The Reality of the Aftermath of Miscarriage

miscarriage quoteIt’s been a week and four days since my miscarriage. It feels like it was a lifetime ago. It feels like yesterday. The pain is still so raw.  This has been my first week back at work and I’m not going to lie- it’s been hard.  I can’t concentrate.  I have no motivation.  It’s exhausting to pretend to care.  It’s exhausting to entertain and teach small children, when all I really want to do is go home, sit in front of the TV, and escape to drama filled T.V. shows like Nashville.  

After miscarriage, the small petty things just don’t seem to matter.  I don’t have time or energy for drama.  Hell, I can’t even pull it together to plan Noah’s fourth birthday party, which we have postponed a few times already.  I realize I need time to heal emotionally and as time passes the pain should subside a bit as well.  Yet, I also realize that part of me will always ache for a baby that I will never be able to hold.  Was it a boy or a girl?  Would he or she have red hair like Ryker or Noah?  Big blue eyes like Xander?  Questions that will never be answered.  

 When we first found out I was pregnant, Adrian asked me how long we would wait until we posted it on Facebook to tell the world.  I wanted to wait until after the first appointment for our big Facebook announcement.  We told our family immediately.  This is how we did it with all of our kids, because that’s just what you do, right?  But why?  Why wait until after the confirmation that everything is going to be okay.  Or wait until you are out of the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage is much lower?   It doesn’t make miscarriage any easier.  I didn’t feel like I needed to keep my miscarriage a secret.  It’s part of my now life.  It will be part of my forever life.   

This week when people have asked me “Are you feeling better?” I’m not quite sure what to say.  Speak the truth or sugar coat it?  Most of the time I reply with an “Okay.”  or “I’m here.”, which are both not exactly a blatant lie.  I am okay physically for the most part.  Last week was pure hell, as my body reacted horribly to my miscarriage with awful an awful stomach flu.  Now  I’m left with a few stretch marks and my varicose veins on my legs are quite swollen, as if I’m still pregnant or just delivered a full term baby.   Overall though, I’m here and present for my family, even during the hardest times and saddest moments when my mind drifts.  

 Right now what matters most is the small moments with my family.  Snuggling with my boys during story time before bed.  Sharing a chaotic dinner.  Racing around in the morning to get them dressed and out of the house on time.  These are the moments that are helping me get through the pain.    These are the moments that matter the most.  

Lego Movie Birthday Party: Games, Crafts, and Photobooth

When my now six-year-old finally decided that he wanted a Lego Movie birthday party, I knew the possibilities for activities and games would be endless.  After narrowing down a handful activities, I got to work.  Here is what the final product looked like.

Lego Movie Photobooth

After last year’s attempting my first photo booth display for a party with a superhero theme, I knew a photobooth was a must at this party. Xander quickly told me what characters he wanted and I got to work. I used my city backdrop and set up my studio lights in the basement. I then made simple and colorful Lego Movie masks out of card stock and large craft sticks. I am quite happy with final outcome!photo booth-2DIY Lego Movie photoboothphoto booth-4photo booth-6DSC_7892-Edit

Lego Movie Party Craft

Typically for the boys’ parties I skip the party goody bags and combine a craft with a take home keepsake. For the Lego Movie craft, I found this cute Lego painting activity on Domestic Mommy that I had to try. I purchased a dozen blank canvases at Michael’s, and put out some paint and large lego blocks. At the party the kids enjoyed creating wonderful Lego art, which I somehow did not get any pictures of the finished art.lego art collage

Lego Movie Party Games

Lastly were the games of course! My husband picked up a dozen small plastic trophies from Party City, which I hyped up as the “Master Builder Awards”. The kids then were directed through five different Lego games. I set up two tables in our dining room and piled them with lots of legos.

