My first miscarriage taught me grief.
Then my second, resilience.
Now my third, gratitude.
I know how the third one could not make sense but I’m so grateful for so many things. After 3 years on this tough road I’ve learned there are worse things than infertility even though infertility is hard and will continue to be. I’m most grateful for my support system. The hardest part about going through infertility are people and the things they feel like they have a right to say. For a while, I blamed my stress for my miscarriages and in turn the people that caused my stress. If there’s anything I want to write about having had a third one now, is to move on from the pain that others have inflicted on me during all this. It wasn’t enough for them that I had physical and mental pain from miscarrying 3x and dealing with a terminal diagnoses but they just had to add more to that. In talking with my therapist, I don’t like how much those words consume me from what people have said despite those that do support me and have been so amazing to us. And I need to move on.
I had some much time to think and I came to the conclusion that we just wanted basic empathy, grace, compassion. I didn’t think it was hard, but then we went through what we went through and I guess we were asking too much from some people. Even when someone had nothing to say to us, we were OK with that, we understood that. You’re probably thinking then why don’t you drop them from your lives. And I did, with one person. I no longer speak to her. I have told her when she is ready to listen then I am willing to talk. And I know she is going through something hard although she never told me she is, but I just happened to be the perfect person for her to take her pain out on.
The others are complicated. Although, distancing ourselves, at the moment is needed and I hope they don’t misunderstand us for doing that. Or ‘assume we don’t care’, since that has already been said! But they are the type of people to misunderstand, that what we are going through has nothing to do with them, so that one is tough and their family. Family isn’t an excuse but as I’ve experienced, they can be the most toxic because they feel entitled to information that they aren’t. And maybe what we are going through is toxic for them, so I would understand if they had to distance themselves from us.
I can’t forget the things that were said and I can try to forgive but I don’t think I could ever trust them again. It causes me so much stress and at one point I told someone that I was in therapy because of them. I feel like if someone told me that, I would rethink how I treat or what I say to people. I even told them that I don’t make up things in my head to be upset about something. They said things to me and honestly, continue to and make situations harder. I try to respect their boundaries but in return mine aren’t respected. I have a limit.
Maybe one day I can wholeheartedly forgive and let go of it all. And I am working on it with my therapist. If it was easy then a lot of people wouldn’t have mental health problems and need therapy but it is so hard to ignore some of the hurtful things people say, especially when you are already going through something so hard.
I keep telling my husband on a daily basis, I want to be better and when I do have kids someday, I want them to always be better and kinder despite someone treating them wrong. I understand that I am the first person to go through this on both sides of our family and our circle of friends and for the most part we have had the best support and there was a learning curve with some and fortunately for us, we only had a handful that just couldn’t figure it out no matter how many times we talked.
1. Questioning our happiness for our pregnancies. Just stop.
2. Asking me to prove I’m not pregnant by having a drink. Why is this ok?
3. Digging at my husband for not having kids yet. No.
4. Expecting us to read minds and know something we had no idea about during the hardest time of our lives.
5. The judgment and misunderstanding we both got. It was so painful for me to watch and hear about it towards my husband. More painful than dealing with my infertility.
6. Comparing healthy pregnancies to my past and future pregnancies. Unless you have lost a pregnancy just don’t even try to say you understand. You are lucky and I hope you never have to experience this type of loss.
7. I can’t even begin to say how many times, despite our struggles, we showed up for friends and family. We literally only canceled one thing, 4th of July because I miscarried for the first time 5 days before. But after that we were adamant about not letting it show and there were people who told me it wasn’t enough.
8. Making me feel like I was crazy for the feelings I felt after loss. I literally had to say, ‘I thought I reacted as any normal person would’ve if they had gone through what I did’. And then the judgment I received after that exchange for who I was during the hardest time of my life. I asked so many people if I was out of line and they all said no.
9. Being asked to put ourselves in their shoes. I would never ask someone to put themselves in our shoes. That is so cruel to even ask someone to imagine miscarrying so why would you ask us to do that?!
10. Saying you can’t imagine what we went through. The right phrase is I can imagine but I don’t want to. Because it’s our reality unfortunately and we can’t just imagine. It seems like such a luxury
11. Being told at least you know you can get pregnant. Right it seems so, but I’ve miscarried everytime.
12. Blatantly asking me if I’m pregnant and if I wasn’t going to tell, I would be asked. I would never ask, even if I knew, until I was told. That’s private and no one’s business until the couple is ready to tell.
13. This isn’t related to our pregnancies, but bluntly being lied to because they’re afraid you’re going to ask if they’re pregnant. I’m excited for anyone who starts a family. My problem is not yours. And you’re very lucky you don’t have the issues I do. But don’t sit there and lie. That’s hurtful and now I can’t trust anything that comes out of your mouth. Just trust that there are kinder people out there who won’t ask such a personal question like yourselves even if they had suspicions.
