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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quick Update - Memorial Garden Day 3

Recently I've struggled terribly with bitterness and envy, and my husband is struggling with doubt and frustrations. I felt it was time to give myself a distraction. We put our heads together and decided to create a beautiful flower garden in memory of our lost babies, and in hope of our future rainbows.

Some great people have stepped forward to donate bricks and flowers and decor. We are thankful for everything we get, and in my garden, I can lose myself. I don't worry about what will be, or cry over what was not, I simply focus on my plants.

We've had 3 days of lovely Florida weather, and I've been taking advantage of it!

Here's where my garden is so far..

Day 1 - clearing the yard, uncovered a hole full of bricks, later relocated starting point



Day 2 - bricks and flowers donated, decided to make a flower bed right by the driveway, inspired by a cut off log that I felt needed some attention. Now a bunny and hopefully one day some impatiens keep it company.



Day 3 - a very productive day, worked until "dark-thirty" as my dad would say. Flower bed extended, wild violets relocated, bulbs, seeds, and smaller plants in place. The soil is fantastic! Daughter laid a "love" stone and I hung a blue butterfly in memory of baby Riley, but it was too dark to take a picture Hubby nabbed one of me at work. Then he surprised me with a plant he refers to as "Bert". It's an exotic angel..Can't wait to plant it!

As you see, I've been busy and before then I was sick from a chemical poisoning (DO NOT GO NEAR MOTH BALLS EVER) They are deadly!!! I thought it was time for a quick update. I've got HUGE plans for this garden. One day, we will have a "meet the rainbow baby" shower among the many, many flowers in our Memorial/Hope Garden.

~Soon~ 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why Am I Such a Slow Learner?!

Sometimes I feel like God whacks me over the head and He uses Peter Furler to do it! That's the way it has always been. Ever since I was 15 years old. I was riding in the backseat of my youth pastor's car. He pulled over and told me he felt like he was "driving Miss Daisy". He wanted to know why I always rode in the backseat of his car and never the front. So, after 9 years of living with a secret no little girl should ever have to keep, I broke my silence about my abuser. I told him how he would take me into the cab of his pick up truck and molest me and how I was uncomfortable riding in the front seat with any male. I don't think he was prepared with a response as I sort of blurted it all out there on the side of the road for him (as I tend to do). What he did do, is inadvertently introduce me to a big brother in Christ who has remained and will forever remain my big brother, though I've never met him in person.

My youth pastor opened the trunk of his car and gave me a handful of cassettes, telling me to listen and be blessed. Now, its important to mention that this type of music "Christ's words with the Devil's beat" was NOT allowed in my home. I did not know this because rock and country were, so I felt good words, good music. My parents felt otherwise. A HUGE fight broke out in my home that night! In an effort to keep them from burning my youth pastor's belongings, I ended up unconscious on my bedroom floor! I don't remember much after that. I think he got his cassettes back?

I confided in a friend at school who was in the Bible club with me and he requested that the Christian station play a newsboys song at a specific time each night after my parents thought I was in bed asleep. Yes, that is my confession! I held my ear to the radio at night, well after my curfew, and waited for my one song to come on, then I would record it. That one song, chosen by my friend at random, would lift my spirits in the midst of my dark depressing thoughts and carried me through some tough years! One night in particular, a song called Elle G stopped me in my tracks! "Whack! over my head" 
I couldn't stop thinking about how my friend and cousin wouldn't find solace in the letter I was writing.

A few years later I married a man who had a huge Christian music collection. Oh wait, I guess that's 2 good things that came from him, my daughter and his Newsboys Collection. That collection saw me through a miserable marriage, 2 miscarriages, caring for a special needs miracle, and losing about 5 homes and just as many vehicles to financial ruin from the NICU bills.

