Grief and Anniversaries

Grief and Anniversaries

Grief is so strange. It hits you when you least expect it and it doesnt hit you when you want it. When it actually hits you, it spills over onto so many different things and people. It’s been a year. 365 days. I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around it yet and I’m not sure I’m going to. I feel like within the past year, I have grieved more than just the loss of our child. I lost myself, I lost people I once considered friends and family and I feel like I’ve caused my wife to lose her happiness…the amount of emotions is weighing on me. I’ve laid in bed all month just lost in thought. Remembering that day and how deep that hurt was. Trying to understand why us?

Thinking back to that whole week, I remember this constant sound in my head. Just on repeat, “Mommy?” I know…super creepy. I couldn’t get this out of my head no matter what I tried. I dreamt it even! I felt haunted. But one day it just stopped. Silence. I could not handle it. I lost my mind in grief. Dee was at work so I only had Luna sitting in front of me, licking my tears away. Or the time I was playing a video game about a week after we lost Samuel, and I couldn’t even get out of the menu screen without falling to pieces. Or the time I was making a schedule for the week of Thanksgiving and going into a panic attack for no reason. Had to call my doctor to get some meds filled. Grief hit me in such weird ways and on random days. I was once told by another mother who lost her son, “It’s not the actual day that brings grief; it’s the week leading up to the event that causes it”. Until this week, I didn’t understand what she meant. My pain is there and I acknowledge it. I feel it and I feel it very hard.

I must say, the love and support we’ve received from our friends and family have been amazing! You guys have gotten us through so much this year, I don’t know where we would be with you! We love you and thank you! 🖤

Mothers Day

Mothers Day

It’s Mother’s Day. The one day I thought I would be celebrating with my wife an our little, thanking God for our family. Instead I will be working. I will be seeing my own mother today and give her extra love…I just have a very heavy heart. The month of May is a really rough one. Aside from Mother’s Day, it’s also the month we lost Samuel. I haven’t quite processed that it’s almost been a full year. I have been avoiding it since the miscarriage. I’ve been avoiding a lot of things since then actually. But not anymore. Starting today, on Mother’s Day, I’m going to make a change.

Motherhood on my heart

We went to church back on Easter and ever since then God has been poking me. It’s really annoying because He won’t leave me alone! So with Him not leaving me alone, I finally asked “What??”. He said nothing. At first, I was angry. Why bug me and then say nothing?? And then I felt this warm peace just pour over me, head to feet. It has been YEARS since I have allowed that feeling (I’ve been very upset with God…so I pushed Him far from me). I felt like I needed to open my Bible to 1 Samuel and just read. So I did just that.

Dude. I’ve read this story so many times as a kid. I always said “I want a son so I can have a Samuel too!”. If only I knew what was coming…it’s crazy! Anyway, I’m reading this story and I feel my spirit stirring. My belly is HOT. I feel this woman’s pain. I feel it so hard, I’m not sure how to handle it. I re-read chapters 1 and 2 probably 4 times, just amazed how I totally missed this. Yes, the priest thought Hannah was drunk. But she was drunk off pain, not alcohol. I’ve been drunk off both due to losing our Samuel. So I get it. What I didn’t get was how Hannah just kept praying. She never stopped. And kept pushing and going and one day,

the Lord remembered her plea,

I instantly realized that God was speaking to me. Motherhood is something that we both want and long for. But we kinda just stopped praying and asking for the opportunity…depression is a serious thing and sometimes it’ll just suck you in and not let go. Why are we not leaning into Him? If the Lord can remember Hannah in the Bible, He can and will remember us. We just have to push through. This is the change I’m vowing to make. I am pushing through. I refuse to let my depression run my life. I also refuse to push my feelings aside and pretend they don’t exist. It’s not healthy for me, my wife or anyone around us. I’m making a change for motherhood.

I am praying for you mamas out there especially hard today. Today will be hard for everyone that has lost a mother, grandmother, aunt or those who have heavenly children. Making a change does not mean today isn’t hard for me too. Just please do myself and YOU a favor and spend some time with your loved ones who are not here. Feel those emotions but do not let it run you. Feel it but then move forward and do something with love! You especially need love today!

