FOR JULIEN

For-Julien A year ago I was 12 weeks pregnant and on June 28th, 2013 we found out our baby had died.

It was our first ultrasound and we were so excited. I had daydreamed what this day would be like - we would hold hands while the nurse smeared cold jelly on my belly and found a view and heartbeat of our baby, we would call our family immediately afterwords and send them a picture of our baby, we would carry around the ultrasound picture and show everyone we knew our baby, I'd share it on Facebook, my blog, everywhere with so much love and joy that we were pregnant. It was going to be beautiful. We even had our names picked out: Julien Augustine Bullock for a boy, Isabella Rose Bullock for a girl.

As I laid on the hospital bed and we looked at the black screen waiting for movement or a heartbeat we held hands and smiled with excitement. After a few minutes of nothing and staring at the giant black, empty screen we began to sense something might be wrong.

With grace the nurse said she'd like to perform an internal ultrasound. Without explanation why, we agreed and moved forward with our eyes glued to the biggest and blackest screen in the world.

A few moments passed and finally we see a tiny white blob in a sea of black. The nurse looks accomplished and used some digital tools to measure the white spot. She begins to speak about what we we're looking at.

She said the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks.

To be honest, everything after that very sentence was a blur. My husband clenched my hand and looked at me with the saddest look I'd ever seen. I knew something was wrong.

- - -

In memory of my unborn son, to whom I feel his presence everyday, I share with you a piece of our story. Since the day I found out we had a missed miscarriage - the day that will change my life forever - I've discovered the most healing thing I can do for myself and life-giving thing I can do for my unborn son is to share my story with as many people as I can. This is the beginning of my memoir for Julien.

MY 10 SECRETS

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A few months back when I was planning to launch my blog, I realized one of the key steps to updating my brand was to get some updated head shots/photos of myself. Because I have a nice camera and my husband has a good eye, I asked him to take them for me. While we were at it, I took some of him too for his new blog and brand we worked together on.

Naturally, I spent a few minutes posing in front of the mirror attempting to find the best angle/pose/smile/stand to make before the shoot. I was prepared to look a certain way, the way I thought would look nice and professional. I looked at several other creatives head shots and kept those in mind for the shoot.

All of that posing and practice went out the window when my husband started to take the photos. He made me laugh, loosen up and relax. But most of all, he allowed me to show my true self, the side of me that sometimes you don't hear about or see. The side of me that I am sometimes afraid to share. 

Recently I participated in a "share your secrets" Facebook post. Some of you may have heard of it, or even saw my "secrets" on my Facebook page. The way the challenge goes is if you read someones "secrets" on Facebook and comment on their post asking for a number, the person who posted the secrets would roll the dice and give you a random number. That number determines the amount of secrets you share.

So, I did exactly that (but unknowingly). I read one of my friends posts - her secrets. It was so touching and beautiful that I commented on it. She then replied with a number and said if I wanted to participate, I could. I immediately thought, no way. I am not going to share my secrets with Facebook. I am too private for that.

Then a few days later, her husband, another friend of mine, bared his secrets too. Just like his wives, they were moving and inspiring me to share mine.

I have secrets. Secrets I have been afraid to share with you because I thought I might lose your respect, I might offend you or that I might even lose potential business. 

I shared my 10 secrets on Facebook and had some incredibly supportive, loving and heartfelt responses. The entire day I checked my Facebook at least a hundred times. I received messages from old friends, woman, and family who applauded me and thanked me for my bravery, honesty and for sharing my true self. I was overwhelmed with love, joy and gratitude and felt a weight lift off of me.

Sharing my secrets helped heal me a little more. 

With the hope that you'll still be here after you know my secrets and with the faith that if I be myself and share even the hard stuff that good thing will come. So here are my 10 secrets:

  1.  After 8 months of RCIA I was baptized in 2011, only a few months before I married my darling Nicholas Bullock. Getting baptized was a moment that I was so afraid of and hated the idea of getting water poured on top of me in front of the entire Easter Mass. When the day came to get baptized, I was surprised at how lucky and grateful I felt to be the only one at the church that day to receive such an amazing honor.
  2. My dad passed away when I was too little to remember him. Most days I wear a locket around my neck with a photo of him and my deceased grandpa's (his father) within it. Sometimes I wonder what it would've felt like to have him here.
  3. This spring I was pregnant for 12 weeks. At my first exam (at 12 weeks), I learned the baby stopped developing (at 6 weeks) and I, in fact, had what they called a "missed miscarriage". A missed miscarriage is when the baby no longer is alive, but you still continue to grow and experience symptoms of a normal pregnancy. I was giving a choice to surgically remove the baby, wait for it to naturally expel, or take drugs to force out of my body. I chose to have the baby removed surgically. It's been several months since that day and I never really knew how to share it with everyone till now. There is so much to say about it and I plan to share more about it in someway. Nick and I believe our baby was a boy, so we've named him Julien, whom I pray to often.
  4. I'm one of four siblings (3rd one down). My family calls me by a nickname my [step] dad proclaimed, Dippy. FYI Ive always called my step dad "dad". I've included the step to maintain clarity of who I'm speaking of.
  5. When I was a teen, I was the last one out of my families home when it caught on fire after our furnace blew up. My bedroom was the closest to the furnace, but I had my headphones on and my door locked. My [step] dad somehow got my attention and got me out of the house before I could get hurt. Thanks Brian Keefer!
  6. I've been playing softball for nearly 20 years. When I was a teen, I was warming up to bat and was caught in the face with our home run hitters bat. Only a minor fracture under the eye was a result.
  7. As my friend Tom mentioned in his "secrets", I too was uncertain I'd ever get married. Then I met Nick and he changed everything.
  8. I've always wanted to sing and play music in a band and had the opportunity to do a little of that with some pretty talented ladies PurpleHenry IshMarie ButcherAmanda Marie and Erin. I have some ideas and plan to write and perform my music someday and share my recordings too (produced and engineered by Nick of course).
  9. I believe that every one of my dreams and goals will come true.
  10. I was a hairstylist for 13 years until I finally made the leap to entrepreneurship. Both my mom and dad were business owners, so I had some great role models.