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I'm so glad you have come across my little nook in the cyber world. Here I strive to be real and inspire. I talk about my walk in faith as a Christian, motherhood, the loss of my child, and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me for a minute and relax?

Friday, November 20, 2015

It Never Hurts to say "Thank You"




I have heard over and over what people think about me as a stay at home Mom, but one thing I hardly hear is how appreciative those who I care for are for the things that I do. Most of the time, the lack of sleep, showers, and food go unnoticed. Some have this notion that mothers who stay at home with the kids all day are…in a way…either not pulling their weight or just sitting around, doing nothing the entire day. Boy, that is way off!!!

Here is a glimpse of a good day for me...

7:00 AM: My husband tells me it's time to wake up, however after a restless night with the baby I fight to open my eyes. My son still wakes several times a night to nurse and he occasionally tosses around on our bed, which makes it hard for me to sleep.

7:15 AM: My husband tells me he's leaving for work and gives a wake-up call to our nine-year-old daughter before heading out the door.

7:20 AM: I force myself to sit up in bed so I can muster up the energy to grab my overly energized toddler to change his diaper.

7:25 AM: I yell for my daughter to get up once again as I head to the kitchen with my baby on my hip so I can grab a cup of coffee. 

7:30 AM: I yell once again for my daughter and quickly grab a drink of my coffee.

7:31 AM: My son starts whining and crying, asking in his baby talk for his juice and breakfast, which I can't give to him right away because his sister won't get out of bed. So, he settles for his Lil' crunchies snacks while I run back to the bedroom and literally pull my daughter out of bed.

7:35 AM: My daughter starts whining about not getting enough sleep, she's tired, and doesn't want to go to school, as she makes her way to the kitchen AFTER being told to get dressed.

7:36 AM: I tell my daughter again to get dressed as I get a quick drink of my coffee and start the task of packing my daughters lunch while stopping to give my son another lil crunchier snack.

7:40 AM: I threaten to ground my daughter if she doesn't head into the bedroom to get dressed while I finish up her lunch and start helping my mom by packing hers. *She works at the school where my daughter attends so she's getting ready too.*

7:45 AM: My daughter managed to go back into the room, sit on the bed, and watch the morning cartoons that are playing on the television. It doesn't matter that she needs to be ready to leave by 8:30 because that is what time her ride pulls in.

7:50 AM: I catch my daughter jumping up off the bed as I open the bedroom door. I yell a bit more for her to get a fire under her butt and get ready. She back talks and whines some more. Once I see her picking out her clothes, I ask her what she would like in her lunch. She's very indecisive, so when I ask I don't get a straight answer. I go back out and pack what I think she wants.

8:00 AM: My daughter comes out of the room and flops down at the table with her phone in her hands. (Knowing she's not supposed to touch it before she's completely ready.) I tell her to put her phone down and she begins to argue with me. I raise my voice, tell her if she doesn't put her phone down she's grounded, and she whines as she turns it off.

8:05 AM: I give my son another one of his snacks and pick up some toys so he can occupy himself while I finish fighting to get my daughter ready for school. Then, I ask my daughter what she wants for breakfast since I already packed her lunch. The indecisiveness continues and I decide for her.

8:10 AM: My daughter nibbles at her breakfast while I'm reminding her of what she still needs to get done while feeding more snacks to my son.

8:15 AM: My daughter has finished her breakfast, puts on her shoes, and goes to brush her teeth. I find new toys for my son to play with while I drink a bit of my cold coffee. While drinking my coffee, I try to plan my day in between the fussiness of my son because he wants another snack.

8:25 AM: My daughter comes out of the bathroom and I quickly fix her hair and tell her to get her bookbag from the room. 

8:30 AM: My daughter leaves for school with a messy, quick ponytail and I go to the cupboard to pick out my son's breakfast. *This is usually where my headache kicks in from the lack of sleep and the stressful morning.*

8:45 AM: My son finished his breakfast and I change his diaper. Then, I put him back into the height chair so I can grab a warm cup of coffee and enjoy it this time. 

9:00 AM: My son makes it clear that he's ready to lay back down. I grab him up, head back into the bedroom, and nurse him to sleep. During this time, I do my Bible devotions on my phone through the app. 

