Merry Christmas, World! 

Our miracle rainbow baby made his entrance into the world on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 6:57 p.m. weighing 7 lbs. 11 ounces. and 21 inches long. 

We welcomed Isaac William via c-section after a very long 21 hours of vaginal labor at 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Will post his entire birth story soon! Right now we are home and busy soaking up every second of what we prayed for for so very long. 

Our hearts are beyond full, he is absolutely perfect. Every tear and year spent waiting was worth it. 

Merry Christmas all ❤️

Throat Punch Time

Well, Ive gained 5 pounds since on the Lupron Depot. I weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant this time last year. Ugh. I checked, and weight gain is classified as one of the “non-severe” side effects of the drug. 

I know it might not sound like much weight gain to some, but I can feel it. I dont have the biggest frame to begin with, so any fluctuation in my weight is quite noticeable to me. I am barely 5’4, a B cup, and (was) a size 4. 

What really sucks is that throughout all my IVF cycles, my weight pretty much stayed the same, never passing a certain point, despite all the hormones and lost pregnancies. I guess things finally catch up to you after years of it in your (almost) mid-30’s! 

I have now officially passed my certain point. My clothes arent fitting good anymore, and the scale doesnt lie.  Sigh. What sucks even more about all this is that I really dont eat bad at all; I actually crave healthy foods for the most part. I mean, of course I have my splurges here & there, but they are minor and definitely not habitual.  That said, I cant attribute the gain to food, just drugs.  And I havent been exercising to help fight it off, been too tired. 
So whats behind the title to this post? As of lately, I have seen people (who know our history) glancing at my mid-section more often than before. Hmmmm… I wonder what they are thinking?!? I just want to tell them, “No, Im not pregnant, just getting fat.” If anyone did ask me if I was expecting after looking at my belly, it might be throat punch time. When I told my hubby this, he burst out laughing. While most prolly arent thinking of asking me this at all (its more like paranoia on my part), it still crosses my mind when they stare.

Anyways, since I have 2 more months of Lupron Depot injections, and probably even more hormones after that, I am going to have to take charge of this or I might be a blimp soon. That being said, losing it is what I intend to try & do. 

October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month 

October is a month of remembrance for several things close to so many peoples hearts; most commonly, Breast Cancer. In addition, it is disability and domestic violence awareness month.  Most of us RPL survivors know that October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  On Facebook, a lot of people, including myself, have turned their profile pictures pink and blue with the hashtag #gopinkandblue. 

  

I have wanted to do something to bring more awareness to pregnancy loss since I have become a victim, but I have never really known where to start other than just speaking out on social media outlets.  In my heart, I want to do more for those hurting, but again, I find myself not sure where to begin.

I have prayed that if God wants me to do something, he will show me a sign. In fact, not too long ago, I went to a womans conference at a local church.  At the end of the conference, they passed out a survey for each woman to fill out.  Most of the questions centered around the conference, but there was one question that did not.  This question asked if I would be interested in starting any type of outreach or ministry and if so, what for.  I went back and forth about filling it out, but immediately, as soon as I read it, I knew maybe it was my chance to reach other women/couples in my shoes.  This being said, I finally wrote down that I would be willing to start a pregnancy/baby loss group.  I prayed that if it was meant to be for someone to please call me.  No one ever did. 

Maybe it isnt the right time. Maybe I am not in the mindset to be of help to anyone yet. Maybe I would not help them in a positive way.  I dont really know.  But, regardless, I am keeping my faith that one day I can help women in a way that only those who have felt the pain themselves understand. 

  

Since I do not know what to do right now to reach out, I decided that I would write this post in honor of October being pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I dont have many words, so I have found images to represent the love,pain and anguish I, and I am assuming so many others, feel each day.  Please know you are not alone.  

  

  
  

  
  
 
  
    

 
  
  
 
  
 

I will be lighting a candle on October 15, along with millions of others, for every baby we have lost.  I invite you to light one too, whether you personally have lost a baby or not.  Please remember that 1 in 4 experience this kind of loss, and many do not speak out about it.  

