Sunday, April 23, 2017

An Untold Story

"There is no greater agnoy than bearing an untold story inside you." 

I recently read this quote and tears filled my eyes at the possibilities that families experience with pain in all situations. I've never thought of a story being untold, until I had one. My life has now become an open book, and for some reason my heart needs to let this story turn into one that is heard. 

Miscarriages are never spoke of. It may be the pain that conversations bring up for the Moms and Dads that have experienced them, or the unknown of what could've become. Statistics show that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. These numbers are devastating. They're not the fault of anyone but sadly, (as much as I've hated hearing the phrase,) "something that just happens." Which is where all of the hurt begins. 

On a March afternoon after leaving school and just having that feeling of, "oh my word, I believe this is finally happening!" Curtis and I found out that baby #3 was soon to be. 


We were nervous, excited and ready for another adventure that God had given us. We playfully argued back and forth about finding out the gender, or not. Wether we would be finished after number 3, or not. How we would tell our parents, our children and our friends. 

I never realized how perfect the highlited scripture was for this experience. 


That was until I woke on a Tuesday morning during Spring Break to what would become one of the hardest valleys my life has endured. I continued to read over this scripture as I sat in an ER room waiting for answers of what I already knew was taking place. 

It's true that noone ever tells you how much pain you can hold for someone you've never met. There isn't a number of weeks, numbers in an HCG count, or a line graph of numbers that could show the love a Mother holds for baby. Even though I knew from the moment I left, it was unbearable for me to tell my husband that my body was working against what we thought was our next big adventure. No one prepares you for crying in your husbands arms as daylight is beginning to break. Or going from plans of announcing a pregnancy, to giving them news that your plans have changed. The gasps and smiles as you start to tell your news to family, that quickly change to hugs and tears. Or how when you get a reminder phone call for your first ultrasound and appointment because your doctor's office mistakenly didn't cancel the appointment. Your heart literally just breaks all over again. Loss is loss, and it's just simply hard. A hard that no one can describe. 

Obviously, it's true that miscarriages are not talked about. But they should be.

We recognize life in so many forms, and we also recognize the passing of life. We grieve with loved ones and total strangers on many occasions throughout life, and grieving is an important role. The Lord even calls us to grieve. Stories of sadness may not be spoke of because they are hard to hear, but sometimes they are what we need to say. I didn't realize how much I needed to speak about this recent experience until one afternoon I blurted it out to two sweet ladies after a PTO meeting. I'm sure I blindsided them, but their responses comforted me and told me that they too would be praying for this valley. 

"God knew we needed you to tell us."

I agree and I'm thankful for their words. 

The twelve week rule isn't an etiquette guideline that I've ever followed. But after this journey I personally cannot say I ever will. 

Life is celebrated with reveals, postings, parties, and surprises. Death is a protocol for a memorial or funeral. But a miscarriage death is usually an experience of grief held by only one person, or two. 

No one should ever have to grieve alone. Or feel as if their grief should be hidden. We shouldn't feel as if a miscarriage passing isn't adequate enough to grieve for. 

We should be excited about our pregnancies from the moment we have the first thought of, "Oh could this be?"  We should let our loved one surround us with love and encouragement in all situations - easier said than done. And to never fear the judgements like I feared would come. As I told my family and close friends, I told them that I didn't want anyone knowing per the judgement that could follow. But in reality, there isn't judgment to be casted out. 

I've grieved and there are moments that I will still grieve. Even though this was an early pregnancy, there are no words to change what could've been. I've since learned that when you miscarry, it isn't just a physical process but one of emotions from the start to I assume never ending - as grief always just gets better in time. 

My untold story of our could've been may have been full of possibilities. But how thankful I am for a God that loves the broken. One that was also my ear when I had only a few to speak to. Even though I may not ever understand, I know his timing and our "what if's" are his perfect plan. 

I hope that I can be more diligent with being honest in my conversations. It may be hard to talk about, but talks that we need to have. If you're someone who has not experienced a miscarriage but are a shoulder for some who has, just listen. Let this person know it's okay to feel whatever they need to. Share scripture with them, and just let them be heard. If you're someone who has experienced a miscarriage reach out to someone because you never know if they may be within that 25% that has suffered a miscarriage. For myself, I'm personally trying to grow the introvert out and have these hard talks. They may range from sick children, a busy mom schedule or just someone I know who is in a season of struggle. 