9:30- 11 AM: This block of time is different every day. The very first thing I do once laying my son down is run to the bathroom for the first time that day. Then I grab something to eat. Sometimes I lay back down with my son for a bit. If I don't, then I start working on my to-do list, which could be updating information on one of my blogs, planning and plotting for my book, research for my book, dishes or laundry, or I read. If I do lay down, I don't fall into a deep sleep because I'm afraid that if I do...I won't hear my son cry.

11:00 AM: My son wakes up crying for his mum mum. I stop what I'm doing and get him from his bed. He shows me that he wants to play with me, so we go out to the living room floor and play.

12:00 PM: I take my son to the kitchen for lunch and in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done, I place my laptop on the table by my son and do some work.

12:30 PM: My son makes it clear that he doesn't want to sit in the kitchen anymore and he wants to play. So, I close up my laptop.

12:31 PM: By this time, I am wishing I could have had the dishes done and laundry started. I take his stuff from lunch, put it by the sink, brush off the crumbs, and we head into the living room.

12:33 PM: Diaper change.

12:35 PM: I THINK about taking a shower at my son's next nap.

12:36- 1:30 PM: My son and I play more in the living room. He's adamant on pulling out every strand of my hair as he pulls my hair, pokes me in the eyes, and laughs about it all. Of course, when I see something cute, I snap a picture.

1:30- 2:00 PM: My son starts to get cranky and tells me he's ready for a nap. We head into the bedroom and I change his diaper. Then, nurse him to sleep. *This is usually his longest nap of the day.*

2:00 PM: I can't make myself get into the shower because I fear my son will wake up and I won't hear him cry. *We don't have a baby monitor system.* So, I decide to throw in a load of laundry and do up the dishes. I clean up the toy mess my son left all over the house, which made it look like a tornado came through.

2:30 PM: I do a bit more work on the laptop.

3:00 PM: My daughter comes through the door from school. I beg her to keep it quiet because her brother is sleeping.

3:30 PM: The baby wakes up and is ready for more food. So, we head to the kitchen and I find him something to eat, feed him, and let him play with his sister.

4:00- 4:30ish PM: I'm wishing for a nap, but my daughter informs me that she's hungry, so I make her something small to eat to hold her over until dinner. *My son decides he needs to eat, too, so I give him a snack.*

5:00 PM: Again...my son decides he's hungry too, so I give him more snacks. *Dinner is prepared by my step-dad or Mom.*

5:30- 6:30 PM: Husband tends to come home around this time. He grabs his plate from the microwave if we've finished dinner or sits with us to eat.

7:00 PM: Start to fight my daughter to gather up her bedtime clothes and get her shower.

7:30 PM: Bath baby and have my daughter take her melatonin because without it, she doesn't sleep well.

8:00 PM: Start the bedtime fight with my daughter, while cleaning up any messes the kids made in the afternoon.

9:00 PM: Nurse my son to sleep once his sister is in bed.

9:30- 10:30 PM: Get ready for bed and lay down to watch television until I am ready for sleep.

11:30-2:00 AM: Sometime in here my son wakes up in his bed, crying to join me and my husband in our bed. I grab him, nurse him, and we fall back to sleep.

** Some nights I'm up every hour or so with my son. Only on a couple occasions has he slept ALMOST all night.**

Remember, this is a good day. I could add in the countless times I have to argue with my daughter about something, or sick days, or errands that need to be done. I'm busy during the day... most of the time I don't have the time or the opportunity to shower (unless I take my son into the bathroom with me) or even eat. 

So, the other day when my husband said, "You know I do often overlook how much you actually do for our family. Thank you. I appreciate it." it floored me. In eleven years, he has NEVER thanked me for doing what I do and it meant sooo much to me.

So, if you're a stay at home Mom.... YOU'RE DOING AN AMAZING JOB. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. IT IS APPRECIATED!!

If you're the working parent... don't forget to tell your spouse how much you appreciate them and do it often. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 17 - Secondary Losses




I totally agree with today's post when the host mentions that not only do we lose our children, but in the midst of our grief, we tend to lose other things as well. I have noticed quite a bit of stuff that I've lost over the past two years. 

To start off with, I lost all sense of security in life. It's hard to describe. We tend to stroll through life thinking that bad things won't happen to us. I lost all of who I was and became someone new. I no longer took life for granted and I became much more grateful for the life I have been given. I tend to love deeper. I don't sweat the small stuff and, I most certainly don't let what I can't control bother me.