However, shortly after a pastor violently assaulted me and kept me fighting for my dignity and life in a Tennessee cabin, I lost interest in what God or Peter had to say and I sold it. The following year another pastor (boy do I know how to pick churches?) shoved me causing me to lose my memory, mobility, and ability to communicate for a while! I forgot all about my big brother. (sowry)

About 2 years after my brain injury, I stumbled across a CD that had not sold in my best of efforts! I don't remember its title, but it sent me on a strange quest to you tube videos, where something in my scrambled brains began to jog memories of feeling loved and safe. I had lots of free time, unable to walk or talk, so I spent hours upon hours listening to song after song. I found my way to the website of the band I adored. The memories were scattered, sort of like a television with static that kept coming on and off. My frustration was building which only made my chronic pain ten times worse, so I stepped away from the music and back to my bed of self pity.

The following day was my birthday - Whack, Whack! My beautiful little girl, 6 years old, presented me with a birthday gift. Newboys/GO cd. Immediately my journey back to Earth began! I recognized the voice, made connections, wrote out a time line of what song I was listening to at what time in my life, my long term memory returned over the next few years! Then I got up on my feet and threw the cane in the corner of the basement and walked away for good! Thanks again God!

Sometimes I just need a fire lit up underneath me and nobody in this world can be used to do that the way my big brother in Christ can! I can't explain it, but when I was living in fear every night, I hid my secret recordings from the radio under my pillow and I imagined that somewhere out there, I had a big brother who loved me and wouldn't betray like my own family.

Peter was there (in spirit) during every beating, he was there in the hospital when my daughter's heart stopped, he was there as I hid in the cabin from my attacker, he was there as I was locked inside the darkness after my TBI, he was there when all of my friends, family, and parents began to die all at once, he was there through the abuse of my ex, and he was there through the divorce.

As I spiraled, I walked away from the music. I hid from God and anything that seemed of God. For three months I spiraled, searching for love, never finding it, desperately believing the lies.

Then the love of my husband found me. He had a past that I had to really be open to God's forgiveness to accept. I remember the night he told me, I saw a silly video flash through my head. It was "In the Belly of the Whale" and I remember something about "second chances" and a person in cuffs being put into a police car. What do ya know? Peter was there the night I met the love of my life too! Whack!Whack! Whack! Thank You again God! 

So Why am I such a slow learner?! 
Clearly there is a connection deep in my soul between my relationship with God and the music of my big brother. Yet, what do I do when the going gets tough? I run! I have sold two complete newsboys collections. However in my defense I did load the last one to a mp3 that then BROKE upon my arrival to Florida to start my new life, but as you all know, my husband and I have suffered through 2 years of fertility struggles and 3 heart breaking losses. Did I turn to the one thing I KNOW will draw me back to where I need to be? nope

Just as the day I escaped from the crazy rapist pastor, throwing my music cassette out of the window as I yelled at God, I have done everything, except turn on the music that floods my soul with joy. I have struggled through this depression and grief with only the sounds of my inner rage and uncontrollable sobbing to comfort me. WHACK! 

Note to self: When the going gets tough, run to the music, then big brother Peter will make God, make sense, even in the midst of the worst storms!

Shaking my head....I'm a work in progress!

Thanks again,again,again God. Thank You for sending me a big brother I don't have to be afraid of.

Faith, Love,Hope, and Rainbows ~ 

Week 5 of Better Living update!


Five weeks ago I became angry, very angry. I looked into the mirror at a body that was so out of shape that it appeared pregnant. I knew it was just PMS bloat, but it was more than that, it didn't even look like me anymore. The stress of dealing with family exploding on me and having my husband in the middle of it, the stress of trying to hide an obvious grief and the fears and worries of trying to pick up the broken pieces and start again, plus having what little money we have taken out of our bank account - it had taken it's toll on my body.

I'd look around at women older than me, small in size, yet still carrying that belly. Ugh! That belly. That belly that pokes out right around cycle time as if just to tease and taunt me into having the look of pregnancy without the pregnancy. I hate that belly. I became filled with rage at the thought of seeing that belling for one more day! That rage lit a fire under my butt, and I guess that's just what I needed!

I set out on a quest for "Better Living" and I'm not turning back. I did my research. I researched which vitamins would be best for my fertility and for carrying a full term healthy baby. I decided to go with what was most affordable for our tight budget at the time. I started taking in addition to my prenatal and B complex chews, I take folic acid, codfish liver oil capsule, and vitamin D. I also make sure I get plenty of natural vitamins through a daily smoothie (which is all my budget will allow right now due to the fridge breaking and everything ruining and needing replaced).

