Sunday, September 17, 2017

{November 22nd + 299 Days} // 31.8 years old...

Back in 2015 I wrote a blogpost when I turned 30. I was, in all honesty, copying a friend who has written herself a letter on her blog on every birthday for the past few years (Chelsea Stock, I will always try to be more like you I've always loved reading her letters and I thought "hey, I can TOTALLY handle writing ONE blog post a year!" I mean, really how hard could that be? Well... seeing as it is now September of 2017, apparently it was much harder for me than my good intentions thought. I've never been very good on the follow-through.

I'm writing now because I am currently going through my second miscarriage in two years and I've had a lot of thoughts about the past few months of my life and where I am now in my ripe young age of 31. 

My first miscarriage was December 2015 right before Christmas. I was only 7 weeks pregnant and started bleeding on my own so by the time I went to the doctor my body had already cleared everything up on it's own. Only one other person even knew I was pregnant outside of myself and Tyson. It was fairly simple to mention to her that I had lost the baby, just so she knew why I wasn't ever telling anyone about the pregnancy. We told our parents of course about the miscarriage but I never really mentioned it to many others at the time because it just seemed like an awkward and uncomfortable thing to bring up to someone who didn't even know we were pregnant to begin with. Eventually, I would mention it to friends and family in passing to explain my crazy hormone emotions, or why I was so unhealthy, or why we didn't have a second child yet. I was so early on in the pregnancy that it didn't really feel like losing a baby and I was sad but I just chalked it up as something many women go through and moved on with life. 

We knew we still wanted to have a baby soon but 2016 had a lot of life changes and Tyson was finishing his degree, I changed jobs half way through the year, we didn't have insurance for a bit, and through it all I was supposed to be getting healthier so I could feel better about getting pregnant again. I have never built up very good coping mechanisms for life though and I felt like I was barely making it through the year alive without adding on being pregnant or a new baby. 

With the beginning of 2017 I was still living in survival mode and knew I didn't want to sustain that living for much longer. Some good changes happened though and I was feeling like I was getting back on track. I got what I had thought was my "DREAM" job working for Apple from home but it ended up not being a very good fit for me. (I knew I was going to hate talking on the phone all day every day but I thought the perks of working for Apple- of which there are many- would make up for it. They didn't.) I started having major panic attacks in July and then we found out I was pregnant and being nauseous and sick on top of the anxiety made the Apple job a terrible fit for what I needed in life right now. I tried first to just go part time with them but that wasn't an option and I ended up quitting after I got a job with Mesa Public Schools working at their Community Education department. I do account management for the MPS after-school program. It's chill and lovely and only kinda dreadful when I have to talk with terrible parents who hate us for charging them for a self-sustaining after school program (people suck sometimes). I started in mid-August and have loved the flexibility of the day-to-day and being able to dis-engage and breathe for a minute every day if I need to. 

Life was on the upswing. I felt like I was making choices to help me and my family in the long run and I was getting so excited about this little baby that was gonna be coming to us in April. With this being my first pregnancy after the initial miscarriage it took a while for me to be excited and comfortable with the idea of this really happening. We ended up having an ultrasound at 6.5 weeks. Once I saw the little blob floating around on the screen and we could hear that tiny tiny heartbeat, I was able to relax. Things were working out and even though life wasn't perfect they were still going to be so happy. 

Tyson and I went in for another appointment last Tuesday and ended up having another ultrasound. I was 10.5 weeks and we could see the baby again on the screen. The ultrasound tech talked to us, showed us the parts of the baby, asked us about our first ultrasound and when it was, and then very kindly told us she couldn't find a heartbeat and that the baby had stopped growing at 7.5 weeks. My world fell apart all over again. And I think it was so much harder this time because I had actually seen the baby on the screen. I was assured that I was pregnant and everything was going fine for those first few weeks. 

Loss is so much harder when you know more about what you lost. 

We spoke with my midwife regarding options on what to do moving forward. I could simply wait for my body to expel the pregnancy on its own, take medication to speed up the process, or complete the surgical D&C. We all felt like the medication would be the best fit and I felt like since this was my second miscarriage I kind of knew what to expect. My midwife explained it would be painful and there would be cramping but taking ibuprofen should be enough and I just shouldn't plan to leave the house for a day or two so I could rest and be close to home. 

