Finding Inspiration in Sadness

So I had a blog post all ready to go this morning to memorialize my six precious angel babies in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day…but then inspiration struck…

…in the shower.

My daughter is just chilling in the living room, watching Cinderella and eating Pops…cuz ye know, it’s Thursday, when suddenly inspiration PUMMELS me. It’s so bad that I have to step out of the shower with conditioner still in my hair, and talk all my ideas into my phone.

You see, right now I’m working on the next book in my romance series and I’m going deep on this one. Many ask me how I went from writing a memoir in recurrent pregnancy loss to adult contemporary romance, and if you’ve read A Broken Us, my first romance novel…you know that it all started with infertility. I wanted to bring the face of infertility into an epic love story that would give it a larger platform than memoir provides. It just snowballed from there.

Writing for me is so much more than a smutty love story. It’s about tapping into emotions and the way people think and feel and react. It’s about telling a story of how someone can get past all the crap in life to find love and a happily ever after. Because that’s what I found.

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But not everyone is as lucky as me. I’m sitting here after losing six freaking babies and telling you that I KNOW I’m one of the lucky ones. I got my baby. I got my HEA. But what about those who haven’t? What about those still suffering through loss, still grieving, still aching, still waiting for their rainbow baby?

My advice is…inspiration

Find something that fulfills you and drives you and use those angel babies to inspire you to go after it. That’s what writing and publishing books has become for me. So now, when inspiration strikes and I get that magical AHA moment…I wonder know where it comes from.

My six angels.

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Miscarriage Loss Awareness Day. The entire month of October honors this but on the 15th at 7:00 in the evening, no matter what timezone you’re in, you’re supposed to light a candle honoring the precious babies you have lost. It’s supposed to create this gorgeous wave of light across the world. My family and I will definitely be doing that.

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In the meantime, I want to share an excerpt from one of my angel baby’s whose story hasn’t been told yet. We lost Nevaeh Peace Daws on November 11, 2013 at 18 weeks pregnant. It was our most devastating loss to date and will be included in it’s entirety in Chasing Peace…which I hope to release later this year. Below is an excerpt of our precious baby that we said goodbye to, much too soon.

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Unedited Excerpt 
By Amy Daws
Copyright Amy Daws

“This is it, isn’t it?” I cried to the doctor. There was no holding back my emotions now. I knew better. I knew prolapsed membranes were about as bad as it could get right now.

The doctor looked at me apologetically and said he wanted to try and manage my pain so we could make it until morning so my personal doctor could decide what he wanted to do. He excused himself so he could go call my doctor and update him on my status.

The tech looked so sad and tired. She knew me. She knew my history. I was the only girl they ever did ultrasounds on with an abdominal cerclage. I knew all the techs by a first name basis, so they knew my story just as well.

After being taken back to my triage room, my labor progressed to where I was screaming and thrashing in pain. They doubled and even quadrupled my pain meds but nothing was working. Finally the doctor came back in and said we just couldn’t wait any longer…I couldn’t continue laboring like I was on that cerclage. It wasn’t safe because at any moment I could start bleeding out.

It was then he said, “We have to deliver the baby.”

I looked back at him broken hearted, “But the baby’s still alive! We’d be killing the baby right?” I was bawling now asking questions I already knew the answers to.

“The baby can’t survive without fluid in your uterus and yours is almost entirely prolapsed through the cervix right now. There’s no meds we can give you to stop the contractions because you’re too early gestationally. The meds don’t work this early on. If we don’t do something now, your uterus will rupture. That’s very serious.”

I looked at him and in that moment I was so hurt and so tired and so emotionally beaten, I just didn’t care anymore, “Ok fine, just get it out, and get it over with. I’m done, I’m so so done. I don’t want any more kids. We have one, that’s enough.” I pleaded with him desperately.

He suggested instead of a mini C-section like my emergency plan called for, he wanted to go in abdominally, snip the cerclage off, close up and then let the baby delivery vaginally. This way he wouldn’t have to cut in to my very small uterus.

In my right mind, I knew that wasn’t what we should have done because that would eliminate my cerclage that I worked so hard to get. This cerclage was supposed to be a permanent fixture in my body. It was supposed to remain in place for subsequent pregnancies. But I was in the midst of the worst pain of my life and just didn’t care.

