Grief Triggered

*First and foremost, this is not a pro-life or pro-choice post. Nor will comments about your beliefs delivered in a disrespectful way be tolerated.
Now, on to the thoughts. You know I’m a verbal processor. Yet this isn’t probably what you expected on the topic.
I’ve been noticing myself feeling a bit wonky lately. I mean true we are moving, trying to sell our house, etc. But this has been a deeper wonky.
Like everyone else the news about the new NY abortion law has caught my attention and flooded the news outlets and social media feeds. Now I am a human with neonatal intensive care nursing experience with my own right to how I feel about that topic but that won’t be discussed here or with my closest friends even.
This is about the sadness and grief that settled deep into my belly. Why you might ask? Triggers from things you didnt expect but make total sense. The best way I can explain it is this. I’m seeing hundreds of post about this law. Being in the deep South most of them are pro-life. A baby is a baby before it’s born.
And yet when a baby is lost before birth due to “natural causes” the world around you does not treat you with the depth of compassion and care that they would if you baby had been born living and then died. And that disparity blows my mind. It that was the case that I had birthed a live baby and lost her I would have been expected and encouraged to take as much time (up to 12 weeks thanks to the FMLA) as I needed. But instead I went back to work within a week. To this day that fact baffles me. At the time it just seemed like I was expected to be back at work.

I am not saying the entire world was not helpful or healing. But for the most part the argument for a baby is a baby in utero to experiencing a miscarriage and how insanely hurtful some people can be afterwards there is a huge disconnect. And I’m hoping I help change the dialogue and the support for grieving parents.

I wonder had a taken a little more time to heal my heart shattered into a thousand pieces over our baby girl before I returned to nurse other people’s broken but living babies and hearts…might I still be a NlCU nurse? Might I feel a little more whole almost two years out? Might I have a different perspective and experience?
So you see to have the world go up in arms about a baby being or not being a human baby in utero is something that draws out and highlights some very hard things. The world shouts a baby is a baby and yet I was told I could go back to work 24 hours after my D&C. Less than 48 hours after it was confirmed that indeed life AND death had been held within my body and passed through me. Death is always a sad thing even when you know the person will no longer suffer but as a mama to a baby that was miscarried had your child die before birth, you LITERALLY have created life inside your body and held death inside of you. Every fabric of your being.
Reading the above you will say well she is saying her baby died in utero so she must be pro-life. I’m not saying what I do or don’t believe. I do want to lay this out there, as well.
On the other hand pro-choice post can make me feel like all my pain and grief and hurt has been devauled in a split second.
To the Mamas that by choice or necessity had to terminate a pregnancy. I see you too. And I carry your heart and pain with me. You are seen and known and loved, irregardless of what the past holds. You most likely live with regret, pain and shame. Maybe not necessarily because that is how you feel but because that is how society has made you feel. You and your baby is still seen, valued and loved.
If you dont know much about our girl you can read more under #1in4. But I will highlight the portion that I feel is relavant.
On February 28, 2017 I got this erie feeling. I was 13 weeks. We were supposed to be in the safe zone though as a nurse you know that to be a lie, there is no safe zone. Safer maybe but not safe. I tried to doppler her heart beat with my at home doppler as most all NICU nurses have but probably shouldn’t. I couldnt find it. I panicked and yet I knew. Even though I trirf to talk myself out of it, I knew our girl was gone. I experienced death within my body and soul. The next day I received a call from our doctor. The genetics came back and our girl was unwell. She would most likely die in utero but if we did make it to birth she would not live more than a few hours. I never had to make a choice about termination or my health versus hers because when we arrived that the hospital ultrasound confirmed she already had her wings and was rejoicing with the angels. No doubt being held by all of our dear loved ones. On the trails of Flatwoods, by her Sants looking Great Grandfather and walking the shores of Hunting.
No doubt had she still been alive on that dreadful Wednesday afternoon, we would have been asked and encouraged to terminate. I remember riding to the hospital next to my husband. He had rushed home from work to be with me after the phone call that changed the course of our life forever. I remember praying, let my baby be ok, let them be healthy but please Lord dont make me chose what to do if she is not well. Let it be done, let it be decided. In a way I feel so guilty and selfish like I wished her away from us. But yet I could not fathom having to decide.
So whether or not your baby was “miscarried” or you had to make the most difficult desicion in the world. I know these news lines and social media walls can prove to be a minefield of triggers. I hope you know you are loved and you are not alone.
If you want to learn more about how you can be a better help to those grieving tbe loss of a baby/pregnancy around you please stay tuned thats something I am working on.
In love and peace.

