The Reason for the Season…

When I lived back in Michigan (home), all through Christmas my dad would complain to me about how much money he spent and how broke he was and then come Christmas expect me to gracefully accept a $100 check without feeling incredibly guilty as his daughter. I never wanted him to be broke! He always claimed he was so miserably broke. Christmas is about children and celebrating the reason for the season: God and family memories. It’s not about gifts. We were all already given the gift: LIFE! And I’ve always said that even in my younger years. I’ve often reminded him the same. Yet, the message my grandpa emailed me a few months ago still lingers in my mind. Again, the guilt they both instill in my mind. To them, I’m still a child, their child…

And apparently to them, I should have never showed up to Christmas at their house without a gift to give in hand because “they deserved it because they did so ‘much for me'”. —truly sad way to think this time of the year.

You should never do that to your child. You should never make them feel like they need to come into your home during a holiday with gifts in hand, even if it’s just a cheap scarf from Walmart. That type of guilt is just ugly and God knows this is not the way it’s supposed to be. This is not the reason for the season.

Especially as college students, swimming in debt (that they never, ever helped put us through as parents-by the way), you’d think they’d “get it” and have some sort of understanding. My mom did-she always understood. My dad? Never. And it’s apparent now that my grandparents felt the same, or at least my grandpa did. I can’t speak for grandma since she is no longer with us anymore.

Even now as we are older, with jobs and bills, we still have debt. Student loans, especially. We provide and live for our children because we will always have bills. We will always owe someone money. There will always be a payment to be made. But as if this is anyone’s business, really. It’s just madness on my mind, I call it. Crap that shouldn’t have to be explained but always feels better to get it out. In Texas you can get a big house for a good cost. It’s different here.

And as a side note: I never asked for a big house, fancy cars or designer purses. I’m pretty simple and basic. Born and raised in a trailer park, has made me (as an older adult) appreciate the things I have and I take care of them. I cannot tell you the last time I bought myself a pair of shoes. My winter boots are falling apart at the seams; yet, I still buy for my children. Because the sacrifice I made when I had them was that they come first. In ALL circumstances. I buy my clothes from Target. I despise the mall. And I always go straight to the clearance racks. My tight ass dad taught me that (that’s a good thing, though!). I don’t ask for or wear fancy jewelry. I don’t ask for the best of the best vehicle to drive. I don’t drive a Lexus, Cadillac, or BMW. I drive a Toyota mom van (basic version-which I love) that I begged to trade in my fully loaded Honda Pilot (leather, sunroof, GPS, DVD/Bluray, Towing package, etc) for. I don’t get manicures, and if I do it’s a rare occasion (a holiday is coming up and we’re taking family photos). I get pedicures now only because I don’t have the time to sit and do them myself anymore with two kiddos in tow. Which I’ve always, always preferred to do them myself-anyone that knows me can tell you that. My nail polish collection is insane (haha). There’s no “me time” anymore unless you want to count grocery shopping at the 3 to 4 different stores I have to go to in order to get all the food our allergy sufferers in this household require. That, my friends, is what costs us a pretty penny. The food that goes on the table…

I buy for my kids.

And maybe I go overboard? Maybe we go overboard? Maybe I need to step back and allow them to realize the true value of having something nice. Maybe I need to start them young? I’ve done a lot of thinking lately.

As a child growing up in a trailer park, attending high school in a low income community, I mostly borrowed and wore friends clothes who’s parent would buy them brand names from the mall.

One Christmas before I got my driver license, I remember my mom being able to buy us clothes (a lot) from American Eagle. I finally got my blue puffer jacket that I’ve been begging for for that winter season, some jeans and a ton of shirts. It literally felt like Christmas. I took care of each and every single one of them.

Anyway, my point is that Christmas is about celebrating why we have Christmas. Some people don’t even know what we’re celebrating. Can you look around at your beautiful lit tree and the presents under your tree and the lights on the houses outside and ask yourself “why are we celebrating this holiday?” “what makes it so important?” “what is the true meaning of Christmas?”

It is our duty to continue the real reason Christmas is celebrated. And it is our duty to explain this to our children.