🖤

Nightmare

Nightmare

Waking up Thursday to go to our ultrasound greeted me with so much anxiety. Being 4 weeks pregnant and getting an ultrasound might sound strange but we gotta make sure our baby doesn’t implant in the wrong spot! Typically after having an ectopic, you get ultrasounds until they confirm there is implantation in the uterus. My poor wife was having PTSD while we walked back to the ultrasound room. Last time we were here, we had our world shattered. The ultrasound tech started and as we figured, couldn’t see anything BUT she did say she knows somethings happening! “Your uterine walls are nice and thick!” she kept saying. We leave, satisfied. Danielle goes home, and I go off to work.

I get an email from Parints about my blood work from the day before. They like to keep an eye on HCG levels and progesterone levels during the first week. The blood work absolutely devastated me. On Monday, my HCG level was 11, which is low but I’m also testing earlier than most people do. Wednesday’s blood test show I dropped to a 6. Anything 5 or below is considered a negative. Typically, your HCG levels will double every day…dropping levels indicate a miscarriage of pregnancy. Friday’s blood work showed I was at a 2. Officially lost the baby.

There’s something to be said about the pain you experience after a loss. Especially after another loss. It feels like all we do is experience loss. Whether it’s ours, our friends and family around us. Miscarriages and pregnancy difficulties are happening too frequently…how can we stop this from happening? Please, keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we process this. The hurt we are experiencing is really tough.

🖤

Being Open

Being Open

I was listening to a podcast the other day about Pregnancy and Postpartum and something really stuck out to me. Daniela Kende, who is a holistic health coach and natural birthing expert, was talking about how she was completely open about her pregnancy early on. She said “I’m being open because if for some reason I lost the baby, I need support from people around me”. That really stuck with my wife and I. We’ve been so quiet about the possibilities since we lost Samuel because we didn’t want to hurt anymore than necessary. It makes sense; no one knows so it can’t hurt right? Until someone asks that dreaded question of “When are you two gonna have kids?”. I really hate that question, to be honest. It’s one thing to have a conversation about children and the possibility to have them and what the plans are but to just come out and say “when is it happening?” or “Isn’t it time you guys had kids?”. It’s just rude to ask like that. There are other ways you can bring up the topic without ignorance.

So our plan was to stay quiet until we hit 12 weeks, like most parents after a loss. After that podcast, it just left me thinking. I know a lot of people have come to know about our loss and have felt sympathy towards the situation. Forever grateful for you all who have stuck by our side and did all the wonderful gift drop offs and pre-made dinners and flowers, etc. The love was unreal. Let us pay it back by telling you all about the journey we are on! We have made the decision to be incredibly open about our journey from here on out!

Round 3…

Let me back up. It’s January 17, 2019 and we started the process for our little number 2 on January 15th. I went to Parints and had a vaginal ultrasound on day 3 of my cycle (it’s never my favorite day…), just to see if my body is having a good cycle to try again. To my surprise, my ovaries had 35 visible follicles on each side!!! That’s like quadruple the amount from last time! I’ve completed 1 of 2 blood work appointments this week and started taking my clomid and let me tell you…I HATE clomid! Its like hormonal torture and it feels like the 2nd longest week ever!!! I’m laying in bed and my ankles are on fire! Yes, I worked today BUT it’s not my entire foot…it’s the ankles. In reflexology, the ankles are connected to your sexual organs. When you’re about to start your cycle, about to give birth or like me, taking fertility medicine, your ankles swell up more! (Look at them next time Aunt Flo comes to visit! You’ll see what I mean!). January 24th, we had the IUI done. Jen, our IUI nurse, tells me to start taking progesterone 3 days later. I start taking those and I feel…nothing. Hormones are crazy as usual, it’s just something I’ve come to understand and deal with. But that feeling of “Omg I’m definitely pregnant” isn’t there. And there’s a reason; I wasn’t pregnant. Started my cycle and my heart broke a bit. But nevertheless, I pushed forward. We went in the following month and my left ovary wasn’t producing big enough follicles. And since I do not have a right tube, it’s a gamble because then we would have to hope that the left tube could swing over to the right ovary and collect the eggs. Too risky when you’re paying over $1,100 every time. So we had to push it back to March. My heart was so heavy. I just want to be a mom to a living child. Is that too much to ask??

