Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The New Normal

Up to this point, I  have failed miserably at keeping up with this blog. I could throw out some shade and recount all the reasons why I haven't written, but in all reality, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm here, posting now. About the new normal...

Recently, I was asked to briefly describe the first 6 years of my life. I simply said happy. My mom didn't work, we spent most of our time with my mom's parents. My dad worked all the time, but was always around for important things. We vacationed, had family dinners with my aunt and uncle, BBQ's in my grandpa's garden-style backyard. By all accounts, my childhood was the epitome of "normal."

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines NORMAL as: usual or ordinary : not strange.

Yes, life was usual and ordinary. At least for me. At least based on made-for-TV-movies...

Then, it occurred to me, that might have been "normal" for our family, but it wasn't really "normal" by societal standards. But a lot of the children I grew up with lived very similar lives. I can only think of a handful of friends that watched their parents get divorced during elementary school, middle school, even. We had our own version of "normal."

Normal for children now is so different. Parents aren't married. Parents are divorced. Parents are the same sex. Parents are really their grandparents. Parents are raising children on their own. In each one of these cases, that is "normal" for those children. Because they likely don't know anything different. Children don't have siblings. Children have many siblings. Children have only 1 grandparent. Children don't see their grandparents. Children are molded by what is "normal" for them.

What is normal for me and my family now is very different than what was normal for me alone in the not-too-distant past. A "normal" Sunday in Los Angeles was spent recovering from an intense hang over, and cleaning up the party I'd had the night before. If I wasn't hungover, I was likely hanging out in Venice after having taught swim lessons in the morning. Normal today is Sunday dinner with my in-laws. My parents often join, too. My husband BBQ's, I help in the kitchen, and we all gather together around the table to eat.

6 years ago, if you had asked what "normal" was, I would have described something very different. But I must admit, I truly love The New Normal for my life.

Friday, March 6, 2015

62 Days of 30: Day 33: Why I Hate The Color Pink

I hate the color pink. There. I said it.

But really, it's not a secret. Even looking around my office, there is nothing pink. Not even a pen. I may own 1 or 2 articles of clothing that are pink, and chances are, I didn't pick them out myself.

Another admission? When I was pregnant, I told my sister she wouldn't get to go anywhere near my child if I was having a girl and she decided to throw me a baby shower with ANYTHING pink.

The fact of the matter is that the color itself, is simply, unpleasing to my eye. As a graphic designer, I break down colors into CMYK and RGB. What does that mean? CMYK is the 4-color process that is used to display colors for print. RGB is the the 3-color process that is used to display colors on electronics, ie: computer monitor, television, smartphone, etc. These colors are represented by a numerical value. I could go into a lot more detail, but, I understand that all this is relatively uninteresting for most of you.

Back to the topic at hand. For me, the color pink also represents a stereotype of young girls that I never, not ever at one point in my whole life, fit into. I am not dainty. I don't like frills. I do, however, like lace, strictly for the sheer artistic craftsmanship that goes into making it, but that's neither here nor there. I don't speak softly. I don't wear high heels. And when I am blessed with a child, no matter their gender, I have no plans to fit them into the boy and girl stereotypes that I grew up with. If my son wants to wear a pink tutu to school, well, I'll probably wear one, too, if that made him feel better. If my daughter wants to play football instead of going to ballet classes, Frank and I will teach her how to throw a spiral and watch every game.

Colors are something we all see every day, and, quite frankly, thanks to that idiotic dress, we've learned that we all perceive them differently, too. Pink is just a color that connects with too many unnecessary stereotypes. The worst one? "Boys don't wear pink!" Yeah, tell that to my dad who looks like a handsome mobster in his grey suit and pale pink shirt. He can rock that shit. I, on the other hand, never could. I just don't have the complexion for it ;-)

To sign off in the words of the intelligent Mr. Robert S. Kieve,
"... and THAT'S my PERSONAL opinion."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

62 Days of 30: Day 17/Day 32: If Variety Is The Spice Of Life...

Day 17/Day 32... If variety is the spice of life, then it's no wonder I am bored as shit.

I started this topic over 2 weeks ago. And I'll be honest, I was seriously bored, and just feeling overwhelmed with things, and life in general. I was sick, well, I'm still sick. Quite frankly, I have bronchitis. I also have Asthma. I also was fearful I was going to get pneumonia. I honestly had this blog in the back of my mind, but I just couldn't get my shit together to write anything more than the first line.