It is not our duty to guilt people into spending money they don’t have or going into debt because gift giving has taken over our society as a norm. It’s truly sad. I mean, even Thanksgiving is ruined each year because shopping suddenly became more important then spending it with family.

I hope ya’ll have a very Merry Christmas this year and I hope that you get to spend it with amazing family members that deserve your presence. I know that God has blessed me this year with the opportunity for my family to come visit us the season. To celebrate what Christmas is all about: family.

What this beautiful video for the REAL reason for the season:

Hurricane Harvey 2017

Let’s talk about Hurricane Harvey. And let’s talk about God’s way of always throwing things at me at the right time (kidding). Let’s talk about that big black cloud above me. You know, I’ve noticed some friends that I thought I’ve grown close with, back away from me, simply because of all the “life events” I’ve been going through. Maybe I’m just too much for them to handle. It’s been a real big eye opener for me, honestly. They may not realize it, but I literally felt that wall get thrown up into my face. I feel it. And it hurts. It’s almost like being isolated again. Depressed again. The way I felt when moving to yet another new house, new location, new city, new job…

And to make matters worse? These hormones! Well damn, ya’ll…I feel like I’m going through round two of post-partum depression and it’s incredibly heartbreaking and sad to know that those I thought would be by my side, totally aren’t. They don’t check on me. They don’t message me and most of all my daughter asks all the time to play with their kid(s), a kid, any kid (neighbor) and all I can tell her is ” so and so is sick today.” Lies. But what am I supposed to say? “I’m sorry Josie, your mom is pretty screwed up and no one wants to be around her…” or “so and so doesn’t want to be around mommy because she’s too high strung, too anxious and has a string of negative shit happen in her life constantly (for Gods sake-enough is enough!)” I really don’t ask for these things to happen to me. Do ya’ll realize this? I’ve come accustom to the amount of bullshit obstacles thrown my way. And I always step up to the plate with open arms saying “whatcha got?! Bring it! I got it. I’ll get through it! I ALWAYS DO!” And I think I’m quite capable, on my own, to handle them appropriately. Yet, it still always burns a little when those whom I thought would stand by me, no longer do. Especially family. Anyway, not everyone can be like me. And have a giving heart and think “how would they feel if they were in my shoes” type of demeanor. Not everyone REALLY cares…truly. Sometimes there’s just some underlying reason they are friends with you and most of the time it’s NOT because they care about you (job, business opportunity, etc-who knows).

Anyway…I’m so very tired of thinking about these “people”. I am so easy affected and hurt. So so easily. Although, I may not show it…but I am. I’m thick skinned but so very sensitive inside. I’m so very tired of being sad and disappointed. And when things come crashing down I re-evaluate everything. From lost family, to lost siblings over absolute nonsense to lack of love in our blood system…the “Hubels”. Talk about a bunch of COLD HEARTED PEOPLE! I am ashamed and must bow my head to admit I am part of them, one of them…embarrassing. 

I know how much of a damn good friend I am, could have been and HAVE BEEN to people. And I know those who love me unconditionally can vouch for just how I can be. I love hard. I have a good heart. I’d do anything for those who truly appreciate me and love me for who I am-all the mess of who I am, included. I am a Cancer…that’s what we do!

This didn’t happen overnight…who I am. It was created, built and defined by so many things, experiences and losses. My husband being gone, me becoming the “protector” AKA: SAHM; the pressure, the lack of family, Josie’s life-threatening allergies/asthma and going through post-partum depression (several times over)…alone. Not to mention my own disease, being anemic and iron deficient and suddenly suffering panic attacks. I feel like I can’t crawl out of of bed most of the time. My energy is at an all time low. But the PPD…that shit ain’t no joke ya’ll. Some know and some don’t…the truth. My truth! I am truly thankful for my husband, the ONLY constant in my life. And he doesn’t just do it because he loves me or because I am the mother of his children. He does it because he knows the ME before THIS. He knows the happy, carefree, loyal, giving, loving Stacy. That is who he fell in love with. That is who he begged to give him a chance back in 2006. That is who he pleaded to that he was the one. He promised me the world. I got scared and didn’t trust him. My trust for him took years (2008). Although I loved him since I was 12-years-old…my heart had a wall put up by him that only he himself would break down with convincing. It wasn’t easy, but he managed. And just like I always knew, we are perfect for each other, always have been. He’s always been MY Bobby. And most of you reading this know this. He was untouched territory in middle school/high school (that is, until I moved away). He completes me and I complete him. He and my girls are the best thing about my day. And when I struggled after the birth of Juliette, his words were just enough to help me end PPD for good. He said the right words. He encouraged me to seek help. He took the time to be present and help me, save me. I have him to thank for this, truly. No one else. However, this is an entirely whole other story ya’ll, but why am I bringing it up now? Well, because…I’m going through it again…