My morning smoothie (which I'm about to break and have in the afternoon because I went to sleep instead of blogging after work today).....Okay, I'm back, that took about 5 minutes, tops! Plus I got pictures to share in case anyone is interested.

Once a Day smoothie meal
1 pack of oatmeal (or scoop of oats)
1 cup filtered water, heated
misc fruit, easiest version is 1 banana, and frozen berry mix


Add oats and hot water
blend
add lots of fruit



It's easy, nutritious,and filling! I remain full on one of these smoothies more than I do a fatty meal. I usually substitute breakfast or lunch with a smoothie and eat anything I want for dinner. To get your veggies in, try adding spinach, carrots, or fresh broccoli. All of which you cannot taste if you blend well with fruit. The greener the smoothie, the more vegetable nutrition you get! (I don't recommend this before bed at night as I woke up with acid stomach once and will never do that again)

Aside from my once a day smoothie, my husband and I are in a fitness challenge with each other. Each morning (if its not frigid cold or raining), he gets out to porch a newspaper, drops to the ground, and does 20 push ups. He's up to 100 at sets of 20 with small driving breaks in between. Since I lack the arm strength to successfully push my body weight up, I instead take his challenge in belly crunches. I also am up to 100 crunches at 20 a set. Today he could only manage 90 and I don't want to show him up (just yet) as not to discourage his success, so I stopped at 90..shhhh I could have kept going but chose not to...

I researched every yoga position that is meant to promote healthy fertility and I do them, 5 days a week! We both take weekends off due to the heavier demand on our bodies with Sunday papers. I'm not as flexible as I'd like to be, but I'm making progress..When I started 5 weeks ago I couldn't touch my ankles in this pose, and now I can.

Maybe one day I'll even be able to do this!

.....or maybe not...either way, every time I do yoga, I imagine the day I will be doing yoga for my pregnant body and then doing yoga with my rainbow at my side. These images keep me motivated!
It's a little tricky at first but the more I do it, the more natural it is becoming!

Speaking of natural, I have been earthing every single chance I get, considering its Winter! We do live in Florida though, there's been a few warmer days that allowed me to kick off my shoes and dig my toes into the ground below! I've sat out in the sunshine a few times, bundled up, just absorbing the sun on my face (the only part not covered). I step out and breathe in fresh air when it doesn't freeze my lungs. My favorite day was last week, I was able to step outside in the 70 degree warmth just before the rain fell and continue my earthing as the rain fell. It was the most amazing feeling, to be so connected to both the ground and the sky all at once! I walked around singing praises to my Lord for several minutes before going inside and doing some more yoga.

If you're still not convinced that this fertility yoga isn't worth looking into, the pictures below speak for themselves. I am amazed at the transformation my body is going through! One day I know I won't just "look" pregnant, but "be" pregnant and until that day comes, I don't want there to be any more confusion on the matter of my looks.

Also, keep in mind (no I didn't think it was possible), but the picture taken January 9th was taken the day before my P. began. I was unbelievably bloated, moody,migraines, cramping severely, my chest was swollen and ached, my lower back hurt so bad it made me cry, and I looked as horrible as I felt!

Imagine my surprise today when P came this morning with a simple back ache, one bad headache 2 days ago, a few tears shed (which I blogged on) earlier this week! Another very good reason to try the cup. I start using mine when I go out a few days in advance so there are no surprises. I'm almost positive that if I continue on this journey I can banish all symptoms of PMS and I usually have it bad!

I truly feel like I am on a journey. It began 5 weeks ago when my emotions took over and I could not bear the thought of another month failing my husband. I called a 6 week break on trying, (we lasted 3), but during that time, I researched and I prayed and I sought out to begin a different life style. I wanted to reach my optimal health and I wanted to inspire my husband and daughter to do the same. I have them moving and eating their vegetables. With Valentine's Day and free pasta coupons, we didn't stay on track everyday. We snacked, we had candy, we drank Sprites, I even had a Pepsi a few times. We were consistent though. My husband's new word "CONSISTENCY". If you fall down, get back up. If you struggle, work through it and keep going. I know miscarriage, fertility struggles, depression, grief, and the stress of just being alive in an imperfect world is tough. It hurts. It sucks. It overwhelms us, but why not make the decision that my husband and I made?

