1 Year Vegan!

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Today is an amazing day! Today I celebrate my first year as a vegan! It’s been incredible and confusing and I’ve learned a bunch along the way.

Why I went Vegan.

I went vegan for so many reasons. If you asked my husband, I saw a documentary on Netflix while he was gone for the weekend and by the time he came back I was a full-fledged Vegan. Not so simple but sure. It started out, very much, as a health decision. I wanted to cut back on meat, specifically red meat, and I wanted to incorporate more veggies into my diet. Especially since I have pretty bad asthma and the healthier I am the less at risk I am for having attacks. I also had this idea that eating vegan meant I would lose a shit load of weight. It’s progressed, since then, to so much more than health. I am very conscious and aware of the animal abuse, the environmental influence, and the wastefulness that comes with not being vegan. I mean, growing up I always had the idea in my mind that “damn I’m eating a cow right now and that’s pretty fucked up.” And any Dominican has been to a cook out where the whole pig is just chilling on the table, all roasted up, and you have that split second thought like “wow this is not right.” But I always kept eating meat because everyone does it so why should it be a problem?

How I went Vegan.

I celebrate today as being Vegan because today was when I made the conscious decision to go fully into this commitment. However, I didn’t do it cold turkey. Actually, when I went Vegan I kept the attitude that if it doesn’t work out its fine I’ll just go back to eating meat. We’ll see how it goes. I honestly didn’t think I would make it to one year. My new years resolution for the year was to stop eating red meat. By the time July started I was already not eating red meat, pork, and was very rarely eating chicken and turkey. This weekend last year, Matt was away in Atlantic City and anyone who is married to a man knows that this meant I finally got the remote control to myself! This was around the time What The Health was all over the place so I decided to watch that. Then I started watching a bunch of other documentaries. And not just on veganism but on the effects of drinking and smoking on your body, what eating more vegetables can do to your body, the meat industry, the prescription drug industry and so on and so on. By the time Matt got home I was so motivated to just live a healthier life and I knew I wanted to start by going vegan.

Pitfalls of my journey to Veganism. 

Not eating meat is not hard. It really isn’t. You just don’t do it. Being vegan is so much more than just not eating meat though because it’s not consuming or using any animal products. Things that you don’t even think about are not vegan and the random stuff that has milk in it is pretty insane. I remember I bought a big ol’ bag of dark chocolate covered almonds thinking they were safe. Then one day I actually looked at the ingredients and of course it contains milk. Another time I was buying the Morning Star mock meat products. Totally safe right? Wrong! I realized they contain milk and eggs. This happens pretty often actually. I’ve gotten a lot better at being able to spot things that I cannot have and reading the ingredients carefully. So has my husband. Some times people get my order wrong and I have to send it back which really sucks. I try to be as flexible as I can but sometimes it’s out of my hands. Like the other day we went to get bagels and I ordered a whole wheat everything with tofutti (tofu cream cheese, it’s delicious you should try it!) onions and tomatoes and Matt ordered an egg everything with cream cheese. They accidentally mixed up the bagels! Now, if it was any other bagel I would have eaten it but the egg bagel is just not an option. So, I sent it back and I felt bad even though it wasn’t my fault. Another time I ordered veggie dumplings and they sent me pork ones and I took a bite not knowing. I spit it out and kept it moving. I’ve learned to ask for no cheese even if the dish doesn’t say it has cheese. I’ve found that 90% of foods have cheese in it at most restaurants. For. No. Reason. I don’t know why but I’m telling you we put cheese on everything! It’s insane! There are times when me and my husband will be eating out and I’ll get something and he’ll go be all like wow I can’t believe you made a meal out of all of that. Nice! And then there are other times when we just sit there laughing at whatever is put in front of me. Like one time I ordered avocado toast without the egg. I got literally two slices of bread and a whole avocado cut down the middle. They didn’t even mash it! No salt or pepper, or anything! I was like CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I mashed that baby up, put some salt and pepper, some tomato and onion slices and ordered a side of potatoes. I actually got a compliment on how healthy I was eating that day from some random woman in the restaurant! Not everything is in your control but where there is a will, there’s a way and I don’t mind making a meal out of sides if I need to.img_0572.jpg

Hardest part about being Vegan.