1. Tallest Tower

Each party guest had 90 seconds to build the tallest tower. lego games-4

2. Create Your Own Lego Master Piece

I had guests work together in teams to build a masterpiece in five minutes. The final creations were judged on most creative and most technical. lego building collagebuilding lego brothers

3. Lego Spoon Race

Yet another Pinterest inspired Lego game, where each team has to carry their Lego from one end of the room to another by balancing a Lego on a spoon, which is held in their mouth. This game was a bit chaotic to organize, but a lot of fun to watch.
spoon race

4. Lego Walk of Fire

I laid out a red velvet blanket on the ground and poured legos all over it. Then the kids had to walk across the Legos without their shoes on. Some of the brave party guests even took their socks off. I guess when you only weigh less than 40 pounds it doesn’t hurt as much to walk on Legos?!
lego walk of fire

5. Musical Lego

The kids stood in a circle and passed around a Lego while the song “Everything is Awesome” was playing. I then stopped the music and the person holding the Lego was out. Repeat until only one Lego builder stands!

Don’t miss my previous post on Xander’s Lego Movie party with all the food and decoration details.

White House Easter Egg Roll Wrap Up

After applying for tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll six years in a row, this year was finally our year. I was over the moon excited when I received the e-mail notifying us that we were selected for the last round of the day.

We arrived on the White House lawn slightly after our allotted entry time, which didn’t seem to make a difference. We still waited in line to enter through the security gates. Once we did, we were greeted with water and drinks, as well as fun get fit games. The boys had a ton of fun playing basketball and bean bag toss. white house gamesUntitledWe then made the short walk to the White House lawn. The boys commented on how green the grass was and the pretty flowers. I love that they appreciate the small things in life. DSC_9467DSC_9463 When we finally arrived on the lawn we decided to find the egg roll first. After all, isn’t that why you attend such an event? Thankfully the line for the egg roll moved pretty quickly. The views were stunning! white house up closemy boysDSC_9466While waiting in the line, the boys got a kick out of seeing all the characters, including the Lego movie men, Peppa the Pig and Sponge Bob. When it was their turn to roll eggs, they were all about it. Ryker had me laughing the most. He picked up his spoon and egg and ran across the lawn. When he was finished he ran halfway back up the lawn. egg roll lets goDSC_9486After the egg roll a volunteer took our only family photo as a family of six. I’m so thankful for this photo.DSC_9491We then explored the other activities. Much to the boys disappointment at this point, they ran out of eggs at the egg hunt and egg dying stations. The boys did enjoy decorating chef hats with stamps of fruits and vegetables. DSC_9499Their very favorite part of the event was meeting the Power Rangers.Catch the Moment 96-365I’m so thankful our family was provided with the opportunity to attend this Easter tradition in Washington DC. Hopefully it doesn’t take us another six years to be invited again!

Have you ever been to the Easter Egg Roll at the White House?

Easter 2015

Holidays are important to us. It’s a time to for family, traditions, and good eats. Even though we have been dealt with awful stuff this holiday season, we pushed forward to give the boys a great day. A day full of sugary candy for breakfast, sunshine, an easter egg hunt with friends, and a delicous easter lunch. We all needed this.
DSC_9357DSC_9361marshmallow peepsDSC_9346xander eating his bunnyDSC_9359DSC_9354easter egg dyingeaster eatingeaster huntDSC_9419DSC_9385DSC_9405Catch the Moment 95-365DSC_9434
Happy easter from the Stavish boys!

In Mourning: A Still birthday

This post contains some graphic details of my natural miscarriage.  pregnancy loss quote

It’s been one month, since I found out I was pregnant.

It’s been three weeks, since I found out you had no heartbeat

It’s been just four hours, since I said hello and good-bye.  I miss you already my sweet angel baby.

It’s all so daunting and a bit unreal.  I have cried so many tears.  Just when I am sure I have nothing left, more tears fall.  It is hard to believe it’s over.  miscarriage baby bump images

When my husband and I attended our first OB appointment on March 23, we couldn’t wait to hear our little one’s heartbeat. As soon as we found out I was pregnant, we talked about choosing names, buying bunk beds for the two older boys, and when we would share our wonderful news on Facebook.  This would be our last baby and I was ready to enjoy each and every moment of this pregnancy.  I couldn’t wait to find out my due date and start planning the little one’s nursery (it was going to be an Eric Carle theme with lots of bright, bold colors).  

When my doctor delievered the hearbreaking news to us that she could not detect our baby’s heartbeat, I wanted to scream at her, “Well look harder damn it!”.  I wanted to run away .  I wanted it all to be a horrible nightmare that I would wake up from. 