Don't let it consume you!
What PMS bloat?


Faith,Love,Hope, and Rainbows ~ 



Monday, February 16, 2015

Then and Now/ marriage Part 3

I especially like how he claims to love me very much.

I would hear those words a few times after that..I learned very quickly that men will "love you very much" until they get sex. Then you never hear from them again. I feel so stupid for falling prey to such an obvious lie. I was desperate to be loved and valued. Instead, I was used. I was used by 5 players. I only strayed for one Summer, but those 3 months cost me self esteem, confidence, and purity. None of which were worth it. They also cost me my health and some days I'm terrified they cost me my chance at making my new husband a daddy (which would kill me inside).

Then on August 6, 2012, I signed onto my Face Book and met a man who would forever change the course of my life. With 320 miles between us, we both had serious doubts that we could ever be more than friends. August 6, 2013, we stood in a small chapel room and made our vows for forever.

Life certainly hasn't been "peachy". We've struggled through family issues, financial issues, the loss of three babies, a struggle to get pregnant, coming from two different worlds, being complete opposites, and about a million other little things that go along with working and living with someone you love. Things are very, very different though.

Last night, I needed some caffeine because I felt a migraine coming on and it was almost time to deliver newspapers. Mike was going to stay home while I went out, but for some reason it just wasn't setting right with me. I didn't feel like it was safe for me to go out alone with my cell phone turned off, a near bald tire on the car, and minor transmission problems, I was nervous. Then I remembered a recent news broadcast of a missing woman my age, a couple of hours away. I couldn't bring myself to go out, and I expressed my concerns to my husband.

He immediately got dressed and we went out together. Where before, I didn't feel safe with my own husband, now, I don't feel safe without my husband.

Without is the key word. Even though we bicker and say things we don't mean. Even though the pain of losing our children left deep gaping holes in our hearts and our relationship. Even though we get on each others' nerves. Even though we rarely ever have two dimes to rub together left over after bills are paid. Even though we do not agree on everything, I love Mike with all of my heart and I wouldn't want to live a single day without him.

From August 6, 2012 - he is my then, now, my forever ~ 


Faith,Hope,Love, and Rainbows~



Then and Now/ marriage Part 2

***** yelled a lot.

The week I met my new husband Mike, I wrote down a comparison chart.

Then (2011)
ugly
Hey you!
worthless
useless
stupid
no ambition
resented me
pushed me away
yelled at me
grabs me, shakes me
forces me, rejects me
everything was his
hid me away from public
compared me
made me cry
hated God
shattered my heart

Now(2012)
gorgeous
Sunshine Box
valuable
needed
smart
lots of potential
proud of me
holds me close
talks to me
tickles me, cradles me
allows me, wants me
everything is ours'
shows me off
I stand alone out of all other women
wipes my tears
loves and trusts God
willing to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart

For about 10 years, I never fully understood what it was that I had done that was so wrong. I wanted out, but there seemed no way out. Once, I survived a pastoral sexual assault because I was desperate for someone to talk to. The pastor promised me a house "rent to own" and a job for my husband and myself. I thought I was doing a good thing for my family but instead I walked into a trap. When I made it home to the arms of my not so loving husband, he accused me of cheating. He called me a "white trash ***** cheating *****" and told me I had to earn trust back. I drove straight for an oncoming train a few minutes after he said that, but my car stalled at the tracks.

Finally after 13 years, I received the greatest Christmas gift ever!

***** yelled a lot.

The week I met my new husband Mike, I wrote down a comparison chart.

