Where do you begin when you haven’t blogged in over a year? From an avid blogger to a ghost. Some people might think you fell off the face of the Earth. Others could guess you have tried to turn over a new leaf, assuming you are trying to put your “infertile” past behind you now that you have a baby….I wish it was that easy.

So many times I have stared at a blank screen and wanted to write. I miss blogging. I miss using my voice & interacting with such a supportive community. Blogging was therapy & a huge part of my daily life for years.

Anyways, so here I am. I am back. I never really left. I silently read posts and commented in my mind on them. Prayed for those hurting, rejoiced with those rejoicing. Why havent I blogged? I guess I feel out of place at times now since having my rainbow baby. I am worried I might hurt someone still in the trenches. I dont want to be misunderstood. It is difficult to put it all into words really. Hopefully as time goes on I find how to put it all into words because writing this tonight makes me feel good and reinforces how much I have subconsciously yearned for it.

I will leave with this thought which has been on my mind lately-Infertility without an earthly child is hard, but so is infertilify after having one. Will the feelings of infertility & loss ever truly leave one’s soul? Until next time ❤️

Happy (1st???) Mothers Day

I heard that quite a few times yesterday. Evoked mixed feelings in me. Part of me said yes, it is my first, the other part of me said no, it isnt my first.

I guess I have a love hate relationship with ‘my first mothers day’ …I love that I finally got to celebrate having my boy here with me, but I hate that my babies that didnt make it didnt get to celebrate it with me. I (literally) shed tears for them.  If that makes any sense at all. 

Social media was flooded with Mothers Day stuff nonstop from Friday on I believe. The remnants are still floating around. I took part in posting some things, because I did have a great weekend & I did enjoy celebrating it. And I fought hard as hell to get here. 

But my heart still went out to all those hurting. I spent many years grieving on this holiday, and like I said, part of me still did mourn. However my miracle made it a joyous day overall for me. I hugged and kissed him a little more than usual (if thats even possible?) & thanked God a million times over. 

A few pics from our weekend-

Thinking of everyone who had a rough few days, the best is yet to come ❤️ 

Originally Written on 2/4/15

Miscarriage #3

So, by now you may have already guessed what happened at our 10 week appointment today.
I woke up early as I usually did to make it to the 7:30 a.m. scheduled ultrasound. This was the 1st ultrasound appointment I would be going to alone. 

When I woke up, it was the 3rd day in a row that I had 0 pregnancy symptoms. I felt like everything had been stolen from me, yet I still tried to keep my faith. 

 I got in my car and turned on the radio. Immediately the song, Oceans, Where Feet May Fail by Hillsong United came on.
I started bawling my eyes out. If you haven’t heard this song, it’s a Christian song about keeping the faith and trusting God through the hardest times of your life. Ironically, I had heard this song the exact day we had our 2nd miscarriage. And here it was, playing again as I drove to my appointment. I knew right at that moment, without doubt, that this pregnancy was over. I just didn’t understand why. My heart ached.
Within minutes of arriving, I got my vitals taken and was in the ultrasound room. I briefly informed the nurse of how I had been feeling the past 3 days. She started the scan, I took a deep breath, and as always, I looked the other direction. I couldn’t even stand the thought of seeing her face when she told me. Seconds of silence turned into minutes of silence. More confirmation that it was over. When nothing is wrong, it only takes seconds to locate the heartbeat and turn that screen to the proud parents. Not today.
Everything I prayed so hard against was coming true. Again. Every time I told myself to fight off those negative thoughts. Every time I believed people telling me this was the time, this was our year. Every time I thought we would defy the odds. Every time, I was wrong. And my heart ached.
Finally, the nurse who had been by our side for over a year now, pulled out the wand without saying a word. I turned and looked at her. She was crying. I blurted out “WHAT?” rudely. 

 She whispered, “I’m so sorry. There was no heartbeat today.”

I immediately demanded she show me. Let me see it with my own eyes! I thought. And so she did. I saw our sweet little angel, who was now in heaven. The heartbeat was gone, along with any flow of blood through the tiny body that had so wonderfully formed.