Well, I definitely did NOT expect what was to come. I started the medication Friday afternoon thinking it could take awhile to kick in and I wanted as much of the weekend to be able to recover at home and be ready for work again on Monday. It definitely kicked in, but not until 11:00pm which started the longest night of my life. (Which is saying a lot because I was in the hospital with Maggie May for 4 days before having her 15 days late). The medication didn't just produce "cramps" and "discomfort." It produced full blown contractions and labor! Tyson told me later he didn't know why I didn't expect that but I was not prepared. For the full 4 days I was in the hospital trying to induce labor with Maggie I maybe experienced 2 hours total of active contractions and then quickly got an epidural because I don't do pain. Friday night ended up being 4 hours total of intense contractions and for a while they would not stop at all! As I was in the fetal position throwing up on the bathroom floor from the pain, I was at my absolute lowest in life. And let's not go into the details of the blood and the whole purpose of these contractions. Let's just say that Tyson is a saint and I owe him for life for loving me still. 

I know it just barely happened but when I think back to that night I just start laughing because I don't know how else to process it. It was crazy! And I was so upset and angry the whole time because it shouldn't be this physically painful to go through such an emotional loss. It has made me want to sign up for c-sections for all future babies so I never have to feel a contraction again. 

Now that the initial physical pain is behind me I'm just left with this heavy heart. I have thought a lot this past week though about trials we go through and especially what women go through to bring these sweet babies to us. I personally know women who have gone through multiple miscarriages, multiple IVF treatments, infertility for years, adoption joy and heartbreak, still births and infant deaths, and those who would do anything to have a baby of their own. Our stories are all so wide-spread and different but the heartache and pain is always there. I'm glad my story is my own though. Not that I think mine is "easier" or "better" but I know it's something I can handle right now. Which, of course, is big for me because most of the time I can handle just about nothing about life.

I'm still mad that I don't have a good excuse for getting fat, and that I don't know how long it will be- if ever- that I feel a baby kicking in my belly again, but I'm mostly just sad for Maggie May. I know she doesn't know any better but man would she love having a sibling! I feel like she is getting so old and the gap between her and any future baby just keeps growing. We will try to get pregnant again of course but I've learned there really is no certainty in making plans.

I hope I have better news next time I write. The key for me is to not give in to the sad and depression too much or else I get lost in it. I have such an amazing little family and I know we still have time to keep our family growing. Maggie May loves being the center of our world and does a pretty good job about keeping us busy. I feel like I have learned these past few months to find the happiness throughout all of life and not just wait around for things to be perfect. I hope to build on this and be better prepared for the future ahead.   
Me // at thirty-one and a half

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

{November 22nd} // I just turned 30

This past Sunday was my 30th birthday. I've never really put too much thought into being 30. I knew people made a big deal out of it and some would say they weren't ready for it to actually happen, but I’ve always just thought of it as another birthday. Well, I take that back, I did see it as a perfect opportunity for a real big party! (Which Tyson completely delivered on complete with karaoke, treats, friends, and a string of lights in the backyard)! My point to all of this is that, I didn't see the big deal about turning 30 until Sunday actually came and my birthday was complete. I was lying on the couch (while Tyson was cleaning up the before mentioned party) and had the realization that I still have a lot of growing and learning to do.

This might be the part where my mom starts laughing at me because of COURSE I have a lot of growing and learning to do still! But I honestly think I had always assumed by the time I was 30 I would have “made it.” I would have become the person I was always going to be. I would have been doing the things I would always be doing. I only thought about getting to 30 and never really thought past it. But lying on that couch on Sunday I realized I really love my life but there is still so much more I want to do and become.

In my twenties I spent a lot of time all about ME! I traveled the world. I traveled the states. I earned degrees. I worked multiple jobs. I made a lot of different groups of friends. I dated Tyson. I married Tyson. And at the ripe age of 28 I had my first child. I didn’t have any need to be a responsible adult until Maggie May was born. And then I quickly learned that I couldn’t become a selfless, all-caring, responsible, mothering, adult overnight. (Which was a really hard realization).