Kevin must have felt the same way because he didn’t speak up to tell the doctor anything different. I think we both knew we were in way over our heads at this point with the kind of pain I was suffering from.

“I won’t have to deliver the baby when I wake up will I?” I asked him.

“No, I think once I take out the cerclage, the baby should engage in the birth canal on it’s own right away.” He answered.

“Ok, I don’t want to wake up and have to push the baby out, I want it out while I’m still asleep.” The doctor nodded thoughtfully at me.

Once I agreed to the surgery, four nurses rushed in and busied themselves around me prepping me for surgery. I was signing papers telling them they could give me a hysterectomy if need be. Meanwhile, the doctor was telling Kevin he was worried about whether or not he’d be able to find the cerclage or if it would be covered by scar tissue and difficult to locate. They were calling in extra blood from the blood bank and then, my water broke.

A huge gush of fluid and pressure came pouring out between my legs. It was like a dam had released, “Something big just came out!” I screamed.

A nurse came and lifted my gown and said, “It was just your water hon, your water just broke.” She said.

I began to feel some relief from the intense contractions I’d been having. The doctor came in and said this is actually a blessing because now we have no choice but to deliver. Before that, I guess our decision was, in a small way…terminating a healthy baby because of pregnancy complications. By my water breaking, it made it a necessity, not a choice.

I looked over at Kevin and he looked overwhelmed and scared shitless. It all was scary. I looked over to the doctor and said, “I don’t know you. You’re not my doctor, but I need to come back from this. I need you to know that I have an 18-month-old baby at home that needs me. She needs me! She is everything to me! This needs to all be ok.”

He assured me he would do everything in his power but there were a lot of unknown elements. The nurses then said it was time to go, so Kevin kissed me quickly and said he’d see me soon. As the medical team pushed the bed and me down the hall, I felt so very alone and so very sad. Kevin was instructed to wait in Labor and Delivery Triage. I can’t imagine the sight of watching your significant other get wheeled away to emergency surgery while you have to stay back, helpless and alone.

I was crying softly when one of the nurses reached under the blanket and grabbed my hand. She rubbed it soothingly as we passed through the maize of hallways and hospital corridors. It felt like we were moving at warp speed, but her strokes were soft and sincere. I remember her telling me over and over that it was going to be all right. She only stopped stroking my hand when we reached the O.R. and they needed to transfer me to the operating table.

Staring up at the ceiling, the medical team all busied themselves prepping me for surgery. Even with a huge team of people around me, it still felt like it was just me and my little baby in the room. I took a moment and rubbed my small belly. I whispered softly, “Good-bye my little fighter. I’m so so sorry this is happening to you. I wish I could have kept you, but I can’t.” I sobbed loudly and tears streamed down my temples and into my hairline.

The anesthesiologist came over with a washcloth and wiped away the moisture on my face. He didn’t say anything encouraging. He didn’t tell me I was going to be alright. He just wiped my tears. That silence screamed volumes. He knew. He knew what a horrible and rotten situation this was and since words failed him, he offered a simple touch instead. Eventually he put a mask over my face and told me to take ten deep breaths. Before I passed out, the last thing I remember was my own hand continually rubbing my small belly.


 10689481_1510303915911294_5779867820127012396_nAmy Daws lives in South Dakota with her husband, and miracle daughter, Lorelei. The long-awaited birth of Lorelei is what inspired Amy’s first book, a memoir called Chasing Hope, and her passion for writing. Amy is a lover of all things British and her award-nominated romantic comedy series, The London Lovers Series, is centered around Americans in London. It’s emotional and self-deprecating with lots of humor sprinkled in.
On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing to Strawberry Shortcake’s theme song or stuffing themselves inside children’s-sized playhouses because there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their little miracle.

For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com

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So much is happening!

I’m having trouble knowing where to begin this blog post because I’m overwhelmed with amazing things happening!

First of all…did you see my USA Today Feature on why I set my romance series in London?
It was AMAZING! So exciting to see my name next to ANYTHING USA Today related!
Weekend Hot Reads copyClick here to read the full article! 
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Also, I’m working on a special project that has nothing to do with my London Lovers or my memoir series.
I can’t release details yet, but it will be coming soon!

