Today is the day we lost our little girl

Today I woke up with an ache in my gut. I wasn’t sure why.  Until I looked at the date. Then I knew.

Today was the day Danica Grace Bell “went to be with God” as the Doctor said. I remember laying in bed. It was hot and Abe was in the woods with his brother Jonah. I woke up in the night, which isn’t abnormal because when Abe is away I don’t sleep well. But on this night I woke up an felt different and I remember thinking I wonder if she was gone. Can’t explain it. I just felt, different.

At the time and having been walking through this experience in what felt like a worst nightmare in slow motion for the last 34 weeks I think of few times in my life that felt so heavy and intentional.

When I pull the pregnancy test from the bathroom I think the first words out of my mouth were “holy shit!” and then Abe and I hugged and he went to work. Being pregnancy was always very hard on my body. I was not really a happy pregnant person. I was in pain a lot. I was sick a lot. I was hormonal.

The day we were to find out the sex of the baby was the day everything changed. I was in the ultrasound chair and I remember the tech being very cautious about what was happening. She got up eventually after 45 mins of measuring and noting different things. And the Dr coming in doing some of the same things. Finally the Doctor said “im sorry im sure you are wondering what it happening and we needed to be sure. There are some problems with the baby.”

SLAM! the wind gone from my lungs. The walls closed in on my brain. I wasn’t all that sure what was happening. There was something wrong with the baby and there was nothing I could do. Through a series of tests we found out that she had a very rare chromosome disorder call Tryplodi. It is where the baby has 3 full sets of chromosomes.

There was so much that happened emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally for me in the loosing and lose of a baby. It deepen me in a way I wasnt all that sure I needed deepening.  I was sitting in a meeting the next day and shared about what was happening. A lady spoke after me and said “Ashley everyone of Gods kids needs a parent. and this one choose you” And in that moment sitting in the small room surrounded by people that loved me I knew. Right then, I knew this is one of those “… great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us” Alcoholics Anonymous Pg 164. I had always thought of the word great as happy. I had no idea that it was also meant in other ways.

For me today I realize I lived. I lived through that kind of full body ache that comes from deep with in the soul where me and God meet. Everything I had walked through up to that moment equip me with the ability to walk through that. It took everything I had to not run screaming from the room. My husband Abram was the same. I think we both had things that left by our selves would not have walked through as well or connected. We both had things the other needed. My son Nathan I think was one thing that kept us both grounded. He was 2 at the time and needed lots of love and he got it.

I’m grateful I get to be a sober parent that has a God and depth about my soul today that I can not imagine living without. Im blessed beyond belief to have two beautiful boys and a daughter in heaven. Her life task was to fight for us down here and she needed us to get her there. And we did. I don’t feel cheated. I trust that no matter what happened then that Gods on the job. I think I’m quicker to thinking my kids are going to die unusually early because of that situation. Dear GOD i hope not. But that is every parents nightmare. So i know I’m not alone.

My name is Ashley, I have lost a baby and I stayed sober and present through the whole entire thing. I regret nothing from that time in my life. I’m blessed to have gotten to be an excellent momma to three babies. And I give my self permission that not everyone deserves to have such tender information. “do not cast your pearls before swine” the bible says some where and I don’t unless the moment has felt right.


This was the last trip we took with us as a whole family. Redwoods National Park. God Bless her and I look to see her in heaven some day.


Entitlement is sneaky

Recently I have made a decision to take a break from Facebook on my phone. The last time I did this was because I couldn’t stand all the political adds coming through. Today I just took a look at my kids and decided they are more important then all the endless amounts of news feed stories.

Being a stay at home mom and having an addictive personality sometimes doesn’t serve me very well. When ever I sit down out comes my phone and swipe away. My strong willed 17month old has taken to walking up and grabbing my hand, smacking my phone out of the way and pulling me to what ever he would like me to go or see.

Which got me thinking about what kinds of things have changed sense I put down the news feed?
First off my house is not any more clean, damn it! We do not have fancy meals. My dogs are not walked any more then they were before. What has changed? Its subtle.
My youngest son David is very strong willed. He will no doubt be a strong powerful force in the world. Today he is a force to be reckoned with. Sense putting down my phone his tantrums are less? I’m less reactive to them. Strange, maybe? Maybe not.
My oldest son is more engaged with me and his brother. Sure he stills gets angry when his 4 foot high tower is knocked over in 2.9 seconds. But we talk it out. And now I hear him repeating to him self, “its ok it can always be rebuilt”
There are many many other things I’m sure that have changed. This post is not meant to add guilt, shame or ever try an get you to put your phone down. We as human beings do not need anymore of that shit in our lives. This post is to call out my own entitlement. Its the same pattern I used when I was drinking. I am so ………. fill in the blank, I DESERVE this. That kind of language gets me in trouble every time. But that was my thinking, kids go away I need a break. I need rest. I need this that or the other thing. That principle is so so so true. I DO need those things.
When I was in therapy a few years ago my therapist would talk to me all the time about being. She said you can be busy and be at the same time, I’m thinking that’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard. She continued, She said its whats driving the boat. I agree with that today. I read this morning
Meditations for women who do to much By Anne Wilson Schaef
Aug, 19 Its not what I do, its the way I do it, that will get me in the end.
There is was again, whats driving the boat? I have been so entitled about my “I deserve this” crap that I really wasn’t resting to begin with I was nursing resentments, perfecting my judgments and manifesting more areas of guilt. So, if you want something different you have to DO something different. ACTION changes me not thinking or saying again and again.
Facebook crack is a front to whats underneath. What was/is driving the boat? lack of being, one of my core things I run up against all the time. I’m more prone to injury this way, more prone to not being able to remember things and much more prone to heaping shame and guilt on to my self about everything. I don’t let things go easily because I’m not fully connected to the process anyway. How do I change that? Its easy. STOP, CONNECT, BREATH. I used to do this meditation that only took a couple minuets where I would put my feet flat to the floor, my eyes closed and my hand on my abdomen. And with every breath I would envision roots growing from my feet into the floor. And the more I breathed the deeper and deeper they went. I would do that until I couldn’t stand it any more or I felt better.

Being a stay at home mom I can not unplug completely. I was not meant to live my life independently from my people. I was meant to live it interdependently, meaning keeping a healthy balance of YOU and ME in my life. Saving Facebook time for the morning and evening when my babies are sleeping. I’m still texting and calling people because I need that connection. Being alone with me all day and two kids, not a good situation. It was never meant to be that way any way.