I struggle with fear and anxiety more since my loss, which I am working on with my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. 

There for a while, I lost my desire to take care of myself and I didn't care about what those around me thought. I didn't love myself, so why should anyone else? This way of thinking changed the day I fully started living for Christ. 

I lost friends who I cared for.

I lost a husband. Yes, we're still married but I'm no longer married to the man I fell in love with. He has changed, as I have. He doesn't seem to care as deeply as he once did. His life's focus is work and his car. His family strives for his attention, however, he doesn't hear them. His actions cause us pain, and he doesn't seem to mind. The loving, joyful, and caring man I met is gone and was replaced with this guy who buries himself into a hobby so he doesn't have to deal with life.

I lost my joy for a while, but I have found it in other places within life. 

Even though I have lost so much, I have gained better as well. (That's for another post.)


Friday, October 16, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 16 - Creative Grief



There are several things I did for Dakota after I lost her. As I have mentioned before, I wrote about her short, sweet life here on earth and shared it for the world to read. I started a garden, which I had to leave behind when I moved from the house we were living in at the time. I took up taking photo's of nature. 

Here are some of the nature photo's I have taken since she passed away:







Thursday, October 15, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 15 - Wave of Light.


 ‪#‎captureyourgrief‬ ‪#‎whathealsyou‬ ‪#‎october15th‬ ‪#‎waveoflight‬

I found out about the meaning behind October 15th shortly after we lost our angel. On October 15th, the world stops for the day and remembers their babies who have been taken too soon. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness Month and on the 15th of the month, we light a candle at 7 PM and let it burn for an hour in memory of these babies. 



For the past two years, I have joined in with the Wave of Light to honor my daughter, Dakota. The images below are her candles burning. It brings my heart joy when I see friends and family join me on this special day!! (Thank you to those who have joined in.)

Wave of Light 2013

Wave of Light 2014



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 14 - Express Your Heart



Express your heart with grieving. The powerfully painful transformation can turn you into a person of gratitude or into a person of negativity. I was both. Now, I'm the person of gratitude. During my journey with grief, I have experienced so many things that blessed me or angered me. That's what I'll be talking about today.

Words hurt. Actions hurt. Unfortunately, people don't realize this. Let me talk about the words part of this. From the moment we wake to the time we go to bed, we express ourselves with our words. There are phrases that we (angel parents) dread to hear directly after a loss. We don't want to hear that there was anything remotely wrong with our child. We don't want to hear that God has a plan and this is part of it. We don't want to hear that everything happens for a reason. To us, these are empty words. There's nothing in this world that can help us feel better. My best advice is just to pray for us. Tell us you're praying for us. Instead of using your words to comfort us and show you care, use your actions! Actions could be... cleaning up our house. Helping with our other children who are hurting too. Cook for us. I'm using the word "us" because when a baby dies... so many people are touched by this loss and only one person remains in the light of it all.... Mothers. People comfort and support mothers every way you look at it. But some do not remember the fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. 

Now for that word... action... When helping a family through a loss such as stillbirth, which is what I have experience with... REMEMBER THE DAD'S AND SIBLINGS. They are grieving too. Bring a gift to them as well. This could be in the form of a physical gift, being there to physically help these members of the family, or just to let them use you when they need you.

In addition, actions that you're doing can directly hurt these grieving families. I see this today, as well as within the past few years. People who claim to love me as their own blood family, forget and refuse to acknowledge my daughter. I see these people talk about how much they love me or my living children. They claim me as a sister or a granddaughter but fail to realize that if they do not accept the child of mine who died.... they're not accepting me. I will not take this easy. If you're going to claim to be family to me and refuse to acknowledge the life that I carried for 40 weeks 5 days, then you're not going to acknowledge me or my children in anything. FAMILY sticks together in all the hard times life seems to throw at you. You can't pick or choose which rough times you can be my family. So, if you refuse to say that Dakota is part of your family... then kindly back away from my living children and me. We are not family.