I sat up. She hugged me. Then she angrily said, “Why does this keep happening?!” I hadn’t shed a tear yet or spoken a word other than my nasty “what?” a few minutes earlier. I just stared blankly. I couldn’t speak because I felt like someone had ripped out everything inside of me. 

 She asked me to please wait for the doctor to come in at 9 to confirm. It was only 7:45. I said OK. Then she told me to just stay in the room and wait. This was not the norm, as the practice is very busy, and they only have 2 exam rooms… hence, rooms are golden. Not today.

 Today I sat in the same room for over an hour without moving. Everyone else would just have to wait. I didn’t care, and surprisingly the staff didn’t either.
Another nurse came in to take my blood. The anger had turned to despair and I was now sobbing uncontrollably. She told me I had to call my husband. I didn’t want to. I refused to tell my husband that we lost another child. This has to be a nightmare right? I was going to wake up any moment! 

 The doctor came in next. She performed another ultrasound. I heard her and the nurse speaking as they were pointing, but it was all a blur. I looked at the screen one last time because I knew that would be it; my good-bye

 The doctor confirmed we had lost the baby. She diagnosed it a missed miscarriage. No bleeding. No cramping. No shortened cervix. No nothing. The life inside of me had just stopped living.
She gave me our options next. 1.) Miscarry naturally. This could take weeks, or even longer since I was only a few days short of 10 weeks. 2.) Take Misoprostol orally and miscarry at home. She recommended against this, again since I was further along it would be “very uncomfortable,” or 3.) Have a d & c in two days at the hospital under general anesthesia. I scheduled the d & c.
I called my mom & asked her to come get me. I couldn’t drive. The doctor and nurse walked me out. They hugged me, and kindly told me to stop taking all my medications right away, especially the blood thinner, since I would now be undergoing surgery in 2 days.
I stumbled out to my car and dialed my husband as I waited for my mom to arrive. All I heard him saying was, “NO, NO, NO,” over and over again.

Due Date

I have thought about this post for awhile.  I have so much I want to write, but for the most part I have no words to truly express all of my feelings.  I have sat and stared at a blank screen for hours.  I have started and then stopped over and over again.  I have wiped many tears.  

September 5th, 2015 was supposed to be a joyful day for our family- it was the day we would finally bring our babies home after our two prior losses.  That is not the case.  Instead, September 5th is a day of mourning our twins. 

Today, as I sit and write this, I would have been 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. 

I imagine so many things as I type that. I imagine what it would feel like to have my baby or babies moving around inside of me. I imagine the excitement of becoming new parents in just a few days. I imagine the fear of it too.  I imagine what my belly would look like.  I imagine how the nursery would be decorated.  I imagine the first car ride home.  I imagine our dogs meeting their siblings for the first time. I imagine my maternity leave beginning.  I imagine all of the bonding that would be getting ready to take place during that time off.  I imagine the sleepless nights and feedings. The diaper changing and what feels like endless fits of crying. I imagine rocking them to sleep.  I imagine the total exhaustion and worry of being a new mom. I imagine all of the congratulations, phone calls, hospital visits, and gifts.  I imagine the first smile. I imagine looking into our babies eyes for the first time. I imagine what they would have looked like and how they would smell.  I imagine their first bath. I imagine their very first outfit.  I imagine the love that one feels over flowing inside of them like no other.  

And then I wake up. 

I begin to realize that none of this is going to happen.  It is over.  Life will go on this week and on our due date will pass by.  Isaiah and his twin will not be in our arms next week.  They have gone to heaven.  Nothing can change this.

All we have left are the weekly ultrasound pictures and memories, one for every week up until week 10.  We can think of how we felt seeing their little hearts beating. How it felt to hear them aloud each week.  How amazing it was so watch them grow each time we went in.  No one can take those memories away and I am grateful for that, because it is all we have now.  

