How long the bleeding can last
I miscarried Mother's day weekend and the bleeding continued for six and a half more weeks. According to my multiple google searches, 2 weeks is "normal" but it may last longer than that. For me it did, and I didn't know if it was ever going to stop. After a month I stopped going into the doctor's office (more on that below), but I felt like my body was healing in it's own time. If I had been cramping or in any pain I definitely would have talked to a healthcare professional. Luckily, the bleeding stopped and I was finally able to not be constantly reminded of what I had lost.
- What it feels like to get weekly blood tests
This is the reason I stopped seeing my doctor. I had my blood drawn at my first appointment where my doctor told me while looking at my ultrasound, "I don't see anything in there." I had it drawn again a couple days later and my hCG levels weren't dropping very quickly. So my doctor asked that I come in again the next week for a shot to resolve any possible ectopic pregnancy and allow them to take another blood draw. This continued for three weeks. With massive bruises on each arm and anxiety over going in again, I made the best decision for my mental and emotional health to stop getting my blood drawn. So glad I made that decision. Again, if I had been in pain at all I would have continued to seek professional help. It should also be noted that I just stopped receiving all the lab bills for those blood draws.
- My grief doesn't look like someone else's, and that's okay
I consider myself a pretty optimistic person, and so my brain often doesn't want to open up about hurt, pain, sorrow, loss. I never want to bum people out. But it doesn't mean I don't feel all of those things. Sharing a little bit about how I've felt and what I've learned from my experience is how I'm able to move forward in a positive way. Sometimes I feel like that might make me seem fake or less authentic, but everyone grieves differently. Having an optimistic perspective that my experience can help someone else is how I'm coping with my loss, and that's true to who I am right now. And however you grieve, that's okay too!!
- Talking about it brings out emotions and allows you to stay on top of them
I felt burdened by what I was going through and opening up to my mom and sisters almost a month later was so healing for me. Sharing my experience here on the blog was hard for me, but also allowed me to understand just how many women go through something like what I experienced. It's given me so much understanding of how important it is to not judge others. You never know what they may be going through or what struggles they've faced in the past. I almost didn't share anything at all because I didn't want people to feel like they had to cheer me up or that I was seeking attention from my situation. But I'm glad I followed my heart felt feelings to post anyway because it's brought me closer to my family, friends, and complete strangers. It's also brought me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I'm so grateful for that.
- The grief and worry don't stop after the bleeding does
Luckily my reproductive cycle seems to be normalizing itself four months later, but the grief and worry still occur from time to time. When I see pregnant bellies, pregnancy announcements that have the same due date month our baby would have, gender reveals, regretting flying to California while pregnant, imagining what I'd look like right now if I hadn't miscarried, anytime I think I might be pregnant again but the test is negative, not working out as hard because I think I might be pregnant, wondering what's wrong with my body, etc; You get the idea. I still think about it all the time. I don't know if I'll ever forget about it, because it's the first time I've ever had a personal experience shake me so hard.
I am not alone
I was OVERWHELMED TO TEARS because of all of the women who had experienced something similar and reached out to me with love and understanding. It somehow broke my heart and mended it simultaneously to know so many had been where I was. Not to mention the countless empathetic, loving messages from friends, family, and strangers who were grieving with me even though they didn't know what I was feeling. THANK YOU. Every comment, thought and prayer meant so much to me and I felt so loved by all of you. I also know that my loving Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, had their arms wrapped around me through this trial. The spirit has comforted me and reaffirmed to me that I will have the opportunity to see my angel baby again someday.
An increased love and compassion for others
I think that sometimes heartbreak happens so more love can fit inside it before it's patched back up again. My heart has been opened and my mind is more aware of everyone who might be secretly suffering. If you're going through a miscarriage right now, I'm so sorry. No matter how common it is or how far along you were, the loss is still a loss. The pain is both physical, and emotional. The hormone levels dropping inside you still affect your mental health. See a health professional, and also listen to what you think your body needs to recover. Nothing you did caused this to happen, but from what I've experienced that doesn't stop the regret or paranoia. So just give yourself grace and time. Allow yourself to feel sad, mad, worried or guilty. Reach out to others often, when you feel like you need support. You will be surprised how many others have been through a similar struggle in silence. Please realize that you are not broken. You are strong. You are perfectly you. And you are loved.
I know I talk about this a lot, but I wanted to let you know more in depth some of the things I've learned since becoming an Independent Maskcara Artist. You already know how much I have LOVED this change, so I have narrowed it down to five main lessons I have learned and I'm going to expound on those. I am so excited to share them with you!!! Let's get on with it, shall we?!
If you're not moving forward, you're drifting away
For the last 4 years, before joining Maskcara, I was a stay at home mom. It was a huge priority for us to have me here to care for our children. When I finished my associates degree, Turner was 4 months old. I was done with college and knew I wanted to spend my time exclusively raising him. What I didn't realize at the time was how much of an impact it would have on my personal development.