Round 3 started March 13th with clomid…and of course I’m trying to remain perfectly calm, cool and collected. This round was a little difficult for me. I felt very stressed out and very spacey. I actually forgot like 3 days and have no memory of them. I have yet to find out if it’s related to clomid being administered so much.

March 23rd, we went in for an ultrasound and that pesky left side is FINALLY getting large enough follicles! We were told that Monday March 25th was our IUI day! Danielle gave me the trigger shot that night. It’s cold, thick and burns every time I get it done. The one thing this whole process has opened my eyes to is that fertility treatments are anything but fun! We go in that Monday morning and this IUI procedure was very similar to the first round when we got pregnant with Samuel. It wasn’t easy and it was actually painful and uncomfortable. Did I go home afterwards? No…we went and bought a new car instead! We figured well we’ve been relaxed every time…let’s try something different. Let’s just go about our day like nothing big has happened!

2 Week Wait.

April 8th is our test date. I’m a little nervous but that’s to be expected. Lots of “what if’s” floating around the brain. Trying to limit the amount of stress is a lot harder than necessary right now, which is why I tend to become a hermit and recluse inside the safety of my own home and lock the doors. We are down to 1 week left until we know for sure if I’m pregnant. I’m not going to say if I feel like it or not because I can never tell. It’s either a baby implanting or a fart! Won’t be 100% sure until that test pops a “Positive”. And if it doesn’t, I’m not gonna lie or sugar coat it, I’m gonna be really friggin upset. It’s a very tiring job, physically, hormonally and emotionally. I know the moms out there who have been down this road understand what I mean. My favorite quote to describe this feeling comes from Bilbo Baggins in Lord Of The Rings. He’s explaining how he feels since he received the Ring and he said “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread”. I feel like my brain is stretched so thin.

Just keep us in your thoughts, vibes, prayers and crystal circles while we continue this journey. I will be posting another blog next week to inform you guys of what that test says! Fingers crossed for a “Positive”! Thanks for letting me be open!

🖤

Our Story

Our Story

Hey there, friends!

So I had a request to cover a topic by a lovely friend and client of mine. She wanted to know the story about how Danielle and I got together! It’s a very brief synopsis of how we met and when we got together. This is my favorite story and this will fill you guys in on who we are and where we started.

This is our happily, ever after!

I met Danielle back in August 2012. My memory is phenomenal by the way…hers not so much. She will reintroduce herself to you at 2 other parties because she doesn’t remember meeting! Nothing personal! We both worked for this call center in Arnold and I was ending my computer training and going to phone training when this super cute woman walks in with her spiky hair, polo and khakis. “Uh….heeelllllooooo!” Seriously, so cute. Brown hair and hazel eyes? She has my attention! At this point in my personal life, I wasn’t an out lesbian. I was still trying to understand my sexuality more…and I guess that meant date men until I’m 24! Being only 21 at that time, I hadn’t quite figured myself out. She introduces herself “Hello my name is Danielle Layman. But you can call me Dee! I’m going to be your transition team leader for the next 30 days!” Ok she’s cute, she’s fun, friendly…and now my boss.

Great. And then she gets a little more personal. “I’ve been with the company for 4 years and I’m engaged to the most beautiful girl in the world!” Welp. I quit.

Well it’s a good thing she’s not available because I cannot with my manager. That’s a hard pass. I ended up dating a guy that also worked with us…and he reported to Danielle…I was 21 and she was engaged. It didn’t matter…at the time.

