May 2, Past & Present 

May 2, 2016 was the last time I (physically) went to work. At the time I had no idea that would be the last day I walked into my 3rd grade classroom to teach.

I had been bleeding quite a bit over the past weeks since my BFP and figured I was having yet another miscarriage. The pain became overwhelming so I left work and headed to my RE’s office. 

This is what we saw…


Relief. A heartbeat. Followed by horrible news…the other embryo had implanted in my fallopian tube. And it burst. And I was bleeding internally. Things became a blur as I was rushed to the ER for surgery. All I knew is that I had to undergo general anesthesia at just 6 weeks pregnant and was told the chances of the baby in my uterus (who is now sitting next to me) had a small chance of surviving it. I was devastated. I thought not only am I going to lose my tube, but another baby again. 

I came out of the surgery and so did Miracle with his heart still beating. I was told the next 48 hrs were crucial. I was in so much pain I could barely move after the surgery. It was worse than my c-section recovery by far. 48 hrs came & went, and there he was on the screen, still alive. 

We battled subchorionic hemmorages and placenta previa over the next few weeks, with lots of bedrest, but we made it to full term just in time for Christmas. God fulfilled the desires of our hearts as He promised He would.

Here we are in the present, May 2, 2017. If I had chosen to return to work from my FMLA leave it would have been today that I went back. I thought I might have mixed feelings about not being there when the day came, but I feel peace. I even had a cardinal and a butterfly visit my yard at the same moment and I like to think it was Isaac’s twin stopping by for a visit to let me know he or she is alright.

I know here at home with my boy is where I want to be. And might I add that while I always knew teaching was challenging, I had no clue that being a stay at home mom was even harder. Its by far the hardest job I have ever had, yet the most rewarding. Ill leave it at this—Stay at home moms dont get enough credit! Shoutout to my mom who stayed home with my brother & I…I get it now. 

2 Years Ago

A few days ago, Word Press reminded me that I started this blog 2 years ago this March. 


2 years ago at this time I was on a medical leave from my position teaching Fourth Grade. I had just had my 3rd IVF miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant. I was beyond devastated. I chopped off my hair and got 2 tattoos within weeks. I wanted to morph into a different person but I soon realized that wasn’t possible. 

So during my medical leave, I decided I had to find other ways to cope other than taking scissors to my hair or ink to my body.  With the encouragement of close friends & family, I started this blog as an outlet. Up until that time (March 2015), we were quiet about our infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss struggles. Only those closest to us knew we had been trying to conceive for close to 7 yrs, had underwent both his & her surgeries, failed IUIs, IVF cycles, and miscarried 6 embryos with 2 still frozen. 

It felt SO amazing to come out of what I like to call the “infertility closet.” I decided from the start not to make my blog anonymous, to even link it to my FB page. I wanted the world to know that I was not a mean bitch when I didnt come to your baby shower, or your kid’s 1st birthday…or when I walked away as you gleefully told everyone what gender you were expecting. I wanted them to know that I had just learned we lost another baby, a healthy baby boy with no explanation. That I just had a D & C for the fourth time. That we had just thrown another 10,000 down the drain. That I wasnt being lazy when I called into work sick yet again. I wanted to be understood finally!

And I was. In fact, I had more than one person tell me that they had misjudged me before they knew our story.  To think if I had never started sharing they would have never knew the real me, well I cant even imagine that now. 

To some, I might share too much, but I have found being an open (and honest) book is what works. To ME, it is far better than leading a life no one knows exists.  That said, I found it pretty cool to see how much this blog has been a part of my life…


You can see that when at the lowest point in our journey (March 2015-June 2015), I was sometimes blogging multiple times a day. Sure, things have changed now, but I am still proud to say I havent missed a month. I guess you could say blogging is sort of therapy for me. 

Here’s to another 2 years Word Press! 

Grief

I have been thinking about writing this post all week, but really dont know how to put my grief into words. No, this isnt about our new bundle of joy that means the world to us. He is doing great. 

This is about the struggle that stays with you after you become a mom…dealing with loss and infertility after motherhood.

Two years ago today, I underwent my last d & c at 10 weeks pregnant. It was our 3rd Frozen Embryo Transfer, and we thought we were almost out of the woods (or first trimester). I wont rehash all of the awful details with our loss, you can read about them in our archives back in March of 2015 if you are in a place where you need to relate. If you are, my prayers go out to you. However, I will say that this February day back in 2015 still haunts, or hurts me deeply. 

I sat in the bathtub last night, when I should have been relaxing after a long day filled with cluster feeds, dirty diapers, cries and sweet rainbow baby coos, only to find myself grieving deeply. 

You see, having a baby doesnt replace losing one. Having a miracle in your arms actually makes you wonder even more about what your other child would have been. All the moments you are enjoying now that you lost with them. There is even a smidge of guilt mixed in with the grief. 