When I first decided to go Vegan I thought the hardest part would be finding something to eat when I wasn’t at home. I mean I went vegan in July and in August I took a trip to Cuba. It wasn’t like I could pop into a Cuban supermarket and pick up a Beast Burger or something. Honestly, it has never been an issue.

What I do struggle with is the social aspect of being a vegan. I live with my husband and my two dogs. My dogs have currently been switch to vegan kibble. They still eat cheese and bones and things like that but their main food is vegan. The kibble they eat helps because they have pretty sensitive stomachs and their poop is amazing on the vegan kibble (sorry TMI but dog parents understand the struggle.) My husband eats meat and so does almost everyone else in my life. I am also a people pleaser, I love to host, and I want everyone to leave my house happy. When we have a big party I struggle with the fact that in order to serve my guests I have to include meat and other non-vegan options. When I cook dinner for my husband sometimes he wants a steak. So how can I protect my morals and my decision and still host and serve the people I love without shoving my own beliefs down their throats and/or making them uncomfortable? I don’t really have an answer to this. It’s something I am still working through and figuring out on my end. I’ve made this choice in my life and that doesn’t mean everyone else has to follow suit. Also I may change my mind one day but how do I live now? My opinion on veganism in generally is that I will always be a work in progress. And that’s okay. Don’t let the twitter and Instagram thugs convince you that you’re not doing enough or that you’re doing something wrong.

Misconceptions about being Vegan.

I had this idea that being vegan meant being the healthiest person ever. That I would be immune from junk food due to lack of options. I was so wrong. Between the vegan burgers, vegan chicken wings, and vegan pizza the options for vegan junk food are endless. Meaning gaining weight as a vegan is not hard at all. Also there’s pasta. No waistline has ever survived the undeniable pull of pasta. I’ve learned that you can be a vegan in many different ways. You can be a junk food vegan, a raw vegan, a whole foods vegan, a social vegan. Shit you can be a meatless Monday, once a week vegan. There are so many more options to being vegan now than there was 15, 20 years ago. Being vegan has never been so easy. Like all other eating habits, being vegan means there needs to be moderation. There are delicious deserts and plenty of fattening food. My biggest misconception was that being vegan meant everything I am eating is super healthy. That’s not always true.

My favorite part about being Vegan.

My favorite part about being vegan, aside from the fact that I don’t have to kill any animals and it’s better for the environment, is that I am trying all these new foods and flavors. I had never heard of jackfruit before and once I became vegan I found out how crazy flexible this one fruit is. I’ve learned so many different ways to cook and eat tofu I could probably write a book. Then there is the excitement of finding a vegan version of one of your old favorite foods. Eating vegan is an adventure!

Goals going into my second year of Veganism.

I spent all of this past year focusing solely on eating vegan but veganism has so much more to do with your lifestyle than just eating. It’s the clothes, make-up, and everyday supplies that have random animal products in them too. My goal for this next year is to continue to educate myself on using vegan products. I also want to look into living a more eco-friendly, waste free lifestyle. I’ve been reading a lot about it lately and even with this new movement to go strawless I’ve been really interested in exploring that lifestyle.

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One year down and who knows how long to go. I’ve definitely had some missteps in my journey but I am truly dedicated to being vegan. For now that’s all I need.

Have you ever considered going vegan?

-Besos! xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

It is my belief that many things in the Bible are open for interpretation. It is also my belief that the world changes and as it does we must adapt the teachings in the Bible. I do believe there are central themes and teachings that should not be argued (I’m looking at you “Thou shall not kill”). I do not believe in dictating my faith onto others or preaching to them constantly. I choose to practice my faith to the best of my abilities and live by example. I choose to open myself up to criticism and questioning and be able to admit when I don’t know the answers. Sometimes this also means knowing when someone is already past the point of discussion. Sometimes people want to argue religion just for the sake of arguing. I don’t participate in that.

It is my belief that we all pray to the same God. We just name it something different. One of my favorite things is learning about other people’s God’s. What form that relationship takes in their life and the passion they have for it. I love participating in someone else’s traditions and prayers. To me praying is praying. It does not mean less or lose its power because it is not in line with the way my Catholic upbringing taught me how to pray. Why close yourself off to so much love?

As you might know my husband is Jewish and I am Catholic. This past year we celebrated both Christmas and Hanukkah as we usually do but it was the first time we had our own menorah. I loved it! I love the practice of praying with my husband in general, add on being able to do it through this beautiful tradition, it’s the cherry on top. One night my husband forgot, so I said the prayers (to the best of my abilities) by myself and right when I get to the end and say Amen I hear a resounding AMEN from the bedroom!