Being a mother has helped me grow in SO MANY WAYS. But, at the same time, the isolation and lack of continued personal education has stunted my personal growth. I stopped doing things that challenged me. I lost sight of my passions, goals and dreams. I was doing the daily routine, but I wasn't doing much to improve myself. After having our second child, it really started to wear on my soul and I knew that I needed to make a change to maintain a personal identity. It's almost like I could feel my personality slipping away! Dramatic much? Haha maybe...
Then something happened. Matthew became self employed as a Real Estate Agent in February. As we worked together to expand our thinking I felt a small fire ignite inside of me. We started reading inspiring business books and talking about our aspirations! We talked about all of the sacrifices we can make to get us where we want to be. I started feeling the passions within me bubbling to the surface. That's when I was on Instagram one day and saw someone I followed was a Maskcara artist. I found out she lived down the street from me and then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I brought it up to Matthew, he encouraged me and I joined a couple weeks later when enrollments opened up again!
Ever since that day I have felt myself learning and growing as an individual, striving to reach personal goals and obtain new skills!! It's made me realize how important it is to keep moving forward. Because if you're not, one day you will find you've drifted away.
No one is the exception to hard work
I went into this knowing I would have to work harder than I ever have before. I've never been good at keeping a consistent schedule. I am VERY EASILY distracted. Even starting the blog, an Etsy shop and other small side gigs had fizzled away over time. My motivations were never strong enough to drive me. Oh, that's another thing! I am a very content and comfortable person, so my natural drive is on the low side as well. I tend to procrastinate until the last minute and the stress/anxiety of that habit can cause debilitating effects. Basically, after 4 years of just earning a little money here and there for "fun" I knew this was going to be a big change in lifestyle.
I had so many doubts in myself, but deep down I knew that this was a company I could stand behind forever. I knew I would try my very best to succeed. At the very beginning I would watch other artists who had been running their business since January and get overwhelmed immediately. I thought, wow...they are such a success! How could I ever get there? When they have such a huge team or a huge following, how could I ever succeed? I watched them to learn from them, but instead I started to compare myself to them.
That's when my husband had me tell him how the Top Leader of the company and I were different. I started to say things like, she has a community of woman that she can influence, she is older than I am and has more experience. He stopped me and said, "You're wrong." I was stunned! He continued, "The only difference between you and her, is your skills. She has gained skills that have helped her get where she is now. You can gain those exact same skills and be exactly where she is right now. Nothing can stop you from doing exactly what she has done."
That was the biggest truth bomb to me in that moment. She had done all of the hard work with her business before Maskcara. She had worked her buns off to gain the skills to improve her life. That's what makes her a top leader. NO ONE is the exception to that hard work. Maybe some of us have to work harder than others because of life circumstances, but we can ALL get where we want to be if we work hard enough!
Consistency REALLY IS the key
This one right here. This lesson has kicked my trash time and time again. My old habits and, dare I say, laziness have been hard to break. For YEARS I let my schedule control me instead of the other way around. That's why consistency has been SO HARD. In August I attended the Maskcara Launch Party in Vegas and it was after that I set a goal to be extremely consistent in my schedule.
Now, if you have any children at all, you KNOW that can be near impossible. But I tried not to let that stop me from being as consistent as possible. I had good days and bad days, but overall I noticed how well that consistency paid off. At the end of August I had my best month yet! The problem with that was I got complacent with that success and I stopped being as consistent. Boy, did that hurt me. It can be a vicious cycle if you let it. Right now I'm in a complacent phase because I've had a really good month, but I'm still not where I want to be.
The best way to push through complacency is to think big. To dream your biggest dreams. Go test drive your dream car, look at some million dollar homes, or plan a dream vacation for your family!! Then get back on that consistent schedule and KILL IT!!
You have unique value
I am not just going to say you are special here, even though you are! This is about your unique values and how they help you in your business. People tend to buy from people who share certain values. Not just religion necessarily, but personal values. For example, some may resonate with people who have strong family values. Others may value travel and so on. I took a branding course by Michelle Gifford, and learned so much about using my personal values to help me in my business.
It may at times seem like one person in an MLM will gravitate all the customers, but it's not true! Your tribe will gravitate to you because of your unique personal values! So the best thing you can do for your business is to simply be you! Share the things you love, don't love, make you laugh, and people will love it!! You never know who needs to hear it come from you!
Helping others helps you
This may seem a little obvious to some, but it's something I keep learning over and over again through this journey. At first I just wanted to share my excitement about this product and message with everyone I knew, but then it started to change into helping. I want to help others feel their own beauty and individual worth. I want to help someone who may need this opportunity in their life like I did.
When you go forward with the intention of helping instead of the mindset of "getting" something in return, your clients can sense the difference. And it makes YOU feel good, too!! Every makeover and connection I make with another woman leaves me feeling better than I was before. Even within the sisterhood of artists themselves I have made so many friends and lifelong connections! There are so many amazing and beautiful women who have so much good to offer this world. Getting to be surrounded by them? That has been the biggest blessing of all!