Fast forward 3 years, the guy and I split and I got together with my first girlfriend. That shocked a lot of people. I grew up going to church and unfortunately some of my “friends” didn’t approve. I lost a lot of their friendships and to this day miss them! So the first relationship with a woman was extremely toxic. She was an addict and I was an idiot in love. It didn’t work out and right after we break up, I get a Facebook message from Danielle. “Hey I need a haircut! Can you help me? You do really good work!” I mean I’m down! I worked in the city at the time and that was too far for her. So we agreed, I would swing by on my way home and do a haircut at her house.

And now I’m panicking. I’ve had a crush on this woman for years and now I’m just going to waltz in her house and cut her hair? Am I HIGH?? The whole drive from St. Louis to Imperial was the longest 25 minutes of my life. Knuckles, gripping the stirring wheel, are so pale. I have sweat trickling down my back. “Can I back out?” I think to myself…

I’m at her house, cutting hair…”hey girl where’s the wifey at?” “Oh yeah about that…she left”

Say what now? What does that mean?? Where is she? Apparently she didn’t wanna be with Danielle anymore so she left. Uh…oh boy. Now I’m nervous because I’m in Danielle Layman’s house, cutting her hair and her wife has left? School girl crush nevvvvvvver went away. And that’s dangerous. WHAT???? So we made plans to have a beer and just talk about how “wretched women can be”. 2 days later, we met up for that beer. She told me about her break up, I talked about mine. The energy between us that evening was so thick. We were so drawn to each other and it felt so natural.

Birthday Dinners and First Kisses

My 25th birthday was 2 weeks later and she wanted to take me out for dinner. I haven’t been on a proper date in months and was pretty excited she wanted to take ME out on a for real date!

We went to my favorite Thai restaurant and got this little table near the kitchen and the wine rack. It was a little busy and super loud until she looked up at me. There’s that silence again. She was hesitant but she reached her hands across the table and touched mine. Butterflies. The dinner went to quickly and it was time to go home. Before I left, she asked to see me again later that next week for karaoke. I don’t sing but I wanted to be with her. So I said yes.

The next week I meet her sister at karaoke and she said “Holy f*ck is this the girl you told me about a few years ago?!”

I. Can. NOT! She told me she’s always thought I was beautiful but she was loyal to her wife. I mean, I’ll give her that. She’s honest but wouldn’t do anything to harm her relationship. Admirable really. But in my head I’m thinking “WHAT?! What what WHAT?!” I am so shocked but I managed to hide my excitement behind the beer bottle.

Imagine this little hole in the wall bar, some bad karaoke playing in the background and LOTS of confederate flags everywhere behind the smoke. I am watching this beautiful woman sing, dance and have a great time and I’m starting to wonder…”What the hell am I doing here?”. I don’t know what to do or think right now. I really, really like her but what do I have to offer her? I still live at home with my step-father!

Not cute! During my crazy brain train crash, I get a text message and it’s from Danielle. “Hey I went to the bathroom. Where are you?” I know what she’s thinking. So…am I staying or going?

I get up…and walk toward the bathroom door. I knock on the door and she opens it and pulls me in. Door shuts and next thing I know she’s right in front of my face. Holy. Sh*t. She leans in and kisses me and literally the entire world stopped spinning. Silence. Just her and I. The amount of butterflies in my stomach were so intense, I forgot to breathe. I got lost in her eyes (have I mentioned how they look like sunflowers in a summer storm? Breath taking!) and just smiled. I have found my peace and it’s Danielle.

Halloween

We went through some crazy times during this dating game. She was still messed up over her ex, as expected. And my ex wouldn’t leave me alone and attempted to start fights whenever she could. I was so mentally wrecked and emotional distraught over everything that my ex put me through, I surely thought Danielle wouldn’t want me. “I’m too broken” I told myself. “I’m the introverted, awkward homeschooled kid…” Why would Danielle even give me a moment in her world? But she really amazed me. She stuck around. She told me about how her heart was hurt and broken over her ex wife. She was always honest and kept things slow.

On October 29, she told me she didn’t want to hang out. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. Because she was hanging out with MY friends and didn’t want me to be there! Rude…so I went home and I was pretty salty. I wanted to see her and wanted to know what she was doing!!