I've accepted her death, it's about time for you to do so as well!!!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 13 - Regrets + Triggers





Regrets during my journey of grief:

1. I regret not being able to bathe and dress my angel. (I never got to do this.)
2. I regret not laying a baby blanket in her forever bed with her.
3. I regret allowing others to tell me how I should be grieving and listening to them.
4. I regret not being more grateful and more excited for her during my pregnancy.
5. I regret not holding on to her longer when I had the opportunity.
6. I regret that I didn't fight harder for her when I knew something was wrong and her doctor wouldn't listen to me.
7. I regret not making sure more photo's were taken of us. (Yes we had pictures done but I have one photo of me and my angel and it's blurry.)
8. I regret the fact that I wasn't the mother my oldest daughter needed while she was grieving too.
9. I regret not keeping up with the letters to my angel in her notebook and vow to start writing to her again.
10. I regret not knowing her exact weight, length, or more details of her that I'm slowly losing over time.


Triggers:

1. Baby girl clothes in the store.
2. Seeing her name written somewhere.
3. Certain ways my rainbow baby looks while he sleeps.
4. Fall to winter because I can't see butterflies on a daily basis.
5. When someone doesn't acknowledge that she existed when listing their nieces or grandkids on a card or social media. 


Monday, October 12, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 12 - Normalizing Grief




The writing prompt for today is on normalizing grief. Some believe that this journey is nothing but heartache and pain. I wrote a post earlier this year that I believe ties into this post. You can view it here: Grief Can Be a Gift...Honest..



In addition to the post, my thoughts for today are this:

Grief is what you make of it. At first, it's hard. Actually, it's very hard. When I started my journey, I felt defeated and powerless. It took me close to two years to realize that I was allowing the grief to
control my life and that's when I decided to take control. I wasn't going to submit to it any longer. Yes, my daughter was here. Yes, my daughter died. However, I didn't have to stay in the state of loss and feeling sadness over it. Instead, I pulled myself together and started honoring her life in more than one way.

The first thing I decided to do was bring to light that she existed so I needed to tell the world. I managed to do this by writing our journey in a book and publishing it on Amazon for the world to read. I figured by doing this, I'm bringing awareness to Pregnancy and Infant Loss, as well as bringing her story, our journey to those who are going through it too. I figured that I could help them by sharing our journey. 


The next thing I decided to do was always honor my angel with different things throughout the year. Each holiday/season, I redecorate her forever bed for her to show my love. By doing this, I'm allowing myself to acknowledge life the way it is and to express the love for her that I can't physically show her.

Each holiday I include her in some way. Most of the time, I light her candle or I sing songs that remind me of her. At times, I even have my family and friends join in.

This is my normalizing grief for me and it works for me.

If you're on this journey with me, what is it that you do to normalize grief in your life?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 11 - Glow In The Woods





My glow in the woods would be my church sisters from Noah's Ark Assembly of God Church in Fairview, West Virginia. They helped me find the light of Christ when my world was filled with darkness. I have a small message for each one of them who have reached out to me and touched me in some way.

Alison- Girl, you have no idea what you do for me. I feel such a closeness to you and I love you as if you are more than just my sister in Christ. Your thoughts, prayers, guidance, and advice has helped me see things when I was blind to them. They gave me hope and helped keep my faith strong.

Shannon- From one angel mom to another: Thank you for everything. Over the many women who I have met during this journey, you have touched my heart. Your prayers aren't going unnoticed because I can see the Lord working around me and within my life. Thank you for supporting me in my journey and loving me when I couldn't love myself.

Carolyn- I gotta thank you for your sternness and guidance. There were times where I remember you telling me what the Lord needed for me to do so I could see the joy once again. Many people have told me to "Let go and let God", but it took your will and love to get me to see this. 

Barbie- Thank you for being the first person to just hold me and cry with me. To this day, I remember it and it brings tears to my eyes. No words were said during that time, but there didn't need to be because I felt the love of the Lord. That hug meant so much to me. You're the one to softened my heart so I could hear what the Lord needed me to hear.

To all the women within Noah's Ark:
Thank you for being you. Thank you for making me smile when I needed it. Thank you for making me laugh when I needed a laugh. Thank you for holding me, praying with me, and just helping me be the best Me I can be. I love you all. 


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 10 - W O R D S




I wrote this a while ago and it still rings true for me. I did some editing to the original post to make it more fitting for me today. 






I am STRONG because at 19 years old, I gave birth to my first daughter, Emma. She cried but one time and stared into my eyes while I held her. 

I am STRONG because I gave up college for that moment in time for the life I was meant to have.

I am STRONG because, at 23 years of age, my daughter was diagnosed with an eating disorder and Pica.

I am STRONG because at 25 years old, I became pregnant with my second daughter, Dakota. She was born May 27, 2013, and didn't make a sound. 