We will never know why we lost Isaacs brother that winter day a few years ago, or why we lost all 5 of his other siblings before that. All we can do is thank God for what we have and cherish it even more. Pray for peace for all the babies taken too soon, and for all the moms that became moms the second those embryos were placed inside of them…regardless of the outcome. You are a mother even though many might not recognize it. The love starts way before the baby arrives. Losing many and now having one has made me realize it even more. 

Rest in peace Isaiah William with all the other angels gone too soon 💙 today we think of you 💙

I Will Never Forget 

Although we have finally made it to a point in our pregnancy where we are very hopeful we will bring our rainbow baby home, it doesnt mean I will ever forget. 

I’ll never forget the sleepless nights dreaming of what it would be like to become pregnant and watch my belly grow. To feel life inside of me. 

I’ll never forget the desperation every month to see 2 pink lines. The timed intercourse over & over again, the old wives tales I held on to, organic foods I stuffed myself with, and the vitamins I overdosed with time & time again. 

I’ll never forget the disappointment and heartache month after month when it never happened on its own. Ever. 

I’ll never forget how scary every single treatment I had was. Every shot, ultrasound, IV of anesthesia, blood draw, d & c, egg retrieval, fibroid removal, hysteroscopy, HSG, tube removal, MRI, SIS, and transfer.

The various emotions I felt monthly, if not daily…bitterness, denial, hope, sadness, excitement, fear, anger, love, jealousy, peace, rage, the list goes on. 

I’ll never forget all the 2 week waits and the bargains I tried to make with God. If you….then I’ll…

I’ll never forget all the arguments and money spent trying to have a baby, something that should be so easy. 

I’ll never forget how I had to put my career on hold to be able to carry our baby. Something most women can do without a problem. Why couldnt I be normal too? 

I’ll never forget all the tears shed every pregnancy that was stolen from us.

I’ll never forget what it was like to hold my breath everytime I went to the bathroom pregnant, praying for no blood. 

I’ll never forget all the family and friend gatherings I avoided over the years to remain somewhat sane. 

I’ll never forget the anger and why’s I yelled out to God. 

I’ll never forget all of the endless trips to the doctor and psychologist. The anxiety attacks, nightmares, and medications that followed. 

I’ll never forget all the nights I tried to self numb my pain and distract myself but it never worked. Shopping trips, yoga, girls nights, drinks, date nights, you name it. 

I’ll never forget all of those pregnancy announcements that seemed to come so easy for some. The endless bump shots and ultrasound photos I couldnt bare to see at times. 

I’ll never forget what it feels like to be left behind or misunderstood. Gut wrenching. 

I’ll never forget the conversations based solely around kids and being the only one in the group without one. Trying to find an excuse to get away before bursting into tears. 

I’ll never forget what it was like to fake a smile just to get through the days without having to explain. 

I’ll never forget the support of those who picked me up when I needed it the most. 

I’ll never forget all of the people in this community who helped me realize I wasnt alone. Oh the gratitude. 

I’ll never forget all the babies we lost. Every date is forever in my heart. 

I’ll never forget that we are in fact infertiles and suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss. 

And I’ll never truly feel we “beat infertility” as it will always be a part of us. Always. 

Time Off

Today I told my boss about my upcoming FET cycle. By no means did I have to do this; I chose to. 

As a teacher, when we request a day off, we put it into a computer system and request a sub. The principal then approves it electronically. There generally is no face to face correspondence when a request takes place. The days are earned over time and can be used as needed.  I LOVE this perk about my job! 

Since I got my FET calendar, I have been requesting upcoming times off for appointments more than I normally would. So today I took my calendar in to my superior and explained why, even though she never asked about it or disapproved any of it. Note: this is part of my personality—I never want anyone to think I am just a slacker looking for time off. I have to explain. 

Anyways, I felt totally at ease approaching the situation, as the administrators I work with are very supportive. They all know that we have now gone through 3 IVF cycles, followed by 3 miscarriages—I have continued to teach there through them all. They have seen me at my best and my worst. 

What a relief to have this off my shoulders! My boss was great about it, and reassured me not to stress. This means a lot to a Type-A person like me! One more step in the right direction, right? 

Flashback to 2/6/15

*Originally written on 2/6/15, one of the hardest days of my life.