God is such an important part of my life. Sharing this relationship is also very important to me. I believe I cannot be a proper christian and disciple of Jesus unless I am living in faith. Whether that be praying with my family before a meal, sharing these bible passages with you all on this blog, or participating in a religious ceremony outside of my own religion. I believe our biggest mistake is trying to put God in a box and trying to define that relationship finitely. All relationships grow and change shape and move around. Keep yourself open each day and question and live in the word of God. You may find something you love there.

-Besos! xoxo

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The story behind my tattoos

It’s no secret that I’ve gotten a tattoo .. or ten. So today I’ll break down my tattoos for all those inquiring minds. Really I’m doing this so that next time someone is like “oh wow! Nice tattoo! Why did you do that?” I can be all “link in bio”. Just kidding!

My views on tattoos are pretty simple: to each their own. You may like tattoos on other people but could never imagine them on yourself. Dope! You may love tattoos and get them everywhere on your body. Nice! You may just want a little bumble bee on your wrist to remind you of someone special. Sweet! You may get your girlfriends name on your arm just to have to cover it up when you break up. Sorry? Either way your views don’t effect my views.

Almost everyone in my family has at least one tattoo. My husband and my underage sisters are the closest people to me that don’t have any. I feel like soon though my husband will be on that island alone. I have ten. All gotten between the span of about 9 years.img_0550

1. Familia

This was my first tattoo and like so many people before me I got it in my parents basement by my cousin. Said cousin went to a world renowned art school and was a couple years into this whole tattoo business at this time. My brother got the tattoo first, on his wrist. The idea being that all of the cousins would get the same tattoo and it would be a sort of bond. I was here for it. I love the idea of us sharing something so intimate and always having a piece of each other. None of my cousins ended up getting it but now its means so much more to me. Being that it was my first tattoo I decided I didn’t want it on my wrist like my brother. I wanted to be able to hide it if i needed to. Also I was, I think, 18 or 19 at the time and I was super worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a job with a tattoo (HA!). I settled on getting the tattoo on my back, right in the middle, because my family is in my spine, they hold me up and keep me strong. What I didn’t know then was that my cousin was a very heavy handed tattoo artist. I would say out of all of my tattoos this one hurt the most. The shading alone killed me! If you’ve gotten a tattoo before you’ll know the artist usually draws up a sample so you can see what you’re going to get and approve. With words its usually typed up on a computer in the font you picked and in various sizes so you can put it against the spot you want and decide what works best. I specifically remember there being three sizes; small, medium and large. I wanted the medium one, I thought it was huge and it would go by quicker than the large size. My cousin fought me tooth and nail about this! He went on to tell me that since it will be my only tattoo I might as well go big or go home. So we went with the large. Looking back I know that it was a good choice but I still giggle at the thought that he truly believed I would stop at just one tattoo. To date this is the only tattoo in the back of my body and I don’t really have any plans to get anymore done on my back. But who knows?!

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2. Monster

You ever see that Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Billboard Dad?  In the movie the Dad calls them Munchkin and Monster and I sort of adopted those nicknames and used them for my sisters. Amanda calls me Billboard in return. It’s cute, ok?! This was always supposed to be a set but I was still so scarred for life  nervous about getting another tattoo so I did this one first. It’s shorter..

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3. Munchkin

See #2. Also I always wanted these on my wrist for two reasons:

  1. I wasn’t so worried about my tattoo’s being seen at this point.
  2. I wanted to be able to see these names when I prayed and know who I was working my ass off for every single day.

My only regret with both 2 and 3 is not getting them bigger. Now they have faded a bit and the words are blending. I’m thinking of getting them redone but bigger. Maybe. We’ll see.

4. Double hearts

This was my first really bold tattoo. Its not very big but its on my chest so it’s pretty noticeable.

When I was 16 I had a breast reduction surgery. It was a pretty serious and dangerous surgery. I had to sign all those hospital forms pretty much saying hey! if you die its not our fault. It was really scary at 16 to have to go through that. What was even scarier was when I woke up and the attending nurse told me I was so lucky I had a great doctor because my heart stopped on the table! I immediately cried out for my dad and the rest is history.