Riley Kate’s Lovies Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope your day and season is filled with joy, love and peace. I know the holidays can be an especially hard time for many. I pray you find some pocket of peace and joy today no matter how small. 

Riley Kate’s Lovies are our little girls legacy and remembrance. I started these act of love as a way to help spread the light and love she brought into our lives in her 13 short weeks. It has become therapy and healing for me and I truly hope the recipients feel loved and cared for. This year I did the 25 days of Riley Kate’s Lovies, doing one or more random or sometimes not so random act of love in her honor. It brings me such joy to share her with the world and to honor her. 

This year would have been her second Christmas. I can not imagine what a joy that would have been. It is hard not to get bogged down in the what ifs. I’m striving to see the beauty in the ashes and be a light for the world around me, in order to spread her light and love.

We hope your season continues to be filled with love, light and joy. May 2019 bring you exactly what you need. Merry Christmas! Happy Everything! Wishing you a Joyous New Year! Lovies!

Riley Kate’s Lovies 09.07.18


09.07.18 Happy “First Birthday” Baby Girl. On this day I lit your candle of love to shine bright and illuminate the world. I grieved and cried, I mourned the loss of you and your entire lifetime. We also spread your love and light to celebrate, honor and remember you throughout the town. I pray these will inspire, brighten and give joy to others. I hope people will pay it forward in your honor and that #rileykateslovies becomes your legacy and light in the darkness.


Thank you again to everyone who helped honor her and love on us this month. Especially Birmingham Candy Company thank you for your continued love and support it means the world to me.


I don’t know what the future holds but I am hoping it burns bright with light and love and that I can use my heart, experiences,words and knowledge to help someone else process and create a life that not only lives with grief and not despite the grief but because of the grief. Because grief is our proof that we have loved well. An baby girl my love burns bright for you.

A Year and a Day

A year and a day we have survived and lived through the most painful year of our lives. This post has been sitting in my draft box for a long time. It took even longer to write it. Just over a year exactly.  One may wonder why I wanted to write it, well because tucked inside the darkest, hardest days of our lives are little treasures that I never want to forget. And in order to truly remember the treasures that they are you have to remember the dark days that they came packaged within. In addition, writing it down and out of my head reduces the demon powers. I also truly believe you can find an entirely new level of joy and light only after your experience the hardest, lowest, most painful level of darkness. This is a forever long post mini novel long and there is definitely more heart ache than good. But here it is.  Continue reading “A Year and a Day”

Happy Thanksgiving

Loves, here we are the first big event in a season of love, celebration and gathering your people. A season that can amplify the empty arms and longing in your heart. Whether you are still waiting on your miracle babe or your in the grief of losing your baby (no matter if it’s been days, months or year ago) or you are aching for your mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparents, family and friends. Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving”

Loving Lately: In Loving Celebration 

September 7, 2017. We spend the day celebrating and honoring our precious girl. We did some random and some not so random acts of love in her memory. It certainly did not replace having her in my arms but it did bring me joy to know we were sprinkling happiness into other people’s day.

After a good morning workout I dropped my fist act of love close by. Then, I grabbed breakfast and a walk with a God sent best friend. We chased her little one around Crestline Village for a while. The weather was beautiful and you could feel the crisp edge of Fall heading our way. It was the perfect antidote rather than sitting on the couch alone (yes Ryan was home but slept til 11, per usual). One treat was left outside of Crestline Bagel.

