Hi, friends.

A quick note: I’m going to start opening up more. If I can’t pour out the essence of what life is really like right now, then that’s just boring. And, it is cathartic to be real – regardless of how it might be perceived and by whom. So, here goes.


Let’s start with you. I hope you’ve been weathering existence on Earth as well as you are able. This is a time to be alive, amIright? Amidst all of the change, I feel like it’s been an abnormally large effort to preserve what feels like groundedness. Overall, I think I’ve done an OK job maintaining it. Fortunately, there are days like today when the weather is slightly nicer and it doesn’t feel so difficult to stay positive.

On the topic of positive, I want to get real about something that I think I’ve skirted around for years. Underlying my teenage years where I struggled with eating disorders and self-sabotage, the underlying sickness was – and some days is – depression. As my husband has helped me to realize over the years, part of why I am so motivated to create positive and helpful content is because the dregs of depression weigh heavy. So, if I can orient my focus toward positive things and glean joy from sharing those with others who might also feel sad, then it’s a win-win, right? Except for when, again, it’s heavy.

These days, it can feel like a feat to leave the house. Granted, the 40 mph winds on the prairie make it even tougher… but it’s more about the weariness I feel. Though I’ve been loath to admit it, I’m aching and in a rough place emotionally. Physically, I’m fine. But our miscarriage in October ‘21, during the same week that my grandfather passed, really did take a big toll on us. I’ve realized this as each month, we continue to realize we’re not pregnant and kind of emotionally re-experience it.

Mentally, it has me racing. Only in June of 2021 did I decide to finally go off of birth control. I felt like my body was screaming at me to remove my hormonal IUD after five years… so I stubbornly obliged. After 3-4 months of balancing itself out and Aaron and I using the app Natural Cycles to naturally prevent pregnancy, we realized we weren’t teenagers who were afraid of this reality. Instead, it felt exciting. So, we stopped tracking as much.

And then, almost immediately, we found out we were pregnant. There were a few weeks of elation as we quietly told a few people, knowing it was way too early to plan on anything. And then, COVID swept through and nearly took the primary people in my life. I was hit first. Fortunately, I had experienced the worst of it a month and a half prior, so it didn’t take me down like before. But, next was my mom. I’ve never seen her so sick, miserable, and nearly lifeless. I knew I was exposing myself to more risk and stress, but I made the decision that if it came down to it, I’d choose my parents over the potential of a new family.

Typing this makes me cry. I don’t regret it, as my dad became sick next. Both he and my mom went to the ER and even though his oxygen count was under 80, they didn’t send him home with supplies. So, I became a whirlwind extension of my sisters to get him the care he needed. He rested with oxygen for a couple of weeks – the longest time I’ve seen him sit still, sicker than I’ve seen him before.

And then, my grandfather became sick. At this point, I started bleeding and I didn’t know why. I knew I felt slightly under, immensely stressed, and worried. Hopefully, it would just stop on its own. I Googled ferociously, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t the worst possible scenario.

Days passed and my grandfather stopped eating and drinking. The nurse in my family gave an expectancy of 7-8 days more, and he was spot on. A few days later, the bleeding had only increased, sopping the pads I reluctantly allowed myself to use. If I resisted it, maybe it wouldn’t be what I was afraid of.

Finally, we went to the hospital. Although it wasn’t conclusive, at this 6-week mark, it seemed I was miscarrying. So, we solemnly accepted fate. Feeling like a zombie, I volunteered to stay overnight with my grandpa and my sister. It ended up being one of the worst nights of his departure. Due to an incorrect dosage of morphine and another medicine I can’t remember prescribed by the hospice nurse, he experienced hallucinations constantly throughout the night. He was up, turning around, and trying to find a space on his bed (typically near the top corner where he was about to fall off, nearly constantly. During it all, I bled. That same week, we said goodbye to both. I felt like my heart and body were breaking, in unison during this difficult, difficult time.

I can’t help but remember that two days before he fell ill, we told him the news to cheer his spirits. He gifted me calcium and vitamin D to keep my bones strong, having learned from my grandma’s experience. He believed growing 9 children took a toll on her body – and he was probably right. When I went hiking to absorb the pain, I reflected on this. It still is very painful to think about. But, it was such a kind gesture for a gentle start that wasn’t meant to be at that time.

Now, in February of 2022, I’m still processing more than I would like to be. Every time I see a girlfriend announce her pregnancy, I can’t help but feel a small stab of pain and, I’ll be honest, jealousy. And I hate that feeling. I never thought in a million years I’d feel that way. But, biological changes do something to you… it’s hard to explain.

While we probably can get pregnant again, I can’t help but think the reason it hasn’t happened yet is that it isn’t the right time. I’m still emotionally resolving too much and with the crazy-ness of our lives… the timing could be better. So, writing is a method in which I’m coming to peace with this. I’m hoping by translating the experience to paper, it will, in some way, alleviate some of the emotional tension that has been hard to let go of.

I know I’m not alone. I have many amazing friends and sisters who have experienced miscarriages of their own and probably never spoken up about it. My heart is with you; I understand now, and I have 1,000,000 more feelings I could write on… But for now, I guess I’ll just say that I love you and thanks for reading.

Mandy Froelich