But I'd be lying if I said, last night, in a cough medicine with codeine fog, I didn't lay in bed and write out several topic which I could cover on this blog. And honestly, the first thing I thought of made me laugh so hard I had to get out of bed because I couldn't stop coughing.

Various topics include:
Why I Hate The Color Pink
I Ate A Piece Of Pizza
I Should Be A Professional Crab Picker
A Snowboard To The Chest
I Think I Discovered A New Disorder
www.LaurenSal.com Is A Real Website
Twitter Is Useless If You're Not A Celebrity
and, of course, my own personal favorite: My Husband Is A Square

I'll just let these marinate with you. I will, most likely, cover every. single. one. at some point, or another, in the next 27 days.

Cheers!

Monday, February 9, 2015

62 Days of 30: Day 8-ish: Stupid Excitement! Plus, Blessings...

So, I realized something. It is relatively unrealistic for me to post on the weekends. I have several reasons, most notably, the computer I use at home is a little old lady, and she doesn't really like to be used anymore. Additionally, I don't have a lot of time on the weekends. So Monday's will just be a wrap up. UNLESS I do something spectacular and can simply post a lovely picture from my phone. However, there was really nothing particularly spectacular about this weekend.

And now, on to Stupid Excitement!

When you continually tell yourself you "can't" have something, or that you're "choosing not to eat it", it gets a little old. There are a lot of things I miss while participating in the Whole30(62), the most glaring, however, are: butter, ranch dressing, peanut butter and mayonnaise.

Welp, it looks like I got stupid excited when I made my very own mayonnaise, and then took some of that and made my very own ranch dressing! All of which is compliant on the Whole30(62).

Here are the links for the Mayo and the Ranch Dressing (ranch dressing is part of the mayo, the recipe is toward the bottom).

And now, blessings...

After a rough start to the new year, I've been trying to feel more. More grateful, more love, more happiness. As a result, I've been feeling really blessed. And not in the sarcastic #blessed way, but in the really, truly, blessed, way.

So, after feeling all these blessings, I started thinking... Not everyone is as blesses as I am... So I've made it a priority for the rest of month to gather donations to make Blessing Bags! Each $20 donation makes a bag full of necessary toiletries for a woman in need. I will then divide the filler bags between InnVision Shelter for Women and Children and Sacred Heart Community Service Center.

I will admit, I have a rather lofty goal... I'd like to get enough donations to make 50 bags. Please feel free to email me or comment below and pledge to donate. I will be ordering the bags on February 28th. You'll be able to mail me your pledge in the form of a check, or send the funds using PayPal. Either way, I hope you'll join me in this endeavor :)

Friday, February 6, 2015

62 Days of 30: Day 4/5: I Suck at Life...

I know this isn't Day 4, I know this is Day 5. And for that, I apologize.

Like the title says, I suck at life. But I'm wicked cool.

I have a small, brief, excuse as to why I didn't post yesterday. I was extraordinarily busy. And really, I mean it. I was so busy I was barely able to finish all my work before I had to leave for a special event.

Special event, you say? What's so more special than posting on this fantastic blog? Well, I'll freakin' tell you! Wait, no, I'll freakin' SHOW YOU!

Eric Church
Soundchecking at
SAP Center


Ain't no thang, you know. I just watched Eric Church do a soundcheck with his band yesterday afternoon. You know, just another day at the office, really...


ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! I watched freakin' ERIC CHURCH soundcheck like, 10 feet from me! It was probably one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. 
Kickin' It with 2
of my favorite dudes!



And by the way, you wanna know who else is wicked cool? The two guys that escorted me to the event. Just sayin'!

If you ever get a chance to see Eric Church perform live, I highly suggest it. I've been to so many live concerts in my lifetime. Far too many to even count, but by far, Church puts on one of the best "country" shows I've seen. And I put country in quotations because he's actually a lot of rock, with just a little country. Anyway, I freakin' dig it!

So, like I said, I suck at life (and by life, I mean, posting on this blog yesterday), but I'm wicked cool! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

62 Days of 30: Day 3: Woman Crush Wednesday

Today, is Wednesday. It's also Day 3 of the Whole62, and Day 3 of 62 Days of 30. And, apparently, on forums like Instagram, it is a popular day to use the hashtags: #womancrushwednesday and #wcw.