 
I am STRONG because on June 1, 2013, I buried my child, and I had never thought I would bury a child, but that my child would bury me.

I am STRONG because we didn't get to bring Dakota home. At 40 weeks 5 days, my daughter's heart stopped beating for an unknown reason.  

I am STRONG because I turned to God in my painful time and managed to continue with my life.

I am STRONG because even after our loss, we managed to try to conceive again.

I am STRONG because I have faith in God and he blessed us with our Rainbow baby.

I am STRONG because although you see me as parent with two children, I’m actually a mother of 3.

I am STRONG because parenting after a loss is tough and I AM making it!

I am STRONG because I am a SURVIVOR!!!



Friday, October 9, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 9 - Family.




Today we are to share what our family looks like now. I think it's best to let the pictures do the talking for today. 












We are generally happy and we have found our joy again. We haven't forgotten our angel. We have learned to manage the pain and we learned to live. To me, Family is there for you ALWAYS! Yes, we don't always get along and we have our problems but we are always there for each other. We support one another when things get tough and nothing can destroy us.... we have Christ in the center of ours.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 8 - Wish List.




Today's writing prompt is for us to share our wishes for our grief journey. I feel as if I somewhat belong in this journey, however, a part of me doesn't. Crazy, isn't it? I thought so too. Then, I got to thinking. Why would any of my wishes have to be for the grief itself?

So, here's my rambling thoughts of wishes:

1. I wish Pregnancy and Infant Loss DID NOT exist. No mother/father should have to part ways with their children. No matter how many times I say this... it's never enough.

2. I wish the media and the world showed their support for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness like they do with breast cancer. Yes, the breast are important. But so are the babies.

3. I wish to always strive to keep Dakota's memory alive by doing everything in my power to make her story known. I wrote it and published it... now to get it into as many hands as possible.

4. I wish my rainbow will always know BOTH of his sisters as he grows. I want him to tell the world he has TWO sisters, not one.

5. I wish my daughter could let go of the anger, bitterness, and heartache so she can FULLY live life with joy and peace.

6. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could hug and kiss my daughter. I wish I could watch her grow up.

7. I wish for further wisdom, for deeper relationships, for a way to bring light to those in need, to be more playful, to further my connection with Greg and our daughter, for more laughter, and for others to see the light within themselves!

8. I wish to continue to keep healing and to find peace and understanding.




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 7 - Memory.



The one memory that has haunted me for the past two years and still hurts to this day is when I had to tell my oldest that her baby sister gained her wings. I dreaded her arrival at the hospital. She was expecting a baby sister, but she got an angel sister instead. The look in her face when realization set in tears up my heart. I wish to this day that I could have carried her heartache and I wish she didn't have to feel the loss at such a young age. 

My oldest, Sunshine, dreamed of the things she wanted to teach her baby sister. I listened to her plans and hopes. I saw her smile and her joy over sharing her bedroom with her baby sister. She excitedly helped me put the baby clothes in the dresser after they were washed. I watched her as she helped me split the room she had to herself for three years by herself to make room for her baby sister.

I also watched as joy and happiness had been stolen from her face when she realized we weren't taking a baby home from the hospital. The way she joyfully ran into that hospital room asking for her baby sister turned to fear and heartache. 

My heart aches as I remember her asking me, "Mommy, why is all of my siblings taken away from me?" or "Why did God allow this to happen to MY sister. I wanted her." She cried to me as I held her.

These are the memories I'm trying to let go of, but they seem to bury themselves deep into my soul. To this day, I pray for my daughter and her healing. I believe the loss of her sister has caused her to hate the world around her and it shows in her attitude. :(



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 6 - Books.







There are many books that I turned to for my grief, however, I've always loved to read. Here's a list of the books that I have either read or I plan to read.

Simply Tuesday by Emily P Freeman
Let's All Be Brave by Annie F Downs
Saying Goodbye without Saying Hello by RaeBeth McGee-Buda
Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming 
Becoming a Prayer Warrior by Elizabeth Alves
Understanding the Healing Power of God by Doug Jones
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Trusting God to Get You Through by Jason Crabb
The Holy Bible

Right after Dakota passed, I dived into books about other angels who gained their wings or books about stronger faith, prayers, and healing. It was hard for me to read them but over time... it's all I wanted to do. I realized that getting lost in these books helped me free myself from the heartache of loss. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 5 - Empathy.



