Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What's In a Planet Wise Wet Bag?

Ok.  Let's get back to something lighter.  Lets chat about some cute cloth diaper related gear... it's kind of my zen place.  Since I am personally in the market for a great new Wet Bag, I think that's what we should talk about, and we're going to talk about my favorite kind.  Because that's how I roll, and what is the point of talking about a brand I don't like?  So there's that!

Have you heard of Planet Wise wet bags?  I love them.  For so many reasons.  Let me count the ways...

1.  They're adorable.  I mean really, really adorable.  There are so many prints that I'm having a hard time choosing which hanging wet bag to choose.  (ok-  it was difficult, but I just ordered the Laughing Leaf Hanging Bag.  So cute!)  

2.  They're durable.  I've had diaper-bag sized Planet Wise wet bags for two years now, and they are still just as perfect as the day I got them.  Definitely a worth-while investment.

3.  They fit every need.  Seriously though- Planet Wise bags come in so many sizes.  They have Wipes Pouches that are the perfect size for your cloth wipes folded in half or rolled up, and it even has a snap down feature that keeps them from wicking and getting things in your diaper bag wet.  Their small bags are perfect for a quick errand where you may need to change one or two diapers.  Their medium bag is my diaper-bag staple.  Big enough to fit several diapers and wipes, but small enough to fold up to a nice compact size, these are great for days out on the town.  The Large size has a snap-closure handle, and it will fit about a dozen diapers- perfect for weekends away.  Then there is the hanging wet bag.  Which I can't say enough good things about if you don't use a pail.  I just hang mine from a hook on the bathroom door, and it holds over two dozen diapers.  Perfect for your laundry needs.  

4.  They have tons of uses.  I know you aware that wet bags are a must-have item for cloth diapering, but what about other daily needs?  For instance, what do you do if your child has an accident and you need to transport soiled clothes?  Toss them in a medium sized wet bag!  What do you do with big wet beach towels and swim suits after you're done swimming?  Toss them in a large wet bag!  Wet, snowy boots driving you nuts?  I give you the Planet Wise large wet bag.  Did your child fall and hit their knees or head and you want to ice it to prevent a bump?  Stick some ice in a small wet bag.  Bam.  Problems solved.  *cue chorus of angels singing*  

  5.  They're affordable.  Topping out at $29.99 (for their enormous hanging wet bag), these are pretty great deal.  They're not going to break the bank, and you're not going to have to replace them very often at all.  A Planet Wise Medium Wet Bag is only $16.50.  Not bad.

Well I have wet bags on the brain.  I have been in desperate need of that extra hanging wet bag!  Seriously though- if you haven't checked out Planet Wise bags, you must.  They're definitely a cloth diapering/ every day parenting must have.

*Disclosure-  this is a sponsored post.  All opinions are honest and completely my own!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not Alone

It's been almost a week since my miscarriage.  I'm not really sure how I'm feeling right now, actually.  Grief is a funny thing, and it's completely unpredictable.  Some days I go almost the entire day feeling ok, then one word will trigger these crazy emotions, and I lose it.  Other days are just a full day of sadness.  Thankfully I have a really great support system of friends and family that have been checking up on me, encouraging me, and praying for me.  I feel really grateful for that.

Actually, one thing I did not expect were the stories and encouragement from so many friends who have also lost babies.  I mean, I knew of a handful of friends who'd miscarried, but the sheer number... besides being completely heart breaking to see how many friends have gone through this, it also made me wonder...

How many women go through this silently without much support?  Because sharing is scary, really.  I happen to be a person with no filters, who would over-share even if the internet and social media weren't a thing, and I'm not really good with secrets (at least my own.  Don't worry, yours are probably safe with me), and I felt like I just had to let it out.  BUT not everyone feels like they can share, or open up about something like this.  Which is totally ok, but it's so hard to feel alone in something so devastating and life altering and isolating.  I mean, I had absolutely no idea that so many women I know and love have been through this too.

I'm not sure what I'm proposing here.  I'm not sure what the solution is.  I'm just saying that when we feel alone, in whatever situation or hardship we go through, we aren't.  We're never alone.  We're never the first to go through something, and we won't be the last.  I guess I just feel like when you go through something like this, at some point, eventually you have wisdom and insight to offer to someone else.  And that is an amazingly important thing.  Something that shouldn't be kept quiet and secret and locked away.  It is something to be shared and passed on.  I fear that we, as a society, are losing the passing on of wisdom and knowledge, especially about primal, spiritual, and biological things.  Mothering, birth, loss... these are universal experiences that so very many women go through, and yet they are things we feel so alone in.

Like I said; I have absolutely no idea what I am proposing here outside of this; if we don't let these experiences be so taboo, then we won't feel quite so alone.  If we share (at least what we feel comfortable sharing) our experiences, maybe we can all heal a little faster.  I can't tell you why it helped to hear that so many of my friends had survived this loss, but it did.  It was so sad to see how many in number we were of course, but it wasn't just a "me" anymore, it was "we".  There's something powerful to be said for that.

So.  I'm still sad.  It's still a deep ocean, this grief, but now I'm not swimming it alone.  There are so many of you keeping me afloat with your prayers, your encouragement, and your simple yet profound "I've been there"s.  Somehow not being alone is really helping me.

If you feel alone, if you feel like you are drowning in your grief, your anger, your struggles... just know you're not.  You're not alone.  You're never, ever alone.