So, for the first time in, well, ever, I'm going to participate in #WCW and actually use the hashtag appropriately, rather than mockingly.

Today's Woman Crush Wednesday is my big sister, Colleen!

Before I begin singing her praises, you need to know something. We are nothing alike. Really, truly, I mean NOTHING alike. We are polar opposites. If you met us separately, and didn't know we were related, you would never make the connection. Ever. We don't look alike, we don't have the same interests, one of us can't dance while the other can, and one of us is so uncoordinated, while the other can, in fact, walk and chew gum at the same time. But, we are sisters. And today, she is my Woman Crush.

And really, there's not a whole lot I can say about her, other than the yellow blobs and the dress shes's wearing in the photo I chose look like birds... I'm kidding! I have more to say than that. But for real, those spots look like birds...

Anyway, Colleen is driven, dedicated, smart, and so ridiculous she's often hilarious. She's been a driving force in the formation of my moral compass for quite some time, and I owe a lot to her for that.

Additionally, she's my partner in crime during the first 30 days of my Whole62, as she has decided to embark on her own Whole30 Life Challenge. Maybe I can get her to keep going to 62 days, just like me!

In any case, she's awesome. And she's my Woman Crush Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

62 Days of 30 - Day 2: The Whole(30) Enchilada

Day 2: The Whole(30) Enchilada.

Well, not really. This isn't even about Enchiladas. I'm sorry if I got your hopes up. Maybe, at some point, when I don't want to kill everything (I'll explain), I'll share Momma Lynn's recipe for her famous (in our family) Italian-Style Enchiladas.

So here it is, the Whole30. Basically, it means, I'm crazy. Haha!

In the simplest of terms, the Whole30 is a way to reset your digestive system back to, pretty much, birth. It's a fantastically ridiculous program where basically, you don't eat anything except natural meat, veggies, and fruit.

That means, for 30 days, you completely eliminate: preservatives of any kind, added sugar (real or artificial), grains, carbs, starch (some is allowed in the form of yams and white potatoes), legumes (snap peas and green beans are allowed, but did you know peanuts are legumes?!), alcohol, dairy, and soy. Which, again, pretty much leaves you with meat, veggies, and fruit. With all this talk about enchiladas, I might have to figure out a way to make some type of enchilada something-or-other that works with the Whole30. If it's good, I'll share that recipe, too!

It's a challenge. Believe me, it's a CHALLENGE, but in the end, it's pretty awesomely worth it. I completed my first Whole30 Life Challenge last March. I maintained a relatively similar eating lifestyle for about 3 months following my completion. Then, I fell off.

This time, I've got a little more resolve. Ok, maybe it's a lot more resolve, because, like the crazy, all-or-nothing, I can't do it if I'm not all-in, person that I am, 30 days isn't enough this time. That's right. I said it. It's. Not. Enough!

So, because I've lost my mind and I can't seem to find it anywhere, I'm eating clean, whole, and giving myself a good life, for 62 days. (Praise the Lord, I've already completed day 1!)

Why 62? Well, as I covered in the first post from 62 Days of 30, there are/were 62 days between February 2nd and April 4th. That being said, I WILL have cake, and champagne, and orange juice, and pancakes, and BACON!!! on my 30th birthday, which is April 5th. Which also happens to be Easter. Eff word.

So now, I'm sure you're burning with desire to know why I'm doing yet another Whole30, and why I did it in the first place.

Well, as I've shared in the past, I have a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). I've struggled with it for many years, and along with that struggle, comes a very difficult time losing weight, and/or maintaining weight loss. Completing a Whole30 was one of the best forms of treatment I've ever found. But, the kicker is, you can't fall off. Thus, 30 days isn't enough for me.

At some point in me early adult life, I read that it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. Well, if I'm spending 62 days breaking years of bad eating habits, then maybe, hopefully, I won't fall off at the completion of this challenge. I will make better food choices, and instinctively reach for a handful of almonds instead of a handful of Cheetos...

And why would I want to kill everything? Well, when you consistently tell your brain you can't have something, you pretty much just get angry, and then when you're hungry, you get hangry! And even though your coworker didn't really do anything, except walk by your office eating Doritos so loudly that you can hear them all the way down the hall, you still want to punch them in the face. And then eat their Doritos by the fist-full. But you won't. Because like they say "this too, shall pass."