This tattoo, to me, represents second chances and living my life to the fullest.

5. “Llorando de alegria y no de meido”

I was 19 when my grandfather passed away in hospice. I was there watching him take his last breaths. He was in this specialty hospice home that was decorated to look more like a home than a hospital. That meant in his room he had his own shower and toilet and no roommate. It was not in a hospital at all. He had a pull out couch so we could sleep there with him. He had table and chairs and big windows with a view of all the snow that was coming down at the time. And he had a TV and sound system. At first we didn’t really know how to interact or what to do but eventually we started looking through the room trying to find some music to play. My grandfather loved music! He was the life of any party.

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This place had a bunch of soothing sounds for the soul and waves of the ocean type CD’s and because we were literally stuck in a blizzard we couldn’t go out and get some real music. (This was before the time of Bluetooth music and cords and things. It wasn’t so easy to share music like it is today.) Someone opened the CD player to see if anything was inside. I think it was my father but I can’t really remember. And you would’ve never guessed it but there was a Spanish CD in the player! Not just any CD either. It was Jose Jose!! My grandfathers favorite singer! We all thought this was God’s last gift to my grandfather before he passed. So we played that CD over and over again. One song in particular really stood out. Lo DudoIt’s a very very sad song about a man losing the woman he loves and about how what once was is no longer. And this line stuck out to me – “llorando de alegria y no de meido” – Crying of happiness and not of fear.

This was the last song I ever got to listen to with my grandfather. So I hold that very close to my heart. I left that hospice crying of happiness for all the love I was lucky enough to share with him and not of fear for a world without his light. I got this tattoo a couple months later up my elbow on my left arm. A reminder that he is always holding my hand and guiding me.

6. I love you O.K

The same day I got the tattoo for my grandfather I also got one for my grandmother. My grandfather was my mothers father. My mothers mother passed when I was in first grade so I have only a few memories of her. This tattoo was for my father’s mother. My Abuela Nina.

Growing up my grandmother’s took care of me, so for a while I didn’t speak any English. Then I went to school and stopped speaking Spanish all the time. Well, my Abuela Nina doesn’t speak English at all. She understands some things and will repeat words sometimes but for the most part she speaks Spanish only. (She called my Husband Mall for awhile before understanding his name is Matt.)

My grandmother also has pretty bad handwriting so it was already hard to read her birthday cards. Now add in that the cards are in Spanish and when we were younger me and my cousins could speak it but we couldn’t read it. So, she learned how to write I Love You O.K. at the bottom of each card so if we couldn’t understand all of it we could understand that part.

7.  Amen

These next three I got on the same day and are my most spontaneous tattoos ever. Let me set the scene:

23 year old Reena, working in the city, spending her nights competing for a spot on the Jersey City Slam team to make it to The National Poetry Slam being held in California that year. I had been doing so well at work I won a wheel spin – a free trip to Florida. (Pretty much they nominate 7 people each quarter and pick out two names out of the 7. If your name was picked you got to spin this big wheel of prizes. The prizes were everything from cash or Broadway tickets to two tickets to some where in the world.) One of my oldest friends had just gotten engaged and he lives in Florida so a couple of us decided to take a trip to Miami and meet up for a long weekend and just have some fun.

The night before my 5 am flight I was at Jersey City slam trying out a new piece. The piece, called “Dear God“, won me my very first slam that night. I don’t think I slept at all before going to the airport I was so excited.

Since my then boyfriend didn’t want to go with me I was able to get a room in a hotel right on Miami beach by myself. My friends all stayed at different hotels depending on what they could afford and what not. So the first night we went so hard. Staying up late and drinking and just having an overall good time. I left them while they were still in party mode but like I said I barely slept so I was exhuasted. So the next morning I woke up way before everyone else. I had breakfast on the beach and did some writing. It was very peaceful. I found myself walking around and I saw a tattoo shop. I did a quick Google search and found out the place was actually really really good.

Originally I had wanted to get the words “Lord hear my prayer” on four of my fingers but after talking to the tattoo artist it just wasn’t worth it because it would probably fade quickly. So I settled on a line I say over and over in “Dear God” – Amen. It is what we say at the end of every prayer and it means “I believe that it is so.” I got it on my right hand to remind me that as long as I believe in Him, God will always reward me.

At the same time I got the letter B and a cross on my middle finger on my right hand. My family and my faith are always the center of everything I do right.