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Then…oh then…today of all days…a really incredibly special book anniversary snuck up on me.
My baby. My pride. My joy.

Chasing Hope

Quotes-Laughable
Never in a million years did I think I’d be anywhere that I am sitting today.
Writing a blog on my very own author website?
Are you serious?
I always wanted to be a sitcom writer as a child. I thought that sounded so cool. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to write a whole book! It seemed like too many pages…too many words…too overwhelming.
Then these tragedies started happening to me.
Life-changing sadness enveloped me and my husband and I was hurting. I was hurting for everything I’d lost and I was hurting for the hope that was fleeing from me every single day.
I had to do something.
So I wrote.

At first it was just the days of the “sad tragedies.”
So I would never forget….
Then it turned into more.
Then I started asking questions about publishing.
Then I found an editor.
Then I picked a day to release.
Then I introduced my angel babies to the world.
So they could be remembered always…not only in my heart…but on paper.
1 Year Anniversary graphic

Happy 1-Year Anniversary Chasing Hope.
You started something for me.
Something I never thought I could do.
I’ve just released my fourth book now and I found so much more than HOPE when I published you.

I found my dream and I found my happy ending,
both in family and in my career.
I call that…a really good freaking year.
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Chasing Hope Order Links: 

Amazon:
US: http://amzn.to/1LDYBoS
UK: http://amzn.to/1LDYIRh
AU: http://bit.ly/1Q8N95K
CA: http://amzn.to/1RloRbk
iBooks:
http://bit.ly/iBooks-CH-US
http://bit.ly/iBooks-CH-UK
http://bit.ly/iBooks-CH-AU
http://bit.ly/iBooks-CH-CA
B&N:
http://bit.ly/1rwc1aM
Kobo:
http://bit.ly/1PL4gQe

London Lovers Order Links: 

#1 Becoming Us – $0.99 LIMITED TIME!!
Amazon:
US: http://bit.ly/BecomingUs
AU: http://bit.ly/1GTOYhX
UK: http://amzn.to/1wUXIQG
CA: http://bit.ly/BecomingUsCA

iBooks:
http://bit.ly/iBooks-BU-US
http://bit.ly/iBooks-BU-UK
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B&N:
http://bit.ly/14XYNQY
Kobo:
http://bit.ly/KoboBecomingUs

#2 A Broken Us
Amazon:
US: http://amzn.to/XFDHCz
AU: http://bit.ly/1IW683e
UK: http://bit.ly/AmazonABU-UK
CA: http://bit.ly/Amazon-ABU-CA

iBooks:
http://bit.ly/iBooks-ABU-US
http://bit.ly/iBooks-ABU-UK
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B&N:
http://bit.ly/ZoX8RC
Kobo:
http://bit.ly/1vsI6nM

#3 London Bound – $2.99 LIMITED TIME!
Amazon:
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iBooks:
US✦ http://bit.ly/iBooks-LB-US
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UK✦ http://bit.ly/iBooks-LB-UK
CA✦ http://bit.ly/iBooks-LB-CA
Lulu✦ http://bit.ly/1F4QdNq

Where It All Began

I have a lot of new followers on my site these days, so I thought it was time I did a post about how I became a writer started writing. <—-I still cringe at calling myself an author or a writer because it still doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem believeable. But I have two published books out there, and three more on the way, so I best get over myself!

Here’s the deal. I lived in darkness with my husband for five long years.
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For five long, sad, and somewhat miserable years, we went through a struggle together that no one truly knew the depths of. That bothered me. NO ONE KNEW! It felt like people didn’t really know the real me! Some are the suffer in silence types. Not me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a loud-mouth, obnoxious, extroverted goof. Middle Child Syndrome through and through.

So, I wanted to change that. I started writing my experience. I thought at first, it would just be something nice to have on a shelf to always remember. Because even though it was sad and tragic, I didn’t want to forget. Then I thought…maybe I’ll let my mom read it. And then it was like, ‘Oh my Gosh, this story is so much more than just my experience. I have to put it out there!’