14. Not holding yourselves to the same expectations that you expect of us. There’s a word for that, hypocrites.
15. When people say they know it will happen for us. I know it comes with good intent but like how? Did you talk to my doctors? Do you know something I don’t?
16. The advice. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. I’ll ask for it if I do.
17. Lastly and lately, dismissing our feelings about what we went through and continue to go through. Everyone’s problems are equally hard and this is not a competition of whose problems are harder. I never thought I would have to defend my feelings.
I feel like as I reread some of these, I just remember that exact moment of when it happened. Then I tell people, like in group therapy or just to vent and they are shocked, so then I feel like ‘ok yeah’ I am not overreacting and I have every right to feel the way I do. So when I say we weren’t expecting anything from anyone, I literally meant it. All we wanted was grace. I wasn’t myself, we were not ourselves. How would you handle flushing your ‘pregnancy’ down the toilet? Were weren’t supported by the medical community. I was literally fighting with nurses/doctors while trying to miscarry. This changed me and I needed patience because I was figuring things out. I was healing from trauma and I still am. This will never go away. A baby won’t fix or erase what we went through. I was doing things out of character to survive. I’m still surviving. And in the end we still don’t have our baby.
I know I make it look easy but it doesn’t mean that when I go home the burden of what I’m carrying or hiding has no weight. So I’m trying to put the bad aside, people included and devoting my time and presence for those that I am so grateful for. Giving the people who have given us grace and patience and support, my time. Cause at the end of the day, I’m not afraid and fearful of what they’re going to say to me. I’m not making up things to be upset about. I’m upset because these things were said to me and I bravely voiced my hurt with my vulnerability front and center, and was met with nothing, not even an apology.
With time, I sure am way better at handling certain comments but it doesn’t mean they don’t add up.
So I gave up. I gave up on them. If you can’t listen then I’m done talking and asking for grace. If you can’t say your sorry, then I can’t share anymore. I’m so grateful for what I do have and I have so much to be grateful for and sometimes it’s hard to remember when the bad things consume your mind.
1. To our friend and my sister-friend who dropped off just because homemade bread and homemade butter. A bunch of handpicked dried lavender. I still have the lavender in what will hopefully be a future nursery. And having someone to just listen and validate my feelings even though you had no idea what I was going through.
2. My sister who brought me food before I had to go into labor. The countless times you buy me butterflies cause you know what that means for me. The check ins but then checking in on my husband because you knew he didn’t have anyone checking in on him. For always feeding us and distracting us. The list is endless.
3. To my girls who dropped a crate of goodies to show their love for us cause they didn’t know what to say. Your action shouted volumes. We felt so loved that night. Even the fact that you included my husband in all of it meant so much because husbands aren’t usually asked how they are doing. I love our girl nights
4. Both of our parents who literally carried our pain with us when we couldn’t bear it and continue to. But then when they stand up for us, because it just gets too exhausting to even stand when you have people trying to bury you.
5. The family that has been the much needed distraction for when we needed it the most. The understanding and for always including us even though you were afraid of how we’d respond.
6. My workout buddy and dear friend who always listened to me and holds more hope for me than I can sometimes. For always being our travel companions
7. Flowers for my loss from a co-worker.
8. My college little sister who randomly sent me snail mail and flamingo earrings to just make my day.
9. A talented and amazing friend who gave me this beautiful mental image of my grandma holding my kids and watching over them in heaven. I always look forward to our nights of just endless conversations.
10. My husband’s friends and my friends who love him as much as I do. I know sometimes he makes it hard to love him, more now than before, but having people that don’t give up on him means more to me than you would even know.
11. Our friends and family who allow us to love their kids. As much pain its brings us to not have our own, its nice not to feel left out.
12. My OG loss moms group therapy girls and the people I have met on the internet. Something so beautiful came from the worst thing that could ever happen to us.
The good always outweighs the bad.
And the biggest thing I learned through countless therapy is although I can’t control what others say or do, I can control my response and actions. I’m not purposely trying to make things difficult and it feels so weird that I have to even say that. I want to be a better person. I don’t want to be the infertility girl that only ever talks about her infertility problems, but I so appreciate my people that let me know vent cause, man, this is hard sometimes.
Most days are great, but then those mornings that I just walk up with reality slapping my face and days when it gets bad and I have trouble hiding the pain, I just hope that whoever crosses paths with us that day will have grace for us.
In million years I never thought it would happen again. If your like me, I thought there were so many good signs. It was hard to comprehend that it was happening. I feel like I knew but so badly wanted to be one of those couples that it only happened once and we would get our rainbow. It took me so long to write it out but I feel like its so important becasue I am still looking for answers and my case was so unique and traumatizing that I don’t want to feel alone. I don’t want someone to feel alone. After starting acupuncture and therapy, its taken me 5 months to finally write about it. I have PTSD and that was hard to accept.