Here's to another 61 days of the Whole30! Cheers! (even though I'm cheers-ing you with plain water...)

Monday, February 2, 2015

62 Days Of....

62 Days of What? Well, 62 days of clean eating, for starters. 62 days of zero preservatives, alcohol, added sugar, starch, carbs, legumes, dairy, and most of all, 62 days of life.

In the next 62 days (why 62? I'll cover that shortly), I will cover a variety of topics. It's my goal to post everyday. That's right. I said it. EVERYDAY. So what will you get in the next 62 days, dear reader? You'll get recipes, anecdotes, fun posts about things I love, hilarious posts about things I loathe, and maybe, when it's all over, you'll be inspired. Inspired to eat clean, to come up with your own recipes, to laugh at your own stupidity, to laugh at my own stupidity, to love your family unconditionally, and to celebrate everything. All the time. Everyday.

Now, Why 62? Well, as I'm sure my birthday twin can understand, there are just 62 days till April 5, 2015. And what happens on April 5, 2015? I'll turn 30. Thirty. Trenta. Treinta. Trente. Trinta. Dertig. By the way, that's 30 in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portugese, and, funny enough, Dutch.

30.

As I've shared in my 30 For 30 explanation, I am mostly fine with this. There are still a lot of things I want to accomplish, but, for the most part, April 5, 2015 will be just another birthday for me. And let's be clear, if you've learned nothing else about me - besides that I'm freakin' hilarious - you should know, by now, that I LOVE birthdays. And not just mine - but ALL birthdays! By the way, the 30 for 30 list has been updated, as I've completed a handful of those tasks - YESSSSS!

So today is day 1 of 62 days. I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath - if you're not, you should be! - asking yourself, what's she going to cover on day 1.

62 Days of 30 - Day 1: Something I love: Getting my hair cut.

This photo was taken just now - like, within the last 5 minutes. Do you see my hair? I mean, really, do you see it? Because this is what it looks like when I don't flat iron it. This is what it looks like when I spray water on it and just leave the house because I ran out of time. This is my hair, people!

It's frizzy and curly and unruly and downright heavy. For a while I had a glorious short, A-Line bob cut that I loved. But then I wanted long hair for the wedding, and I've been letting it grow ever since. My current life-goal (in regards to me hair) is to have hair like Beyonce. I'm on my way, I think!

In any case, why do I love getting my hair cut. Well, I find it relaxing. I have a fantastic stylist, whom I brag about ALL THE TIME! No joke, I was JUST bragging about Stephanie yesterday! More than that, Stephanie knows my hair. She's seen me through various hair cuts - the stacked bob, the awkward grow-out phase, this monstrosity of natural curls, and yes, even talked me down from desperately wanting a sidecut 5 months ago.

I acknowledge that my hair isn't easy to cut. It takes a lot of skill and knowledge to give me a cut that looks good when it's natural, and when it's ironed. Stephanie does that every time. Long hair or short hair, she knows the best way to give me the cut I want. On top of all that, I love having someone else blow dry and iron my hair.

I'm lazy. There, I said it. Want to know a secret? Sure you do! When my hair is straight, there's a good chance I haven't washed in at least 5 days. I rarely wash my hair. And you'd never know it! I'm lazy because it takes at least 25 minutes to blow dry my hair. Then I have to rest, because my arms are tired and I'm a hot, sweaty mess. Even though I just got out of the shower. Then comes the flat iron. That takes at least an hour. So right there, not counting my "rest" time, it takes nearly 90 minutes to iron my hair. Now, if I can pay someone to do it, well then! I'm all in!

So, here's a little lovin', going out to the lovely Stephanie at Innovators Salon in Campbell! If you're in the market for a new stylist, she's my number one pick!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Curves Ahead...

The following post was written on January 12, 2015, between 4:05 and 4:57pm.

I acknowledge that this was written over 2 weeks ago.

I cannot, will not, and do not apologize for its tardiness. It took me a long while to want to post because, well, this is a difficult topic for me.

Now, you're probably wondering why it is titled "Curves Ahead..." Because, that's what it is... The biggest curve I've ever faced, in my entire life, up to this point...

-------------------------------------------------------

It's been 2015 - "The New Year" - for nearly 2 weeks.