‪#‎captureyourgrief‬ ‪#‎whathealsyou‬

Empathy is something you can't get away from when dealing with grief. Most would think any types of empathy are welcome, however, I found not all are. 

During my time of loss, I had some people think they were being empathic but in reality, they were only hurting me with their words. 

I remember someone telling me, "God needed her more." My heart skipped to my throat because I just didn't understand how people would think this would bring me comfort. Our God, the Alpha and the Omega, chose my daughter for what? What was so important that he decided to take her so young and leave me in heartache for the rest of my life? Why would God purposely take my daughter and hurt me? Isn't he a LOVING God?

It's easy to say God needed her. He didn't ask you for yours and if he did, which of your children would you give back? Doesn't sound so good now, does it?

Then, someone told me, "Maybe there was something really wrong with her. Perhaps maybe it was something you couldn't handle and God knew this." I so badly wanted to respond, "What happened to the saying that God doesn't give us more than we can handle?" or "God doesn't make mistakes and there was NOTHING wrong with her. There's nothing in this world that could have happened with her where I would choose death for her over life."

God didn't need her. He didn't do this. Yes, He allowed for it to happen. This isn't something He chose, but it happened. He ALLOWED it to and not because He needed Dakota. Telling me that my daughter had something wrong with her...is wrong. Perhaps maybe something is wrong with you! 

Yes, these are thoughts I've had during the past two years. No, they're not kind but they are true. 

Then the big one... "I'm here for you no matter what!" This got to me. Many people who lost contact with me or completely ignored my existence came out of the woodwork when I lost my daughter. Many of those whom I can tell you aren't here for me today. They slowly faded back where they were before the loss. 

So, for those of you...the VERY few people who are still there... thank you. I am truly blessed to know such kind and loving souls.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 4 - Dark + Light


‪#‎captureyourgrief‬ ‪#‎whathealsyou‬

Today, I'm going to discuss the dark and light sides of grief, and how it affected me as a mother and as a person. My journey is unique and I believe that it wasn't the same way for many. This makes me feel blessed and like Christ understood. I believe that He helped me through a lot, especially during the darkness.

At first, I walked around in total disbelief. I never thought it would or could happen to me. Come on! Who actually thinks their baby will die? I didn't. Well, at least until I got pregnant with Dakota. I felt it and knew it from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I'd lose her. I felt it to my core. I felt as if there was a dark cloud following me everywhere and it lifted the moment Dakota gained her wings.

For the second half of the pregnancy, I reached out to everyone I knew and told them of my fears. I told them that I wasn't going to be able to keep her. I even reached out to my church for prayers. I honestly tried to pray away the dark cloud that followed me everywhere. After a while, I realized it wasn't going away and my worst fears were going to happen. Those around me could tell something was off with me and the pregnancy. My oldest daughter began to ask me, "Mommy, what are we going to do when the baby dies?" Of course, I gave her hope and told her nothing was going to happen to the baby, but in reality... I was asking the same question. 

The day came when she gained her wings and my soul knew the truth before the doctors did. From that point on, the cloud slowly disappeared. I refused from that point on to allow the dark side of grief to take over me. This was when I decided to let in the light and accept Christ as my #1 choice. Since then, I have experienced hardship, however, the darkness doesn't accompany it. When I feel the darkness creeping back in, I turn toward Christ for help and I rebuke anything and everything that isn't of Christ.

I knew darkness. I know light. My light is with Christ. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 3 - In Honor


‪#‎captureyourgrief‬ ‪#‎whathealsyou‬

Her name is Dakota Emily Buda. She was here on earth for 40 weeks 5 days. I was the only one who truly knew her. I felt her within me for this short time, but she made such an impression on my heart, which will last the rest of my life. On the day she was born, I made a promise to her that everyone I came in contact with would know of her and what she did for me. Shortly after, I wrote her story and shared it with the world in hopes of others knowing of my precious daughter.

I often feel her here with me. I sense her beauty in the world around me. Butterflies. Clouds. Sunsets and sunrise. The birds chirping. The leaves changing on the trees. It all reminds me of her and what wouldn't be. She's everywhere to me. She helps me to slow down, to focus on what's in front of me, and to be thankful for it. She's the reason I have a relationship with Christ. She's the reason I changed my ways and continue to live with gratitude, hope, and faith.