So, Chasing Hope snow-balled and I cannot begin to tell you what an incredible experience it has been sharing it. Chasing Hope is my family’s true story. If you want to laugh, cry, scream, giggle…you may want to pick it up and read it. I’m incredibly proud of it and it offers a glimpse into a world not many people know about. It will make you want to hug your babies, hug your family members, or just appreciate life more. It’s one of those books that you read and just feel better about life when you’ve finished.

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And if memoirs aren’t your thing…Chasing Hope inspired me to branch out into adult contemporary romance. Writing fiction was a ton of fun for me. A Broken Us was an idea that was inspired by a very small part of Chasing Hope. Sort of a “what if” scenario that popped into my head. I’m incredibly proud of it and the reviews it has received! The next book of this series, Becoming Us, releases in January. 
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Thanks for taking the time to read this post! It’s been a whirlwind of a year, diving into the world of indie publishing. But I’ve met so many incredible people along the way.
And if you don’t follow me on social media…you should totes start. I speak way more candidly over there! 😉
FacebookTwitter Instagram Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevaeh Peace

In honor of the 1-Year Angelversary of my sixth pregnancy loss, I’d like to share an excerpt from Chasing Peace. Chasing Peace is the sequel to Chasing Hope and tells the story of my beautiful angel, Neveah Peace. She was my most painful loss to date. This is a hard day today and it sometimes feels like it only happened yesterday. I miss you sweet baby, I can still feel you resting quietly on my heart.

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Chasing Peace:
As the medical team pushed the bed and me down the hall, I felt so very alone and so very sad. Kevin was instructed to wait in Labor and Delivery Triage. I can’t imagine the sight of watching your significant other get wheeled away to emergency surgery while you have to stay back, helpless and alone.
I was crying softly when one of the nurses reached under the blanket and grabbed my hand. She rubbed it soothingly as we passed through the maize of hallways and hospital corridors. It felt like we were moving at warp speed, but her strokes were soft and sincere. I remember her telling me over and over that it was going to be all right. She only stopped stroking my hand when we reached the O.R. and they needed to transfer me to the operating table.
Staring up at the ceiling, the medical team all busied themselves prepping me for surgery. Even with a huge team of people around me, it still felt like it was just me and my little baby in the room. I took a moment and rubbed my small belly. I whispered softly, “Good-bye my little fighter. I’m so so sorry this is happening to you. I wish I could have kept you, but I can’t.” I sobbed loudly knowing my baby was alive inside me but they had to take her out anyways. Tears streamed down my temples and into my hairline.
The anesthesiologist came over with a washcloth and wiped away the moisture on my face. He didn’t say anything encouraging. He didn’t tell me I was going to be alright. He just wiped my tears. That silence screamed volumes. He knew. He knew what a horrible and rotten situation this was and since words failed him, he offered a simple touch instead. Eventually he put a mask over my face and told me to take ten deep breaths. Before I passed out, the last thing I remember was my own hand continually rubbing my small belly.
~Chasing Peace, A Memoir by Amy Daws
http://bit.ly/1GLMvt4

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The mold of our sweet
Nevaeh Peace. 903228_10100539417340503_477447998_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our very special Dragon Fly Christmas tree. An ornament for each sweet angel. 983720_10100730997182963_5730351640912031139_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October-Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

In honor of October being pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, I’ll be dropping my Chasing Hope e-books to $2.99 for the entire month. Finding something to connect to when you are grieving a loss can make all the difference in the world. I love connecting with my readers and sharing in their grief, sorrow, heart-ache, and especially HOPE. This picture is an excerpt in the acknowledgements section of my new novel. Even though I’d rather have these babies here with me….the gift their short existence has given me is worth more than I can fathom. I’ll love them forever.
#chasinghope #chasinghopealways #infantlossawareness #pregnancylossawarenessmonth
Kindle–> http://amzn.to/YTApMf
iBooks–> http://bit.ly/1rwjNGk
Lulu–> http://bit.ly/1BzF42I

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Interview with Elizabeth Petrucelli of All That is Seen and Unseen: A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage

Elizabeth Petrucelli is a woman I met online that helped me along tremendously with publishing my memoir, Chasing Hope. Navigating the fields of independent publishing can be extremely difficult but it’s the generosity of other indie authors out there, like Elizabeth, that really help make it a positive experience!