Next day, she told me to come over after work. She had a surprise for me before a Halloween Party we were attending. I got to her house later that night, due to doing a Trunk or Treat at a private school for our company. I opened the front door…

The entrance way is dark except for these carved pumpkins with candles in them! There was this song playing by Leela James SOMEWHERE in the dark, and there’s a note. The note was her own personal feelings about me and for me being poured out and asking me to be her girlfriend! At the bottom of the note, she had “Check Yes or No” for my answer. I checked “yes” and walked upstairs and handed her the note. Not even looking at my answer, she threw the note aside and kissed me. Cue the fireworks!

Layman’s Terms

There’s the beginning of our lives. Little did we know that 2 years later (just shy 2 days!) that we would get married and start this crazy journey called our lives! I will be doing a wedding blog soon and help you brides who are trying to do a wedding on a budget! I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog!

2019

2019

Happy New Years, friends!

We finally made it through 2018! Talk about a ridiculous year! I feel like this year has taught us all so many things; good and bad. I’m gonna keep this a brief as possible so you can continue with your activities! I want to know what 2018 has taught you, what you survived, and how you’re going to make 2019 an even better year! So comment below or write me an email and tell me about your year! I’ll list a few things 2018 has taught me and then I’ll list what I hope to achieve in 2019!

What did this year teach me?

Well for starters, it was eye opening on many aspects. I had my first year as a married woman and that alone taught me patience and kindness. I had those things before, but marriage is hard especially after going through trauma. I was introduced to falling in love with my child. Even though he was taken from me, he has taught me things I never knew about myself. I have learned to take care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually. I have begun to learn to let things I cannot control go. I have also learned to look for the joy in life during sadness and anger.

2019

I hope this year I learn and grow more. Even if that growing means I find out a way to keep my aloe plants from constantly dying! (I’ve seriously killed 3 aloe plants and cannot figure out why!) I have a few things I want to establish this year and I would like to share them with you:

Starting a family!

Yes, we will be trying again this new year! With lots of good vibes, prayers, vibrations and whatever else you can give to someone, we will try this process again. Now I will not be disclosing WHEN but I will be posting a blog at some point about the actual process of IUI! It’s actually pretty cool how they do it!

Certified Yoga Instructor

I would love to find time, before or after baby, to get my YTT 200. Yoga has helped me through a lot this year and I want to be able to help others through yoga. Plus, as a hair stylist, it helps me physically throughout the long days!

Read more books.

Less Facebook, more real books! I’m tired of constantly scrolling through the same new feeds, and politics and some of the most annoying ads on the planet. This year, I hope to get lost in the pages of books. I use to read a lot as a child and it gave me the ability to escape but also helped my imagination. (Harry Potter will forever be my go to when I’m sad and need to escape for a bit. The Wizarding World is just incredible!)

That’s it. Simple list. But all attainable. I hope you all have a phenomenal night and great new year! Please be safe out there if you are going to parties. It’s going to be rainy and cold all day here in St. Louis, MO. Be sure to sign up for emails so when I post a new blog, it goes directly to your inbox and SHARE with your friends!!! I’ll be doing some updating on this website until the middle of January so I will not be back writing until then. But in the mean time, read, write to me if you need help with anything and share with your friends going through hard times.

Happy New Year!

XOXO

Mommy’s Guardian Angel

Mommy’s Guardian Angel

Hello there, friends!

Hello! I’m gonna start off by introducing myself! My name is Hannah Layman. I currently reside in Imperial, MO with my wife, Danielle, and our puppy, Luna. My wife and I have been together for a total of 3 years and we recently got married on October 28, 2017. See photo below. Que the “awwws” I know I know…we are CUTE!!!! And that whole day was AMAZING! Don’t worry, I’ll have a whole blog about my wedding day for those of you who are getting married!

She is one amazing woman and I am so blessed to be able to call her my best friend, my wife and the mother of our children.