How could that be? This is my story about losing baby #4 (or #6 if you’re counting LIVE births)…

With a loss (or birth), PPD can come back. And it’s here because of a potential child inside me that didn’t make it. Did you know that a woman can suffer PPD after the birth of her live child as well as a child that didn’t make it?  Giving birth on a toilet (during a hurricane, might I add), is unimaginable and incredibly awful. There are no words. Because the emotional and physical pain that comes with miscarriage is unexplainable, let me just say that it’s everything you read online. Or on Dr. Google. Or on blog testimonies. It’s no joke. And it’s evil! Not only are you experiencing a traumatic loss, but your body has to dispose of the tiny human (over WEEKS, might I add) AND you don’t end up with a beautiful gummy smiling baby. And you’re reminded daily for weeks and weeks and weeks until it finally stops (the bleeding). You end up with a broken heart, broken dreams and a whole lot of blood and pain. And a train of hormones you have no damn idea what to do with.

During this hard time, I often wonder why my husband hasn’t divorced me yet, because I’ve become such a raging bitch. But that’s just who he is. Patient. Kind. Understanding. And loves me unconditional. Again, thanking God for his grace in this and ability to have someone to tolerate me in times when I’m less then tolerable.

So many of you have been down this road…but never speak of it. 

I have very, very, very few people that reach out and ask how I am doing. Not many, if at all, have asked about me. In the midst of going through the agony of losing our “what could have been baby” as I sit on the toilet and push like giving birth until mostly disposed. Yes, disposed. And you’re probably wondering what did I do with it? Well, I certainly didn’t keep it. I had to flush it, right? I had to say goodbye. My husband had asked as I lay over the toilet bowl crying hysterically, “are you okay babe?” and I ever so calmly responsed (when I thought I was being STRONG this entire time). “No. I’m grieving our baby.” and he so calmly got down on his knees with me and said “I know babe. Me too.” His hug was what I needed. That silence is what I needed. Just that moment in time to say goodbye and come to terms is what I needed. After all, we BOTH lost this child, not just me. 

Did it fix it? No. Nothing will. This is just added to the stock pile of “Stacy’s Miscarriages”. All are different but each equally hurt the same. Although this one longer and most progressed and much more painful requiring pills inserted into the vagina or a D&C…