8. B

For my maiden name. My family name.

9. Cross

For my faith.

10. King Leo

My latest tattoo has been four years in the making. Up until now I’ve only had words on my body (not counting my heart). I wanted a specific looking lion and specific looking roses. I reserved the right to be very picky. So when my husband gifted me a tattoo for my recent birthday in March I was prepared.

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This tattoo is for my father. My rock. My king. My Leo. (He actually is a Leo, he was born in August.) Ever since I can remember my father has been rocking the lion and claiming it for himself. I see a lion and I automatically see my father. Following my tattoo’s for people I love theme I’ve got going I knew I wanted this one. Its my largest tattoo to date on my right forearm. The roses represent my great grandmother Rosa (means rose in Spanish). She’s, I think, 96 now and lives in the Bronx still regulating all the men in the family.

So I have a King Leo on a bed of roses. My father’s dynasty.

My opinions on tattoos pretty much have stayed the same over the years. To each their own. I haven’t had any trouble finding jobs because of my tattoos or being judged by them. I think the most I get are some stupid comments if people don’t know the meaning behind them or I just get asked who I went to for them. I also get grabbed a lot by random people who want to see my tattoos. There is like this my horse is bigger than your horse thing that happens when other people with tattoos try to compare tattoos. Like if my work is less than theirs if I didn’t use their artist. I don’t fall for that. I love all my pieces. Can’t nobody tell me nothing! HAHA!

What are your opinions on tattoos?

– Besos! xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

Sometimes in life we let what we cannot do stop us from doing what we can do. Let me explain.

A couple of years ago I had never stepped up on a stage and performed my poetry. I had this really big urge to share and perform but I let my inhibitions keep me from trying. I’ve never performed slam poetry before. I don’t think I’m doing it right. I don’t know the rules. I don’t think people will like what I have to say. The list of reasons went on and on and on. I let my fear take me away from my dreams.

There is this famous poet hub in New York called the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. It’s home to some of the best writers in the world and their famous Wednesday night slam is the place to be. It was my dream, at the time, to perform on that stage. I had some friends who offered to go with me but every time I found a reason to cancel. Every time I found an excuse to put myself down and hold myself back.

One day the world just came together and it worked out. Me and my oldest friend Rebecca stood in line in the freezing cold on a random Wednesday night and I performed my very first slam poem. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But after I got off the stage I was just so happy. What had I been so worried about? I didn’t die. No one threw tomatoes at me. Even more I was so much more confident.

This one performance led me to keep performing and competing until I made it onto the Jersey City National Slam team. We place 36th in the world that year. Which may seem like not a huge deal but there were almost 100 teams. I had built myself up enough to be able to do poems about ex’s and family issues. My favorite poem being the one I wrote about God.

Looking back on it, I would have missed out on some of the best memories I have if I would’ve allowed myself to fail. I would have never made it to NPS in San Francisco that year if I would have told myself I am less than. In a crowd of strangers I became the most real, most fearless version of myself.

Today I challenge you. Look in the mirror and say ” you is kind, you is smart, you is important!” I know its a quote from The Help but I love it and I use it often so roll with it. Let go of every reason you have to doubt yourself today. Let go of all your past mistakes. Take a chance on yourself! Invest in yourself! Believe in yourself! You go this!

-Besos! xoxo

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My Miscarriage

Whew! This is gonna be that post. Settle in because this is a tough one for me.

Today in my due date. Unfortunately for you, me, and what would have been a perfectly curated baby Instagram I am not pregnant.

On Saturday October 29th, I was a couple of days late. I didn’t think I was pregnant at all. I was on this cleanse style diet and I figured it was messing with me. Matt on the other hand was 100% sure I was pregnant. So while I was at Rite-Aid picking up candy for Halloween (our first in our house and the first time we would be getting trick or treaters) I picked up a couple of test. Guys, I took all three tests in the box to make sure. I remember the test showed the plus sign instantly. I know the box says wait 3 minutes but it was very very clear like 30 seconds in. Now I’m in the bathroom freaking out and crying and feeling so happy and scared at the same time. I called Matt in and told him to look and then he comes out all “Is this real? Does that mean you’re pregnant?” And I’m all like “I think so.” We were crying and hugging and Matt turned to me and said “I’m so happy right now.” And it was true. I wish I could bottle up that moment and take a shot of it on tough days because in that moment nothing could hurt us.