The pain is indescribable. It never leaves a mothers heart. Everyday is hard, some are harder than others.  There are always the “should have beens” and “what ifs.”  Out of all of our losses, and all of the dates that should have been, I am finding this one to be the hardest.  My heart aches. I am praying for strength. 

There will be no cards or celebrations this week. Just our dreams of what could have been, and a time to honor the lives lost. Our childrens lives.  We want them to be remembered. 

We love you so much, baby Isaiah and twin.  You will always be in our hearts and minds.  September 5 will always be dear to us.  There is so much more I want to say, but the words arent coming out right.  


I am My Own Worst Enemy-Part 3

Today, I left session 3 of therapy with a lot to think about.  If you have been following along with my sessions, you may recall that I said I wanted to keep track of what I “took” from each one.  Let’s break this reflection up into 2 pieces–the “us” and the “me.”

The “Us”

Some questions Dr. G asked us to think about and share at my next visit:

  • Why do I want to be a mother? 
  • Why does my husband want to be a father? 
  • Are our reasons the same or different?
  • If I cannot carry our child to term, are there any other routes we are okay with taking to get to parenthood or to not get to parenthood for that matter? For example, a child-free life (talked a lot about this one), adoption, gestational surrogacy, sperm donor, etc.
  • Are our (acceptable) paths to parenthood the same? If not, is there a compromise we can come to? How? 

I quickly asked Dr. G if she thinks there is a right or wrong answer to these questions.  She reassured me that any answer is totally acceptable (which I was glad to hear), and that the purpose of the questions is to know where we are going with all of this.  Knowing what extremes we are both willing to or not willing to go through in our quest to parenthood will provide a sense of security and comfort as we move forward.  I completely agreed when she explained this to me, and as I type this, it makes even more sense to me now, and I couldn’t agree more.

In the past, when I was miscarrying, I never knew what we were going to do after it was over.  Of course, I was grieving the babies I lost, but looking back, I was also grieving our future and the uncertainty of it.  I can still remember the exact spots I sat and cried in as I wondered what we would do next.  

While I know that infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss take away a lot of control and planning, trust me I do, I also know that our future path to parenthood is something we can control.  You heard me right…we can control it!

We can choose to be child free now, after another loss, and/or after our embryos are gone.

We can choose to use a gestational surrogate now so I am not subjected to the possible physical and mental anguish of another loss, or when/if another miscarriage occurs. 

We can purse adoption if we both feel it would satisfy our desires of parenthood.

Like Dr. G reinforced, when it boils down to it, we have not really drawn our lines in the sand.  Revisiting why want to be parents, and how we can we satisfy this desire if the current path we are on does not work is important.  And sooner rather than later.  Dr. G pleaded with me not to wait until something traumatic happens for us to make those tough decisions.  Her reasoning was simple-during a crisis we will not be in the frame of mind we are now.  Again, I agree with this.  Pretty basic thing, but hearing from an outsider can put it into perspective.

The “Me” 

Dr. G started off the session with me telling her how my week went.  I told her it was pretty uneventful, with the exception of Saturday of course.  Saturday was the day I went to the lab and had my blood drawn and dropped off my urine sample. At the lab, I encountered the very pregnant woman, a newborn and 2 sets of grandparents that I blogged about.  What I didn’t blog about was what came later on that day.  We went to 2 birthday parties, one for a 3 year old and one for a 12 year old. At both parties, there were pregnant women and newborns, forget all the kids running a muck.  At one point, my husband and I were trapped in a room listening to a pregnant couple discuss their nursery theme.  Talk about a day from HELL!

Aside from that bizarre day, I told Dr. G I haven’t really been my usual IF self the past week.  What I mean by this is, I haven’t been as consumed by it all.  I haven’t been thinking or talking about it as much.  To be honest, I haven’t even felt like blogging about it all as much, which is really strange.  She told me that I *may* be learning to compartmentalize through our sessions together.  Dr. G said some patients do this, and some don’t, and that “compartmentalizing” looks very different for each person. I might be starting to put some things aside that I normally wouldn’t have, because I know I will be able to discuss them with her during our hour session each week. Sounds like it could very well be the case, at least I’d like to think so anyways!