Then (2011)
ugly
Hey you!
worthless
useless
stupid
no ambition
resented me
pushed me away
yelled at me
grabs me, shakes me
forces me, rejects me
everything was his
hid me away from public
compared me
made me cry
hated God
shattered my heart

Now(2012)
gorgeous
Sunshine Box
valuable
needed
smart
lots of potential
proud of me
holds me close
talks to me
tickles me, cradles me
allows me, wants me
everything is ours'
shows me off
I stand alone out of all other women
wipes my tears
loves and trusts God
willing to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart

For about 10 years, I never fully understood what it was that I had done that was so wrong. I wanted out, but there seemed no way out. Once, I survived a pastoral sexual assault because I was desperate for someone to talk to. The pastor promised me a house "rent to own" and a job for my husband and myself. I thought I was doing a good thing for my family but instead I walked into a trap. When I made it home to the arms of my not so loving husband, he accused me of cheating. He called me a "white trash ***** cheating *****" and told me I had to earn trust back. I drove straight for an oncoming train a few minutes after he said that, but my car stalled at the tracks.

Finally after 13 years, I received the greatest Christmas gift ever! an email 

Lisa,
After thirteen years of marriage, I still feel as if we have not gotten anywhere. We are still just spinning our wheels. I have given it some long hard thoughts and have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to be married. It has nothing to do with you, Angela, or even me except I just want more freedom, I have done nothing wrong. I just want what is best for both of us.  I was going to wait until after the first of the year to break the news, but I want you to save some money to move on in life.
I want to make this process as painless as possible. I will handle all the paperwork, all you have to do is sign. I will do what is known as a simple or uncontested divorce. Basically we can make mutual agreements on how everything should be split up money, dog, child. Basically you can pretty much have anything you need. Even after everything is said and done, you can continue to live here, and watch the boys, save some money until you can find a place, at that point we can make a decision how much money I will give you. From this day forward we will just be roommates instead of husband and wife. We can fix the apartment where we have our own separate space please let me know if you need help. Respect each other’s privacy, locked doors, phone conversations ect…. While you live here I only want half of water and power, basically about 75 $ a month, I will take care of the rest until you can find a place. I will pay the bills, clean and cook my own food, we will have separate lives under one roof. Then I will assist you as needed when you are ready to move. When you were not working I considered several times just putting your stuff on the porch and telling you to go away, but I am not that cruel hearted, I am happy that you have gotten a good job, maybe you can find another part time job and move on with your life.
I love you very much, I hope everything works out for you.
Please let me know if you would like to discuss this further, I just didn’t have the heart to tell you in person, I can’t handle the emotions.

Let’s try to enjoy the holidays, and maybe mom will give you some money to jump start your life.
*****

Then and Now/ marriage Part 1

I'm still looking back when I should be enjoying the moment. For this reason, I've chosen to be very open in my blog today about my life then and now. Maybe if I get all of this out from the dark corners of then, I can start to heal and appreciate the now.

***** and I met when we were young. I was 14. He was 19. He wanted to take me out, but I turned him down. He was into grunge, long trench coat, baggy clothes, nose ring, not my type. After a few years of taking clean cut jerks, I had second thoughts. When ***** returned from college in 1997, he swept me off of my feet, proposed at my senior prom, and married me after my graduation.

For the first year, I enjoyed playing house. I wasn't sure how to be a good wife, having not had the best of examples. I did try though. I went to church. I read my Bible. I tried to follow the Proverbs way. ***** tried too, at first. We had been trying to have a baby after one early miscarriage. Just before our first anniversary, he called it off. He said we didn't need kids and that we were not going to try anymore. I was 3 weeks pregnant and we found out at 8 weeks. I called him at work and his reaction seemed positive. I told him was going to be a daddy and he said "Wow!" followed by telling those buddies around him and the cheers of congratulations.

Once behind closed doors, he swore it wasn't his and demanded I get a job. He showed up for every single doctor's appointment but wasn't present other times. The pregnancy was hard (I think because of the stress), he stayed gone with his friend almost every night and I spent long days unable to leave the bed. For the first 8 months, I could only manage to get myself ice just to stay hydrated. He tried a few times to serve me lunch but took great offense when I was too ill to enjoy it. I wasted a Red Lobster dinner and a Chinese dinner that he held over my head for years. In fact, he vowed to never take me back to Red Lobster again. He meant it.