Looking back now, I wish I would have done the D&C. Oh Lord ya’ll, please pick a D&C if you have a choice. Let my testimony make your decision, please!! I’m REALLY not sure why I didn’t. Timing, being here alone after surgery, taking care of two kids-I don’t know. I tried the pills. I tried them twice. Both times they came out and looked as though they never dissolved. But I was bleeding so I thought it was normal and it worked. I bled for two weeks. Then ramdomly one night, two weeks later while laying on the couch at 10:00pm-ish, I started cramping, very very low into my pelvis and very bad and painful. I thought nothing of it until it started to take my breath away. I joked with Bobby that what I was feeling felt like contractions. I’ve had a natural birth before, believe me, I KNOW the feeling (it’s something I’ll never forget). Well, I got up to go to the bathroom because I felt “pressure”. And sure enough the pain came on full force. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was shaking, dizzy and nauseous. I kept moaning, sometimes so loud I thought I would scream. Thank God both girls were asleep. Bobby walked outside into the garage for something. I knew I was inside alone and then it happened, with a big push, it came. Stuck in my pelvis with what felt like FOREVER, I screamed for him. Over and over again. “BOBBY!!!!!! BOBBY!!!!” At this point I was breathless…he walked in with a “yup?” so calmly. I scareamed for him again. In other words, I wanted to say “stop being so slow and COME HERE!” but he came to the bathroom as I sit slouched over the toilet, pushing, moaning and sweating. And then it came out. And I felt an instant emptiness in my pelvis. The pain was instantly gone. Just like when I’ve given birth. But it didn’t end there. I wish I could say it did. I wish it would have been that easy. Within 10 minutes the pain returned. I tried to lay on the couch close to the bathroom while holding the heating pad on but I had the urge to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. Where I kept dropping more and more and more. I was able to catch the big stuff. I started getting faint and pale. My blood pressure was dropping. I was guzzling bottles and bottles of water. I was able to see the baby. Our baby-in my hands. I know you’re probably thinking “gross!”…but this was OUR closure. This was our goodbye. Bobby and I hugged each other, we both cried (he not as much as me) and we decided to move on. We were sad. We lost another baby. Our ‘what could have been’. Josie and Juliette’s sibling. It was tragic. It was cruel. This entire process was and is such a cruel, cruel thing for any woman to go through. These images will haunt my mind. Not quite sure I want to risk going through this again. Not to mention, bleeding for a month or so…

Finally I was able to get myself off the toilet, take a pain pill and lay down and piece what the hell just happened. Just like when you give birth, it happens without warning and so quickly, this was how this miscarriage was. Cytotec failed me twice! And if anything, I learned I’ll never go through that again…ever! My body has and always will be a strange one. I knew when I was prescribed it, that it wouldn’t work. Some people would think I was jumping to conclusions or being ridiculous. But I KNOW my body. And my body almost always fights everything.

I’m doing better now. Only the hormones haven’t budged. It feels like forever and I’m “stuck”. I feel sad, mad, depressed and emotional. I’m mean and then I cry. When I’m by myself, I scream obscenities because it feels so good. Especially the F word. Loud. So loud my throat hurts afterwards. I don’t feel like “me”.

…I just want “me” back.

It’s the same ol’ story…everything happens for a reason, right? The pharmacist took my hand in prayer when I drove up to that drive through to pick up the “kill baby meds” (sorry, that’s what I call them). And as I could barely open my eyes (had just left my OBGYN and got the news of a miscarriage), he took my hand in prayer and reassured me that this was His plan. God had better plans. But in that moment I couldn’t help but say “well if he had better plans and different plans why the hell didn’t he do that in the first place? Why this? AGAIN!? Why put me through this again? Is he testing me? To see how much I can take before I snap? Or have I already snapped?”

What hurts the most? Not having any family here. Lack of friends. Lack of support system. People to take my mind off all this sad. My husband traveling 50% (always gone when something tragic happens-of course) and the friends I thought I made and have-that ran for the hills like they have a 5K marathon to finish. When I think about that saying: “everything happens for a reason”, I tell myself that THIS happened as a small way to show me who cares and who doesn’t. Who is a good person and who isn’t. This opened my eyes and also put up walls. Who’s worthy of being in my life? I always think people have good intentions and good hearts, but sadly, that’s not always the case. I’ve had friends go through this shit and have had their group of friends come over without notice and help. Help with their other children. Bring them dinner, wine, or cookies. I hear of friends helping friends so they could nap/shower or eat. Help so they could grieve! Help so they could leave and go to Target and walk around like a ghost with no shopping list, just a mind full of thoughts that needed to be loose. Blast music in the car alone. Scream fuck at the top of their lungs without kids in the car. I can’t say I have that. And even when family comes, I still don’t. And even when my husband comes home, I still don’t. You see-life is so damn busy. I haven’t had the chance to grieve. No chance to grieve all sorts of the emotions that are building up. The anger, the sadness, the frustration, the rage, the happiness, the positive thoughts, the negative thoughts, etc. I NEED to feel these things. I NEED to get through these things. Because if I don’t, I could snap…like you so often hear happening to women going through tough times like this. Right now, I’m pissed. Pissed off that I’ve been dealt the shit stick when it comes to family. None of which give a damn about me. None of which could or would EVER pick up the phone to ask how I am doing. As far as I’m concerned this digs them a BIGGER hole in the already big hole they put themselves in in my life. Pieces of shit is what they are. Selfish, self-obsorbed and FULL OF PRIDE! Never even called to see if we were all okay after the hurricane or this miscarriage. I would never do this. Never. But I truly believe THIS is why God blesses us and not them. I take a look around and see the abundance of blessings we’ve been given. And I believe it’s from the good we’ve shared. Our children are a blessing my family will never get to know. My blessing of a beautiful home, in a beautiful community. A great job-which I love. A husband who shares the same wants and needs as I do and the ability to share this life together whole heartedly. We do good for others, so God can bless us. My family, well…they do nothing, except for themselves. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post…you can keep my inheritance after Grandma’s death. I’d never take something that wasn’t mine. And I’d never want God to have that on his list of things I should have thought long and hard about. Money means nothing to me. Even though we are very blessed where we stand today. As long as I have my kids and my husbands love, no amount of money can buy that.