In addition to how my week went, we discussed the memorial “box” that we had talked about a week ago. At the end of our last session, she asked me to consider a few things about the box, such as why I felt the urge to hurry up and finish it once I started it, and what it would be like if I didn’t.  I did think this over and I came to the conclusion of what not finishing the box could mean to me.  It could represent that my babies are still here with me, and I can visit the box and work on it whenever I have the desire to spend time with them. 

As you can see, lots to ponder.  As always, thanks for the support, friends!

I am My Own Worst Enemy-Part 2

Session 2 of counseling went well.  We started off with a reflection of how I felt about session 1, with a summary of how my week went to follow.  I informed her of the dream I had, and the appointment with my family Dr.  She listened and reinforced a few things:

  1. In my dream, my friend acknowledged my babies, which I may have needed in order to have acceptance of her pregnancy.  Even though she had acknowledged it prior, I may not have been ready to accept it.  The dream also indicates my desire to be closer with her again.
  2. The new sense of support I feel, having a team of Dr.’s working together on my behalf now.

Next, we talked about the difference between losing a pregnancy, and losing a person who has physically lived here on Earth.  I focused on losing my maternal grandparents, their funerals, burials, and celebrations of their life afterwards.  I explained how I felt a sense of closure after these events, how I can look back and smile about things we shared during their life even though I still miss them and mourn their deaths.  With my miscarriages, it is different; I do not feel closure. I cannot look back at all the wonderful memories I shared with my unborn children.  I do not know why they passed away. There was no funeral or celebration of their lives. Points gathered here:

  1. When you lose a person who was physically here, you are left with tangible memories of your time together.  For example, the trips you took with them, the sports you played with them, the hugs, the kisses, etc.  With a miscarriage, you do not have tangible events to remember, you just have what your hopes and dreams were for your future with them.  What were my hopes and dreams for them and our family?
  2. Society has created “socially acceptable” norms to mourn the loss of people who have walked the Earth, but unfortunately not for those who were only in their mother’s belly.
  3. Since there are no official steps in place for grieving the loss of an unborn child, it is important we create what we feel to be right in our own eyes.

That being said, Dr. G asked me some questions on what I have done so far to memorialize my lost children.  I showed her my tattoo and my bracelet with their birthstones.  I explained to her that I also purchased a wooden box, paint, and some trinkets awhile back that I hoped to use in a ceremony for them, but haven’t yet.  She questioned why I haven’t yet, and I explained that perhaps I am afraid to do it, because once it is complete, what do I have left? My response sparked some conversation.  She asked me why I feel as though I have to “finish” it? I really did not know what to say to that, not finishing it wasn’t something I even considered until then. My personality has always been to start a project, then finish it. She encouraged me to ponder starting it, but not finishing it right away, and what that would look like in terms of healing. We will go more in-depth with this in our next session. 

We touched on my anxiety, and setting up a positive plan of action for a future FET.  She had me describe what a typical treatment cycle has been like.  I told her about my peeing on a stick addiction, the serial betas, ultrasounds, etc.  All of which she knows well since infertility is her specialty.  She inquired as to why I feel the need to test at home so much, and I could easily respond with the answer, “for control.”  Dr. G asked some really good questions at this point:

  1. Control of what?
  2. Did I end up having control of what happened with each pregnancy anyways?
  3. How much do I really need to know during a cycle? For instance, are the betas really necessary for me to know? Did it matter if the lines were getting darker on the tests or not? Will knowing any of this change the outcome of what eventually happens?
  4. Are these actions (testing at home, serial betas, serial ultrasounds) causing me more anxiety?
  5. Is there anything we can do moving forward instead of these actions?