I haven't written here or even addressed what I had hoped to become "loyal readers" in over 2 months. Well. There's a reason for that, I guess... I was waiting.

But what was I waiting for? Well, 6 days after my last blog post on November 10th, I discovered something... Something I would proceed to keep a secret for the next 6 weeks. Make no mistake, I was excited about this discovery, but still, I kept it a secret from 99% of all the people in my life.

So what could be such a big discovery, and why would I need to keep it a secret? Well, my life, my husband's life, and the lives of those closest to us changed - what we happily thought would be forever - on Sunday, November 16th.

I woke up early, and knew I was "late" - about 10 days late, to be exact. This was not always an uncommon occurrence, yet I searched for the last pregnancy test I had in my medicine cabinet. My thought was - I'll just make sure I'm not pregnant, so I thought nothing of the result as I placed the cap on and laid it on the ledge of the tub. Lo and behold. Three minutes later, there were, indeed, two pink lines.

After hyperventilating and nearly passing out in my bathroom, I prepared myself to tell Frank. We were both over the moon. We shared our news with our parents that day, and I made an urgent appointment with my doctor for Monday afternoon.

Why the urgency to see the doctor? I have a condition called PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome). Which meant the pregnancy could be ectopic (basically, not in my uterus and not a viable pregnancy). It also meant that we were told we could have trouble conceiving naturally. I felt an intense sense of pride knowing we might have done it on our own! After the longest week of our lives, lots of blood draws, and 3 ultrasounds, I found out this was a viable, intrauterine pregnancy on November 21st. Yes! There was an actual baby growing inside me!

On Thanksgiving we shared the news with Frank's sister, her husband, and his aunt. The next day we shared the news with my sister and her husband. Everyone was thrilled, as I had hoped they would be.

On Wednesday December 3rd I would see the doctor again, and have another ultra sound. I saw my little raspberry-sized baby, and watched the quick heartbeat flicker on the screen - however, due to a mistake in the machine supplied in the exam room, I wasn't able to hear the heartbeat. I was told I was 8 weeks 3 days pregnant, and given a due date of July 12th. How fitting, as it was Grandma Lu's birthday. I got a printed picture of Baby Sal, and couldn't wait to get home to show Frank.

The previous 2 weeks, and the 2 weeks that followed were not easy on me. I was nauseated constantly, especially in the evening, around dinner time. My loving husband understood my constant need to be eating something. He never once complained when I didn't have it in me to even look at the food he wanted to eat. I lived mostly on cereal, cream of wheat, soup, and grilled cheese. Then, suddenly, out of no where, around December 20th, I was suddenly able to eat almost anything. I thought, Oh! Thank heavens! This must be the end of morning sickness!

We had planned to tell our respective families on December 24/25. I had made adorable little "count-down" gifts for each set of grandparents, and while our parents knew, we would have them open the gifts in front of our families as a way to announce the news to everyone. Of course, our families were overjoyed, just as we had hoped they would be.

I began scheming cute ways to tell my best friends. Designing fun images to text to them, and preparing myself for the squealing I was sure I would hear when they called me to confirm the news.

I went through the week of New Year's Eve/Day with ease. I didn't have a large appetite, but I also didn't have any nausea. I was looking forward to Friday January 2nd,  I had an appointment for an NT Ultrasound. This is the scan they preform to distinguish any possibility of chromosomal defects in the baby. I was confident the scan would be clear, since I am young and mostly healthy (aside from my weight).

I never could have anticipated the news I would receive. As the technician placed the wand to my belly, I instantly knew something was wrong. The baby didn't look the right size, and there was no flicker of a heart beat. She measured, and measured again, and again, and again, and again. She removed the wand and heaved a heavy sigh. She let me know the baby was only measuring about 9.5 weeks, and there was no indication of heart activity. She asked again how far along I should be. I said 13 weeks on Sunday. She let me know she needed to consult with the doctor that was on duty in the department. I was left alone, in a freezing cold room. I stared at the clock, it seemed as though the second hand was moving backward. I tried my best to hold it together. It was, perhaps, the longest 10 minutes of my life.

When Dr. Crites arrived, I knew the worst had been realized. There was no more baby.

She was very gentle. Held my arm compassionately, and explained the baby had passed away.