Hurricane Harvey 2017…

NOTE: THIS IS JUST OUR AREA (Spring, Texas)–the newer, higher elevation area.

What a shit storm, ya’ll. No joke. This massive monster came through and tore up our community around us. And again, I have to say, God had our backs. He was watching and he was protecting us as a community. How can I ever be so thankful to be one of the few (such a SMALL percentage) to make it though this mess without anything horrible happening? Without damage? …but we did.

So even though we may have lost power for 19 hours at most (so what, we had a generator) and lost water for 4 days + (so what, we have water bottles), this is a teeny tiny small blip of a setback compared to those around us who’ve lost everything and have devastation consume their lives and completely steal everything from them that they’ve worked so hard for. Their homes, their cars, and everything in between. Unsalvagable items. Mold grows just as fast as that water rises. It soaks in, it breeds and as soon as the warmth hits-that’s all it takes. So there is no “lets wait for the water to recede and we are okay.” No. It doesn’t end there ya’ll. It NEEDS to be gutted and replaced. The labor intensive days ahead for these people are endless. They see no end in sight. But their strength is what makes us whole as a community. We are Texas Strong. The love and concern these neighbors and business owners have showed is something I’ve never seen or heard of in my life. I cannot believe the feeling of “United” I felt. There were no politics, race, ethnicity, or gender disagreements. We all were there for each other, regardless. And it continues today, as it’s not over for our community. We have a long road of recovery here. We were shocked and our communities were rocked with devastation that will take years to fix (if fixable). Downtown Houston is STILL underwater. Could you imagine the amount to fix local businesses, homes and the amount of families with just the clothes on their backs and NOTHING to show for their lifetime of working so hard for what they own? It’s unfathomable. It’s surreal. The needs for love, support and donations is never ending. Just because Harvey is gone, doesn’t meant it ends there. This is just the beginning of this nightmare. My heart hurts for those…all of those affected. Bobby and I tried our best to contribute. We went and spent hundreds on food, water and baby supplies to those in need closer to our community. It’s our God-given job! We were so lucky, so blessed and so GRATEFUL that it didn’t hit our home. My heart felt like we had to so something, anything, to help. Even though we cannot fix what has been done. We can certainty touch some hearts and make ourselves available to any and all that need us. We donated a ton of stuff. I went thought this house over the last week and gave away a toddler bed, mattress, sheets, clothes, tons and tons of toys, books and food. Lots and lots of love ya’ll. Reassurance that I am here if needed. I’ve donated money to people who have PayPal, Venmo, and GoFundMe accounts. I wish we could do more. I really, really, do. The feeling of helplessness is painful. All I can do is continue to pray for all those around us. It may have divided people from their homes, but it didn’t divide us as a community…family, group of people willing and wanting to always help one another. This tragic event truly showed true colors. It brought people together. Together like family. A Texas Family! Just like my own personal tragic events described above, it showed me peoples true colors. Sometimes, that’s really God’s only plan in all of this…to open your eyes to reality.