Lastly, we discussed how my loss is my loss, and should not be compared to any one else’s loss.  This was brought up due to some recent comments made to me such as, “well, at least you weren’t further along, or at least it was in the first trimester.”  She stood firm that psychologically speaking, a loss at 6 weeks can be as debilitating as a loss at 16 weeks.  We cannot say how devastated a person feels because of how far along in their pregnancy they were.  The grief that comes with a miscarriage depends solely on the hopes and dreams of what the person envisioned for their child, not how far along they were in the pregnancy.  She asked me what if all my losses had been at 6 weeks? Would I not feel as bad as I do now? Of course, I would have felt just as horrible, regardless of whether or not I saw the heartbeat many times and made it to 10 weeks or not.  This is not a competition.  My hopes and dreams for my earlier losses were just as real as the ones for my pregnancy that was further along.

There was even more, but I feel this was what I soaked up the most of during our session. Really looking forward to session 3!

Our Story as Featured on Rachel McGrath’s blog, “Finding the Rainbow”

When author Rachel McGrath asked us to share our infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss story on her blog, I was honored!

Little did I know how difficult it would be for me to put it into words all at once.  I am used to writing bits and pieces of our story over time, not the whole thing in 1 piece.  

Needless to say, I shed some major tears when I wrote it!

Here is Our Story (as featured on Rachel’s site, “Finding the Rainbow”) and shown below.

After my high school sweetheart and I finally tied the knot in 2007, it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted children, and about a year later, I went off the pill. A few months later, I went to my annual OB appointment and asked her what we could do to make it happen. She made it sound really simple… ‘go home, do it on days 12-16 of my cycle, and voila!’ I should be pregnant by my next annual appointment. When my annual appointment rolled around again, and I still wasn’t pregnant, she looked a little puzzled. We had followed all of her directions, so why weren’t we pregnant yet?

She decided to do some simple blood tests, all of them came back picture perfect. Her next idea was to get a semen sample from my husband. I will never forget the day she called me with the results because that was the day our lives completely changed. His count was extremely low; his motility was low, among many other things. By the end of our conversation, she had referred us to a fertility specialist, or Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).

About two years into our marriage we found ourselves at our first RE appointment. They did another sperm sample on my husband to be sure it wasn’t some “fluke.” It wasn’t a fluke at all; it came back even worse than it had the first time. That’s when we were told, “Your chances of conceiving on your own, without IVF with ICSI are about 1%.” We at least wanted to try IUI first.

So, we did two IUI rounds and both failed. By the third year of our marriage, we decided to take a break from the RE and see a Urologist. The Urologist found that my husband had a pretty large Varicocele vein and suggested we do a Varicolele repair in hopes of improving his count.

Six months after his surgery, we went in for another sperm sample. No improvement. Another year later, still no improvement. We decided at that point to find a new RE, who again reminded us of the dreaded words we had heard so clearly before, “you have about a 1% chance of conceiving on your own without IVF with ICSI.” Finally, we took the plunge and decided to move forward with this option.

The RE did a myriad of tests on us – genetic testing, HSG’s, SIS’s, blood panels, etc. All of this to make sure we were “cleared” for moving forward with IVF. We passed all of them with flying colors. In fact, my husband’s sperm count on the day of our egg retrieval even increased! It had been a year and a half since his surgery and although still low, it had increased by about five million. Our first IVF cycle was what the RE’s called “textbook perfect.” I was very responsive and they retrieved eighteen mature eggs, and eight of them fertilized via ICSI to day six blasts. The embryos were graded extremely high- three 6AA’s, three 6AB’s, and two 6AC’s. This being said, we chose to transfer only the one 6AA embryo back into my uterus.

About a week later, in the spring of 2014, we finally saw those two pink lines we had been waiting now five long years for. I cannot begin to tell you the feelings we experienced at that moment. My first beta came back at sixty which seemed low, but the nurse reassured me “as long as it doubles the next time, it is fine.” Well, the second beta came back at thirty-two! The joy we had been so filled with and waited so long for had been stolen from us within a week. My betas continued to fluctuate up and down for an entire month, forcing a D & C. For almost five weeks straight, I endured the torture of getting my blood drawn almost every other day before I rushed to make it to work on time. The D & C results came back inconclusive as to whether or not the products of conception were genetically normal. In other words, we had no idea why we miscarried an embryo of such high grade.Angela's story

We had seven frozen embryos left, and we scheduled the first FET around five months after that first miscarriage. This time, my body didn’t react as well and my lining was pretty thin a week before transfer. My RE said we had a 50/50 chance of it working with my lining as it was, and that it was up to us if we wanted to move forward with the transfer or cancel the cycle. Of course, we wanted to move forward! We transferred two embryos this time. Low and behold, a week later, two pink lines again!