We immediately did a couple of things.

  1. Made an appointment to see a OBGYN. I didn’t even have one in Long Island yet so it was harder than usual but luckily we found one and made an appointment for Monday.
  2. Made myself a pizza. Diet be damned.
  3. Agreed to hold off telling anyone until after we saw the doctor.

That night we were celebrating my brother’s birthday at a bar in New York so I guess the paranoia hit me like I hope no one notices I’m not drinking. It ended up working fine though. I ordered a ginger ale and if anyone asked I told them there was whiskey in it. At one point I left to get some food because the place we were at didn’t have any vegan options but it just so happened to be right next door to a vegan restaurant. My mom came with me so she didn’t have to sit in the bar the whole time. When we came back Matt thought I had told her because he said he would have. So we decided to pull her aside and let her know what was going on so at least we had someone to talk to about it and ask questions and stuff. She was so happy! Here we were standing in the rain outside a bar just being all happy and shit about this baby. It was incredible.

That Monday we went to the appointment and the doctor confirmed we were in fact pregnant. She did an ultrasound and told us we were about 4 weeks along and our due date was July 2. We went through what to expect going forward and made an appointment for a week later. We ended up really hitting gold with this doctor too, she is young and sweet and really put us at ease. She started telling me all these thing that I can’t eat like raw fish and processed meats and I’m just like LOL I’m vegan. She told me to just be careful and make sure I wash all my veggies thoroughly. Since I had already been taking prenatal’s for a couple of months I was already on a good track and diet so she just prescribed me better prenatals. We left feeling on top of the world.

We went to TJ Max after that and bought our first baby thing to celebrate. A pair of baby Timbs. Very New York. Very Bronx. It was perfect. We called Matt’s step dad and let him know the good news. I wanted to tell my dad that day too but we decided to wait because we were worried he would tell my grandmother. And once my grandmother knows everyone knows. We also decided we would wait until the 3 month mark to tell everyone else. But that day we went home and took pictures for the announcement. Matt even insisted on taking picture of my belly! He wanted to do those monthly updated pictures that you put all together and see the progress of being pregnant. We told my father and my siblings the next weekend and swore them to secrecy.

I had downloaded this app that told you what changes to expect each week with pregnancy and compared the size of the baby to the size of some type of food. At this point the baby was the size of a peppercorn. We spent all week saying good morning to our little peppercorn and “good night little pepper corn!” Until the next week when the peppercorn grew to the size of a blueberry. They it was all “how’s my baby blueberry doing today?”

Our doctors appointment came up and we excitedly go in ready to see our baby. See what differences we could spot in this weeks ultrasound. When you go in for these things, your doctor is not in the room. There is an ultrasound tech who takes the pictures and measurements and all of that and then your doctor tell you everything you need to know and answers any of your questions. The first time we had gone in this woman was chatting us up the whole time and congratulating us and stuff. This time she was silent. The whole room felt stale. I was panicking from the moment she started looking into me. Matt asks her if everything is okay and she says the doctor will be in to speak to us. The doctor comes in and moves the images around a bit and try a couple of different things but you could tell that overall things were not going good.

She explained to us that there was something concerning her in the ultrasound. Something she believes would make the pregnancy unviable. Normal pregnancies have an oval sac that houses the baby. I had that but my oval sac had a sort of lump growing in it. Like extra tissue or something that wasn’t supposed to be there. We asked if it could go away on its own and we could still carry the baby to term. Our doctor told us yes that could possibly happen but in all the cases she has treated that has never been the case and the baby has never been carried to term. I remember feeling my whole body go numb. Like I was hearing everything from underwater. We set up an appointment for a week later to do another ultrasound and go from there and Matt and I went home.I cried so hard and so long that day. I even told Matt I wasnt strong enough to deal with this if we lost this baby. I can’t not be pregnant.

That week was the most excruciating week of my life. Matt and I spent the whole time googling everything and anything we could find on this type of situation. Holding on to stories where this one person saw this and the baby survived and look! They’re now 15 and on the basketball team. Or the doctor made a mistake and they went back for a second ultrasound and everything was fine and there was a heartbeat and they lived happily ever after. The worst part of all of this was my pregnancy symptoms were ramping up. Smells were becoming unbearable and I was nauseous all the time. I was also having a very stressful time at work picking up a pretty difficult client. A lot was going on.