  
 
 

 

Baby Steps

I bled for 2 weeks following the d & c, and the torture of the beta testing began just a week after.  When we found out we lost the pregnancy, my beta came back over 100,000.  Unfortunately, at around 10 weeks, the HCG levels are at their peak. Since we lost the pregnancy at this “peak” time, the doctor told us it could take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for my levels to reach 0 again, or a non-pregnant state.  What that equated to was at least 8 betas. Fantastic.

It was now mid-February, also known as “crunch time” in the world of teaching.  We had our state writing exam coming up in within days, with reading and math not far behind.  Both physically and mentally, I was spent to say the least.  I had been pumping my body full of hormones for 10 long months.  We had been pregnant 3 times in just 9 months.  In total, we had been pregnant for 21 weeks with only broken hearts to show for it.

My doctor recommended I take a medical leave from work.  With the help of my mom, I started investigating what the process would entail. I met with my principal and assistant principal who supported me 100% throughout this whole process.  They secured a long-term sub for my class, and helped me get all of the tedious paperwork started.

Even though almost everyone I knew (my husband, my mom, our doctor, close friends, and co-workers) all thought I should take the time off, I was still hesitant deep down inside.  Taking a leave from work was a huge deal to me.  People who know me well know that I am an overachiever, and at times, a workhorse.  Over the years, I hated getting subs probably just as much as my students hated having one.  My class ran smoothly, and the thought of handing it over to someone else frightened me.  I had worked so hard to get it the way it was.  But at the same time, I knew there was no way possible I could give 100% to my students through this loss like I did the other 2.  I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t think straight.  I was a total mess.

So in the end, I took the advice, and put in for a month’s leave.  Soon after my leave started, I went to a grief counselor.  I learned that what I was feeling was normal, anger included.  Slowly, I began to open up about what we had been going through the past several years.  We couldn’t keep it a secret anymore, nor did we want to.  When we started sharing our pain, an enormous weight was lifted off our shoulders.  And I started talking to God again.  I knew he knew my heart, even though I wasn’t able to pray to him like I had been before.

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When I was pregnant, I was scared to death to do anything.  I decided it was time I started doing things for myself again that I hadn’t done in months.  This was not an easy decision by any means. Most days, I didn’t want to get out of bed at all.  And for a few weeks, I didn’t.  When the time was right, I got myself up and ready and out of the house.  I got a manicure and a pedicure. I bought a tanning package. I cut my hair, and got bangs.  I got back into yoga.  I did some retail therapy.  I cleaned my house, and walked my dogs everyday.  I had a glass of wine and ate sushi.  I took hot showers and bubble baths that I hadn’t been allowed to take.  I even carried in the grocery bags after I went grocery shopping!

While I was off, my husband & I did little things to honor the babies we had lost the past year.  I got a Pandora bracelet, and we picked out all of their beautiful birthstones as charms, one for December, May, & September.  I soon decided that it was time to have a scar on the outside like the one we were carrying around silently in our hearts.  I searched for a few weeks, and finally found the perfect design for a tattoo… the pregnancy loss awareness ribbon shaped into a heart.

pregnancylosstattoo

We were starting to heal little by little, day by day.  But no matter how hard I tried not to dwell on things, my mind continually went back to getting the results from the d & c.  We wanted some type of closure, and prayed it might provide us with it. Finally, a little over 2 weeks later, the doctor called with the results. The tests showed that our baby had no genetic anomalies.  In other words, our baby was genetically healthy.  I was speechless.  This was a huge blow.  Everyone, especially the doctors, believed that the loss would be due to genetics. According to statistics (HA!), over 60% of early miscarriages are caused from genetics.  We were actually at the point where we chuckled at these ridiculous statistics comments.  What a joke they are.

We had a really hard time swallowing the results.  In our eyes, it meant that my body just terminated the pregnancy for no apparent reason.  I was devastated even more than before, if that was even possible. My hubs tried to focus on the silver lining, pointing out that at least we knew we had the ability to produce a healthy child.  After the 3rd loss, we started thinking that maybe all of our embryos were just plain bad or something. These results proved that wasn’t the case, which gave us a tiny flicker of hope when we thought about our 3 remaining embryos.  Now, we just had to figure out what was wrong with me.