We were a little nervous to get too excited after what happened with our betas last time. So we thought “OK, if we can just make it through the three betas, we will be good!” Our first beta came back at 305. Twin numbers! The second at 675, and the third at 1569. The doubling rate was over 100%! We set up the appointment for our first ultrasound. However, a few short days after my 3rd beta, I started cramping and bleeding pretty bad and ended up in Emergency. I was hooked up to an IV and the blood work and ultrasounds began. I had miscarried again.

We were completely heartbroken. We started to wonder if miscarrying was going to continue happening to us. We were reassured though that the chances of us miscarrying three times in a row were only 1%.

At this point, we had five frozen embryos remaining. We didn’t take much time off before starting next cycle; waiting only 2 months in between. My RE wanted to increase my estrogen intake and the length of the cycle to ensure my lining thickened as it was supposed to. I started doing yoga and acupuncture around the clock. My lining was measured at 11mm by transfer time, the thickest it had ever been!

We transferred two embryos again. And on Christmas Eve 2014 (our first babies due date), I tested super early and got my BFP. But this time once we saw the positive, we were more worried than ever before. Our innocent way of thinking had been stolen. We knew this positive didn’t guarantee anything, and neither did the upcoming betas. All we wanted was to get to that first ultrasound and see the heartbeat(s)!

All three of our betas all came back super high—almost tripling. I got a fourth blood test at around six weeks just to make sure it hadn’t dropped and it was over 20,000 already. I knew I was carrying twins then. We made it to the first ultrasound and saw two sacs and two heartbeats. The sweetest thing we ever did see! My RE wanted to do weekly ultrasounds up until ten weeks, and then release me to my OB. Our next ultrasound at 7w4d showed one of the twins was slightly behind and the heartbeat slower than it should have been, however the other twin was measuring exactly as it should and its heart rate was spot on. At our 8w4d appointment, the smaller twin had vanished, but the other one was doing great still and actually looked like a real baby this week!

The day I turned nine weeks, I went out and bought some maternity clothes, as my bump was starting to shine through my regular clothes. We were feeling really great because after you see a healthy heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage itself is only 5%. We had seen a healthy heartbeat now four weeks in a row! Ironically, my 9w4d appointment was the first one I went to alone. Usually when the ultrasound technician puts in the probe, it only takes a second or two for her to turn the screen and show you’re your sweet baby. Not today. It was dead silence for almost two minutes. Finally she said, “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat today.” Those words I will never forget.

I was diagnosed with a “missed miscarriage” and underwent a D & C at the hospital two days after the ultrasound. It was truly like a nightmare and I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I was supposed to be ten weeks pregnant! We were supposed to be announcing to the world that our baby would be arriving in six months. I can’t even put into words the bitterness and wrath I felt towards the world. I questioned my faith, my body, doctors, infertility treatments, everything!

The results from our D & C came back that we would have been having a sweet baby boy and he was genetically healthy; 46XY, just as he should be. We decided to name him Isaiah William.

Once my HCG levels finally went down two long months after the loss, I underwent a procedure that I had never had before-a Hysteroscopy to biopsy my uterus and examine it with a camera. This procedure found that I had a “mass” growing inside my uterine cavity. The mass never showed up on my three pre-transfer SIS’s or ultrasounds throughout any of our cycles. Questions began to race through my mind. Did it cause all of our losses? Just this loss? Or does it not have anything to do with any of the losses? There were so many unanswered questions. My RE suggested that there was an 85% chance it caused our third loss. By now, I had lost all faith in statistics anyway.