While I'm still in this hallway, I'll continue to praise him until the next door opens, whether it's a rainbow or another hard storm. Hard things bring us to our knees and I'm not sure about you, but that's exactly what I need most days.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hatching Chicks

Hatchimals have nothing on my eleven year old farm girl that has a love for not only animals, but for life itself.

On Christmas, we gave Charli Beth an incubator as a gift. It's seriously nothing fancy but after some research I found that it would do its job and give us many memory making days. To say the least this gift was perfect, and is already the gift that never stops giving and growing.


In March, I started asking asking for someone to buy fertilized eggs from to start our project. Let me just say that we are blessed to know many kind, loving families that quickly wanted to share with us. We went with a family friend who also babysat Charli Beth as a baby. She had maran, Araucana and wynadotte eggs.

The perfect combination for all of our wants.

So we picked our eggs and marked them on one side (we used marker and that was a big mistake apparently. I never even thought of the damage it could do but after reading I realize pencil is best. As my 8 year old self would say.."duh!")


The reason we marked the eggs is because we were turning them three times a day by hand. Typically you can find egg turners for a cheap amount at TSC. But I wanted to give this a try and let Charli B stay more engaged - not that she would ever have a problem doing so. We placed them within the incubator and began our journey of incubating chick eggs.

It takes 21 days to hatch. 21 long nerve wracking days.

Are they too hot? Is the Humidity too low? Is this storm going to make us loose power?

It's literally like being a Mama hen. Don't laugh.

You can start to see life forming around Day 6/Day 7.


The veins are spreading and the embryo is very pronounced. Isn't this amazing? It's literally like a chick egg ultrasound. This process is called Egg Candling and is done by a special flashlight.

Day 10 candling already shows movement! I'm not certain that the videos will post along but I will add them to my Facebook page - Boots, Bows & 5-oh


Day 14 was the day to officially throw out eggs that had stopped growing or were not fertile to begin with. On this day we tossed 5. I did crack two of them just to investigate. If you see more than a blood ring within an egg, I do not advise this. The two I opened never started forming after being implanted. There are many reasons this could've occurred.

(This is a bad egg with a blood ring) 


Day 18 is the last official egg candling day. This is also known as, "lock down day." After you candle for the last time you shut the incubator and do not open again until hatching occurs. The eggs need to keep their humidity so the shells do not become soft once pip holes begin. This is SO hard.

Day 20 arrived and of course no hatchings started. I literally thought we had killed them all until the next morning came and a little hole came about. I wanted to stay home all day just to watch, but work calls. We were all so anxious that it was hard to wait. We had to make deals of which kid would be the first in the door to check the incubator. By no surprise, Charli won. But no action had been made. We literally ordered pizza and sat by the incubator until Charli and Bryar went to bed. I returned to my perch after tucking in and reading stories. At 12:20 our first chick hatched. I tried waking little Miss Mama hen, but she didn't budge so I ran back in to start a video for her. It was literally...



The ugliest thing ever, but so very cute and sweet at the same time! I listened to it peep all night long as it not so gracefully walked around to cuddle other eggs.



As time passed one thing I noticed with our incubator is that it did not help chick dry off properly. I'm not sure why this is, or what I can help do at this point. For this time I spent an Friday night bathing them with hot water on a cotton ball, then blowing drying their little feathers. After this they each immediately went into our brooder under a heat lamp. 


As other chicks started to hatch and Charli was sound asleep, I decided to do a live Facebook video. This hatch took 48 mins, and yes 17 people watched the entire time. I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who was anxiously awaiting hatchlings to arrive. 



The chicks are now around 3 weeks old. This a latest photo of some from Easter.

We hope to start a new hatch in a few weeks when life slows down a bit. For now, I believe we'll continue researching and learning from this experience. 


Story of Mommy

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I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. A wife to the 5oh, and Mother to Charli Beth and Bryar. This is my story of Motherhood, life experiences and sometimes even my overwhelming heart all typed out. I believe in second chances, yet the firm hand of parenting. That sweet tea is of the comfort food category. Chickens belong in every backyard. Children should each have a responsibility of their own while helping take care of duties in the home. Sports are a must for our family, and we spend many nights on courts or fields. We consistently feel new to each of the experiences that are brought into our lives. But we are always excited for the journey in which God has given us.

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