Thursday, October 15, 2015

Together we're "2 in 8"

I was about 15 or 16 weeks pregnant with Hudson when I heard of two different and tragic stories of some ladies I know that discovered their babies were instantly gone. In a moment’s notice their hearts were crushed with the heaviness of losing a child. I distinctly remember telling someone, “I couldn’t imagine!” And truly, I couldn’t. I also recall the great feelings of pride and comfort as I rubbed my buldging belly. The one that safely carried the sweet child I too was about to say good-bye to.

It’s the, “wow, I’m glad that’s not me” feeling. Kind of like when you hear of someone’s house burning to the ground or another person being diagnosed with a life-changing disease. You never think that it would be or even could be you. Tragedies like that only happen to other people.
Other people….

And just like that, without warning or even a clue, I became one of those “other people”.
Suddenly I knew no one who had walked in my shoes. All of those “other people” left my memory for a while and I was certain I was the first to trek such a horrible journey.  And then the messages, emails, phone calls, and cards came flooding in. Many of which were sent by people who knew my pain because they had been there before. I didn’t feel so alone. I was one of those “other people” who had found some “other people” to make me feel a little more at home in my new shoes. My, was I thankful for them.

On October 15th 2012, my sister sent me this picture.
I was stunned to learn there was a day set a side just for us. Well, a whole month, rather. It was relieving to know that someone felt this grief was important enough to set a day aside to remember these babies and the suffering parents who miss them terribly.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Can I just say that I wish I had no idea what this was. I wish it didn’t pull on my heartstrings so hard. I wish I could pass it up as completely irrelevant to my life. If only my heart didn’t have such a soft spot for such a hard topic. The only way that could happen is if Hudson’s trail of little boy mess, fingerprinted glass, and scampering little feet were decorating my home.
We’ve heard the phrase, “One in four”.  One in four pregnancies end in loss. I’ve always had mixed feelings with this statistic. My, “I’m the other person” brain thinks of how lonely I feel. How did I get picked to fit this statistic? Why me?? The other side of me says, “geesh, that’s a lot!” One in four is such a common occurrence! This is happening so much more than what it should. Every single minute an unsuspecting mom is becoming that “other person”.

I think there is a fairly decent chance that you are one of those “other people” too. If not, then I’m sure you know one.
Well, together we’re 2 in 8 and if you add the person that read this before you then we’re 3 in 12.

Now somehow I still fit the statistics but I’m not fitting them alone. I have you and you have me. We’re in this together.

Together our hearts will ache. Together we’ll wipe away tears. Together we’ll feel the passion to make this day even more well-known than it already is. Together we’ll be those “other people”. It’s not a fun club to be a part of but by the Grace of God we’ll get through it and help the “others” that cross our path.
I am so thankful for the “others” in my life who have made this side of statistics more livable and full of love!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Let's reach out together

It is a fact that every year in the U.S. there are about 2 million women who experience a pregnancy loss. An astounding number of these women have been left to suffer in silence. Too often the emotional distress, physical side-effects, loneliness, and grief must unfortunately be “managed” as they go about their work and personal life, just as though nothing has happened to them.

Often times when their “condition” is known by others it is treated as just that, a “condition”. One that must surely resolve with time, rest, and just not dwelling on it. They are advised by those closest to them not to be too sad because, “you could always try again”, or “it’s ok because at least you have other children”, or the worst, “God just needed your baby in Heaven”. Not only are these women left alone to deal with the trauma of their baby dying, they are left with feelings of guilt because, for a truly loving mother or father, there is no way to just get over it or move on.

If the baby that died at 8, 20, or 40 weeks in utero were to be born alive and then tragically die as a child or teenager the family would receive endless amounts of support (as they should). What’s the difference?
Should love, care, sadness, or grief be measured by age or size? Absolutely not. A parent’s love remains the same for their children no matter the age, size, or gestational age they may be. If you ask me, that’s nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing at all to be ashamed of. It’s definitely nothing to belittle.

Whether you were 6 weeks pregnant or 40 weeks pregnant, Hudson’s Bands of Hope wants you to know that your baby is worth crying over. They’re worth the pain, sadness, and suffering.
Have you received a bracelet before? Have you sent one to a loved one? It is more than just a piece of jewelry. It’s acceptance. It’s telling you that your baby matters and your grief is ok. It’s telling you that regardless of the number of alive children you have, that baby you carried could never be replaced. It’s a priceless and one-of-a-kind human being that deserves shameless love, and sometimes that shameless love means shameless tears.