She let me know I could go home and wait for my body to take care of things on its own, or I could schedule a procedure called a D&C. I was petrified of what would happen if I just let it happen naturally, so I made it abundantly clear I wanted the procedure as soon as possible. I was able to schedule one for Monday December 5th. I'd had an appointment for January 8th that I needed to cancel. It was at this appointment I had hoped to finally hear the heartbeat...

I quickly cleaned myself off, asked where the nearest restroom was, and moved through the motions like a zombie. I kept my composure until I was in the safe-haven of my car. After all, I was alone. I had told Frank he didn't need to come with me, as he couldn't come into the room, and the scan could take over 45 minutes.

He was my first phone call, and my next 6. He was still sleeping. I tried desperately to reach him, but with no success. I finally called my mom. I cried and cried with her on the phone. I finally pulled it together to drive home. I called Frank another 17 times, with no answer. I sped home at nearly 100 mph up 101. I just needed to get home. I needed someone. I needed my husband.

When I arrived home, I gently went into our bedroom to find him snoring. I asked him to wake up. As he rolled over and looked at me, it was clear he knew something was wrong. I told him there was no more baby. He grabbed me and held me for a long time while I sobbed into his chest.

We both pulled ourselves together enough to have a small conversation about the situation. He called his mother, and I called my best friend to cancel our afternoon plans. I was so devastated I couldn't think or see straight. I spent the next few hours in agony. Retreating inside my head, trying to think of a way to manage the grief.

Then I realized, the only way I know to handle grief is with distraction. I did the dishes and called my best friend and asked her to take me shopping. Naturally, she obliged. Later, I would have another supportive outing with Janet, my Mother-in-law.

Frank continued to retreat into his brain to process everything, and I would continue to reach out to others for support. Constantly texting my mom, my best friend, Frank's Godmother. Frank was always by my side while I was at home, and frequently squeezed my hand reassuringly, laid his arm over me as we slept, and did the only thing he knew he could, protect me from myself.

What I had been waiting for, waiting to share with you, with the world, was no more.

Saturday morning, January 3rd, we discussed our plans for the day. We decided to just lay in bed together until it was time to get ready to go. We binge-watched Californication, and laughed together at all the right parts. We were going to his parents house for dinner, and we would get up and force ourselves to get ready around 1:30pm.

At around 9:15am I began having some minimal cramping, but Dr. Crites had been very clear: I only needed to contact the advice nurse or visit the ER if I had heavy bleeding along with the cramping. So I simply tried to ride out the pain with Frank by my side.

-- WARNING: This is a bit graphic --

Apparently, my body had other plans. I felt an odd gushing sensation around 12:15pm. I  got up to run to the bathroom, expecting to find blood on the bed sheets, but there was just a clear fluid. By the time I reached my bathroom, there was blood everywhere. Frank was immediately at the door, asking what he could do. I just wanted to talk to Momma Lynn. So he dialed her number and handed me the phone. The general consensus was that I needed to go to the hospital immediately.

Armed with a towel in my pants - I was bleeding through a pad in under 60 seconds - and my traumatized husband, we set off for the ER at Kaiser Santa Clara. Momma Lynn and Janet would meet us there.

Standing was proving to be a challenge, so I asked Frank to go in and tell them the situation. When he arrived at the car with the wheel chair, he let me know there was no one waiting, and they would get me into triage immediately. I had a fainting spell shortly after the IV was inserted, and knew my blood pressure must be low, as well as my blood sugar. The last thing I'd had to eat was a hamburger at 7pm the night before. Of course I was so concerned about Frank, I never stopped to really think about what was happening to me.

As soon as I was brought into a room, I would learn my blood pressure was alarmingly low - 62/28. The nurse immediately hung fluid and helped clean my legs - they were covered in blood, as I couldn't clean up by myself before coming to the hospital.

When the resident doctor came in, he explained an ultrasound and an exam would need to be done to see the progress of the miscarriage, and then they would notify the OB on-call. After the exam - which was terrible -  I learned I was bleeding a lot, but not into my belly, which was originally a concern. Next, the OB came in, followed by the attending. They were both exceptionally understanding, and didn't make me repeat the experience over and over again. I asked again for some pain medication. My blood pressure was finally high enough, so I was granted some morphine.

The OB did another exam, and explained I had 2 options. I could have some medication to manage the bleeding, and another medicine to keep my uterus contracting, go home, and let my body take its course. Or they could perform the D&C in the room and I could go home that evening. Yes, how about option 2, thank you very much. I had never wanted to do this "natural" option to begin with. But there I was, hooked up to an IV and bleeding much more than anyone ever thought.

