***My sisters and I are pleased to have guest writer Heather Bell here on The Kusi Life, sharing her story in our “See the Happy” Series.
Two years ago, my husband and I decided we wanted to have our fifth and final baby. I became pregnant pretty quickly though I didn’t realize it. A few weeks into the pregnancy, I began spotting and had a miscarriage in October. It was hard but I hadn’t known I was pregnant, so I was able to recover fairly quickly. A few months later, I became pregnant again. We were so excited as we felt this baby would really happen. We had planned our first trip away to Spain in July and had the most amazing time exploring the area my husband had lived in for two years. It was just what we needed.
A week after we got back, I started spotting. I immediately went to the doctor and they discovered that I was pregnant with twins and neither were viable. I miscarried them at home in one of the hardest times of my life. We had told our kids I was pregnant because we felt like everything would be fine. Having to tell them that the baby wouldn’t be born (we didn’t tell them it was twins) was so difficult for all of us. I think letting them down was almost harder than the miscarriages.
The recovery was difficult and took months for me to get back to normal physically. I had supportive family and friends who helped us and listened to me, but I spent a lot of time in bed just trying to survive. I was so grateful to have my kids to keep me busy during this time. I was afraid to try for a baby again, but thought it couldn’t happen again. I became pregnant in December and was not super hopeful but I didn’t want to be negative. I guess I was neutral about the whole thing.
I went into the doctor and found this baby wouldn’t be born either and that I would need a DNC. I had had one years ago between my first two babies and the recovery wasn’t bad but the emotional recovery was very hard. I had the DNC on Valentines Day of 2017. It was one of the worst days as I didn’t understand why this was happening again. I felt angry and confused. Why was this happening when I was able to have four healthy children before and in quick succession? Couldn’t I handle another child? Couldn’t our family handle another baby? I spent a lot of time in prayer.
Two days after this miscarriage, I knew I needed something to get me back into my routine. I couldn’t just lie in bed like I had before. I had gained weight and lost a lot of interest in things I liked to do. But I did love writing. Writing had always been soothing for me and had helped relieve stress and feelings. I decided I would write every day for a year for ten minutes. I created a blog to remain accountable, writeitout2017, and titled the first entry, “I am a Writer”. I was claiming to be a writer and that entailed writing every day even if I didn’t feel like it.
I started writing about random things that I was interested in or things I had seen or what I had thought about when I was running. I tried to be honest and not paint a perfect picture because life isn’t perfect. I looked forward to writing most days and I felt progress in the right direction. Then I created theme days. The first was, “I am a Mother Monday” where I wrote about women who had inspired me and been like mothers to me. I loved sharing what I wrote with them to let them know the influence they had been in my life. I started “What’s Cookin’ Wednesday” about recipes or foods that were important to me and memories I had associated with them. Fridays I wrote a five minute prompt from Kate Motaung’s, Five Minute Friday site. Each week she chose a word and anyone could free write about that word for five minutes and post it. I was always surprised about what came out. Finally, I had a Spiritual Sunday where I noticed God’s hand in my life or shared spiritual experiences I had. I also posted to my Instagram account writeitout06 in hopes that I could help other people struggling with similar things. Having this schedule and purpose, something that was just for me, helped me to get back into a routine. I was exercising again, as well, and trying to have goals for myself.
March 1, 2017 was supposed to be the date that I had had the twins. I didn’t want to make this a sad day. Yes, I was sad and it was hard but I wanted to remember them and all the babies. I wanted the kids to see that this hard time didn’t have to always have sad feelings. We went to our local cupcake shop and I told them that today was the day that I should have had the baby. There were a few tears and it was a bit somber but it was also good to talk about it with them. I wanted them to know it was okay to talk about hard things. We had bought an extra cupcake for my husband and were walking around our Main Street when I felt like I should give the cupcake away to the owner of a clothing store. We did it as a family and the kids felt happy about it too. We decided to make March 1 a day of service to remember the five babies who hadn’t been able to come to our family.
I don’t know what we will do each March 1. I plan on praying in advance and asking my family for their ideas. I am sure a trip to the cupcake shop will happen each year and we will give away a cupcake or two. I have found that time spent in service is time well spent. I am less likely to wallow when I am helping others. I think these babies would want to be remembered this way instead of with constant tears. I am getting to the point where I am more grateful to the babies because they helped me to reach out with real feelings and honesty. I don’t know if I have helped many people or just two people with my writing, but I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to write because it has helped me to deal with the hard feelings.
My name is Heather Bell. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, lived in Idaho where I met and married my husband after five months! We have four kids and have lived in Iowa for the last six years. I love writing, reading, baking, running and attempt DIY on our 1951 house. Raising our kids has been wonderful, but I’ve also had a great time working a few hours a week while the kids are at school, at a luncheon/antique shop in a 100-year-old barn. I never knew life would take us here but I love it!
Remember to See the Happy!