We scheduled an operation to remove the mass. The pathology report determined that the mass removed was a sub mucosal fibroid, which can indeed cause a loss to occur. A month after my operation, we did another hysteroscopy to make sure my uterus was completely clear, and it was. We were officially labeled not only as infertile, but as recurrent miscarriers, or as the medical world likes to call it, “habitual aborters.”

It has now been five months since we lost Isaiah & his twin, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of where my pregnancy would be. I also think about how our first baby would now be six months old, and our first set of twins would have been one month old.

Every day is a new day of healing for us. We have found peace knowing our babies are in heaven and we will see them again one day. I have gone to grief counseling. I now understand that I may never have all the answers and that I don’t need to. I resigned from my job to take some time to get back to the old me. I have restored my faith with the big guy upstairs. I have become an advocate for infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss through various social media outlets.

But most importantly, above all else, we still have hope. We haven’t given up the fight. The way I look at it is we have lost three battles, but that the war isn’t over. We will win! I am confident that one of the remaining three embryos we have left will one day be a part of our family here on Earth!

Progress Made

I guess you could say I sort of have my own pregnancy loss recovery “program” going on.  Over the past 5 months, I have slowly been making progress in my recovery efforts, but this week I feel I took a big step.

Months 1-2

The beginning of my recovery program included coming to terms with the fact I was no longer physically pregnant.  This was a brutal, harsh reality, and I thank God everyday that I was able to take a medical leave from work for a month.  It consisted of going from no periods for 3 months, to constant, continual bleeding & cramping, forcing myself to shower daily, trying to buy new clothes and dispose of maternity ones, adjusting my eating, exercising, & medicinal habits, getting accustomed to my new sleep patterns, & so much more.

You go from a baby bump to nothing to show for the bump but extra pounds.

You go from eating like a pig to eating just to survive.

You go from sleeping any chance you get because your baby is growing inside of you, to only sleeping when you self-medicate yourself. 

I also attended grief counseling during this time as part of my recovery.  This helped me understand that the physical anguish I was experiencing was quite normal and common considering what we went through. 

Next, came announcing to the world our infertility, IVF, and RPL secret (aka getting rid of the monkey we had been carrying around on our backs for years).  Lets face it, infertility treatments and recurrent pregnancy loss can become really challenging to hide after a while. Instead of announcing a baby to the world, we were now announcing how many we had lost. This included coming out of the closet with our families, friends, co-workers, social media, etc.  We began to realize we weren’t alone, as many people started coming out of the woodwork with their stories, too.  This part of my recovery program was actually quite soothing because the support we received was overwhelmingly positive.  Phone calls, texts, cards, presents, the works.

Months 3-4

These months centered mainly around 2 things–restoring my relationship with God, and making some decisions about our future. The big guy and I had a lot of sorting out to do.  I can’t lie and say I wasn’t utterly angry and disappointed with Him, because I was.  I was also confused & devastated that He allowed this to happen again.  I had went from talking to Him everyday, to seriously questioning my faith after loss 3.  In fact, I don’t think I ever doubted it so much in my entire life. When my mom or husband would bring Him up, I would tell them to be quiet.  I would tell them He doesn’t hear my prayers obviously anyways, and that His plan must be for me to never be a mother.  I yelled at Him and reminded Him that only He had the power to save our babies and He chose not to. 

Through each cycle and each pregnancy, we not only prayed and spent time with Him everyday, we also gave Him all the glory for those BFP’s. We even told our doctors it was Him who got us pregnant. Why then would He allow this to occur again? Well, I can’t answer that, and thankfully, I no longer have the desire to answer it. I do know there is a reason, but I can’t say I will ever understand it or know it.  And that is OK; I don’t need to understand everything.  I do know that I wouldn’t be sitting here typing right now had we still been pregnant.  I wouldn’t be advocating for this cause.  It took some time, and it’s still a work in progress, but I am so happy to say that my faith has been restored.  I know that He understood why I felt the way I did when we lost our babies and He keeps no record of my wrongs.