We went back the next week, November 16th. The minute the picture came up on the screen I knew that I was not going to have a baby. What was once a lump was now just a bunch of lumps filling that space. A mass of tissue where my baby was supposed to be. They couldn’t find anything that would give us hope that a baby was in there. My doctor came in and looked, another doctor came in and gave his opinion as well. But it was unanimous. I was having a miscarriage and would not be having a baby. I was just beginning my 7th week of pregnancy at this point. My poor little blueberry.

It was decided that I would undergo a D&C, a surgery where they remove the unviable pregnancy and then test the remains for any type of issues in the parents genes. We left with the surgery scheduled for Monday. Matt and I were completely broken.

What’s worse was this was probably the busiest couple of days for us. We were leaving the next day to drive to Boston for a friend’s wedding on Saturday and then Wednesday we were going to Miami for Thanksgiving and then onto Orlando afterwards. To put a surgery in between that just raised all types of stress levels.

The next day, Friday, we’re getting ready nice and early to make the drive to Boston. Our friends wedding was not in Boston but in a suburb about an hour away so a bunch of us decided to go to Boston on friday and do a bit of sight seeing and eating and then go to the wedding the next day. As I was coming out of the shower I get a call. The hospital that is performing my surgery would like me to come in that day at 3pm to run pre-surgery test. They said it would take about an hour to an hour and a half. I was a mess. I called them back and said I can’t be there at 3pm because I had to be in Boston by then. I don’t know if it was because I was literally crying on the phone to the woman or because she knew why I was having surgery. She somehow managed it so that I could get the testing done at around 10 am instead but I would have to hurry and get there as soon as possible to fill out paperwork. I remember falling apart and this point. Thinking everything is going to shit and I have no control and the last thing I wanted to do was be asked a shit ton of questions about my pregnancy.

We did the testing and I had to explain to three different nurses the same thing about my pregnancy and how far along I was and blah blah blah. They took my weight and height and blood. And right before we’re about to leave they asked us if we had any questions and Matt asked if I could drink. For some reason I wasn’t allowed to have herbal tea but they said I could have alcohol as long as I didn’t get dehydrated. Well okay then. We finally left for Boston super late and ended up only really having time for dinner. We didn’t get to do any sightseeing. Also, Matt had to tell his friends why we were going to be late, so knowing that everyone else knew made me feel weird. Like people were waiting for me to explode or something. But my body hadn’t gotten the instructions that I wasn’t supposed to be pregnant anymore so I was still super nauseous and super tired.

At the wedding I got drunk. At one point everyone at my table was passing their champagne flutes to me and I was putting them down one at a time. I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t really feel like celebrating but it was the only way I could think of putting a smile on my face. Matt and I took a picture together that night and I hate it so much. I feel like I can see my body giving up on itself. I remember getting ready that night and feeling like nothing was going right. My hair was wrong. My make up was wrong. I didn’t like my dress. I was over it. I’m thankful though that Matt didn’t try to stop me or get very upset with me. He was mourning too and we both didn’t know what to do.

That Monday I went into the hospital at 5 am, checked in and was prepped for surgery. In the bed next to me was maybe the cutest baby I’ve ever seen with his mother, father, and sister. Across from me was a boy, maybe 8 years old. The rest of the room was older people getting prepped as well. Luckily I had both doctors present that day so I really felt I was in good hands. They gave me the anesthetics and my doctor asked me where I wanted to travel to. I told her I really wanted to go to Italy and she agreed. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up again. The nurse came over and told me to take it easy and that she’ll let me rest for a bit before moving me off the bed. Before I was allowed to go home. I immediately asked for my husband and she told me he’ll be in in a minute once I’m a little more rested. At that moment I lost it so bad. I started crying and I felt that shit in my soul. I even made the nurse cry. And she hugged me and told me that she had a daughter my age and that I’m strong. I didn’t feel strong at all. When Matt came in I told him how sorry I was and I meant it.