This past year has been a big year for me. I have tried to put my little family, my Tyson and Maggie May family, first. I found a job that I actually love (!!!) and actually enjoy being a working mama. I’ve tried to say no to more social engagements in the hopes of stopping my life from being so busy (this is really hard for my very extroverted heart). I followed a budget in the hopes of having a better financial future. I stopped using the budget when life got busy and hard. I tried to support Tyson in his goals and made myself learn to play with a one year old (cause really, how long can you actually roll the ball back and forth??). I meal planned and grocery shopped (only 3 weeks out of the year but progress is progress). And I learned to be more content with the season of life I am in. I didn’t ever clean the bathrooms and definitely did not do my share of the dishes (shout out to Tyson for taking care of these things!) but I did get rid of a lot of clutter around the house that I was needlessly holding on to. This past year, I decided I wanted to focus more on my future then my past.

I have a lot of goals. Good, quality goals that will make me a better me and a better wife and mother. But I have such little time right now. My main goal for this coming year is to be happy and comfortable on LESS. I very easily get carried away in social media and making myself feel like I need, need, need! Instead of adding more to my life I want to focus on being consistent and happy with what I already have. I told Tyson on Sunday that I want to treat myself better. I want to really love the adult Afton and improve what I have going for me right here and now. This past decade has been an adventure but I am really excited and ready to move on. Bring it thirties!

Friday, May 28, 2010

LOST :: but not forgotten

i started watching lost in late 2007. this is when i found out the glory of and the fact that they had included every single episode of lost online. this means that i have watched the entire series from my laptop, the screen merely inches from my face and earbuds in my ears (not necessarily for the whole surround sound effect but to make sure i didn’t disturb a sleeping roomie {hey anne!} since I usually watched between the hours of 11pm and 4am). i never got officially caught up and have never discussed lost with anyone for fear they would tell me something i didn’t already know. and i like surprises so i have been careful to not have anything given away.

{{SPOILERS! i talk about stuff. so don't continue if you don't already know}}

enter season six:
season 6 has been amazing mostly because it started answering some major questions and had everything come together in a way other than “it was aliens the entire time!” and seeing how i watched the entire thing in three days it was a very intense three days as people were getting killed off right and left. and then there was the finale. the awesome, perfect finale. i loved it. i loved how it still left room for interpretation, i loved how they all came together, i loved how the entire season (and series for that matter) was building up to this episode. it was perfect how it ended cause it still left some mystery and people could come to their own conclusions which basically has been the premise of the entire show. the writers didn’t spoon feed you, they would give you some info and then let you take it however you would. so basically this is my take on the finale…

the last episode: the end of an era: where my heartbreak beings:
they’re all dead in the end. but like jack’s dad said it's only because we all die eventually. also, hurley said to ben when he talked to him outside of the church that ben was a good number two so this also made me assume that this is all taking place long after everyone has eventually lived their lives and died. jack's dad also said that this was the place they created so they could all come back and remember. it's basically their heaven. all of the flash sideways were them just trying to find each other after they had already died. to me it seemed like this in-between world where they weren’t together yet and therefore not able to continue on, or not willing to let go and move on yet. these flashes were also showing them as their true selves. sawyer becoming a cop instead of a conman, kate being truly innocent instead of a murderer, jack actually turning into a great dad, sayid being a good person. and how did daniel faraday write that mathematical equation when really he was just a musician? well, he was in the afterlife already and beginning to remember the life he did live. so out of their entire lives their time on the island is what truly formed them and helped them to see who they really were. they fulfilled their purposes and then it was the love and relationships they had created that transcended all. how beautiful is that! like families being together forever! love is what ended up being the most important thing to all of them. the one thing they would be able to have for eternity. jack and locke talked a lot about letting go in the flashes and everyone had to learn how to “let go” and therefore experience the love.

that is why lost is the greatest show ever created. the thought and writing that went into building all of the characters and this complete world that continued on being interesting and yet not really giving anything away until the end is amazing. i'm already ready to watch the whole thing over again.

what are your thoughts on the last season? finale?

also, i don't know if you're aware but there are a ton of "easter eggs" throughout the entire show where the writers intentionally included hidden content. just small stuff like the numbers chosen happen to be all retired yankee jersey numbers (among other things), and faraday is actually a real english physicist who studied electromagnetism back in the 1800's. then there's tons of words scrambled together to make names and such and apparently if you listen to some of the audio backwards you can hear different things (not that i have any idea how to do such a thing). just really interesting stuff that makes me love the writers even more. also, the official lost encyclopedia is coming out in september and i'm gonna get me one.