We found out we were pregnant for the 2nd time on Dec 22, 2020. The day happened so fast and I was in such disbelief becasue we didn’t even try. I felt like I called my office that day, they confirmed it and we had our first ultrasound scheduled for the following week becasue of my history. I couldn’t even prepare myself for the PTSD that I would have being back in that office with the ultrasound machine. During that 5 week appt, it felt like it was happening all over again. The words the doctor was saying, the images I was watching on the ultrasounds machine. It all sounded the same. I came out to John in just a mess and it took him forever to get me to understand that the doctor didn’t say anything was bad but just early and we had to wait. She ordered beta tests and that would tell.
After 2 betas, my HCG was rising but very slowly. Not doubling like a normal pregnancy so there was concern. Only a small percentage of pregnancies are successful with a slow rise, so we were hopeful but scared to death. I started having a side pain and small spotting that concerned my doctor but she also wasn’t sure if it was just pregnancy symptoms. So we did another ultrasound, 6 weeks, which gave us no good news but not bad, so we were still waiting. She ordered a 2nd opinion with the radiologist to rule out ectopic. I cant even begin to explain the feeling of feeling pregnant but not feeling it at the same time. The stress and unknown factors were just the worst. This was how we were starting our new year and it didn’t feel good.
After the 2nd opinion and now 7 weeks, I thought they would’ve been able to find something. My doctor called me that evening. I remember it so perfectly. I was in bed, Jan 13. She called to tell me they confirmed ectopic and gave me the option to go into the ER that night or the next day. She wanted to avoid surgery and losing one of my organs. She said only the er would be able to help me abort my pregnancy. I cried the entire night. So we went to the er and of course John couldn’t be there with me. I remember telling him that I will be ok and walking away from him just yelling at the nurse. I felt like I cried the entire way in.
The whole time in the er, they were so confused as to why I was there. They ordered another ultrasound and I cant even being to state how annoyed and over ultrasounds I was. After a long night. After a night of watching the nurses attend to the drug addict detoxing more than they checked on me. I was scared and starving. I was so frustrated with the health care system. I hated that I had to suffer because of covid, that my husband couldn’t sit there with me. I sort accepted my reality and waited for them to start the procedure to abort my pregnancy.
The ER ob finally came in and I was not prepared for what she was going to tell me. They found a small gestational sac and were not going to abort. She ordered I go home and get some bed rest. I was so confused, it felt like a miracle. I was so angry with my doctor.
5 days later, 8 weeks pregnant, I started bleeding heavy with cramps. We went to the ER again and they confirmed a miscarriage. I went home and miscarried the next day on the due date of my first pregnancy, Jan 19. I was just done with everything. I was angry at the family members that didn’t understand what we were doing through but had expectations of us after the first miscarriage so miscarrying again made me more angry at them. I was angry that I was the tolkien infertile girl of my group of friends.
After 2 months of non stop bleeding and waiting for the pregnancy to leave me, they finally started a work up. I have the MTHFR+ mutation. We decided we aren’t going to try for awhile. There’s more to it but not something I don’t want to share. I want answers. I want to hear stories of women who have the mutation and went on to have a healthy pregnancy. I am hoping that specific someone finds my story and is open to share with me. If not that, I don’t want advice or opinions from someone who doesn’t understand what it means to go through this. I’m only open to those who physically and mentally know what I am going through. I know a few people who know me personally have reached out with love and support and no questions, and I really appreciate that. You really don’t know what someone else is going through and those stories helped me feel less alone.
I am in a better place than I was year ago but I am also in a the thick of grief that will never go away even after I have my rainbow. I wish I can say that I have people that support me in that, which I do, but there are also people in my life that have made it difficult for us to grieve my babies and accept my reality. Please use our story as a good example as to why you should never ask a couple if they’re pregnant. For us its a loaded question.
Our October getaway for our 2nd anniversary!
Our September getaway to Paso Robles …
This was such a fun event to be part of! Check out all the fun below
& all the amazing vendors involved:
photography: Jessica Lynn Photography |event design + planning: Beijos Events | florals: Third & Park | handmade details: The Neutral Knot (macrame hangings + napkin rings) | catering: Colette’s Catering | cake + desserts: Sugar Crush Sweets | tabletop rentals: Cherished Rentals | furniture rentals: Sweet Salvage Rentals | linen rentals: Hostess Haven | cocktails: Bottles & Blooms | balloon installation: The Pop Shop | coconut bowls, candle + flatware: Coconut Bowls | cocktail stirrers: Proper Letter | flatlay surface: Chasing Stone
Because of Covid we canceled our vacation at the end of march so we headed on a road trip to Joshua Tree.
We stayed at the cutest airbnb, M&L Desert Cottage. And if I am being honest the hammocks had me!
We drove through the park, stargazed, watched the sunset and sunrise and even golfed. It was a 48 hour trip and we kept our distance from public most of the trip. It was easy with the august heat.
The only local place we checked out was Joshua Tree Coffee Company. But some of the places like Pie for the people was closed. There will definitely be another visit to JT!