I continued to the Botanical Gardens to leave a few love treats there. I  absolutely love our Botanical Gardens and do not go near often enough. It’s almost like I forget how much I love going there until I am back. Thursday the weather was still cool, the roses were blooming and the crowds were light. While walking around I saw a lady who had found one of the treats, it made my heart so happy to see her carrying it.

Downtown Homewood was up next. First I stopped by Little Professor Books store to leave two gift cards tucked beside two books there. I think this was one of my favorite ones I did. It was also fun to try to be sneaky and not let anyone see me leaving them. Cookie Fix was up next. I am thankful for the ladies there that happily (and selectively) gave 6 cookies and cards out to people who really looked like they needed a pick me up.

I, also, visited a sweet friend and gave her a love treat to honor her angel baby, one of my favorite and most meaningful gifts. She is also an answered prayer and looking back it’s so amazing how people are brought into your lives just when you need them. Or maybe at the time you don’t realize why but soon enough it becomes all to apparent.

I then picked up our cake from Savage’s Bakery. I say a cake similar on there Facebook page and knew we needed one for Squirt’s Celebration Day. Dogwoods were some of my Papa’s favorite, I forever will think of him when I see a Dogwood in bloom. The week we lost Squirt our Dogwood tree in our front yard was blooming as well. So now these things are intertwined in my mind.

Ryan called while I was out so I headed home. We got ready for lunch where we met another friend and her cutie pie. All the friends rallying like I would have never dreamed before this year. We ate cheesy fries. Dropped another love treat off at a special friend’s house. We played and talked for a bit before they had to head home. Ryan and I then settled in for a nap on a emotionally exhausting day. We watched a bit of our new binge, New Girl, before heading to dinner. We had to meet someone to sell our football tickets so we did that and left a small treat in a buggy at Target.

We ate dinner at Mugshots and left a small treat for our waitress. We also left a few treats in Homewood Central Park. We headed home for a little more tv and bed.

I tried my best to support local, small business by using their goods to leave as treats around town. Apart from a few e-gift cards sent to Lovies far away I was able to support local business as I love to do.

I enjoyed this so much this year and feel it was the perfect way to celebrate and the perfect way to heal our sadness is to spread joy and love to others. I plan to do this every year on September 7th as a way to remember and honor our precious first. If you would like to join me next year by preforming an act of love in her honor please email me and I will send you a small card to pass along with your act of love that explains what the treat is about. It can be as random as paying for the cars food behind you in the drive thru, leaving a treat in a park, or as thoughtful as gifting something to a friend that has gotten you through a tough time or a family that has also lost a little one.

I pray it touched the hearts of everyone who found one and hopefully they reached the people that needed some heart, healing balm the most on Thursday. If you found one and found your way to my through social media, please send me an email or tag me on social media if you feel like it. I can not wait to continue this throughout the years to come and hopefully hear stories of how they reached and brightened someone’s day when they needed it.

Thanks MC for the beautiful flowers, fun vase and cake. I can not wait to reuse the fun vase with some Pepperplace flowers. Seriously, there are no words for how much you mean to me. Thank you K for driving a couple of hours to spend some time with us. Thank you to my North Carolina family for the beautiful flower arrangement. I can not get over how gorgeous it is. I want to give the florist a key to my house and unlimited funds to just keep them fresh and beautiful indefinitely. Thanks to everyone else for your kind words and thoughts. There are literally too many to name individually here. Thanks to everyone who spent time with us Thursday, called, texted and sent us love and support. Again, I am overwhelmed with the amount of love we received this year. I am continuously reminded how important and meaningful being surrounded by people who love and support you truly is.

It was a lovely day celebration our girl. It was hard at times but we made it through with the love as support of our family and friends.  I knew the best way for us to honor and celebrate Riley Kate was to spread love into other people’s lives just as she brought us so much love into ours.

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