Monday, November 30, 2009

so, grad school eh?

for those of you who don't know i'm currently in my first semester as an ASU graduate student. after a rough year off not knowing what to do with myself and a few different options not going as planned i finally decided to go back to school and get my masters in secondary education. a jr. high math teacher to be exact. and before anyone oohs and ahhs at this, keep in mind that i'm probably in the easiest program possible. (i didn't even need to take the GRE to apply which basically made it number one on my list). but it is a masters nonetheless.

when i was younger and a bit more naive i always said that i would be getting AT LEAST my masters and then decide if i wanted anything else after that. well, enter my freshman year at BYU and all of that naiveness was wiped away. college was hard and i was lucky to just make it through that first year. i somehow graduated with my bachelors in only 4 years (which included a semester abroad and only one summer of classes) but was pretty determined to never go back to school. well, when you major in "home and family living" (which by the way i'm not knocking, i absolutely loved it!) you kinda need a little more than a few sewing and family relations classes to support yourself. enter teaching.

so here i am at school again and will be graduated with my teacher's certificate come december 2010. that means i graduated high school in '04, bachelors in '08, and a masters in '10. the numbers work out nicely and if you haven't noticed form my horrible grammar and written word, numbers happen to be my thing, especially when they work out so beautifully.

i've thought a lot about this lately though because when i see some of my friends they always say "wow! i can't believe you're graduated already, it's going to take me forever!" and i always follow up with "yeah, but you're married with a two year old." it's as if we focus on the others' accomplishments without taking credit for our very own. we both think the other is amazing because they have something we don't have ourselves yet. the truth is though that we can both take pride in what we have accomplished thus far. an education and motherhood. who's to say one is better than the other?

by the way, i just turned twenty four last week. i may not be where i thought i would be at this age but i've done a lot and have a lot to show for my meager 24 years, so i feel good about the way things turned out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

i'm not good at many things...

...but saving 32 seats for the midnight showing of new moon just happens to be one of them. i have it down to an art form and tonight it went off without a hitch {even though i was a little nervous for a second there - and shout out to jackie for co-captaining it with me!}

and the movie? don't worry. it. was. awesome!

{for future notice: this blog fully endorses team jacob}

Friday, November 13, 2009

it's 1 am. how did your night end?

so guess where i was at 11:45 p.m. tonight. the gym. weird, i know. but my dear friend jackie and i have decided to train for a 10k that will be taking place in january and i am determined to get my 3 runs in for the week. we just started last week so i'm still at the beginning stages of the program where it says things like "run for 20 minutes" and "now run for 25 minutes" which i thought was going to kill me but i've been able to do it {surprisingly} every time. i was running back in august and september so it hasn't been too crazy long since but still i dread it every time. i stopped running once school started and the busy schedule didn't leave much room for exercise. (and yet left PLENTY of room for facebook and blogs {reading, not writing. obviously} funny how that happens) but lately i decided that it should probably be back on the priority list so now it looks like this:

1. running {at least 3 times a week. heaven forbid i push myself}
2. facebook/blogs {i'm still trying to get this one lower on the list}
3. school {and other important life enhancing activities i.e. work}

what's rough though is that i still haven't found the most convenient time to work out. (is there such a thing?) i like to think of myself as a morning person but seeing as i sleep through an hour's worth of snooze buttons every morning i just don't think i make the cut. but i'm not necessarily a night person either because yeah i'm capable of staying up late but something productive is rarely getting done. usually if i don't get up in the morning there is no way i'm working out at night after being busy and gone all day. so the simple fact that i was even at the gym at such an hour was pretty amazing. regardless i'm pretty slow either way so i guess it doesn't matter. slow and steady right?

this evening the sweet sounds of the temper trap's sweet disposition got me through the evening. yes, the song from {500} days of summer but i'm pretty sure i love it more because i was able to witness this live at the roxy in downtown hollywood just one month ago:

oh dougy, can we just please be bff's!

and now it is almost 3 {pretty sure uploading that video took way longer than it was worth} and for some reason my body thinks it needs at least 8 hours of sleep these days and yet i have to be at work by 7:30 in the a.m. so the odds really aren't in my favor.

Friday, November 06, 2009

i left the house at 7:30 this morning.

and didn't get home until 12:30 am. that makes for one LONG 17 hour day.

two jobs, an internship, full time classes, and a semi-full social calendar are keeping life busy. but i'll take it over what last year at this time was filled with. nothing. absolutely nothing.

{side note: my right arm totally hurts from playing wii boxing. can you say out of shape?
i barely could raise it to brush my teeth. wow.}