Would you help me? Let’s make it our goal to let every parent of a stillborn or miscarried baby know that their child matters and they are not alone. I would love to reach them all and I can’t do it alone.

I’ve mentioned previously that we have a golf outing coming up soon. What If every golfer that was there were representing a baby in Heaven? Do you know a golfer who could represent yours? Or your sister’s, friend’s, neighbors, or co-workers? Could you tell them about our golf outing?

Not only could each golfer represent a baby but each one that is there represents about 5 women who will be touched by HBOH, monetarily speaking. Please, go tell everyone you know about the golf outing. Let them know how important this is.
For more information about the outing you can visit

Sincere thanks to you for your support and heart, along with mine, to put your arms around grieving mothers everywhere.

<3 Misty

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's that time again!

Time has slipped by so quickly in the last couple months and obviously I've struggled keeping in contact with you all. I've not failed to think of you, though. I promise you that.

As always, many questions, comments, thank-you's, and heart-wrenching stories have come through my phone, emails, and social media messages and my heart really goes out to all of you. Some are newly walking this horrible road of deep grief, some are helplessly watching a loved one's heartache and others are looking toward painful anniversaries. Whatever the case may be, you've been on my mind and in my prayers.

With each of those notes or messages my passion is rekindled and it makes me so excited about this time of year. I'm excited because we are preparing for our 2nd Annual Charity Golf Outing and Silent Auction for HBOH. Last year's golf outing was tremendously successful with about $7,000 raised! We had amazing support from the community, sponsors, and an outpouring of help from some wonderful volunteers.

The golf outings are pivotal for HBOH because such a large amount of money can keep us running for quite some time and it allows us so much freedom to easily expand to other hospitals. Not only is this charity event beneficial because it raises money, but it raises awareness on such an important topic that is often times overlooked.

This year's outing will be held on Saturday, September 19th. You can find all the details below or at Please make sure you check out our Facebook page too and share it with friends! Just search for 2nd Annual HBOH Golf Outing.

Everyone can be a part of this special event in one way or another. Whether it's signing up to golf, telling your husband, dad, uncle or neighbor to sign up, sharing the event with everyone you know, sharing with us if you know of a local business that may be interested in sponsoring, volunteering your time, or donating some items for our silent auction. There are so many options! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

It is people like you that keep this running and people like you that keep me motivated to continue on spreading a little hope to those who need it most.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

You're Still a Mom

I really believe it defies biological facts and current life situations. It’s more than what outsiders see looking in. It’s more than a diaper bag in tow, cheerios scattered on the floor, soccer mom vans, a box of teddy grahams in the shopping cart, and helping with homework.

It’s a lot more.

Before I became a mom I had the knowledge that mothers love their children. I also had the firm belief that a mother’s primary job was to make her kids behave in a certain manner. There was so much that I couldn’t see.

I didn’t see how a woman’s heart was literally transformed when she became a mother, nor could I begin to the fathom the capacity to which it could love and the power which that love could contain.

I didn’t know that being a mom changed every single thing about a woman. It makes her completely new in so many ways. A mother’s love changes the way she thinks and operates. It makes a mark on every small detail of her life.
All that any passerby can see is the physical. They see what’s right in front of them – or for the sake of this post – what’s right in front (or beside, or behind) of you. If they don’t see it then they don’t know it’s there.

That love. They don’t know it’s there but it is.
My heart hurts for each of you – especially on Mother’s Day. A day where women are celebrated because of who they are in a child’s life. There are so many of you out there whose heart beats to a new rhythm because of the baby you love. The one that has changed your life forever. But there’s little acknowledgement or celebration for those who don’t have the physical evidence of motherhood. And let me just say it – it’s not fair.

Don’t let the cashier, the Mother’s Day commercials, or Hallmark try to convince you for a moment that you aren’t a mom, because you are. You have that love and they just don’t see it.
I know this holiday isn’t an easy one for so many of you and I would love to hug each of you and tell you Happy Mother’s Day.

You’re still a mom. The evidence is woven into every thread of your heart.


Friday, February 27, 2015

When your partner's sorrow looks different than yours

If you’ve read the title to this post then there is a good chance that you don’t need to read any more to know exactly what I am going to say. Maybe just reading the title sparked a familiar pang in your heart. One you aren’t completely comfortable with.