Ok, so the reason I wanted to start this blog is to help women like me get through life. Personal struggles, painful stories and some romantic bliss…I’ll be covering it all. So if you want me to write an essay about any topic, please email me! I’ll leave all of my social media contact at the bottom of the blog!

Let’s rock and roll!

So I’m gonna start off with an extremely raw, personal story. I want you, the reader, to feel included and if you’ve ever been through something like this, I want to help you! So be prepared, this is a lengthy one and it’s a sad one. Here we go;

Back in April 2018, my wife and I went to PARINTS for a scheduled procedure called IUI. Now IUI is where they take sperm and insert it in through the cervix and towards the ovary in hopes of getting pregnant. Well fast forward, the pregnancy test is POSITIVE!!! Happy dance!!! We were over the moon, already planning what the holidays would be like, how our lives were gonna change…EVERYTHING!!! Excited and nervous and happy…all of the emotions! And yes we told practically everyone…got a little too excited! One thing about Danielle and I is we get way excited and we talk a lot…and we talk LOUD!!!! You have been warned in advance now! So we went through the process, call the doctor, set up the appointment, yada yada blah blah blah. Ok great ultrasound is set for 8 weeks. Perfect. I can get use to being pregnant and try to find my niche. Well at the appointment life turned upside down. We had an ectopic pregnancy. Our baby attached to my right Fallopian tube instead of the uterus. The chances of the baby and I surviving this is 0%. We had to have our child removed. Of course we are devastated! No one wants that. So the next day I had to go to Mercy Hospital for a shot that will “dissolve” the pregnancy. Well after waiting for 2 hours watching all of these happy pregnant families walking around, it was my turn. Walked part a room where you could hear the heart beats of all of those little unborn children. My heart cracked. They did a second ultrasound on me just to be sure. Turns out, I need surgery and not a shot. The baby was too big to be dissolved. So after my immediate melt down and panic attack, I’m wheeled away to start the pre-op stuff. Get into surgery about 2 hours later and woke up…not pregnant. The weirdest feeling. I have felt numb and empty before but not like this at all. This was different and cold. My wife, bless her heart, told me that my right Fallopian tube burst and I was bleeding out before they cut me open and I almost died. So I ended up losing my Fallopian tube and my baby. Talk about a crazy Friday! I didn’t know how to process or handle anything and I think I just spaced out for a full week.

Now…the aftermath hasn’t been easy at all. Going through post-partum depression without a child is hard. You have nothing to hold or look at that makes it worth it. Therapy, support groups, antidepressants, yoga, distractions at work…nothing helps. My wife, god LOVE HER, has been my biggest support through all of this. We both agreed that we needed to give this baby a name and we agreed with Samuel. In the Bible, Hannah has a son named Samuel and she gave him back to God as a promise. I just feel some kind of connection with that story. It’s appropriate.

What can you do?

Honestly? Just be there. I have a great support system of friends and family around me during the rough times. You don’t have to say a word. Words don’t always bring comfort for the person you’re consoling. Sometimes just coffee in silence is enough. The mama that goes through this, needs healing and of course the healing process is a long and slow one. It’s not something you can get over in a day or a week or a month or a year. It sticks with you. So if you are wanting to help, just be there for her. Ask her what she needs, make her a playlist to listen to. I’ll add my go to playlist at the bottom of the blog. Remember, it’s important to be there for your friend going through something like this but it needs to be on her terms. And don’t ever tell her to get over it or move on. That’s insensitive. She’s still a mama and that was her child. She loves that child with her whole heart!

Well that’s it on my very first blog! A little raw, a little sad and a little personal but I feel like there are other mamas who need to hear this and know you’re not alone! We are a tribe of women and we all have love for you and your angel baby!

Please email me if you have any questions or if you personally need help or someone to talk to, I am here!

Hairbyhannahlayman@gmail.com

Please follow me on social media!!!

instagram.com/themoshingmama

https://open.spotify.com/user/hannah.elizabeth1841/playlist/6nS1tUYsHoeQjMB7TCgaIo?si=obLIx6ohSA6lkb2GUPXGiQ