When we left the hospital Matt stopped off to get me a tea and I spent the rest of the day resting in bed while he worked in the other room. Although physically i wasn’t in so much pain after a while, mentally I was a disaster. I had made the mistake of declining pain meds and a couple days later everything started to hurt. I took off that Tuesday from work and on Wednesday we flew to Florida. The recovery was pretty rough. I was physically tired and drained most of the time, I was bleeding for a little over a week on and off and I still had the nausea. I still felt very pregnant for a couple of weeks after, which made it pretty hard on me. At one point we were on line to get tickets for Universal and I had just used the restroom but I felt myself leaking. Any woman who has ever gotten their period will understand what that means. I reached down and realized that I was bleeding through my pants. I had to go back to the bathroom and I was trying not to make it obvious but my husbands step fathers girlfriend decided to come with me to the bathroom. It was not a good time.

A couple of weeks later my doctor called to let me know that there was nothing genetically wrong with me or my husband. I had what they called a hydropic abortus. I still don’t really understand it so much but its similar to a molar pregnancy where the cells develop too quickly and overtake the embryo. My doctor doesn’t think this should affect our ability to get pregnant in the future.

We haven’t stopped trying or praying for a baby one day but it’s a blow every month when we find out we’re not pregnant. There was one month where we were so positive we were pregnant. The starts were aligning, we were getting signs from God, I was late. Everything added up. But 8 pregnancy tests later, and one phone call with the doctor and I wasn’t pregnant.

I’ve gotten to a point where I am hopeful but I’m done trying as well. My husband on the other hand can tell when I’m ovulating by looking at me at this point. He tells me I have to change my mindset and be more positive.

Remember back in high school when they would tell us to never let ourselves get pregnant and to be careful and take all these precautions? And now I would kill for it.

I’m not sure how to end this post but if you are suffering, or if you’re sad, I’m sorry. I hope you find peace and happiness soon. I hope we both get that happy ending we are praying for.

-Besos xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

As people we are so stubborn. We have this attitude of I can do it without any help. For me I always try to keep what I’m working on close to my chest lest someone criticises me for it. That doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need help and sometime I have to put my ego aside and admit I need help. What’s more is sometimes you have to know when to tell the people around you that you need help. You need them.

I am lucky enough to have people in my life that I can turn to in times when everything is going wrong. Most recently I suffered from a miscarriage (post about that tomorrow). I was at my lowest point, in the darkest areas of my mind and the people around me lifted me out of it. My friends and family. Tomorrow would have been my due date and its crazy thinking about the what if’s but it’s a hard thought to wrap my brain around.

I’ve been reaching out to God telling him I need help this week, telling him I’m not strong enough to survive this part alone. And you know what? He damn sure sent them. My oldest friend was here yesterday supporting me and taking me out of my funk. My husband, as always, is here for me. People have been reaching out.

I think we survive the hardships of our lives because of the people we chose to surround ourselves with not despite of. I also think your inner circle should be filled with people who will support you the way you support them. People who will make the effort. God sends us love in so many forms but a lot of times we take for granted the love that comes in the form of a good friend.

I learned to love my friend before I knew how to love my husband. It was a hard lesson too because I’ve always been the type of person to cut people off the minute I feel like I am a burden to them or they are not trustworthy. I don’t have many friends outside of my family. When I started dating Matt I saw friendships differently. He doesn’t have a large family like I do (he still hasn’t met all of my first uncles, aunts, and cousins). So he needed his friends more than I did. He leaned on them when shit got real and things were falling apart. Seeing their friendship I am envious of the love they all have shared for so many years. Through good and bad. This is a bond God has given them that is stronger than most marriages these days.

I’ll end my post with this: appreciate the people around you, love them openly and call them often.

-Besos! xoxo

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Verse of the Week

It’s funny. When I read this I first think of the jehovah’s witnesses who come by the house and knock on the door. Being so open to other people’s religious expressions I always use to listen to them. Which was tough because they would come back if you listened to them. They would pop up at the mall or the bus stop. They were efficient. All they are trying to do is make more disciples.

I’m not the type of person to be so bold. To walk around and tell people what they should or shouldn’t believe. I remember when I was younger and working at IHOP how some people had these fake $100 bills with bible quotes printed on them. We used to be so upset too! Out tip would be $2 and a bible quote. But is there a time and a place to voice your beliefs? Is it always the time and place?

I’ve chosen to live my faith the best way I can. I lead by example. I don’t have the ability to shove my faith down anyone’s throat because I’m only human and I make mistakes too. I hope that in my example other people will feel they could open themselves to religion. I hope there are still disciples being made every day.

So the question remains, do you try to create new disciples in your life?

Besos! Xoxo