Being that I am on the female end of this two sided topic it is naturally really easy for me to speak from just one side. Probably the same one you are on, considering that I have pretty much all female readers. But let me give you a heads-up. I’m going to do my very best to present a fresh perspective – the one of the father – the other side, if you will. And please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying there should actually be two sides, because mother and father should undoubtedly always be a team...
I remember being angry. I was mad that Brady had a job and could leave the house all day and I couldn’t. I was mad that he could smile and laugh. It hurt when he would say, “Can we just go one day without talking about this?” And my whole entire world was wrapped up in the “this” he was referring to.

I was in survival mode. I was doing all I could to remove myself from bed in the mornings and function as a normal human, and on top of that take care of the little human that I spent my days with. I had to be normal-ish for him and that was really my only motivation.

I was swimming in an ocean full of different feelings, thoughts, and emotions and it was all I could do to breathe and stay afloat. I was looking out for myself. I needed myself to make it through. I wanted to protect myself from any added pain. Myself...myself....myself

I had no clue that while I was swimming in the emotion ocean focused solely on my own survival I had a lifeguard on the side trying to throw in the lifesaver.

But I wouldn’t let him.

He was wounded too, but he was trying to take care of his family. He was doing what he knew to make it all better for us while at the same time reeling from the death of HIS son.
I just couldn’t see it. All I could see was how I felt. All I knew was that I wanted him to grieve with me and I felt so alone. The one and only person I wanted the most to cry with me was my husband.

Oh what I’ve learned since then! And I don’t mean like the next few days or weeks or months after it all. I mean like, just in the last year. Perhaps I’m slower than most, but I’ve just recently caught on to what was truly going on in those moments.

It took us a good year or two to start having open conversations about Hudson and how Brady felt about it. Let me tell you, these conversations weren’t pretty. After I figured out how to put away all my defenses and “but I” remarks I learned something, and to be honest, it cut me to the core.
I learned he was grieving just like me. Only it looked different. This is probably no surprise to you and you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind if I couldn’t see that then. The thing is, I think I did see it but I didn’t accept it. I saw his attempts to make me smile and change the course of my day but I wouldn’t accept them.

What changed it all for me was when Brady began to explain that he would have to go to work and hear, from his co-workers, “How is your wife?” He would hear from his friends, “How is your wife?” He would hear from his family, “How is Misty doing?” Rarely, very rarely, was he asked about himself.

He explained to me that there were many days he would leave work and go straight to Hudson’s grave to stare at the cold slab of concrete and weep. He would then come home and do his very best to hold the walls of our home together with whatever strength he could muster. He knew I would be a mess and he knew our 17 month old needed a happy daddy. So he did what every good man would do. He tried to keep me from getting messier and keep a smile on Dawson’s face and a laughter in his heart.

If I had it all to do over again now, I would try harder to remove myself from my own sorrow and look for my husband’s. I would share my appreciation with him for trying so hard as opposed to hiding under the blanket of hurt when he appeared to be so much better off than me.
I’ve come to terms with myself that I wasn’t a team player through that difficult journey.  I put up the armor around my heart and eyes and didn’t even know I was doing it. Thank God that I can now see Brady’s perspective in it all.
I’m taking a stab and guessing that potentially you’ve felt alone in your relationship with your spouse or partner even as you’ve both grieved over the same exact thing. Possibly you’ve felt like they don’t understand or care.

What if they do? What if they’re trying to stay strong for you? Could you see it?
I’m one of the lucky ones because my husband finally opened up to show me his perspective. Not all men are willing to do this and I’m hoping that sharing these insights with you could bring you a step closer to understanding your partner’s perspective as well.

Please, please feel free to share your own thoughts and insights with us all.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Due date

If you know me really well you know that my brain has a built in calendar. Remembering important dates, or just semi-important dates, or even completely random and unimportant dates comes rather easily for me.
For instance, all of my babies were actually born before their due dates, but those dates are still etched permanently into my mind. The anniversaries of May 12, 2011, and January 22, 2014 always take my mind to fond thoughts of all the anticipation I felt, and brand new baby I was just learning about.

The anniversary of February 1, 2013 takes me to a different place though. That was Hudson’s due date and today I’m there… in that place of swirling memories.
Hudson’s due date is so special to me because it was the day that I walked onto the Birthing Center hall for the first time following Hudson’s delivery 3 months prior. It was a painful but purposeful journey because what I held in my hand in that moment was the launching pad to fulfilling Hudson’s mission here on Earth.