The nurses and 2 OB's swarmed the room to get me ready. Everyone was incredible, gentle, patient, sympathetic, and diligent. Sedated with fentanyl, fitted with oxygen and a heart monitor, the procedure took just under 30 minutes.

Momma Lynn, Frank, and Janet were all allowed back in the room after I was cleaned up and I spent the next 2 hours coming out of the conscious sedation offered by the fentanyl. My nurse, Kim, stayed with me for most of the time. While Frank went to the pharmacy to get my prescription antibiotics and square away the bill with registration, Kim talked to me and helped me feel as much at ease as possible.

After a shaky start - I wasn't able to stand for longer than 5 minutes with out feeling dizzy and tired - I was able to dress myself and use the bathroom on my own. Kim helped me clean up before putting on my pants, and I got to wash my hands. I knew my blood sugar was also low,  which was the main cause for the dizziness, I was allowed to eat some jell-o and crackers, and drink some apple juice.

At about 6:15pm, I walked over to the wheel chair by myself and sat down, proof that I was ready to go home. Kim said her goodbye's and offered her sincerest apology. Frank wheeled me out of the hospital. Man, I just wanted to go home and sleep.

Just 2 days prior I'd had a dream that Baby Sal was a black-haired, brown-eyed tiny boy. I was certain the next time I left the hospital in a wheel chair, Baby Sal would be in my arms.

The last 10 days have been an intense roller coaster. The kind I so desperately want to disembark. But this is my life, our life. So I ride it out. Leaning on my family, my husband, my friends, for support. I've reached out to several women I know that have experienced the devastation of a miscarriage. I can't always fathom why women keep these types of experiences a secret. But in the past 10 days I've learned many of the women in my life have experienced this same loss.

I'm an open person, so keeping this locked inside my heart is impossible for me. Speaking matter-of-factly about the experience and situation has helped me in many ways. In addition to finding others to help support me, I've learned a lot about myself, and my grief process.

In the wise words of a very strong and awesome woman "You will never think of this and not feel sad. You will just get better at managing that sadness."

I don't believe "time heals all" - I am always sad when I think about Grandma Lu and Papa Jim, my best friend Dave, Uncle Art, and all the others that I've lost along the way, including the very first Baby Sal.

But just like all the other times, I'm managing, and getting better at it with each and every passing day. This isn't something I want to "get over". It's simply something that we will "move around". It will always be present in our lives, and I will always grieve for the first baby I loved but never got to meet.

They say God only gives you what He believes you can handle. Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't mad about this, angry with Him for dealing me this bullshit hand. I've known for most of my life that I should be, needed to be, a mother. And while I know we're young, I still think this is complete shit, and I know I will be angry for a long time. But Someone, Somewhere, has a plan. I hope His plan doesn't include any more strife for at least the next 12 months. I feel like I need, like I deserve, something good.

I want to thank everyone for reaching out, for offering support, and guidance. I couldn't have managed this ordeal with out our families, Momma Lynn, Janet, my best friend Laura, my cousin Susan, my co-worker Shannon. And a very, very special thank you to Doctors Lau, Sullivan, and Obenauf, nurses Tracy, Francis, Michelle, and Kim at Kaiser Santa Clara. Those women deserve a medal for being so amazing to me during my brief stay.

And to all the women reading this who have experienced the same trauma, I'm sorry. I grieve with you. And I understand that words don't take anything away. But just as someone promised me,  I promise you, you'll learn to manage.

I will close this, what is probably the longest blog post I will ever create, by notifying you of one more thing: I'm not writing this for you, your sympathy, your empathy, your attention, or any feeling from you at all, really. This post is for me. This post, this story, is a part of my grieving process. I know it's a difficult read. If you made it through to the end, Thank You. But I don't want you to feel obligated to reach out to me, to comfort me, to say anything at all. You don't need to contact me. Just offer up a little prayer, send a good vibe, smile to yourself when you finish. Because when I do finally get to leave the hospital in a wheel chair, holding a Baby Sal in my arms, I want that baby to only know a world of smiles, and good vibes, prayers, and tiny wishes. Because that's what that baby will deserve. And I can't wait to share that story with you.

Absolutely.