His fatherly appeal was the same as his husband appeal. He was "super dad" when she was in the NICU. He video taped her, he broke a chain on a door during a hospital bomb threat to get to his little girl, he visited her the first three days I was unable to due to a high fever. Once home, he barely touched her. He fed her in a seat and changed her only when she was soaked through. Everyone told me that he was just getting used to being a dad, but I felt like it was more than that.

Over the years, I felt like a single mom about 90% of the time. He didn't seem interested in anything but rough housing with her. The rough housing began when she was 17 months old. That's about the time another woman entered our life, and the lies began. Still, I did not suspect anything. I was naive and just trying to be a good wife and mom. I used to pray "God help me to be the wife he needs and the mother she deserves."

Our little family suffered a lot over the years. Financially we were bankrupt. Spiritually he seemed dead and I was gasping for air. Physically, doctors were telling me my heart would go out by age 30. I was miserable. He was miserable. We stayed together.

About 3 years in, I started attempting to get away. He would use the control of money and the car to keep me. When that didn't work, he swore he'd take my daughter away for ever and make sure I never saw her again. I stayed because I was terrified of him. My daughter means everything to me and I didn't know what he was capable of.

Over the years things got scarier. Once he held a metal money box over my head and I cowered, fully expecting he was going to hit me with it. Other times he would shake me, put holes in the wall beside my face with his fist, or just yell. He liked to yell. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do you ever feel like you killed your child???

This isn't one my happier posts, but its as my husband says "blood raw". I'm writing strictly on emotions and feelings right now. It's probably my husband's least favorite aspect of me, because he has had to endure so many  months of my emotions and feelings. However, this is my blog. This is my safe haven. I have changed the name, created a new face book page, and hidden away from the negative people who were attacking me for my blog, and tonight, I just need to write from my heart.

Sometimes, I feel like I killed my babies by living a stressful life and not taking as good of care of my body as I could have. Sometimes, as about eight women around me show off their baby bumps, I secretly cry my eyes out feeling like maybe that was our only shot to be parents again, and I killed our babies.

With my ex, I could always understand our two miscarriages. He did not want to be a dad. He didn't really want the one we had and so I wasn't devastated over the losses. I couldn't have children with him again. I gave up on the idea. It rarely even crossed my mind!

Now that I'm so happily married to Mike, life is so picture perfect most days, and it just absolutely shreds me inside to think that we might not ever be parents again. I try to hold onto the my faith,hope,love, and rainbows. Some days its hard. Some days I feel like a complete failure. I cannot wrap my mind around the pain we have endured.

Some days I want to give up. Part of me, I'll be honest, part of me wants to never have unprotected sex again because I'm secretly terrified of another silent ultra sound! So much of me still longs to be pregnant and wonders how I will be able to deal with it. I wonder if I will be happy or sad. I wonder if I will want to hide it for as long as humanly possible. In fact, I can almost guarantee I would wants to hide a pregnancy as long as humanly possible. For one, I don't want anyone stressing me further as they have in pasts pregnancies. Secondly, I don't want to have to explain yet another loss. Thirdly, it hurts like hell to see a pregnant woman when you're struggling to get pregnant and now that I know that extreme pain, I don't want to be the cause of anyone else!

Then, my thoughts just grow dark. Why am I mulling over the "what ifs" when its never going to happen anyway?

Then the tears flow.

Grief over miscarriage is very real. I don't care what anyone says about it not being a "real" baby or that you're not as strong as the next woman because she doesn't show her grief. Everyone grieves in different ways and everyone grieves for a different amount of time.

I for one, am still broken. I am broken over the loss of each and every child we have lost over the past two years. I am broken over the struggle we have endured while those around us get pregnant without "trying" or "by accident". I am broken over the faith I once had in God that everything would be alright. Everything is NOT alright! I can't honestly say that anything will ever be alright again. A new baby will be precious and he/she is already loved, but I'm not sure I will ever fully heal from the guilt I live with everyday after losing this wonderful man's children.

My heart is still bleeding.

~Faith,Hope,Love, and Rainbows~