Thank God for that.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Grief and My Angel Baby

I don't know where to start this.  I'm not sure if I will post this.  Actually, I don't know if I can keep this in my heart, and I know I don't want to pretend that this never happened.

In the beginning/middle of November we found out I was pregnant.  We'd been trying for about five months, so obviously I was really excited.  Eisley is adorable with babies and just LOVES them, so it was time to make her a big sister.  I told a couple of friends who I would talk to about the trying process and my frustrations when another month would tick by and no pregnancy.  I just couldn't keep all of that joy to myself.  I was only two weeks pregnant when we found out, so it was super early.

The weeks flew by.  I have a toddler now, after all, and time with a toddler just doesn't ever seem to slow down.  I bought a few things for the new baby.  Some cute gender-neutral moccasins (even though I was convinced from the moment that stick showed two lines that this baby was a girl), a beautiful woven wrap to snuggle her up to me.  I was feeling tired, but good.  With Eisley I was nauseous all day every day for the first trimester, but I really very rarely felt sick this time unless I waited too long to eat something after I awoke in the morning.

If I'm being honest, that always made me nervous.  Especially since I felt so strongly that this was a girl.  You know what the old wives tales say about being pregnant with girls- you're sick as a dog.  But I just took it as a blessing.  A little (or big) mercy since I have to keep track of a super active toddler all day long.

Over Christmas we told all of our family.  They were so excited, and my heart just became more anxious to meet my beautiful baby and plan our lives as a family of four instead of three.  Driving home on that saturday after Christmas I was ten weeks, and I felt totally fine.

On Monday or Tuesday I started spotting lightly, and of course I completely freaked out.  I told God, "No way.  This is nothing."  But I think in my heart I knew that wasn't true.  I called my midwife, talked to some friends, and they all tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing, and just to take it easy, get some rest, eat good foods, and drink lots of water.  So that's what I did.  By Wednesday, New years day, I was having some more intense spotting and was getting really worried.  When I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3 am, I just knew.  I just knew that all of my hopes and dreams for this baby were just not to be.

I can't write about what it was like.  What happened to me.  But I will say that New Years day one was of the worst days of my life, and as much as I'd like to forget it, I know I never ever will.  I have never felt grief like this.  Of course I grieved when my grandparents died, but to lose a baby.

I mean, there are no words that can describe how it feels.  And to know that this is how too many of my friends have felt when they have lost their babies... my heart breaks even more.  I never in a million years thought that this would happen when I peed on those two little sticks.  I never thought that I would lose this baby.  But here we are, at 10 1/2 weeks, I am no longer pregnant.  Just devastated.

We named our baby.  I think the thought that broke me more than almost anything else was imagining our beautiful baby meeting Jesus without a name.  I'm not sure why that breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces, but it does.  Since we can't know the gender for sure we picked a name that I've always loved that can be for a boy or a girl.  I can't think of a middle name that works, but I feel like I need to.

Our angel baby's name is Avery.  I hate the thought of waiting so long to meet my baby in heaven, but my sweet friend who has also lost a baby sent me this quote, which comforted me a lot-

"... and to think, when her little eyes opened, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus."

My sweet Avery is being held and loved on by her Heavenly Father, meeting her great grandparents, her uncle Jessie, and her new BFF Ava.  I can't say that I don't feel hurt that I didn't get to hold her in my arms.  I can't say I don't feel cheated, and a little angry.  I can't say I don't feel absolutely and completely heartbroken, but I do have hope.  Hope that one day I will be able to hold my Avery in Heaven.  Hope that she (or he, but I really, really felt that Avery was a girl) is in the most beautiful, amazing place that has ever existed.  That she never felt the pain of this world.  Just love.  I hope in the deepest parts of my soul that she felt loved by me while she was with me.  But I know she feels love now.

So if you see me, and I burst into tears for no apparent reason- I'm just thinking of my Avery.  I'm just wishing she was here.  I'm just mourning that I never got to feel her kick and tumble in my tummy.  I'm mourning that I never got huge and had to sweat it out all the way to the end of July with an enormous pregnant belly.  I'm mourning that Eisley won't be a big sister yet this summer.  I'm grieving for my husband's pain and sadness.  I'm grieving for shattered dreams and little feet I will never kiss.  This grief is heavy and real and intense.  It comes in waves, and it's overwhelming.  I know we will be ok, but right now, I'm not.  I'm not ok.  I'm so devastatingly sad.

To all of my friends that have gone through this- I'm so sorry.  This is horrible.  I would never wish this on anyone, and I know there was nothing I really could have said or done to make it better, but I understand now.  I understand the emptiness, and the fear.  The fear that this will happen again.  Oh God, that fear is so real.  But I am trying to choose hope.  I'm trying to choose faith.  Our family could use your prayers, because I know this will be a long road.  I'm not looking forward to July 26th this year... I think that her due date will be another level of grief.  But I believe that God can use this for good in our family.  I believe I will meet my daughter one day.  I believe that God will bless us with more children.  I believe that He will heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.

I do want to say before I finish this up that I am so grateful, so incredibly grateful for every single friend and family member that has prayed for us through this, brought us a meal, watched Eisley, encouraged our hearts, and loved us.  I wish Avery could have known you all.  Because you are all the best, and I love you.  So much.