My mom drove me home from the ultrasound appointment as she tried to hold herself together. I told her to text the news to friends or family members we had excitedly told about our pregnancy.
I couldn’t believe I was telling her to do this. Instead of our pregnancy going public in 2 short weeks, we would be suffering yet another loss. Celebrated by serial beta testing. I hated the world. And I despised my body for failing again.
When I got home, I started throwing things away immediately. This was not like the last loss when I asked my husband to put all of the “stuff” away nicely for me. I started pitching medications, cards, maternity clothes, positive tests, books…basically anything I could get my hands on. GARBAGE.
When my husband arrived home that night, we both just laid in bed and cried. There was NOTHING to say. We stared blankly at the ceiling, just as I did at the doctor’s office earlier that morning. I didn’t sleep that night, I sobbed. And from time to time, I shoved my face deep into my pillow and flung my fists. My entire face was pretty much swollen red for days.
The d & c was set for 1 p.m., just 2 days after the ultrasound that changed our lives. Like any other surgery, I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight Thursday night. The eating part I was just fine with. In fact, I had barely taken a bite out of anything since we found out we lost the pregnancy. I went from literally eating non stop, to not eating at all. It was the not drinking part that was a problem for me. Mostly because I had come down with a terrible sore throat and headache Thursday. My throat was as dry as a bone and my head was throbbing.
I stayed up all night, tossing and turning, in true despair and pain, starting to feel like I was being punished. Or tortured for that matter. I had a lifeless child inside of me. I couldn’t have water, and I couldn’t take anything for my headache. I guess the truth of the matter is, that many people, even children, all around the world, experience this torture everyday. No water or medicine to help them feel better. For some reason, in my darkest moment, my heart actually ached for them and not for us.
We made it through the night, and the next day arrived. The day of the d & c, the day I should have been 10 weeks along. Part of me wanted to get it all over with right away, but another part of me wanted to hold on to what was left. The doctor thought it would be in my best interest to undergo general anesthesia, so I had no recollection of the event. But general anesthesia or not, this day of the d & c was plain awful. And when I say awful, I am not by any means exaggerating.
We got to the hospital at 11 a.m. thirsty. After checking in, we went into the waiting room. Of course, there were babies everywhere and wouldn’t you know it, a very pregnant woman directly in front of the empty chairs we had to sit in as we waited. 

They took me back, and as usual, got more blood (honestly surprised I have any left). I undressed, put my belongings into a bag, and slipped on the gown. Next, the nurse stuck the IV into my hand (worst place ever to get an IV). I had bruised, greenish-yellow, swollen hands. This nurse was not my doctor’s nurse, and not very gentle to say the least.
She asked me to confirm why I was there, and I (literally) choked on my tears. I mumbled the answer. She simply looked at me and said, “OK” in a perky voice and she walked away. Not, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or “that’s very sad,” or anything. I was simply another patient in this place of death. No longer was this hospital looked at as a place of life. I guess it can be viewed either way depending on who you ask. If you asked me a week earlier, I would have told you I was excited to take a tour where we would have our baby. Now, I loathed the place with everything in me.

Around noon, my mom requested the anesthesiologist give me something so I would calm down. He did, even though I still continued to cry long after it was supposed to have “kicked in.” My doctor came in a little after 1 pm and talked with us. She informed us that the POC (products of conception) would be sent out immediately to the lab. At the lab, the POC (real nice name for a life that was lost) would undergo genetic micro-array testing. The results would let us know us if the baby had a genetic anomaly, such as Trisomy 18 or 21, that caused it to just stop growing. The results would take up to 2 weeks. Another 2WW. FML.

My doctor gave me a hug, and a kiss on the forehead, and said she would take care of me like I was her own daughter. Then she said she would see me when I woke up to let me know how it went. The nurses rolled me off to the operating room. Unfortunately, I still remember the room they took me in. So large, bright and white, with metal instruments surrounding me. They rolled me onto a different bed than the one I was on. Above me, I saw what looked like the small lamp a dentist uses at an exam, but instead the lamps were super sized and everywhere. Creepy. They strapped my arms down, and put the oxygen mask on my face. The anesthesiologist popped in, and said it would be only a few seconds and I’d be out. He was right.

I woke up as they were rolling me into the recovery room. My first memory is throwing up all over myself. After that, opening my eyes and starting to cry within seconds. The little old lady attendant who was waiting to check me into recovery said, “Oh no! Please don’t cry!” I was completely groggy, but still in a lot of pain. The cramps were BAD. My new recovery room nurse gave me Vicodin through my IV right away. About 10 minutes later, the cramping started to subside. As I tried to get comfortable, I felt gushes of blood. I was disgusted in my half alive state. Utterly disgusted. This was not supposed to be happening.

I ended up staying in recovery for a few hours because I kept needing Vicodin. In turn, the Vicodin would make me sick, and I would need Zofran, which would knock me out. It was a vicious cycle- Vicodin, puke, Zofran, sleep, repeat. My doctor came to check on me and tell us how it went.

She said she was able to clearly take our little angel out. That’s all I really heard her say. 

At that moment, I wondered what he or she would have looked like, and what it would have been like to hold them.