the crevices of my laptop! I wrote it almost one year ago, last October, right after we moved into our new home in Costa Mesa—when I was deep in the valley of the shadow of pregnancy nausea. Apparently I never got around to posting it, because apparently I was practically dead.
I love how the written word can serve as a time capsule. I look back now and I feel nostalgic, victorious, grateful, relieved. I’m so happy to no longer be pregnant, and so humbled that God met me right where I was as He formed little Hadley inside me. He knows all of our love languages, all of the time. And sometimes they taste like pumpkin bread.
I’m a very open book about my baby weight because open books are my favorite kind. The heartfelt, sweet, funny, empathetic responses to my last post on this topic brought genuine tears to my eyes. They made me feel less alone in this difficult journey. You sweethearts who read my words are amazing!
And really. Pregnancy pounds are a pretty universal experience, so why not support each other through the absolute trauma and slow-but-sure road to recovery? I gain a whole house and you might just gain a spare bedroom, and I might hate you a little for this but I still want to be friends.
Strangers say a lot of weird stuff to you when you’re a mom of young kids. Actually it starts when you’re pregnant, the license of all people everywhere to comment freely on your size, your birth plan, your future parenting strategies. What?! You’re knocked up and no STRATEGIES?! Well, girlfriend, no sweat, it’s all grand, because that odd man in Nordstrom will give you some.