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Elizabeth’s book, All That is Seen and Unseen takes you on a journey through the heartwrenching experience of losing a child in the first trimester. Read the full synopsis here.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth is a professional birth assistant (doula), childbirth educator, and parenting instructor. The pregnancy with her daughter, Ruby Josephine, was her inspiration for her book, All That is Seen and Unseen – A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage. Her most recent publication, The First Night: Small Town Fumblings of a Rookie Police Officer is now also available on Amazon. Elizabeth lives with her husband and two sons in Parker, CO. Join her as she educates the world and brings peace to women regarding first trimester miscarriage.

Interview with the Author:

Tell me a little about what inspired you to write this book?

When I experienced my miscarriage, I searched the internet for a book with women sharing their miscarriage stories. I needed to find some normalcy to my feelings and to know I wasn’t alone. I also needed to know what to expect. I couldn’t find anything. Sure, there were many books on later miscarriages and stillbirths but my baby had died at a little over eight weeks gestation and there was very little. I found two books that mentioned stories from first trimester miscarriage. I felt like if I was needing a book, there were others that needed one too. My inspiration came from the lack of support books on the subject.

What was the purpose for your book?

My book has several purposes. First, it is to share my story. There is so much healing in letting others know. Second, I feel it is important for the world to see just how painful a first trimester miscarriage can be. Not everyone feels the way I did, but many do and they have no support. They are often told to “get over it” or that “it (the baby) wasn’t real.” This can be very real and very traumatic and women deserve to know they are not alone. The book is also wonderful for medical professionals who work with women who miscarry. I had nurses in emergency departments read my book who felt awful at how they treated women who were miscarrying in the first trimester. This book was a real eye opener for them. The book closes with resources and ideas on how to remember their baby. My hope is that women read the book and see all the options they have such as naming their baby, burying their baby, and having a memorial.

What were the range of emotions you felt while writing the book?

I cried a lot while writing the book. I would “plug in” to drown out any outside noise and listen to one song that I felt explained my grief (Held by Natalie Grant). I would listen to the song over and over as I typed as fast as my fingers could capture my thoughts. Oftentimes I would stumble because I could not type as fast as I was thinking. I was also very excited to get the book out there for others to read so even though it was hard and I cried, I was ready to help other women.

How did your husband feel about you writing the book?

I had Jason read the manuscript before it was published. He was supportive of the book but there are many intimate details in the book that I felt I needed his approval before putting them out there for everyone to read. I had really hoped that he would write the Foreward for the book but he did not want to share which is okay but I have often heard that the book has nothing from the male perspective on miscarriage.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t think I ever really decided to become a writer. I have always loved writing and I remember as a little girl my mom praising me for the stories I wrote in school. I wished I still had those stories to look at. I have always journaled and I believe this is what led me to write my book. The book is full of my intimate journal entries. Readers can see exactly what I was thinking on those exact days during my loss. I enjoy writing so much, that I will continue to write and hope to dive into the world of fiction soon.

What other books have you written?

I have just published my second book, The First Night; Small Town Fumblings of a Rookie Police Officer, which is a comical story about my first night working as a police officer. I have three other books in the works though. A book on pregnancy and parenting after a loss, a book for childbirth educators specifically about teaching unexpected outcomes to pregnant families, and SWAT Wife which is a personal account about living with a SWAT Officer and how that affects the family. This book will have SWAT incidents in it, police funerals, and features a detailed account of how the Century 16 Aurora Theater Shooting affected our family.

If you had to give advice or words of encouragement to people going through your similar situation, what would it be?

I would tell them first and foremost that they are not alone. I know that it feels that way but there are so many of us out there that will walk this journey with you. I would also tell them that it’s very important to know their options. I didn’t know that I could bury my baby and that was really important to me. I also didn’t know how dangerous a D&C could be. It is portrayed as a simple procedure with little risk but there are big risks and I suffered from one of the complications from the procedure. I blog often about miscarriage options and the risks to different procedures. My blog can be found at http://www.allthatisseenandunseen.com/blog.

Purchase All That is Seen and Unseen Here and enter RUTUHVJH for 35% off!

Visit Elizabeth’s blog Here.
Visit Elizabeth’s Website Here.
Find her on Facebook Here and Here.