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INFANT LOSS: A 3rd Party Perspective.
Peyton Virginia Smolcich. She was born July 1st, 2015 at 3:31 a.m. She was born 15 weeks early. One pound, 6.2 ounces. Sleeping.
She was beautiful. She had her mom’s features; she had her dad’s hair. She had 10 adorable toes caught perfectly on camera.
She’s the daughter of one of my best friend’s, and the world should know her.
Peyton may have only lived a total of 25 weeks, all of which were spent inside her mom, but she made a lifetime’s worth of impact on a number of hearts.
I remember so clearly March 1, the day Abby told me she was pregnant. She’s been a close friend of mine since middle school, and I felt so honored that I was one of the first people she told and trusted so early in her pregnancy, weeks before the 12-week “safety mark”. Although as it turned out that safety mark was not at all safe.
We talked and joked about morning sickness, and she asked for tips on how to get through her long days as a resident at a hospital in New Jersey without letting everyone know the fatigue of first trimester pregnancy was wearing her thin.
She talked about how excited and nervous she and her husband, Tony, were about starting a family. About how they realized no time was the perfect time to have a baby so they were taking a leap of faith that they would figure out the ins and outs of parenthood among the busyness of moving back to the Midwest, starting her fellowship at a Children’s Hospital and her husband supporting her through her pursuit to follow her dreams and become a doctor, finding a job wherever this dream took them.
We talked more regularly throughout her pregnancy, sometimes on the phone, sometimes through text or email. She unfolded her visions of their family, she revealed Peyton’s name before even knowing for sure she was a girl. Her and Tony’s love for the little girl inside her was exuberant right from the start.
On July 5 I received a text from Abby that just didn’t sit right with me, asking me to call her. To hear her voice, her anguish, and to listen to exactly what she went through created an actual physical pain in my chest.
She had noticed Peyton wasn’t moving, so her OB instructed her to immediately go to labor and delivery to be evaluated. When Peyton’s heartbeat couldn’t be found, she was given a drug that would expedite the process of her body going into labor and was admitted to the hospital for delivery the following day.
Losing a baby at all is something I couldn’t imagine. Going through a 15-hour labor to deliver a child you know is no longer living is simply cruel.
She experienced every contraction for 15 hours. She experienced what every mother feels when going through labor full term.
But what she didn’t experience was what it sounds like to hear that first cry from her beautiful daughter. Instead, she heard the sobs coming from her own body. She heard the cries of her husband next to her.
My friend Kristin and I had the opportunity to visit Abby for a “girls day” two weeks after Peyton was born. We talked about her and were lucky enough to have Abby share pictures of her with us. To share her private moments of the day they met Peyton face to face. I can tell you, she was beautiful.
October is a month dedicated to spreading infant loss awareness. It’s real. Miscarriages don’t only happen early on in a pregnancy. They happen all the time. They happen at any time. They break people. They strengthen people. They hurt. They create a void.
If you don’t know Abby, you wouldn’t know she’s going through this. She wouldn’t tell you in line at the grocery store, but I can promise you she would smile at you and offer for you to go in front of her if you had less items in your cart.
So if not every month, at least during the month of October, I’m asking something from everyone reading this:
Before you get frustrated about the person barely driving the speed limit in front of you, before you roll your eyes at the person with a full grocery cart who didn’t offer for you to check out first with your two items, before you lose your patience with a coworker, stop and think. Could that person have gone through this? How would you know? Likely, you wouldn’t.
Show compassion. Show love.
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This post is in dedication to my incredibly strong friend and her husband for continuing to work through the pain, for clinging to each other instead of letting this tear them apart, and for allowing me to share their story and their precious daughter with my blog world.
FILED UNDER: Let's Get Serious, Mom+Baby
OCTOBER 8, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
We're all busy, right? I mean, we're all really busy. I guess there's a chance that you're not, but that's at least how I've felt for essentially the last two years. I just feel like there's never any real downtime in life anymore (unless I wake up before the sun). I used to think it was becoming a mom that made me busier, but I'm starting to think it's my own fault, always adding one more committment to our already busy lives.
Either way, life is busy. I've written about it on here what seems like so many times now, but it's also a fact that I know I become just a beast when I sacrifice my workouts to accomodate this often self-inflicted busy lifestyle. I get moodier and much shorter fused, and let's be honest, there ain't no one out there who wants to deal with a crabby Heather (it's seriously not pretty).
Over the last 6-8 months I've gotten to what is probably the best, healthiest shape I've ever been in. [Continue reading...]
AUGUST 14, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
I'm sure you've all had your fair share of shelf-stable, terrible tasting protein bars. I'm not stranger to the protein bar aisle at our local nutrition store, and while there are a couple varieties I'll actually agree taste good, the majority of them I find barely even palatable. The nuggat in most protein bars taste disgusting to me. I don't even like Cliff bars, and I feel like everyone likes those things.
A few years ago (oh my gosh, it was actually FOUR years ago) one of my gym instructors brought homemade protein bars to class. YUM.O. They're so tasty and so easy, and they're a staple in my diet.
So why am I just sharing them on here now? Because sometimes the most obvious posts are the ones I never think to share! But, here you are, enjoy!
JULY 29, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
Ok, I won't make this post too long because it just doesn't need to be. What it does need is to contain this simple recipe for maybe the most refreshing, natural, drink for you this summer.
Green Tea Lemonade
What you need for a 16-ounce glass:
1 bag Yogi Green Tea
1/2 tsp raw honey (organic agave nectar is another option!)
JULY 22, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
It’s not my thing. In fact I don’t think it’s ever been my thing, but it’s become progressively less and less of my thing the older I get. And the older I get, the more I hear the words I hate almost more than any other words coming out of my very own mouth:
I just don’t have the patience for this.
As in, end of discussion, because I said I don’t have the patience for it I therefore don’t need to even attempt to find the patience.
That’s like saying “I don’t want to go to work today” therefore I won’t and still remain employed with a steady paycheck. That’s just not the way life works, but for some reason I still say (and usually mean) that insanely obnoxious phrase written above.