During this time, we also tried to figure out what went wrong with our pregnancy the best we could so we could prevent it from happening again in the future if possible.  I underwent numerous procedures, operations, blood tests, and doctor appointments.  We were able to eliminate many things off our list that could be causing our issue. We spent time praying and discussing our future options for creating our family-adoption, gestational surrogacy, another FET, a child free life.  We started researching getting second opinions from other RE’s and chose to finally go get one.  We made the decision that I needed to take some time away from my career, and hence, I put in my resignation.  I began to find other things that I enjoy and take pride in doing that do not revolve around us having a baby.  As you can see, a lot of clarity and healing came during this time.

Month 5

This would bring us to the present time.  Healing is definitely still in progress.  This week I made some progress (in my eyes) and I am proud of myself for it.  One of the hardest things for me since our last loss has been being around or talking to or about any pregnant women.  I have declined baby showers.  I have distanced myself from conversations. I have decided that I just could not be a part of any of this.  I have needed to protect myself from unnecessary hurt.  Unfortunately, anyone who has suffered through IF and/or RPL knows these horrible feelings all too well.  Basically, there is no other way to put it other than it sucks!  And I don’t think anyone enjoys feeling this way. 

So, I decided to try to take some small steps with this.  I went online and found my old high school friends baby registry (she is due with her first child in a few weeks).  I sent her some really cute presents and a card.  I did the same thing for a friend that I have recently met here in this wonderful blogging community as well.  In addition, I accepted an invitation to 3-year-old birthday party where another pregnant woman, baby, and children will be present.  I went out and bought him some play dough, a puzzle, and a book for the party.  I must tell you, I felt really great inside when I did each of these things for these special people. It brought me a lot of joy. And while I know that I have a long ways to go still in my healing, I also know that I am farther along than I was before!


Just One of Them Days…

That a girl goes through. When I’m angry inside, dont wanna take it out on you. Some of you might be singing along to this throwback Monica 90’s jam right now. The song seemed fitting for today, as today is just one of those days. 

Today is a lock yourself in the bathroom and cry your eyes out kind of day. Scream at that bathroom for all the times you have seen a positive test with those 2 pink lines, only to have it all ripped away. 

Today you feel like everyone has turned their back on you even when they probably haven’t. They all think you are so strong! They naively think careers, and friendships, and marriages don’t hurt from what you have endured. You feel so alone. And you think, why me? Why us? You think of everyone and everything you have lost. Its so very hard today.

You see everyone so very happy with their families. You cant help but feel angry. And you just don’t understand why you have to walk this incredibly unfair path. You regret every bad decision you ever made, and you blame yourself for RPL and infertility. You wish you could start over, but you cant. You are now tainted and forever scarred. 

How do you go on? It even feels like God himself cant hear you at these times, even though you know he surely can. How much can 1 person endure? You wonder will it always be this way? And so, you stare at the bathroom floor as you sob. U waste yet another beautiful day feeling bad for yourself. And you don’t care. Its just too hard today. 

But as always, you wait until the tears dry and the puffy eyes and red nose go away. And once they eventually do, you leave that bathroom, pull yourself together, and do your best to move on.  Put a smile on your face & act like its all OK. God only knows how many times you have silently gone through this sick routine. And today, my friends, is just one of those days.  

Sheltering Her from the Storm This Mother’s Day

A different perspective for all the mom’s out there this Mother’s Day…really beautifully written.

Waiting for Baby Bird Ministries

sheltering from the storm 2

Hey there Sweet Momma,

I know we have never met, but I’m going to venture off to say that Mother’s Day is a time of celebration for you. You wake up to eggs and burnt toast in bed. Flowers picked from the yard next to your pillow. You open gifts handcrafted with love. And read cards made by tiny hands and broken crayons. It’s a great day for you. And how could it not be as you are showered with lots of hugs and kisses from your little’s? Which is great!  You should be celebrated for all the sacrifices you make for your family. You should be recognized.  And applauded.  Because being a mother? It is not always easy.

But in the midst of your celebration this Sunday? Can you remember her? She is the one hiding in the back of the church. Last pew. Staring at her feet with…

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