This bracelet was given by the nurses on that floor to a hurting mother who days before had just delivered her own angel baby. I did not know this mom. I did not know her baby, but I know that Hudson’s life touched hers that day.
For 5 precious months I looked forward to February 1st, 2013 and to say I was grief-stricken without my baby boy in my arms on that day would be an understatement, but there’s something amazing in it all…

Even though Hudson never entered this world on February 1st,2013 he did leave a big mark that day.
The first of many, and I must say how grateful I am that the emptiness of my arms has helped to fill a portion of the hole in the hearts of so many others!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Does time heal and will I be normal again?

It’s been 2 years, 4 months, and 13 days since I discovered my baby’s heart had quit beating. It doesn’t feel that long ago and yet it feels like eternity. Although the passing of time has brought some new good things, on occasion I resent time’s movement because many days it feels like I’m getting further and further away from my little boy. I fear the memories will fade to bare minimum. I don’t ever want to forget holding Hudson. I don’t want to forget carrying him in my womb or my pregnant belly. Most of all, I don’t want to forget how it all felt. The agony. The anger. The grief. I want to remember it all.

I’m guessing that if you yourself have lost a baby then you may understand where I’m coming from. There’s not much to hold on to as time rolls on. Sure, I have a wonderful collection knick-knacks that have become very dear to me. I have lots of treasured photos, and journal writings to last a lifetime.
But you know what? Of everything tangible or not, that which was closest and most personal to me of all, were my feelings. The raw gut sensation that sent me into fits of anger and tears. The washing of grief numbing me to the bone. I wanted to escape them in the moment. I wanted to run as far away as possible from the weight of all I felt.

I remember being in very inactive labor with Hudson. I was growing restless just lying in the hospital bed. My room was full of close family chatting to pass time and the mix of physical pain, emotional pain, an uncomfortable bed, and idle chatter had me so restless. I walked around the small delivery room weaving in and out of randomly placed chairs. I knew my family was watching me but I looked down in order to avoid any sort of eye contact. Many times I was asked if I wanted to walk the halls but I quickly turned down every offer. I didn’t feel adequate enough to walk the halls of such a happy and heart-warming floor. I didn’t want to encounter the strange look of a single soul as I stumbled by with a hospital gown draped loosely over my small pregnant frame. I didn’t have a big 40-week belly and if someone saw me then they would know something was wrong. I couldn’t handle the possibility of one innocent question by a random passerby.
Well, after weaving through all the chairs for a couple of minutes I decided to step outside. I reasoned that my room was at the end of the hall, set away from all the happy faces. If I stayed right outside my door then possibly no one would see me. I walked out to the end of the hall and stood in front of the large window and peered out to the traffic below. My husband was with me with his arm around my back. First I thought of how badly I wanted to be home reading books in the rocking chair with my 16 month old, in preparation for his nap time. That’s what I should be doing. Then as I looked out the window, I chose a random vehicle driving by and thought, I want to be them. How carefree to be driving around town on a sunny September afternoon. Anything sounded better than this.

I was sure I would never be normal again.  I would never have another carefree sunny day to enjoy.

This is such a simple but profound memory for me. 
I was right. I would never be “normal” again, but as time passes a new normal does show up. The old normal is easier and less complicated, however, it doesn’t understand all that I understand now and it doesn’t have the capacity for love that this new normal has.

After such a tragedy, normal changes and so does time. Time will move incredibly slow at first and then regain it’s typical pace.
And then one day you’ll see how much time has changed you. Sure, the memories become a little fuzzier. That’s why I write them and share them so much. But time will cause you to learn a new way of life. One in which your days are more purposeful and you learn to live a differently.
Time has separated me from the raw emotion and anger, and time has given me the chance to learn things I would’ve otherwise never understood.

In the aftermath of a tragic loss, well-meaning people rehearse empty lines just because they don’t know what else to say. They’ll tell you time will heal.
They’re wrong.

Yes, you will experience some healing of the anger and grief. But it will never ever heal the wound.

I remember thinking, I just wish time would hurry up and get here. I believed those people that told me time would heal the pain. In the moment I had to believe that something would heal it.
As the calendar pages turn and the new normal fully moves in then you’ll see it happening. You’ll find ways to cope and it’s in those ways, whatever they look like, that you’ll feel your heart strengthen.

For me the memories are too precious to want to forget. I understand I’m lucky because it’s not that way for everyone. Maybe you think I’m crazy for claiming that I don’t want to forget the pain... And maybe I am just crazy.  Then crazy I’ll be.
If you’re in the thick of grief right now and desperate to know when or how it will get better, just hold still. Cling to what you find to be dear to you in the moment and watch and see. It’ll happen.