At my follow up OB appointment the next day, she presented me with three options for miscarriage- D&C, medication or natural miscarriage.  I was still in a state of shock and just not ready to make any sort of decision.  I chose to wait.  The wait was hard and full of anxiety.  Each and every day I still remained “pregnant but not so pregnant” I wondered if I made the right choice.  Yet, the idea of surgery scared me and I didn’t feel courageous enough to fill my prescription.  So, I continued to just wait.  

Little by little I began to feel less pregnant.  About a week ago, my all day nasuasness dissappeared and my boobs didn’t feel as sore.  Who could have guessed that four years after welcoming our second child into the world, I would begin miscarrying our fourth child.  On Friday April 10th in the afternoon, I experienced a light blood tinted discharge and hoped that meant the miscarriage process was finally starting.  I was getting tired of the unknown.  

Earlier in the week I had vowed to myself that I would start the medication sometime in the next week.  On Friday evening, I went on with my plans of photographing my first major event at a charity fashion show.  It was a nice way to get my mind off my current reality.  When I went to bed on Friday, I still had not started bleeding.  

Saturday morning, I woke up with no sort of discharge or blood at all.  I felt a bit discouraged, yet there was no time to dwell on what was or wasn’t.  Xander and Noah had their opening day of tee ball and first game and I was determined to enjoy every moment of the day.  My family of five enjoyed a morning and afternoon in the sunshine on the baseball field.  By the middle of the afternoon, I started bleeding, but had no pain.  The bleeding continued througout the evening and into Sunday.  By this point, I knew my miscarriage had finally started and felt a wave of emotions rush over me.  The two biggest being fear and relief.  Afraid of the unknown during miscarriage.  Relief that it was finally beginning naturally, without any sort of medical intervention.  

The bleeding continued to get a bit heavier throughout the day on Sunday.  I experienced a few mild cramps here and there, but nothing I couldn’t tolerate.  I passed a rather large blood clot that looked much like a liver, in the early evening.  Not knowing if the clot was my baby or not, I collected it in a glass container, using tweezers.  I just didn’t feel right flushing it down the toliet.

By bedtime the bleeding became much heavier and I still continued to have period like cramps.  I felt pretty exhausted and fell asleep on Noah’s bed, right after he fell asleep.  Around midnight, I woke up, went to the bathroom and changed into my PJs.  Thankfully I fell back asleep without difficulty.  Ryker woke up screaming around 1:00 am, asking for a bottle and then boobie.  Adrian got him a bottle and I nursed him.  I eventually put him back in his crib and went back to bed.  

At 5:27 am I woke up with extreme cramping in my uterus, except these weren’t any average cramps.  I am not sure why doctors say you will experience mild cramping during a miscarriage, because that’s false.  The pain I felt was labor.  After birthing three children, I know what labor feels like.  The pain continued to get worse and closer together.  I tried to breath through the contractions and remained in bed.  

Eventually I got out of bed and stumbled downstairs to get some gatorade.  The pain continued, causing me to double over in tears.  After pouring a drink, I went back up stairs to get some ibrophren.  I cursed out the world as I swallowed the four pills, knowing they wouldn’t help.  This is not the kind of pain that is just taken away with ibrophren.  I decided to try and sit on the toliet to see if that position would help.  The first time it only made the contractions worse, so I got back up.  The next ten minutes or so is just an endless blur of contractions.  I remember at one time thinking I’ll download the app to time my contractions, to give myself something to focus on.  Then I decided that was such a stupid thing to do.  My end result was not anything I would wish upon anyone- empty arms.  

Around 6:15 am, I sat down on the toliet and felt a pop, while I passed the sac containing my baby.  It was not in tact, but just looked like a mess of blood and tissue.  The contractions subsided immediatly following this and I began to weep.  It was over.  

Six hours later, I’m physically feeling much better.  The bleeding has slowed down a lot.  I experienced a few minor cramps up to an hour after I delivered the baby, but nothing as horrible as this morning.  Emotionally, I feel such sadness.  Sadness that can not be described with words.     Mindi (30)

Happy still birthday, my sweet little one. You will always be remembered, although I never got to hold you in my arms.

Special thank you to my sweet friend Donna Vance for capturing these special moments for me.