She is the reason why I'm doing what I can to bring Pregnancy and Infant Loss into the light. Today, I'm honoring my precious angel, Dakota.




Friday, October 2, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 2 - Intention


#‎captureyourgrief‬ ‪#‎whathealsyou‬

My intention for my life is to be more grateful in life. I can remember a good part of my life included complaints about every aspect. I unintentionally found the negative in every situation and always thought about the worse case. Since the death of my daughter, I felt overwhelmed by the sorrow in my heart and it caused me not to care for life or those around me. 

I want to continue being the grateful, happy, and joyful person I found only a few months ago. I feel as if I'm alive again and those who are around me seem to be happier with this change. I have dedicated my life to living for Christ and following His lead. 

My intention is to be a better mother, wife, and friend. In addition to being more grateful, I'm going to open my heart for total healing from our loss. I want to take our daughter's short life and make her memory sweet. I want my living children to grow knowing the right way to live. I want to find the blessing God has provided for me each and every day.






Thursday, October 1, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 1 - Sunrise.




Place - Farmington, West Virginia 5:13 am



The start of this years healing project is different than any of the others that I have participated in previously. Two years ago when I joined in with this project, I was broken, angry, and hurt. Today, I am pieced together, happy, and joyful. Blessings have been flowing into my life and my relationship with Christ has become so much stronger within the past two years. I started seeking the Lord in 2013 when my life took that huge unexpected turn and I must say, it was the best decision I had ever made.

Don't get me wrong, I still miss my baby girl but the pain that once joined the absence of her has gone away. I fully believe the Lord has healed this pain and replaced it with a new kind of joy. I have a joy within that I never felt before. The peace I feel is one I can say I couldn't accomplish on my own. 

I dedicate this sunrise to my angel, Dakota. As I see it, I feel peace, contentment, and happiness. Deep inside, I know that's what she would want. She wouldn't want me sitting here filled with sorrow and pain. She'd want me to embrace life as it is and reach out to those who need help. She would want me to be happy. That's exactly what I am. 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Project Heal: Capture your Grief by CarlyMarie

It's that time again. October is here and so is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. In addition to my strong will to support this cause, I take part in the Capture your Grief Project inspired by CarlyMarie each October.

What is Capture your Grief?

To me, this is a time of reflection when it comes to the loss of my daughter. I believe it helps me see how far I have come and how far I want to be. It gives me time to process Dakota's death each year and dedicate a little bit of time to her.

Each day there's a different subject for YOUR photo. It's not a challenge where you Google the images, but you take them yourself. As stated on CarlyMarie's page: "Capture Your Grief is a mindful healing project for anyone who is grieving the death of a baby or child of any age or gestation."

Here is this months subjects:


So, keep your eyes open every day this month for my part in this healing project. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Day I Invited Jesus into my Life

Life always seems to get away from me. There always seems like there is something to worry over or something that needs to be done. I tend to be an over-worrier. I found myself worried about things that were completely out of control. I wanted and needed control of my life, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it. It seemed that when one thing fell into place, another fell out of place. It was a never ending cycle.

I have always known Christ, but in my teen years, I fell away from Him. My life, friends, and life became my first and main priority. I grew up going to a Methodist Church in Smithfield, PA where we sang songs of worship and the Pastor told his message. However, hanging out with my friends and having fun was my biggest goal. I spent a lot of time goofing off in a friends truck, hanging out in the woods, and just being. At this time in my life, I rarely thought about Jesus. I hardly prayed. I lived by the name of a Christian, however, this was NOT my lifestyle.

Now, as an adult... I can't get enough of Jesus. I want more of Him. I jump out of bed Sunday morning, rush around getting ready, and joyfully head to church. After the untimely death of my dear daughter, I had a gentle shove into Christ. He held me as I cried. He promised that all would be all right and that He was near. He promised to always hold my hand tight and walk me through any of the trials I had to face. This was when I found my TRUE best friend. 

Since I have allowed Jesus into my life, amazing things have happened. My broken heart was healed. I stopped worrying so much. In fact, I hardly worry at all. My anxiety has slowed down and only shows in my weakest moments, but Jesus fixes it for me really quick. My faith has grown and I have an amazing relationship. I found my best friend who has fulfilled the deepest desires of my heart!

Have you met this man I'm speaking of? If so, how has He impacted you? Share a testimony below.